The safety of the occupants in a submersible
is paramount. Therefore expansion of this aspect of SUBEO’s development
is considered vitally important. Prospective purchasers can assess
the unique systems used in Aquarius.
SUBEO has developed a comprehensive and modern
system within its submersible design to ensure that the stringent
safety codes and recommendations laid down by the classing authorities
LIFE SUPPORT NORMAL MISSION
For normal mission time, oxygen is delivered
from small flasks within the cabin; the oxygen is metered and regulated
by flow control valves. The concentration of oxygen is kept between
18 and 22%, and monitored by the main PLC (programmable logic controller)
and a separate PLC dedicated to life support monitoring.
Carbon dioxide is removed during the mission
by a scrubber unit containing “Sofonolime” absorbent. The concentration
of CO2 is monitored by the two PLCs.
The levels of O2 and CO2 are displayed on the
craft’s main information touch screen, and preset alarm levels are
indicated by visual and audible alarms.
EMERGENCY LIFE SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS
The classing authorities require a life support
system capable of keeping the occupants of the craft alive for 72hours.
The requirements for O2 during the emergency
period are supplied by POGs (Personal Oxygen Generators); these
units are similar to the equipment used in commercial airlines to
supply oxygen in the event of depressurization. This type of system
is foolproof and does not rely on large O2 bottles and associated
pipework, which could corrode.
3 emergency scrubber units perform carbon dioxide
removal during the emergency period. These units contain integral
blowers, batteries and absorbent. They are initiated by the removal
of a sealing strip on the top of the units. These units are used
in military submarines and further detailed information cannot be
During the emergency period monitoring of life
support systems is carried out by a small slave PLC, to minimise
Individual breathing sets are supplied within
the craft to enable each occupant to breath from a small compressed-air
In the unlikely event of any system failure
the craft’s surface tanks can be blown manually, or by air delivery
system from the surface, attached to a quick-release coupling on
top of the craft by divers. A 150-200kg lead drop weight can be
jettisoned to make the craft buoyant.
Programmes can be installed in the craft that
will automatically surface the craft should there be no input activity
from the occupants.
On the surface the craft has in the region of
700mm freeboard to minimize the risk of swamping. The wide-bodied
configuration makes the craft very stable on the surface and when
All the systems are monitored and controlled
by the PLC to ensure that all the correct operating parameters for
life support, air supplies, hatches, batteries and vent valves are
set before the craft can dive. This system allows for a foolproof
pre-dive check list to be completed before diving the craft.
All the main wiring insulation within the craft
is halogen free.