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Old 11-25-2020, 12:23 PM
nduffy nduffy is offline
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Default MP satellites

So, The MP has one satellite in orbit, theoretically. Here are my questions
1) was it EMP shielded?
2) how high was its orbit/ station?
3) would it technically be serviceable after 150 years of being asleep or in ready status?
4) What would be its survive ability/ serviceability rate after a nuclear exchange, Both Russia and the US would be going after satellites to remove any advantage the other guy has..
5) how much debris/junk would be in space waiting to hit it,regular concern for the ISS and many other satellites in orbit
I know this is all speculative but I have wondered about this.
Also WHAT if the MP bought a few old missile bunkers and refurbished them as launch systems for a few satellites. It could feasibly work on an updated timeline. Under the guise of a private launch company, you could build a rocket with a small payload similar to the Starlink. Even a a few dozen of these is a game changer and shouldn't require a large rocket to boost them into orbit if they survive the trash fields and if the rocket was serviceable/ launch-able after 150 years. They could be set in a geostationary orbit and also service and a GPS tool as well as weather and communications.... any thoughts?
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Old 11-25-2020, 02:41 PM
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2) how high was its orbit/ station?
The other questions seems open to a lot of GM wiggle room, but this one really only has two options IMO.


GEO considerations.
  • GEO gives full time coverage (limited at higher latitude)
  • GEO tracks are managed as there are a limited number of them
  • Due to the "Narrow Track" of GEO sats, taking them all out (own and enemy) during warfare is possible

Tundra Orbit considerations
  • Available 16 hours a day for a 3000 mile radius circle
  • Non traditional tracks makes saturation of debris in the track more difficult
  • Harder for uploading transmissions (need to target based on time and location)

The tundra orbit was used by XM radio with a 3 sat cluster guaranteeing 100% coverage even with a failure.

I went with the tundra orbit as it follows the projects plan of more or less hiding (dead sats in GEO would still be watched carefully). The 8 hour window of dead air and the need to fix the satellite for transmission can add to game play. Also I feel being off the beaten path of GEO would increase the chances of survival.


Last edited by kato13; 11-25-2020 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 11-25-2020, 02:49 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Let's discuss each one of your points.

1) It could have been, but that would have made it very heavy and a challenge to launch

2) There is no easy answer here. Geostationary orbit is good for communications but is not so good for weather surveillance, mapping, and navigation. At a geosynchronous altitude of just under 36,000 km, it is hard to make out the details in images. A plus to being that high is you are probably less susceptible to EMP that would take out most satellites in LEO or MEO. It is most likely that it is in MEO at an altitude around 15,000 km giving it a period of about 8.6 hours.

3) There are reasons we traditionally have satellite lifespans of 15-20 years. There is a lot of ionizing radiation out there. Even with shielding, charges build up on the surface and on insulators in the craft that will eventually short out and fry something. This is one reason I put the orbit at 15,000 km. That keeps you out of the worst of the Van Allen belts while being relatively safer from EMP.

4) Here we might just have an advantage. Since it is just sitting up there idle and waiting for an activation command, it is unlikely to be a target for anti-satellite weapons. Unless someone picked this "dead" object for target practice.

5) This is a big problem and even without space warfare is problematic if the Kessler effect proves to be a real factor. You can armor up, but that costs you a lot in weight and launch costs. It's hard to hide a launch vehicle that can lift a lot of mass into orbit.
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Old 11-25-2020, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by nduffy View Post
I know this is all speculative but I have wondered about this.
Also WHAT if the MP bought a few old missile bunkers and refurbished them as launch systems for a few satellites. It could feasibly work on an updated timeline. Under the guise of a private launch company, you could build a rocket with a small payload similar to the Starlink. Even a a few dozen of these is a game changer and shouldn't require a large rocket to boost them into orbit if they survive the trash fields and if the rocket was serviceable/ launch-able after 150 years. They could be set in a geostationary orbit and also service and a GPS tool as well as weather and communications.... any thoughts?
A "Crazy" Idea I had was the project arranging for the defection of the "Red October" and keeping it in a concealed dry dock on a private island (Isla Nublar) of the coast of Costa Rica. With the plan being to reconfigure the SS-N-20s to launch a cluster of small communication, recon and weather sattelites when the project started.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:11 PM
nduffy nduffy is offline
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A "Crazy" Idea I had was the project arranging for the defection of the "Red October" and keeping it in a concealed dry dock on a private island (Isla Nublar) of the coast of Costa Rica. With the plan being to reconfigure the SS-N-20s to launch a cluster of small communication, recon and weather sattelites when the project started.

