Nautile, a Franch manned submersible

The Nautile is a manned submarine designed for observing and operating at depths reaching 6,000 meters, belongs and operated by IFERMER-
Institut Francais de Recherche pour l`exploitation de la Mer (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea). The Nautile is capable of exploring 97% of the world`s ocean floors, commissioned in 1984 and normally supported by the research vessels Nadir or l`Atalante.

The Nautile system provides the following functional features:
Direct viewing, thanks to three portholes affording a wide range of vision, along with six flood lights, object detection on panoramic sonar, manipulation and sampling using two retractable arms and an isothermal basket.

Technical specifications, Nautile:
Since the Nautile is quite lightweight for the performances it supplies, it can be deployed from a support ship of relatively light tonnage and has excellent maneuverability, it includes a small, telecontrolled robot called Robin that can inspect and image areas inaccessible to the submersible itself.

Weight in air (lb/kg):
Payload in air (kg): 200
Dimensions (L*W*H feet/meter): 26`3*8`10*12`6/8.00*2.70*3.80
Propulsion: 1*adjustable axial thruster main electric motor, 2*vertical thrusters,1* transversal thruster forward, 1*transversal thruster aft, all battery storage operated, one main propeller
Speed (sub/knots): 2.0
Range (sub n/miles@knots): 5-7 hours operational time
Diving depth (feet/meter): 19,680/6,000
3 crew members

titanium alloy manned sphere 2.10m in diameter, 3*120mm diameter portholes, 1*manipulator arm with 5 degrees of freedom,1*manipulator arm with 7 degrees of freedom, 1*sampling basket.
In 1987, Nautile, whose manipulation system includes two mechanical arms and a retractable sampling basket, was used to recover thousands of artifacts from the Titanic.

Back to History Index


Image Country Year Description
Palau 1995 Nautile 7,000 feet
Monaco 2001 36th int' commission for exploration of the Mediteranean.Nautile submersible
Guinea 2006 Nautile exploring the wreck of the Titanic
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