Should humans explore the deep ocean (1800meters or deeper) or is this the realm of AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles)?
It seems that such deep ocean exploration is best done by AUVs. They are easier to build, cheaper to maintain, less expensive service life, longer bottom times.
I'm curious how humans can best provide value to deep ocean exploration. That is to say, currently they seem like a liability, not an asset. How can we think differently to change this?
Deep ocean exploration could be scientific or minerals exploration. Either field tends to be dominated by AUVs and I'm struggling to find reasons for humans to be that deep, so can someone help answer what reasons we need humans that deep? What jobs are human-specific?
My first thought is that transit times are very great and surface ships are limited by weather. If there's a way to get humans closer to the site of interest then they can better maintain AUVs on site. But, this requires a substantial increase in bottom times from what currently exists. An increase by 2 to 3 orders of magnitude.