AN EXPERIMENTAL ELEVEN-DAY UNDERSEA SATURATION DIVE AT 193 FEET
OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH ARLINGTON VA
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An undersea, ambient-pressure, gas-filled, nine-footdiameter by 40- ft-long laboratory was placed on the ocean floor off Argus Island near Bermuda. Four men occupied the laboratory. During this period of saturation diving on a He-O2-N2 gas mixture, the men performed work, ate, and slept within the dry laboratory and made working swims in the ocean spaces surrounding the laboratory. Physiological observations and measurements were made of the laboratory occupants. The Sealab subjects reached a state of equilibrium tissue saturation with their breathing medium at depth during the first 24-hr period on the bottom. After this time, additional exposure did not increase the decompression schedule. Decompression time from a saturation dive to 200 ft may be as little as 30 hr, depending on conditions. Sealab I project demonstrated 1. That man can perform useful work at 200 ft and deeper with this technique of integrating the human more fully with his undersea environment, rather than having him make brief, expensive forays into it, always returning to surface pressure for his necessities of life. 2. No adverse physiological effects as a result of aquanaut exposure to the experimental conditions of the Sealab I project.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography