#729: Titanice

Springing a leak in the hull of a ship is generally a very bad situation; doubly so for a submarine.

Rather than just manning the pumps and stuffing wadding into a breach, today’s invention offers a new approach to the imperative of not sinking.

When some hull perforation is detected or reported, a small submersible is rapidly released from the body of the vessel and automatically driven across the hull to the approximate location of the hole (it could be clamped magnetically to the surface and positioned more accurately using standard subsea lights and cameras).

A powerful refrigeration unit on board this drone sucks in a stream of seawater and blasts out a jet of frozen particles which are directed to the holed area. These build up and form a coarse plug, durable enough to allow more effective repair (and, in the case of a sub, surfacing). Such a system could also operate inside a vessel, given enough space for the required plumbing.

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