Thursday, October 31, 2013

Navy Political Camouflage (about those submarine collisions perhaps?)

The 21st century began January 1, 2001.  The Pentagon (and Navy) used two types of rare, poltical (non-combat) camouflage during the prior century. The shuffling variety (described in a later posting) had been used as far back as the1800s, and still persists. The gobbledlygook variety has been very evident in our century, so we start there.  Fact:
US submarine collisions in 21st Century to date
( performance and alertness in submariners ?)
2001 USS Greeneville (SSN-772)
2002 USS Oklahoma City (SSN-723)
2003 USS Hartford (SSN-768) grounding (#1)
2005 USS San Francisco (SSN-711) with seamountain
2005 USS Philadelphia (SSN-690)
2007 USS Newport News (SSN-750)
2009 USS Hartford with USS New Orleans (#2)
2012 USS Montpelier (SSN-765)

Gobbledygook  (goals camouflaged)

A) Untranslated with bold emphasis added

"The aim of a new collaborative study with NSMRL Researcher, Lieutenant Commander Soutiere, is to develop and validate the use of a personal light-treatment device and light filtration glasses as a means to phase-shift and/or phase-lock circadian rhythms to optimize operational readiness. Many physical and psychological attributes particularly relevant to the combatant including risk-taking behavior, threat detection, and decision making are dependent on biological rhythm phase. By effectively controlling the type and quantity of light exposure the ability to shift and maintain the circadian phase is achieved. [submarine crews not mentioned, "decision making" is]

Scientists from the Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute met with researchers from the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory as well as engineers from the Common Missile and Human Systems Departments of General Dynamics Electric Boat to discuss lighting as it relates to health and workspace illumination.  [submarine crews not mentioned] [what is the relation to health?]

Both Drs. Rae and Figueiro have a history of collaborations with NSMRL Principal Investigators related to lighting and health. Recent studies by Rea, Figueiro, et al., demonstrate entrainment of circadian rhythms with specific wavelengths of light." - source

 Without any Gobbledygook  (goals revealed)

B) Plainspeak (translation UNnecessary) 

#1
"[RPI researchers] are also working with the U.S. Navy to investigate how light can increase performance and alertness in submariners." - source   [submarine crew performance and alertness]

#2
 Red light has the least power to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin. - source

Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night.  [ibid]

 explanation...
Dr. Charles Czeisler of Harvard Medical School showed, in 1981, that daylight keeps a person's internal clock aligned with the environment. Light at night is bad for your health, and exposure to blue light emitted by electronics and energy-efficient lightbulbs may be especially so. ... research shows that it may contribute to the causation of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. [ibid] [health issues]

**************

What Might the Future Hold for Submariners?
Back to 4-hour watches (six watches in an actual 24-hour day), or stick with US sub's current convention (3 x 6-hour watches in an artificial 18-hour day that is possibly a problem for women's circadian rythms  [WE CAN"T TALK ABOUT THAT yet]?  Blue light and orange/yellow/amber blue-light goggles/filters?

Submarines are always silent and strange.

also working with the U.S. Navy to investigate how light can increase performance and alertness in submariners. - See more at: http://news.rpi.edu/content/2013/10/25/mariana-figueiro-elected-fellow-illuminating-engineering-society#sthash.5soU3ugZ.dpuf

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

ANSWERS: Sub Questions of the Week - 28 OCT 2013

Background and related links to last week's questions are available here.

Q & A

1.  Unlike rods and cones, which send their signals to the brain's visual cortex, the retinal light receptor governing your body clock sends information to another part of the brain. What is that special area of the brain called and where is it located?  ANS: The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), is located on the brain's midline directly above the optic chiasm. 

2. What is the official name of "DoD's First Choice for Undersea Biomedical Research"ANS: The Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory (NSMRL) located at New London Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut.       

3. Who are the principle collaborators with the military on this new study, and from what institution do they come?  ANS: Drs. Mariana Figueiro and Mark Rea, Director of of RPI's Lighting Research Center (LRC),  the world’s leading university-based research and education center devoted to lighting.

4. In straightforward terms one of the civilian collaborators was described by an authoritative publication as "working with the U.S. Navy to investigate how light can increase performance and alertness in submariners." Identify the authoritaive, civilian publication.  ANSRPI News, published by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Phantom" Review of Sub Flick from New Perspective

In early August 1968, the wreck of Soviet diesel-electric, strategic ballistic missile submarine K-129 was identified by a unit of the United States Navy northwest of Oahu in 16,000 feet of Pacific Ocean water.  For highly classified purposes the U.S. president authorized a clandestine effort to recover certain items of high military intelligence value.

The wreck of a United States Navy Skipjack class sub was located on the Atlantic Ocean's bottom beneath 9,800 ft of water at 32°54.9'N, 33°08.89'W. Her sinking marked the unexplained loss of 99 crewmen, sophisticated spy gear, possible nuclear torpedoes, and a mangled nuclear propulsion system. The best available evidence indicates she sank 22 May 1968 around 1844 (Zulu time) during Atlantic transit from Gibraltar to Norfolk, Virginia.

