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article imageB.C. Inventor’s new diving suit is a one-manned 'submarine'

By David Brydon     Mar 26, 2012 in Technology
Vancouver - If you think we already know enough about the sea down deep, think again. British Columbia inventor Phil Nuytten says there's a lot more to the ocean for us to explore and advance in, and he's been hard at work designing the suit to take us there.
The all-metal suit weighs up to 595 pounds (270 kilograms) and is equipped with a vast array of life-support systems and tools to explore the deep-sea, thruster pack included, at a depth of up to 300 meters, while withstanding pressures of 500 pounds (227 kilograms ) per square inch. The suit contains a single diver in what is coined a "submarine" of its very own, and is capable of going for up to 50 hours without resurfacing.
"This is a submarine that you wear. When you climb into that suit, you close the hatch on the surface and in the suit the pressure is 14.7 pounds per square inch, same as you and I are both at right now, and it never increases. So you are never, ever exposed to any more pressure than you were designed and built to handle," Nuytten said to The Canadian Press.
Nuytten is no new name when it comes to deep-sea diving, however. In the mid-1980s he was busy designing the Newtsuit, a similar atmospheric diving that has found widespread use in oil drilling, photographic surveying, and salvaging. It also serves in many navies around the world. Meanwhile Nuytten says he is already working on a suit that extends the diving limit to an astonishing 600 meters, twice the depth of his newest model.
At the price of nearly $500,000 per suit, though, it's not hard to see why this hasn't hit mainstream diving yet. That hasn't stopped interest on a larger scale though, with NASA showing interest in the suit possibly being retro-engineered for use in space. For Nuytten, however, the mystery of the deep-sea will continue to be the final frontier.
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