noun (plural sub•mers•i•bles)
1. Designed to be used in an underwater environment
3. Cannot be damaged by water
Submersibles are objects that are designed to be used underwater, this can range from vehicles such as submarines to equipment such scuba gear and simply cables. Typically a submersible will be able to survive underwater without incurring any damage for extended periods of time.
Most people associate submersibles with diving equipment or vehicles, this type of submersible can be traced back to 1531 when Leonardo da Vinci's diving bell was first used by Guglielmo. The next major development occurred in 1772 when Sieur Freminet built the first SCUBA device, unfortunately he suffocated after 20 minuets of use. Then in 1801 the first submarine was constructed by Robert Fulton (the Nautilus). In an attempt to improve upon the first SCUBA device Augustus Siebe developed the diving dress in 1819, this required an air supply from the surface to function and was extremely heavy as the bouyancy of the head piece had to be counter-balanced using lead. To further the diving dress design William H. James invented a self-contained version, which had air tank on the suit's waist. In 1863 the first North American submarine was constructed, the CSS H.L. Hunley. Then the bathysphere was developed in 1934, which required a crane to lower and raise it into the water. The first scuba dive using compressed air was completed in 1943 by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. To try and rectify the shortcomings of the bathysphere in 1948 the bathyscaphe was developed, which offered greater flexibility and some manoeuvrability. The final incarnation of the bathyscaphe was the Trieste II which was finished in 1960 and took divers to the deepest parts of the ocean explored up until then (35,800 feet). From about 1900 onward military worldwide started producing submarines with increasing frequency and they are now a common occurrence.
Potential uses for submersibles include:
- Encyclopedia.com - http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/s1/submersi.asp
- MSN Encarta Online Dictionary - http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861716504/submersible.html
- Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Submarine
- Extreme 2001 - A Deep-Sea Oddyssey - http://www.ocean.udel.edu/extreme2001/home/index.html
- Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_underwater_technology
- Dictionary.com - http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=submersible