Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Hand Me That Safe Operating Envelope (SOE), Would Ya
Wired’s Danger Room has some halfway decent pictures of the U.S. Navy’s newest attack submarine, of the Virginia class, the USS Mississippi, along with an article, written by Spencer Ackerman, who tagged along for a ride on the Mississippi as it transited down to Pascagoula for commissioning.
Ackerman’s article, as with most articles dealing with government systems or weapons platforms, is just detailed enough to be interesting, and just vague enough to not spill any supposed secrets in regards to the Mississippi.
I did note one rather glaring inaccuracy in Ackerman’s piece, as follows.
The faster the captain wants to go, the deeper he dives.
While that statement does have some truth to it, it is not accurate. Submarines must operate, when submerged, in what is known as the safe operating envelope (SOE). The SOE for a submarine is calculated based on speed, depth, and it’s ability to recover from a control plane casualty. If the Mississippi, or any submarine, attempted to run at Full or Flank speed at depths outside the established SOE, and suffered a control plane casualty, well, those onboard, as we used to say when I was on the USS Los Angeles (SSN688), may as well bend over and kiss their asses goodbye.
Linked via Fred Lapides.