Warwick Sub is a group project undertaken by eight interdisciplinary Masters of Engineering students in their final year. The team is based at the University of Warwick in the UK. 2015 was the University’s second entry into the human powered submarine competitions hosted by the ISR. The premise of the competition is to design and build a one or two man submarine, propelled using only human power. The team decided to use a flax composite hull to incorporate ‘green’ technology and, due to the expense of shipping to the US, a ‘flat pack’ design.
Once the team had arrived in Washington and assembled our sub, we had to meet the requirements of both a dry and wet inspection before HPS Godiva was judged viable to race. The dry inspection checks that the dimensions and overall design meet the outlined specifications. The wet inspection involves a test of the escape hatch and the safety buoy deadman switch release mechanism. The submarine also requires a strobe light, visible for 360 around the submarine. This facilitates the tracking of the sub along the course by the US Navy divers. A majority of marine strobes have a short lifespan when submerged entirely, this only gets worse with depth. The submarine had to race up to depths of 6 meters so obtaining a bright strobe that would work reliably at depth was of utmost importance.
After considerable research was undertaken into marine lighting, the team got in contact with Jo Engebrigtsen from Navisafe to enquire about the newest range of strobes. The small, non-invasive shape and magnetic base of the NaviLight 360 Rescue 2NM’s was ideal for our purposes. We were delighted that Jo was interested, indeed excited, about our project and offered to provide the team with a plethora of strobes.
The team received an assortment of Navi Light Mini’s and NaviLight 360 Rescue 2NM’s. The majority of teams in the competition permanently fix a strobe to the hull. However, we incorporated the 360 Rescue 2NM into our safety buoy, see the section of the sub highlighted with a red box in the image below. As the buoy was released, the strobe floated with it to the surface providing a clear beacon at the surface of the water as a second strobe remained embedded in the bottom of the hull at all times. This optimised our visibility, further improving the safety of our design. Indeed, the 360 Rescue 2NM was quite possibly the brightest strobe present at the competitions. The Navi Light Mini’s proved to provide additional fun during our diving lessons at Stoney Cove, lighting up sections of the quarry during our dives down to 15m.
With the inspections passed and the racing underway the strobes worked reliably throughout the week. At the end of the competition, Warwick Sub was awarded first place for innovation and an honourable mention for our design report.
A big thank you to Navisafe for taking an interest in our project and for such a kind provision of high quality lights. We look forwards to the continued use of the assorted lights for the following years of design iterations.
For more information about the student project, please visit:
Or like our page on facebook for team updates throughout the academic year: