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Multi-sensory battlefield probe system

Arena situational awareness with a multitude of sensors
  [vote for,

This is a suite of delivery and sensor systems to provide more-detailed, high resolution information on the ground.

Firstly, deployed from a relatively high altitude are surveillance and communications posts. These are parachute delivered, self-erecting devices, perhaps 2m tall, with 360 optical/IR/thermal vision, radar, audio. Large enough to include a satellite uplink, adequate power (battery, fuel-cell, solar...etc). Deployed in large-enough numbers and spread that the enemy might find and destroy many of them, but that they won’t get them all.

Secondly, a large number of small (ping-pong-ball-sized) units comprising camera, audio, vibration sensor, GPS and wi-if/short range radio. Dropped as a canister of a few hundred, parachute to a few thousand feet and deploy freely from that height- hardened electronics to withstand impact, landing randomly, swarm-redundancy.

Thirdly, a system to deliver these and/or a number of autonomous drones (quadcopters) from a submarine- launched cruise missile.

Mesh network radio to connect short-range, routed back via satellite to centre of operations.

A large, multiply redundant sensor array right in the back- yard.

Frankx, Oct 15 2019

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       That could seriously mess up any ping-pong tournaments in the conflict area.
not_morrison_rm, Oct 16 2019

       Why not just have the war in a densely populated area with plenty of observers? Seems to be working OK in Syria.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 16 2019

       There's a problem with this if your opponent is as sophisticated as you are (and it is politic to credit your opponent with intelligence and ability at least equal to your own).   

       You are giving away a huge amount of information about yourself by deploying this system into enemy territory. It tells them about your radio frequencies, your choice of encryption technology, your communications capabilities. Even if your devices are set to self destruct at the end of their battery life, or if tampered with, there's still a non-zero chance that one will be damaged in the drop, or simply malfunction. That's just jam for your opponents ...
8th of 7, Oct 16 2019

       You could always wrap them in bacon.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 16 2019

       //giving away a huge amount of information// I was thinking of pretty crude devices using COTS technology - nothing particularly sensitive. The value is in correlating and extracting useful data from a large array of low-integrity sources.   

       //damaged in the drop...malfunction//- totally expected - that’s why lots of low-value sensors.   

       //radio frequencies// - again, just use standard commercial products   

       //encryption// maybe not even bother, or at most use standard “commercial grade”
Frankx, Oct 16 2019

       // extracting useful data from a large array of low-integrity sources. //   

       So, like buying the Daily Express, the Daily Mail and the Sun ?   

       If you just use commercial kit, you're wide-open to spoofing.   

       Deploying a system like this also militates against tactical surprise, unless used in multiple areas, some as deception.
8th of 7, Oct 16 2019

       Yes, just like trying to extract sensible information from the mainstream “news”papers.   

       Spoofing: yes, but that’s going to take time and effort - it would progressively erode redundancy, but spoofing a large number of devices would be infrastructure intensive.   

       Tactical surprise: hadn’t thought of that. I’m assuming there’s a continuum of deployment that progressively values information density against time. I wasn’t proposing something deployed weeks in advance, more like a few hours to a day or so- limited by battery power of course. I like the idea of deploying multiple decoys though.
Frankx, Oct 16 2019

       In WW1, the Allies quickly learned how to determine the boche intentions by how they deployed persistent and nonpersistent chemical agents.   

       Patrolling and reconnaisance overflights can disclose your interest in an area, unless they're an integrated part of maskirovka.
8th of 7, Oct 16 2019


       Ok. Back shortly
Frankx, Oct 16 2019

       Fine, but don't call us shortly. You don't know us tbat well, and we're taller than we look.
8th of 7, Oct 16 2019

       "Maskirovska" is military deception. It's basically "mask" with "irovska" added on the end of it. That's how Russian works - all the Russian words are just English words with "irovska" or "ichunya" on the end (or, rarely, "oi" or "iota"). They try to cover it up by using a weird-looking alphabet, but basically that's how Russian works.   

       I can also confirm that [8th] is tall enough to reach the ground, although not from a particularly high starting point.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 16 2019

       Can Trump be included in the category of spoofing, I mean the Americans couldn't really have voted such a git as him, unless it's all deep state wotsits?
not_morrison_rm, Oct 17 2019

       They voted for Clinton, which just proves the adage that while there's an upper limit to intelligence, there's no upper limit to stupidity.
8th of 7, Oct 17 2019

       //Maskirovska// yes. So Trump might not count as spoofing, but might count as Maskirovska
Frankx, Oct 17 2019

       What, a carefully crafted deception operation run by Russian military intelligence ... ? Perish the thought ...
8th of 7, Oct 17 2019


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