Electronic warfare and surveillance are increasingly becoming topics of discussion. The nature of that type of warfare (and indeed combat itself) calls for a certain amount of creativity. To see, but not be recognized or seen oneself, begs for innovation and novel solutions to life-threatening problems. But even the most brilliant plans can be rendered moot if one builds an idea on a false assumption. Such is the nature of the ingenious yet flawed TURDSID.
Archive for the 'Science and Technology' Category
By Rear Adm. Kevin Slates Director, Energy and Environmental Readiness Division Ninety-eight years ago today, the Navy deployed a new technology on USS New Mexico (BB 40) that was then hailed as one of the most important achievements of the scientific age: the turboelectric drive. Before this major event, ships used a direct-drive steam turbine, which started with the HMS Dreadnought. Direct drive turbines were very efficient at faster speeds, but at slow speeds they wasted energy when the propeller turned too quickly, causing cavitation. Since the average underway speed of battleships was under 15 knots, this proved to be an… Read the rest of this entry »
On 17 July 1975, the crews of the U.S. Apollo and Soviet Soyuz docked in space initiating the first manned space flight conducted jointly by the United States and Soviet Union. The primary purpose of the mission, the Apollo Soyuz Test Project, was to test the compatibility of rendezvous and docking systems for American and Soviet spacecraft and to open the way for international space rescue as well as future joint manned flights. It also symbolized a policy of détente that the two superpowers were pursuing at the time and marked the end of the Space Race between the two… Read the rest of this entry »
There’s been plenty of discussion about the Navy’s recent approach to ship building, and the promise of capability and capacity – see Littoral Combat Ship. What can history tell us about nurturing at sea innovation? It is never easy. On June 20, 1815, the Navy’s first steam-driven warship, the Fulton I, underwent initial trials in New York. Fulton, named in honor of her designer, Robert Fulton, was intended to be a heavily-armed and stoutly built mobile fort for local defense. Put into service in 1816, she missed action in the War of 1812 and only performed a single day of… Read the rest of this entry »
On 14 April 1988, watchstanders aboard USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) sighted three mines floating approximately half of a mile from the ship. Twenty minutes after the first sighting, as Samuel B. Roberts was backing clear of the minefield, she struck a submerged mine. The explosive device tore a 21-foot hole in the hull, causing extensive fires and flooding. Ten Sailors were injured in the attack. Only the heroic efforts of the ship’s crew, working feverishly for seven straight hours, saved the vessel from sinking. Four days later, forces of the Joint Task Force Middle East (JTFME) executed the… Read the rest of this entry »
This article was published in the May 1964 issue of Proceedings as “Searching for the Thresher” by Frank A. Andrews, Captain, U.S. Navy. The Thresher search was very much an ad hoc operation. On 10 April 1963, the day of the Thresher‘s loss, there was no real search organization, no search technique, nor specific operating procedures for locating an object lying on the ocean bottom at 8,400 feet. In the first frantic hours after the Thresher‘s loss, a full scale search effort consisting of 13 ships was laid on with the aim of scouring the ocean for possible life or… Read the rest of this entry »
This article was written by Rear Admiral George J. Dufek, USN (retired) with Joseph E. Oglesby, JOC, USN. It was originally published as “Operation Deepfreeze Fits Out” in the March 1956 issue of Proceedings magazine. When President Eisenhower announced a renewal of American interest in the Antarctic early last year, he gave the Department of Defense the responsibility for supporting American scientists in the greatest American undertaking in the barren history of the Antarctic. Considering the complexities involved, it immediately became apparent that the Navy would draw the bid as the Defense agency best qualified to undertake the four-year… Read the rest of this entry »
“The Wilkes Exploring Expedition: Its Progress Through Half a Century” was originally published in the September/October 1914 issue of Proceedings magazine by Louis N. Feipel: The important expedition known as the Wilkes, or South Sea, Exploring Expedition, fitted out in 1838 by national munificence, was the first that ever left our shores, and the first to be commanded by an officer of the United States Navy. But although organized on a most stupendous scale, and shrouded in a most interesting history, this expedition is to-day comparatively unknown.