And They’re Off! 23 Feet Under The Waves

Remember submarine races? The competition that took place at the end of lovers’ lane? Well, lovers’ lane now stops at West Palm Beach, where Florida Atlantic University and the H.A. Perry Foundation are sponsoring the First Annual International Submarine Races June 23-25, in part to encourage improvements in the hydrodynamics, propulsion, and life support systems of underwater vehicles. About 20 human-powered “wet subs”—vehicles that fill completely with water arid are driven by people clad in scuba gear—are expected to compete. Included among the contenders are MIT, the U.S. Naval Academy, Caltech (with three entries), the David Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center and Benthos Inc. as well as several private groups. The subs will be required to race at depths no greater than 23 feet along a one-kilometer course and will be evaluated on cost-effectiveness, innovation, speed, and overall performance. A...

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