Submarines – Extreme Technology – Big Bigger Biggest

[BossBlog | Technology] you can’t see her she can dive to over 250 meters and stay down for six months you can’t hear her she can run for 20 years without refueling she is the most lethal weapon ever designed an apocalypse machine capable of devastating entire continents [BossBlog | Technology] the uss pennsylvania is an ohio-class submarine the biggest submarine in the u.s navy her very existence is the result of over 200 years of engineering evolution there have been six key stages in the development of submarine technology and six key submarines at the heart of each lies a technological innovation and enabled submarines to grow in size one by one traveling up the scale will reveal the incredible stories behind these vessels and the inventions that made each one bigger than the last six ingenious leaps forward that enabled submarines to evolve from big to bigger into the us navy’s biggest [BossBlog | Technology] [BossBlog | Technology] [BossBlog | Technology] helm right 15 degrees rudder steady course 3-2-0 captain bradford s neff is taking the uss pennsylvania and its crew of 165 men on a patrol his submariners are a unique breed sailors on my ship have to be able to deal with being inside for an entire patrol which is normally about 72 days or so during this time the pennsylvania will silently glide through the depths of the pacific ocean invisible to her enemies she is primed to unleash her awesome apocalypse in an instant [BossBlog | Technology] to understand how the pennsylvania became the world’s most powerful killing machine we must travel back in time [BossBlog | Technology] our journey begins in 1776 with the world’s first war submarine a hollow wooden sphere with a limited supply of air [BossBlog | Technology] at the height of the american war of independence the americans found themselves at a severe disadvantage their warships were no match for the might of the british navy they hatched a plan that relied on guile rather than brute force [BossBlog | Technology] their scheme required a new kind of vessel one that allowed a man to carry a bomb underwater man and bomb had to remain hidden until they reached the british battleship [BossBlog | Technology] once there the man had to plant the bomb and escape [BossBlog | Technology] he had to do it all [BossBlog | Technology] without coming out for air the american engineers built their craft from two hollowed-out pieces of solid oak [BossBlog | Technology] just like a barrel they used iron hoops to hold the two halves together and sealed the join with tar to keep the water out a tank sat below the operator when he pumped it full of sea water the craft sank hidden underwater the operator sat in his own bubble of air it was the world’s first war submarine they called it the turtle [BossBlog | Technology] jaunty powis has commanded a nuclear-powered submarine for the royal navy and he’s about to climb aboard its pedal-powered forebear well what we have here is a reproduction of the uss turtle so let’s give it a go wow it is very very cramped inside and so little air the chap’s got to propel it by his own muscle power uh both up and down and by using these foot pedals never mind the noise it makes it’s just physically exhausting tiny window to look through it’s going to be dark outside because it’s night he’s got pumps to operate goodness only knows how long it took to propel this thing anywhere but i’ve been in it for two minutes and already i’m thinking i really want to get out on the night of the attack engineers attached a bomb to the turtle’s back they tied the bomb to a drill head that could be driven into the hull of the enemy ship but when the operator reached his target he found that the underside of the british ship was lined with copper sheeting try as he might the drill was unable to pierce it and he couldn’t attach the bomb no one really knows how long the operator could have survived underwater rebreathing the same air before being forced to abandon his mission [BossBlog | Technology] to try to find out we’ve set up an experiment using a sealed box containing the same volume of air as the turtle we’re gonna get sealed in there do some exercise and see how long you can keep going without feeling too too funny let’s let’s have a go let’s get you physiologist dr kevin fong is an expert on how the body performs under extreme conditions a little bit sealed off here there you go brilliant let’s get you starting pedaling now and let’s see how you go [BossBlog | Technology] [BossBlog | Technology] after 25 minutes the oxygen in the box begins to run out our volunteer’s lungs start to burn and his speech becomes slurred you can feel it’s harder to breathe much shorter shorter shorter oxygen the man in the turtle must have been suffering from similar symptoms [BossBlog | Technology] his brain starved of oxygen would have begun to shut down within minutes he would have lost consciousness [BossBlog | Technology] enough of that oh that’s refreshing all right well done matt fantastic how are you feeling he was out of breath he was getting pretty hot in there sweaty he was short of air dr fong’s test exposes a major limitation of the turtle it quickly runs out of air so how do the crew of the uss pennsylvania survive underwater [BossBlog | Technology] hamster last man down hatch secure second car awesome deck submerged ship to 160 feet [BossBlog | Technology] the uss pennsylvania