What is diver navigation and why is it useful?
The navigation system combines an accurate compass and a Doppler Velocity Log (DVL). The combined information tells divers which direction they are swimming and how far they have moved. The DVL is a crucial aid since GPS and other airborne signals do not function underwater.
The requirements for precision in diver navigation systems are not as stringent as with unmanned underwater vehicles, so the navigation system can be designed and set up in a fairly streamlined and simple manner.
Diver navigation systems are typically initiated with GPS at the surface to establish the starting position, before the bottom-tracking DVL takes over position calculation underwater. The data from the DVL is supplemented with a dynamically compensated compass.
The result is a cost-efficient navigation system that provides precise positioning data, while being simple to use for divers. This type of navigation system is important for diver safety, and has other related uses – for example, guiding divers to remain out of view, which may be necessary during secret intelligence missions.