Ministry of Earth Sciences has launched India’s First Manned Ocean Mission Samudrayan at Chennai on 29 OCT 2021. The Mission will be a part of the Deep Ocean Mission, which was launched in 2018 by the Earth Science Ministry of India. You can also download the HD Image for Mission Samudrayan from the end of this article.
The larger vision behind the Indian Ocean mission is the Sagar that is security and growth for all in the Indian Ocean region and also the vision for new India 2030 of which the blue economy is an integrated component. To fulfil this larger vision there are various components at a different level of administration. At the topmost level is Vision then at the next level comes the policy which is the blue economy policy the draft of which was released in 2021 which has not been finalized yet. Then at the third stage comes the missions and one of such missions is the Deep-ocean mission. Then comes the projects at the 4th level such as the project sagarmala, project Mausam so we have to understand the deep ocean mission in the context of the larger version for the Indian Ocean region and India’s aim to be a net security provider in the Indian ocean.
Deep Ocean Resources
The ocean is full of resources and the deep oceans have abundant mineral resources like Polymetallic nodules, cobalt-rich manganese crust and hydrothermal deposits. Utilising all this mineral wealth of oceans for the benefit of mankind is the focus of our Deep Ocean Missions including the Mission Samudrayan. Polymetallic nodules found in the deep oceans have economically valuable metals such as Copper, Cobalt, Nickel and Manganese and they are considered as potential alternatives for depleting resources on land and can cater to the ever-increasing demand for resources.
Area of Exploration
These Polymetallic nodules occur in abundance in the Central Indian Ocean Basin at depths of 5000m – 6000m. An area of 75,000 sq km. in the Central Indian Ocean Basin was allocated by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), United Nations to Govt. of India for exploration and development of technology and to mine these Polymetallic nodules from a depth of 5000-6000m.
Moving in this direction Ministry of Earth Sciences has launched India’s First Manned Ocean Mission Samudrayan at Chennai on 29 OCT 2021. It will be a part of the Deep Ocean Mission, which was launched in 2018 by the Earth Science Ministry of India.
Mission Samudrayan project has been undertaken by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Let’s have a brief look first at the NIOT
National Institute of Ocean Technology
The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) was established in November 1993 as an autonomous society under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. NIOT is managed by a Governing Council and the Director is the head of the Institute.
The major aim of starting NIOT under the Ministry of Earth Sciences is to develop reliable indigenous technology to solve the various engineering problems associated with harvesting non-living and living resources in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is about two-thirds of the land area of India.
Now let’s see about the mission
- Mission Samudrayan project has been undertaken by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT).
- It will be a part of the Deep Ocean Mission.
- Under the mission Samudrayan a submersible vehicle MATSYA 6000 will be produced. It is designed to carry 3 persons in a 2.1-meter diameter Titanium Alloy Personnel Sphere with an operational endurance of 12 hrs and systems to support emergency endurance up to 96 hrs.
- MATSYA 6000 could work at a depth between 1000 and 5500 meters.
- various organizations including ISRO, IITM and DRDO roped in to support the development.
Objectives of Mission Samudrayan
- Samudrayan will be carrying out deep ocean exploration of the non-living resources such as polymetallic manganese nodules, gas hydrates, hydro-thermal sulphides and cobalt crusts.
- underwater vehicle Samudrayan carrying out subsea activities such as high-resolution bathymetry, biodiversity assessment, geoscientific observation, search activities, salvage operation and engineering support.
The subsystem of the mission
Following critical subsystems development is necessary for development of Samudrayan:
- Development of a Titanium Alloy Personnel Sphere, Human support and safety system in enclosed space, low-density buoyancy modules, Ballast and Trim Systems.
- Pressure compensated batteries and propulsion system, control and communication systems and Launching and Recovery System.
Timeline of Mission Samudrayan
- MATSYA 6000 preliminary design is completed and Sea trials of 500 metre rated shallow water version is expected to take place in the last quarter of 2022
- MATSYA 6000 the deep-water manned submersible will be ready for trials by the second quarter of 2024.
Fendouzhe manned submersible developed by China in 2020 has touched ~11000m water depths.
International Seabed Authority (ISA)
- The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an autonomous international organization set up under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS,
- It allows the area for deep-sea mining.
- India was the first country to receive Pioneer Investor status by ISA in 1987 and was allocated an area of about 1.5 lakh sq km. in the Central Indian Ocean Basin for nodule exploration.
- In 2002, after a complete resource analysis of the seabed, India surrendered 50% area to ISA and retained an area of 75,000 sq km.
- Further analysis has now helped to narrow down the mining area to 18,000 sq km, and it will be the ‘First Generation Mine-site’.
Download Mission Samudrayan image
Download the image in HD format from our telegram channel