A Deep Sea Vehicle (DSV) like Trieste or Limiting Factor or now Fundouzhe have control thrusters, ballast that has to be dumped, and other equipment to operate the DSVs.

But the pressure hull is a solid sphere minus the porthole windows and a hatch?

How does the pilot control these systems? Is there some conduits cut through the pressure hull? Optical penetrators could be used but how does this not compromise the integrity of the pressure hull? How else might it be done?


2 Answers 2


There are special glands allowing protected cables through the hull.

Also used are insulated blocks with metal conductors embedded that go through the hull.

Interestingly the Trieste that you mentioned, used by the Americans, was Swiss designed and Italian built.

  • $\begingroup$ Interesting indeed. How can I go about learning more about these glands? I know of them as "penetrators"? I am most interested in the metal conductors because can these "communicate through the hull"? For instance I was thinking of a crude magnetic switch, you could move the switch through the hull by moving a magnet similar to how we move a steel marble across a table with a magnet underneath it....in a more complex way can we pass data through the hull on that same principal? $\endgroup$
    – IDNeon
    May 6, 2021 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ Kinda the same problem as getting motion into a vacuum chamber. Have a look at these magnetic rotary feed thrus uhvdesign.com/products/rotary-feedthroughs en.rigaku-mechatronics.com/technology/index.html $\endgroup$
    – D Duck
    May 6, 2021 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ @DDuck shoot, neither site is responding, can you confirm they work? It's possibly my geo-block that's interferring with them. Am I looking for "magnetic rotary feedthroughs" to research the technology? $\endgroup$
    – IDNeon
    May 6, 2021 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ @IDNeon Both links work for me (accessed from the UK). $\endgroup$
    – alephzero
    May 6, 2021 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ They (links) worked from the US too. $\endgroup$
    – r13
    Oct 4, 2021 at 1:42

Every submarine has through-hull penetrations. I suppose you could build one with solely electrical connection that did not require a mechanical penetration, but the technology isn't new. It just gets harder and harder the deeper you go. I don't know that the Trieste did anything other than go down and back up, so electrical connections were probably sufficient. Newer models will use the electrical connections more than mechanical.

The big window is a much bigger problem than hull penetrations.


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