In a deep sea environment, the consequences of poor communication can be life-threatening. Technical divers working in the offshore oil and gas industry need to communicate clearly with the diving bell, vessel and each other as they carry out maintenance and inspections up to several hundred metres water depth.
One of the problems faced by commercial divers is that their speech becomes less intelligible the deeper they go. This is due to the increased helium content of their gas mixture; to compensate for the effects of high pressure. The increased helium content which is lighter than air, changes the voice sound produced within the mouth, giving the diver a high pitched, difficult to interpret voice.
Another problem with traditional analogue diver communication systems is noise interference from other electrical systems. This can cause lower than desired communication clarity, particularly as systems age and cables and connectors deteriorate.
Keen to address these challenges and set new standards in diver communications, Aberdeen-based through water communication and positioning technology company Nautronix, has developed NASDive. NASDive represents the latest generation, fully digital, diver communications system which will be launched on stand number 60 at Subsea Expo at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on the 5th – 7th February 2014, where the system will be available for demonstrations.
Mark Patterson, CEO explains “In the past 30 years Nautronix has been a market leader in the diver communications industry through its Helle brand. We have recently focussed on the development of NASDive to refresh our diver communications product line and bring the benefits of current technology to divers. The new fully digital system sets new standards in both Hard Wired and Through Water Communication performance in mixed gas diving environments. We have invested £1 million on the development of NASDive, which shows our commitment to the product and have already secured our first customer order with future orders in the pipeline”.
NASDive has the latest and most advanced Helium Speech Unscrambler available, which enables the divers high pitched, difficult to interpret voice, to be transformed back into their usual voice. This is an essential capability of a diver communications system – to ensure clarity of speech at all times.
Another area where NASDive offers an improvement over traditional diver communications systems is by digitising of speech subsea. This removes the effects of noise pickup of traditional low level analogue communication systems, giving a far clearer communication channel at all times.
Having addressed the core failings of traditional diver communication systems, NASDive takes diver communications to the next level by offering a fully touch screen controlled system, which comes in the form of rugged units for permanent installation. These units enable a variety of standard wireless headsets to be used, providing the operator with the flexibility to choose their headset of preference, and be able to move away from the control desk and still communicate.
In addition to this, the diver communications system also has the capability to be controlled remotely from an iPad® or other portable tablet device giving operators of the system a degree of freedom which has previously been unheard of. NASDive also allows divers to communicate visually and verbally through communication channels such as Skype™.
With the launch of NASDive, Nautronix are proud to bring new standards and capabilities to the commercial diving industry, establishing the new benchmark product for Diver Communications.