Sydney and Melbourne based Industrial Design Firm, Design + Industry, were part of the team who developed the cockpit where James Cameron had the control of the submarine at his fingertips.
Nathan Burke, D+I Project Manager, headed up the high profile project for D+I. "Numerous technical challenges were overcome by using lightweight hi tech materials to configure and house the extensive equipment James Cameron needed during his dive - including some space for a banana and muesli bar," he commented.
Working with Ron Allum's team of the Acheron Project, Design + Industry designed, developed and built many mock ups and prototypes to simulate the cockpit layout.
Working directly with James Cameron the cockpit layout was optimized within the restricted space for maximum safety, minimal weight, relative comfort and ease of use for the limited time the submarine had when at the base of the Mariana Trench.
The extreme pressures meant the entire cockpit design had to shrink when he reached the tremendous depths and expand during accent.
The Australian designers engineered the solution using leading edge materials and design tools to deal with the technical challenges that were presented, including complete fire proofing, condensation management and complex control assemblies.
Using highly skilled Australian manufacturers the final version was produced in record time to achieve the success.
"The project is a massive milestone for the D+I team," said Murray Hunter, Managing Director of D+I. "We're immensely proud to have worked with James Cameron and the Acheron team on such an inspiring project. Being part of such an exploration is extraordinary."