needs enough air to stay submerged for months at a time five six six zero once our hatch is closed to dive a crew are sealed inside the submarine for the duration of their mission 1-1-0 each crewman needs 12 cubic meters of air every day just to stay alive more if they’re working hard even in a vessel as roomy as this the pennsylvania’s crew would run out of air after just seven days [BossBlog | Technology] so where do they get their air from [BossBlog | Technology] the answer the very thing they’re traveling in sea water [BossBlog | Technology] by passing electricity through the water it’s possible to split the substance into its component parts hydrogen and oxygen [BossBlog | Technology] chemist andrew schidlow will demonstrate how this works [BossBlog | Technology] so we have this apparatus set up here the positive electrode here is giving off oxygen and the negative electrode here is giving off hydrogen what i’m going to show you now is that we can collect the oxygen and then reignite a glowing splint with it that’s proving that that’s the gas so i’m going to now turn our tap very carefully here we now have a tube full of oxygen we’re now going to do the classic test for oxygen gas which is to see whether relight’s a glowing split there we go one two three four five a new world record six absolutely brilliant so there we are oxygen from water by electrolysis [BossBlog | Technology] electrolysis is also used under pennsylvania to make oxygen from seawater but on a much bigger scale here we have the oxygen generator her nickname is paris after the hilton sisters number one she’s actually nikki because we think nick is better no offense [BossBlog | Technology] nikki produces over 4 000 liters of oxygen every hour the oxygen is used to replenish stale air which is then circulated around the vessel pure clean air thanks to the hilton sisters we need to breathe and if she doesn’t make oxygen for us then we can’t breathe so we like to tend to her keep her happy over two centuries ago the turtles operator could stay submerged for just 25 minutes on the pennsylvania today the supply of air is limitless in 1776 a man in a barrel proved that even the mightiest battleship was vulnerable to attack from beneath the waves [BossBlog | Technology] but to exploit this weakness engineers would have to build a much bigger submarine the 13 meter long h.l hunley and find a way of controlling her [BossBlog | Technology] rifles to the ready during the american civil war engineers were pushing the envelope of weapon technology but they didn’t confine themselves to arms used on land they also invented an underwater weapon called a spa torpedo a barrel of gunpowder that sat on a spiked pole at the front of a submarine this bomb packed a punch but guiding it onto a target and withdrawing the sub to safety was fraught with difficulty the significance of a spa torpedo is that because it’s physically joined to your submarine you have to drive your submarine at the depth where it will meet the target too shallow and you’ll explode out of the water too deep and you’ll pass underneath the keel just right you’ll sink the target naval architect professor roble and his colleague will try to control the depth of their model submarine by letting air in and out easily said not so easily done which we’re now going to try and demonstrate okay ready so i’m now starting to let air out there she goes now the problem now is stopping it so mine’s coming up there but i got too much so whoops and i let too much out so i had to put some in so there it’s basically you tank like a stone you see you saw it go to stay on course submariners had to think outside the box when people first built submarines they didn’t really know how to control them so they looked to nature for inspiration and they copied the fins of a fish by putting metal fins on the side of the submarine this is exactly what confederate engineers did with their new submarine the hunley [BossBlog | Technology] inside the captain could move the fins up and down using levers when he pointed the fins down the water flowing past generated more pressure on the top surfaces of the fins than on the bottom this pressure forced the nose of the hunley down this allowed the captain to control the depth and angle of his attack precisely [BossBlog | Technology] he tried out the technology on an unsuspecting yankee warship [BossBlog | Technology] using her fins to guide her to precisely the right depth the hunley drove a spa torpedo into the ship’s hull she became the first submarine to sink a ship the hunley was a great leap forward in submarine design because for the first time somebody came up with a submarine design that could be controlled sufficiently precisely in course and depth in order to deliver an underwater weapon to the most vulnerable part of a surface ship and sink it like the hunley before the uss pennsylvania also has fins called [BossBlog | Technology] planes they are operated by two of the youngest crewmen on the ship this watch station here is one of the first ones we qualify our young operators on and some guys as young as 18 19 years old are actually driving the submarine through the water he’s got control of these fair water planes right here and they’re very good at depth keeping [BossBlog | Technology] the operator’s instructions are transmitted electronically to the fairwater planes by adjusting their angle he can move the submarine up and down in the