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. There are also DPV accessories that can be attached onto the DPV accessory board and these can make the DPV more useful. Compasses, cameras, lobster sticks, and also spear guns are some of the accessories that can be mounted on to the DPV.
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.
There is more to simply swimming when you operate a DPV, and it requires depth control, being able to adjust buoyancy, being able to monitor the breathing gas, and navigation of the unit.
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. With the diver placed parallel to and above the propeller wash, this tow-behind scooter is at its most efficient operation.
Another type of DPV is called manned torpedoes which are fish-shaped vehicles where one or more divers can sit astride or in hollows inside.
There is another type of DPV which is submersible and thus called the subskimmer described as a submersible rigid-hulled inflatable boat, which if on the surface is powered by a petrol engine, and when submerged, the petrol engine is sealed, and thus the vehicle runs on battery-electric thrusters that are mounted on 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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