Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Periscopes... Who Needs 'Em?

For those who haven't seen it yet, here's an article on the latest in non-penetrating submarine optics. Excerpt:

"But submarines could soon get new optics systems that provide far greater stealth and security by allowing them to look around from the depths and without a mast due to two innovative products being developed by a small California company. The Virtual Periscope, slated for sea trials aboard the USS Chicago this summer, would turn the surface of the ocean itself into a lens. The Low-Cost Expendable Sensor (LCES) is a small tethered camera that would bob to the surface and send images back..."

I'm probably old-fashioned, but I still like the idea of actually looking at what I'm looking at, rather than trusting in the electronics to process it all...
Lubber's Line wrote more about this article over at our new group sub-blog, Ultraquiet No More.

Going deep...

6 Comments:

Anonymous Bernie said...

Already happening. Periscopes are a thing of the past. The Virginia has a non penatrating optics mast in place of a periscope. This system was first used on the DSRV's only then, it was simply referred to as the pan camera.
From what I hear, the lack of a periscope on the Virginia enabled the designers to place the control room on the middle level enabling a larget control room.

6/04/2005 12:06 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

Power redundancy for nonpenetrating optics has got to be pretty crucial. Surfacing could get hairy in certain emergencies. Now, there are no "windows" left.

6/05/2005 12:56 AM

 
Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

Actually, the nonpenetrating scope on the VA-class was first used on the Annapolis, as the BVS-1. On both platforms, the nonpenetrating mast is still a traditional mast, it just doesn't require the huge optical column to come down into control like the old mirrored (reliable) scopes, hence control is in the middle of the boat on the VA. But it is still pretty much a traditional scope, in that it goes up a mast, and looks around by turning on a mast raised a specific MHH above the water.
The Virtual Scope and the LCES are not meant to replace the traditional scope, as they do not have near the same range, but rather to supplement the traditional scope for close contact, specifically when preparing to come to PD. It is part of the Sub Fleet's SACA (Situation Awareness - Contact Avoidance) effort. They do not replace the traditional scope as they simply do not have the range - ie. they can see something close, but only a traditional optical or fiber-optic scope can see to the horizon.
On a slightly different note, SACA used to be called Situation Awareness - COllision Avoidance, but that was deemed to, ah, politically touchy, hence 'Contact' in the title now.

And Vig, yeah, the scope P-panel is right off the vital bus. At least, it was on the Annapolis. I figure it has to be on the VA as well, but I am not sure how that all DC plant is set up, exactly.

6/05/2005 7:13 AM

 
Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

BTW, I meant to add, neither the LCES or the Virtua-scope use a mast, hence I don't think of them as 'traditional'. They just take a look at the area nearby through their own methods...

6/05/2005 7:14 AM

 
Anonymous Bernie said...

Sorry, but long before the first "Black boat" ever experimented with the optics mast, the DSRV's had two pan camera's operating in the same manner as periscopes. The DSRV's have been doing this since 1972. In the 90's, the 90 deg conventional tv cameras were replaces by what is the same design as what the Virginia class now uses. So with the experince on the DSRV's and NR-1, the optics mast is not as new a concept as one would believe.

6/05/2005 1:47 PM

 
Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

No one said the idea was new, bern. Just that the current incarnation started on the Annapolis...

6/05/2005 2:01 PM

 

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