Dammit, you just sent me down another rabbit hole..... I kinda like that...
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:50 PM
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Hide them under the guise of a failed launch into it's assigned orbit. The "company" does this a few times and goes bankrupt from the failures, who wants to do business with a firm that can't launch a satellite into orbit?

The satellites sit out in higher orbits as "space junk" waiting for the signal to activate.
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:43 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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I can just see the press release now:

OrionTech announced bankruptcy today after a series of failed launches. Six years ago, OrionTech made a splash with their eMPyre launch vehicle. It promised cheaper delivery of satellites into MEO. After a successful testing period and launching one communications satellite into orbit, the shine started to come off. The next launch exploded during ascent. The next two private satellites were released with a bad spin from the releasing clamp, making both inoperable. The next launch exploded just before the end of the count down. The final thing that sealed OrionTech's fate was a third satellite that did not release correctly from a re-engineered clamp. OrionTech went from a start-up that raised $2.6 billion in venture capital to receivership, locking up their IP for who knows how long as the lawyers figure out where it all goes in just really the blink of an eye.
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Old 11-26-2020, 04:07 PM
nduffy nduffy is offline
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You know can I can actually see that happening it some sort or another..
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:42 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Originally Posted by nduffy View Post
Also WHAT if the MP bought a few old missile bunkers and refurbished them as launch systems for a few satellites. It could feasibly work on an updated timeline. Under the guise of a private launch company, you could build a rocket with a small payload similar to the Starlink. Even a a few dozen of these is a game changer and shouldn't require a large rocket to boost them into orbit if they survive the trash fields and if the rocket was serviceable/ launch-able after 150 years. They could be set in a geostationary orbit and also service and a GPS tool as well as weather and communications.... any thoughts?
It is possible that they just bought up a bunch of decommissioned Minuteman III missiles from the government. They have done that a couple of times to private companies for launching satellites. They do have that capability. Though I am sure they track those pretty closely.
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:42 PM
nduffy nduffy is offline
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So, how do you in the game world keep a satellite going for 150 years? Its doesn't seem feasible, unless it was made of unobtanium or some super metal. So it would be more realistic to possibly have a rocket or two or a missile or two poised and ready to go with 1 or multiple small satellites ready to go. This could be a fun game, get to the rocket before the bad guys do, wake the crew and launch the bastard before the bad guys can do anything. Or the crew is woke up, launches and then left to defend the site till rescue shows..
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Old 11-27-2020, 08:02 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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It depends on how advanced you make the Project. Given the time travel aspect, you can make some assumptions that would give you satellites. The Project could launch a large "satellite" that is mostly armor for a micro- or nano-satellite. The shell could protect it well and it would be able to wait until it gets a wake-up signal to release the satellite.

