China's autonomous submersible makes maiden dive

October 11, 2013 - via Xinhua

BEIJING, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- An unmanned autonomous underwater vehicle developed by Chinese scientists has successfully completed in a dive to 5,080 meters in the open sea, the State Oceanic Administration said on Friday.
The unmanned vehicle "Qianlong-1" is a robot that can travel to a depth of 6,000 meters.

The vehicle, tasked to explore the sea bed and collect hydrological data, is about 4.6 meters long, 1,500 kg in weight and 0.8 meters in diameter. The vehicle, on board of the Chinese research vessel "Haiyang-6," left Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sept. 28 for the eastern Pacific Ocean and with the first dive on Oct. 6.

It operated underwater for about eight hours and successfully resurfaced.

This task is a trial run for the vehicle and the first time an Chinese autonomous underwater vehicle has been used for a scientific expedition. The vehicle is the latest achievement in China's oceanic technological endeavors, following its a manned submersible and a remote-control underwater vehicle.

The manned submersible "Jiaolong" set a record in June 2012 by reaching 7,062 meters in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench

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