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Bluetooth for landmines

Thanks go to [po] for the inspiring annotation in my "Bluetooth for landlines" idea.
  [vote for,

All soldiers in a given theater of operations would be issued a Bluetooth device. This can be in the form of a dedicated Bluetooth ankle bracelet, or Bluetooth-enabled radio or cellphone, with an earpiece in their helmets, which would be better for improving communication, anyway. To prevent loss/theft, the bracelet would probably be the better way to go. It could lock on like tracking bracelets that folks under house-arrest wear. A folding hand-crank for emergency power might be a good option, too. Anyway, I digress.

Landmines would be Bluetooth-enabled, as well. Upon auto-synching with the Bluetooth device carried by a friendly soldier (typical Bluetooth range is about 30 feet) each mine temporarily deactivates,then reactivates when the soldier walks out of range, allowing the friendly soldier safe passage through the minefield. Given that Bluetooth devices have unique signatures, it wouldn't work for just any Bluetooth-capable phones the enemy might have, so security isn't much of an issue here.

I haven't been able to figure out how to provide continuous power to the Bluetooth devices in the mines, and Bluetooth draws a lot of power, but I'm open to suggestion. Maybe a long spike to draw up geothermal energy?

21 Quest, May 23 2009

IFF small craft http://www.selex-co...Craft%20IFF_web.pdf
[loonquawl, May 25 2009]

AA gun with IFF http://export.ssm.g...tDetails.aspx?ID=89
[loonquawl, May 25 2009]

Mine with electronics, no IFF http://www.dtic.mil...mines/kurschner.pdf
[loonquawl, May 25 2009]

How antennas work... http://web.telia.co.../antennas/anten.htm
[4whom, May 25 2009]

How resonance in antennas works.. http://www.intuitor...nce/radioTVres.html
[4whom, May 25 2009]

Mime protection. http://www.youtube....watch?v=MtgHZuTxwQ4
[MikeD, May 25 2009]

Mine, not yours... Borate_20Bouncing_20Bettys
[normzone, Dec 01 2015]


       "so we just need your eyeball to access your bank account..." [-]
FlyingToaster, May 23 2009

       I'm a 21B. One of my main areas of responsibility, (unfortunately), is dealing with land mines (enemy and friendly). So Kudos for trying to make my job safer, but your idea has a few problems ...

       1. U.S. & Coalition mine fields must be marked to prevent civilian casualties.

       2. The location of every known minefield (friend and foe) is meticulously cataloged and superimposed over any relevant map on our highly sophisticated battle field mapping equipment.

       3. One captured coalition soldier would enable safe traversing of our minefields.

       Your idea would undoubtedly facilitate some awesome scenarios; Tactically withdrawing (running away) through one of our own minefields, to the tune of pursuing enemy troops being detonated, perforated and blown to tiny bits.

       But realistically, I think it is unfeasible.

       [+] for idea, though and the many gratifying scenarios it enables.

       //lock on like tracking bracelets that folks under house-arrest wear// But really? Is this really necessary?
MikeD, May 23 2009

       No, the locking isn't necessary. it was just another option. As far as captured soldiers goes... let's see... that's a tough one. Ok, how's this: all the mines in a given field also synch with each other, forming a huge Bluetooth web. The mines on the perimeter of the field require that the soldier who wishes to pass enter a passcode into his/her device upon synching. This passcode is what tells the interior mines that it's ok to synch with that device, so you'd only have to enter the passcode once at the perimeter. In the event that a soldier is captured and interrogated under torture, an alternate passcode can be given. This passcode disables the mines like the real thing, which spares the soldier from being killed for giving them bad intel, but triggers a barrage from automated M-60 turrets and artillery from emplacements on the far side of the minefield. Kinda like a Panic PIN for credit cards.
21 Quest, May 23 2009

       I have a horrible feeling that landmines cost a few pence each, which isn't going to pay for a lot of bluetoothing. Also, I think the main issue with landmines is not how to use them in battle, buy how to find the bodyparts of civilians who encounter them years after the fighting has finished. [-] simply because I think (unrealistically, no doubt) that landmines themselves should be illegal.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 23 2009

       Have you read my idea titled Remote Failsafe Landmines, Max? Pair the two, and the danger to civilians is miniscule.
21 Quest, May 23 2009

       No, I hadn't. But this idea per se seems to make landmines safe for the soldiers alone.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 23 2009

