Undersea Warfare Magazine Article On Virginia-Class Submarines
I'm not sure when it got posted, but the Winter 2007 edition of Undersea Warfare magazine is online now. The "newest" version has a really good article on operating USS Virginia (SSN 774) at sea that submariners of all ages will like. I especially liked one passage that described how inventive submariners are in figuring out some uses of installed equipment that designers never envisioned:
Each photonics mast has three cameras in it; a high-resolution black and white camera, a color camera, and an infrared camera. Virginia’s designers did not originally envision that the infrared camera would be used 24 hours per day, as it was designed as a night-vision camera. However, Cmdr. Cramer and his crew quickly discovered how versatile the photonics system is. While transiting down the Thames River to Block Island Sound during the day, “we would use infrared on the surface, and my team became accustomed to using it because it allowed us to see lobster pot buoys much quicker than the naked eye because the markers reflect heat differently than the adjacent water does, so the ship could easily maneuver around lobster pots or debris in the water.”It's kinda the same way the designers of the scuttle from lower level berthing to the wardroom on a 688 never figured the crew would use it to listen in on "secret" officer meetings.
What "new" uses of installed equipment did submariners on your boats come up with?