Professional Notes

The new navigation curriculum is designed to simulate a day's work in celestial navigation by replacing the time-consuming manual sight-reduction method with the new computerized techniques being used in the fleet. Beginning this summer, third-class midshipmen will do celestial homework using software loaded onto their personal computers.

Since 1996, the Naval Academy has provided navigation instruction to midshipmen through a four-part navigation continuum. In the spring of their fourth class (freshman) year, midshipmen take Fundamentals of Naval Science, which includes piloting and coastal navigation. During their third-class (sophomore) summer, midshipmen practice navigation (including sextant introduction) during underway cruises along the East Coast in yard patrol (YP) craft. In the fall of their third-class year, midshipmen take Navigation (including celestial and electronic navigation). In their second-class (junior) year, they demonstrate and build upon their navigation knowledge during at-sea training on board fleet vessels around the world. The navigation continuum will form the framework for navigation instruction in the future.

The Academy will continue to teach celestial navigation theory because midshipmen must understand the celestial principles used by the software program to compute a solution. This new navigation course builds on the lessons of the first two phases of our navigation continuum and increases midshipmen's exposure to electronic and celestial navigation and piloting by using the Computerized American Practical Navigator (CAPN) computer program. By leveraging technology to assist the student in deriving a solution, the program allows the instructor to maximize classroom time to reinforce navigation principles. Midshipmen often spent 45 minutes solving one celestial observation manually. Navigation software has reduced this time significantly, enabling midshipmen to do more problem solving and take more sextant sights.

The software uses one of the most comprehensive integrated navigation programs available and approved for use in the fleet. It allows midshipmen to complete virtually every manual task in the navigation course on their personal computers. Included among its celestial capabilities are graphic plotting of all lines of position, dead reckoning positions, twilight computation times, the time for Local Apparent Noon (LAN) and fixes—with computed altitude and azimuth displayed for all celestial bodies. The program requires the user to input an observed sextant sighting, after which it generates a line of position for each observed celestial body and a celestial fix expressed graphically and as a function of latitude and longitude.

Our modified navigation course will continue to teach use of the Nautical Almanac to obtain Greenwich Hour Angle (GHA) and declination for sun sightings at Local Apparent Noon and the Sidereal Hour Angle (SHA) of the 57 navigational stars.

The revised course also will introduce third-class midshipmen to land navigation fundamentals. Instruction will include the use of maps, topography, and geo-locational techniques used in multiservice war fighting.

The Naval Academy is responsible for preparing its graduates for superior performance as junior officers in today's Navy and Marine Corps. They must go to the fleet with a strong navigation ability and an understanding of traditional mariner skills. Celestial navigation remains a relevant and important aspect of our navigation curriculum—which provides our graduates with the knowledge they need to be successful.

Vice Admiral Ryan is the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy and Vice Chairman of the U.S. Naval Institute.


Beluga: Soviet Project 1710 Submarine-Laboratory

By B. F. Dronov and B. A. Barbanel

The history of the development and use of the Soviet Project 1710 submarine (NATO code name Beluga ), intended for research in the area of hydrodynamics and acoustics, to a great extent mirrors the fate of Soviet postwar shipbuilding.

After the first Soviet nuclear-powered submarines appeared, designers and engineers continued to improve their tactical-technical elements [speed, maneuvering characteristics, sonar performance, noise level, etc.] One of the priorities was to increase submerged speed by increasing the power-plant output and also by improving the submarines' hydrodynamic qualities. Hydrodynamic improvements focused on optimizing the fairing and outer architecture of the submarines and on controlling the boundary layer to decrease the hydrodynamic resistance to the motion of the submarine.

In 1960, two naval architects from SKB-143 (today the St. Petersburg Marine Design Bureau [SPMDB] "Malakhit"), B.F. Dronov and I.M. Borodenkov, proposed the idea of using an actual submarine as a laboratory, on which it would be possible to evaluate the physical picture of the submarine's form and to measure all of the necessary parameters under various regimes of motion while using various propulsors and various methods of lowering the resistance.

