Bay Lab 

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Picture of Bay Lab 1 dry docked
BAYLAB is a small, easily transportable undersea habitat. It differs from other existing systems by placing habitability for instruments and electronic devices as a higher priority than that of the human occupants. For this reason it is called a manned undersea instrument chamber (MUSIC).  It was designed for use in the shallow waters of the Chesapeake Bay, hence the name “ BAYLAB”. While it is a “saturation diving system”, most anticipated work will be conducted at depths where the internal pressure is such that decompression will not be required. At deeper depths, isobaric offgassing will be conducted inside the system, or surface decompression will be conducted in a decompression chamber aboard a barge. The very low energy requirements of the life support and lighting systems allow it to operate as a self-contained undersea habitat (SCUH) for 3-4 days between resupply, while maintaining a 24 hour reserve.  It can also be supplied with power, gas, and fresh water by a very small umbilical from shore or an anchored vessel. It has an ambient pressure only, horizontal, cylindrical hull 3.9 meters (13 feet) long and 1.5 meters (5.5 feet) in diameter. While floating on the surface, with the diver hatch closed, an overhead hatch can be opened for exchange of equipment and personnel. While submerged, with the overhead hatch closed, divers can enter through a hatch in the end of the chamber rather than the bottom. A baffle in the entrance area, which the divers step over, prevents flooding of the chamber. This unique feature allows BAYLAB to be positioned very close to the bottom, which is of significant benefit in an area with low underwater visibility. A transparent, humidity tight door separates the entrance area from the work area. The work area contains two bunks, two chairs, 2.3 sq. meters (25+ square feet) of benchtop work area, and 1 square meter (10 square feet) of wall mounted instrument racks. The entrance area contains a toilet, cable/gas line thruhull tube, shower, and diving equipment storage area. Electrical power is 6, 9 and 12 VDC.
    Video, audio, and data communication with the shore is by buried cable, or a two megabyte ethernet-lan system, depending on the site location. An ultrasonic hydroacoustic system provides wireless audio communication with divers, surface craft and shore-based personel. An on-board computer records life support parameters, and data from environmental monitoring systems, and transmits this information to a shore-based station. Video signals from internal and external cameras and audio signals from hydrophones are also recorded in the BAYLAB and transmitted to shore. BAYLAB can be removed from the water at most marinas equipped with an overhead lift. Its dry weight is less than 3000 kilograms (6500 pounds).

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