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  • DSRV question?

    The X-37B thread and all the mystery surrounding it reminded me of a rumor about the now-terminated DSRV program.

    On the surface, the DSRV provided the capability to rescue trapped sub crewmen. There was a rumor/report though that while this was true, it was really a cover story for its true role as an espionage platform. It was supposedly able to tap into Soviet communications cables strewn along the ocean bottom. The DSRV was rated to a depth of 5000-ft if I remember right and this is probably twice or thrice the depth that you would expect a sunken sub to remain intact from the water pressure.

  • #2
    Originally posted by kuma View Post
    The X-37B thread and all the mystery surrounding it reminded me of a rumor about the now-terminated DSRV program.

    On the surface, the DSRV provided the capability to rescue trapped sub crewmen. There was a rumor/report though that while this was true, it was really a cover story for its true role as an espionage platform. It was supposedly able to tap into Soviet communications cables strewn along the ocean bottom. The DSRV was rated to a depth of 5000-ft if I remember right and this is probably twice or thrice the depth that you would expect a sunken sub to remain intact from the water pressure.
    There is a big difference between a submarine maximum safe working depth, and maximum or crushing depth.

    A much better tool for playing around with undersea communication cables was the NR-1 with its remote controlled arms.

    Nowadays, there are remote controlled vehicules ROV's that can easily do the tapping at any depth communication cables are laid, but the fiber optic cable technology make it hard to tap undetected.


    US Navy DSRV Avalon on deck of French nuclear sub Tonnant for a test deployment in 2000.



    kelt
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    • #3
      Originally posted by kelt06 View Post
      There is a big difference between a submarine maximum safe working depth, and maximum or crushing depth.

      A much better tool for playing around with undersea communication cables was the NR-1 with its remote controlled arms.

      Nowadays, there are remote controlled vehicules ROV's that can easily do the tapping at any depth communication cables are laid, but the fiber optic cable technology make it hard to tap undetected.


      US Navy DSRV Avalon on deck of French nuclear sub Tonnant for a test deployment in 2000.



      kelt
      Care to hazard a guess what the crush depth would be on a SSGN or SSBN?

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      • #4
        I am fairly conversant with the design and capacity of civilian diving systems, the methods of calculation they share with military systems are rather simple, if you know the type/quality of steel used, thickness of plates and diameter of cylinders, a maximum working pressure/depth of the hull can be asserted (results would not take in account hull penetration equuipments).

        As an exemple the DSRV have a thin cylindrical hull, and the pressure hull is made of three interconnected spherical chambers, a cylindrical body designed to whistand the same max pressure would have been too heavy for air transportation.

        A submarine that has lost engine power/vertical manoeuvering and capacity to restore a positive buoyancy will sink beyond crushing depth in minutes if the waterdepth allows it.


        A submarine may see its maximum safe working depth downgraded over time, as for the NR-1 originally cleared for 1000M (or slightly more) in 1969, it was downgraded to 700M in the 1990s.




        kelt

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