Dry atmosphere submersible HPV

by duke, published

Dry atmosphere submersible HPV by duke May 3, 2010

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Dry atmosphere submersible HPV by duke is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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This is a one-man submarine that I have designed. It is dry atmosphere which means that you do not need to wear SCUBA gear inside of it. It incorporates a single center ballast tank, twin air tanks for breathing and buoyancy compensation, rudder controls for pitch/yaw, etc. It is propelled by twin contra-rotational, coaxial propellers driven by conventional bicycle pedals.


Unfortunately I have yet to build a full scale working prototype of this design, the limiting factor being the cost of producing the high pressure polycarbonate shell. I decided on a transparent hull because ferrous materials would interfere with the magnetic guidance system, and cheaper materials such as fiberglass would not withstand the high pressure imposed on a dry atmosphere submersible at any reasonable depth. Also, it would be way cooler if it were clear. I have however built 1/10th scale working models of the drivetrain, and I am very satisfied with it's simple, robust design.

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I want to say this would be nice. But there are no thing files in .STL to print to even make this thing to see if it works. I'm going to dub this as a fail and wasted space upon ThingiVerse unless the author fixes it and finishes the design.

Depending on what you mean by "great depths". You could pressurize it, yes, but to a certain point. Breathing air under pressure has some consequences to it. You may either breathe it for too long or ascend too quick, and you'll trap air bubbles in your tissues, this is known as nitrogen poisoning. If you go too deep, say 50 meters, you will experience oxygen toxicity, usually leading to death, since you'd become paralyzed. Plus ascending may require decompression (otherwise you'll trap air in your tissues, this is considered rather painful).

Best is to have a solid body and have 1 bar pressure inside.No decompression and no problems. Unless the shell breaks ;)

70 meters for oxygen toxicity...

it is not oxygen that becomes toxic it is nitrogen at depths which is why you use a mix of oxygen and helium and the proper name for nitrogen poisoning is nitrogen narcosis. there are tables for scuba divers for non compression diving if you use them with an appropriate pressure gauge in the sub then it is fairly safe. but yes narcosis is painful and possibly life threatening

It's nitrogen narcosis, not toxicity.

what about windows? or atmosphere scrubbing?

Since it's polycarb, the whole boat is basically a window. I wasn't planning to submerge it for longer than the air tanks could sustain the atmosphere, but if you wanted to, you could scrub the air with Lithium Hydroxide or something.

It would be possible to pressurize the inside of the craft to counteract the force of water on the outside in order to use a weaker material even at great depths. It would require additional high pressure tanks to be added buts one option to think about.

So build an RC version at small scale; suitable for lab mouse testing. Or build at 1/12 scale suitable for GI Joe photo mock-up.