A remotely-operated underwater vehicle (ROV), Longzhu, (or dragon eye), developed by Shenyang Institute of Automation (SIA), the Chinese Academy of Sciences, obtained for the first time the image of China’s manned submersible Jiaolongworking in the deep ocean, during the submersible’s first dive of this year’s expedition mission on July, 16, 2014, in the northwest Pacific Ocean. It is the first time that Longzhu conducts deep sea experimental application aboard Jiaolong.
During an over nine-hour dive, Jiaolong reached a depth of 2,424 meters in the open sea. He Zhen, an engineer from SIA, and two other oceanauts operated the first dive. The two vehicles accomplished interaction and video recording task, according to planned cooperative operation procedure. Researchers completed the launching and retrieval of Longzhu, and testified the new mode under which the two different types of underwater vehicle can realize mutual compensation of advantages and cooperative operation.
Longzhu, a product supported by the National High-tech Research and Development (dubbed the “863” program), was developed by researchers from Shenyang Institute of Automation. It weighs only 40kg in the air, with length, width and height of all about 0.4 meters, and is equipped with three electric-powered propellers. Longzhu is controlled by oceanaut in the cabin ofJiaolong, and is linked to the submersible via a fiber. By carrying a camera, Longzhu is capable of performing underwater observation and recording, achieving better overall observation by complemented with Jiaolong.
Source: Marine Technology Department