The fleet and the Siberian Department of the USSR Academy of Sciences encouraged the idea. In 1962, after reviewing the plan with B. F. Dronov in Novosibirsk, Academician M. A. Lavrent'ev fully approved the design of the submarine-laboratory. Levrent'ev and Dronov also discussed a stage-by-stage research program that was to precede the construction of the submarine. Mikhail Alekseevich [Lavrent'ev] promised active participation by the institutes of the Siberian Department and the support of the work at the highest level in the USSR Academy of Sciences.

The research formed the basis of a broad program that was developed with the aim of improving the speed and acoustic qualities of submarines. The development of the submarine-laboratory was the final stage of these integrated scientific programs.

Included in the preliminary research was the development of a large-scale buoyant vehicle, the Tunets [Tuna], on which it was envisioned to investigate various means of controlling the boundary layer by:

  • Using suction to maintain laminar flow
  • Gasification
  • Ejecting slurries of high molecular weight polymer solutions

The 1710 boundary layer control technique was to be based on the results of these experiments.

The large-scale Tunets surfacing model, which had a stabilized speed of about 60 knots, was designed at SKB-143 and built in 1970 at the experimental plant of the Siberian Department of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The trials were conducted at a special test range of the USSR Acoustic Institute in the area of Sukhumi from 1971 to 1974. The model, which had a wetted surface area of 25 square meters and a total resistance coefficient of 2.1 x 10^sup -3^, without drag reduction, was released from a depth of 300 meters. Full-scale trials of several variants of the model, geometrically similar to the form of the submarine-laboratory, demonstrated that using polymers to control the boundary layer should work: the polymer variant of the model showed a 30% to 40% decrease in the total resistance and a 12% to 18% increase in the speed of ascent. The suction method, however, did not produce positive results. See Figures 1 and 2.

Parallel with the Tunets experiments, research applicable to the submarine-laboratory was undertaken at the Krylov Shipbuilding Research Institute. Senior associate A. F. Kozlov investigated laminarization of the boundary layer flow by suction, and Yu. F Ivanyuta directed the investigation of polymers. Specifically, tests with the large-scale (40 meters long) model Igla [Needle] were performed in the towing tank of Krylov Shipbuilding Research Institute. Those tests showed stable drag reduction by polymer injection at high Reynolds numbers. This organization established the preconditions for a systematic approach, and provided the basis for a scientific-technical development process: laboratory and design research, then large-scale models, then the submarine-laboratory, and then the combat submarine.

Parallel with the research being developed by SKB-143, various high-molecular polymers and also the complex of scientific-research equipment for the submarine-laboratory were under development. Concurrently, as a branch of V/Ch 27177 (Navy TsNll-1 of the Ministry of Defense), a Navy scientific research base was established in Sevastopol and a test range in the harbor at Balaklava was equipped for the conduct of scientific-research work on the submarine-laboratory.

Thus began the development of fundamentally new systems for controlling the boundary layer, including an assessment of the rationality of their use.

Dronov proposed the characteristics of the system for boundary layer suction and the criteria for the optimization of the systems for controlling it in his candidate dissertation in 1968, while Barbanel described a system for delivering the polymers in his candidate dissertation in 1970.

The technical design of Project 1710 was developed in 1975. Although Project 1710 is an experimental submarine, the form and main dimensional ratios were those used for the development of the submarines of Project 696 and also Project 705, which produced the "Alfa," one of our highest-speed submarines.

Project 696 was designed as a combatant ship. Its contract design had been completed by 1975, but then was canceled under the influence of a new doctrine that increased the priority of quietness relative to speed. The displacement of the ship was expected to be 6,000 tons and propulsion was provided by an open propeller.

The Leningrad Admiralty Shipyard Complex began construction of Project 1710 in 1985. After two years, the completed submarine was transferred to the scientific-experimental base in Sevastopol. See Figure 3.

