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Honorverse Sensor Capability

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Re: Honorverse Sensor Capability
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:21 am

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Somtaaw wrote:
kzt wrote:You'll have to tell me about when they evacuated Hiroshima.


your sarcasm is duly noted, but considering the differences in missile size for the standard orbital strike dart (Manticoran versions get 6 out of a single CM tube), versus a 100t nuclear tipped shipkiller missile launched by the dozen by cruisers.


I'm unsure if Hiroshima even had defense batteries, let alone if the bomber delivering the payload was flying higher than any defense guns could reach. If there were defenses, and the bomber delivering was out of range, that sort of actually helps my point that a ship up in orbit using airburst nukes has it far easier than trying to get physical contact with its target.

That's also excluding the relatively minor issue that in the days of the Hiroshima nuking, we kinda didn't have radar guided CWIS guns. Airburst flak guns that were pretty much aimed by eye were the air defense weapon of choice, and I'd pay good money to see you use one of those old WWII flak guns and pick off individual bombs on a reliable basis.
I'm pretty sure kzt was taking aim at the bit of your post about how an airburst pretty much guarantees nobody lives there for decades. Hiroshima (and Nagasaki) were airbust with nukes that are way dirtier than modern Honorverse ones (albeit with smaller yield) and neither was made an uninhabitable zone.
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Re: Honorverse Sensor Capability
Post by kzt   » Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:19 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:I'm pretty sure kzt was taking aim at the bit of your post about how an airburst pretty much guarantees nobody lives there for decades. Hiroshima (and Nagasaki) were airbust with nukes that are way dirtier than modern Honorverse ones (albeit with smaller yield) and neither was made an uninhabitable zone.

Yup. On my phone and no time to edit.
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Re: Honorverse Sensor Capability
Post by robert132   » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:06 pm

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Somtaaw wrote:I'm unsure if Hiroshima even had defense batteries, let alone if the bomber delivering the payload was flying higher than any defense guns could reach. If there were defenses, and the bomber delivering was out of range, that sort of actually helps my point that a ship up in orbit using airburst nukes has it far easier than trying to get physical contact with its target.


Like most Japanese industrial cities Hiroshima did have AAA batteries.

However, two things worked in Enola Gay's favor. First, the aircraft was at high altitude and had time to turn away and put a little distance between it and the bomb during the time it took the bomb to reach detonation altitude.

Second and probably most critical, Enola Gay was operating pretty much alone with the exception of an observer B-29 or two further from the city. By this point the Japanese air defense garrisons were used to the idea of single B-29s passing high overhead on weather reconnaissance missions. They might have assumed this was just another of the same and ammo was getting to be in short supply. At least I don't recall reading of much flak or defensive fighters that day.

I think Bock's Car found similar over Nagasaki two days later.
****

Just my opinion of course and probably not worth the paper it's not written on.
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Re: Honorverse Sensor Capability
Post by Tenshinai   » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:36 pm

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kzt wrote:
pnakasone wrote:IIRC they have said the weak link is the person monitoring the sensors not the sensors themselves. How well trained, experienced,and/or alert are they?

That's a BS plot excuse.

Computers don't get bored or go the the bathroom. All of this would be run by expert systems that know exactly what to look for and have literally hundreds of years of developement.


Computers also suck pathetically at playing sensorwatch beyond the fact that they stay at attention. Why do you think modern real world warships sonars and radars are not just automated? Because a talented operator can still make a HUGE difference. Even just a halfdecent operator is a preferable addition, because even they just sit there and verify what the computer says, that greatly improves the chance of locking on to someone that managed to be sneaky, finding them long before the computer would realise "this is actually a REAL contact" and revise its earlier dismissal.

And the difference becomes much MUCH greater when stealth is part of the equation.

It is in fact a problem even using digital scrubbing(no matter how much easier it makes things overall), because computers have an annoying tendency to blank out potential contacts because they look like "not a real contact" that has been programmed into it.
And if you change the progamming in the other direction, you risk flooding the operator with too much crap.

Testing done with ASW equipment by the military here showed that a good sonar op could spot and track a target submarine at at least 50% longer range than a computer alone was capable of ( one very good op in the test managed well over twice the range by using all the outputs in combination, including raw unprocessed sound ).

Similar testing with radars tracking stealth aircraft have shown similar results. Computers can help a LOT, especially to speed things up, but on their own, they´re kinda pathetic.
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Re: Honorverse Sensor Capability
Post by Annachie   » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:13 pm

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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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Re: Honorverse Sensor Capability
Post by robert132   » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:48 pm

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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.

Sent from my SM-G920I using Tapatalk


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.
****

Just my opinion of course and probably not worth the paper it's not written on.
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Re: Honorverse Sensor Capability
Post by Tenshinai   » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:13 pm

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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.


And considering improvements in the interface for operators just in the last 20 years, its fairly obvious that we´re nowhere near the limit to improve on that, meaning that we can still push a fair lot further in improving how effective a sonar/radar op is at reading the data.

Ie., i expect that future advances will most likely increase the "bonus" you get from a skilled human operator added to sensors compared to what the computer can manage.

There´s also been rumour here that our next generation submarines here will add 2-3 crew to be able to always keep an additional sonar op on duty that does "deep analysis"(pun intended ) and supports the usual crew.

I know it is at least being debated, whether it´s worth it or not. Extra crewmembers when the total crew is less than 30, an extra 2 or 3 can be quite noticeable, especially for supplies if you want to keep the ability for 8+ week patrols, so it´s not an obvious tradeoff.
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Re: Honorverse Sensor Capability
Post by Fox2!   » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:43 pm

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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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Re: Honorverse Sensor Capability
Post by WLBjork   » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:49 pm

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robert132 wrote: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.


To say he wrote The Hunt For Red October using only unclassified/open material, he put the cat amongst the pigeons. Didn't he upset the intelligence community with how much he had accurately inferred/deduced?
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Re: Honorverse Sensor Capability
Post by Tenshinai   » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:53 pm

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WLBjork wrote:
To say he wrote The Hunt For Red October using only unclassified/open material, he put the cat amongst the pigeons. Didn't he upset the intelligence community with how much he had accurately inferred/deduced?


Nah, that´s actually them thinking they´re so damn smart.

One of the issues with Clancy is that he intentionally "blurs" the tech as a misdirection thing, trying to support the keeper of "real secrets".

Standard procedure is that the heroes gets a bump up in ability, while the black hats gets adjusted based on if they´re supposed to still be Big Bad Evil Threatening The World or they´re getting curbstomped yet.

I stopped reading his books after i figured out that his standard formula was ALWAYS there, just in different disguise, and part of that was the sometimes outright silly attempts at "tech disguise".
It becomes really ridiculous when i read one book and realised that i knew EXACTLY why what he was describing didn´t actually work in reality, because i had happened to read about it recently.

It´s fine doing that kind of thing for a scifi author, or with something like James Bond where you can pretty much attribute anything to Q and just let it be a fun prop, but it gets really annoying after a while when someone does the same in book after book, in ways that are effectively shouting out that he´s a wannabe spook.
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