water the pennsylvania has a second set of planes at the rear outboard controls the stern planes which you can see with this gauge right here the stern planes are all the way in the back of the submarine much like the elevators on an airplane they control the ship’s angle [BossBlog | Technology] we can essentially fly the ship much like an airplane under the water very well [BossBlog | Technology] during meal times we generally go up or down level decks so we don’t send the food the drinks and everything else sliding off the tables what if we had to we’d go up and down and every once in a while i’ll exercise that and they’ll play uh catch the plate down there back in 1864 finns gave the hunley great maneuverability but she still needed to ram her target to deliver her payload [BossBlog | Technology] this put her at considerable risk [BossBlog | Technology] it would take another 80 years before engineers would perfect the art of striking from a distance with this one of the most notorious predators of world war ii the german u-66 u-boat [BossBlog | Technology] in world war ii hitler’s submariners needed a way to attack allied shipping from a distance one weapon already existed that fitted the bill a torpedo that propelled itself it was powered by a tank of compressed air on launch a valve opened and released the air into two pistons their motion drove a propeller that pushed the torpedo through the water [BossBlog | Technology] but this torpedo had a fatal flaw the compressed air propelling it left a telltale trail of bubbles [BossBlog | Technology] this made it easy to see it coming so the german navy designed a torpedo that wouldn’t advertise its position with a wake of bubbles it didn’t run on compressed air this new torpedo worked off a small electric motor but it needed an enormous battery to power it [BossBlog | Technology] to accommodate the battery the torpedo needed to be over 7 meters long and to carry 22 of these torpedoes the submarine in turn had to be massive [BossBlog | Technology] the result was the 77 meter long u-66 [BossBlog | Technology] this underwater assassin sank 33 ships during world war ii her enormous arsenal of torpedoes meant she could attack time after time without having to return to base to riot [BossBlog | Technology] today torpedo warfare has scaled new heights [BossBlog | Technology] [BossBlog | Technology] [BossBlog | Technology] has designated a hostile submerged contact recommended battle station torpedo senator conai man battle stations torpedo chief of the watch down the general alarm [BossBlog | Technology] it’s day 10 of the pennsylvania’s patrol and they’re running a drill with their torpedoes [BossBlog | Technology] if it’s gone i sir i’m sorry we have gained crs-7 a hostile submarine bearing two zero zero okay i’m sorry about firing solutions yourself very well like so webs make tube two ready in all respects make tube two ready and all respects eye sir get the lock reach door be sure to lock tight i’m pretty robert [BossBlog | Technology] the pennsylvania’s mark 48 torpedoes are not limited to firing in a straight line these high-tech robots can be guided onto their target tube two ready in our respects farewell webs procedures cr7 tube two solution ready ship ready weapon ready shoot tube two set shoot tube two four two two an optic fiber spooling out of the back of the torpedo carries the weapons officer’s commands this allows him to steer the torpedo towards the target [BossBlog | Technology] 15 degrees rudder steady course three two zero as the torpedo closes its onboard sensors lock on and guide it in for the kill [BossBlog | Technology] ball for wire tube two [BossBlog | Technology] back in 1943 the u-66 could attack multiple targets without having to return to base and rear but its thirsty engines soon ran out of fuel [BossBlog | Technology] to stay at sea for longer engineers working on the much bigger uss nautilus would have to find a new source of power during the second world war the german navy had to urgently solve the refueling problem their u-boats were trying to sever britain’s supply line of ships from north america this took the u-boats a long way from home and from fuel what they needed was a way to refuel at sea so the germans invented a submarine that carried fuel rather than firepower they called it the milk cow to build it engineers took a standard u-boat and fitted extra fuel tanks [BossBlog | Technology] these held 400 tons of fuel [BossBlog | Technology] to deliver fuel the milk cow had to surface and row across a fuel line [BossBlog | Technology] during the five hours it took to refuel neither submarine could dive to safety which left them vulnerable to attack for the british the milk cows were clearly a most important target if you could attack them and sink them that would then limit the endurance of all the other german submarines in the atlantic [BossBlog | Technology] by the end of the war the allies had sunk all 10 of the german milk cows the lesson was clear refueling a submarine at sea was too dangerous engineers needed to find a way to make their fuel go further the answer came in 1945 with the dawn of the atomic age american scientists attempted to harness the colossal energy released by the splitting of an atom to power their new submarine they fitted it with a nuclear reactor this broke down uranium which triggered a massive release of heat this heat was used to generate steam the steam shot through a