Mission 8/9 — Navy Saturation Diving School Training Mission for Habitat Saturation Diving.

Mission 8/9 — Navy Saturation Diving School Training Mission for Habitat Saturation Diving

Co-Principal Investigators: Craig Cooper, NURC/UNCW
Supervisor of Diving: Capt. Mark Helmkamp, USN
Missions: December 6 - 9: December 11-14

The goal of this project is to furnish United States Navy diving saturation school graduates an opportunity to participate in underwater diving activities in a setting intended to simulate saturation diving procedures related to the Navy’s use of a “fly-away saturation system”. There will be two four day missions to accommodate as many sat school participants as possible. The first dive will have five Navy divers with one NURC habitat tech, the second four day dive will have four Navy divers and two NURC habitat techs. All diving from the habitat will be umbilical diving with MK 21 helmets, with the wet porch serving as an analog to a saturation diving bell. No scuba excursions are planned for either of these missions.

Some of the specific goals and objectives considered were:

· To develop and expand upon existing cooperative efforts between the United States Navy and the NOAA Undersea Research Center/University of North Carolina at Wilmington, specifically with use of the Aquarius habitat.

· To determine ways in which the respective programs might better interface with each other to exchange advice and assistance on new procedures, equipment, technologies, or other factors that lead to enhanced safety of diving operations.

· To assist NURC with the information required to construct a cofferdam to facilitate the underwater installation of new exterior valving on Aquarius’ exterior, as part of the 2005 Special Periodical Survey for continued classing by the American Bureau of Shipping.

· To assist NURC in initiating end of season preventative maintenance and securing the habitat for winter lay up prior to commencement of 2005 mission season.