SeaOrbiter to begin construction this October.
The SeaOrbiter is part submarine, part research vessel and has been in the planning stages for 12 years. Now construction of the US$43 million vessel is scheduled to begin in October, and could be on the seas by late 2013.
The vessel will be 58 metres high, with 50% of it underwater, allowing scientists constant access to underwater study.
Designed to drift with ocean currents, the vessel will generate the majority of its power for life-support systems and propulsion to avoid other ships and storms from renewable energy, including solar, wind and wave power, Fuchs says. A side project is underway in conjunction with EADS, the European defense and space systems conglomerate, to develop a biofuel as the ship’s main power source.