What is an Underwater Propulsion Vehicle
An underwater propulsion vehicle, also known as underwater scooter or diver propulsion vehicle (DPV), is a diving equipment unit used by scuba and rebreather divers to increase their so-called range underwater.
The definition of range covers three areas, and these are the restricted amount of breathing gas being carried, the rate of consumption of that breathing gas under exertion, and the time limit as regulated on the dive tables to prevent decompression sickness of divers.
A DPV has several structures, and these are a pressure-resistant watertight casing that contains a battery-operated electric motor, which drives a propeller. Some factors are considered in the design of this vehicle, and these are that it cannot harm the diver, diving equipment, marine life, and that it cannot run away from the diver or accidentally started, and the vehicle is to remain neutrally buoyant while being used underwater.
Typically used in cave diving and technical diving, a DPV serves as a help in moving bulky equipment and allows diver to make better use of the limited underwater time specified by the decompression tables for deep diving. DPV accessories, if mounted on the accessory board of the DPV can make the vehicle more useful underwater. The accessories that can be mounted on to the DPV are compasses, cameras, lobster sticks and even spear guns.
The delivery of combat divers and their equipment over speeds or distance that are deemed impracticable are being made possible with the use of DPV for military applications.
Know that the use of DPV is more than simple swimming, but requires depth control, buoyancy adjustment, monitoring of breathing gas, and navigation.
DPV is available in several kinds and the most common type is the one that tows the diver who holds onto the stern or bow. This so called tow-behind scooters are most efficient with the diver placed parallel to and above the propeller wash.
Fish-shaped vehicles or manned torpedoes are another type of DPV and one or more divers can be sitting typically on top of the vehicle or in hollows inside.
Described as a submersible rigid-hulled inflatable boat, this another kind of DPV is called a subskimmer that is powered by a petrol engine if on the surface, and when submerged, the petrol engine is sealed, and the vehicle then runs on battery-electric thrusters that are located ona a cross-arm that is steerable.
By now, you would have realized that as DPVs get larger, they gradually become submarines. There is a wet sub, which is a small submarine, where the seat of the pilot is flooded and thus the diver is to wear a diving gear.
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