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Sanya institute develops deep sea operation mining vehicle

Print english.sanya.gov.cn Updated: 2021-08-23

Pioneer No 1, a deep sea mining vehicle, completes a deep sea test in the South China Sea . [Photo/Sanya Daily]

Recently, Shanghai Jiaotong University Yazhou Bay Institute of Deepsea Sci-Tech developed a deep sea heavy-duty mining vehicle named Pioneer No 1 and it completed a 1,300-meter deep sea test successfully in the South China Sea.

During this test, the mining vehicle realized opearting under the complicated geological conditions at 1,305 meters below sea level without any manual control, showing that the mining vehicle has an excellent level of intelligent control and outstanding subsea operation capabilities.

The project team developed the automatic control technology for underwater movement of the mining vehicle, successfully executing the safe deployment and recovery under the unfavorable conditions of two-meter high waves and seven-level gusts in the test sea area.

The Pioneer No 1 aims to find polymetallic nodules on the seafloor. It is 5.6 meters long, 2.5 meters wide, two meters high, and weighs nine metric tons. It has capabilities of seabed operating environment perception, intelligent autonomous control, and high-efficiency hydraulic mining. The success of this test marks an important step in the development of the engineering and intelligence of deep sea heavy-duty mining vehicles.

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