China’s 7000 m manned submersible JIAOLONG carried out an exploration cruise at the Mariana Trench from June to July 2016. The submersible completed nine manned dives on the north and south area of the Mariana Trench from the depth of 5500 to 6700 m, to investigate the geological, biological and chemical characteristics in the hadal area. During the cruise, JIAOLONG deployed a gas-tight serial sampler to collect the water near the sea bottom regularly. Five days later, the sub located the sampler in another dive and retrieved it successfully from the same location, which is the first time that scientists and engineers finished the high accuracy in-situ deployment and retrieval using a manned submersible with Ultra-Short Base Line (USBL) positioning system at the depth more than 6600 m. In this task, we used not only the USBL system of the manned submersible but also a compound strategy, including five position marks, the sea floor terrain, the depth contour, and the heading of the sub. This paper introduces the compound strategy of the target deployment and retrieval with the practical diving experience of JIAOLONG, and provides a promising technique for other underwater vehicles such as manned submersible or Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) under similar conditions.
- Mariana Trench
- manned submersible
- target deployment and retrieval