Saying a company is "plumbing new depths" isn't usually a compliment, but it's high praise for U-Boat Worx. The submarine manufacturer has been pushing its creations deeper into the abyss since launching in 2005, and now offers a range of personal and research craft for intrepid ocean explorers. Its latest model line, the C-Researcher, makes use of a new battery for deeper, longer missions on the ocean floor.
The biggest development in the latest U-Boat submarines is a new pressure-tolerant lithium-ion battery system, which allows for a claimed 350 percent improvement in capacity compared to the lead-acid setups. The company says its 62 kWh battery has been tested to 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) below sea level, double the operating window of the deepest-diving C-Research submarine.
Thanks to these bigger batteries, the new submarines take half as long to travel from the surface to the ocean floor, and researchers are able to spend longer under the water than before. They'll also be to use more lights, and run more powerful attachments, which should make it easier to conduct missions in the deepest, darkest corners of the ocean.
The C-Researcher line includes five models all up, starting with the 2-500. As the name suggests, it's a two-person sub capable of diving to 500 meters (1,640 ft). The 2-2000 is the deepest-diving model on offer, capable of taking two passengers to 2,000 meters (6,562 ft) below the surface. There are also three different three-person models available, able to reach 480, 1,100 and 1,700 meters (1,575, 3,609 and 5,577 ft respectively).
Whereas traditional submarines offer a limited view out, U-Boat Worx puts passengers behind a large acrylic sphere for a panoramic look at what's going on around them. That means well-heeled tourists won't miss a thing while exploring Nemo's home, while keen-eyed researchers can conduct their work with an unimpeded view of the subject.
"By combining the latest innovations with over 12 years of experience in designing, building and operating the world's largest fleet of submersibles, our new C-Researcher series offers superyacht owners and deep ocean research communities the safest, best-performing and most luxurious submersibles to explore the underwater world," says company founder Bert Houtman.
The new C-Research submarines will hit the market in Q2 of 2018. There's no details on pricing at this stage, but the tourist models retail for well over US$2 million.
Source: U-Boat Worx