Nano-satellites can do communications, imaging, and more. So you do have options other than hiding a launch site. Though there are options there too.
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Old 11-29-2020, 02:42 PM
CraigD6er CraigD6er is offline
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Interesting. The subject of satellites seems to me to ask generate a few questions. I like the idea of hiding satellites by faking failed launches. I'm not sure how long they would survive amongst the debris, the ASAT systems, the radiation and general wear and tear and lack of ground control after so long but it’s certainly a good idea. Personally I had the project not launch any but instead develop their own small satellites and launch vehicles for use 'afterwards'. After all with all the financial backing and technological knowledge, this would be simple for MP to do. If they can hide the power plants, the bolt holes, the armoured vehicle purchases, then a satellite system should be quite feasible too. Satellites in my view would have been pre-built and ready for launch. As technology advances, so do the satellites. Occasionally they and their launch vehicle would be replaced by smaller and more capable designs, until (if you leave your apocalypse date late enough) we get very small satellites that would be launched in clusters on a single rocket, forming their own constellations providing redundancy and better coverage. Such changes of models would be handled by maintenance teams accessing the storage/launch facility to swap out old for new in the same way they can swap old equipment for newer.
A few considerations, whichever route you go:
Firstly, it might be presumed that after the projected apocalypse some satellites would still be functioning. After all, no one has foreseen that so much time would elapse before teams awake (we of course know differently now), so they may well expect that after 5 years either some government satellites or their own prepositioned ones (if launched) are still operational. So the project would probably firstly ensure they have the ability to take control of existing satellites and their feed. Perhaps a dedicated ground station would be needed, redundancy provided by both Prime and Alternate having the same ability. Is it a manned base or does it need visiting to activate/wake the crew? Does one team awake to find instructions to open a nearby bolthole containing a group of techs, wake them and escort them go the ground station?
Secondly, because the project is all about being prepared, it would still be foreseen that some launch capability would be needed in case there are no surviving systems (especially with the development of ASAT systems - anyone remember Salyut 3 and its onboard gun?). Initially this might be attained by acquiring a few old ICBM's and silos, or even a boomer, but as time passes and technology improves I would see an MP subsidiary being a supplier of sounding rockets, with the ability therefore to make some slightly more 'muscular' versions of these and tuck them away for the coming rainy day. So that would need a storage/assembly/launch facility. Is it part of the ground control site or separate? Perhaps it is manned with a crew that has missed its activation call, or maybe a team needs to reach it and activate it themselves? Maybe it can be managed remotely, but the link is down for some reason.
Thirdly what do they actually need satellites for? The most obvious is communications. With their own working network teams can coordinate, bettering their chances of achieving their set goals and making Primes silence even more enigmatic. This is the primary requirement, the rest are not necessarily in the order you may choose.
Navigation is another requirement. This is a function that would work with the comms system, so would be piggy backed off of the same satellite. Not actually essential as they have maps and compass, but a functioning GPS is still nice to have. Plot twist - maybe there's a surviving MP cruise missile available to make best use of this? Whoever controls the ground station could control the missile(s).
Next is some form of sensor package to spot the hot zones, to map the nations damage and to see where is safe if you are relocating survivors.
Also needed would be weather mapping. This becomes essential if you are trying to help survivors become self-sufficient in foods. Yes, people managed for centuries without this, but times have changed and they need all the help they can get.
I also imagine some form of transmission/broadcast facility, so that the project can provide news reports, education and advise to survivors. If you can give communities boxes containing generators, seeds and tools, why not include the means to receive useful information, an MP public broadcast facility? Good PR along with helpful information would help the teams efforts enormously.
I'm not sure imaging in the sense of KH satellites would be perceived as an essential, other than to provide a basic look-see outside the AOR for enemies and their condition, but there may be some facility for this held in reserve. Deep space scientific packages, telescopes etc are way down the list of project priorities.

