3420. Submarine Equilibrium. Where Weight and Volume Meet


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David Tellet: 3420. Submarine Equilibrium. Where Weight and Volume Meet. 2007.



Unlike many other vehicles where often only some upper weight limit is mandated, a submarine must always seek an equilibrium point between her weight and her buoyancy or volume. This requirement produces unique challenges to the submarine weight engineer and designer during submarine design and construction as well as during the boat?s operational life. This paper presents the fundamentals of submarine equilibrium from Archimedes to today?s submarine operations. Factors that affect equilibrium are discussed including the ocean environment, submarine weights, volume, hydrostatics, and internal arrangement. Fixed ballast and variable ballast are defined and discussed in terms of growth margin and ship operation. Finally, the method of measuring and tracking equilibrium?the equilibrium polygon?is presented, including how the polygon is constructed and how it changes when the submarine weight is changed.


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