We’ve been a proponent of using closed-circuit rebreathers (CCRs) from the very beginnings of their modern mainstream emergence at the turn of the twentieth century. CCRs are a bubble-free diving apparatus that optimizes decompression profiles by maintaining the ideal partial pressure of oxygen throughout the dive. By recycling breathing gas and being bubble free, warm, moist gas is delivered to the diver which can contribute to longer immersion times, reduced stress, and a stealth like environmental interaction.
In modern times, effort has been placed on rebreather education, and manufacturing quality assurances that will help to broaden the end-user population. More end-users means a lot more time spent underwater. This means more opportunities for commerce, education, entertainment, and exploration of the underwater world.
There remain challenges in the rebreather community. First, there are inconsistencies in fundamental design logic from unit to unit. This has created issues with training, has caused operator confusion resulting in injuries and deaths, and there remains a high cost to enter the end-user field due to unit specific testing and QA/QC requirements. Additionally, CCRs are not yet utilized routinely within the industrial sector despite their key advantages over other diving modes.
Ocean Opportunity Inc. has spearhead a working group to develop a custom, production quality CCR that can be used as a platform for research and development, and strategic demonstrations. Work has taken place within an academic framework – it’s a research project.
As this custom system evolves, information gathered will be made freely available, and published through various venues. Since this technology has provided us with such an education, we are pleased to share it with anyone interested in learning more about this powerful enabling technology.
Lombardi, MR. and Barao, T. (2008) Considerations for Configuration, Performance, and Utility of Hybrid Mixed-Mode Integrated Life Systems for Manned Undersea Intervention. In 2008 Proceeding of the Society for Human Performance in Extreme Environments Annual Symposium. 18pp.
Lombardi, MR. (2007) MIT & URI student engineers collaborate to develop rebreathers for science. AAUS ‘the SLATE’ Issue 2, p 24.
Lombardi, MR. and Wible, DS. (2004) The CCR2000: a computer controlled closed-circuit rebreather system for industrial and exploration diving. Proceedings of Underwater Intervention. 6pp.
Lombardi, MR. (2004) Rebreather Technology: there is a market, but can anyone deliver? Sea Technology Magazine, December 2004 Issue, pp. 15-19, w/cover photo.
Lombardi, MR, and Smith, D. (2004) Perry Institute for Marine Science hosts closed-circuit technology. AAUS ‘the SLATE’ volume 2, pp. 11-13.
Lombardi, MR. (2004) New Technology, New Environments, New Diversity…Well Within Reach. 33rd Annual Benthic Ecology Meeting 2004.