What size of satellite do they need and what size of rocket? As I said, these would change as advances in technology allow smaller and more capable satellites. I would ultimately expect to see small clusters or constellations of satellites rather than a handful of big ones.
What geographical area needs to be covered? This governs the amount of satellites required, and where they are best launched from. Using existing modules, the emphasis is of course on the USA, with the UK version as represented in The Humber Project as another setting for us Limeys. So you don't for now need global coverage, just enough to cover the projects needs, CONUS or the UK. This does perhaps allow the GM to locate the launch facility somewhere well away from the players start location, because “that's where the optimal launch site is”.
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Old 11-29-2020, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by CraigD6er View Post
Interesting. The subject of satellites seems to me to ask generate a few questions. I like the idea of hiding satellites by faking failed launches. I'm not sure how long they would survive amongst the debris, the ASAT systems, the radiation and general wear and tear and lack of ground control after so long but it’s certainly a good idea. Personally I had the project not launch any but instead develop their own small satellites and launch vehicles for use 'afterwards'. After all with all the financial backing and technological knowledge, this would be simple for MP to do. If they can hide the power plants, the bolt holes, the armoured vehicle purchases, then a satellite system should be quite feasible too. Satellites in my view would have been pre-built and ready for launch. As technology advances, so do the satellites. Occasionally they and their launch vehicle would be replaced by smaller and more capable designs, until (if you leave your apocalypse date late enough) we get very small satellites that would be launched in clusters on a single rocket, forming their own constellations providing redundancy and better coverage. Such changes of models would be handled by maintenance teams accessing the storage/launch facility to swap out old for new in the same way they can swap old equipment for newer.
A few considerations, whichever route you go:
Firstly, it might be presumed that after the projected apocalypse some satellites would still be functioning. After all, no one has foreseen that so much time would elapse before teams awake (we of course know differently now), so they may well expect that after 5 years either some government satellites or their own prepositioned ones (if launched) are still operational. So the project would probably firstly ensure they have the ability to take control of existing satellites and their feed. Perhaps a dedicated ground station would be needed, redundancy provided by both Prime and Alternate having the same ability. Is it a manned base or does it need visiting to activate/wake the crew? Does one team awake to find instructions to open a nearby bolthole containing a group of techs, wake them and escort them go the ground station?
Secondly, because the project is all about being prepared, it would still be foreseen that some launch capability would be needed in case there are no surviving systems (especially with the development of ASAT systems - anyone remember Salyut 3 and its onboard gun?). Initially this might be attained by acquiring a few old ICBM's and silos, or even a boomer, but as time passes and technology improves I would see an MP subsidiary being a supplier of sounding rockets, with the ability therefore to make some slightly more 'muscular' versions of these and tuck them away for the coming rainy day. So that would need a storage/assembly/launch facility. Is it part of the ground control site or separate? Perhaps it is manned with a crew that has missed its activation call, or maybe a team needs to reach it and activate it themselves? Maybe it can be managed remotely, but the link is down for some reason.
Thirdly what do they actually need satellites for? The most obvious is communications. With their own working network teams can coordinate, bettering their chances of achieving their set goals and making Primes silence even more enigmatic. This is the primary requirement, the rest are not necessarily in the order you may choose.
Navigation is another requirement. This is a function that would work with the comms system, so would be piggy backed off of the same satellite. Not actually essential as they have maps and compass, but a functioning GPS is still nice to have. Plot twist - maybe there's a surviving MP cruise missile available to make best use of this? Whoever controls the ground station could control the missile(s).
Next is some form of sensor package to spot the hot zones, to map the nations damage and to see where is safe if you are relocating survivors.
Also needed would be weather mapping. This becomes essential if you are trying to help survivors become self-sufficient in foods. Yes, people managed for centuries without this, but times have changed and they need all the help they can get.
I also imagine some form of transmission/broadcast facility, so that the project can provide news reports, education and advise to survivors. If you can give communities boxes containing generators, seeds and tools, why not include the means to receive useful information, an MP public broadcast facility? Good PR along with helpful information would help the teams efforts enormously.
I'm not sure imaging in the sense of KH satellites would be perceived as an essential, other than to provide a basic look-see outside the AOR for enemies and their condition, but there may be some facility for this held in reserve. Deep space scientific packages, telescopes etc are way down the list of project priorities.

