LAKE TAHOE and#8212; A Bay Area submersible company is taking Lake Tahoeand#8217;s and#8220;Lake of the Skyand#8221; moniker literally.
Staff from Hawkes Ocean Technologies is set to perform and#8220;hydrobaticand#8221; testing of its DeepFlight Super Falcon, an advanced manned submersible, at Lake Tahoe this October.
and#8220;Hydrobatics is like aerobatics underwater,and#8221; said Adam Wright, principal mechanical engineer for the company.
The Super Falcon, a 22-foot-long, two-person submersible with a maximum speed of just more than 7 mph, is capable of maneuvers that would be impossible with other underwater craft, Wright said.
Exactly what maneuvers the submersible can accomplish is part of the reason the company is coming to Lake Tahoe for performance testing. The submersible has logged more than 200 dives, but its capabilities have never been fully investigated, Wright said.
One of the companyand#8217;s goals is to be the first to complete an underwater loop.
and#8220;To our knowledge, that has not been done before,and#8221; Wright said.
Exactly how big the loop would need to be is unknown. Calculations suggest the submersible could perform a loop with a 300-foot diameter, Wright said.
But the companyand#8217;s planned October exploration isnand#8217;t just an underwater air show. Hawkes Ocean Technologies is hoping that a better understanding of the craftand#8217;s abilities will lead to a broader understanding of the worldand#8217;s oceans.
and#8220;We see this type of craft being a very useful tool for exploration of the oceans,and#8221; Wright said.
He used the possibility of tracking a pod of whales to previously impossible depths as an example of how the submersible could be used.
The company has started a Kickstarter campaign in a effort to extend the amount of performance testing it can accomplish at Lake Tahoe.
The companyand#8217;s and#8220;DeepFlight Hydrobatics Expeditionand#8221; page on the website accepts donations of between $10 and $10,000. In return, donors get anything from their name listed on the companyand#8217;s website to their logo on the side of the submarine and two dives in the submarine during the Lake Tahoe expedition.
and#8220;If we do get the Kickstarter funding, it will be a much longer, larger endeavor,and#8221; Wright said.
The companyand#8217;s Kickstarter page can be found at http://tinyurl.com/tahoesub. The companyand#8217;s website is at http://deepflight.com.
An underwater explorer is expected to return to Lake Tahoe in coming weeks, and people will have the opportunity to watch one of his dives live as it unfolds.
Scott Cassell and other members of the Undersea Voyager Project will return to the lake in mid-August and conduct submersible dives at Lake Tahoe into early October, said Jacquie Chandler, executive director of Sustainable Tahoe. A conference relaying the results of the dives will follow, Chandler said.
A boat trip where participants will be able to watch one of Casselland#8217;s dive live is planned for Sept. 8 as part of the 2012 Tahoe Expo. The cost of the trip is expected to be $75.
Undersea Voyager Project members made dozens of submersible dives at Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake in 2009.
The Undersea Voyager Projectand#8217;s and#8220;Great Whiteand#8221; vessel went on display at Embassy Suites Lake Tahoe Wednesday and will remain on display for a week and a half, Chandler said. Embassy Suites is located at 4130 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
Visit www.tahoeexpo.com and click on and#8220;Tahoe Beneath The Surface Trackand#8221; for more information.