Gas Testing of Equipment to be Used in Alvin's Personnel Sphere
The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Alvin’s certifying agency, requires toxicity and flammability testing of all scientific instrumentation brought into the personnel sphere. The testing consists of a 24-hour, power-on bench segment to record maximum component temperatures, followed by 24 hours in an isolated chamber at 100degF to measure offgassing. The tests are performed at WHOI and at a lab in Connecticut at least once per year and are announced 30 days in advance. Items are tagged following testing, and a list of tested material is maintained at WHOI so that repeated tests of unmodified instruments will not be required.
Remember: if your gear is not tested, the Operations Group on board Atlantis will not allow it to be taken into the sphere. Any questions about this procedure should be directed to Rick Chandler at WHOI.