Deep Ocean Mission
The Modi government has spent on the Samudrayaan Project since its launch is Rs 119 cr, according to Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh.
Regarding data on the deep-sea explorations undertaken since the launch of the Project, the Minister has informed that during December 2022, Deep Ocean Exploration for Polymetallic Manganese Nodule at Central Indian Ocean basin preliminary trial was conducted at a depth of 5270 m using Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (Ocean Mineral Explorer – 6000 – OMe 6000) to acquire geophysical, oceanographic and seabed characteristics.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, MoES/NCPOR has collected comprehensive oceanographic, geophysical, geological, and biological data in the deep-sea regions of mid-ocean ridges in the Indian Ocean to explore potential locations of multi-metal hydrothermal sulphides.
The analysis, integration and interpretation of the collected data revealed multiple locales of potential hydrothermal venting and mineralization on the seafloor of the Indian Ocean. Additionally, several new biological species have also been mapped and identified.
It may be noted that the Samudrayaan Project is India’s first manned ocean mission launched with an aim to better understand ocean ecology by having niche technology and vehicles to carry out subsea activities.
Incidentally, the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) have amassed extensive oceanographic, geophysical, geological, and biological data from the deep-sea areas around the mid-ocean ridges in the Indian Ocean.
An analysis of the data, as well as the integration and interpretation of the information, unveiled multiple prospective locations of hydrothermal venting and mineralization on the Indian Ocean seafloor.
Furthermore, the mapping and identification of several previously unknown biological species have also been accomplished.
Samudrayaan Mission is a project of the Ministry of Earth Sciences under its Deep Ocean Mission Project. The projected timeline of Samudrayaan Mission is five years for the period 2020-2021 to 2025-2026.
Samudrayaan Mission is being implemented as a part of the Rs 6000-crores Deep Ocean Mission. National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), an autonomous institute under MoES, is entrusted with the responsibility to develop various technologies related to the Samudrayaan Mission.
National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) has developed 6000m depth rated Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and various other underwater instruments for the exploration of deep sea, such as-
Autonomous Coring System (ACS),
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and
Deep Sea Mining System (DSM)
The manned submersible will allow scientific personnel to observe and understand unexplored deep sea areas by direct interventions. The submersible is supposed to carry 3 human beings to a water depth of 6000 meters in the ocean with a suite of scientific sensors and tools for deep ocean exploration.
It has an endurance of 12 hours of operational period and 96 hours in case of emergency.
It will help in conducting deep sea exploration of various valuable resources such as-
Polymetallic manganese nodules,
Hydro-thermal sulfides, and