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  #1  
Old 08-07-2017, 09:25 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Default Prime base, forty years in the hole!

So Prime Base gets completed in the early 1980s and basically get's sealed up. There is some coming and going. Equipment gets updated. But the war doesn't happen in 1989. Things are honky dory until all Hell breaks loose in the 2020s (I think)

So this leads to a huge number of questions
Was everyone in Prime Base legally dead? We they set to be rotated in and out after a period of years, They serve a couple of years and then get rotated to a field team and frozen at a base or bolt hole? Is command staff rotated OUT of field teams and into Prime?

If they aren't rotated do they and their children and their grand children just live in prime Base for 40 years or so?

A lot of systems are going to need to be upgraded in the decades Prime is sitting ready for the War. The computer systems alone should undergo a number of migrations as technology improve. The library will migrate from paper books to electronic ones. Medical equipment will be hugely improved. Everything coming into the base will need to fit through some entrance and will need to do so in a way that is unobtrusive. Also all the junk will need to go someplace.

How will this get done?
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2017, 08:14 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is online now
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In your concept for the Project, how good an idea does the Project have of when the war will happen? The original idea was that they knew the approximate time, and could therefore plan, but the less they know of the date the more the complexity grows to absurd proportions. More importantly, if they were off by decades, then they didn't really know the war was going to happen. Ten years past "the date", how are they going to handle all the staff saying "yeah, this isn't going to happen so I would like to *stop* living in a hole in the desert and maybe go have some fun and contribute to society in post-cold-war America!"

Staff at Prime Base cannot rotate out - too big a security compromise, and they would be too old for field teams. Likewise, rotating someone in from a field team assumes that the best people for PB are in those teams and not available to be recruited from the general population - unlikely. The issue of families raises the significance of either knowing roughly when the war is going to happen or not having civilians at Prime Base - this is a recipe for a quick rebellion.

As to all the upgrades, TMP should be aiming to get it right the first time, because there is no way that Prime Base can stay hidden if every few years someone is showing to upgrade this or replace that. The Project had technology from the future, there is no good reason why they would not have been able to manufacture 2020's tech in the 1980's, upgrading should be limited to the last-minute innovations of actual Project staff.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:21 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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So Bruce Morrow brought all the technological marvels back from the future? This is not canon. In canon he brings back fusion and laser technology and perhaps a few other things but that is it. The autonav and other key technologies certainly aren't 2020 technology. If the designs behind this stuff is available it will still need to be manufactured and 1980 industrial processes can't manufacture of lot of 2017 technology. Even 1980 cutting edge R & D set ups would be very hard pressed to build a 2017 computer. And if Morrow Industries is building 2020 production infrastructure in 1980 that will be likely to get noticed.

The problem isn't with 1-3 edition, it comes in with 4th edition, where the war/ end of the world is long delayed. In 4th is Prime Base just unstaffed when the war doesn't happen? Are the folks there sent back into The World with new identities?
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:49 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is online now
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So Bruce Morrow brought all the technological marvels back from the future? This is not canon. In canon he brings back fusion and laser technology and perhaps a few other things but that is it.
I do consider it canon, because the technologies you mentioned cannot exist in a vacuum. A handheld laser weapon requires tremendous advances in materials science, optical engineering, computing, etc. Fusion takes even more, as does the automed and the autonav and the universal antidote and all that other stuff. These technologies aren't "one brilliant step" from today's technology, they are thousands of steps in a dozen different fields, and that is not even accounting for the fact that manufacturing all this stuff likewise requires a tremendous amount of technological development. And having done all that, I don't see why they ONLY used it for these specific things.

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Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
The autonav and other key technologies certainly aren't 2020 technology. If the designs behind this stuff is available it will still need to be manufactured and 1980 industrial processes can't manufacture of lot of 2017 technology. Even 1980 cutting edge R & D set ups would be very hard pressed to build a 2017 computer. And if Morrow Industries is building 2020 production infrastructure in 1980 that will be likely to get noticed.
I think the autonav is a great example. 1980 manufacturing technology absolutely cannot manufacture 2020+ technology, but there is also no way to make something like the autonav without using 2020+ technology! You can't buy a non-GPS system today that can do what the autonav does, so what is the argument for making the autonav in 1980 using 1980 technology? The only way the autonav exists is if TMP spent the time to produce everything they need to build a 2020+ computer and gyros and power systems and everything else. Because otherwise the autonav is the size of a van and is pretty inaccurate, because that is what you can do in the 1980's with 1980's manufacturing technology.

