Annachie wrote:On the sensor thing.
Jonesy from Hunt for Red October is a great, though ficticious, example. For that matter, the book with Japanese as well.
Not sure how real world accurate he is, but a good example nontheless.
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I knew a few sonar techs in my previous life while serving in a destroyer and had to get familiar with some of their gear. Tom Clancy was very close to the mark on the gear, as close as you could get without divulging classified info.
Computers are good but a trained and experienced eye watching a "waterfall" display as well as a trained and experienced ear is capable of picking out that minor inconsistency or "random" bit of noise that can give away a target to you when an "expert system" computer would miss it.
One of the sonar techs in my ship was an ex-submariner who couldn't go back to the boats, minor health issue IIRC. He could have been Clancy's prototype for "Jonesy." He passed on a lot of information that our surface sonar guys hadn't known until he came aboard, much of it was those little "things" I mentioned earlier.
That information helped us pick up a Soviet Victor III SSN (a very quiet customer in those days) that was tracking one of our carriers. Victor thought he was being smart, hiding in our "baffles" (sonar blind spot) while we followed the birdfarm as "plane guard." We hadn't yet received the towed sonar array that is so common today, few tincans had at that point and the Soviets knew it.
I cannot tell you to this day HOW we detected him (still classified?) but we did and his first indication that anything was amiss was when the carrier and escorting cruiser took off at Flank speed while we turned around and began hammering him with active sonar.
It was the "human factor" that caught him, not the computers.