To study the behavior of fishes and invertebrates that live in the oceans' depths, scientists need to observe and interact with these animals in their habitats. But how?
Conventional no-decompression SCUBA diving only affords routine excursions to the first hundred feet of depth. Advanced techniques allow for diving to several hundred feet, but human physiology sets practical limits for the type of work and amount of time at that depth.
The Exosuit, the newest generation of atmospheric diving systems, keeps the pilot protected from the effects of pressure and will allow a trained pilot to perform delicate work at depths of up to 1,000 feet (305 meters) for hours. Together with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), the Exosuit will provide new ways for scientists to observe, photograph, and collect marine life in areas that are otherwise difficult to explore.
The first-production Exosuit—currently the only suit in existence—will be tested as a scientific tool in July 2014 on the Stephen J. Barlow Bluewater Expedition, in partnership with J. F. White Contracting Company.