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Diving My Latest Experimental SCUBA Kit

REVAN

The Right Stuff
Mar 19, 2009
809
355
118
Arizona, USA
www.smithaerospace.us
I've long been interested in making my scuba diving experience have the mobility and feeling of freedom in the water that I have when I'm freediving. I've built and tested several scuba kits in pursuit of this goal. One of my early experiments was documented here on DeeperBlue early in 2016, as part of a four part series on diver drag.

Streamlined back mount kit: https://www.deeperblue.com/diving-performance-beyond-drag-part-3/

Since then I have continued to experiment, with some failures and some successes. My latest kit has been evolving to where it is working fairly well and I'm enjoying diving it. I'm no longer trying to develop anything for commercial development. The performance I'm trying to achieve is ahead of it's time and I don't think there is enough of a market to support commercial development. I'm just trying to make scuba diving an activity that doesn't suck in comparison to my freediving experiences. This kit feels like freediving, except that I get to breath.

I also like to shoot video while I'm diving, and feel that it is important that my equipment is effective in this capacity. While not video that explicitly showcases the experimental equipment, it does show some of it and more importantly shows examples of what I can do with it. I hope you all find this interesting.


Maybe one possible commercial application for this technology in the near term is to use it as a diver for hire to video fast marine animals that are hard to video due to their speed. I'm hoping to get to Hawaii soon and maybe I'll get to video some cetaceans while I'm there.
 
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REVAN

REVAN

The Right Stuff
Mar 19, 2009
809
355
118
Arizona, USA
www.smithaerospace.us
I found this interesting trench at Eagles dive site near San Carlos, Sonora Mexico. It reminded me of the trench in the final battle scene from Star Wars, Episode IV. In hindsight, I should have swam the trench as fast as possible to fit the theme of the video, but I found it while cruising and swam it at the same speed as when I found it. Still, it is an interesting natural rock formation that I thought was worth a short video.

 
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REVAN

REVAN

The Right Stuff
Mar 19, 2009
809
355
118
Arizona, USA
www.smithaerospace.us
SCUBA is the Nekton S80 Proof-of-Principle Experimental Prototype. Propulsion is a DOL-Fin Orca Mk2 Monofin from Smith Aerospace Corp.

Stats this dive:
* Total Distance Covered - Greater than 1.6 miles
* Surface Swim Distance - 0.4 miles
* Max Depth - 68 feet
* Average Depth - 40 feet
* Submerged Dive Time - 90 minutes
* Total Air Consumption - 50 cubic feet

I'm cruising the edge of blue water in search of hammerhead sharks coming in for a reef cleaning. Though none were found on this dive, it was still a nice dive and a good example of what this equipment can do.

Note that this dive was about trying to find the sharks, not about maximizing distance for the sake of it. The "Distance Covered" stat, doesn't include the all the little meanderings of the search, only the macro path as could be extrapolated from the area map. I'm estimating that I was actively swimming about half the time and loitering/looking around the other half.

I'm finding that I can get a solid 2 knots cruise speed from this kit, with a SAC rate equivalent to not swimming at all. So, the 50/50 split, between swim vs. loiter, really only affects the distance covered metric, but not the dive time or total air consumption metrics. This means that my SAC using this kit is will also be lower than my SAC rate on a scooter, because here I'm not fighting motor torque (there's no noise either).


PS - Cruising at 3 knots is also easily achieved with this kit by switching to a continuous kick cycle. At 3 knots, my SAC is slightly elevated and about equivalent to that of casual walking. In a sprint, I think that speeds somewhere up around 5 knots are likely, but I don't have any good measurements of this yet.
 
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