What size of satellite do they need and what size of rocket? As I said, these would change as advances in technology allow smaller and more capable satellites. I would ultimately expect to see small clusters or constellations of satellites rather than a handful of big ones.
What geographical area needs to be covered? This governs the amount of satellites required, and where they are best launched from. Using existing modules, the emphasis is of course on the USA, with the UK version as represented in The Humber Project as another setting for us Limeys. So you don't for now need global coverage, just enough to cover the projects needs, CONUS or the UK. This does perhaps allow the GM to locate the launch facility somewhere well away from the players start location, because “that's where the optimal launch site is”.
I am leaning towards a few missiles with Starlink styles satellites on board. Small Satellites that can be launched and stationed over the US into orbit for communications, mapping, weather and of course surveillance/ recon. Packages of satellites could also function in various roles, A two man team in an old silo or stationed near by for launch when awakened, onced launched they sit back and find ways to combat bordum till they are pulled out or find another team . The advantages a few communication satellites would give would be priceless.
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Old 11-29-2020, 03:35 PM
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The advantages a few communication satellites would give would be priceless.
Balloons/Solar powered drones carrying comms equipment could be either a stopgap during the initial phases or a long term solution if debris or launch equipment are problematic.
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Old 11-29-2020, 04:41 PM
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The size of the satellite and the launch vehicle is very interesting. We now have small satellites ranging from 100g femto-satellites, 1kg pico-satellites, 10kg nano-satellites, 100kg micro-satellites, and 500kg mini-satellites (the masses are the upper mass value for that class satellite). In the mini- and micro- sizes, they are doing radiation measurements, ground surveillance, weather tracking, and internet connectivity. Current GPS Block IIF satellites are massive, coming in at 1630kg. It would not be as easy for MP to launch a comparable constellation of satellites. Could MP launch a constellation of smaller satellites giving accuracy on the order of a meter instead of a few cm? With enough handwavium it can be reasonable.

This is important, because there are a number of private, small Single Stage to Orbit (SSO) launch vehicles out there. One of them is Electron, which in it's current version can handle a 300kg payload to LEO and 200kg payload SSO. Electron rockets are only 17m tall and 1.2m in diameter. These are small and would be easy to launch almost anywhere.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_(rocket)

It would not be unreasonable to imagine 10-12 semi-tractor pulling trailers and tankers being able to make a portable launch site just about anywhere. 1 trailer with eight Electron rockets, 1 having the gantry, 2 forming the tracking radar, 1 fusion generator and 5-7 tankers carrying RP-1 and LOX. That's a lot of satellites from a relatively small group of vehicles.
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Old 11-29-2020, 06:26 PM
nduffy nduffy is offline
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Balloons/Solar powered drones carrying comms equipment could be either a stopgap during the initial phases or a long term solution if debris or launch equipment are problematic.
Really good idea. I also see airships being used as relays and temporary solutions. Last time I was in West Texas we saw a tethered airship at an undisclosed DHS facility. I assume they are using it for radio traffic and possibly a surveillance platform. like a balloon it could be used as a stop gap and temporary back up when needed.
I could see a solar powered drone or even a large drone with a small NDB or NTB power supply flying or hovering in an area as a relay/ repeater, when the weather gets bad it finds a safe place to land or returns to base. With a fairly high ceiling you could get a long range out of it. These could go to comm teams or even a recon team or two in an area to help set up comm grids and data links.
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:00 AM
CraigD6er CraigD6er is offline
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Airships would definitely be a good option and ties in quite nicely with the Ballooners survivor group in the manual. Long endurance comms relay stations would be only one use. A silent spec ops carrier for a time when no one has functioning radar, a slow but silent bomber, large cargo delivery would all be good options. It's a bit Airlords of the Ozarks, which isn't a bad thing. Could you store the necessary gases for a long period and then build an airship from pre-made parts?
Has anyone read the Helldivers series by Sansbury Smith? Post WWIII survivors living in a slowly failing airship and diving to the shattered earth for supplies. Not a bad read. Lots of problems to resolve (weather, limited supplies, mutants and the detritus of war on the ground). It does at least give some possible scenario ideas.
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Old 12-06-2020, 10:31 AM
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Default RAVN X

Well, this came up in my feed today,, a drone that launches a rocket that boost satellites into low earth orbits,,, I can see this as an alternative. The satellite comes prepackaged and the launch vehicle is fairly autonomous. You could in theory launch several satellites a day.
https://theaviationist.com/2020/12/0...ht-satellites/
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Old 12-06-2020, 10:47 AM
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Default Rocket Lab

