Evaluation of Dive Computer Options for Potential Use in 300 FSW Heliox/ Trimix Surface Supplied Scientific Diving.

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Evaluation of Dive Computer Options for Potential Use in 300 FSW Heliox/ Trimix Surface Supplied Scientific Diving.

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Title: Evaluation of Dive Computer Options for Potential Use in 300 FSW Heliox/ Trimix Surface Supplied Scientific Diving.
Author: Huggins, KE
Abstract: This evaluation examined dive computer options to support scientific surface-supplied diving on heliox or trimix to depths up to 300 fsw. Four dive computers were determined to be able to operate under these conditions: the Cochran Undersea Technology EMC-20H, the Delta P Technology VR3, the Dive Rite NiTek He, and the HydroSpace Engineering HS Explorer. Decompression software that simulates the dive computers responses to profiles was obtained and scenarios for dives to 300 fsw for 20 minutes were calculated using heliox and trimix with various gas mixtures. Since the focus of this workshop is on surface-supplied diving, it is recommended that the primary use of dive computers be to provide depth, time, and ascent rate information to the diver and record the profile, leaving the diver’s decompression to be controlled by surface-support personnel. Because of the rapidly increasing TDT debt for the additional 5-10 minutes of bottom time it is recommended that bottom times at 300 fsw be limited to 20 minutes. In relation to the high decompression debt incurred on these dives very serious concern needs to be given to potential blow-up situations, which can produce fatal decompression sickness. Various established heliox decompression tables are available for use in this type of diving. However, if the dive computer or decompression software options are chosen then, in lieu of studies that have validated the decompression algorithm, divers must have enough comfort and experience with the decompression algorithms and protocols they intend to use, in order to justify their use to their Diving Control Boards.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/4657
Date: 2006

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