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PVHO Engineering

Hydrospace is one of the few independent PVHO specialist companies in the world with more than 25 years’ experience in the design and fabrication of pressure vessels for human occupancy. This includes manned submersibles, hyperbaric chambers for land applications as well as altitude chambers for aerospace

Hydrospace was founded in 2008, as a subsea engineering and PVHO specialist company – an expansion of SEAmagine Hydrospace Corp, a world leading manufacturer of manned submersibles, co-founded in 1995. Hydrospace has a long history of continuous participation as member of the ASME PVHO Committee, ABS Special Committee on Underwater Vehicles Rules and DNVGL Industry Committee.  provides a broad variety of engineering services to numerous government and industrial clients.


Hydrospace staff and associates have many years’ experience in hyperbaric chamber design, acrylic windows engineering and structural testing for technical evaluation and certification. Hydrospace continues to grow its long-standing relationship within the industry, placing quality, performance and customer satisfaction as the keystone of its mission. 


The company culture is engineering service oriented, customer focused with deep knowledge and great flexibility, seeking to provide added value to customer operations with challenging technical requirements.

Both proposed designs are based on the existing and successful DOAC chambers which provides a cylindrical chamber with a large acrylic window in the door, a configuration for two or more occupants to sit side-by-side, facing the large door. 

Entry is easy and simple, and the large acrylic window in the door provides excellent visibility in and out. The current minimum specification by NAMRU indicate a minimum internal diameter of 90 inches with the ability to install an exercise machine, such as a bicycle or treadmill. This does not present any technical difficulties however, it does affect size and weight and the power of the control systems to meet the altitude change rates desired. It also directly affects cost. 

A larger more versatile chamber will cost more. Therefore, the proposal proposes a smaller SHORT chamber with minimum volume and an alternative larger option that can hold 4-5 people in two separate, co-joined, chambers. In both cases, the pressurization rate is designed to be 5000 ft/minute with a maximum altitude of 32,000 ft. The maximum de-pressurization rate is 5 psi in 1 second. 

This is a very rapid change in pressure for such a large chamber and will require a vacuum accumulator as part of the machinery and auxiliary equipment.  These chambers are all designed, built and certified to ASME PVHO. All chambers are also equipped with multiple penetration plates that can be user adapted for specific electrical instrumentation and mechanical penetrators. These are delivered as blank plates to be customized by the client. Spare blank plates are provided and can be manufactured by client is desired.

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