Suunto D6 during a dive - first deep stop is due at 13 metres

Article: Wired on biometric monitoring of navy divers published an article in their Danger Room section, all about defence, concerning proposed DARPA research on biometric monitoring of navy divers. DARPA, the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is the organisation that commissions advanced (and sometimes wildly unrealistic… until it’s realised) research for the US Department of Defense.

One of their latest research proposals is to come up with some kind of device that could monitor a diver’s vital signs while he’s in the water. One of the vital signs that the device should be able to read is the presence of nitric oxide, which works to prevent the bends (decompression sickness: the presence of excessive nitrogen in the blood after breathing compressed air at depth). Nitric oxide would then be added to the diver’s body if the levels of this gas fell too low. There’s a lot more to it…

(As an aside, it would be wonderful if modern dive computers could do this, but they can’t.)

The brief for the required research reads like an excerpt from the script of a James Bond movie. I actually laughed out loud reading the article, but that’s the reason I’m not doing cutting edge research: lack of imagination. It’ll seem ridiculous until someone actually invents it, and you can be sure that it’ll be used in military applications before us civilians get our grubby paws on it.

Read the article here.

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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