A new device invented at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Panama City, Florida, attaches to divers’ masks to show air-supply levels using color-coded LED lights.
The LED Air Warning System, or LAWS, is “like a stoplight for a diver’s air supply,” according to a news release from TechLink, a company working with the Navy to get a commercial license for the recently patented technology.
The LAWS module attaches to a diver’s full-face mask and connects to a pressure transducer in their regulator’s first stage.
The module has four LED bulbs that start out green, then turn yellow and finally shut off as an air tank depletes. The last light will turn red when the tank is low and will blink red when it’s time to come up. The device also has an ambient light sensor that adjusts how brightly the lights shine.
The LAWS was invented for public safety divers like police and search and recovery teams that often dive in zero-visibility environments, making it difficult to read SPGs or standard computers.
However, this technology may come in handy for recreational divers, too, who may have trouble reaching gauges, reading numbers in low light, or who simply forget to check their air as often as they should. With the LAWS, tank pressure readings are constantly in the diver’s field of view.
“It’s a real-world problem solver,” says Brian Metzger, senior technology manager at TechLink, in the news release. “By providing a clear, visual display of air pressure, divers can stop worrying about air and fully concentrate on their work.”
U.S. Patent 10,676,168 was granted on June 9, and the Navy is now making it available to certain businesses for commercialization.
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