China's autonomous submersible scripts new diving record of 7,709 meters
A full-ocean depth autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) developed by China's Harbin Engineering University (HEU) dived to a depth of 7,709 meters in a recent deep-sea trial, setting a new record for the country's autonomous submersibles, the Science and Technology Daily reported Friday.
The AUV, named Wukong, had carried out the third phase deep-sea trial of the HEU Key Research Program on Full Ocean Depth AUV in February and March, and returned to Qingdao in east China's Shandong Province on Thursday.
In its last dive on March 21, Wukong reached the designed depth above the seafloor and cruised for three hours and 15 minutes, taking 1,543 pictures and shooting 144 minutes of video footage. It reached the maximum depth of 7,709 meters, only second to the record set by Russian AUV Vityaz-D.
In the previous two missions of deep-sea trial, Wukong had reached depths of 5,016 meters and 6,656 meters, respectively.
A part of China's key plan to research and develop deep-sea technology and equipment, this program was jointly operated by the State Key Laboratory of Underwater Robot Technology in HEU, the Shenyang Institute of Automation and the Institute of Oceanology both affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and China's National Deep Sea Center.