When commercial or naval divers need to know how to proceed underwater, they can't just pull out an iPad or a sheet of written instructions. That's why US Navy engineers are developing what's known as the Divers Augmented Vision Display, or DAVD. It's a translucent HD head-up display (HUD), that's built into a diving helmet.
DAVD is designed for use by surface-tethered divers performing underwater activities such as ship maintenance, salvage, construction, or rescue operations. It can be turned off by divers when not needed.
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Among the types of data that can be displayed are text messages, diagrams, photos and videos. It can also show sector sonar, which is a real-time overhead display of the diver's location within the dive site. Down the road, it may additionally be combined with diver-worn high-resolution sonar devices – these could provide images of underwater objects hidden by murky water, that would be displayed within the helmet.
Plans call for the first in-water tests of DAVD to begin this October.
"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 project leader Dennis Gallagher. "You have everything you visually need right there within the helmet."
Source: US NavyView gallery - 3 images