       That's better than current landmines. If you can tell me how to make landmines safe to civilians without compromising their purpose (to keep enemy soldiers out) then you've got a winning idea. As is, landmines have a legitimate purpose, to the extent that war is considered legitimate, and are responsible for far fewer deaths and injuries than guns are. At least landmines can be avoided, as long as the field has signs posted around the perimeter. If civilians could be trusted to stay out of marked minefields instead of assuming that ancient mines are harmless, then they wouldn't get hurt, now would they? And if the armies that set up the minefields documented their location on maps (which, according to MikeD, they do) and post those perimeter signs after the field's purpose has been served, then minefields could be quite innocuous.
21 Quest, May 23 2009

       Except that in 50 or 60 years, signs fall down, even the countries that created the fields go away, other than complete destruction, there is very little way to make old mine fields safe.
MechE, May 23 2009

       Yes, but they're mapped, see? This means that they can be destroyed (and there are lots of ways to clear minefields) or deactivated by Remote Failsafe (as I've proposed in another idea) after the conflict in which they were deployed is over. As landmines go, the ones I've proposed are much safer than the current variety, and allow far more flexibility for the side that utilizes them.

       This is just like any other weapon. To prevent collateral damage it must be used responsibly. But that's a policy problem, not an equipment flaw.
21 Quest, May 23 2009



       "that's a policy problem, not an equipment flaw"
normzone, May 24 2009

       // This is just like any other weapon. To prevent collateral damage it must be used responsibly. //

       But mines make using them responsibly so much harder. Think about all the times the governmet lost some documentation - Yes, there's possibly still a receipt from the dry-cleaner of Pres. Lincolns pants around, somewhere, but there's also the case of the missing torture tapes...

       Mines are spread over a huge area, are designed to be undetectable, undefusable and generally a pain in the ass., and the information about them is highly sensitive, so there are bound to be as few copies around as possible.

       But back to the idea about bluetooth - i imagine you used 'bluetooth' to mean 'identification of friend/foe - IFF' and not the incredibly hackable bluetooth protocol. IFF for individual soldiers is being researched by various offense contractors, BAE, Rheinmetall, etc. and is already in use with anti-materiel 'mines' (actually automated remote firing platforms).

       the Problem lies in the price. With it being very cheap to make a certain stretch of land unsafe by way of mine, and no obligastion on the layer to remove every las t one of them, the incentive simply is too small. I propose laying a thousandth of the mines used (rounded up) and uncleared in the field in the front yard of anyone in the chain of command for laying them, by way of incentive for removing them / not laying them in the first place.
loonquawl, May 24 2009

       //If you can tell me how to make landmines safe to civilians without compromising their purpose//

       Not difficult, I would have thought. They just need to have a lifespan of, say, a year or even five years, with some mechanism which corrodes, or an explosive which degrades, over time. Or even include a small circuit in the detonator powered by a watch battery which will run down after a couple of yeats. There are a thousand ways to limit the lifespan of landmines.

       But, in practice, it seems more important to keep the cost down than to avoid taking off a child's leg and genitals a few years down the line.

       I don't know how responsibly the US uses landmines, and whether there have ever been any collateral injuries due to US landmines which were unmapped or unmarked, or where the civilians didn't have access to the official government records to warn them. Possibly not. It may only be irresponsible countries who misuse them (and who would not pay the extra few pence for a "lifespan-limited" landmine).
MaxwellBuchanan, May 24 2009

       But an idea has already been posted for degradable landmines. Do I really have to list every single feature of a weapon for which I'm only proposing a modification? If I proposed an idea for a combat firearm with a collapsible stock, do I lose points for failing to mention that it has a rifled barrel? This idea has nothing to do with civilians. Civilians have been taken care of by other posts. This one was for the soldiers. Why do you guys have to delve so deeply into unrelated topics? This is the fucking Weapon: landmine category! Not Green Peace International.
21 Quest, May 24 2009

       No, and I didn't mean to bang on. However, I'm still agin devices that make landmines more convenient for the force using them. After all, wouldn't they be useable even more widely if the troops deploying them had nothing to fear? Sorry - nothing personal.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 24 2009

       //But this idea per se seems to make landmines safe for the soldiers alone//

       Hence: my bun

       But really, [MB], did you not read where I clearly stated that *all* coalition minefields are marked? (marked in the local language as well). A form of eugenics? Maybe, but if you can't read, and you are drawn towards depictions of human skulls, your future holds more thermal and kinetic energy than you are capable of withstanding.

