Keeping Submariners Safe from CO Poisoning 

For submariners serving their country aboard submarines stationed around the globe, danger is part of the assignment. However, one of the greatest dangers facing these brave servicemen is actually something they can’t see, feel, taste or smell – carbon monoxide gas (CO).

Carbon monoxide can be generated aboard a submarine from both routine and emergency operations such as cooking, exhaust from diesel engines, the use of chlorate candles or even an onboard fire incident. In such an enclosed environment as a submarine, it is vital for the safety of all submariners onboard that accurate and continual monitoring of CO takes place. Anything else can result in deadly consequences.

In 2003, a Chinese submarine was discovered drifting in the Bohai Sea. It is speculated that all 70 crew members perished due to carbon monoxide poisoning caused by diesel engine exhaust. That is just one example of what can happen without proper monitoring aboard submarine fleets.

Equipment aboard today’s modern submarine fleets is highly advanced. There is an obvious need for reliable and continuous CO monitoring throughout every vessel. Many CO monitoring devices utilize electrochemical sensors. While certainly adequate in most carbon monoxide monitoring situations, electrochemical sensors are susceptible to cross contamination from other gases, mainly carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

Aboard submarines, the potential from cross sensitivity from hydrogen is extremely high. Hydrogen can be present on submarines due to the batteries being used on board. This “cross-sensitivity” can result in unacceptable false readings of CO.

To deal with this situation, completely unique to submarines, especially those with diesel engines, the engineering team at the Analox Group developed COSAMS, which is short for Carbon Monoxide (CO) Submarine Atmosphere Monitoring System. Easily one of the most precise and technically-advanced devices that Analox offers, COSAMS exists for one purpose and only one purpose – to keep submariners safe while protecting us.

COSAMS Dimensions
COSAMS Dimensions



The COSAMS unit was designed specifically for use on submarines, most directly those that operate on diesel engines. Built to exacting military standards for performance, reliability and endurance, the Analox COSAMS uses proprietary Gas Filter Correlation (GFC) technology to specifically analyse the unique properties of CO.

The GFC sensor targets the exact wavelength of carbon monoxide and when the gas is detected, the sensor sounds an alarm. Because the sensor is seeking a unique wavelength, potential for cross-sensitivity from other gases or water vapor is eliminated. The monitoring is done continuously in real-time using the unique GFC infrared sensor to provide constant protection should CO contamination occur. The COSAMS will also NOT register any ‘false positives’ or inadvertent alarms.

Providing real-time information and alarms within the compartments where it is installed, the COSAMS can also provide a 4-20mA signal to a central Submarine Air Monitoring System or the Submarine Platform Management System.

  • Uses a GFC infra-red sensing technique ensuring the system is not sensitive to hydrogen or water vapour
  • Built-in auto-zero function ensures sensor stability
  • Real-time monitoring ensures rapid response to carbon monoxide (CO) issues as they occur
  • 90 days data-logging allows records to be stored and used should they ever be needed
  • Easy to maintain allowing you to be more self-sufficient whilst minimising downtime
  • Designed specifically for the submarine environment so it is able to cope with the demands of the environment in terms of EMC, shock and temperature

The COSAMS is used in applications such as:

  • Submarine Atmosphere Monitoring

Carbon monoxide (CO)

From understanding your specific requirements to arranging installation and maintenance schedules of the COSAMS unit, Analox are there to support you and your crew with the use of the COSAMS analyzer effectively and with minimal downtime to operations.


  • Aftercare Packages
  • Replacement Sensor
COSAMS Interactive Image
COSAMS Interactive Image
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