submersible adj : capable of being immersed in water or functioning while submerged; "a submersible pump"; "a submergible electric frying pan" [syn: submergible] [ant: nonsubmersible]
1 an apparatus intended for use under water
- Able to be submerged.
- French: submersible
- In the context of "UK": : A small nonmilitary, non-nuclear submarine for exploration.
- In the context of "UK": : A retroactive term used for non-nuclear submarines; nuclear submarines are termed "true submarines".
- In the context of "UK": : A term used primarily by some navies for nuclear submarines, termed "true submersibles", because they cannot retroactively declare that their non-nuclear submarines should be called by a different name.
- In the context of "US": : A very small "baby" submarine designed for specific localized missions, usually while tethered to a submarine or ship for life support and communications. Slang synonyms: midget-submarine, anchor.
- French: submersible
A submersible , or bathyscaphe, is a type of underwater vessel with limited mobility which is typically transported to its area of operation by a surface vessel or large submarine. Apart from size, the technical difference between a 'submersible' and a 'submarine' is that submersibles are not totally autonomous. They may rely on a support facility or vessel for charging of batteries, high pressure air, high pressure oxygen replenishment, or all of these. The main problem with submersibles is that they may be relatively small, holding only a small crew.
A submersible vessel has greater mobility, using propeller screws or pump-jets, than submersible chambers (diving chambers or diving bells), which are suspended from a cable and winch operated from the diving support vessel.
Submersibles differ from submarines in that submersibles typically have shorter range, and operate underwater almost exclusively, having little function at the surface. Many submersibles operate on a "tether" or "umbilical", remaining connected to a tender (a submarine, surface vessel or platform). It can dive over 6 miles (10 km).
Small unmanned submersibles called "marine remotely operated vehicles" or MROVs are widely used today to work in water too deep or too dangerous for divers.
Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) repair offshore petroleum platforms and attach cables to sunken ships to hoist them. Such remotely operated vehicles are attached by a tether (a thick cable providing power and communications) to control center on a ship. Operators on the ship see video images sent back from the robot and may control its propellers and manipulator arm. The wreck of the Titanic was explored by such a vehicle, as well as by a manned vessel.
Among the most famous submersibles is the deep-submergence research vessel DSV Alvin.
=Sources= Polmar, Norman. "Bathyscaph." World Book Online Reference Center. 2008. [Place of access.] 26 Jan. 2008 http://worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar049420.
submersible in German: Tauchboot
submersible in Italian: Sommergibile