Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.

user:
pass:
register,


                                                                                           

Explosive Drone Swarm Around Naval Ships

Sends gentle message to jets wanting to buzz them: "Knock it off!"
  (+5)
(+5)
  [vote for,
against]

Pretty simple concept, when radar sees a jet coming in uninvited, about 500 drones form a dome about 200 yards radius around a ship sailing legally in international waters. Each drone holds about 5 pounds of explosives and fragmentation material that WILL blow up if you run into it.

These drones would be clearly marked with very bright flashing lights. They would also be designed to have a very large radar cross section.

Send a message to idiots that want to play chicken with heavily armed warships. "You want to fly through a cloud of aerial mines to prove you're a big man? Fine, knock yourself out. Literally."

As an afterthought, have them swirling around like a tornado for effect and to make them impossible to avoid.

doctorremulac3, May 02 2016

A list of some of the big names for doctorremulac3 http://tvtropes.org...php/Main/BulletHell
Warning! TV Tropes link - may cost you half a day. [Loris, May 03 2016]

On drone swarms. http://www.wired.co...arms-change-warfare
[MaxwellBuchanan, May 03 2016]

Orbiting Particle Shield http://tvtropes.org...itingParticleShield
(Again, TV Tropes, exercise caution...) [Loris, May 03 2016]

[link]






       [+] Considering the amount of sh*t a pilot is going to get in for scratching the paint on the billion dollar birdy, explosives probably aren't necessary: just make them out of steel, instead of plastic.
FlyingToaster, May 02 2016
  

       This is a bit "I didn't do anything - he walked into my fist!"
hippo, May 02 2016
  

       Eeeexactly.
doctorremulac3, May 02 2016
  

       // make them out of steel //   

       Titanium ... unless you know of some special new lightweight steel ... ?   

       The marine environment is notoriously harsh ... and if nothing else, the wind is going to be quite a challenge.
8th of 7, May 02 2016
  

       I think there's about a million shoot-em-ups inspired by this premise.
Loris, May 02 2016
  

       Such as? You don't need to list all one million. A half a million or so will suffice.
doctorremulac3, May 02 2016
  

       I always figured that if you're about to be buzzed, it would be an auspicious time to launch a bunch of weather balloons trailing their instrument packages on long wire tethers. You know, purely for peaceful research purposes.
AusCan531, May 02 2016
  

       So then the goal is to fly at high speed very close to this dome of drones, throwing them around in the turbulence and hopefully causing some to run into each other.
scad mientist, May 02 2016
  

       Have them change course at random causing such a maneuver to be extremely dangerous.
doctorremulac3, May 02 2016
  

       Weather permitting of course. Depending on the class of ship, drones might have a hard time keeping up with the ship. Also, these drones would need to be fueled to last at least an hour in the air and/or able to be retrieved, refueled and relaunched quickly. I will assume the quadracopter-style drones are what you imply for use. It might be better to have multiple scan-eagle type drones, but smaller. More able to keep up with the ship, and able to stay flying for longer periods of time. If any of you have been through a flyby, it's an awesome experience from friendly forces (probably not so from not-exactly-friendly forces).
twitch, May 02 2016
  

       All solvable problems but if I were emperor I'd simply tell aggressor nations that any aircraft approaching any of my ships in what might be construed as an attack profile will be shot down.   

       But I'm not emperor.   

       Yet anyway.   

       I like the idea of releasing weather balloons. Lots and lots of weather balloons with real heavy equipment. Gotta check the weather eh?   

       "Weather report for today: expect thunderous explosions followed by heavy rain of aggressor aircraft parts."
doctorremulac3, May 02 2016
  

       If possible, program your drones to recognize and home in on jet engine inlets. An engine will continue to run after ingesting a drone but the regular pilot chewing-outs and repeated costs for compressor stage overhauls will quickly curb these expensive stunts.
whatrock, May 02 2016
  

       //Such as? You don't need to list all one million. A half a million or so will suffice.//   

       Challenge accepted!   

       Fortunately I don't have to do the work myself; found a list on the interwebs. (Warning - it's a TV Tropes page. If you read the article you'll probably open a couple of links as tabs, then read them and open some more, and then 6 hours will pass before you manage to get the memetic chain reaction under control.)
Loris, May 03 2016
  

       I like the weather balloon idea very much. Especially if festive. Maybe each balloon could be a component of a picture. Something patriotic, like a big Uncle Sam or a pinup girl. They could roll them down in bad weather. These balloons should be full of hydrogen, I think, since that could be generated from seawater.   