       Sorry for your luck.
MikeD, May 24 2009

       Hi Mike. No, I carelessly missed the bit about all coalition minefields being marked, my apologies, and that is good to know.

       However, I believe there are other nations who have used landmines less reponsibly, arguably causing injuries to civilians (quite possibly including children, though this is just speculation, of course). I'm not sure about "eugenics" or "human skulls", though - how did you mean?

       All I'm saying is that I don't like landmines, and I don't like things that make them easier for troops to use without offering additional protection for civilians. Is that OK? No offense intended.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 24 2009

       Then I put it to you, Max, to create a mine that can distinguish civilians from enemy forces. Besides, as was stated in another annotation, this modification would inevitably make the mines more expensive. Probably too expensive for the less scrupulous third-world warlords you're worried about to obtain in any significant numbers.
21 Quest, May 24 2009

       Fine, OK, I'll keep my moral qualms to myself and withdraw my scruple-based bone.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 24 2009

       I think the power issue is, as you point out, a major problem. Batteries aren't going to work for a useful time period, and a long spike is going to be impractical, if I understand the way landmines are usually planted. Even a 50-metre long heat- pipe is probably not going to be sufficient.

       So, a great idea but, on technical grounds, [-].
MaxwellBuchanan, May 24 2009

       [MB], no offense taken. I was just taking advantage of the opportunity to showcase my cold and heartless attitude towards everyone that is not me.

       In all seriousness, though, I don't like land mines either. All U.S. "dumb" mines are meant to be recoverable. Even the ones with anti-handling devices (booby traps). Unfortunately, soldiers such as the young and reckless MikeD of yore are responsible for meticulously plotting and recording the location of every mine in a mine field. Then, should the mine field be recovered, luckless soldiers, such as the young and reckless MikeD of yore, are tasked to decipher the whereabouts of these mines and *carefully* pull them out of the ground.

       These soldiers are prone to error in both phases.

       Still, there are literally millions of unexploded landmines scattered all over the world. There effects lasts long after the war for which they were intended.

       Despite advancement in "smart mines" by the U.S. and other technologically capable countries, unsuspecting civilians will continue to detonate mines for many, many years to come.
MikeD, May 24 2009

       so to detect such a mine all you need is something to detect the bluetooth signal emitted by each mine
vmaldia, May 25 2009

       // Why do you guys have to delve so deeply into unrelated topics? // - How about the related topics of IFF being baked and bluetooth being hackable i raised amidst my unapologizing mine-detraction?
loonquawl, May 25 2009

       What makes you think IFF isn't hackable? Do some research on the Gulf War some time. And do you have any links to show that IFF has ever been used for landmines? And I don't mean International Friendship Fund, either.
21 Quest, May 25 2009

       IFF is not a protocol, but an idea*, implementable any way one likes (Shine a flashlight at special wavelength, in special sequence, call 'Thunder' and click your heels four times to disengage : IFF). Your idea was basically: Use bluetooth for IFF. And to this i say: Too hackable. As i already stated, IFF for anti-person landmines is not implemented on the battlefield yet, probably for cost reasons, although there are automated anti materiél firing platforms that could be argued to provide the area denial functionality of mines, although only for vehicles.

       *... and i don't mean International Floorball Federation
loonquawl, May 25 2009

       The secret to landmines is their difficulty in detection, by ANY means. They are most efficient when iff (and I mean if and only if) they remain hard to detect and finding them exhibits a high propensity for false positives. Mines don't have to blow things up, the mere fact that they could, slows the enemy down whilst he looks for them. This is also the biggest disadvantage ito fratricide along with a mine's longevity after a conflict.

       Having beacons emmiting a constant signal, or having receivers, that can be triangulated, negates the purpose of the mines in battle. It does, however, and this is really the only redeeming point of your "idea", provide a platform for the positioning of a fake mine field. But this relies on the enemy regarding you as stupid enough to have adopted this practice of beaconing mines in the first place.

