Mission 7 — Navy Saturation Diving School Training Mission for Habitat Saturation Diving, I.

Mission 7 — Navy Saturation Diving School training mission for habitat saturation diving I.

Co–Principal Investigators: Craig Cooper, NURC/UNCW
Supervisor of Diving: Capt Mark Helmkamp, USN
Mission: December 5 — 9

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 “flyaway saturation system”. There will be two five–day missions to accommodate as many sat school participants as possible. Each dive will have five Navy divers with one NURC habitat tech. 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.

Saturation dives planned for 2005 represent a continuation of the same efforts conducted in 2004. Some of the specific goals and objectives considered were:

To further develop and expand upon existing cooperative efforts between the United States Navy and the NOAA Undersea Research Center/University of North Carolina 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 further post hurricane stabilizing of Aquarius and its baseplate through the installation of additional seabed anchors, cleaning, inspection, and maintenance of the baseplate and baseplate legs. (Note: USN divers from UCT 1 & 2 and MDSU TWO were instrumental in stabilizing Aquarius after hurricane Rita in time to face hurricane Wilma).

To assist NURC in initiating end of season preventative maintenance and securing the habitat for winter lay up prior to commencement of 2006 mission season.