The world’s deepest diving three-person acrylic submersible was officially named Aurelia at the end of April 2022 and will soon go through sea trials as it gets prepared for its first missions. The ‘first-of-its-class’ sub was built by Triton Submarines for REV Ocean, and the final assembly took place at the Triton facility in San Cugat, Spain. A deep-submergence vehicle (DSV) is a deep-diving crewed submersible that is self-propelled.
The sub offers scientists, researchers and guests an unrivalled experience in ocean observation, achieving depths up to 2,300m (7,500ft). Aurelia’s huge acrylic sphere provides a truly immersive experience for occupants, with near 360-degree unobstructed views. The sub is also fitted with comprehensive scientific sensors, tools, cameras and sampling equipment.
Deep-sea Vehicles for Ocean Science
A public naming competition for the sub was launched in February and the winning name was submitted by Ivar Ruijten, an ROV supervisor/pilot from the Netherlands. The name is fitting because it means gold, or ‘The golden one’ (from the Latin Aurum). Aurelia Aurita is also the commonly seen moon-jellyfish that can easily be recognized by its distinctive four horseshoe-shaped patterns, as seen through the top of the bell.
REV Ocean’s other deep-sea vehicle, ROV Aurora entered service in October 2021 and successfully dove the Malloy Deep and the Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic Ocean (3,800m), sampling hydrothermal vents for the first time.
REV Ocean’s CEO Nina Jensen said: “Aurelia is absolutely incredible and perfectly designed for REV Ocean’s scientific goals and ambitions. With both Aurelia and Aurora now in service, we have the best tag team in the world for conducting cutting edge ocean science, education and communications.”
Aurelia will next go through extensive sea trials around the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean over the coming weeks to test its capabilities, performance and science equipment. The sea trial is the last phase of construction. Representatives from Triton, governing and certification officials and representatives of the owner will participate. This will lead to Aurelia’s certification for commissioning and acceptance by its owner.
Triton co-founder and president Patrick Lahey stated: “Triton is proud to support REV Ocean’s ambitious initiative to dive deeper, explore further and learn more about the ocean. With the introduction of the Triton 7500/3 (Aurelia), it is now possible for REV Ocean to take a pilot and two crew members on dives as deep as 2,300 metres or 7,500 feet while they enjoy the most compelling viewing experience achieved to date from inside the thickest acrylic sphere ever created.”
He added: “Aurelia will also feature several other new technologies, which increase endurance, expand utility and enhance effectiveness in ways not possible before. At Triton, we never stop innovating and it is a privilege and an honour to work collaboratively with an organization like REV Ocean, which shares our passion and enthusiasm for ocean exploration.”