Ironman Modernizes Aquaman: DAVD Proves Successful HVL Event, Surpasses Phase II Testing

Story Number: NNS171113-13Release Date: 11/13/2017 9:27:00 AM
A  A  A   Email this story to a friend   Print this story
By Jacqui Barker and Dennis Gallagher, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division scientists and engineers tested the DAVD prototype in Panama City, Florida waters Oct. 10-13, 2017 and welcomed the successful results and positive feedback.

It's the perfect example of U.S. Navy partnerships, collaboration, high-velocity learning and rapid prototyping and now the Diver Augmented Vision Display (DAVD) system is one step closer to delivering a viable capability to the Fleet.

Sponsored by Naval Sea Systems Command Supervisor, Diving and Salvage (NAVSEA 00C), Panama City's project team was elated to see how well the DAVD prototype performed in the intended environment.

The DAVD is a binocular head-up display (HUD) that is mounted inside the Kirby Morgan 37 (KM-37) dive helmet and the MK-20 Full Face Mask (MK-20 FFM). The prototype uses commercial see-through lenses and custom 3D printed frame systems for the helmet and facemask versions.

Dive supervisors relay high-resolution visual mission data to the HUD via an Ethernet cable married to the diver's primary umbilical. Divers can clearly view text messages, video, photographs, instructions, and augmented reality images even in murky, zero visibility conditions. They can also see their real-time location during the dive mission via scanning sonar imagery, just like a virtual reality video game.

"We learned a lot about how the system can be used effectively by our divers conducting real missions. Overall, our test objectives were met, and now were are focused on Phase three (III) development," said DAVD Project Manager Dennis Gallagher.

DAVD is one of NSWC Panama City's most recent rapid prototyping and high-velocity learning initiatives. Total concept to test time has been less than two years.

"This is my first life-cycle project," said DAVD mechanical engineer Allie Pilcher. "It feels really good to see our team come so far so fast and for all the right reasons."

The DAVD project and tests were made possible by innovation and collaborative efforts between NSWC PCD and local commands. NSWC PCD welcomed Fleet divers and commanding officers from the Naval Experimental Diving Unit, Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, and the Center for Explosive Ordnance and Diving to participate in the tests.

"DAVD has multiple applications - military diving, public safety first responders, science diving, as well as for commercial use," said Gallagher. "The break-through head-up display technology can be used for other types of work conducted in low or zero visibility conditions...even in outer space."

Outer space?

Representatives from the National Aeronautics And Space Administration's (NASA's) Johnson Space Center were on hand to observe the DAVD tests, and are in discussions with NSWC PCD to explore a possible collaborative development for the next-generation Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) space suit's informatics head-up display capability.

For more information, visit,, or

For more news from Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, visit

DAVD In-Water Testing
Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Commanding Officer Capt. Aaron Peters, USN, dives the Diver Augmented Vision Display, or DAVD, prototype Oct. 12, 2017 in the waters of Alligator Bayou in Panama City, Florida. The dive was part of the DAVD phase II in-water testing conducted by NSWC PCD scientists and engineers. The test was sponsored by NAVSEA 00C and supported by Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, Navy Experimental Diving Unit and Florida State University Panama City. U.S. Navy photo by Anthony Powers, NSWC PCD.
October 12, 2017
Navy Social Media
Sign up for email updates To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please click on the envelope icon in the page header above or click Subscribe to Navy News Service .