The submersible and oceanography.
King, Joseph Francis
Leipper, Dale F.
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During a period of expansion of the nation's oceanographic effort, the submersible has seen a decline in utilization. This has resulted in several vessels being withdrawn from the market. The reasons for the lack of utilization of this oceanographic tool are studied in this paper. The various national programs are examined to determine those data collection missions which require the unique capabilities of the submersible to utilize its ability to provide accurate alignment of instruments, conduct complex experiments "in situ" and core hard rock samples . The submersibles failure to gain greater utilization results from its high cost and weather limitations and from the fact that its instrument suite does not provide a clear advantage over other methods of data collection. It is concluded that the reduction of the pool of submersibles will not affect the progress of the nation's oceanographic efforts. Programs requiring such a vessel can be associated with national security, permitting research to be conducted with Navy operated submersibles. It is also concluded the financial losses incurred by the owners of the submersibles will not deter further involvement by the private sector in the ocean development.
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