||It has been suggested that Expendable bathythermograph be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since April 2013.|
The bathythermograph, or BT, is a small torpedo-shaped device that holds a temperature sensor and a transducer to detect changes in water temperature versus depth. Lowered into the water from an underway ship, the BT records pressure and temperature changes as it is dropped through the water. Because the pressure is a function of depth (see Pascal's law), temperature measurements can be correlated with the depth at which they are recorded. The bathythermograph was first developed by Athelstan Spilhaus in 1938.
World War II use on U.S. submarines
Since water temperature may vary by layer and may affect sonar by producing inaccurate location results, bathothermographs (U.S. World War II spelling) were installed on the outer hulls of U.S. submarines during World War II.
By monitoring variances, or lack of variances, in underwater temperature or pressure layers, while submerged, the submarine commander could adjust and compensate for temperature layers that could affect sonar accuracy. This was especially important when firing torpedoes at a target based strictly on a sonar fix.
More importantly, when the submarine was under attack by a surface vessel using sonar, the information from the bathothermograph allowed the submarine commander to seek thermoclines, which are colder layers of water, that would distort the pinging from the surface vessel's sonar, allowing the submarine under attack to "disguise" its actual position and to escape depth charge damage and eventually to escape from the surface vessel.
- Blair, Clay Jr. (2001). Silent Victory, the U.S. Submarine war against Japan. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. p. 458. ISBN 1-55750-217-X.
|This oceanography article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|