On March 26, 2012, filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron piloted a one-man submersible almost 7 miles (11 km) to the deepest point in the world's oceans.
Cameron's dive drew worldwide attention to the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition, a joint scientific partnership by Cameron, National Geographic, and Rolex to research and explore the ocean's depths.
Cameron reached the sea floor in the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, a technologically advanced submersible built by Sydney, Australia-based Acheron Project Pty. Ltd. (Image at right courtesy of Acheron.)
The sub's unique design and special materials are essential to withstand the extreme temperatures and pressures at full ocean depth, provide mobility, and keep the pilot safe.
But at the heart of the submersible, inside the 43-in. (109 cm) diameter pilot sphere, an off-the-shelf Opto 22 SNAP PAC System controls and monitors more than 180 onboard systems—including depth sensors, batteries, thrusters, life support, 3D cameras, and lighting.