On February,12 2022, almost exactly 16 years after the deployment of the first complete ANTARES detector line, data taking of the ANTARES detector definitely stopped. A campaign of IFREMER for the EMSO project at the nearby KM3NeT/ORCA site was used to start the dismantling of the detector. During a dive of the manned Nautile submarine (right) from the PourquoiPas? vessel (left)
the majority of the interlink connections between the detection line anchors and the junction box had been disconnected. The photo below illustrates one of these disconnections at the anchor of line 12.
On the left, the robotic arm of the submarine, which holds the connector after unplugging it.
The twelve detector lines have subsequently been recovered during two campaigns ins May and June 2022. First the anchor of a line is hissed onboard the Castor 02 vessel (left) leaving the other line elements floating on the sea surface (right).
Then each storey is brought onboard and the elements are dismounted. The recovered titanium structures (left) and the optical modules (right) are recycled or kept for an ultimate re-use.
One of the last elements which had been recovered, was a storey containing an early prototype of a KM3NeT digital optical module (here together with an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler and a camera for the analysis of bioluminescence flashes) which marks the passage towards the second generation Mediterranean neutrino telescope KM3NeT
Occasionally the detector structures had been chosen by stunning deep sea creatures as their home as here by the deep sea coral desmophyllum dianthus.