An engineering technician in Hue has created a remote controlled submarine that he hopes could be used for exploration tasks.
Le Nga said he spent nearly two years on making the remotely operated underwater vehicle, commonly referred to as an ROV.
He finished it late last year and successfully launched it down the Perfume River, after several test runs at local swimming pools.
“It was a lot of work to do alone, but it satisfied my curiosity. I got to focus on each single detail, each part until I put together a complete sub.”
The mini-submarine weighs 120 kilograms and is 2.7 meters long, with the body made from cooking gas cylinders of five centimeters thick.
Nga used the engine and controller often seen in model aircraft for his sub.
The 50-year-old works for a beer factory in Hue and is a member of the local model aircraft club.
His mini-sub has a camera at the head and a propeller at the tail that rotates at 10,000 rounds per minute to push it forward.
Mini sub, big plan
Nga said he is still perfecting his remote control and thus is only confident letting the sub dive three meters deep.
He also plans to install a GPS device on the sub and a system to deliver warning signals in case of accidents.
“When the sub works better, I’ll have it dive deeper in rivers and lakes to shoot images… I’ll invite some scientists and officials over for a presentation,” he said.
Le Nga's submarine is tested at a swimming pool in Hue. Photo: Bui Ngoc Long
“I’m sure there will be limitations, but I hope to receive support and instructions.”
Nga named the sub Hoang Sa, after Vietnam’s archipelago off the central coast.
At least two other inventors in the country have introduced their mini-submarines, which have to be manned.
The inventions have received no support or recognition from Vietnamese government.
A businessman in the northern province of Thai Binh Province launched the first Vietnamese-made submarine last May in the sea without a permit as he could not wait for one.
Phan Boi Tran in Ho Chi Minh City only got the attention of a Vietnamese under-sea cable installer after he sold five subs to a tourism company in Malaysia.
Tran is afaid of intellectual property loss as he has struggled to apply for patents in Vietnam.