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The terminology “Diver Monitoring System” is increasingly used by manufacturers since such devices have been made mandatory in some standards* and by some clients (* Standards are precisely defined in the section “Food for thought” below). However, many organizations do not explain these devices precisely, resulting in many people confusing this terminology with tools already present in dive controls for generations. Indeed, depth gauges, pressure gauges, gas analysers, underwater communication systems, divers cameras, recorders, etc., can be considered elements parts of the diver monitoring system. However, even though this definition is not false, what we call a “Diver Monitoring System” is an ensemble of electronic devices that acquire data from sensors fitted to various parts of the dive system that displays, record, and provide alarms regarding essential diving parameters. These parameters are provided to the diving supervisor and the Life Support Technician (LST) through a dedicated screen usually positioned in front of him on recent panels (see below) and in the most visible way possible for units where this system has been added. As seen in the picture below, these systems complement the traditional monitoring tools they do not replace.
About Diver monitoring systems (DMS)
DMS screen
The purpose of this post is not to give a complete description of these tools, because it is already done in our saturation and surface-supplied handbooks, but to highlight the advantage of such tools regarding the creation of databases that can be used to organize further operations, and be communicated to scientists and system engineers to evaluate and improve the way the operations are managed and the dive system. Thus, opposite to the authoritarian manner used by some companies and standards writers, make understood that despite their costs, these tools could be an essential help for understanding the physiological effects of the various diving phases on divers at work and progress in managing diving activities, in addition to the fact that they provide immediate comprehensive information and alarms to the supervisor allowing him to take rapid corrective actions if necessary. Of course, the quantity of information provided depends on the system monitored. For example, the DMS of a saturation system is organized such as the sensors of the elements figured below provide data at regular interval to the data server that displays them to the relevant screens and stores them on hard disks from which they can be extracted for analysis. As a result, the diving supervisor receives the following data: Depth Divers 1 to 3 Internal & External Bell Depth In water & bell temperatures In-water timers divers 1 to 3 Shift-time remaining divers Bell-run elapsed timer and bell-run time remaining Hot water supply to bell at the surface: flow, temperature & pressure. Bell atmosphere (O2 CO2, ppO2, and Hydrocarbon concentration). Divers’ breathing gas: O2 & ppO2 Divers’ reclaim gas: O2 and ppO2 Utility gas analyser: O2 and ppO2 Status of the bell handling equipment (bell location, clamp and interlock status etc.) Bell trunk and entry Lock depths Real-time display of diver and bell depths Also, the LST supervisor receives the following data on a live display and a graphical representation of the system: Depth chamber locks Depth bell(s) internal & external pressures Depth of the SPHLs Depth bell trunks Depth Transfer Lock connecting trunks Depth SPHL access trunks Rate of change of depth chambers and SPHL Gas composition (O 2 , ppO 2 and CO2 ) chambers Location of the divers in the system Other clients are the diving superintendent, Offshore Construction Manager (OCM), client representatives, dive system technicians, etc. The information provided by a DMS dedicated to a surface-supplied diving system is usually limited to the elements mentioned below: The diving supervisor receives the following data that can also be transmitted to other clients: Divers depth. Divers’ breathing gas analysis. Hot water delivery parameters Duration of each dive. Chamber’s locks depths Chamber’s locks depths gas analysis These data can be used to improve the adjustment of sensitive system parts such as gas reclaim, hot water machines, etc. They can also be employed to, for example, correlate diving parameters with bubbling count immediately after exposure using ultrasound dopplers such as the O’dive pro from AZOTH systems, previously discussed in this rubric and which discussion about it is available through the button above this post. These parameters can also be correlated with fatigue, recovery time, and other physiological data. Their advantage versus data collected manually is that they are logged at regular and short intervals and allow the supervisor to focus on other tasks. Of course, the data related to physiology should be collected with the help of competent scientists with adequate medical and scientific support and validated by official bodies. As already mentioned in our diving study #11, “about pre-dive conditioning and commercial diving”, a diving company cannot do it alone, except if it has the financial resources and the organization that allows it to group the above competencies, which can be done only by a few of them. However, small and medium size companies can group to initiate or join national or international research programs.
The following Diving Monitoring System manufacturers are logged in our database:
These systems are those used as support to describe these devices in our “saturation diving handbook”, and our “surface supplied diving handbooks”. The reasons for selecting them as references are that, in addition to the fact that they are parts of the diving systems taken as examples, their design fully conforms to how a DMS must be. As mentioned above, Fathom provides a model for saturation diving and another for surface-supplied diving. The software used is similar on both models, so a supervisor familiar with one model is not lost while using the other. Click on the picture to access to Fathom website related to diver monitoring systems.
Fathom systems - Diver monitoring systems Fathom Systems is a company based in the UK that provides dive communications, gas analysis, and diver monitoring systems. Website:
This Diver monitoring system is designed to monitor air and nitrox diving. It is an evolution and the replacement of a digital depth gauge previously produced by the manufacturer that is no longer produced, This diver monitoring system, initially expected in Q3 2022. is as compact as the digital depth gauge it replaces and measures 144 mm width x 72 mm height x 63 mm depth. It is equipped with a 3.5” touchscreen, and is designed to monitor up to 3 divers. This system is provided with WiFi and Ethernet networks that can be used to enter data, retrieve files or to view the database. Its advantage is that it can be easily installed on a diving panel. However, there is no module to control the chamber as with the model above. Click on the picture to open its characteristics Address: De Hoogjens 22 - 4254 XW Sleeuwijk - The Netherlands Phone: +31-183-307900 Mail:
Novasub - Diver monitoring system Novasub is a brand of Seascape Subsea B.V, a company specialized in underwater equipment based in The Netherlands. Website:
This system, initially designed for surface supplied, can be adapted for saturation diving according to the manufacturer, It allows to monitor and store data regarding the depth, temperature, quality of the breathing gas, the gas pressures, together with audio and video.
IMENCO - Diver monitoring system Imenco is a group of companies providing equipment in five main business areas: Offshore oil & gas, offshore renewables, aquaculture, marine & naval and industrial. Website:
DMS saturation
DMS surface supplied
Unique group - eDMS101 - Diver monitoring system Unique group is a diving system manufacturer operating woldwide and headquartered 152-156 Gunners Circle Epping Industrial Area Cape Town, 7460 - South Africa. Website:
According to the manufacturer, this system allows for the measurement with real-time display and logging of: - Temperature in degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit, - Pressure in bar - Depth of diver in metre and feet seawater More information is provided at this address: monitoring-system/
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