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see submersiblesubmersible,
small, mobile undersea research vessel capable of functioning in the ocean depths. Development of a great variety of submersibles during the later 1950s and 1960s came about as a result of improved technology and in response to a demonstrated need for the capability
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a deep-sea, independent (self-propelled) device for oceanographic and other research. The bathyscaphe consists of a light shell—a float filled with a filler which is lighter than water (gasoline)—and a steel sphere—the gondola. The float contains tanks with ballast and the storage batteries. The gondola contains the crew of the bathyscaphe, navigational instruments, an air regeneration system, a radio system for communication while above water, an ultrasonic telephone, a television camera, and research equipment. The electric motors with screw propellers and the spotlights are located on the hull. Modern bathyscaphes are equipped with devices for collecting bottom samples, cameras, and remote-control devices for underwater work. The buoyancy of the bathyscaphe is regulated by the jettisoning of solid ballast, usually steel shot, and the release of gasoline from ballast tanks.

The first bathyscaphe (FNRS 2) was constructed and tested by the Swiss scientist A. Piccard in 1948. In 1953, Piccard and his son Jacques descended in the bathyscaphe Trieste to a depth of 3,160 m. In 1954, the Frenchmen G. Houot and P. Willm reached a depth of 4,050 m in the bathyscaphe FNRS 3. In January 1960, J. Piccard and D. Walsh descended in the reconditioned bathyscaphe Trieste to the bottom of the Marianas Trench in the Pacific. At this time, the bathyscaphe is the only means available to man for the investigation of the extreme depths of the ocean.


Houot, G., and P. Willm. Na glubine 4,000 m. Leningrad, 1960. (Translated from English.)
Piccard, J., and R. Dietz. Glubina—sem’ mil’. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from English.)
Diomidov, M. N., and A. N. Dmitriev. Podvodnye apparaty. Leningrad, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, bathyscaphe, bathyscape
a submersible vessel having a flotation compartment with an observation capsule underneath, capable of reaching ocean depths of over 10 000 metres (about 5000 fathoms)
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