(CNN) Large pieces of the doomed Titan submersible arrive in Canada

(CNN) Large pieces of the doomed Titan submersible arrive in Canada.

See Titan Sub Implosion: The Knowledge Stockton Rush Ignored; Snap-Buckling Failure Mode.

The design was defective in many ways, all of which could cause implosion. One feature can be identified as most  probable, where the titanium end bells joined the carbon fiber tube.

The deep sea is cold. Under temperature change, from surface to depth and back to surface,  the two materials  contracted and then expanded at different rates —  with differing coefficients of expansion.  When, at the factory, the end bells were attached with epoxy cement, all the  parts were at factory ambient temperature. At any other temperature, there was stress between the  parts.

  • Each dive comprised a cycle of thermal and mechanical stress on the epoxy joints.
  • After some number of dives, microscopic cracks began to grow in the joints.
  • Cracks concentrate stress, which is why cracks usually grow.
  • At some cycle, the epoxy failed  in some region of the joint.
  • An area of the cylinder then lost support from the end bell. This area of the cylinder also experienced the most flexure, so it was the most fatigued.
  • Implosion of the cylinder began there, and spread longitudinally in just a few milliseconds.

One might expect that the end bell side of the joint was a flange, with a smaller diameter extending into the carbon fiber tube. Sometimes this is done to achieve a thermal shrink fit, so that the joint is always under compression,  which makes it stronger. This was not done. The end bell began with a flat adapter ring that was simply glued to the end of the tube.

It is possible to join materials with different coefficients of expansion, by use of a slightly elastic gasket, a flange, and constant compression of the joint with tension bands. This was evidently too much bother for Stockton Rush. Even if this were done, it is likely the Titan would have eventually been  claimed by snap buckling.

Which brings us back to safety culture:

(CNN) Missing Titanic sub crew killed after ‘catastrophic implosion’



Titan Sub Implosion: The Knowledge Stockton Rush Ignored; Snap-Buckling Failure Mode

See  A Review on Structural Failure of Composite Pressure Hulls in Deep Sea.


With the increase of the diving depth of the submersibles and the thickness of the composite pressure hull, the structural failure of the pressure hull may change from the overall buckling to gradual material failure. As a result, the design concept of the structure has to be changed. In addition, the large thickness composite pressure hull used in the very deep sea also has its unique failure mode, snap buckling. This problem appeared in the application of deep sea pressure pipelines in the 1980s, and has received more attention and research since then.

For specifics of the Titan design, see Composite submersibles: Under pressure in deep, deep waters. The thickness of the hull was 5 inches.

A little bit of intuition.

  • The metal of a conventional hull has strength in all directions.

  • A carbon fiber / epoxy hull has high strength within the fiber layers, but not between them.

  • The thicker the hull, the more stress between the layers.

Hence, SNAP!

(CNN) Missing Titanic sub crew killed after ‘catastrophic implosion’

(CNN) Missing Titanic sub crew killed after ‘catastrophic implosion’.

Whether you’re at 30,000 feet or minus 13,000, love of extreme adventure is a harsh companion.  Your only defense is  vigilant safety culture.  To turn your back  is to give your companion a chance at your life.

Stockton Rush turned his back. At 13,000 feet, the water pressure is 5600 pounds per square inch, exerted on every inch of the Titan submarine. See:

Boeing, FAA, Space Shuttle Challenger, Richard Feynman, and Safety Culture

Boeing & Safety Culture Redux


Trump Indictment; Is Trump a Flight Risk?

The estimate is that Trump is a flight risk:

  • His personality cannot rationalize imprisonment.

  • He has the means to support himself in any country.

  • His standing in many countries remains high.

  • He has a special relationship with Vladimir Putin.

  • His Boeing 757 has the range to reach Russia’s Kalingrad oblast from anywhere on the east coast of the U.S.

Att: David Zaslav; Future of CNN

This discussion attempts some objective analysis surrounding the departure of Chris Licht. Personalities and friction are omitted. In any case, such factors are not primary to declining market share of CNN. Media markets such as cable news have life cycle phases:

Growth. In this phase, viewers seek new experiences. Novelty, not loyalty, drives the space. An adroit programmer can take advantage of novelty and churn to grow the platform. For CNN, the novelty was the immediacy of always-on news. Multiple competing platforms can grow as they vie for slices of the expanding pie.

Maturity. The game transitions to zero sum. Growth and shrinkage are dominated by churn, with loyalty and novelty in balance.  Now regarded as talent, programmers compete against each other, and execs compete for programmers. This goes way back to Fred Silverman, “the man with the golden gut.”

Decline. In preservation of the factors that drove growth, novelty is banished. Loyalty dominates older age groups, while younger demographics decline. While churn formerly dominated subscriber loss, what happens now doesn’t fit the scenario, as younger viewers abandon the market. Novelty takes a walk. Think Vilfredo Pareto’scirculation of the elites.”

Why this is happening. In the era when broadcast had a lock on mass communication, CNN offered novel immediacy. Broadcast gave way to multicast, replaced in turn by novel peer-peer, otherwise known as social media.  Broadcast formerly provided unbeatable economies of scale; its  impersonal  nature was disguised by the “star power” of uniquely attractive personalities mediated by savvy programmers.

Hence the approach of Chris Licht, which in the main was the shuffling of personalities and combinations through time slots. This is the purest form of network programming. The effect on CNN has been strongly negative, intimately related to the transition of cable news to the phase of decline:

  • Demand for novelty is absent.
  • Retention is based on loyalty.
  • Loyalty abhors change.
  • In consequence, any change Licht could or did make resulted in viewer loss. The transition from maturity to decline is a programming  “game changer.” It rendered Licht’s  prior experience useless.

