US Navy scientists have developed new diving suit, a prototype life support system for divers, that saves space, helium and weight.
Images credit U.S. Navy photo by Anthony Powers
Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City (NSWC PC) unveil the new diving suit to accelerate the deployment of Navy divers, increase safety, and also conserve helium, a valuable natural resource.
Conserving helium can produce a snowball-like effect. FMGS operational cost is driven by transportation, support vessel size, and consumables (largely helium). Reducing helium requirements will reduce deck space requirements, and can thereby positively impact all three cost variables.
NSWC PC Principal Investigator Dr. John Camperman, said:
“This new, semi-closed system was conceived to drastically reduce helium requirements. And where possible we also incorporated proven technology in the system in order to speed transition to operators.
The new system modifies the current helmet and rebreather. Prototype analysis and testing have shown that drastic reduction in helium consumption is possible. Testing of the new prototype system indicates that the full range of FMGS diving is supportable within Navy life support requirements, and that several life support characteristics are improved, including extended emergency come-home gas duration.”