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The problem isn't with 1-3 edition, it comes in with 4th edition, where the war/ end of the world is long delayed. In 4th is Prime Base just unstaffed when the war doesn't happen? Are the folks there sent back into The World with new identities?
I agree that it is a problem, and it is an absurdly large one. They could have just rewritten the storyline so that BEM predicted the war in the 2020's, claiming that he got it wrong by 3 decades but the Project still went on seems pretty unlikely by my reckoning.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:21 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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I think the autonav is a great example. 1980 manufacturing technology absolutely cannot manufacture 2020+ technology, but there is also no way to make something like the autonav without using 2020+ technology!
While I agree with you that more things arrived from the future that just a laser and fusion reactor, I have to disagree with you on the Autonav. Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) have been around since the 1960. By the time we get to the 1980s, there have been many advances in the types of gyros, the means to minimize drift errors and more, without the use of GPS. GPS is great when you have it, and I have little doubt that the Autonav does have GPS as one of it's inputs, but it can also use terrestrial radio signals, perhaps even private Morrow Industries eLoran towers. All of these receivers and sensors were quite small in the 1980s. None of this requires the use of 2020+ tech. Drift factors can be minimized by stopping the vehicle and letting the INS correct the velocity. When you are at a POI that is in the Autonav and you are stopped by it, you can completely reset the position. Plus the Autonav, for most purposes, just needs to be close enough. This is where I do drift from one of the books where it said something like the Autonav assured a first shot hit with the mortar I think. That just didn't seem plausible to me.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:57 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is online now
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Originally Posted by mmartin798 View Post
While I agree with you that more things arrived from the future that just a laser and fusion reactor, I have to disagree with you on the Autonav. Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) have been around since the 1960. By the time we get to the 1980s, there have been many advances in the types of gyros, the means to minimize drift errors and more, without the use of GPS. GPS is great when you have it, and I have little doubt that the Autonav does have GPS as one of it's inputs, but it can also use terrestrial radio signals, perhaps even private Morrow Industries eLoran towers. All of these receivers and sensors were quite small in the 1980s. None of this requires the use of 2020+ tech. Drift factors can be minimized by stopping the vehicle and letting the INS correct the velocity. When you are at a POI that is in the Autonav and you are stopped by it, you can completely reset the position. Plus the Autonav, for most purposes, just needs to be close enough. This is where I do drift from one of the books where it said something like the Autonav assured a first shot hit with the mortar I think. That just didn't seem plausible to me.
First, it is the accuracy of the autonav that is one the primary technical challenges to making it in the 80's - we've had inertial guidance since the 50's, the question is always how accurate it needs to be and for how long (between updates from a reference). If we downgrade the accuracy, we can make this in the 80's no problem... and the team will be lost within a day. The team has a few things going for it, like the fact that INS work better on ground vehicles than either air or water (since there is less slippage), but it also has to remain accurate for much, much longer between references than the average INS.

About those references... there will not be GPS. The US military works extensively on how to operate in a GPS-denied environment because any major war is going to see someone icing the constellations. There will not be any radio signals, Morrow or otherwise, during the period when most of the field teams start up. In particular, the Recon teams have to be able to operate for months without support, and that includes radio location services that would expose Morrow facilities. Want to guess what the error, relative and absolute, would be after a few months in a 1980's ground INS operating without GPS or other reference signals?

Yes, there are things you can do to accommodate these issues, but they are problematic - stopping every so often, revisiting reference points, these are all operational constraints that may be difficult to manage in many circumstances. And rebuilding the map is even trickier, you need to be able to register everything together, accommodate the errors, and then (eventually) reconcile your new map with anyone else's. Today, that kind of registration can take hours, even days, and that is for relatively small maps with the aid of powerful computers and staff for whom that is their job. Doing it on the fly in an MPV? Cumbersome, to say the least.

Second, there is more than just the INS in the autonav. There is also a computer containing a complete and detailed electronic map of the United States, cryptological gear, a milspec UI, and no doubt a few other interesting things I am not thinking about at the moment.

