India plans to conduct an underwater mission at a depth of 6,000 metres under its Samudrayaan Mission over the next three years in order to explore the resources that are located beneath the ocean floor, such as mineral resources, according to India’s minister of science and technology.
Matsya, which literally translates to “fish” in Hindi, is a specialised vehicle that can carry a total of three passengers.
The Deep Ocean Mission will receive a total budget of 40.77 billion Indian rupees, which is equivalent to around 500 million dollars US, over the course of the next five years from the Indian government.
This trip marks the beginning of a new era of a “blue economy” for India, an economy that will play a vital role in the economic growth of the country over the course of the coming decades.
The goal of the Samudrayaan Mission is to develop a self-propelled manned submersible that is capable of carrying three people to a depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean. This submersible will also be outfitted with a collection of scientific sensors and instruments for use in deep ocean research. It has a working endurance of 12 hours and an emergency endurance of 96 hours in case of emergency.
People from the scientific community will be able to directly observe and examine previously unmapped parts of the deep ocean thanks to the manned submersible. In addition to this, it will improve the capability of constructing man-rated vehicles for use in deep water environments.
The period is anticipated to be five years, beginning in 2020-2021 and ending in 2025-2026.
6000m depth-rated ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) and numerous other underwater instruments for the exploration of the deep sea have been developed by NIOT (National Institute of Ocean Technology) in Chennai, an autonomous institute under MoES. These instruments include Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), Autonomous Coring System (ACS), and Deep Sea Mining System (DSM).
The initial design of the manned submersible MATSYA 6000 was completed in 2021, and the process of producing the vehicle has begun, with assistance from a variety of organisations, including ISRO, IITM, and DRDO. Research into non-living resources in the deep ocean, such as polymetallic manganese nodules, methane hydrates, hydro-thermal sulphides, and cobalt crusts, will be carried out by the vehicle. These resources are anticipated to be located between 1,000 and 5,500 metres below the surface.
The 500-meter-rated shallow-water version of the manned submersible was to undergo sea trials in the fourth quarter of 2022; however, this did not occur. The manned deep-water submersible MATSYA 6000 is expected to be ready for testing by the second quarter of 2024.
Development of the Ti Alloy Personnel Sphere, the Human Support and Safety System in Enclosed Space, low-density buoyancy modules, and the Ballast and Trim System are essential subsystems of manned submersibles. Pressure-compensated batteries and propulsion system, as well as control and communication systems, and a Launch and Recovery System. System design, the concept of operation, subcomponent functionality and integrity, emergency rescue, and failure mode analysis are reviewed and certified in accordance with International Association of Classification and Certification Society regulations for man-rated use of manned submersibles at a depth of 6000 metres.
China’s 2020 Fendouzhe manned submersible has reached sea depths of approximately 11,000 metres.