The NWE Worlds Explorer is a two man habitat designed for optimal missions of two days. The habitat is also designed to be deployed and recovered from any municipal boat ramp just like any recreational boat. The NWE is specifically designed for recreational use by SCUBA divers in any underwater environment, such as a fresh water lake, estuary or the sea. This habitat is designed for ease of transport, launching and recovery.The habitat system is deployed in three parts: the habitat itself, its ballast block and its S3 system (Surface Support System).
The NWE Ballast Block: To ensure the habitat’s weight is manageable and safe for many launchings and recoveries, the ballast block is designed to be launched separately and in advance of the NWE habitat itself. The NWE Ballast Block is launched for the same boat trailer as the habitat. Once the underwater site has been selected and verified, the aquanaut team will tow the ballast block to the site and lower it safely to the bottom by a smile series of valves located on the block. The procedure of locating the site and launching the ballast block requires one or two advance days before the habitat is submerged. Once on station, the ballast block can serve many individual habitat missions. And, of the aquanaut team so decides, it can be easily raised and towed to alternate locations as the team desires.
The NWE Worlds Explorer Habitat: The NWE is designed for a weekend use by two aquanauts. After launching from any municipal boat ramp, the habitat is towed to the site where the ballast block has been submerged. The aquanauts dive to the ballast block, raise it and attach the NWE habitat. Valves on the ballast block are cycled and both are lowered to the bottom where the mission begins.
The Surface Support System (S3): The NWE’s Surface Support System can be mounted on a small boat, such as an easily obtainable John Boat or towed aft of a larger craft. It consists of a single generator, air compressor, antenna system, diver flags and a caution and warning beacon. It floats above the NWE during its operation supplying oxygen via air, communications and a beacon to warn boaters.
The NWE habitat’s internal life support system consists of a CO2 scrubber, air circulation system, lights, battery backup and a portable toilet. It is designed such that a pair of aquanauts may operate for 48 continuous hours without resurfacing.
The NWE World’s Explorer habitat uses some of the boater’s infrastructure such as boat ramps and trailers, but its mission is still obviously much more involved than a weekend boating excursion.
The NWE habitat was originally designed for strictly recreational use, but its first missions will be in support of the Atlantica Expeditions. Specifically, the habitat will be deployed in 2008 at the site of the Leviathan habitat and will remain submerged at that station for over two years in support of the Leviathan mission. On site during the 80 day Leviathan prime mission, the NEW will serve as a lifeboat station, spillover habitat and secondary habitat. Whether the habitat will be commercially produced for the recreational market has not been determined.
Illustrations and modeling by Brett W. English and Brent Hartwig
Copyright (c) 2014 by the League of the New Worlds, Inc. All rights reserved.