The Case for One Atmosphere Diving

29 November, 2012


The Case for One Atmosphere Diving

29 November 2012 London Evening Meeting

Dr Phil Nuytten, Inventor, entrepreneur, explorer, President and founder of Nuytco Research Ltd and Can–Dive Services Ltd







Phil Nuytten has spent over forty years developing undersea systems that have the safety of the diving technician as their common theme. His goal has been to provide scientific, technical, military, and sport divers full access to continental shelf depths without the hazards of decompression, so that humans can explore, learn about, and – ultimately – protect the world’s oceans. Through his companies, Nuytco and Can–Dive, Nuytten has developed the technology to allow longer–length diving expeditions with increased safety. Nuytten’s one–atmosphere systems – the hard–suits ‘Newtsuit’ and ‘Exosuit’, and his deep–diving “DeepWorker” submersibles – are renowned internationally. This deep diving equipment, along with Nuytten’s military submarine rescue system (designated ‘Remora’ by the Royal Australian Navy and ‘PRMS’ by the US Navy), is standard in nearly a dozen of the world’s navies. Contract work has taken him to oilfields, submarine construction sites and sunken wrecks around the world, including the Breadalbane, the northern–most known shipwreck, where his record dives through icy Arctic waters earned him a place on the cover of National Geographic Magazine in 1984. Nuytten was one of the forces behind the ‘Sustainable Seas Expeditions’ in the 1990’s, a five–year initiative by the National Geographic Society and NOAA to study deep ocean environmental impact. During this project, DeepWorker microsubs were used to explore and monitor National marine sanctuaries. The findings from this expedition have contributed significantly to scientists’ understanding of underwater ecology, habitats, and biodiversity.

Nuytten and his team are currently training astronauts from NASA and the Canadian Space Agency to pilot the DeepWorker Submersibles for the NASA Extreme Environment Operations (NEEMO) project, a multi–year research project. NEEMO presents an opportunity to advance the long–term objective of human exploration of near–earth asteroids by combining research on life in extreme environments with high fidelity training in an underwater, remote field setting. The information gained from this analogue project will help to improve the knowledge base, tools and techniques for future human space exploration.


During the evening Dr Nuytten was presented, by Dr John Bevan (Chairman of the SUT’s Diving and Unmanned Submersibles Committee), with a certificate for the Award of the Houlder Cup for Outstanding Contributions to Underwater Operations 2009.