It started with the US Navy UDT/SDV community adopting our suit design that would enable divers to double their working time underwater. This led to the Naval electronics laboratory Arctic team needing these same designs for their missions. They “bribed” Dick Long to join their Arctic Dive team as a contract diver by stating, “you can build any kind of experimental suit for yourself that you want and we will pay for it, if you will join our team and dive for us”. That led to the UDT Sea Lab support team who hired Dick to work on Sea Lab II as their “go to problem solver” and launched Diving Unlimited International's involvement with solving operational problems for the US military.
These successes led to working on the problem for Saturation divers (military and commercial) who could only spend 15 minutes working in cold water breathing helium mixtures before becoming operationally incapacitated and unable to perform useful work. DUI then developed a multi-injection hot water suit design that was used on the first offshore platform salvage in the Gulf of Mexico. This “hot water suit’ design was adopted by the offshore oil world turning incredibly short duration dives into an eight hour working capability in virtually any temperature at any depth. Virtually all deep diving done anywhere in the world today is done using the DUI patented “hot water” design concept. This established DUI clearly as the world leader of applied thermal physiology in the workplace environment worldwide, both military or commercial.
During this time DUI formed a specialized team to which any organization, particularly military can bring their mission requirements to and and create solutions. Examples are the development of a suit system that protects divers while disarming magnetic mines and addressing the disarming of hostile chemical mines. From these projects we then created a Public Safety line of products specifically for fire and police personnel working in contaminated water environments, including decontamination procedures. DUI personnel have served on standard setting committees worldwide to identify both the risk hazards and the most effective and practical solutions possible.
DUI has been requested to participate in the development of solutions for operational requirements of operational military units which cannot be currently accomplished. This has led to the development of mission specific solutions to operational challenges that could not be done before. These customers include DARPA, Office of Naval Research and friendly foreign governments. It has also included oil and gas producers from the high Arctic to tropical environments.
One example is a host of mission specific waterproof bags designed to protect equipment that is used in a ”cannot fail environment”. These include very sophisticated hand-held radios to weapon systems to outboard motors to mission specific equipment. If you have it, we can develop a product to protect it.