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Deep Ocean Test Facility (DOTF)

  • About the DTOF
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ARL/Penn State's Deep Ocean Test Facility supports the U.S. Navy, the marine equipment industry, and the undersea oil & gas community with expert RDT&E consulting design, analysis and testing services. The facility contains four horizontal pressure tanks which use salt water or fresh water as the pressurization fluid.

 History and Construction      Moving to Annapolis

Our mission is to provide underwater simulation and testing services including research and development for the deep ocean community. Some of our capabilities include simulating depth pressures below 27,000 feet and temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. We are capable of using fresh or salt water as a pressurization fluid, and can provide various pressurization and depressurization rates to match your required test profiles. As a not for profit university, we can provide our expert design, analysis and testing services at a competitive rate, and we look forward to working with you!

The Deep Ocean Test Facility's controlled environment offers many advantages in addition to cost savings and safety. Special equipment designed to work in the deep ocean can be thoroughly analyzed and modified while stringent requirements for reliability are evaluated.

The largest tank is 27 feet long with a diameter of 10 feet that accommodates full-scale deep ocean vehicles down to 27,000 feet depths. It is also widely used to evaluate underwater mining equipment, deep ocean arrays and cabling systems, diver transfer capsules, buoyancy devices, cabling, fuel cells and manipulators. Numerous submersibles have simulated deep test dives in our tank. It is also been used for pressure forming unique and difficult shaped vessels. Small tanks are used to economically evaluate equipment such as submersible motors, piping and fittings, electrical connectors and enclosure; and pressure compensates electrical  and electronic equipment.


Engineering Services
  • Underwater Simulation and Testing, AUTOCAD, ANSYS
  • Fluid, Mechanical, and Electrical System Analysis
  • Machinery Simulation and Control, Quieting
  • Instrumentation Design and Application
  • Data Acquisition, Reduction, and Analysis