Political slant  has,  in comparison, minuscule effect. If the above reasoning were not operative, there would be enough liberals to  sustain CNN.

Is there a future of long-term viability? Fox shows that political hysterics work, but this immoral option is not available to CNN, which is a morally grounded enterprise. If there is a long-term future for CNN, it is to be found in new approaches to:

  • Immediacy, allowing some bypass of format considerations that were relevant in the broadcast era.
  • Enrichment of Information flow.
  • New approaches to controversy.
  • Connection with viewers, which can be mediated by AI.

I would like to play a part in fashioning a viable future for an organization with a strong moral compass.











(Reuters) Ukraine says Russia plans to simulate accident at nuclear power plant

(Yahoo) Ukraine says Russia plans to simulate accident at nuclear power plant. Quoting,

(Reuters) – Ukraine’s defence ministry on Friday said Russia was planning to simulate a major accident at a nuclear power station controlled by pro-Moscow forces to try to thwart a long-planned Ukrainian counteroffensive to retake territory occupied by Russia.

This is anticipated in (2/19/2023) Russia to use Dirty Bombs in Ukraine?  Quoting,

Prior Russian assertions have not been followed by Russian use of radiological weapons. This results in opinion of the current assertion as propaganda without material consequence. This may be a grave error. We watched with concern when Russians occupied the Zaporizhzhia reactor hall, anticipating they might stage a containment breach.

“Simulate” may indicate a controlled release, rather than a  containment breach, which would inevitably contaminate Russian land.




(CNN) Out of Date Article, Events from Spring 2022; “Ukrainians claim to have destroyed large Russian warship in Berdiansk”

Out of date article. The Saratov was sunk  on 24 March., 2022. The whole article , dateline  9:58 PM EDT, Thu May 25, 2023 , refers to events from spring 2022 as if in the present:

(CNN) Ukrainians claim to have destroyed large Russian warship in Berdiansk. Quoting,

In a statement, the armed forces said: “In the Azov operational zone, according to updated information, a large landing ship “Saratov” was destroyed [in 2022] during the attack on the occupied Berdiansk port. Large landing ships “Caesar Kunikov” and “Novocherkassk” were [also] damaged. Other losses of the enemy are being clarified.”


Russian military troops first occupied Berdiansk government buildings on February 27, [2022] three days after Russia’s invasion began.

Mariupol still eludes Russian control despite being surrounded and mercilessly pummeled, block by block, by Russian firepower.

Further west, Ukrainians have been fighting to take back the city of Kherson, as well as pushing Russian forces from the northeast of Mykolaiv, forcing them to reposition south of the city, a senior US defense official said Tuesday.


Kinzhal/Patriot Intercepts; Treason, Fraud, or Design Flaw?

The Patriot PAC-3 interceptor missile can target incoming ballistic missiles, which have a highly predictable trajectory. It is also capable against much slower maneuverable aircraft, though the older PAC-2 is better. It has little chance against a maneuvering hypersonic target, and only a little more against a violently maneuvering target at high supersonic speeds.

The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal is claimed to be highly maneuverable in all flight phases, including terminal, where the PAC-3 in Ukraine has intercepted 7/7.  Mooted theories:

The Kinzhal is just an air-launched 9K720 Iskander, for which the same claims of maneuverability have been rumored since 2006. This is a long time for a missile to conceal flight characteristics from technical collection. Questions:

  • Was the Iskander/Kinzhal ever maneuverable in the terminal phase?
  • If so, did the missile lose this ability?

Imagine you are the pilot of a 1950’s era jet fighter. A late example is the F-104 Starfighter. These planes were much heavier than their prop predecessors, acquiring the vernacular reference “metal.” Jet engines of this era  produced much less thrust than modern examples. Since wings produce drag that reduces speed, and small wings have less drag, these aircraft had very small wings and tail.

You innocently decide to perform a barrel role. You neglect that the direction in which the aircraft points is a little different from the direction of travel. As you roll, the nose describes an innocent little circle. The circle widens as centrifugal force acts on the fuselage that cannot be countered by the tiny wings.

A moment later, your plane becomes a flying dumbbell, broadside to the wind. The g-force causes your head to impact the instrument panel with crushing force. That’s the end of your story. What happened to the plane is inertia coupling, caused by a maneuver that cannot be described as violent.

Now consider the Kinzhal. Unlike your plane, it doesn’t have separate wings and tail; only tiny fins smaller than either. The problem is magnified. The missile is expected to perform violent maneuvers, chancing turbulent flow around the fins. When that happens, the missile is toast, though the analog of inertia coupling can happen without this, resulting in toast. For intuition, think of a shopping cart with bad wheels.

This is a nonlinear control problem, and all such problems are hard. A  robust solution with those tiny fins would advance the state of the art. The designers may have been forced to adopt and advertise a solution which is not robust with respect to:

  • Manufacturing tolerances.
  • Substitution of materials, resulting in different weight distributions.
  • Adaptation of the Kinzhal to air launch, also resulting in different weight distributions.
  • Atmospheric variations of temperature and density.
  • Something that worked in development that could not be reliably replicated in production –  possibly due to specification creep.

A legitimate solution is to disable the feature. The in-character response  of the Russian military establishment is to bury the shortfall in internal propaganda.











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