‘Like A Fish’ Underwater Breathing System: Artificial Gills for U.S. Navy SEALs?

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by David Crane
[email protected]

If this thing’s for real (and it looks like it could very well be), underwater diving just got a whole lot more interesting, and the U.S. Navy SEALs and U.S. Marine Corps divers might soon be utilizing a rather revolutionary (and tankless) underwater breathing technology to help them accomplish their missions. It’s called "Like A Fish", and it’s the brainchild of Israeli inventor Alan Izhar-Bodner (a.k.a. Alon Bodner).

Described as a "revolutionary underwater breathing system", Like A Fish is basically a…

(rechargable) battery-powered artifiicial gill for humans that utilizes a centrifuge mechanism to pull oxygen from sea water, thus taking advantage of the "Henry Law", which describes gas absorption in liquids.

The "Henry Law" states that the amount of gas that can be dissolved in a liquid body is directly proportional to the pressure on the liquid body. The "Henry Law" works in both directions, and this is where the centrifuge comes in. The centrifuge creates underpressure inside a small sealed sea water-filled chamber, via rapid rotation. A one-kilo rechargable battery will provide a diver with about one hour of dive time.

An operational system that would enable a diver to stay underwater for multiple hours is still a few years off. The Like A Fish underwater breathing system, or "self-contained open-circuit breathing apparatus", as patents WO0240343 (May 23, 2002) and EP1343683 (September 17, 2003) describe it, is still in the laboratory stage, but a full-scale functional prototype is reportedly already under development.  So, get ready for the new scuba. 

DefenseReview isn’t yet sure if the "Like A Fish" underwater breathing apparatus/system can be combined with a rebreather (rebreathing unit), for no-bubble (bubble-free) operation. This capability is important for military tactical operations where maximum stealth is necessary.

It should be noted that Iddo Genuth of IsraCast, a Jerusalem-based multimedia network, broke the story on "Like A Fish".

Click here to read Iddo Genuth’s original InterCast article on the "Like A Fish" underwater breathing system, titled "Like A Fish: Revolutionary Underwater Breathing System".

Click here to read Gizmodo.com’s blurb on the technology, titled "Tankless Underwater Breathing Apparatus".

‘Like A Fish’ Underwater Breathing System: Artificial Gills for U.S. Navy SEALs? by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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