Worst Case Scenarios: Introduction

worst case(Update 20.12.2020: Added section Deactivation of Overwrite Rule) In this category we would like to list potential “Worst Case Scenarios”, their prevention and handling. The results of each scenario naturally link to two different applications:


  • structural measures of the habitat (to be considered during planning and construction of the habitat)
  • emergency procedures (to be considered before accommodation)

Therefore it seems most suitable to create lineup tables under each scenario with the type of result, the corresponding structural measure and emergency procedure next to each other in order to reference their sources. Inversely the documentation of any habitat feature should contain the reference to the corresponding scenario.


Each scenario should consider the following aspects:

  • safety for the inhabitants of the habitat, the aquanauts
  • functioning of life supporting systems for a certain period of time
  • communication between habitat and surface/land support
  • rescue procedures
  • all parts of the habitat that could be affected by water, like electronics
  • the main structure of the habitat

Combinations of multiple emergencies

We always have to remember, that a certain emergency situation might easily trigger another one.  For example the flooding of the habitat might lead to short circuits and fire in the safety zone (remaining air pocket under the ceiling). A double emergency alters the probability of a third one etc. The number of combinations is countless. We have to go through each scenario as attentive as possible accordingly.

Deactivation of overwrite rule

All processes (cams, comm…) will be stored in an operations log file. Parts of this data will be deleted after a certain number of days. However, in case of emergencies this data set should automatically be stored until manually released for deletion. This would guarantee, that all data will be available for investigation on the background of the emergency.

Levels of emergencies

The degree of emergency is not to be defined in the emergency procedure, but the scenario itself. The emergency procedure is just the answer to a risk degree of a certain situation. For example: flooding of the habitat requires different reactions according to the amount of influx; a small influx needs urgent repairing, a massive influx leads to evacuation.

Structure of a Worst Case Scenario documentation

The desired structure of a emergency scenario is as follows:

  • A short introduction
  • Description of the situation
  • Possible reasons for its development
  • Other situations that might typically be triggered
  • Preventive structural measures
  • Different levels of emergency
  • Corresponding emergency procedures
  • Summary and lineup tables

Before beginning of operation all scenarios and procedures have to be updated, approved and distributed to all participants.

List of proposed scenarios

  • Habitat Flooding
  • Bad weather (atmospheric and benthic)
  • Fire inside the habitat
  • CO2 buildup
  • Serious decrease of habitat air levels
  • Increase of harmful gas components
  • Failure of communication systems
  • Failure of electrical system
  • Injuries
  • Lightning Strike
  • Diver getting lost during excursion
  • Accidentally surfacing diver

Please feel free to use the comment box below for your proposals and ideas.

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