Development of a non-invasive diver monitoring system

Period of Performance: 08/15/2008 - 05/15/2009

$70K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Progeny Systems Corp.
9500 Innovation Drive
Manassas, VA 20110
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Duke University
2200 W. Main St, Suite 710
Durham, NC 27705
Institution POC

Abstract

Navy and commercial divers are subjected to extreme environmental conditions which can compromise physiological and/or cognitive state. Divers are at risk of various health complications which can ultimately lead to death including barotraumas, hypo/hyperthermia, nitrogen narcosis, oxygen toxicity, decompression sickness, arterial gas embolism, and high pressure nervous syndrome. Even if the diver suffers no physical harm, their cognitive state can be compromised by mental and physical fatigue, stress, sleep deprivation, underwater blasts, and diving in polluted water. When cognitive state is impaired, divers can make mistakes and entire missions can be placed at risk. The safety and efficiency diving operations would be greatly improved if diver s vital signs could be monitored by personnel on the surface. Data of interest might include bubble monitoring, core and skin body temperature, partial pressure of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen, respiratory rate, EEG, ECG, heart rate, ambient water temperature, depth, time of dive, blood pressure, noise dosimetry and a battery of cognitive measures. The opportunity exists to develop a Diver Monitor with all-inclusive data collection and analysis capability by leveraging advances in Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) computing technology, communications and environment monitoring built into Diving gear, bubble detectors, and wireless underwater acoustic modems.