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Old 09-24-2018, 10:29 AM
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Default UAV and US Comms Question

So in my timeline, UAV's like the Predator are available to DoD/CIA forces pre-war.

If I had a UAV that circles central US every day for 14hrs...you could theoretically use that as a relay to help with comms across the US no? Hell a 747 could do the same thing right? A Cessna 208?

Just thinking of the "balloon" idea on technical steroids...
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:06 AM
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An interesting question.

My own thoughts are that a UAV requires access to a steady supply of fuel and spare parts. In order to provide coverage for the U.S., it will have to be a high altitude version.

Would not balloons be a better choice for long duration AM/FM use, with the UAV being used as a delay for HF/VHF?

Looking forward to this thread!
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:19 AM
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The balloon idea always seems like a stretch...but...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allsopp_Helikite

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tether...t_Radar_System
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Old 09-25-2018, 01:37 PM
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I'm thinking that UAVs would be blitzed with ever-more-effective ECM and radio jamming...
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Old 09-25-2018, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmulcahy11b View Post
I'm thinking that UAVs would be blitzed with ever-more-effective ECM and radio jamming...
That was my initial thinking too, although I don't know enough of the science behind it to comment accurately.
What about the effects of the nukes? What lasting atmospheric and electrical effects might there be on remote control of aircraft? I suppose in a world where radiation half life is dramatically shortened for character survivability and game playability, it's not that much of a stretch for a GM to simply say lasting after effects make it impossible to control anything at greater than a few kilometres due to unspecified signal interference.
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Old 09-25-2018, 07:59 PM
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A bit of useful information here though... https://www.thenakedscientists.com/f...?topic=38360.0
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by kalos72 View Post
I remember the one that broke loose at Aberdeen and wrecked havoc in Maryland and PA in October of 2015. That one was toting a high-resolution radar used to detect cruise missiles coming in from the Atlantic. It crashed in the middle of PA after dragging nearly a thousand feet of cable across half the State.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:22 PM
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I'm kind of "fuzzy" on why the US (or anyone) would need to put up balloons (or anything) for comms. While satellites provide near-instant transmission of large data packets, you can still use both AM Radio AND Single Side-Band Radio for long-range communications.

AM Radios can have ranges in excess of 10,000 Kilometers with a very tall tower and an emitter of sufficient wattage. Sound quality may be lacking but this is 19th Century/Early 20th Century tech which is easily constructed from basic electrical equipment.

Single Side-Band Radios are a common system in Cruising Sailboats and most Commercial and Military Ships. It does require licensing but Sailors on private Sailboats have bounced transmissions over 6,000 Kilometers using a 12-volt powered radio and the appropriate antenna.

Commercial FM Radio stations have transmitted at ranges up to 500km clearly. Radio Free America (the US radio Stations who broadcast across unfriendly borders) ROUTINELY achieves this.

Once the strategic jamming stops, these systems will allow the US to communicate just like they did in WW II.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:29 PM
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Once the strategic jamming stops, these systems will allow the US to communicate just like they did in WW II.
Which just leaves any potential residual nuke effects to worry about. What they are, and how much they actually effect transmissions is probably best left to the individual GM to decide based on how difficult they want to make long range communications.

Given it's a bit of a surprise to most PCs that Texas is no longer part of the US and Soviets actually occupy part of it (pretty damn earth shattering news I'd say), I'd suggest there's probably a much greater than expected level of interference - but that's just my take on it. It's extremely unlikely every ham set on the planet was damaged and rendered useless, so atmospherics are probably the best way to limit comms overall.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalos72 View Post
So in my timeline, UAV's like the Predator are available to DoD/CIA forces pre-war.
That does not sound too far off, UAV have really been around in one way or another since World War II. These early models where developed at target drones. The two most widely used post war models were the Ryan Firebee and the Beechcraft MQM-61 Cardinal

The MQM-61 Cardinal was a target drone designed and built by Beechcraft. A total of 2,200 Cardinals of all variants were built, the majority for the US Army, with the rest operated by the US Navy, the US Marine Corps.

The Ryan Firebee has been in use from 1951, while first classified as a target drone over the years they have been converted into UAVs. In 2003 Five BQM-34-53 Extended Range Firebees were also used to lay chaff corridors during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The drones were modernized by Northrop Grumman in a fast-response program earlier that year, being fitted with chaff dispensers and other improvements including GPS-based programmable waypoint guidance systems (which may or not have been added by the upgrade program).

The Tadiran Mastiff is regarded by military historians as the world's first modern military drone having first flown in 1973.

Here are some UAV used by NATO in 1990ís

The Boeing Condor is a high-tech test bed aerial reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle. It has a wingspan of over 200 feet. First flight was on 9 October 1988.

The General Atomics GNAT is an aerial reconnaissance UAV developed in the United States in the late 1980s and manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI). As initially designed, it was a simplified version of the LSI Amber intended for foreign sales. The GNAT 750 made its first flight in 1989.

