LT Christopher Roettgen, United States Navy
"Navigating a U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine"
Abstract: Working in an undersea environment complicates many fundamental maritime operations like navigation and contact management. Traditional and modern fix sources, such as visual lines of position and GPS, can be impossible to use while submerged. Therefore, these sources must be replaced by less-accurate inertial navigation systems. Additionally, visual sighting and radar tools must be replaced by use of sonar to maintain a clear contact picture underwater. Although the basic maritime principles of navigation and contact management remain unchanged while submerged, it is important for submariners to understand the physics relating to the uncertainty in the ship’s location and in the positions of other vessels. Basic submarine inertial navigation, problems associated with it, and the effects of changing sound speed throughout the marine environment on sonar data will be discussed.