titan submarine

OceanGate Titan Submarine was found on Thursday after four to five days of massive search cum rescue operations, led by US, Canadian, and French agencies together. All five people who were in the submersible have died, confirmed OceanGate. The rescue teams had been working day and night against the clock on Thursday to locate the vessel and its five-person crew. The catastrophic explosion was heard by US Army radio signals, reported the authorities.

Titan Submarine
The Titan submersible, operated by OceanGate went on  to explore the wreckage of the sunken  Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, dives in an undated photograph (via REUTERS)

On Thursday evening, the Coast Guard reported that it had located five major pieces of the Titan Submersible amid debris around the Titanic site, which it said was “consistent with catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber”.

On Thursday morning local time, two deep-water remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) arrived at the search site. A submersible attached to the Canadian vessel Horizon Arctic reached the sea floor. The search is being slowed down over the next 24 hours, although remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) will remain on site for further investigation.


The reason behind titan submarine to go North Atlantic Ocean

OceanGate Titan submarine went on to explore the famous Titanic ship which was lost on 14th April 1912. It was actually on its way to explore the wreck of the Titanic. The wreck of Titanic was discovered in 1985 and is located at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, around 13000ft(~4000m)underwater. It is estimated to be distanced around 400 nautical miles (740km) from Newfoundland, Canada.

When did the Titan submarine go missing?

The Titan was launched at 08:00 local time on Sunday – it was expected to resurface at 15:00 local time. Contact was lost within one hour and 45 minutes into its descent, at about 09:45 local time.

The Coast Guard reported that they were officially notified of the problem at about 17:45 – eight hours later. The agency’s command center in Boston then began coordinating search efforts along with other agencies for a quick result.

The Titanic wreck site is approximately 600km (370 miles) off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada

Who was on board the OCEANGATE Titan submarine?

The five people on board were:

  • Hamish Harding, a 58-year-old  explorer and a British businessman  

Shahzada Dawood, 48-also a British businessman -and his son, Suleman Dawood, 19

Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a 77-year-old French explorer nicknamed “Mr. Titanic”, as he has explored the wreck quite a few times.

Stockton Rush, 61, Ocean Gate’s chief executive, which was behind the dive

What did happen to Titan’s submarine?

On 18 June, the submersible went on an expedition to explore the wreckage of the famous sunken Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland but two hours later it lost communication. The calculations were made for the oxygen count which was left in the submersible to keep the hopes alive that the passengers are still alive, but gradually with time, it must have run out as it was equipped with four days of oxygen support.

The US Coast Guard on Thursday said the debris of the sub is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel. The loss of the pressure chamber is believed to have killed all five passengers on board. 

“This is an incredibly unforgiving environment down there on the sea floor. And the debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel. We’ll continue to work and continue to search the area down there, but I don’t have an answer for prospects at this time,” US Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger told reporters

There is a viral video of the CEO of OCEANGATE Stockton Rush, who is presumed dead saying that “I have broken some rules to make this. (…) The carbon fibre and titanium there is a rule that you don’t do that. Well, I did.” from which is speculated by the reports that the parameters on which this tech works were not as per the criteria set which led to various shortcomings in the titan submarine.

What does the ‘catastrophic implosion’ of the Titan submersible mean?

Most, if not all, submersibles and submarines operating at depth have a pressure vessel made of a single metallic material that yields high strength. This is a typical steel for relatively shallow depths (roughly less than 300m) or titanium for deeper depths inside the water bodies.

A titanium or thick steel pressure vessel is typically a spherical shape that can withstand the crushing pressures you might expect at 3,800m – the depth at which the Titanic wreck lies. The Titan, however, was built differently. It’s a pressure vessel that was made with a combination of titanium and composite carbon fibre. This is mostly unusual from a structural engineering perspective since, in a deep-diving context, titanium and carbon fibre are materials that have vast differences in their properties.

Titanium is an elastic component and can also adapt to an extended range of stresses without any noticeable permanent strain remaining after the return to atmospheric pressure. It usually shrinks to adjust to pressure forces and re-expands as these forces are aggravated. A carbon-fibre composite, on the other hand, is much more likely to be stiff and does not have the same kind of elasticity as the other one.

We can only speculate and visualize about what would have happened with the combination of these two technologies, which do not dynamically behave the same way under pressure.

But what we can say almost certainly is that there would have been some kind of loss of integrity due to the differences between these materials. A composite material could potentially suffer from “delamination”, which leads to a separation of the layers of reinforcement of the components.

This would have allegedly created a defect that triggered an instantaneous implosion due to the underwater pressure. Within less than one second of time, the vessel — being pushed down on by the weight of a 3,800m(approx.) column of water — would have immediately crumpled in from all sides and led to the disaster.

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