Publication:
A Survey and Engineering design of atmospheric diving suits

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Authors
Thornton, Michael Albert
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2000-12-01
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en_US
Abstract
The objective of this report is to describe the results of a worldwide industry survey of the atmospheric diving suit (ADS). A glimpse into the past of significant ADSs from Lethbridge's 1715 "diving engine" to the well- recognized JIM suit is discussed. Several facets are presented concerning present day ADSs, including a closer look at the ADSs in operation today in the offshore oil and gas industry and in the deep submergence programs of several international navies. A comparison of current ADSs against other available means of underwater intervention is made that demonstrates the advantages and disadvantages of each. A general discussion of the engineering factors to be considered in the design and construction of ADSs is presented as well. Based on direct interviews with executives, technicians and operators directly involved, insight is gained into the future of ADSs, including the latest and forthcoming suits such as, the HARDSUIT 2000 - the U.S. Navy's latest submarine rescue tool, Oceaneering's WASP renovation - of which two are expected be in operation by early 2001, and the futuristic but plausible EXOSUIT, the latest prototype shallow-water swimmable ADS. The results of this survey indicate that atmospheric diving suits are a healthy and thriving community among the oil and gas industry, yet comfortable in their niche between the ambient divers and remotely operated vehicles
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