Prototype aims to revolutionize submersible operations
OceanGate Inc., a global provider of manned submersible solutions for commercial, research and military applications, announces the start of a comprehensive refit of the Lula 500 submersible to transform the vessel into a fully functional Cyclops prototype with depth capabilities to 500 meters. The renamed Cyclops 500 will function as a test platform for software, technology and equipment to be deployed on the 3,000-meter Cyclops submersible, scheduled for launch in 2016. OceanGate’s Cyclops program was developed to meet increased demand from government and commercial clients worldwide.
Cyclops 500 new features will include an enhanced automated control system to monitor life support, power management, navigation and other critical system diagnostics. Using a combination of Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) technology and innovative system architecture designed by the Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington and OceanGate’s internal engineering group, the automated control system aims to revolutionize how manned submersibles operate by reducing time spent on vehicle control and increasing time on mission objectives. This control system will also improve mission safety, reducing opportunity for user error. Other reengineered technology features include new hydrodynamic components designed to maximize the submersible's in-water speed and maneuverability, and remodeled interior seating and instrument layout to enhance the client experience and increase productivity.
“Military and energy clients continue to look for the next generation of subsea technology to address the challenges of deepwater operations along the outer continental shelf region,” states Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate Inc. “Harsh environments, budget restraints and safety requirements place a lot of pressure on those organizations to ensure that the partners and technology solutions they employ are safe, qualified, and cost-efficient. The Cyclops 500 project presented a unique opportunity to quickly implement our designs and demonstrate our engineering capability and operational safety. Consistently, OceanGate has been able to use COTS technologies from other industries and adapt those to submersible operations. The fact that we are able to use a current asset as a prototype for technology and software tools for use in our future submersible programs shows our continued ability to utilize resources efficiently and yet not lose on innovation and creativity.”
“Over the past few years, we have featured OceanGate in our global overview of manned submersible vehicles,” states Will Kohnen, President of Hydrospace Group, Inc. and Chair of the Manned Underwater Vehicles Committee for the Marine Technology Society. “OceanGate and its partners continue to engineer the next generation of submersible solutions to face the challenges of deepwater exploration. Under Stockton’s leadership the company and team are making a significant impact in positioning manned vehicles as a cost effective and safe solution in industries such as oil and gas and defense.”