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Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology

Republic of Korea to Develop Manned Submersible

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  • Date : 2013-10-25

KIOST signed an MOU with IFREMER for research cooperation


□     KIOST (The Republic of Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology) has announced that it will develop a 6,000-meter manned submersible in cooperation with a France-based research institute.


○     The government-run ocean research center said it signed an MOU with IFREMER (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea) for research cooperation at 10:30 (local time) on October 25.

○     With the MOU signed, the two parties will start discussing various measures for research cooperation necessary for the development of a 6,000-meter manned submersible, a project the Korean government is pushing forward to reinforce its national marine power. 


     Deep-diving manned submersibles are cutting-edge research equipment that can be used for national marine defense purposes as well as for the development of marine science and technology. When equipped with 6,000-meter deep-sea manned submersibles, Republic of Korea will be able to explore roughly 98 percent of the deep sea around the world, a testament to its world-class deep-sea research capabilities.


○     Currently, only five nations, including the U.S., Russia, France, Japan, and China, possess 6,000-meter manned submersibles and they are putting them to good use in high value-added research projects, such as the development of marine biotechnology resources and deep-sea minerals.


○     According to a researcher with KIOST, Republic of Korea’s development of a manned submersible is significant as it means that Republic of Korea will rank among advanced maritime nations through independent technological development, the same way Republic of Korea secured space science technologies through the creation and launch of the homegrown Naro.


○     One major difference between the development of the Naro and that of a manned submersible is that while the former should take zero gravity in space and, consequently, weak resistance into consideration, the latter involves the enormous water pressure of the deep sea that can crush an aluminum baseball bat into a thin knife. Both of them require advanced technology and materials that can withstand extreme environments and protect the life of a passenger, but marine development is deemed more practical as it allows for the utilization of a wealth of biological, mineral, and energy resources.


○     KIOST plans to start joint research with IFREMER through research data exchange and an expansion of human resource exchange programs to achieve the development of the 6,000-meter manned submersible by 2020.


     IFREMER is one of the world’s top five oceanographic institutions, carrying out research spanning a wide range of ocean issues, such as offshore exploration, marine biology engineering, and climate change, to name a few. As it has formed a cooperative network with the world’s top-notch marine research organizations across the world, including the U.S., Japan, and Europe, cooperation between KIOST and IFREMER is expected to greatly contribute to raising the status of Republic of Korea’s marine science technology.




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Last Update : 2019-11-19