Control Under 16,000 lbs of Pressure: Diving Deep with James Cameron

Photo Credit: Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

Amid threatening weather 189 miles off the coast of Guam, explorer and filmmaker James Cameron (Avatar, The Terminator, The Abyss) piloted a one-of-a-kind submersible to the deepest point of the ocean, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. It was the first attempt in more than 50 years. At almost 7 miles (10.9 km) deep, with no light, temperatures barely above freezing, and water pressure at eight tons per square inch, Challenger Deep is a deadly environment.

And in the Kawasaki-racing-green submersible, aptly named Deepsea Challenger, Cameron relied on an off-the-shelf Opto 22 SNAP PAC System to monitor and control more than 180 onboard systems—including depth sensors, batteries, thrusters, life support, 3-D cameras and lighting.

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