series of turbines forcing their blades to rotate at high speed these then drove the propellers [BossBlog | Technology] but the nuclear reactor was enormous and to accommodate it the new submarine had to be vast the technical difficulties of getting a nuclear reactor into the confines of a submarine hull were just tremendous no one had ever built a nuclear reactor of the required type before no one had ever tried to deliberately put it inside a submarine and lower it into the sea no one really knew just how much power you could get from a nuclear reactor no one had done it before [Applause] american engineers rose to the challenge and in 1954 unveiled the uss nautilus the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine she had no need to be refueled at sea and could travel an astonishing 100 000 kilometers on just four kilograms of uranium fuel [BossBlog | Technology] the impact of the nautilus the first nuclear-powered submarine was tremendous suddenly you had a submarine that could operate anywhere in the world and get there by traveling dived all the way today on the uss pennsylvania behind this watertight hatch lies one of the most highly classified pieces of u.s military hardware the submarine’s nuclear reactor [BossBlog | Technology] this reactor is far more powerful than the prototype that powered the nautilus it pumps out more than enough electricity to propel the 17 000 tonne pennsylvania through the water at 45 kilometers per hour it also runs the myriad of machines and equipment on board fueled by a lump of uranium the size of a fist there’s no sign yet of it needing to come in for a topper this submarine was commissioned in 1989 20 years ago has not been refueled yet the one thing that limits our ability to stay at sea is food so it’s fuel for the crew rather than for the submarine that limits the range of the pennsylvania she carries a three-month supply and it’s some of the best chow in the navy trapped underwater in a steel tube food’s also an important morale booster for the crew [BossBlog | Technology] saturday night is pizza night [BossBlog | Technology] the philadelphia barbecue freeway off the chain pizza [BossBlog | Technology] back in 1954 the nautilus proved that submarines could stay at sea almost indefinitely thanks to nuclear power but the nautilus had limited firepower torpedoes with conventional warheads [BossBlog | Technology] the us navy wanted to go nuclear with their firepower as well as their engines [BossBlog | Technology] their subs had to grow in size to accommodate these new weapons [BossBlog | Technology] in the 1950s scientists on both sides of the iron curtain raced to build a rocket-powered atom bomb and what better way of launching it than from a submarine the idea of putting these things on a submarine was quite simple that the submarines are very difficult to find and they are therefore a secure base from which to conduct a nuclear attack the russians were the first to do it [BossBlog | Technology] their missile was so tall the only place they could squeeze it in was behind the conning tower to launch it the submarine had to first surface and then hoist the missile above deck [BossBlog | Technology] but a submarine on the surface is an easy target for an enemy bomber [BossBlog | Technology] the americans wanted to take this soviet breakthrough a step further and build a submarine that could launch missiles without having to surface first the problems facing the americans were enormous they were designing a submarine to launch these missiles from under the water no one had ever fired a missile through the water before rocket engines need air to burn and won’t work underwater so the engineers considered using compressed air instead so we have here a demonstration but tristan’s going to show us this our tube compressed air all we needed is a missile so i placed the missile in the missile tube three two one fire thank you very much but that’s not very representative is it because clearly the submarine is going to be under water so the tube would be full of water this is a much more realistic and representative setup where we’ve got the missile in the tube on the whole rig under water so the missile has to not only get through the tube but also has to overcome the depth of water and the pressure above it so tristan let’s see what happens ready three two one fire [BossBlog | Technology] so rather disappointing so what’s the solution here we’ve got an arrangement with the missile he’s sitting in a dry tube with a seal on top of it question is whether that creates enough momentum when the missile breaks through the seal whether it can get through the water that sits on top of it tristan let’s see what happens ready to fire three two one so clearly that’s the system that works so the secret was a seal that prevented water flooding into the launch tube when the missile hatch opened a moment before launch the seal was blown apart before water had a chance to pour in a valve opened shooting a burst of compressed air into the bottom of the launch tube [BossBlog | Technology] the air forced the missile out of the tube at over 50 miles an hour it had enough momentum to cut through almost 40 meters of water [BossBlog | Technology] once in the air its rockets were able to ignite the uss george washington armed with 16 of these new polaris missiles took to the sea in 1960 each missile was 40 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on