A heuristic solution for the stability problem in conventional submarines

  • M. Sinclair
  • M.M. Winstanley


Seafaring vessels must meet a few very obvious conditions in order to be of any use. The one condition is that they should stay afloat when loaded. The other condition is that they should float upright and with a level keel. The technical terms for these conditions are gravitational stability and trim. In practice some very precise numerical values are calculated for certain parameters in order to describe these conditions. After each refit of a submarine, the numerical values for the parameters referred to above must be recalculated. In the conventional submarines used by the South African Navy these new values must then be translated into the physical redistribution of weights housed in bays in the keel of the submarine. This paper discusses the problem of how this redistribution must be done in order to minimise the amount of work necessary. A heuristic algorithm is proposed by means of which a satisfactory redistribution may economically be computed.
Research Articles