BumbleBee’s hull is made of a standard size acrylic tube featuring end caps that are fabricated by CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining of aluminum. Sealing is achieved by using the six Southco draw latches to compress an O-ring
between the end caps. The draw latches allow for rapid disassembly of the hull. This improvement over the previous bolted flange design eases access to the electronics within the hull, facilitating troubleshooting of components. The end caps are sealed to the acrylic tube via a radial seal.
A valve on the hull allows it to be pressurized and also monitors any drops in pressure. This feature allows the hull to be tested for any leaks before the vehicle is submerged in water. A pressure is maintained about 120 kPa during operations. Any
pressure drop indicates a hull leak, which would activate the leak sensor. The leak alert is propagated to the BumbleBee Control Panel which displays a warning popup. Extensive pressure testing of the hull was conducted at Hallin Marine’s pressure
testing facility and the hull is rated to a depth of 40 meters.