The diving tube, the equipment, the diving suits or the oxygen bottles are means that have been developed since, in the middle of the 20th century, underwater explorations began to be perfected and professionalized by the icon of modern diving , Jacques Cousteau.
The main desire of every diver is to stay as long as possible underwater to maximize the efficiency of the dive, but, despite the advances in science and technology, there are still certain limits both in diving equipment diving as in the physiology of the human being, which forces him to come to the surface from time to time to breathe.
But as we have mentioned, the steps of science and technology are continuous, precise, and do not rest. To try to make the explorations under the sea more durable, in 2019 a portable underwater tent was designed that would allow divers to be closer to their goal.
Next, we will tell you what this revolutionary and intelligent project consists of.
What is Ocean Space Habitat?
This underwater tent is named “Ocean Space Habitat”, and has been created and designed by a National Geographic explorer, Michael Lombardi and the director of the Nursing degree at New York University, Winslow Burlesón.
The Ocean Space Habitat is a portable structure composed of an inflatable and folding cover that can be anchored. It is shaped similar to a tent, and its interior is equipped with seats, windows, an oxygen source, and a carbon dioxide scrubber. Additionally, the tent features a removable valve that can propel the tent cover to the surface in an emergency.
It should be noted that its use is completely scientific, the idea of transporting the tent to tourist or recreational terrain has not yet been raised, however, it has great advantages in the world of diving; On the one hand, it allows divers to dive deeper and for a longer period of time. On the other hand, he avoids submitting himself so frequently to the decompression stage, which carries with it serious dangers. Another risk that is greatly reduced thanks to the Ocean Space Habitat is that, in an emergency, divers will be able to meet and exchange information fluidly and verbally, which is always more effective than communicating and interpreting it through sign.
Divers can remove their suit before entering the tent, and when they cross the threshold, they find themselves in an oxygen-filled, relatively dry atmosphere where they can communicate, talk, rest, eat and come back again to dive without having to go to the surface.
Another advantage of the Ocean Space Habitat is that the explorers can set up the tent and take it down again whenever they need to, and, although it may seem otherwise, the structure is composed for a very accessible and affordable system and material.
In addition to being an interesting development in a scientific and professional context, it is also interesting as a life experience. Divers can observe from dawn to dusk the number of species that cross the ocean waters, the changes in sea temperature or the passage of time in an environment almost unknown to the world. This tent is, in addition to a base camp under the sea, a tangible immersive experience, the project of a mountain refuge designed for climbers, but transferred to the underwater world.
There have been numerous tests of the effectiveness and safety of the project Ocean Space Habitat, and the vast majority have been conducted off the coast of Rhode Island, where divers spent quite long periods of time there and have held overnight drills in the tent.
What are diving bells?
Although this project is conceived as something especially novel and almost impossible to imagine, it is not a completely new concept. The diving bell has existed for decades; a transporting structure that was born at the end of the 17th century by the hand of Edmund Halley. The diving camera is a rigid system that transports divers to the point of underwater depth they want to reach in the ocean, always within certain limits. The model that Halley designed was quite rudimentary and the structure of the chamber was made up of wood lined with lead.
Currently, there is, on the one hand, the wet bell, which is a structure that hangs from a cable and is open at the bottom. The water pressure keeps the air pressurized inside and has a capacity for two divers. On the other hand, there is also the closed bell, in which the chamber has a pressure-sealed door. It is intended for mixed gas diving and saturation diving.
What is saturation diving?
This type of project designed to optimize diving time is firmly supported by oil platforms. These especially promote facilities dedicated to saturation diving, which is a practice that involves transporting divers through pressure chambers into the depths of the ocean and can remain there for an extended period of time while working. The diver's body is saturated with gas, which favors a constant decompression time. In this way, the safety of the diver is increased, since he does not have to carry out several decompressions in succession.
For its part, the American NOAA has a fixed underwater base called Aquarius and allows divers to spend weeks and even months working without having to go to the surface. This base is located in the Key Largo Reefs, in Florida.
Would you dare to spend a whole day underwater or get into a pressurized air chamber while on the surface, and come out of it more than 50 meters under the sea? The divers who are dedicated to carrying out this type of expedition are highly prepared, both physically and mentally, since it has a fairly high risk component.
We hope this article has helped you learn something about diving that you may not have known before, and to consider that, who knows, maybe in a short time you can go camping at the bottom of the sea!