USS Scorpion (SSN-579) was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 June 1968. Vigilis received a classified photo briefing of wrecked USS Scorpion (SSN-579) during the height of the Cold War.  The briefing room contained a total of 5 submariners with appropriate clearances from SSNs then present at SubBase Groton. The briefing is mentioned only as a point of historical relevance in connection with review of the 2013 submarine movie "Phantom" by someone actually living through that Cold War period on an nuclear sub.

*****"P H A N T O M"  R E V I E W*****
The worst reviews typically come from submariners. Submariners insist on accuracy in not only the tiniest of details, but conformity with their often limited experiences, and most of all, with the approved dictates of   military authorities. Examples:

This popular submariner's review rated the flick at  ** out of ***** (40%) and claimed,  "The story itself was pretty poor. ... you have to suspend disbelief even more than normal for a Cold War tale."  

Yet another reviewer (Holgard at IMDB) claiming to be a retired Soviet submarine officer, rated the movie "a fake" giviing it a mere 3 stars of ten (30%).  His reasons, like his dialogue, appear highly superficial to say the least (excerpt): "1. We never rose our greatcoat collars, 2. In Russian (as well as in Soviet) army it is forbidden to give a salute without headress, 3. It is absolutely impossible if a Soviet officer get married in church. 

Netflix gives Phantom a more respectable 3 star (60%) rating, which for a sub flick means it probably captured some women audience with its emotionally theatrical ending. Netflix movies geared toward males alone usually garner only 45% (2-1/2 stars) or less. This can be easily proven to yourselves by selecting titles that appeal to males (military) versus those appealing to women (romance), and those appealing to both (comedy).

Vigilis rates Phantom (80%) overall:
100% for authenticity of Cold War feeling of US:Soviet submarine conflict,
80% for the historical accuracy of China's ballistical missile development and the Sino:Soviet rift,
70% for treatment of compromised US:Soviet submarine intelligence,
70% for character acting,
90% for script creativity (use of phantom device),
70% for brevity and theatrical license (98 minutes).

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Submarine Questions of the Week - 28 OCT 2013

Background

"why red light is used inside the submarines?"? 

Best Answer (from Yahoo Answers):

I served on Subs during the 70's. On a sub, there is no "night and day" The "day" (at sea)was actually only 18 hrs vs 24 as there were three watches consisting of 6 hours each. You work 12 with 6 off to sleep,study etc. then back to work. Your body clock got very confused, you might get up from sleep only to be served dinner or lunch rather than b'fast. Red lighting in the control room (the only place other than in berthing that the red lights were used.) was only used in preparation of coming to Periscope depth (or the rare surface) or during battle stations when it was dark topside Rig for red served two purposes.First was to acclimate the eyes to darkness of those that were in preparation of going topside during the darkness, and to prevent light from being emitted from the raised periscope. Even though there was a "blackout blind" in the scopes, the crew could not take the risk of light being emitted as it would be able to be seen for miles.  source

More (excerpt):
Red light has minimal effect on night vision because its energy level is so low that the eye doesn't register it strongly enough to produce a compensatory reaction. In near-absolute darkness, both cone and rod cells compensate by pumping out more light-sensitive chemicals. The more time spent in darkness, the more chemicals are produced. In about ten minutes, cone cells max out, producing as much as they are capable of holding.- Hawk

Submarine Questions of the Week

1. Like those giving the above answers, U.S. Submariners probably learned about rods and cones, "the two kinds of receptors in retinas of your eyeballs" during Sub School. But there are several more light receptors in your retina. One of them is essential to maintaining the body's clock. Disruption of the circadian rhythm not only affects body temperature, alertness, appetite, and hormone secretion, etc., research now suggests it may contribute to depression, immunity, and disease.

Unlike rods and cones, which send their signals to the brain's visual cortex, the retinal light receptor governing your body clock sends information to another part of the brain.  What is that special are of the brain called and where is it located?
 

2.  The "DoD's First Choice for Undersea Biomedical Research" recently announced a collaborative study to phase-shift and/or phase-lock circadian rhythms to optimize operational readiness. Its overall mission to protect the health and enhance the performance of warfighters through submarine, diving and surface biomedical research solutions (see Question 4. below for a simpler statement of goal). What is the official name of "DoD's First Choice for Undersea Biomedical Research"?

3.  Who are the principle collaborators with the military on this new study, and from what institution do they come?


4.  In straightforward terms one of the civilian collaborators was described by an authoritative publication as "working with the U.S. Navy to investigate how light can increase performance and alertness in submariners." Identify the authoritaive, civilian publication.

ANSWERS:  Wednesday, 30 OCT 2013
 

Submarines are always silent and strange.
working with the U.S. Navy to investigate how light can increase performance and alertness in submariners. - See more at: http://news.rpi.edu/content/2013/10/25/mariana-figueiro-elected-fellow-illuminating-engineering-society#sthash.EbEhwhKy.dpuf
working with the U.S. Navy to investigate how light can increase performance and alertness in submariners. - See more at: http://news.rpi.edu/content/2013/10/25/mariana-figueiro-elected-fellow-illuminating-engineering-society#sthash.EbEhwhKy.dpuf

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