       It might be tricky to construct representational art when the pixels (balloons) are capable of some degree of movement relative to one another.
bungston, May 03 2016
  

       I clicked the link and saw something about dodging bullets.   

       As far as me spending hours to find this idea among all this nerd fest movie/video game stuff, It's your assertion, I'll have to leave it up to you to do the research.
doctorremulac3, May 03 2016
  

       //As far as me spending hours to find this idea among all this nerd fest movie/video game stuff, It's your assertion, you do the research. If there's something showing a swarm of robots flying around an object to be protected, provide the link. You can't just say "I saw a movie where things were moving once." and proclaim the idea's been done.//   

       Pretty much every shoot 'em up since ever[1] has had a boss or three with whirling junk of one type or another - I really don't think that's a claim I have to justify too hard.
The warning there was on it being a link to TV tropes, which is a site notorious for being a productivity tar-pit. I'm /not/ asking you to spend the time doing that, I'm saying - be careful. If you scroll down that page, though, you'll find a long list of examples towards the bottom.
On reflection I realise that the bullet hell concept (which was the first link) is not exactly the same as your proposal (although there is considerable overlap), but please understand that /I'm/ at serious risk of getting sucked in to that black hole! Nevertheless, I have found a better link ("Orbiting particle shield"); I'm debating whether to remove the first one.
  

       I hope you appreciate that I'm not saying your idea is 'baked' in real life, or not a good one. I think it's cool if technology has advanced to the point where doing that sort of thing is feasible.   

       [1] Ok, a slight exaggeration, but not by much. And there are games which *arn't* shmups (and movies, etc) which include orbiting shields, so it averages out.
Loris, May 03 2016
  

       Incidentally, has there been an issue with planes buzzing ships recently? Because while I can see the advantage in that protection, I'm not sure it's a serious concern, vs for example missiles.
There's a film, "Battle : Los Angeles" where an alien ship uses orbiting drones for protection against missiles, but I'm not convinced it would work too well in practice.
Loris, May 03 2016
  

       The simple counter-measure would be to jam the radio control signal for the drones and watch them fall out of the sky, onto the ship they're supposed to be protecting.
hippo, May 03 2016
  

       /a boss or three with whirling junk /   

       Also a fine music video scheme.
bungston, May 03 2016
  

       I suspect that this configuration of drones, designed to reflect RADAR, would essentially blind the ship's own RADAR, that the drones would not be able to prevent aircraft firing anti ship missiles from over the horizon and that the drones would be unlikely to occupy the same space at the same time as a 3000 mph missile. But lets not allow fundamental flaws to dampen our enthusiasm for aerial mines.   

       Now, if they were much further out, carefully designed with effective flak charges and spaced to provide no gaps... could work.
bs0u0155, May 03 2016
  

       ; //The simple counter-measure would be to jam the radio control signal for the drones and watch them fall out of the sky, onto the ship they're supposed to be protecting.//   

       Which is a active attack upon the ship. Response? Lock ground to air missiles and destroy the attacking aircraft.   

       So if you want to get a buzz by making some defensive drones fall out of the sky prepare to die. (although not possible since the drones would be programmed to fly autonomously in a way to not endanger the ship should they lose contact with it.)   

       //I suspect that this configuration of drones, designed to reflect RADAR, would essentially blind the ship's own RADAR//   

       The object of the drones having a high radar profile wouldn't be to obscure the ship from aircraft, (and vice-versa) but to make it obvious to the harassing aircraft that the swarm was there and to be avoided. You could fine tune them so you could peer through them and still see a pretty easy radar target like an aircraft a thousand yards out or so, but yea, that would need to be considered.   

       //Now, if they were much further out, carefully designed with effective flak charges and spaced to provide no gaps... could work.//   

       You could also make these active in that you put up a wall in front of any incoming aircraft within the declared defensive "no fly zone".   

       This would be a halfway between passive defense, a simple, in place wall and shooting a missile at the incoming plane. Although reacting in an aggressive manner to any incoming plane, it would be no danger to any plane not violating the declared no fly perimeter.   