This extended development time of the submarine-laboratory can be explained by the positions taken by G. A. Firsov and A. I. Voznesensky, then the leaders of the Krylov Shipbuilding Research Institute, who considered that all of the data required for the design could be obtained in the institute's laboratories. After the first trials of the Project 1710 submarine, however, Voznesensky praised highly the results obtained and also the value of the submarine-laboratory.

The basic design decisions in the development of the submarine-laboratory were directed toward the following objectives:

  • Construction in the shortest time
  • Stage-by-stage outfitting for various types of trials
  • Conduct of full-scale research on the level of not only the modem requirements of science but also consideration of the long-term development strategy

The hull form was envisioned as a body of revolution, without a parallel midbody, with a length-to-beam ratio of about 1:7. Such a hull form ensured the achievement of optimal propulsive characteristics and minimal form resistance. A double hull was selected to ensure optimal lines for the outer hull, the simplest technological configuration for the pressure hull, and the necessary interhull space for locating special systems and structures, as well as to ensure positive surface buoyancy.

The double-hull configuration also permitted changes in the location of the propeller and the polymer ring-slot ejectors, as well as in the shape and material of the sonar fairing. The initial placement of scientific-research equipment, which had been based on calculations, was later changed.

The submarine's standard equipment and materials—not connected with the conduct of research—was production series equipment. Some of these items were subsequently replaced with newly developed equipment. Provisions for timely, phased re-equipping of the submarine for various types of trials were included.

To ensure the improvement of the tactical-technical elements during the process of the step-by-step reinstrumentation and modification, the initial ship design included design margins. The double-hull submarine-laboratory had five pressure-hull compartments, a forward and aft outer hull, a sail, and a superstructure.

The first pressure-hull compartment, which housed the batteries, was divided into two parts—upper and lower—by a horizontal watertight sheathing. The upper deck provided space for the basic part of the scientific research equipment, the hydroacoustic equipment, the automatic battery controls, the means to ventilate the storage batteries, and also the means to ventilate the compartment and to condition the air. The lower part contained one group of the storage batteries, plus the bow trim tanks, the yokes for the central horizontal planes, the capstan yoke, fire extinguishing systems, and the access hatch used to load the batteries.

The second compartment, also separated into upper and lower decks, contained the living spaces and additional batteries. The upper deck had space for the battery controls and battery ventilation system, a 12-man berthing space, two one-person spaces, three hanging bunks, the galley with refrigerators, and the compartment ventilation and air-conditioning systems. On the lower deck was a second group of storage batteries. Also in the compartment were tanks for potable and washing water, a fresh-water tank for the fire extinguishing system, an antifire system, used-water tanks, and another hatch for loading batteries.

The third compartment housed the central ship control facilities. On the upper deck were the posts for the submarine commander and the head of the engineering department, the navigation control panel, the common ship's systems control panel, the navigator's and sonarman's panel, and the radio space. Also on the upper deck were the navigation, sonar, surveillance, communications systems, the research equipment, the periscope, the radar, and the radio communications antenna. The lower deck had a four-person stateroom, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, water-overboard and bilge pumps, pumps for the hydraulic system, pumps for the delivery of polymer paste and seawater to the mixers, pump systems for circulating the polymer paste and slurries, the head, and a fire suppression system.

The fourth compartment contained the electric drive motor, the shaft with its connecting clutch and reducer, the electric oil pump system, the oil cooler, the oil separator, the electric pump system for cooling the equipment, the diesel generator, and the post for controlling the main electric drive motor and the economical (slow speed) motor. Also in the compartment were ventilation and air conditioning systems, tanks for the shaft circulating oil, and a fire-suppression system.

The fifth or stern pressure-hull compartment housed the shaft and thrust bearing, the deadweight gland, the economic drive motor, the compressor, a fire suppression system, the rudder armatures, the stern trim tanks, a tank for draining oil from the thrust bearing, some research equipment, a ventilation and air conditioning system, and also two hanging bunks.

The bow space had sonar array and a fairing with slots for the delivery of polymer. The stern space consisted of an extended section to support the drive shaft, the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, and the planes and yokes.

The sail contained the periscope, extendible masts, and sonar arrays. Highpressure air tanks, mooring and towing equipment, and other devices were located in the superstructure.

