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Development of Oxygen Monitoring Capability for the Existing Hyperbaric Carbon Dioxide Analyzer Used in Dry Deck Shelter Operations

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Technical rept. Sep 1998-Oct 1999

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The Dry Deck Shelter DDS is a hyperbaric system used on submarines to transport SEAL delivery vehicles into an operating area. The system uses air from submarine banks to ventilate the DDS for carbon dioxide CO2 removal and provide breathing air to the divers. In order to improve the efficiency of ventilation, we previously developed a portable hyperbaric analyzer for monitoring CO2 within DDSs. This analyzer was approved by NAVSEA PMS-399 in 1998 as the primary control of ventilation during DDS operations. However, when divers operating from the DDS develop decompression sickness, they can be treated in the chamber compartment of the DDS using recompression and oxygen O2 for breathing via masks connected to the built-in- breathing System BIBS . Concern exists about leakage of O2 from the masks producing a rise in the O2 levels within the chamber, thus increasing the fire hazard. Consequently, we were tasked to add an O2 monitoring capability to the hyperbaric CO2 analyzers now used inside the DDS. preliminary laboratory testing of candidate 02 sensors allowed selection of a commercially available sensor, which was then incorporated into the CO2 analyzer. Experiments evaluating the performance of the C02O2 analyzer in the laboratory demonstrated 02 accuracy of 5 relative over 1-4 atmospheres absolute ATA, although greater error at 5-6 ATA, and confirmed previously reported CO2 accuracy of 10 relative over the same pressure range. Because neither long-term testing nor field evaluation of the C02O2 analyzers has been performed, analyzer reliability will need to be followed carefully during any transition to Fleet use. In addition to meeting the requirements for 02 and CO2 measurement during DDS operations, this analyzer may also fill the existing need for reliable 02 and CO2 measurement inside other types of hyperbaric chambers and diving apparatus.

Subject Categories:

  • Life Support Systems
  • Submarine Engineering

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