The paper “Surfacing Rescue Container Concept Design for Trident Submarines: Rethinking Submarine Search and Rescue” was published in the Naval Engineers Journal, Winter 2010, Volume 122, Number 1 edition. The author presented an outstanding manuscript that describes a design of a submarine escape capsule, or surfacing rescue container (SRC), intended for use onboard the US Navy's next-generation ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) but may be back-fitted on current US Navy Ohio Class and UK Royal Navy Vanguard Class submarines with significant alterations.
The author describes the results of technical analyses including a minimum weight design approach for internally stiffened right circular cylinders exposed to external hydrostatic pressure, an analytical and numerical structural analysis of imperfect ring stiffened cylinders with end-caps, and a seakeeping analysis for SRCs of cylindrical shape.
The author presents a compelling explanation that only escape methods (i.e., not rescue methods) can provide an exit within the first hour of a submarine sinking. For this reason, solely relying on a strategy that forces men to await rescue is ill-posed; it dissuades men from acting quickly at shallow and intermediate depths, and after a short time, puts them in a situation in which individual escape is no longer an option. This insight provides the basis for a well articulated design that might be used to correct this situation for future submarines, potentially saving the lives of the crew in such emergency situations.
The author’s explanation of the fundamental principles involved, in both clearly written and well-presented graphical forms, clearly puts forth his concepts and makes this an exceptional technical paper. The author demonstrated superior knowledge of the subject matter, and explained it so that a wide audience can benefit from the results of his study, and he is highly deserving of the Society’s 2010 “Jimmie” Hamilton Award.