Sea Discovery

Phoenix Designed Saturation Diving System Successfully Completes 1,000 Ft Test Dive

Phoenix International Holdings, Inc. (Phoenix) designed, built, and delivered the one-of-a-kind Saturation Fly Away Diving System (SAT FADS) to the U.S. Navy’s Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) in Panama City, FL on June 30, 2010. SAT FADS successfully completed an extended, manned, pier-side test to its design depth of 1,000 ft. This is one step in a required progression of tests that will eventually lead to its operational use.

On April 18, six divers at NEDU entered SAT FADS and commenced pressurization to begin a 12-day stay in dry conditions that simulated a water depth of 1,000 feet. Quoting other reports on the successful 1000 ft. test, “NEDU Commanding Officer Mark Matthews said the system operated in a near flawless manner during the extended test. Matthews said the test’s main purpose was to make sure the system was habitable down to 1,000 feet.” Completion of this test is anticipated to be the last step prior to manned testing at sea. Earlier, on April 8, another Navy team successfully simulated a pier-side dry dive to 250 ft.

SAT FADS was procured by the Naval Sea System Command’s Office of the Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV) and delivered to NEDU, Panama City, FL where the Navy is conducting manned certification testing of the system. SAT FADS will provide a critical saturation diving capability to support Navy salvage and recovery operations around the world. The system is designed to be deployed using military or commercial aircraft and commercial over-the-road tractor trailers, and can be installed on any suitable commercial vessel of opportunity. SAT FADS will support 6 divers to depths of 1,000 feet sea water (fsw) for 30 days. The entire system requires 40 feet x 70 feet of deck space and consists of five major components: a main deck decompression chamber, a 3-man diving bell, the bell handling system, a control van, and two auxiliary support equipment vans. Living quarters are located in the decompression chamber.

Phoenix provides manned and unmanned underwater operations, design engineering, and project management services to clients in the defense, offshore oil & gas and other ocean-interest industries worldwide. Expertise is available from six regional offices in the areas of wet and dry hyperbaric welding, conventional and atmospheric diving, and robotic systems and tooling. Our capabilities are directed to underwater inspection, maintenance and repair; deep ocean search & recovery; submarine rescue; construction; subsea tieback; plug & abandonment; archaeological and documentary projects.

Source: Phoenix

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