754. Weight Engineering in the Design of Sealab III Habitat


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D Sowar: 754. Weight Engineering in the Design of Sealab III Habitat. 1969.



The SEALAB III habitat is a submersible vessel in which several deep sea divers can live for extended periods of time on the ocean bottom. It is non-propelled and contains an internal atmosphere pressurized to equal the external sea pressure. This pressure-equalization enables the divers to open the bottom hatches, thereby allowing free access to and from the submerged habitat.
This paper describes how the design of the SEALAB III habitat has been influenced by weight engineering. It describes the habitat’s self-leveling system as well as the variable and fixed ballast systems of the craft. Although the customary concept of weights in design is that of weight control and particularly weight reduction, the SEALAB craft design includes an unique need for additional weight without a corresponding increase in buoyancy. These and other features, including the method of predicting and estimating weights of prototype equipment, combine to show the key role that weight engineering has played in the design of the SEALAB III habitat.


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