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Depressurization Pump for Dry Submersibles


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Ground Sea, Materials, Sensors, Human Systems 

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to develop a depressurization pump to allow the volumes of manned spaces and the respective piping of a dry submersible to depressurize within a reasonable period of time to minimize the physiological effects of pressurization on the crew. 

DESCRIPTION: Develop an innovative device that meets the following performance parameters, and; then provide empirical and/or theoretical data to support the expected characteristics of the new device. The device shall meet or exceed all the following performance parameters: 1) shall provide diver quality, breathable air per the “US Navy Dive Manual” (see reference 1); 2) shall maintain a depressurization rate of greater than or equal to 6.7 pounds per square inch per minute (psi/min), against a discharge pressure of 115 pounds per square inch absolute (psia) given a chamber internal volume of 200 cubic feet (ft3) under all internal chamber pressure conditions (115 psia to 15 psia); 3) consideration shall be given for redundancy for safety and the graceful degradation of performance; 4) shall be highly reliable; 5) shall require low maintenance; 6) shall have an envelope volume of < 25 ft3 [including any supporting cooling & electrical components]; 7) shall provide the time to depressurize from 60 psia to 15 psia discharging to 60 psia pressure, provide the time to depressurize from 115 psia to 15 psia discharging to 115 psia; 8) consider providing a power draw that is as low as possible; 9) consider developing an oil-less compressor; 10) consider minimizing radiated sound levels < 70 Decibel A Scale (dBA); 11) consideration shall be given to minimize vibration over a broad spectrum of frequencies, and; 12) shall weigh 350 pounds or less [including any supporting cooling and electrical components]. 

PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study to assess what is in the art of the possible that satisfies the requirements specified in the above paragraph entitled “Description.” The objective of this USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a needed technology. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II. 

PHASE II: Develop, install, and demonstrate a prototype system determined to be the most feasible solution during the Phase I feasibility study on a Depressurization Pump for Dry Submersibles. 

PHASE III: This system could be used in a broad range of military applications where the military service requires the use of a depressurization pump for hyperbaric spaces. 


1: Naval Sea Systems Command, US Navy Diving Manual Rev 7, SS521-AG-PRO-010/0910-LP-115-1921

2:  12/01/2016


KEYWORDS: Depressurization, Decompression, Pump, Diving 

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