Subsea Expo

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More Power to the Diver

16 June 2009

The world's leading manufacturer of atmospheric diving suits, OceanWorks International, has fitted the latest breakthrough design of powerful Saab Seaeye XT thrusters into their new Quantum Q2 HARDSUIT system.

It brings to complex undersea tasks a new combination of human dexterity and ROV power.

Saab Seaeye thrusters were chosen by OceanWorks for their proven reliability in hostile and demanding environments.

Power in the new XT thrusters has been doubled whilst keeping size the same, and weight low. This makes it easier for a diver to lift heavier loads and operate in even stronger currents, when undertaking delicate and difficult tasks.

Closed loop velocity feed-back gives both diver and supervisor total control over thrust and trim settings, together with troubleshooting and diagnostics information to the supervisor up top.

Voice communication is also easier between pilot and supervisor as the new thrusters are extremely quiet in operation.

Jim English at OceanWorks believes HARDSUIT systems fill the gap between a saturation diver and remotely operated vehicle for a number of operational needs by combining the perception and dexterity of the diver with the safety and mobility power of an ROV.

A diver inside a one atmosphere suit can operate for extended periods below and return directly to the surface without the risk of decompression.

Whilst working, he can also access small spaces and can quickly adapt to unplanned tasks and conditions.

He can also carry ROV-like sensors and navigation aids.

Jim English states that a diver fitted with an atmospheric suit can undertake 80 percent of the work of a saturation diver, but at less cost, with savings in consumables and decompression time, as well as speedier mobilisation and de-mobilisation.

The integration of the new thrusters into the suits marks a successful collaboration between two companies who are both world-leaders in their respective fields, and major providers of systems for commercial and military operations.