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Old 12-06-2018, 08:19 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Default Proposal: Commo Bases

I’d like to start off with a proposal for a Project Communications Network.

First, some background…

The Starnaman Incident module mentions, almost in passing, that Class III access to Delta Base grants the players access to the base commo facilities, allowing for either voice or CW transmissions with Prime Base.

The Prime Base module mentions, again in passing, that Prime Base communicates with the outside world through an “Exposure Module” that consists of numerous antennas, as well as three transmission masts (two are spares). These masts are further described as being capable of transmission but were mostly intended to provide radio reception.

The Final Watch module provides us with our first real look at a Project Commo Base. Kilo Alpha is described as an unmanned facility with the ability for radio reception/transmission, satellite uplink/downlink and microwave relay. It uses a 100-meter antenna mast for the radio(s), but no mention of the dishes necessary for microwave transmissions, but does describe a satellite dish as well as a useful nugget that Kilo Alpha is a secondary site, capable of the reactivation of a dormant MP communications satellite. It is also noted that Kilo Alpha is capable of communicating as far as Nevada and was designed to act as a retransmission point for teams in the Pacific Northwest.

Finally, in the American Outback module, we are introduced to Commo Base Kilo Echo, which is described as a manned base (6 personnel). Like Kilo Alpha, Kilo Echo is capable of radio reception/transmission, satellite uplink/downlink and microwave relay.

Based on canon, commo bases are either manned or unmanned, consist of a tall antenna mast, powered by fusion/RTG power units and are capable of radio reception/transmission, satellite uplink/downlink and microwave relay. Mention is also made that both installations are capable of recording message traffic as well as acting as automatic relays for teams in the field. We are also advised that various bases have access to commo facilities that can also be used to supplement the Project’s commo net. There is no real idea given of the number of commo bases, and only vague hints as to their capabilities.

So……

I propose that a manned commo base supervises a ‘nest’ of a dozen or so unmanned commo sites that provide AM/FM/VHF/HF, satellite and repeater capabilities for an area covering 1,000 square miles.

The manned base has the ability to remote access each of its subordinate sites and can perform, at the very least, any necessary software maintenance, or be able to direct a Recon Team to perform hands-on maintenance.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:57 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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I would have to do a deeper dive into this, but that feels awfully dense, putting a tower about every 8 miles. This is probably good enough for even cellular coverage. But given the parameters of SW/MW frequencies, you could space much father apart and cover more than 1000 square miles.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:43 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Whelp, it is a work in progress, my thought is to have some redundancy in the system with several of these bases being kept off line. So call it an active base roughly every 40 kilometers depending on terrain.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:09 PM
Desert Mariner Desert Mariner is online now
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I'd suggest that at least the unmanned bases could be placed in conjunction with operating AM/FM station antennas. This would cut down on the "Why is that antenna up there on the hill?" issues.

An asset for planning how this could work for coverage can be found at https://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/page?p=maps

You have to drill down to a state and then an individual station to view the actual coverage map.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:13 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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40km is a good number. If each station has a 100m mast with a microwave horn at the top, that gives line of sight on earth of 82km. Spacing them at 40km will allow for terrestrial microwave communication of the comm net as back up should the sat links be down.

Another consideration is that the broadcast power does not need to be that high for radio if it is just used for Project personnel. Project radios all have RF-preamps, so really weak signals can still be readily picked up. If the communication network is also to be used for public/civilian use, then you do need to start pumping out tens kilowatts or more of broadcast power versus several hundred watts. This may make a difference in the means to power the unmanned stations.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:22 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Mariner View Post
I'd suggest that at least the unmanned bases could be placed in conjunction with operating AM/FM station antennas. This would cut down on the "Why is that antenna up there on the hill?" issues.

An asset for planning how this could work for coverage can be found at https://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/page?p=maps

You have to drill down to a state and then an individual station to view the actual coverage map.
Per the canon descriptions, each base has a 100 foot extendable tower, no mention of they can be retracted, but to my mind if would be useful, if only from a weather standpoint. This would also imply that it would possible to extend the last to shorter heights, useful from a security standpoint.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:26 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmartin798 View Post
40km is a good number. If each station has a 100m mast with a microwave horn at the top, that gives line of sight on earth of 82km. Spacing them at 40km will allow for terrestrial microwave communication of the comm net as back up should the sat links be down.

Another consideration is that the broadcast power does not need to be that high for radio if it is just used for Project personnel. Project radios all have RF-preamps, so really weak signals can still be readily picked up. If the communication network is also to be used for public/civilian use, then you do need to start pumping out tens kilowatts or more of broadcast power versus several hundred watts. This may make a difference in the means to power the unmanned stations.
I'm planning on using a shipping container as the unmanned base, complete with fusion power pack and anchored to a nice concrete pad. I'm of two kinds on the microwave horns, in your opinion, would it not be better to restrict to VHF/HF/AM/FM and satellite only?
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:24 PM
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It's extremely unlikely that satellites will ever be able to be used again after the war. Most if not all satellite will succumb to a Kessler Cascade event and be destroyed and their orbits filled high speed wreckage.
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Old 12-07-2018, 03:43 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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It's extremely unlikely that satellites will ever be able to be used again after the war. Most if not all satellite will succumb to a Kessler Cascade event and be destroyed and their orbits filled high speed wreckage.
Personally, I'm in 100% agreement with you. But canon specifics satellites and even mention Project satellites waiting to be brought online.

Now, admittedly, after 150 years of orbital decoy, I'm curious about how much debris would be left. And from my limited knowledge of orbital mechanics, would not a high orbit at a steep elliptical angle bypass most debris fields?

On one hand, confining a team to a single satellite that appears at inconvenient times (and people laughed when I purchased Living Steel) would drive the poor cookie officer white-headed!

