The team at U-Boat Worx (UBW) has produced a number of futuristic-looking, submersible craft designs over the years, including the Ferrari-esque HP Sport Sub 2 and the superyacht-friendly Sub 3. The latest addition – the C-Researcher – is claimed to be the world’s first fully-transparent, 3-person underwater craft capable of diving to the formidable depth of 1,700 meters (5,577 feet).
The C-researcher has been added to the Dutch submersible-building company's range specifically to support the needs of the scientific community. In this vein, it comes with a wide variety of options to bolster its research capabilities. These include everything from manipulator/sampler arms through to imaging sonar, a HD video camera system, and parametric sub-bottom profilers. These instruments help measure water conditions, create 2D/3D underwater maps, and allow analysis of the seabed in this rarely seen environment.
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The most prominent feature of the C-Researcher, however, is its exceptionally large acrylic bubble that is the crew compartment. With room for two scientists/observers and one pilot, the compartment offers panoramic views of the deep ocean. UBW claims that this spherical acrylic pressure hull is the first of its kind rated to such depths.
"Those lucky few diving our C-Researcher will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of a rich and diverse underwater scenery that has been hidden from mankind since the existence of our oceans," said UBW founder Bert Houtman.
Available with or without surface ballast tanks, the submersible is able to be lowered into the water by crane from a support ship, or maneuver across the top of the water under its own power, kept afloat with the aid of the surface ballast tanks. When craned to the water, the C-Research also has a single-point, man-rated attachment that is designed to provide launch and recovery in almost any weather condition.
According to UBW, taking advantage of advances in design software and construction materials and building on from lessons learned in building other models in its C- range of submersibles has allowed the company to produce such a compact and lightweight machine. As such, C-Researcher is small enough to be housed in a superyacht garage, and is able to be transported complete to site with all support equipment in a single 20 ft (6 m) shipping container.
UBW has also incorporated abundant safety features and a range of redundancy systems. In support of this, Det Norske Veritas (DNV-GL) – an independent vessel safety and seaworthiness assessment authority – is engaged to oversee design, construction and trialing of each submersible constructed.
Prices for the C-Researcher are available on request, as are expected delivery times.
Source: U-Boat WorxView gallery - 7 images