The space between the hulls was occupied by the main ballast tanks and the tanks and equipment for delivering diluted polymer slurry into the boundary layer. With a reserve buoyancy of about 30%, positive buoyancy was guaranteed should any pressure hull compartment and the adjacent two main ballast tanks on one side be flooded.

Each surface of the vertical and horizontal planes had a separate trim tab and was positioned on two bearing points. Sensor measurements were made at the trim tabs and the hydrodynamic moment was recorded. Each plane had a separate hydraulic connection. The middle horizontal planes were retractable; the openings in the outer hull were covered with shutters.

The ship was fitted with a seven bladed, low-noise propeller that supported a full speed of about 25 knots. The specified submerged speed and the high control and maneuverability characteristics of the ship were confirmed during sea trials.

The Project 1710 experimental submarine is a unique scientific ship; its only possible analogue could be the U.S. Navy's Albacore (AGSS-569), built in 1953 for hydrodynamic research. Polymer trials on board the Albacore did not lead to use in the fleet.

The experimental submarine, Project 1710, permitted research in the area of hydrodynamics and acoustics at a qualitatively new level and took into account the knowledge and achievements that did not exist when the Albacore was operating. At the same time, the 20-year experience gained through the use of this LS.S. submarine (up to 1973) is indicative of the huge scientific research potential resident in the Project 1710 experimental submarine.

The distinctive characteristics of the Project 1710 submarine-laboratory are the system for delivering a polymer solution to the boundary layer and the large amount of scientific-research equipment on board. The system monitors the effectiveness of polymer solutions on the reduction of submarine resistance and on decreasing the level of flow noise interference with the hydroacoustic array under natural conditions. See Figure 4.

The polymer paste is loaded into a special tank that incorporates an elastic container. Sea water is piped into the space between the container and the tank walls, which then fills the space vacated as the paste is used. When the system is activated, sea water and polymer paste enter the mixer, after which the mixture flows through piping to holding tanks and then along external pipes to slots in the outer hull, the sail, the stabilizers, and the propeller.

On-board equipment measures an( records the following parameters:

  • Boundary layer and sea environment—the wall shear stresses, pressure fluctuations, temperature, temperature fluctuations, flow velocity, and velocity fluctuations
  • Thrust, moment [torque], and frequency of revolution of the propeller
  • The circular moment on the control surface tabs, the change in the angle of the planes, the angle of attack of the hull, and the pressure in the hydraulics for control of the planes
  • The parameters of the flow through the propeller (velocity vectors, the excess and the full pressure, and the pressure and temperature fluctuations)
  • Towing characteristics
  • Spatial motion parameters—roll, pitch, yaw, vertical acceleration, submergence depth, forward velocity
  • Spectral level parameters of the acoustic interference [wall pressure fluctuations]
  • Vibroacoustic characteristics

Since one of the basic missions ot tne submarine-laboratory was to monitor the effect of polymer solutions on the boundary layer, the Novosibirsk NPO "Karbolit' and the Saratov NPO "Nitron," under the direction of SPMDB "Malakhit," pursued the development of indigenous types of hydrodynamically active polymers on the basis of polyethylene and polyacrylamide, with the goal of ensuring that thev hydrodynamic characteristics were equa to those of the best foreign analogues.

The creation of these polymers and a paste formulated on their basis was accompanied by a series of ecological studies conducted by the Kovalevskij Institute of the Biology of the Southern Seas and Navy TsNll-1. Research was conducted on microorganisms and zooplankton in the Black Sea and the Atlantic, both on board the scientific-research vessel Professor Vodyanitskij and on the Project AV611-D submarine. All of the experimental polymers were approved for use as non-toxic materials.

In 1987, after completing trials, Project 1710 was delivered to the Navy and began full-scale tests on the Balaklava range in the Black Sea. The program continued successfully until the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Full-scale tests showed that the delivery of polymer solutions into the boundary layer yielded increased speed at constant power—indicating a decrease in hydrodynamic resistance. The high effectiveness of the polymers on the pressure fluctuations over the hydroacoustic array fairing was proven, resulting in decreased hydrodynamic interference on the performance of the hydroacoustic system at high speeds.

