Ocean Simulation Facility
The OSF simulates ocean conditions to a maximum pressure equivalent of 2,250 feet seawater (fsw) at any salinity level. The chamber complex consists of a 55,000-gallon wet chamber and five interconnected dry living/working chambers totaling 3,300 cubic feet of space. Wet and dry chamber temperatures can be set from 28 to 104 °F. Equipped with the latest data acquisition capability, the OSF can accommodate a wide range of complex experiments including diver biomedical studies and testing of humans as well as small submersible vehicles and other machines in the wet chamber. Saturation dives can be performed for more than 30 days of continuous exposure in the OSF. For human and equipment testing underwater over extended periods, divers use the dry chambers as comfortable living quarters, from which they can make diving excursions into the wet chamber. The dry chambers are also capable of altitude simulation studies to heights of 150,000 feet.
Experimental Test Pool
The Experimental Test Pool is a 50,000-gallon capacity freshwater tank measuring 15' x 30' x 15' deep, capable of sustaining tempatures from 34 to 105 °F. It is designed and constructed for manned, shallow water testing and for supporting workup dives for the Ocean Simulation Facility. The test pool is supported by a fully instrumented medical and engineering deck, from which the safety of both divers and test equipment can be monitored. The facility can accommodate a wide range of experiments, from biomedical studies of diver thermal and workload conditions to equipment studies of submersible devices. The test pool has a communications suite, full video capability, real-time computerized data acquisition and analysis, and pressure and gas monitoring.
The Environmental Chamber is capable of simulating a broad range of temperatures (0 to 130 °F), humidity (5 to 95%), and wind velocity (0 to 20 mph). The chamber is instrumented to conduct physiological studies and to test various types of equipment.
Experimental Diving Facility
The Experimental Diving Facility (EDF) simulates unmanned pressure conditions to 1,640 fsw and temperatures can be set from 28 to 110 °F. As a complement to the Ocean Simulation Facility, the EDF is used to conduct unmanned testing and evaluation of diving and hyperbaric chamber systems and components. All diving practices and procedures are tested to determine their safety, conformance to established standards, and operational suitability and limits.
Class 100,000 Clean Room
Operated by certified technicians, the Class 100,000 Clean Room performs a variety of cleaning and testing tasks: oxygen cleaning of piping, valves, regulators, tanks, and filters, as well as hydrostatic testing up to 10,000 psi. All components used in diving life-support systems are cleaned and certified to meet military standards.
Gas Analysis Lab
The gas analysis laboratory is equipped for the precise analysis of gases, and it is used to evaluate diving-related problems such as offgassing and contaminant control. The laboratory’s analytical capabilities include gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and infrared spectroscopy. The facility is currently used to develop reliable and rapid screening methods and analyzers for the Fleet.
The cardiopulmonary laboratory consists of machines that perform a myriad of respiratory function tests and aerobic performance measurements that are often recorded before and after pressure and/or thermal exposure.