DEEP, an ocean technology and exploration company that aims to “Make Humans Aquatic,” has announced its ambition for a permanent human presence under the oceans beginning in 2027.
The DEEP System comprises the Sentinel underwater habitat, along with a revolutionary range of submersibles, dive and scientific research equipment, all backed up by technical and human performance training and qualification programs — called the “DEEP Institute” — and a unique underwater R&D test and operations facility called the “DEEP Campus.”
Steve Etherton, President of DEEP for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, emphasizes the urgency of understanding our oceans:
“We need to preserve the oceans. To do that we need to understand them. The oceans sit at the centre of many of the generational challenges the world is facing, and they also offer opportunities we have not even begun to comprehend. They are the source of at least every other breath1 we take. They influence the weather. They influence the climate. They influence us. Yet, this life-sustaining ecosystem remains surprisingly unknown. Through our innovative technology DEEP will enable scientists to operate at depth for extended periods of time and we hope, in some small way, will contribute to our understanding of this life-giving environment.”
The Sentinel will allow scientists to live underwater at depths of up to 200 meters (656 feet) for up to 28 days. This will give extended access to most of the world’s continental shelves and, importantly, being able to descend to that depth allows access to the entirety of the Epipelagic, or “sunlight” zone. The lower limit of the Epipelagic zone is the deepest point at which sunlight penetrates into the ocean, and it’s estimated that 90% of marine life is found in this zone.
The company says being able to comprehensively explore the full extent of this part of the ocean rather than just performing incursions from the surface will represent a step-change in the way scientists can observe, monitor, and understand the oceans.
Until now, ocean exploration has been limited to brief incursions from the surface. DEEP’s technology promises a seismic shift in how we study and interact with the ocean, offering a more holistic understanding of this vital ecosystem.
After two years of clandestine research and development, DEEP is ready to share its innovations with the world.
The DEEP system offers a radically more effective way to live and operate underwater than before. Previously, underwater facilities have been temporary and fixed-location. DEEP’s habitat is modular, scalable, autonomous, recoverable, re-configurable, and re-deployable.
Sean Wolpert, President, Americas of DEEP said:
“Out of sight and out of mind – not having a better understanding of the oceans is no longer an option. DEEP is coming out of stealth mode now as we need to take others on this journey.”
Wolpert added that the company is already talking to potential international partners, and others with a long-term view of the needs of the planet, who recognize that the up-side for humanity in preserving and husbanding the oceans is now too great to ignore.
“Looking at the themes around the emerging new ocean/blue economy we hear of opportunity and solutions in pharmaceutical research, in carbon capture, in innovative medicines. This is about how we can cooperate and can begin to work with the oceans for generations to come. DEEP offer to partners a way to do this hitherto impossible.”
The company will invest in the “DEEP Campus,” which will transform the old National Dive & Activity Centre, which was closed to the public in 2022, into a world-leading, 600-meter/1,969-foot-long, 100-meter/328-foot-wide and 80-meter/262-foot-deep controlled water facility for training, testing, and research.
The “DEEP Campus” will become a core part of the regional ecosystem, hosting essential development exercises for DEEP and regional, national, and international partners.
You can find out more about DEEP on their website DEEP.com.