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ISE Manned SUbmersibles & Submarines

ISE develops and manufactures Manned Submersibles for applications including tourism, science, and the military.

  • PAGOO - Recreational Submersible
  • ODYSSEY - Tourist Submersible
  • SDL-1 - Military Submersible



The ODYSSEY is a tourist submersible. It is a battery-powered, free swimming vessel which carry passengers through tropical waters in air conditioned comfort. Its functional specifications are found below.


Odyssey is a general purpose tourist submersible.


Length: 55 feet / 16.7 meters
Width: 12.5 feet / 3.8 meters
Weight: 55,000 lbs. / 24,948 kg.
Passenger Capability: 34 passengers, with 18" seats
Underwater speed: 2 knots (3.4 ft/sec) maximum, 1 knot (1.7 ft/sec) cruising
Surface speed: 2 knots (3.4 ft/sec) maximum, 1 knot (1.7 ft/sec)cruising
Depth capability: 150 feet
Shape: Cylindrical ring stiffened hull, hemispherical head, tapered stern, flat deck for passenger loading.
Crew Size: 2 (vessel can be operated by one person)

SDL-1 (Submersible Diver Lockout)

SDL-1 was developed for the Canadian Navy in 1971 by International Hydrodynamics Corporation of Vancouver, BC. The hull is the sister hull to Beaver IV, developed by Rockwell International.

SDL-1 Submersible Diver Lockout

In 1983-4, ISE Research completed a major overhaul and conversion of the vehicle. Some of the more significant improvements included:

  • conversion to brushless DC thrusters
  • addition of lateral and vertical thrusters
  • addition of large viewing port
  • improvement in command sphere layout

ISE Research has conducted overhauls of the SDL-1 in 1987-8, 1991-2 and 1995-6.

SDL-1 is based in Halifax, NS and operated from the Canadian Navy ship HMCS Cormorant. The photo above shows the SDL being recovered onboard the HMCS Cormorant.


Length: 7.6 meters / 24.8 feet
Breadth: 2.4 meters / 7.8 feet
Displacement: 13,500 kg / 29,700 lbs.
Speed: 2.5 knots
Depth: 610 meters
Propulsion: Brushless DC Motors
Batteries: Lead acid
Crew: 2 plus 3 divers or scientists

Project Highlights

September 1971 SDL delivered to Canadian Navy
August 1984 Upgrade and conversion completed
October 1988 SDL Refit delivered to Canadian Navy.
August 1992 SDL Refit delivered to Canadian Navy.
March 1996 SDL Refit delivered to Canadian Navy
May 1998 SDL sold by DND Canada.