Monday, June 18, 2012

The Star Ship "Seawolf" Oolie

In submarine lingo an
oolie is a question not pertaining to one's normal duties, or one that tests system knowledge to the limit. source Oolies are part of continuing, informal cross-training techniques which keep submariners mentally alert, even after qualification. Yes, astronauts use the same technique.

Every U.S. sub has, at one time or another, been a platform for particular "proof of concept trials", and in the unlikely event that the U.S. submarine force ever discontinues such trials, which began with Turtle (see Foxfire), we can almost be assured the navy will have become outdated or ineffectual.

One of the best proof of concept trials was the circuit EY, a forerunner of the computerized voice on Star Trek's Enterprise (NCC-1701). The submarine feature was used only on one submarine, the 3rd Seawolf (but first nuclear), USS Seawolf (SSN-575). Seawolf's bitch in a box predated the (fictional) Star Trek version by 12 years, and performed very well. As with many other miniaturized electronic devices installed on subs it had been adapted from earlier aircraft use which included the CH-47 (Chinook), CH-54 (Flying crane), and AH-56 (Cheyenne) helicopters.

So why was it not used on later nuclear subs? Someday, I may share that with "anons" at TSSP and even with any Seawolf starship troopers who may still be clueless.

Submarines are always silent and strange.



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2012 Leak (FROM China)

Update (7-23-2012) - It is with deep regret that we report the death, today, of America's first woman in space, Dr. Sally Kristen Ride, who died today at 61 years of age after a 17-month battle with cancer. We have lost a true space pioneer who was stellar in every sense, and a model for the spirit of both American men and women. In 1983, Dr. Ride became the first American woman—and then-youngest American, at 32—to enter space.[1]

Molten Eagle extends our sincere condolences to all Dr. Ride's friends and family.


"They even must not have decayed teeth because any small flaw might cause great trouble or a disaster in space," said Pan Zhihao of Space International, published by the China Academy of Space Technology. They are, of course, in peak physical condition, with the flying skills required of any air force ace.

But he also told China Daily that female astronauts [pilots] tend to be more "keen and sensitive with better communication skills than their male counterparts".

Earlier this year, the deputy editor-in-chief of an official magazine said women astronauts should also have no scars [no Caesarian sections]– which might open and bleed in space – nor body odour.

Xu Xianrong, an expert at the air force general hospital, said women [pilots] had advantages as astronauts over men because they were more mentally stable, better able to bear loneliness and had better communication skills. - source

That is not all...[bold and color emphasis mine]...

Both the women shortlisted are in their 30s and have one child: Chinese authorities have decreed that only mothers can train as astronauts, apparently because of their concern that spaceflight might affect women's fertility [something U.S. liberals have traditionally termed "an abundance of caution") .

Our source, who lives in a gated community inside China, predicts that Captain Wang Yaping will likely be China's pick for its first spacewoman. We shall see if either makes it.

Where is the U.S. abundance of caution? NASA barred women astronauts for years and not until 1983 did Dr. Sally Ride (no children to date) become the first American woman to go into space.

Submarines are always silent and strange.



Monday, June 11, 2012

Salvaging the USS Miami (SSN-775)

Reasons to salvage SSN-775 may not be based on sound economic criteria as thrifty taxpayers would have hoped. Early estimates of cost to repair are unrealistically low, and the estimated completion time frame for return to sea is no doubt too short.

Does it make sense to repair an obsolescent class rather than use the $500,000,000+ that would have been spent to accelerate building a new $2-billion Virginia class boat sooner? If your answer is it would be better (52% probability) to scrap Miami and build a new Virginia sooner, you correctly nailed a no-brainer. But, there are political realities we must also consider...

Three (3) possibilities might override the no-brainer. We will mention them in order of their increasing likelihood:

1) "Looks like the USS MIAMI may become Moored Training Ship MIAMI (MTS-755). Only question now is how much life she has remaining in the ole' reactor. Sad to see a 688I being chained to a pier in Charleston, but it could be the smart money. " -Anonymous
Probability: 2% -Very, very unlikely

2) Continue on with plans to upgrade the 688I class Miami as if the devastating fire were a minor interruption. Yet both admirals and politicians have promised to repair this hulk. Absent such promises, the probability would be 21% - Very unlikely. A fact that could override the low probability, however, would be predication of sabotage by a foreign power:

"Let's see what the Admirals and Mabus decide and whether government (shipyard) or crew or both are held accountable, which would be the case even if Putin had an infiltrator planted to start the fire after his Yekaterinburg submarine fire debacle last year." -Vigilis