For the first time in Russian practice, full-scale measurements were conducted over a range of speeds and pressures at the propeller disk and behind it, which permitted direct measurement of the resistance. These experiments provided the data necessary to improve existing calculation methods for sea-keeping and main-propulsion propellers, as well as the ship's acoustic field. The latter has a significant priority when selecting the architecture of the submarine's outer shapes and propulsors.

New data were obtained on the influence of hydraulic surface roughness on the speed characteristics of the ship and on the effect of polymer additives. The full-scale maneuvering trials yielded data on hydrodynamic forces and moments that defined the stability of motion and controllability, and the parameters for the non-standard regimes (casualty conditions) of a submarine. For the first time, reliable data were obtained that could be used to select stabilizers and planes for new design submarines without any correction for scale effect.

Noise measurements were taken while the submarine was maneuvering, and the hydrodynamic forces during the motion close to the free surface under various sea state conditions were studied.

The insights obtained during the systematic conduct and analysis of the full-scale trials have both a long-term scientific future and also the possibility for direct realization on board combatant submarines.

The full-scale systematic conduct of tests of new acoustic systems and technology on board the submarine-laboratory has permitted a sharp reduction in the scope of trials on board combatant submarines, which, in turn, expands the capability for ship's combat service and significantly reduces the overall expenditures for the maintenance of the submarine fleet.

The Project 1710 submarine is now part of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. An inspection in 1996 revealed that the technical condition of the submarine was completely satisfactory. As a result, a broad program of integrated work to continue trials and to use the very large potential of the submarine-laboratory is under consideration.

Boris Dronov was the senior researcher for the Project 1710 at SPMDB Malakhit and Boris Barbanel was the Chief Designer.


Just Another Day with the Lone Star Express

By Lieutenant Commander Paul M. Costello, U.S. Naval Reserve

Rarely is there enough airlift in the Mediterranean to go around. Given far-flung bases, a carrier battle group, amphibious readiness groups, deployed Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps units all in need of spare parts, mail, critical machinery, and replacement personnel, the airlift requests often outnumber the aircraft available.

Helping to respond to this requirement, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR)-59, home-based at Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth, Texas (formerly Carswell Air Force Base), provided two C-9B aircraft, four crews, and specially trained maintenance personnel for two weeks last August and September. Forward-based in Sigonella, Sicily, these aircraft flew an intensive schedule of day and night missions ranging from the Atlantic coast of Spain to the Black Sea coast of Romania.

What follows is an account of a typical mission. After returning from an eight-hour round-trip to Crete, Commander David Henk, aircraft commander, and the crew were notified that the next day we would be providing airlift from Sigonella to Nuremberg, Germany, to Rota, Spain, and back to Sigonella. Henk, from Grapevine, Texas, and the co-pilot, yours truly, spent the evening filing flight plans, verifying diplomatic clearances, updating charts and Notices to Airmen, while the maintenance detachment was servicing and configuring the aircraft for its expected load of passengers and cargo.

The morning sky was brightening as crew members headed out to aircraft 529 at 0700 local. Aviation Electrician's Mate First Class Brian Galindo, the crew chief from Wills Point, Texas, conducted a series of detailed preflight checks. Aviation Electrician's Mate First Class Bob Winter of Hurst, Texas, and Aircrew Survival Equipmentman First Class Lesley Pinckard of Fort Worth checked cabin emergency equipment and stocked the aircraft with food in expectation of 65 hungry U.S. Marines waiting for us in Germany. Aviation Structural Mechanic First Class Keith Shires of Cleburne, Texas, our Loadmaster, was across the field inspecting the cargo to be loaded, destined for the Army training complex at Graffenwoehr, Germany. I completed cockpit preparation and programmed the navigational computers.

Just after 0800, our aircraft commander is notified that air traffic control restrictions are delaying the mission ten hours. He starts working the telephones with the airlift support staff in Naples to determine a new routing that can work around the delay.