       Clearly though in my opinion, drone swarms, however you use them is the next major step in defense technology. Biggest one since the nuke in my opinion. It has yet to be realized, but a million smart robots be they aerial (the easiest approach) or ground running can't be stopped by anything other than a similar sized swarm of defensive drones.   

       These will be "semi-smart" (not sure if anybody's used that term yet, but it's a good one) where you say "Kill that house full of ISIS guys" and they do the rest on their own, report back saying "Ok, they're all dead, who's next?" and on to the next one. As for who is and isn't an ISIS guy? Does he have a gun? Yes. Then he's an ISIS guy. Attack.   

       For moral purposes though, I would propose a "human at the kill decision switch at all times" rule where say you have 10,000 drones controlled by 100 soldiers, the drone locks a target and sends the information in video / picture form to the next available soldier who's monitoring via virtual reality goggles or video screen. The target is highlighted and the soldier is given a "Kill / Don't Kill" switch which he pushes as appropriate.   

       Of course this wouldn't be necessary for targets seen to be actively firing at the drones which would be attacked automatically.
doctorremulac3, May 03 2016
  

       // drone swarms, however you use them is the next major step in defense technology.//   

       I suspect that drone swarms are more likely to be used offensively, particularly at sea.
So you have big honking ships like aircraft carriers in the middle of the sea, meaning no cover and representing an easily designated target. They're defended by effectively serial weapons designed to take out attackers one by one. How many would you need to saturate these defenses?
I will assume that the long range defences are not particularly useful, and relatively expensive, being missile, or plane based. So that leaves the close in weapons systems - Phalanx, goalkeeper and similar. These essentially shoot large bullets, and their magazines seem to run to one or two thousand rounds, but they are set up for rapid fire, and expend many rounds to ensure a kill. Small, cheap drones presumably won't be travelling at mach 3, but they may be able to move quite erratically, and dodge several bullets at distance. Even if running out of ammo wern't a problem, if enough drones arrive at once it may be hard for the defences to take them all down.
  

       Now you could argue that the CAP (planes flying a defensive formation) would be able to take down the delivery vehicle, because small cheap drones can't fly more than, say, 200 km. Maybe that's true - but that does mean you absolutely positively have to keep that area clear of all shipping, and you can't go anywhere near land.
You could also argue that small cheap drones couldn't carry the payload to sink, or even badly damage a carrier. Which I will also concede - but an aircraft carrier relies heavily on being able to regularly put planes in the air, and take them down again. So the obvious role for the drone swarm is to soften up the ship for the main attack - to foul the deck, get ammo expended, and maybe get lucky hits on the control island.
Loris, May 03 2016
  

       Well, you'd use the appropriate and simplest tool for the job. An aircraft carrier is best taken out with a volley of cruse missiles overloading their phalanx defensive guns.   

       Drone swarms would do what tanks were supposed to do but never really did. Break through lines of entrenched soldiers each armed with a single amiable weapon. Tanks are an incredibly bad idea. They bundle a few people together and put them out in the open so they're easier to target and kill. You just need to use an explosive that's several pounds instead of a bunch of well placed bullets that you'd use if you were killing the soldiers individually. If you're attacking somebody without anti tank weapons that's one thing, but it's not 1940. 1 properly armed man vs 1 tank = one dead tank. And tanks vs aircraft? That was obsolete as soon as it started in WW2, and that's against aircraft with dumb bombs and automatic cannon. Now they're got 1 shot 1 kill technology.   

       Scrap the tank and put the money into drone swarms.
doctorremulac3, May 03 2016
  

       I very much approve of the idea of a single amiable weapon. Does it have a disarming smile?
Ian Tindale, May 03 2016
  

       // An aircraft carrier is best taken out with a volley of cruse missiles overloading their phalanx defensive guns. //   

       An aircraft carrier is best taken out with a single badly-debugged C++ method.
8th of 7, May 03 2016
  

       //I very much approve of the idea of a single amiable weapon. Does it have a disarming smile?//   

       I like that mistype. More interesting, think I'll leave it.   

       //An aircraft carrier is best taken out with a single badly-debugged C++ method.//   

       Well, the best way is a nuke. Nukes solve all conflict issues pretty effectively. Problem is the whole "Both sides die" thing.
doctorremulac3, May 03 2016
  

       //Titanium// I was going for kinetic energy. Ti's pretty light and, since they don't have to stay in the air that long, fuel consumption isn't that much of an issue.
FlyingToaster, May 03 2016
  

       // awesome experience from friendly forces (probably not so from not-exactly-friendly forces). //   

       That would be U.S. forces, then, reknowned wherever their alles duck and cover, for scattering their stores like grass seed on spotting anything resembling a target.   

