In a groundbreaking revelation, the government has unveiled a crucial component of the Samudrayan mission, the Matsya-6000—a self-propelled manned submersible set to carry three individuals to the astonishing depth of 6,000 meters for the exploration of invaluable deep-sea resources.
|16 June 2021
|NIOT (National Institute of Ocean Technology)
|₹ 4077 crores for 2021-26 (estimated)
|MoES ( ministry of earth science)
|Deep submergence vehicle
|6,000 m (20,000 ft)
Objective of Matsya-6000
The Matsya-6000’s mission encompasses several ambitious goals:
- Exploration: It aims to explore the enigmatic deep ocean to discover and harness its abundant resources.
- Technological Advancement: The submersible serves as a testament to cutting-edge deep-sea technology, ensuring the sustainable utilization of oceanic resources.
- Tourism and Ocean Education: Beyond its scientific pursuits, it aspires to promote tourism and ocean literacy, opening up the hidden wonders of the deep sea to the world.
- Scientific Endeavors: Matsya-6000 is designed to carry three human explorers to a staggering water depth of 6,000 meters, equipped with a suite of scientific sensors and tools for in-depth ocean exploration.
- Resource Exploration: Its mission involves investigating non-living resources such as polymetallic manganese nodules, gas hydrates, hydro-thermal sulfides, and cobalt crusts, all concealed at depths ranging from 1,000 to 5,500 meters.
- Biodiversity Study: The submersible is set to investigate the fascinating chemosynthetic biodiversity thriving in hydrothermal vents and methane seeps.
The Matsya-6000 boasts remarkable features that make it an engineering marvel:
- Deep-Sea Exploration: Designed to accommodate three passengers, it can descend to an astounding depth of 6,000 meters beneath the ocean’s surface.
- NIOT’s Expertise: Constructed by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) in Chennai, it’s forged from an 80mm-thick titanium alloy, ensuring resilience against the extreme pressures of the deep sea.
- Extended Operation: The submersible can operate continuously for 12 to 16 hours, with an impressive 96-hour oxygen supply available in case of emergencies.
- USBL Technology: Equipped with an ultra-short baseline acoustic positioning system (USBL), it offers redundancy systems for safety and tracking capabilities, critical for subsea navigation and positioning.
- Reliability: Matsya-6000 relies on gravity, water, and lithium-ion batteries for power, ensuring its reliability in the most demanding deep-sea conditions.
- Floatation Devices: Equipped with floatation devices, the submersible can rise to the surface even in cases where resurfacing becomes challenging.
Anticipated milestones for Matsya-6000 include trials scheduled for early 2024 in the Bay of Bengal. This endeavor is part of India’s Rs 4,077-crore Deep Ocean Mission, aimed at completion by 2026.
Blue Economy Policy
India’s commitment to the Blue Economy Policy underscores its dedication to sustainable marine resource utilization. This policy promotes the responsible use of marine resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and efficient transport while prioritizing the conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems.
India’s Blue Economy covers various sectors, including shipping, tourism, fisheries, and offshore oil and gas exploration. It represents a significant portion of the national economy, accounting for approximately 4% of GDP and poised for growth in the future. Notably, despite challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the sector recorded exports worth Rs. 56,200 (US$ 7.2 billion) between April 2021 and February 2022.
India’s deep ocean exploration aligns seamlessly with the government’s Blue Economy Policy, aiming to unveil the hidden treasures of the deep sea.
Ministry of Earth Sciences
The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) spearheads India’s deep ocean mission—an ambitious, multi-institutional endeavor. Minister Kiren Rijiju, during a visit to NIOT in Chennai, provided insights into India’s first manned deep ocean mission, Samudrayaan. He stated, “Next is ‘Samudrayaan.’
This is ‘MATSYA 6000,’ a submersible under construction at the National Institute of Ocean Technology in Chennai. India’s first manned Deep Ocean Mission ‘Samudrayaan’ plans to send 3 humans to a depth of 6 kilometers in a submersible, conducting vital studies on deep-sea resources and biodiversity assessment.”
Working of Matsya-6000
The Matsya-6000 operates as follows:
- Deployment: It is launched into the ocean from a ship, where the pilot takes control.
- Exploration: The crew gains a breathtaking view of the ocean floor through a glass pane.
- Resource Collection: Equipped with a robotic hand, the submersible collects samples for in-depth research on deep-sea resources.
FAQs: Related to Matsya-6000
What is Matsya-6000, and what is its primary objective?
Matsya-6000 is a self-propelled manned submersible designed for deep-sea exploration. Its main objective is to explore the deep ocean, study its resources, promote ocean tourism and literacy, and conduct scientific research at depths of up to 6,000 meters.
Who is responsible for building Matsya-6000?
Matsya-6000 is constructed by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) in Chennai, India.
How deep can Matsya-6000 go, and what are its key features?
Matsya-6000 can descend to a remarkable depth of 6,000 meters underwater. Some of its key features include its construction with an 80mm-thick titanium alloy for extreme pressure resistance, extended operation capabilities, and advanced tracking systems like the Ultra-Short Baseline Acoustic Positioning System (USBL).
What is the timeline for Matsya-6000's trials and the completion of the Deep Ocean Mission?
Trials for Matsya-6000 are expected to take place in early 2024 in the Bay of Bengal. The Deep Ocean Mission, part of India’s Rs 4,077-crore project, aims for completion by 2026.
What is India's Blue Economy Policy, and how does it relate to Matsya-6000?
India’s Blue Economy Policy focuses on the sustainable utilization of marine resources for economic growth while preserving marine ecosystems. Matsya-6000’s mission aligns with this policy by exploring and harnessing deep-sea resources in a responsible manner.
What role does the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) play in the Matsya-6000 project?
The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is the nodal ministry overseeing the Matsya-6000 project. It is responsible for India’s deep ocean mission and aims to advance scientific research and exploration in the deep sea.
How does Matsya-6000 operate in the deep ocean?
Matsya-6000 is deployed from a ship into the ocean, where a pilot takes control. The crew can then observe the ocean floor through a glass pane and collect samples using a robotic hand for further research.
What impact will India's entry into deep-sea exploration have on the global stage?
India’s entry into deep-sea exploration with Matsya-6000 marks a significant milestone. Currently, only a few nations have ventured into this field. India’s leadership role ensures the exploration and development of oceanic resources in a sustainable manner, contributing to a balanced marine ecosystem.
With the impending mission to send three humans to a depth of 6 kilometers in its first manned deep ocean mission, Samudrayaan, India is poised to make history. This endeavor aligns perfectly with the national motto of ‘ATAMANIRBHAR BHARAT‘ (self-reliant India), showcasing India’s prowess in space, defense, and now, deep-sea exploration.
Currently, only a select few nations, including France, the US, China, Russia, and Japan, have ventured into the realm of submersibles. India’s entry into this elite group marks a significant milestone in the exploration and sustainable development of oceanic resources. As India plays a pivotal leadership role in these endeavors, it ensures a balanced and harmonious ecosystem for generations to come.