The fuel and cargo trucks pull away from the aircraft and Shires inventories his cargo-securing gear and closes the large cargo door. Out comes the calculator as he adds the weights and determines the center of gravity (CG) for the aircraft with its 4,000 pounds of cargo. His calculations will determine the proper trim setting for takeoff. Minutes later, Henk emerges with a new flight routing that allows us to depart on time.

We depart at 0900 heading north up the west coast of Italy, then over the island of Elba where Napoleon was exiled, then proceed north toward the coast of France. The clear skies of the Mediterranean are replaced by a low overcast that covers the European continent.

While detouring around Switzerland for sovereignty reasons, we get a weather update: Nuremberg tower is reporting a low overcast with rain and poor visibility. Henk and I review the various instrument approaches to the airport and make contingency plans for icing, suitable divert airfields, and fuel management.

We start our descent into Bavarian airspace just before noon. What a great way to start off the day! The air traffic controllers are excellent and soon we pick up the runway lighting. After landing, we taxi clear of the runway and spot our 65 Marines and two mountains of field gear and weapons awaiting our arrival.

The airport manager invites the pilots to his office to discuss our mission and how his personnel can assist us; he personally escorts the crew to the weather office and flight planning. Finally, he takes the crew to the duty-free store where they grab up some German chocolate for everyone. Flying around Europe has some perks.

We return to find the aircraft fueled. The critical U.S. Army cargo is unloaded and the U.S. Marines and their gear loaded quickly. Galindo checks engine oil levels while Winter checks that the cargo compartments are secured. Pinckard gives our new passengers a safety brief while Shires sits on the mountain of gear with his ever-present calculator, checking and rechecking his cargo and CG numbers. When asked how it's going, he replies without looking up "This is going to be a heavy one."

We start the engines, pick up the clearance, and 529 takes to the skies at 1300 for its longest leg of the day. The route this time has us flying across the Bavarian and Schwabian regions of Germany, over the cities of Strasbourg and Lyon toward southwestern France.

As we approach the Pyrenees Mountains, a long line of thunderstorms looms ahead. The "Fasten seat belt" sign comes on, but we notice that not one of our Marines is awake to hear it. Winter and Pinckard inspect the cabin to make sure all seat belts are fastened and that personal items are secure in case of turbulence. The radar indicates a route through the weather and we are cleared to deviate around several large cloud buildups.

Twenty minutes later we pop out of the weather to a beautiful view of the mountains. We think about pointing it out to our passengers, but our Marines are still sleeping off a demanding week in the field. The central plains of Spain look a lot like Texas; we'll be heading home in a few days if we can find a route across the Atlantic around Hurricane Bonnie.

We spot the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Cadiz. Forty miles out, we pick up the long runway at Naval Station Rota, Spain. After an uneventful landing we part company with our Marines; the ships of their amphibious ready group swing at anchor in the bay. This wouldn't be a bad place to live. The beach would be a welcome break right now, but there is still work to do. Shires directs an unevenly loaded pallet to be built up properly. Pinckard escorts our Space A passengers headed for our home base of Sigonella while our aircraft commander assists a military family with their three young children. Winter stands by the fire bottle while Galindo refuels 529 yet again.

The C-9B departs on the long overwater leg across the Mediterranean Sea toward Sicily. To the south, we can see the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Isles and Sardinia dot the sparkling blue sea. Back in the cabin, the crew is cleaning up. The aircraft and our crew has performed superbly today. A busy day like today really gives you feeling of accomplishment. Our mission will end in only a few hours, but 529 is only halfway through its labors-- there remains another mission to Greece and back this evening with a new crew, more cargo to load and more passengers to embark for destinations around the world. Our other C-9B should be leaving Albania now and heading for Naples.

Tomorrow is another day.

Lieutenant Commander Costello , a pilot with Delta Air Lines, flies with VR-59. A qualified surface warfare officer and submariner, he flew F/A-18s with VFA-87 while on active duty.



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