       This idea helps the FOE as much as it helps the FRIEND. And is IFF (Idiotic, For Fucksakes).
4whom, May 25 2009

       triangulating receivers is quite a challenge, depending on the type of receiver. The IFF-protocol for landmines need not necessarily be challenge/password -style, and if it has to be, the challenge could be given by devices that are deployed with the minefield (thus indicating the minefield, but not giving away specific locations) while the mines only listen to the answer.
loonquawl, May 25 2009

       funny, they seem to be mine, too.
loonquawl, May 25 2009

       Triangulating receivers is about as challenging as going into postal correspondence. It certainly isn't the best way of doing things, but it has been around a while and we know we can do it.

       Let's put aside the awful idea of handshaking protocols, and assume the mine only receives a signal. This signal powers a circuit in the mine (a la passive RFID) to determine IFF. As a foe, even without triangulation, I could send an arbitrary signal and measure (sniff) a circuit's activity.

       Let's maybe say it is chipless RFID. So the receiver is bouncing back a predetermined signal. By choosing my transmissions well (or going through the whole gambit) I could a) hack the RFID b) determine where the bounce signal comes from.

       Mines are generally mechanically actuated. To prevent sniffing of electrically active components. None of the above propositions, nor the idea, work for this. More to the point, things are mistaken for mines. False positives. This is the mine's greatest weapon. This idea removes this angle of attack and replaces it with a load of bunk. Providing little, or no, benefit to anyone other than the Foe or civillians after the engagement. Neither of these are priority in conflict. Although the latter is philanthropic, at least.

       Having said that, I would prefer all mines not to be placed. My father-in-law tells of mines "walking" up to several meters out of position, whilst buried. It works on a similar principle to the brasil-nut effect. The mine, over time, tries to compensate for its specific density relative to the medium in which it is buried. It more often goes down, but not vertically. Resulting in a difference on the plane at the surface. Sometimes the mines actually come out of the ground. Both cases are well documented.
4whom, May 25 2009

       [4whom]: could you link to some proof? The RFID examples you posted are rather off-point, as RFID is designed to be detectable, it is it's raison-d'etre, in a way. If you power the circuit from the signal, this would of course be somehow detectable. But apart from fact that sprinkling the whole field with cheap as dirt RFID would overcome this limitation, i would rather envision mines with their own energy-cell.

       That said, i see more interesting applications for IFF than mines, and above all , far more interesting activities than wars.
loonquawl, May 25 2009

       Link to some proof? Do you mean proof that triangulating receivers is trivial?

       //The RFID examples you posted are rather off-point// Not really, just trying to propose things that may work in this inverted colon of an idea. The device would have to be detectable in the proposed implementation, ergo, in lieu of transmission, some form of passive calibration. This would also side step the need to bash down a x meter long pipe for geothermal power. (and you knock me for my work arounds.)
4whom, May 25 2009

       // Do you mean proof that triangulating receivers is trivial? // Yes.

       //The device would have to be detectable in the proposed implementation// (bluetooth implementation? -> Yes.) Just-Receiver Impl. -> No?

       //geothermal power. (and you knock me for my work arounds.)// Huh? I guess i stubbed your toe some way. I apologize.
loonquawl, May 25 2009

       //So basically, this idea is a ball of crap// [marked-for-tagline]
AbsintheWithoutLeave, May 25 2009

       [AWOL] I would have prefered the "inverted colon of an idea" to be [M-F-T], but thanks anyway. It's my first, I think...
4whom, May 25 2009

       Googleing proved ineffective, could find no reference to detecting passive radar stations in WW2. Could find no mention of antenna reflectance (in the context of antennas reflecting incoming signals) at all. Please provide [link] or appropriate search terms.
loonquawl, May 25 2009

       4whom, what the hell did I do to piss you off? You've made a lot of rather personal attacks here, which I've deleted, and it's not necessary. If you have a point to make about the idea, then go ahead and repost without the rude comments and personal attacks. If you have a bone to pick, feel free to send me an e-mail. Keep it out of here, ok?
21 Quest, May 25 2009

       [4whom], there is something you need to understand about mine warfare. Mines for the intent and purpose of killing enemy troops, in and of themselves, are very ineffective. Mine fields are used to channel or block. A mine field that is not over watched is useless. My fellow engineers could reduce a blocking minefield in 5 minutes, if for not being shot to shit whilst reducing.

       The object of the minefield is not to kill, but to affect enemy movement. We tie our minefields into supporting terrain, channel the enemy into a kill zone (where big guns are already pointed) and we obliterate them. If they choose to go through our mine filed, (which we have over watched with almost as big guns), we obliterate them.

