Diving Helmets Get ‘Futuristic’ Upgrade

Prototype of the Divers Augmented Vision Display (DVAD) positioned within a dive helmet. U.S. Navy Photo by Richard Manley

U.S. Navy engineers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division are developing, what is being described as a “next-generation” and “futuristic” system for the diving community, known as the Divers Augmented Vision Display, or DAVD.

The DAVD is a high-resolution, see-through head-up display (HUD) embedded directly inside of a diving helmet.

Reportedly, this system enables divers to have real-time visual display of everything from sector sonar, text messages, diagrams, photographs and even augmented reality videos.

The DAVD system places the information right before divers’ eyes with a look and feel comparable to a point-of-view video game display. Divers have the ability to turn the HUD on and off, and direct topside to reposition display data in different locations on the HUD.

“By building this HUD directly inside the dive helmet instead of attaching a display on the outside, it can provide a capability similar to something from an ‘Ironman’ movie,”  says underwater systems development project engineer Dennis Gallagher“You have everything you visually need right there within the helmet.”

output_4M53dgThe DAVD HUD system can be used for various diving missions, including ship husbandry, underwater construction, and salvage operations. The same system can eventually be used by first responders and the commercial diving community.

Engineers are now working on phase two of the project, where components are being designed to include both helmet systems and full face masks. Divers are scheduled to conduct in-water simulation testing in October. Phase three is set to begin in fiscal year 2017 to harden the system for expanded field testing with various dive commands.

Source: U.S. Navy

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