Our team can provide the bare bones use of the facility with technical staff to run the chamber, or depending on needs; research assistants, protocol development, independent standards testing results, research design, ethics and animal care approval, data collection, statistical analysis and report writing. Let us know how we can assist you and to what degree we can support your needs.

Breathing Simulator

The EMPU has its very own in-house built breathing simulator (also known as a metabolic simulator). It can simulate a person's breathing by taking in air and exhaling warm, moist CO—just like a breath—and can operate at a full range of altitudes and depths.

The EMPU can simulate a person’s breathing at rest or extreme exercise and is ideal for testing respirators, diving equipment, oxygen delivery systems.  

Immersion Testing

The EMPU provides hot and cold immersion testing to a depth of 305m or at altitude with temperature control between 0.5 to 48 degrees Celsius. A swim ergometer is available to create a workload for divers to swim against.

Past projects include wetsuit thermal protection testing, dry bag testing, rebreather testing, dive computer testing, survival suit evaluation. Past clients include Arc'teryx, Bare Sports, Lungfish, Shearwater, Mustang Survival.

Hyperbaric Chamber

Our hyperbaric chamber is capable of 305m (1,000 fsw, 30 ATA, 445psi) with full saturation capabilities including living/sleeping quarters for four long term occupants or up to 9 for short term.

Hypobaric Chamber

We offer Transport Canada recognized high altitude indoctrination training for hypoxia awareness for pilots and crew. We also offer testing for equipment performance at altitude, including medical devices, equipment for mining exploration. We can create a Martian atmosphere mimicking the gas composition and pressure for testing of equipment used in space exploration.

Physiological Monitoring

We offer 12-lead ECG monitoring, 64 lead EEG monitoring, end tidal gas monitoring, ultrasound imaging, core temperature and surface temperature recordings, blood pressure and oxygen saturation monitoring.

Other Services

  • Medical supervision for human testing
  • Phlebotomy
  • Experimental design and subject recruitment
  • Independent evaluation reports
  • Ethics, animal care and biosafety applications and permits
  • Accident investigation, gear evaluation and expert witness for diving fatalities.
  • Subject matter expert for hyperbaric standards and risk assessments.
  • Training for hyperbaric technicians, operators
  • Introductory to hyperbaric medicine for physicians (CME credit) and staff
  • Hyperbaric safety specialist training
  • Team emergency simulations
  • Diving medic technician (DMT)
  • Occupational first aid, oxygen delivery, AED training
  • High pressure cylinder inspection and training
  • Video and digital recording of all locks

Technical Specs

The Environmental Medicine and Physiology Unit at Simon Fraser University is the only civilian research hyper/hypobaric facility in Canada. It is capable of pressurizing or, “diving,”  to 305 meters (30ATA, 445psi, 1000’) of sea water as well as drawing a vacuum, or “flying” the unit, to 33.5km Above Sea Level (ASL), which is equivalent to the atmospheric pressure on Mars (0.011ATA, 0.159psi, 100,000’ ASL).

Breathing Machine

Tidal volume of 0.5 litres to 3.5 litres, breathing frequency up to 50 breaths per minute and minute ventilations from rest to extreme exercise of up to 150 litres per minute. These can match settings used in standards set by the US Navy, EN 14143, EN 15333 as well as CSA, ISO and NIOSH standards.

Immersion Testing

Our floodable volume is 9.6 m3. The height is 1.98m, length 3.48m , the trunk is .76m in diameter. The system is rated to 305m depth and 30,480m of altitude. Temperature -0C to 48C.

The wet pot can accommodate one person with a swimming ergometer, or multiple people simultanously immersed. 

Hyper/hypobaric Chamber

The system is rated to 305m depth and 30,480m of altitude with temperatures of 0.5 to 48 degrees Celsius. Triple lock ASME/PVHO-1 built main chamber length of 7m and internal diameter 2m and access doors are .76m diameter. The floodable wet pot volume is 9.6 m3. The height is 1.98m, length 3.48m, the trunk is .76m in diameter. A swim ergometer is available to create a workload for divers to swim against and water temperature can be selected.

The system includes temperature and humidity control, carbon dioxide scrubber, and oxygen make up for heliox dives. We have both BIBs and Hoods for oxygen delivery and the system has overboard dump to avoid high oxygen environments. We offer full environmental monitoring including during deep heliox dives for oxygen pressure, carbon dioxide pressure, total pressure along with temperature and humidity.



We are recognized by the DCBC as a training facility for the Hyperbaric Chamber Operator course (Section 22 of the Z275.4 standard). Students who meet all requirements will be eligible to receive an Occupational Diver Certificate of Competency from DCBC.

Our facility is accredited as a level 3 hyperbaric medical facility by the UHMS.
Our Fundamentals of Hyperbaric Medicine course is a reviewed and approved  activity as a UHMS Designated Introductory Course in Hyperbaric Medicine. This activity meets the UHMS minimum requirements including 40 hours of face-to-face instruction. This can be applicable for CME credits for successful students.