Three years ago, an American client came to us with a dream. He had climbed the seven summits, the tallest peaks on each of the seven continents, and next he wanted to dive to the deepest point in each of the five oceans.
The challenge was set. Only two manned submersibles have ever dived to full ocean depth, and each made only a single dive. Could Triton design and build a submersible capable of repeat dives to the most remote, hostile and unexplored region of our planet? The answer, a resounding “yes.”
Following six-months of design concepts work, and a further six-months of design and engineering feasibility studies, a manufacturing contract was signed in the summer of 2016.
Over 150 suppliers from 36 different countries contributed to the project; in many cases re-thinking the technologies used to develop weight-critical and precision components in compliance with stringent quality requirements.
The titanium pressure hull required development of new advanced forging techniques to ensure the perfect circularity necessary for structural performance and an entirely weld-free construction. Measuring 3.54” (90mm) thick, it was tested at the Krylov State Research Center in St. Petersburg, Russia, to 140MPa (43,300ft or 13,200m) which is more than 20% greater than the deepest point in the ocean.
In summer 2018, the Triton 36000/2 successful completed a series of advanced sea trials in the Bahamas. The Hadal Exploration System, together with its interim class certification from DNV-GL, was handed over to its owner to commence its epic adventure.