Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Film and Dive Crew Photos

An exhaustive three days of tests resulted in an immersion test, where I was strapped into the flying seat 10 feet deep in a swimming pool, with attendant divers watching for problems and monitoring the suit for leaks. Suit came through with flying colors, no problems! Processing photos and video now. For the moment, two photos (for some reason this first photo is not showing, so I will try to post it separately): in the first, from left to right, John Haslett--my buddy of 15 years of expeditions, and the world authority on the sailing characteristics of the aboriginal sailing vessels of West Ecuador, based on his years of building and sailing replicas (John came up from LA to learn the system and work as Flight Command for the balloon expedition--me, Kevin of the FRANK FILM team, and Melissa and Brandon of the FRANK FILM team. In the other photo, after the pool test, from left to right, Ross Smith (archaeologist / diver), Jeff Groth (President of the Oregon Scuba Club and a highly-experienced diver and ex-commercial diver), kneeling is Kevin again, standing behind him my nephew Hayden Smith, then my brother Mark Smith, then John F. Haslett, Melissa and Brandon again, and Karen Ulbright (local diver) and then me. I can't adequately thank these folks for spending a cold day in a freezing pool (Mark's!) to help all of this work. Mark saved the day with a wine cork to plug a hose connection I'd left open, and with the humorous phrase "That's one small sip for mankind," when early in the test I inhaled a bit of poolwater (not a suit failing but an oversight of mine in prepping the suit for the test...this was solved easily) :)


cjeam said...

Wow I didn't realise you were quite at that stage in development! I'd have to be confident in my work to wear a pressure suit under water, the story of Gus Grissom in Liberty Bell 7 after the hatch blew and his suit started to fill because he'd taken his helmet off makes me nervous! Have all the fittings been replaced with metal equivalents now? Look forward to further developments. It's unfortunate most of the comments recently seem to be spam, but I'm sure like me many read and enjoy quietly. Have a merry Christmas!

Cameron McPherson Smith said...

Thanks, cjeam! I didn't try the pool test until I was indeed quite confident in the system: over 30 pressure tests here at home gave me the confidence that I could take it into the pool for the immersion test. We went slowly into the water, to be sure there were not catastrophic leaks, before going entirely in. When one issue was settled, we walked to the bottom of the pool and fastened me into the flying seat. Pressure up, no problem, dump pressure, no problem, pressure up, no problem etc. for three tests up to 3psi. No problem! All of the suit fittings are indeed now being replaced with stainless steel; I also know Grissom's story and am determined not to repeat it! Are you building a pressure suit of your own? Cheers Cameron

cjeam said...

Ahh an encouraging result then!
No I'm not building a suit of my own, just interested. I am also studying biology and find the physiology particularly fascinating, particularly examples of adaptations to pressure or temperature. Maybe one day I'll have a need to build my own :)