Advanced Technologies for Reducing Decompression Obligation in Extreme Dives
Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
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P.O. Box 71, Hanover, NH, -
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractDespite over 100 years of research, decompression illness (DCI) remains the mission-limiting factor in the design and execution of combat dives. Divers may spend over an hour decompressing after spending as little as ten minutes at the target depth. While decompressing, the diver is limited in vertical mobility, making him susceptible to detection and threatening his survivability. Current strategies for reducing decompression obligations are hindered by inert gas narcosis and oxygen toxicity. However, recent technological advances in a number of areas may provide the means to limit the need for decompression. The Creare team proposes to develop an Integrated Diver Physiology Platform (IDPP) to reduce the decompression obligation of combat divers in extreme dive profiles. The IDPP will use novel, predictive decompression algorithms to change the breathing gas composition in real-time to reduce decompression risk and will also control the delivery of DCI-mitigating pharmacological agents. The algorithms will be supported by an integrated, miniaturized physiological sensor suite monitoring bubble formation, breathing gas composition, tissue inert gas tension, and other common physiological metrics. This physiological feedback will allow the system to minimize decompression obligation while monitoring and maintaining the safety of the diver, enabling dive profiles currently impossible with existing technologies.
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