SIGS faculty participate in first Tansuo-1 expedition of 2020


Loaded with a manned submersible “Deep Sea Warrior”, the Chinese Academy of Sciences research vessel “Tansuo-1” set sail from the port of Nanshan, Sanya on March 10. Prof. Ma Hui and Associate Prof. Liao Ran from Tsinghua SIGS boarded the vessel for the TS16 voyage.


Photo of Tansuo-1 research vessel

The goal of the 20-day scientific expedition is to investigate the ecology, geology and environmental pollution of seamounts and canyons in the South China Sea. The team will carry out deep-dive investigations and sampling of plastic pollution and seamount ecosystems. Other tasks include testing the deck deployment and retrieval system for the 10,000-meter manned submersible, completing deep-sea intelligent projects and sea trials of key equipment.

Professors Ma Hui and Liao Ran will be using a self-developed Mueller microscope and a polarization camera to examine polarization characteristics of tiny organisms on the sea floor, suspended particles, and monitor the stress in the optical windows. Both arrived at Sanya 16 days in advance to complete self-isolation, and have passed two rounds of nucleic acid tests before embarking the vessel.


Profs. Ma Hui (front) and Liao Ran (back) with the self-developed Mueller microscope

With over 60 members onboard, the expedition is organized by the Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering (IDSSE), Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the research team includes members from Tsinghua SIGS, Zhejiang University, Sun Yat-sen University, the MNR Second Institute of Oceanography and IDSSE.


Scientific researchers at a regular meeting

Photo by Liao Ran

Cover Design by Cui Yuntao, supervised by Wen Xueyuan

Edited by Karen Lee