Bathyscaphe - -11034m

The Sea Pole bathyscaphe is equipped with various communication systems, but the data transfer rate remains a bottleneck, with the transmission rate only being 80 kbit/s, compared to 100 Mbit/s in the usual internet transmissions. As a result, the transmission of an ordinary color image from the bathyscaphe to the mothership takes approximately half a minute.

Swiss-designed, but Italian-built — part of the submersible was constructed by a company from the Free Territory of Trieste, hence the bathyscaphe’s name — the TRIESTE was comprised of two spheres: one consisting of a float chamber and the other a pressure sphere to act as a cabin for the crew. Offering just enough space for two people, the cabin was built to withstand the enormous pressure of metric tonnes per centimetre-squared at the bottom of Challenger Deep. This translated into the sphere weighing an incredible metric tonnes in air and 8 metric tonnes in water, thus the need for the second sphere to provide buoyancy. Filled with gasoline as it is less dense than water thus acts as a float fluid, the float chamber’s design mirrored the components used to ensure lift on airships — the mechanics of which were particularly familiar to Auguste Piccard who was also an accomplished hot-air balloonist.

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