       Their only saving grace is their extraordinary innaccuracy, reducing the probability of a hit to rather less than that determined by random chance.
8th of 7, May 03 2016
  

       //Nukes solve all conflict issues pretty effectively. Problem is the whole "Both sides die" thing.//   

       If you get blown up by your own nuke then I think you're holding it wrong.
Loris, May 04 2016
  

       They're generally marked "This End Towards Enemy", but then if you're reading the label it's probably not a good time to let it off.
8th of 7, May 04 2016
  

       Ah yes, the Davy Crockett.   

       I always hear tales of the rooski boys playing these close encounter games, but never of the 'murrakins engaging in such shenaigans. I find it hard to believe that a bunch of bored sailors could avoid such behavior. Isn't this a tradition or something?
normzone, May 04 2016
  

       Not sure of the utility of this idea against buzzing jets.   

       10. If the jet is a threat, shoot it   

       20. If not, ask them to come around again for a closer buzz   

       30. Goto 10   

       A drone swarm just admits that you're concerned about all these rowdy shenanigans, but still leaves control of the situation in the hands of the jet.
the porpoise, May 04 2016
  

       ^ requires an IF - THEN - ELSE clause. Also, ? type mismatch error, ? syntax error, etc.
8th of 7, May 04 2016
  

       Gotta admit, I like your idea.   

       By the way, what ever happened to flack? There's an idea. Put up an old fashioned flak barrage creating a dazzling fireworks display on the side of the ship where the planes are approaching.
doctorremulac3, May 04 2016
  

       A couple thoughts; // Ah yes, the Davy Crockett. // Common misconception. The range of the M28 & M29, being 2 and 4km respectively, was well beyond the lethal range of the sub-kiloton warhead. Yet the myth that it was a suicide weapon remains... Possibly because other versions of the W54/Mk54 warhead were configured for higher yield I suppose.   

       You could easily put radar corner-reflectors on your drones, and because they're drones, program them to always point the retroreflectors outwards, or even better, aim them at an approaching enemy. Zero interference with outgoing radar, maximum interference for incoming signals.   

       // An engine will continue to run after ingesting a drone but // I wonder if that would hold true if you salted the drone chassis with some tool steel or ceramic elements? Surely you could kill even a military turbine with suitable materials.   

       And I've always thought the best way to kill a carrier was with a VA-111 Shkval nuclear supercavitating torpedo.
Custardguts, May 04 2016
  

       You know, back in the day they just strung cables from balloons that floated around the ship.   

       I still like the fair warning and shoot to kill plan though.
doctorremulac3, May 04 2016
  

       Balloons aren't terribly hard to destroy I find.
RayfordSteele, May 04 2016
  

       The problem with the idea is that it solves a problem that was only a problem 75 years ago when an aerial attack on a naval ship meant flying directly over it.   

       That's just not the case anymore.   

       Also, the problem with rock-paper-scissors military strategies is that they fail to realise how quickly the enemy will react. The real path to victory is to react faster than the enemy.
zen_tom, May 05 2016
  

       //Balloons aren't terribly hard to destroy I find.//   

       So if you were a Russian pilot you'd just start shooting at the balloons? You do understand that your next step would be to get blown out of the sky right?   

       I think there's been some confusion about what this is about. It's not about defending a ship against aerial attack, that's already been accomplished. You shoot down the attacker. This is about passively making high speed close in overflights of ships more dangerous.
doctorremulac3, May 05 2016
  

       //This is about passively making high speed close in overflights of ships more dangerous//   

       Small, near-invisible drones stretching even-less visible abrasive-coated kevlar tethers?
bs0u0155, May 05 2016
  

       /Small, near-invisible drones stretching even-less visible abrasive-coated kevlar tethers?/   

       I think you have described 8th's cosplay garb.
bungston, May 05 2016
  

       No, I'd probably destroy them remotely, with some kind of areal percussive weapon if I were to have some reason to engage with the ship. Maybe something with some style, like some beefed-up Chinese firework mortars for zing.
RayfordSteele, May 06 2016
  
      
[annotate]
  


 

back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle