SOURCE: Edge Innovations

Edge Innovations

April 25, 2012 08:00 ET

Edge Innovations -- Based in San Francisco Bay Area -- Plays Key Role in James Cameron's Historic DEEPSEA CHALLENGE Expedition

Firm Renowned for Innovative Technology Design and Development Built Lower Pod of Cameron's Submersible, the First Solo-Piloted Sub to Reach the Deepest Point on Earth

ALAMEDA, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 25, 2012) - Bay Area based Edge Innovations, best known for their tech wizardry on such films as "Free Willy," "Anaconda," and "Deep Blue Sea," played a key role in the creation of Jim Cameron's DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible, the centerpiece of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition, a joint scientific project supported by National Geographic and Rolex.

"Jim came to Edge Innovations because of our track record of tackling complex one-of-a-kind projects on extremely short deadlines," said Walt Conti, Founder & CEO of Alameda, California-based Edge Innovations.

Conti and his team worked closely with Cameron over a 7-month period to design, engineer, and build the Lower Pod section of the submersible. The Lower Pod is an integrated system of mechanical and electrical elements that together provide some of the submersible's key functionality, the most important being the life-critical ballast system. The ballast system had to have absolute reliability.

"If the weight system failed, Cameron would have no means to return to the surface. It really keeps you on your game and focused when you know what's at stake. We had to envision all possible failures and make sure we mitigated them," says Conti.

"We were chosen for our development expertise. One can't just go out and buy full-ocean-depth rated components off the shelf. They don't exist. Everything has to be designed, engineered and custom built, and then tested in pressure tanks to 16,000 psi," Conti added.

The sub was outfitted with unprecedented imaging and lighting capability -- orders of magnitude more light than anyone has brought to this depth. To achieve this, Edge worked with Cameron to develop what are the brightest full-ocean-depth lights in existence utilizing the latest LED technology.

"It's quite magical when you see the images Jim was able to capture. It truly transports you to another world. You feel like you're swimming right alongside the sub. I'm sure that some of these images will spark future engineers and scientists, just as images of the Apollo and Cousteau missions did for my generation," said Conti.

With the Lower Pod complete, the Edge team then joined the ship-based DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition, achieving numerous successful dives throughout Micronesia, and ultimately Cameron's historic dive at the Challenger Deep.

About Edge Innovations

Edge Innovations specializes in the design and development of complex, highly integrated technology-based systems. Working with some of the world's top visionaries, including filmmaker and explorer James Cameron, resort magnate Steve Wynn, and famed architect Frank Gehry, the Edge team has been instrumental to some of the world's most innovative technical and artistic creations. Founded in 1991 and based in Silicon Valley, CA, the firm has been involved in nearly 100 projects in the entertainment, technology, medical, and resort development industries. For more information, visit and

About the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE Expedition

DEEPSEA CHALLENGE is a joint scientific expedition by James Cameron, National Geographic Society and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research and exploration to expand our knowledge and understanding of these largely unknown parts of the planet. Cameron's historic DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition is the first extensive scientific exploration by a manned vehicle to the Mariana Trench's lowest point, the "Challenger Deep."

The DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition will be chronicled for a 3-D feature film for theatrical release on the intensive technological and scientific efforts behind this historic dive, which will subsequently be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel. The expedition also will be documented in National Geographic magazine. Additionally, Cameron will collaborate with National Geographic to create broad-based educational outreach materials.

Details on the expedition can be found at; on Twitter by following @DeepChallenge or using #deepseachallenge; or on Facebook at

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