Qianlong 3 is retrieved from its second dive into the sea back to the Chinese research vessel Dayang Yihao, on April 22, 2018. (Liu Shiping/Xinhua)
China's newest ocean craft goes 156.8 kilometers, exceeding goal
Qianlong 3 features designs similar to a clownfish, down to its signature orange and white stripes, big eyes and wavy tail. The submersible is 3.5 meters long, 1.5 meters high and weighs 1.5 metric tons.
The craft is equipped with high-definition cameras and sensors, sonar systems for obstacle evasion, fully rotatable rudders and additional propellers for faster turning.
Unlike its predecessor, Qianlong 2－which has some similar design features and made its maiden dive in 2014－the new submersible is quieter, faster, uses less energy and has more domestically made components, Xu said. As a result, it can collect more data.
Qianlong 2 can operate for 30 hours underwater, but the upgraded submersible has significantly longer endurance, Xu said.
The Qianlong series of underwater vehicles was developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Shenyang Institute of Automation.