Defining the relationship between encumbered ensembles and task performance in diving operations – A pilot study


  1. Keefe, A.
  2. Lim, T.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Toronto Research Centre , Toronto ON (CAN)
DRDC’s Experimental Diving and Undersea Group (EDU) recognizes the requirement for a capability to perform sound human factors and ergonomic research to support the specification, design, development, and evaluation of diving clothing, equipment and platforms. In order to leverage the emerging tools and capabilities available through DRDC’s Comprehensive Ergonomics-based Tools and Techniques (CETTs) capabilities, a pilot study was conducted to evaluate the effect of ensemble encumbrance on diver underwater task performance. Five Royal Canadian Navy Reserve divers were recruited from the HMCS York to participate in this study. Each diver participated in three dive encumbrance conditions consisting of either a a) 6mm thick wetsuit, b) Fusion dry suit or c) Kodiak dry suit. An AGA full face dive mask and Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus (CABA) tanks were worn in each condition. Dive ensemble encumbrance was quantified by obtaining 3D volumetric scans, and measuring field of view and cervical range of motion. In-water assessment of ensemble encumbrance consisted of whole-body range of motion activities. Performance tasks were based on simulated mine counter measures tasks and consisted of fine motor (rope tying and nuts/bolts assembly), gross motor (weight transfer) and a visual search tasks. All in-water tasks were recorded using waterproof GoProTM cameras and evaluated according to time to task completion, NASA TLX response and subjective questionnaire. Despite the low nu

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Diving;task performance;Comprehensive Ergonomics Tools and Techniques (CETTs);ergonomics;encumbrance
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2018-R165 — Scientific Report
Date of publication
01 Jun 2018
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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