3D-Printed Subsea Habitat Could Let Humans Live Permanently Underwater By 2027
By Alexa Heah, 14 Sep 2023
While many space expeditions are taking on the challenge of setting up a home on Mars, what about living permanently underwater?
Ocean technology and exploration firm DEEP has announced an ambitious plan to establish a permanent presence under the oceans by 2027.
The company’s mission, simply to “make humans aquatic,” revolves around developing innovative technology and solutions to explore and inhabit the ocean’s depths.
At the core of this initiative are several key components, including the Sentinel—an underwater territory that will redefine how scientists live and work beneath the cover of water.
Additionally, a range of submersibles, dive equipment, and scientific research tools will help complement this habitat, further supported by comprehensive technical and human performance training and qualification programs.
Incredibly, the Sentinel environment boasts the ability to be globally classed by DNV, a leading classification society for underwater technology.
This will enable scientists to live and work underwater at depths of up to 200 m (656 feet) for extended periods, up to 28 days at a time.
More importantly, this particular depth allows researchers entry into the ocean’s Epipelagic, or “sunlight” zone, where 90% of marine life is believed to live.
The capacity to comprehensively explore this space, rather than merely making brief surface incursions, promises to revolutionize how scientists observe, monitor, and understand the oceans.
Unlike previous fixed-location and temporary structures, Sentinel is modular, scalable, autonomous, recoverable, re-configurable, and re-deployable. This adaptability makes it exceptionally effective for long-term underwater operations.
DEEP chose the UK’s South West and Wales regions as its initial base due to their unique concentration of marine engineering, diving, hyperbaric, and submersible expertise.
That’s not all. The firm is looking to establish the DEEP Campus to support its endeavor, which will transform the National Dive & Activity Centre into a world-leading controlled water facility.
The hub will serve as the headquarters for training, testing, and research, as well as to offer essential resources in the field of underwater exploration and technology.
“We need to preserve the oceans. To do that, we need to understand them. The oceans sit at the center of many of the generational challenges the world is facing, and they also offer opportunities we have not even begun to comprehend,” said Steve Etherton, president of EMEA at DEEP.
“Through our innovative technology, DEEP will enable scientists to operate at depth for extended periods of time, and we hope, in some small way, will contribute to our understanding of this life-giving environment.”
This article was crafted with assistance from an AI engine, and has been manually reviewed & edited.
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