Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Late necrologue for Kaiko

I did not know this, but Japanese deep-sea ROV Kaiko is lost. Was lost as far back as 2003.

"With a typhoon bearing down, the operators of the ship Kairei made what seemed the sensible decision: they hauled in their lines and planned to leave the area. Only these were no ordinary fishing lines, but a kilometres-long stretch of cable leading to the world's deepest-diving submersible. And when Kairei's crew winched up the last of the cable, something was missing — the vehicle on the end, whose line had apparently snapped. The future of deep-sea exploration darkened a bit on that stormy day in 2003. The Kairei's submersible, Kaiko, was the star not only of the Japan Agency for Marine−Earth Science and Technology but of the world's entire deep-diving fleet. In 1995, Kaiko had touched down on the bottom of the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, 11,000 metres beneath the waves. It was only the second time a submersible had visited the legendary deep, and a first for a robotic craft."

Nature News' "Marine technology: Back to the bottom" uses Kaiko as a vehicle for discussing the future of HROVs - Hybrid Remotely Operated Vehicles. Just read it.


Post a Comment

<< Home