3) Upgrade Miami as planned, BUT convert the berthing plan to accommodate women sailors. Of politicians supporting Miami's repair, (several have been female U.S. Senators), and admirals have promised eventual assignment of women to SSNs as well as SSBNs and SSGNs currently. This adaptation of repairing Miami helps to deflect some very difficult realities:

a) Escalating annual costs of repair (compared to original estimates) in the government-owned shipyard whose negligence contributed to the fire in the first place.

b) Enabling an SSN to berth women sailors earlier than previously believed feasible:
.....i - Adding popularity among clueless women voters to a difficult re-election campaign.
.....ii - Assuring said SSN will have little chance of serious deployments during a 2nd term, because of time it will take to incorporate the women's berthing arrangements.
....iii - Providing ready explanations for both the cost escalations and expanded time frame.
....iv - Reducing the possibility that intervening deployments could be marked by embarrassing female medical absences from sea duty.
Probability: 25% - Unlikely, but the most likely other than scrapping.

The total probability of the possibilities discussed above (Scrap- 52%, MTS- 2%, Repair- 21%, and Accommodate women- 25%) is estimated to be 100%. Time will tell us.

Submarines are always silent and strange.



Sunday, June 10, 2012

Overboard for Mission

Credit where due...

Despite topside attire that appears to emphasize mission stealth over personal safety, the Dutch Ministry of Defense credits the Royal Netherlands Navy submarine Hr. Ms. Dolfijn with helping foil attempts by Somali pirates to hijack merchant ships and for freeing 12 hostages.

This is not the only apparent contrast with the U.S. submarine force since 1961. Did Dutch submarines on 90-day deployments to counter Somalian piracy eavesdropping have any female crew? ANSWER: No, the Royal Netherlands Navy prohibits women from serving on submarines, and according to the British MoD differences in sheer physical strength between men and women mean that only 0.1% of female applicants, and 1% of trained women soldiers, could meet the lifting, carrying, load marching and combat requirements that are the bread and butter of British infantry life. In addition to international orange, green or blue life vests, something else Dutch aparently has never came to pass.

Submarines are always silent and strange.



Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Espionage: How to know if you are a sucker for mainstream journalism

Hat Tip to SPOOK86 at In From the Cold

Espionage News (New York Times) - June 5, 2012

U.S. General in South Korea to Be Replaced After Spy Report
The Pentagon announced the replacement of the commander of United States Special Operations in South Korea ...

.................................. ---------------
Unless Sheryl Crow's brain tumor is contagious, the Brig. Gen Tolley episode makes as little sense as a "single square of toilet tissue".

M.E. refuses to take this at face value unless someone in the Obama administration wants to explain how taxpayers are receiving their money's worth when a West Point grad like Gen Tolley could make such a slip at this stage in his career:

"“The entire tunnel infrastructure is hidden from our satellites,” he was quoted as saying. “So we send [Republic of Korea] soldiers and U.S. soldiers to the North to do special reconnaissance.” The United States Defense Department and the American military in South Korea denied the report." -NYT

Gen Tolley's 'slip' may have been a sop to the DPRK to assure good behavior from Kim Jong-un before U.S. elections in November.

If Gen Tolley has not been ordered to get an MRI by now, he was probably speaking for the administration, and may soon be running for elected office in a battleground state (D).

"...the administration will discuss almost anything classified--as long as it can assist in Mr. Obama's re-election bid." - SPOOK86

Sumarines are always silent and strange.



Monday, June 04, 2012

USS "Inconvenient Truth" submarine

Here's the published submarine cartoon; see your daily newspaper (June 3rd or 4th, 2012)...

...and here's the background (with our hat tip to Contrary in Texas).

I still have the first solar cell, one of the first ever commercially available, purchased (in 1963) from an outfit advertising in Scientific American, which I had read monthly from age 9 through 9 years post my B.S. degree. The solar cell was probably exposed to the destructive energy of the sun less than half a dozen times, and so, it still produces the same, paltry 1.3 VDC at 6 inches from a 60W incandescent lamp (very inefficient).

Before Obama and his utopian tsars we actually believed (2007) Cheaper Solar Power is Finally Coming. Well, ignoring the costs of recycling the toxic storage batteries required and replacing sun/weather damaged solar panels, is solar a realistic solution to anyone's energy "problem"? A better question is why does anyone not relying on renewable energy even have an energy problem? Better still, which is a bigger problem, too much CO2 or too little H2O? Get it right Congress!

Submarines are always silent and strange.