NWI - Naval Warfare

NSWC developing new rebreather for navy divers

7th June 2018 - 15:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) has developed a new prototype system, the MK29 Mixed Gas Rebreather, to support the navy’s diving community.

The technology will enhance the capabilities of navy divers and accelerate deployments for missions including underwater rescues, explosive ordnance disposal, ship hull maintenance, recovery of sunken equipment and salvage of vessels and aircraft.

Currently, the navy’s divers breathe a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen while on underwater missions but the nitrogen becomes toxic below 150ft. The new system solves this problem, by filtering used oxygen-helium through a carbon dioxide scrubber, which removes carbon dioxide and recycles the breathable gasses back to the diver.

Test results suggest this system can not only help divers perform more dives, but also stay underwater longer if surface supply gas is interrupted.

The MK29 also reduces breathing noise and fogging of helmet viewports. It also features 3D-printed titanium tubing that connects hoses from the helmet’s breathing manifold to the regulator backpack. That titanium reduces the risk of breathing hoses being sliced by sharp or jagged underwater objects.

Further research on the product will be carried out later in 2018.

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