The General Atomics MQ-1 Predator is an American remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) built by General Atomics that was used primarily by the United States Air Force (USAF) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Initially conceived in the early 1990s for aerial reconnaissance and forward observation roles, the Predator carries cameras and other sensors. The aircraft entered service in 1995

The Alliant RQ-6 Outrider unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was designed to provide near-real-time reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition information to United States Marine Corps air/ground task forces, United States Army brigades, and deployed United States Navy units that was small enough for an entire system to be contained on two Humvees and trailer and transported on a single C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft. The project began in 1996

The Sikorsky Cypher and Cypher II are types of unmanned aerial vehicles developed by Sikorsky Aircraft. They are vertical takeoff and landing aircraft which use two opposing rotors enclosed in a circular shroud for propulsion. The single prototype first flew in April 1992 and flew untethered in 1993. Since then, over 550 demonstration flights have been made for the US government. Two Cypher II prototypes have been built for the US Marine Corps, which calls it "Dragon Warrior". The Cypher II is similar in size to its predecessor, but has a pusher propeller in addition to its rotor and can be fitted with wings for long-range reconnaissance missions.

The AAI RQ-2 Pioneer is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that was been utilized by the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Army, and deployed at sea and on land from 1986 until 2007. Initially tested aboard USS Iowa, the RQ-2 Pioneer was placed aboard Iowa-class battleships to provide gunnery spotting, its mission evolving into reconnaissance and surveillance, primarily for amphibious forces. Units included

United States Navy

VC-6 "Firebees": Naval Station Norfolk

Training Air Wing 6 UAV Detachment: Naval Air Station Whiting Field

United States Marine Corps

VMU-1 'Watchdogs': Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twenty Nine Palms, California

VMU-2 'Night Owls': Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina

The SAGEM Sperwer (Pronounced Spehr-wuhr, Dutch for Sparrow Hawk) is an unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by the French firm SAGEM. The Sperwer was originally developed to meet a late 1990s Dutch Army requirement for a tactical UAV. Its lineage is rather complex

https://documents.techno-science.ca/...es-SPERWER.pdf

The Canadair CL-89 is a surveillance drone (UAV) produced jointly by Canada, Britain and West Germany in the 1960s. A larger and improved model with a greater payload, the CL-289, was later introduced.

The Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk is an unmanned (UAV) surveillance aircraft. It was initially designed by Ryan Aeronautical. The Global Hawk performs a similar role as the Lockheed U-2. Its first test flight was in 1998

The AeroVironment FQM-151 Pointer is a small UAV used by the United States Army and Marine Corps for battlefield surveillance. It was designed by AeroVironment Incorporated. The radio-controlled Pointer was built mostly of high-impact Kevlar. It resembled a hobbyist's RC sailplane with a small engine added. The little Pointer was hand-launched and is recovered by putting it into a flat spin and allowing it to flutter down to the ground.
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Old 09-28-2018, 06:02 AM
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And to add to what rcaf_777 posted, we hear the word "drone" all the time and kind of assume that the idea is unique to the 21st century. In the recent past they were doing exactly the same thing but they called them Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPV) among other names. It is the same concept as every radio controlled car, boat or plane that's even been made for recreation (although obviously with some seriously beefed up tech behind it).
During the 1970s I think it was, the US Navy landed a Phantom (I can't remember what type of F4 it was) on one of their carriers via remote control.

The very first autopilot was developed in 1912 and demonstrated at an aviation safety contest in Paris in 1914. Terrain Following Radar was developed in the late 1950s and was in use in some aircraft by the late 1960s.
Point being, we have had the tech for quite some time and there have been many RPV, UAV, drone etc. etc. vehicles over the years. There have also been many aerial vehicles used for comms relay including blimps and tethered balloons
What's being proposed by kalos72 can be done and has already been done.
The most recent example I know of but using an actual drone (tethered in this case with power supplied via the tether) is touted as having a time on station of up to 45 days with a comms relay range of 80km or more. It's being made by a Ukrainian company called Matrix UAV

I think the only real question here, is what resources does his game world have to allow the acquisition and use of these sorts of vehicles? If he wants them in the game world, the concepts and the tech have been around for plenty long enough for them to be a reality.
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Old 09-29-2018, 09:35 AM
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If you go to my UAV pages (I'm not sure that's what they're called -- let me look...yeah, the entry page is at http://www.pmulcahy.com/uavs/uavs.html
I did those pages so long ago that most if not all of them should be available for the Twilight War by the v2.2 timeline.
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Old 10-02-2018, 02:14 AM
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Drones wouldn't be necessary for long range radio comms, as mentioned AM and FM broadcasts can get very nice range with the right antenna siting. Besides ionosphere skips there's also a technique called EME: Earth-Moon-Earth. People have been bouncing radio signals off the Moon since the 40s. Most bands above 6m have good propagation for EME comms. Transmissions require a fixed station with a few hundred watts but reception is fairly easy with even hand made antennas.

A laptop (even a mid-90s Twilight era laptop) can drive radios in digital modes for pretty effective communications. Hams running BBSes would be the Twilight War internet and likely the organizational backbone of civilian governments.

Also hi, first post on this forum.
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:19 AM
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The Russians used two radio-controlled T-26 tanks in action in WW2 as proof of concept vehicles. They weren't as useful as they had hoped
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