hiroshima and the george washington could launch them whilst hidden beneath the waves from anywhere on earth a truly terrifying prospect missiles like this one carried in submarines effectively prevented warfare by being so destructive so frightening that the concept of warfare between nations who owned them became [BossBlog | Technology] unthinkable man battle station’s missile chief watch sound general alarm [BossBlog | Technology] it’s day 15 of the mission and the captain runs the crew through a well-rehearsed exercise launching a nuclear strike [BossBlog | Technology] the uss pennsylvania carries 24 trident nuclear missiles and is on constant readiness to respond to a message to launch them captain we’re in receipt of a valid emergency access message that directs the launch of target package01 request permission to authenticate authenticate the message thank you the message sir golf oscar the command to launch a nuclear missile is encoded with a cipher to ensure that the order has come directly from the president himself captain the message is authentic i concur i concur i concur authorized launch weapons con here from mr fire these missiles are so big they need more than compressed air to get them through the water the pennsylvania uses a small rocket fired into a tank of water the water superheats and instantly turns to steam [BossBlog | Technology] this column of steam propels the missile through the water into the air [BossBlog | Technology] the nuclear warheads on this submarine alone are more destructive than all the bombs dropped in both world wars combined [BossBlog | Technology] [BossBlog | Technology] back in 1960 the uss george washington was equipped to deliver a nuclear holocaust but the enemy could still detect her presence for their next conjuring trick engineers must not only build bigger but somehow make their submarine invisible [BossBlog | Technology] in the depths of the ocean light doesn’t penetrate the water more than a few hundred meters sound waves however can travel through the water for many hundreds of kilometers those hunting the uss pennsylvania are listening out for any noise she makes that might give away her position [BossBlog | Technology] godzilla’s program section marine 379-08 to be stealthy the pennsylvania must be silent one of our primary missions is to remain at sea undetected and so our job day to day hour to hour is to remain quiet so that no one knows where we are except us everything on the submarine the decks equipment running machines and even the hand dryers are insulated with rubber shock absorbers to minimize noise caused by vibrations the other large source of noise that could radiate down to the ocean is our propeller that broadband noise can travel extreme distances in the ocean before designers can build a quiet propeller they have to understand why it makes so much noise if a propeller spins quickly it leaves a trail of bubbles behind it as the bubbles pop they make a lot of noise [BossBlog | Technology] these bubbles are not filled with air but with steam the steam is produced by the sea water boiling it is a well-known fact that water boils at 100 degrees centigrade however few people will know that at different pressures the water will boil at different temperatures if you increase the pressure as in a pressure cooker for instance then the boiling point of the water increases hence the cooking is more efficient few people will know however that at reduced pressures water will boil at lower temperatures i have here a vacuum pump and i’m going to turn on the vacuum this flask here contains water and we have it connected to a pressure gauge and we’re reading at the moment approximately 15 pounds per square inch which is one atmosphere i turn on the pump you notice the pressure dropping immediately and as the pressure drops as we approach zero bubbles start to form and the water starts to boil so here we are at room temperature but at a significantly reduced pressure almost almost a complete vacuum the water is now boiling water boiling at 20 degrees centigrade at almost zero pounds per square inch a remarkable phenomenon sir when a submarine’s propeller turns quickly an area of low pressure is created on the blades this lowering of pressure causes the water to boil without heating up and produces bubbles of steam this is called cavitation the formation of those bubbles is dependent on how fast we rotate our propeller so the faster we go the more risk we are for cavitation the pennsylvania’s propeller design is a closely guarded secret but the basic principles of a quiet running propeller are known [BossBlog | Technology] cavitation only occurs when a propeller spins quickly slowing the propeller down reduces cavitation and therefore noise but slowing the propeller also reduces a submarine’s thrust to overcome this problem the pennsylvania’s engineers developed a unique propeller with four additional specially shaped blades these generate large amounts of thrust but at much lower speeds this way the pennsylvania produces almost no cavitation or propeller noise she is a silent predator of the deep after 75 days at sea the pennsylvania glides quietly back to base her patrol completed [BossBlog | Technology] 20 years after her launch she is still the biggest submarine in the western world and she will remain so until someone builds an even bigger one [BossBlog | Technology] you

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