Anyone familiar with Rocket Lab? They are using smaller rockets to boost smaller satellites into low earth orbits and are doing so successfully. These could be stored in old revamped silos and launched PA if and when needed. Just fuel for thought and game ideas.
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Old 12-06-2020, 11:05 AM
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Anyone familiar with Rocket Lab? They are using smaller rockets to boost smaller satellites into low earth orbits and are doing so successfully. These could be stored in old revamped silos and launched PA if and when needed. Just fuel for thought and game ideas.
I mentioned their Electron rocket above. It is an attractive solution if mini- and micro-satellites can do the job.
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Old 12-06-2020, 11:43 AM
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I mentioned their Electron rocket above. It is an attractive solution if mini- and micro-satellites can do the job.
I totally missed that,, Sorry, blonde moment...
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Old 12-06-2020, 12:35 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Well, this came up in my feed today,, a drone that launches a rocket that boost satellites into low earth orbits,,, I can see this as an alternative. The satellite comes prepackaged and the launch vehicle is fairly autonomous. You could in theory launch several satellites a day.
https://theaviationist.com/2020/12/0...ht-satellites/
Did a little reading on my break. An interesting concept using a drone as the first stage. I do like the fact they do call the drone the first stage since the rocket can fire very quickly after separation rather than coasting like other airborne launch platforms. The use of Jet-A as fuel for both the drone and the rocket, the rocket also carrying LOX, does simplify things.

If such a system were used by MP, it would likely have to be a specialized base. You need a one-mile runway for takeoff and landing and a supply of Jet-A. LOX can be generated on site. I am imagining a desert location, since making a usable one-mile runway would be pretty simple there.
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Old 12-06-2020, 04:08 PM
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A desert base would make a great large airfield option. You could do a lot there and not have "local" attention. Take the conspiracy route,, what if Grooms Lake was an MP project. A few MP companies do research for the government and use Grooms Lake as a development facility for cryosleep and other projects as space projects, gives them the perfect place to R&D and build tech. The side job is tech for the government to pay bills...... Also given its location in proximity to PB, would make a great cover.... Just a conspiracy theory of course..
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Old 03-12-2021, 11:27 AM
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Default Hate to necor this thread... But

3rd Edition TMP page 28 has a 1 megaton fusion charge. This is a pure fusion weapon.

"Pure fusion weapons offer the possibility of generating arbitrarily small nuclear yields because no critical mass of fissile fuel need be assembled for detonation, as with a conventional fission primary needed to spark a fusion explosion. There is also the advantage of reduced collateral damage stemming from fallout because these weapons would not create the highly radioactive byproducts associated with fission-type weapons... ...A potentially useful feature of a fissionless weapon would be that no electromagnetic pulse would be produced, because this originates from the gamma rays released by fissioning nuclei."

So, we have a very clean 1 megaton or less explosion.

And we have this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projec...ear_propulsion)

What I propose is the Morrow Project using the Project Orion nuclear pulse system with their pure fusion charges to lift a large payload into orbit, which would then be capable of dispersing the needed satellites.

5 years after the war, there really wouldn't be anyone in a position to object.
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Old 03-13-2021, 05:39 PM
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3rd Edition TMP page 28 has a 1 megaton fusion charge. This is a pure fusion weapon.
The numbers just don't add up. The description states that it is the same as the fusion pack, only it uses all its fuel to make an explosion. The fusion pack only outputs 20,000kw for 18 months. Being generous and saying each month is 31 days, that only gets us to 9.65X10^8 MJ, which equates to only 0.23 megaton. Even if we allow for an inefficient fusion power pack, the discrepancy just feels too large. So there may be some additional nuclear catalyst involved, such as lithium that may make it less than pure fusion.
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:41 PM
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Default Says it is the same as the fusion pack...

But is it? The fusion pack is designed for power output. Which means it has to regulate output, has to have power receptacles, has to have operator controls for that power, etc. All of that adds weight. The Fusion charge has none of that, just a timer and a radio receiver linked to the detonator. But both have the same weight. My impression was always that the reason there is no difference in weight is that the fusion charge has more fuel than the pack.

But even without the fusion charge described, the Project has the ability to make a fusion generator. They should be able to generate a fusion blast without a fission starter. If it weighs more than 15 kilos, that still leaves them with the ability to blast an Orion-style vehicle into space.

And it is a lot simpler than trying to figure out how and where to store fuel, etc.
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