Épaulard at La Seyne-sur-Mer
|Class and type:||remotely operated underwater vehicle|
|Length:||4 metres |
|Depth:||6000 m |
|Endurance:||7 to 12 hours|
|Sensors and |
|5000-shot BENTHOS 377 photographic camera|
Épaulard is a French remotely operated underwater vehicle of the Ifremer. She is notable as the first robotic submarine capable of taking photographs at a depth of 6000 metres. Built in 1980, Épaulard was decommissioned in 1991.
Épaulard was designed and built by ECA Group She was teleoperated from a support ship by means of acoustic signals. While the submarine herself displaced three tonnes, the entire system would use up 35m² of deck space and weight 20 tonnes; such systems were installed on a number of Ifremer ships such as Noroît, Suroît, Atalante or Jean Charcot.
In 1983, she was upgraded with a vertical propeller and a remote TV system with acoustic broadcast of images.
She was decommissioned in 1991, having performed 200 missions.