Nuytco Dual DeepWorker 3
The Waitt Institute Dual DeepWorker is a one-atmosphere, two-person manned submersible with a maximum operating depth of 2,000 feet and life-support capable of sustaining two persons for a total of 92 hours while underwater. It weighs 6,000 pounds, is 8.5 feet long and 5.75 feet wide.
The sub, designed and built by Nuytco Research, is comprised of a discrete hull for each passenger. Each is constructed from a stainless steel cylinder (24 inches in diameter and 36 inches long) in which the pilot’s legs rest and control the direction of the sub using footpad potentiometers. Above the cylinder is a 38-inch sphere where the pilot sits, atop which is a 30 inch diameter acrylic dome for entry and viewing. Each hull is constructed with grade A516 steel and the sub has 316 grade stainless steel hatch rings and hull fittings.
Propulsion is provided by 6 thrusters, 4 of which are mounted on the rear of the sub for steering and movement on the horizontal axis; 2 are vertically mounted to propel the sub up and down through the water column.
The Dual DeepWorker uses two soft ballast tanks for buoyancy control. These are used on the surface to maintain flotation during launch and recovery and can also be used to make minor buoyancy adjustments at depth as well as an emergency ascent if necessary. The sub also has an emergency drop-weight that can be released using manually activated hydraulic releases in each hull. In a severe emergency the battery pods can also be dropped.
Each of the two battery pods carries 10 sealed lead acid 12-volt batteries and can provide in total 12 kWh of power at 240 volts-DC.
Life support is provided by a redundant, mechanical automatic oxygen injection system with two CO2 scrubbers per cabin. Environmental monitoring is accomplished with electrical O2 monitors, oxygen pressure gauges, and cabin pressure gauges. Emergency life support includes a built in breathing system, a lung-powered assembly for attachment to the CO2 scrubbers in case of power failure, and redundant oxygen injection systems. Each seat also carries auxiliary CO2 scrubbers that have been integrated into the seat base.
The Waitt Institute sub is controlled by a programmable Logic Controller that uses a touch screen for control of ancillary systems and monitoring sensors.
The sub was delivered from its manufacture in Vancouver, Canada in 2006 after which it went to the large salt water tank in Rosarito, Mexico that was used to film Titanic and Master and Commander. Training took place over the course of a week and several Waitt Institute employees were certified to pilot the sub. It has been classed and certified by Lloyds Register of shipping and is in compliance with the Cayman Islands Survey Registry as well. Since the training in Mexico, the sub has participated in two surveys off the coast of Ventura, California working for NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service and University of California, Santa Barbara. Last year the sub took a long trip to the shores of Ireland where it participated in an expedition to map the famous shipwreck Lusitania. In 2010 the sub worked with Greenpeace to monitor the impacts from the tragic Deepwater Horizon disaster. That relationship blossomed, leading to another expedition aboard a Greenpeace ship, this time doing a survey of the world’s largest underwater canyons, Pribilof and Zemchug canyons located south of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.