But realistically, I think the Project should choose to confine itself to VHF/HF/AM/FM radios.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:33 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
But realistically, I think the Project should choose to confine itself to VHF/HF/AM/FM radios.
I agree that the satellites are gone, unless the Morrow Project covertly put an orbital transfer vehicle with their satellites at L4 or L5 for insertion into orbit and activation once the current constellation finishes killing itself. How you do such a thing without detection is beyond the scope of this thread.

The only reason I have for the microwave is the higher transfer speeds. Since these comm bases are store and forward, it might be useful to get the message packets transferred as quickly as possible in both directions. But microwave does have the alignment issue when setting up, so it is non-trivial to get working.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:39 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Originally Posted by mmartin798 View Post
I agree that the satellites are gone, unless the Morrow Project covertly put an orbital transfer vehicle with their satellites at L4 or L5 for insertion into orbit and activation once the current constellation finishes killing itself. How you do such a thing without detection is beyond the scope of this thread.

The only reason I have for the microwave is the higher transfer speeds. Since these comm bases are store and forward, it might be useful to get the message packets transferred as quickly as possible in both directions. But microwave does have the alignment issue when setting up, so it is non-trivial to get working.
I'm not a commo guy by training, but with a TEOTWAWKI scenario, it would seem logical that the high-tech gear would be more likely for breakdown. There is also the security issue with microwave, its line of sight and repeated from point to point, sooner or later, that microwave horn is going to point at something really critical, like a command base.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:58 PM
nuke11 nuke11 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
I’d like to start off with a proposal for a Project Communications Network.

First, some background…

The Starnaman Incident module mentions, almost in passing, that Class III access to Delta Base grants the players access to the base commo facilities, allowing for either voice or CW transmissions with Prime Base.

The Prime Base module mentions, again in passing, that Prime Base communicates with the outside world through an “Exposure Module” that consists of numerous antennas, as well as three transmission masts (two are spares). These masts are further described as being capable of transmission but were mostly intended to provide radio reception.

The Final Watch module provides us with our first real look at a Project Commo Base. Kilo Alpha is described as an unmanned facility with the ability for radio reception/transmission, satellite uplink/downlink and microwave relay. It uses a 100-meter antenna mast for the radio(s), but no mention of the dishes necessary for microwave transmissions, but does describe a satellite dish as well as a useful nugget that Kilo Alpha is a secondary site, capable of the reactivation of a dormant MP communications satellite. It is also noted that Kilo Alpha is capable of communicating as far as Nevada and was designed to act as a retransmission point for teams in the Pacific Northwest.

Finally, in the American Outback module, we are introduced to Commo Base Kilo Echo, which is described as a manned base (6 personnel). Like Kilo Alpha, Kilo Echo is capable of radio reception/transmission, satellite uplink/downlink and microwave relay.

Based on canon, commo bases are either manned or unmanned, consist of a tall antenna mast, powered by fusion/RTG power units and are capable of radio reception/transmission, satellite uplink/downlink and microwave relay. Mention is also made that both installations are capable of recording message traffic as well as acting as automatic relays for teams in the field. We are also advised that various bases have access to commo facilities that can also be used to supplement the Project’s commo net. There is no real idea given of the number of commo bases, and only vague hints as to their capabilities.

So……

I propose that a manned commo base supervises a ‘nest’ of a dozen or so unmanned commo sites that provide AM/FM/VHF/HF, satellite and repeater capabilities for an area covering 1,000 square miles.

The manned base has the ability to remote access each of its subordinate sites and can perform, at the very least, any necessary software maintenance, or be able to direct a Recon Team to perform hands-on maintenance.

Thoughts?
You also have to take into consideration the article in SpaceGamer FantasyGamer #82 pages 22 -24 Computers in the Morrow Project by Paul Worzel (Bill Worzel's brother). The first part of the article is about the vehicle computer and goes into a bit of detail, but it is the last part of the article about The Morrow Online Network (MORONET). A good read and I do consider it cannon as well.

As to long range communications and the need to place towers every x kilometers/miles. AT&T put up a whole network on buried lines and micro wave towers all across the US called the AT&T Long Lines network. This was also used by the US Government for communications during the cold war. There where microwave repeaters and such. Here is some good information https://beatriceco.com/bti/porticus/bell/longlines.html and http://www.drgibson.com/towers/ and http://www.long-lines.net/places-routes/index.html

Now it just so happens that thru Nevada, just 50 miles south of Prime Base is the southern route of east west microwave links. This whole network was started in the 50's, so it is not that much of a stretch to say the Project "shared" space on the towers as well and maybe buried a hidden network in plane sight as well. Here is a thread we discussed some of this back in 2015 http://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?t=3214&page=3

Last edited by nuke11; 12-07-2018 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 12-08-2018, 03:26 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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As far as the Project accessing microwave towers, I would consider that as part of Prime Case's monitoring mission. But would the Project rely upon microwave for its own internal comms? The area of concern is that microwave is line of sight and relies upon precise alignment of its antennas. Ergo, we have a possible major security issue with a technology award survivor group. We can have the microwave transmission repeated via radio or even fibro-optic, but I would be very leary of exposing a key assist such as a command base.

Thanks for the reminder of the Spacegamer article! I had quite forgotten about it. More research!!
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Old 12-14-2018, 05:25 PM
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I think microwave towers would have to be put up by the teams themselves after waking. They could be stored in the regional base or something similar in kit form. Anyone with a surveying skill can align the towers to within a tiny angle of accuracy
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:01 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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The Project could easily go phased array for major comms. It's directional but electronically steered, no way to tell where it is radiating without specialized equipment. They are not hard to disguise, especially if you use conformal antennas.
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