       We mark our minefields so the enemy knows they are there. We want them to know where our mines are. We want them to not go where our mines are.

       Besides, if we didn't mark the minefields, it would only be one kill (more or less) until the enemy realized it was in a mine field.

       *Mind you, all of this is in reference to "dumb mines". There are very sophisticated mines that do choose between friendly and enemy targets. They also coordinate their attack with the other mines. They are very bad ass.
MikeD, May 25 2009

       //We want them to not go where our mines are//
So, in fact, all you need to do is scatter some sand/olive green-coloured disks, put up a few signs, have a few guys walking very carefully and sometimes set off some big bangs?

       Well, baked, c.1899 at Mafeking by Robert Baden-Powell. He of "Scouting for Boys".
AbsintheWithoutLeave, May 25 2009

       For most civilized countries, this would work, [AWOL]. In fact dummy mine fields are a standard operation in the history of mine warfare. Unfortunately Iraqis are either very tenacious or very dumb. I suspect the latter, but I also suspect I'm very biased whereas Iraqis are concerned ...
MikeD, May 25 2009

       There's also those nasty little things called bomblets, which are scattered over a large area either by specialized artillery shells, smartbombs, or cruise missiles that dispense them as they fly over a target area. Bomblets are tiny, bright-colored explosives that are scattered by the hundreds and explode at the slightest disturbance. To save costs, most of them are dummies. Only about 1 in 10 is actually live, but it's the visual deterrent that makes them effective area-denial weapons. Landmines work the same. Post a minefield sign, and all you need is a few live mines, scattered about. All it usually takes is one or two explosions to deter the enemy.
21 Quest, May 25 2009

       I am opposed to your deletion of my posts. The deletion of these posts, shows one of two things:

       1) I am a mullet. Not worthy of your energy, nor the publication of my idiocy, (the publication of which would, ultimately, strengthen your argument).

       2) You are a mullet. Not worthy of anyone's response. Lest it be deleted.

       I am happy with both, to be quite honest. Although you seem to have chosen for everyone.

       Do I have to duplicate this response on my profile, just in case you delete it?
4whom, May 27 2009

       I would have left the bulk of your annotations if it were possible for me to delete only parts of them. As I explained, I deleted because of your inclusion of personal attacks that were not relevant to the idea. If you're going to be nasty, then you can expect to be deleted. I resent the fact that somebody just fishboned over half my ideas overnight in a blatant act of spite, but I'm not throwing a hissy-fit over it.
21 Quest, May 27 2009

       Hey. If I vote, I only vote positvely. I prefer to have my grievances with an idea, aired. There have been times when I have voted negatively, but only when I assume the poster regards votes above feedback (usually trolls), and I have specifically indicated my negativity.

       I can't help that someone 'boned half your ideas. I can't help that you posted this pile of steaming shit.

       I can help with suggestions. I can help with arguments (even if with [loon...] on triangulation of antennas).

       I apologise for the stuff you know I am apologising about. That was unfair. But please, if you post crap I will be there...watching :-)
4whom, May 27 2009

       Oh for goodness' sake.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 27 2009

       // resent the fact that somebody just fishboned over half my ideas//
How very half-baked!
AbsintheWithoutLeave, May 27 2009

       Ha! 4whom, I haven't had a good laugh like that in a while. Thanks. I'm burying this bone here and now. I think I may have misjudged you. If I have, I'm sorry. Life's been kinda rough lately.
21 Quest, May 27 2009

       [4whom]: are the links you posted supposed to elucidate your receiver triangulation theory? 'Cause they did not tell me anything new. Maybe my powers of extrapolation are puny compared to yours, but would you care to post something more specific? And some background on the WW2 radar-receiver triangulations too, cause although i can believe those i'd like to refine my search strategies.
loonquawl, May 28 2009

       Regarding power, there are several radio protocols that use much less power these days. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE/Bluetooth Smart), 6LoWPAN, etc.   

       This would use trilateration, not triangulation.   

       Putting anything electronic in a landmine would increase its detectability and removability by the enemy. They could use a nonlinear junction detector to detect them.
notexactly, Nov 27 2015

       And here was me thinking the Bluetooth would be so the mines could communicate and shuffle about a bit, just to make sure one of them would be underfoot.
not_morrison_rm, Dec 03 2015

       //the mines could communicate and shuffle about a bit// Flocking land-mines?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Dec 11 2015


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