The titanium and carbon fiber wound pressure vessel for a new deep sea manned submersibles has been constructed in preparation for the first human exploration of the Titanic shipwreck since 2005.
Once completed Cyclops 2 will be the latest addition to the fleet of OceanGate, Inc., capable of reaching more than 50 percent of the ocean to increase human exploration of the undersea world.
“Construction of Cyclops 2 is a significant step in advancing human exploration of the ocean. When completed, it will be the only privately owned submersible in the world that can take five people to depths of 4,000 meters,” said Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate.
The pressure vessel is comprised of two titanium hemispheres, two matching titanium rings, and a 56” diameter, 100” long carbon fiber wound cylinder – the largest such device ever built for use in a manned submersible. In this latest milestone event, the two titanium rings were permanently bonded to the ends of the carbon fiber wound center cylinder to form the core of the pressure vessel.
“The bonding of the titanium rings to the carbon fiber cylinder is a major milestone in the construction of Cyclops 2. The accuracy of the alignment and the integrity of the bonds were critical to maintaining exacting engineering tolerances,” said Tony Nissen, OceanGate’s Director of Engineering. “The precision we achieved guarantees that we have solid foundation to work with as we continue assembly of the sub.”
Following delivery of the three main components at OceanGate’s engineering and operations facility in Everett, Wash., the team will install the electronics, navigation and life support systems. Most of these systems to be used on Cyclops 2are currently in use on Cyclops 1, OceanGate’s submersible that can dive to depths of 500 meters. The first in-water validation test dives for Cyclops 2 are planned for Fall 2017 with deep water dives to be conducted in early 2018 in preparation for the Titanic Survey Expedition scheduled to begin in June 2018.