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Submarine Waste Heat Disposal?

  1. Jan 12, 2017 #1
    How do nuclear submarines (and also newer technologies such as air independent propulsion submarines) get rid of the waste heat generated by their power plants given the high pressure environment they work in and their need for stealth?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2017 #2
    A condenser and service water systems. The heat gets discharged to the water around them.
     
  4. Jan 13, 2017 #3

    jim hardy

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    ....via heat exchangers that can handle the pressure.
     
  5. Jan 13, 2017 #4

    berkeman

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    With respect to stealth, what is the absorption of IR in seawater like? :smile: How does that affect your question?

    ftp://misclab.umeoce.maine.edu/users/optics/classFTP2015/Labs/Lab2_resources/Pegauetal1997.pdf
     
  6. Jan 24, 2017 #5

    mheslep

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    My guess: sound reflection off temperature gradients in the water set up by heat released from a sub is the stealth problem.
     
  7. Jan 24, 2017 #6

    berkeman

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    Interesting thought. Are you talking about normal ocean sounds having their propagation modified by the thermal trail behind the sub? Or a return change for active sonar pings? But if active sonar pings, those should pick up the sub unless they have some amazing sound absorbing coating, no?

    Plus, I would guess that most of the movements of stealthy subs are below the natural thermocline layer, so that's wny I assumed the OP was asking about optical IR detection...

    http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/thermocline.html
     
  8. Jan 25, 2017 #7

    mheslep

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    Passive listening, not active.
     
  9. Jan 25, 2017 #8

    jim hardy

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    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/LE13Ad01.html

     
  10. Jan 26, 2017 #9
    Oh wait, the secondary coolant loop is already pressurized. Since water is a good heat exchanger and since the ocean is applying more external pressure than a land based unit using the atmosphere as a heat sink doesn't that mean the design is in some respects easier?
     
  11. Jan 26, 2017 #10
    Might the Soviet US-A (Western designation Radar Ocean Reconnaissance Satellite/RORSAT) series satellites and the TOPAZ reactor powered Kosmos 1818 and Kosmos 1867 satellites have been used in that role, at least with the later units? The US-A series orbited Earth very closely and getting any useful information from a high altitude naval radar would have required development of look-down capability to eliminate clutter.

    The United States didn't deploy synthetic aperture radar satellites until many years after the Soviets put theirs up, but the United States and NATO could far more easily ring the ocean with sound detection equipment and early Soviet submarines were notoriously noisy. The Soviets were at a disadvantage in lacking friendly areas to base sound detection equipment out of and having to hunt submarines that were far quieter.

    This is getting more into radar physics than nuclear power, but I'm wondering if this is something that the Soviets might have been trying for with their naval reconnaissance satellites.
     
  12. Jan 26, 2017 #11

    berkeman

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    Why the fascination with trying to tap other smart folks for ideas about military tactics? Are you thinking of writing a book? We have a different sub-forum for that...
     
  13. Jan 27, 2017 #12
    I have thought of writing something about the United States Atomic Energy Commission, especially its work on environmental studies and alternative energy. This question is really more of personal interest because I didn't know synthetic aperture radar could be used to detect submarines.

    I'm interested in alternate history/counterfactual history (leaning closer to the "hard" side of things and counterfactual history) and want to make sure that I get the details right. I respect that this is a physics forum and not a politics or history forum, but I suppose without context some of my questions must seem a bit strange.
     
  14. Jan 27, 2017 #13

    jim hardy

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    Well i'm sure no expert just a curious amateur.

    Tom Clancy fascinates me and sometimes i check him against Jane's just out of curiosity.
    I just finished "Cardinal of the Kremlin" . When i checked Google Maps , Clancy's Russian 'satellite killer lasers' were exactly where he described them in 1988 .
    DushanbeLasers.jpg

    I know, it's a thirty year old book .. i really enjoyed it.
     
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