I am not an INS expert, but I work with the experts because INS is integral to the products I design. I would love to have something like the autonav now and I can't get it. So I'm having trouble believing that a strictly 1980's manufacturing line could spit one out using 1980's core technology based on some idea that it could be done. You couldn't make the iPhone in the 80's, you couldn't make the Model T in the civil war, and you couldn't make full steel plate armor in the bronze era just by going back in time with a plan for the item in question. They are all require improvements in underlying technologies and manufacturing tools. Technique and an interesting idea is not enough.
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:10 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
Second, there is more than just the INS in the autonav. There is also a computer containing a complete and detailed electronic map of the United States, cryptological gear, a milspec UI, and no doubt a few other interesting things I am not thinking about at the moment.
If you chose to add functionality to the Autonav, then you are correct. But as described in both 3rd and 4th edition, it only has an INS, an emergency battery, a screen to display microfiche or digital map (depending on generation), a method of entering coordinates for waypoints, preloaded cache locations, and a thermite charge. No mention of crypto at all. The UI is just a keypad and a couple lines of text. Other than the digital version of maps and flat panel display, nothing is beyond the 1980's level of manufacturing.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
About those references... there will not be GPS. The US military works extensively on how to operate in a GPS-denied environment because any major war is going to see someone icing the constellations. There will not be any radio signals, Morrow or otherwise, during the period when most of the field teams start up. In particular, the Recon teams have to be able to operate for months without support, and that includes radio location services that would expose Morrow facilities. Want to guess what the error, relative and absolute, would be after a few months in a 1980's ground INS operating without GPS or other reference signals?

Yes, there are things you can do to accommodate these issues, but they are problematic - stopping every so often, revisiting reference points, these are all operational constraints that may be difficult to manage in many circumstances. And rebuilding the map is even trickier, you need to be able to register everything together, accommodate the errors, and then (eventually) reconcile your new map with anyone else's. Today, that kind of registration can take hours, even days, and that is for relatively small maps with the aid of powerful computers and staff for whom that is their job. Doing it on the fly in an MPV? Cumbersome, to say the least.
Or you just stop your MPV beside a United States Geological Survey Marker ... read the Latitude, Longitude, Hours, Minutes, and seconds off the brass or bronze medallion. Then the operator manually enters this data into Autonav.

This is another way to get a GPS to "know" it's location. Another skill lost on this generation of Soldiers like manually entering Time into a GPS to sync this up with satellite signals.

There is always a simple manual solution. No need to over engineer a solution to a minor task.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:00 AM
.45cultist .45cultist is offline
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They could build a mining town and not tell their dependents until close to the date. Or they could tell their dependents it's a CD fallout shelter/ storm shelter provided by the company. The abandoned town could have become the refugee colony.
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Old 08-20-2017, 05:40 PM
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I think the AutoNav could have been done in the 1980's, I do remember Oldsmobile working on one in the mid 1980's for its Toronado that used a green screen. As you got closer to 1989/90, the Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo had a full color display.

http://www.businessinsider.com/gms-o...-system-2014-9
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:49 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post


I think the autonav is a great example. 1980 manufacturing technology absolutely cannot manufacture 2020+ technology, but there is also no way to make something like the autonav without using 2020+ technology! You can't buy a non-GPS system today that can do what the autonav does, so what is the argument for making the autonav in 1980 using 1980 technology? The only way the autonav exists is if TMP spent the time to produce everything they need to build a 2020+ computer and gyros and power systems and everything else. Because otherwise the autonav is the size of a van and is pretty inaccurate, because that is what you can do in the 1980's with 1980's manufacturing technology.
This is simply not true. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automo...igation_system
1981: Honda's Electro Gyro-Cator was the first commercially available car navigation system. It used inertial navigation systems, which tracked the distance traveled, the start point, and direction headed.[4] It was also the first with a map display.[ Cartographies of Travel and Navigation, James R. Akerman, p.279]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etak

So a system very much like the autonav was COMMERCIALLY available for simple cars. So unless the car is towing your hypothetical van does not exist. You are going to tell me how the Gyro-Cator is in no way as good as the autonav. To that I will respond with "So what-the Autonav is not a commercial product and doesn't need to be cheap enough to be profitable."

Suffice to say an autonav could have been built with 1980s technology, because it was. This doesn't include any of the systems used by aircraft, submarines, missiles or any military hardware, which would have been much different solutions then one designed and built and installed in a car!
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:55 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Or you just stop your MPV beside a United States Geological Survey Marker ... read the Latitude, Longitude, Hours, Minutes, and seconds off the brass or bronze medallion. Then the operator manually enters this data into Autonav.

This is another way to get a GPS to "know" it's location. Another skill lost on this generation of Soldiers like manually entering Time into a GPS to sync this up with satellite signals.

There is always a simple manual solution. No need to over engineer a solution to a minor task.
And this is why ALL USGS markers are in the autonav. Pretty simple solution. In fact I think GPS is a "nice to have" technology for MP, especially in the 1989 time frame since GPS wasn't commercially available until the mid 1980s and the network wasn't completed until the mid 1990s. Plus as has been stated these birds are going to be some of the first things that get killed, either with hard kills or soft ones the destruction of the other guys GPS network is a "kill these first" set of targets.
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