“Compelling and visionary. DiMercurio’s characters run as deep as his submarines themselves!”
--Joe Buff, author of Crush Depth and Thunder in the Deep

"DiMercurio really knows his subs...his characters step right off the sub deck and onto his pages."
--Larry Bond

"A Master Rivaling Tom Clancy."
--Publishers Weekly

--San Francisco Examiner

--Associated Press

"Superb storytelling."
--Virginia-Pilot/Ledger Star


# / A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / K / L / M / N / O / P / Q / R / S / T / U / V / W / X / Y / Z


Target -- -- (1) When a contact with a “master number” is selected for destruction by the captain prior to firing point procedures, the contact becomes a target; (2) there are only two types of ships: submarines and targets, so all you skimmer pukes out there may as well be wearing bullseyes on your uniforms; (3) lovely single girl at the officers club, or better yet, at the nukes’ biker bar.

Target Zig -- -- See “zig.”

Target Motion Analysis (TMA) -- -- Determination of target’s solution by maneuvering own ship across the line-of-sight using passive sonar. Own ship does maneuvers to generate speed first on one side of the line-of-sight, then on the other. Several maneuvers or legs will yield a preliminary target solution, one good enough to get a torpedo hit (a “firing solution”).

Thermoluminescent Dosimeter -- -- Small capsule worn on the belt that records an individual’s radiation dose while that individual is onboard, whether the plant is operating or shut down. While a TLD is assigned to you, it must go where you go, so don’t leave it in your bunk when you go home or it will continue to measure radiation dose as if you are aboard.

Throttles -- -- Wheel-shaped actuators that control the valves that admit steam to the main engine steam chests. When you open the throttles, the poppet valves come off their seats, more steam flows, the turbines speed up, the reduction gear speeds up, the shaft speeds up, the screw speeds up, more thrust is generated by the screw which pushes harder on the screw blades, the higher thrust force pushes harder on the screw, the force is transferred to the shaft and then to the thrust bearing, which transfers the force to the hull, and the ship experiences a higher thrust. From Newton’s laws, force is equal to the first derivative of momentum, or F=d(mv)/dt, and with constant mass this becomes F=ma, where F is force, m is mass and a is acceleration, so an increased force from the higher thrust on the constant mass of the ship causes an acceleration. The ship accelerates until the level of fluid friction builds up to counter the higher level of force on the hull, and this happens at a higher ship velocity. Ship’s velocity levels off at a higher level. Meanwhile, since more steam flowed, more boiler feed water flows to the steam generators, which become colder, so the main coolant return to the reactor is colder and denser, which makes it a better moderator, so fewer neutrons leak from the core, which causes more fissions, so reactor power goes up. The net result of opening the throttles is that the ship speeds up and reactor power rises to a new level. If the throttles are opened too quickly it will cause cavitation and the anger of the OOD and captain. If the throttles are opened too far, the reactor will overpower and experience a power-to-flow scram, which will result in the loss of propulsion, which will greatly anger the OOD, engineer, XO and captain, and you will be disqualified.

Throttleman -- -- Nuclear-trained enlisted watchstander who monitors the steam plant control panel and operates the throttles to respond to the control room’s call for speed on the engine order telegraph.

Tonal -- -- A pure sound at a fixed frequency, like a bell tone from a musical instrument.

Torpedo -- -- A weapon that travels on its own propulsion with the intent of causing major damage to another ship or destroying that ship. Originally called the “automobile torpedo” because the old definition of torpedo was “marine bomb.”

Torpedo in the Water -- -- Term for the detection of an enemy’s torpedo directed toward own ship, which must be evaded. Immediate actions for a torpedo in the water: (1) OOD orders all ahead flank/cavitate, orders a depth of test depth with a flat angle and orders right/left ten degrees rudder to steady on a course to put the torpedo in the edge of the closest baffle (so sonar can still hear it but it is substantially behind you); (2) chief of the watch announces on the 1MC, “Torpedo in the water!” and sounds the general alarm (BONG BONG BONG) which automatically mans battlestations; (3) OOD and firecontrol technician of the watch set up the firecontrol system for a snapshot from the most prepared torpedo tube, with the snapshot torpedo being preset to run down the bearing line of the incoming torpedo in an immediate run-to-enable active or passive search; (4) OOD announces “snapshot tube one” (or the correct tube number) on the 1MC; (5) OOD launches the snapshot – no permission from the captain required, although he’ll be in control by the time step 1 is complete; (6) monitor incoming torpedo and listen for sounds of the launching ship, and if possible, determine a better solution to the launching ship using active sonar (he obviously already knows you’re there, so stealth is out the window), and either steer the first-launched snapshot or shoot another one with the refined solution; (7) keep pumping out snapshots, because, why die with a full torpedo room? (8) when the incoming torpedo gets close and it becomes clear you are going to die with your boots on, cease worrying – you’re a submariner and have already spent time in hell, so you’re going to the other place.

Transient -- -- A noise that is made by a contact from a temporary condition. For example, someone drops a wrench or slams a hatch or starts a pump.

Trim -- -- (1) Distribution of weight (seawater variable ballast) to keep the ship level and at a neutral buoyancy. (2) The tilt of the ship either forward or aft.

Turbine -- -- A mechanical rotating device with blades that converts the pressure energy, velocity energy and internal (temperature) energy of a fluid (steam or combustion gases) into mechanical energy. Usually connected to an electrical generator, although in a jet engine or a turbocharger it is connected to a compressor.

Michael DiMercurio
Princeton, New Jersey

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