QinetiQ plays vital role in enabling the Royal Navy's move to mixed manning in submarines

22 Aug 2014

Portsmouth, UK – 22 August 2014 - QinetiQ has worked closely with the Royal Navy, against tight specification and time constraints, to develop and install specialist equipment to enable the move to mixed manning on submarines. Without the development of this equipment women would not have been permitted to serve on Royal Navy submarines.

HMS Vigilant

QinetiQ’s Atmosphere Control Services team designed and manufactured specialist equipment for the analysis and control of carbon dioxide in a submarine’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide can be present at increased levels in an enclosed environment, such as a submarine, when compared to ambient atmospheric concentrations. Under normal circumstances, these elevated levels of carbon dioxide can be safely inhaled, without causing harm. However inhalation of carbon dioxide by a pregnant woman, outside of normal levels, may have a potential impact on the development of a foetus.

“This project is all about ensuring that we have reduced the potential risk to the foetus of a pregnant crewmember to as low as reasonably practicable. QinetiQ delivered a first class response to our requirements. QinetiQ’s highly skilled and experienced team has a wide range of atmosphere control capabilities which they were able to apply to this important project," said Lt Cdr Gareth Nicklin, Submarine Platform Group - Sub Sys Special Projects Engineer, MOD.

Using QinetiQ’s proprietary ventilation and air purification simulation software, BREATH, the team successfully quantified the carbon dioxide removal required to achieve the target concentration. The prototype was installed on board a submarine by QinetiQ, for a trial which successfully demonstrated its performance against the specification. Following the successful sea trial, these specialist carbon dioxide scrubber units will be deployed at sea on mixed manning Royal Navy Submarines.

“QinetiQ is one of the few commercial organisations able to offer such a broad range of services, delivering independent advice and guidance on atmosphere control equipment free of any supplier influence. Our services are supported by an extensive range of state-of -the-art equipment, facilities and software, providing strategic support from design through to operational performance. The work we have done with the Royal Navy on the mixed manning project is an excellent example of our capabilities,” said Karen Jurd, Head of Maritime Life Support at QinetiQ.

QinetiQ’s atmosphere control service team forms part of its maritime business and delivered this project through the Maritime Strategic Capabilities Agreement with the MOD. The team provides a range of services including test and evaluation of air quality to identify issues and demonstrate compliance, preparing and managing air quality field trials, design and support of air quality equipment and systems, and the removal of atmospheric contaminants.

Notes for Editors:

QinetiQ Atmosphere Control Services team support defence and commercial organisations that operate in challenging enclosed environments including aircraft, submarines and submersibles, armoured fighting vehicles, ships, trains, and spacecraft. They have established themselves as one of the leaders in the modelling and assessment of enclosed atmospheres with over 30 years’ experience and are UKAS accredited for their breathing gas and carbon dioxide absorbent analysis capability.

A FTSE250 company, QinetiQ uses its world class knowledge, research and innovation to provide high-end technical expertise and advice, to customers in the global aerospace, defence and security markets. QinetiQ's unique position enables it to be a trusted partner to government organisations, predominantly in the UK and the US, including defence departments as well as other international customers in targeted sectors.
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QinetiQ plays vital role in enabling the Royal Navy's move to mixed manning in submarines