bathyscaphe


bathyscaphe
/bath"euh skayf', -skaf'/, n. Oceanog.
a navigable, submersible vessel for exploring the depths of the ocean, having a separate, overhead chamber filled with gasoline for buoyancy and iron or steel weights for ballast.
Also, bathyscaph /bath"euh skaf'/, bathyscape /bath"euh skayp'/.
[1947; < F, equiv. to bathy- BATHY- + Gk skáphos ship; coined by Auguste Piccard]

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Navigable diving vessel developed by Auguste Piccard (assisted by his son Jacques), designed to reach great depths in the ocean.

The first bathyscaphe, the FNRS 2, was built in 1946–48 in Belgium. A later version, the Trieste, was acquired by the U.S. Navy; in 1960 it dived to a record 35,810 ft (10,916 m) in the Mariana Trench. The bathyscaphe consists of two main components: a steel cabin, heavier than water and resistant to sea pressure, to accommodate the observers; and a light container called a float, filled with gasoline, which, being lighter than water, provides the necessary lifting power (replacing cables, which had previously been used to support descending chambers but had proven unreliable at great depths).

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▪ diving vessel
      navigable diving vessel developed by the Swiss educator and scientist Auguste Piccard (Piccard, Auguste) (with assistance in later years from his son Jacques), designed to reach great depths in the ocean.

      The first bathyscaphe, the FNRS 2, built in Belgium between 1946 and 1948, was damaged during 1948 trials in the Cape Verde Islands. Substantially rebuilt and greatly improved, the vessel was renamed FNRS 3 and carried out a series of descents under excellent conditions, including one of 4,000 m (13,000 feet) into the Atlantic off Dakar, Senegal, on Feb. 15, 1954. A second improved bathyscaphe, the Trieste, was launched on Aug. 1, 1953, and dived to 3,150 m (10,300 feet) in the same year. In 1958 the Trieste was acquired by the United States Navy, taken to California, and equipped with a new cabin designed to enable it to reach the seabed of the great oceanic trenches. Several successive descents were made into the Pacific by Jacques Piccard (Piccard, Jacques), and on Jan. 23, 1960, Piccard, accompanied by Lieutenant Don Walsh of the U.S. Navy, dived to a record 10,916 m (35,810 feet) in the Pacific's Mariana Trench.

      The bathyscaphe consists of two main components: a steel cabin, heavier than water and resistant to sea pressure, to accommodate the observers; and a light container called a float, filled with gasoline, which, being lighter than water, provides the necessary lifting power. The cabin and float are closely linked. On the surface, one or more ballast tanks filled with air provide enough lift to keep the bathyscaphe afloat. When the ballast tank valves are opened, air escapes and is replaced by water, making the whole device heavy enough to start its descent. The gasoline is in direct contact with the sea water and so is compressed at a rate almost exactly in proportion to the prevailing depth. Thus, the bathyscaphe gradually loses buoyancy as it descends, and the speed of its descent tends to increase rapidly. To slow down or to begin the reascent, the pilot releases ballast that consists essentially of iron shot stored in silos and held in place by electromagnets.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • bathyscaphe — diving apparatus for reaching great depths, 1947, name coined by its inventor, Swiss scientific extremist Prof. Auguste Piccard (1884 1962), from Gk. bathys deep + skaphe light boat, skiff, a basin, a bowl, anything dug or scooped out, from… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • bathyscaphe — bathyscaph ath y*scaph, bathyscaphe ath y*scaphe . navigable deep diving vessel for underwater exploration. Syn: bathyscape. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bathyscaphe — Ba|thy|scaphe [... ska:f], der od. das; [s], [...fə], Ba|thy|skaph, der; en, en [frz. bathyscaphe, zu lat. scapha = Boot < griech. skáphē = Gefäß]: (von dem schweizer. Tiefseeforscher A. Piccard [1884 1962] entwickeltes) Gerät zum Tauchen in… …   Universal-Lexikon

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  • bathyscaphe — or bathyscaph noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary bathy + Greek skaphē light boat Date: 1947 a navigable submersible for deep sea exploration having a spherical watertight cabin attached to its underside …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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