A recent study has proven the concept of an underwater camping trip.
The study took place in the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 facility, which features a host of enclosed earth environments, including an ocean.
Over the last three years, the ocean environment in Biosphere 2 has been used to test portable underwater tent technology that is also lightweight. The tents are now able to provide a dry environment underwater where divers can go in, remove their scuba gear and complete other tasks in a dry environment.
The new system is called the Ocean Space Habitat system.
Commenting on the development and testing process, co-inventor Dr. Winslow Burleson of the University of Arizona stated:
“I was able to get comfortable enough to sleep through the night and be reliant on the ultra portable self-contained life systems engineered for the habitat. This capability results in orders of magnitude less expense than conventional fixed habitats and saturation diving, and exposes a new cross section in human intervention that might make advances in marine sciences possible.”
While fellow co-inventor Michael Lombardi of Lombardi Undersea LLC added:
“Underwater habitation and the quest to live beneath the sea has been a dream for over half a century, though is met with very complex challenges – the reality of human physiology and expense make it a difficult proposition. Techniques in saturation diving, where humans live under pressure for weeks or longer, are well established and used in the offshore oil and gas industries via mobile diving saturation vessels. By contrast, marine science has only sporadically made use of fixed permanent habitats resting on the seafloor. Both rely on high operational costs and heavy infrastructure. In the last 20 years, techniques in ‘technical diving’, typically for sport, have made dive excursions in excess of 5 hours using only personal life support fairly routine. We’ve leveraged technology and techniques from that sector to afford a new lightweight mode of intervention, akin to camping, where we’ve demonstrated these 5 hours can be extended to a day or more all without the massive infrastructure of the current paradigm.”
You can check out footage of diving in Biosphere 2 below.