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Russia begins work on deep-water robot to reach Mariana Trench’s floor

July 28, 15:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The stand-alone device will be capable of reaching the ocean’s deepest points and will be equipped with advanced video and sonar systems

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© Valeriy Matytsin/TASS

MOSCOW, July 28. /TASS/. The Advanced Research Foundation and the Rubin Central Design Bureau will create a prototype of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to get to the deepest point in the ocean - the Mariana Trench.

"The Advanced Research Foundation has decided to launch a project to develop technologies that will be used to create autonomous underwater vehicles for deep exploration of the world’s ocean," the foundation told TASS on Friday.

The stand-alone device will be capable of reaching the ocean’s deepest points and will be equipped with advanced video and sonar systems.

The AUV demonstrator, designed within the project, will consist of the autonomous underwater vehicle itself, an underwater positioning system and a vessel-based support system. A working group will be set up to coordinate the project’s work and testing, and will include officials from interested organizations.

"To date, there are no devices capable of autonomous operation at the deepest parts of the global ocean and no technologies to create such devices. Still, there is a wide range of tasks in this area, such as seabed mapping, study of various underwater objects, including sunken objects, exploration of the ground and water layers, development of mineral resources exploration and production technologies, as well as other scientific assignments," the Advanced Research Foundation’s Deputy Director General for Physicotechnical Research Igor Denisov told TASS, commenting on this decision.

As the Rubin Central Design Bureau early stated in its annual report, it had made a preliminary design of the deep-ocean AUV dubbed "Vityaz" for the Advanced Research Foundation. The robotic vehicle will be able to descend as far as 12,000 km and cover a range of 100 km at an average speed.

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