The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 24, 1968 · Page 100
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November 24, 1968

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 100

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Location:
West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 24, 1968
Page:
Page 100
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Page 100 article text (OCR)

Crusty Classroom Florida Atlantic University's experimental Hydrolab comes up for an overhaul after 1 1 months on the ocean floor... by Bob Preston. contains re-breathing apparatus and radio communication to the surface. The 8 - by - lfi-foot cylinder makes a perfect base for studying the surrounding ocean environment both from within and by scuba scrutiny. Hydrolab was built and is maintained by the Perry Submarine Builders, Inc. of Riviera Beach. Its lengthy 11-month stay on the ocean floor was a planned one. As the science of oceanography probes into the areas of the seas along our coastal areas life support systems for extended underwater living become of paramount importance. The future will undoubtly see many types of underwater habitats in use as man learns to live beneath the surface of the sea. Hydrolab is a forerunner of these underwater living areas and its ability to endure in this environment must be carefully evaluated. Hydrolab passed its tests with flying colors. It had remained on the ocean floor longer than any other undersea habitat. Although encrusted with marine growth which completely shrouded its brightly painted metal surfaces the "classroom" survived the stay with no structural problems. Presently it is being completely re-furbished at the Port df Palm Beach. One major change will be introduced into the lab during its present stay on the surface. Pressure inside the cylinder has been more than two times that of surface air due to depth. Although this was no great problem to a team of ocean scientists who remained based in the Hydrolab some 48 hours late last spring equipment will be installed which will keep the cabin pressure exactly that of ,i-;r surface air. I r i flhJh 1 h- mnifflfti Up comes the Hydrolab for an overhaul, inspection and general bottom scraping. The classroom complex weighs 62 tons. Florida Atlantic University has a unique classroom that currently is in drydock having its bottom scraped. The above is much oversimplified but the "Hydrolab" is the first underwater "classroom" in regular use anywhere. The 62-ton steel cylinder complex had spent 11 months on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach. It is an underwater habitat capable of housing sever al persons in comparative comfort 50 feet below the surface of the sea. The Hydrolab is operated by Boca Raton's Florida Atlantic and used by the school's ocean engineering department. The device is ideal for biological studies, life-support equipment testing and a wide variety of environmental experiments. Its steel hull contains eight one-inch-thick Plexiglas portholes. It i All Florida Magazine

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