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Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory

Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory

Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory
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Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory > Research -- Submarine Escape & Rescue

Research -- Submarine Escape & Rescue

Testing New LiOH CO2 Adsorbent Cartridge Technology

NSMRL is testing a new Reactive Plastic Cartridge (RPC) as a possible replacement for the current LiOH granule canisters. At-sea testing on NR-1 Research Nuclear Submarine set for the near future.



Disabled Submarine Survival Improvement

NSMRL developed improved estimates of metabolic CO2 production by survivors under disabled submarine conditions:

  • Cold (4º C)
  • High CO2 (2.5%)
  • Low O2 (17%)
  • High Relative Humidity (>85%)
  • Prolonged period (7 days)

Experiment conducted with seven volunteers in conjunction with U.S. Army.

Senior Survivor Guidance

NSMRL has developed guidance for the senior survivor in a disabled submarine the form of a GUARDBOOK that steps through all calculations and decisions needed. Los Angeles Class SSN GUARDBOOK completed, Ohio Class SSBN and Seawolf Class SSN GUARDBOOKS in development.





Medical Guidance for Pressurized Submarine Escape Training using the MK-10 Submarine Escape and Immersion Equipment (SEIE)

NSMRL is working with the Submarine Warfare Directorate (CNO N779) and Naval Submarine School to develop trainee medical screening and medical support requirements for pressurized MK-10 SEIE training



Testing New Methods of Passive  CO2 Absorption

NSMRL is testing new methods of passive (no electrical power required) CO2 absorption for use in disabled submarines with limited power reserves.

LiOH Passive Curtain with Canister Attached

Testing Passive Curtain in
 Genesis Hyper/Hypobaric Chamber.

 SEAREX Automated Senior Survivor Guidance Program

NSMRL has developed an automated version of the GUARDBOOK for use in a ruggedized laptop computer to streamline data collection, analysis and decision making. Work is ongoing to reduce the program size for installation on PDAs.

The Submarine Survivability Escape and Rescue Team conducts basic and applied research and development in the biomedical and bioengineering aspects of submarine casualties. Our primary goal is to develop equipment, procedures and guidance to optimize submarine disaster survival. In addition, the team serves as a center of excellence and subject-matter experts on submarine rescue and escape for the operational fleet, policy makers and industry.

 Personnel and Facilities

The team is headed by an Undersea Medical Officer, and includes:

  • One M.D. with a Ph.D. in physiology.
  • One Bioengineer.
  • One Software Engineer.
  • Seven research-support personnel.


We have strong collaborations with the Deep Submergence Unit, Submarine Development Squadron Five and local Navy operational commands, the Navy Experimental Diving Unit, the Army's Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, and various groups at the Naval Sea Systems Command. We also maintain strong links with academia at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Duke University, and the U. S. Naval Academy.

The team is a tenant command at Naval Submarine Base in Groton, CT, located with Submarine Group Two and its three submarine squadrons, as well as the Submarine Escape Training facility at the U. S. Navy Submarine School and the Naval Undersea Medical Institute.

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