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Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH

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Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by jaydub69   » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:05 pm

jaydub69
Lieutenant (Junior Grade)

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Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:35 am

Spoiler warning







So I read UH, really liked it for the most part. Wished for more infodumps but that's just me. Curious about the absolute complete failure of Mycroft in Beowulf. I thought it was designed to detect exactly the thing it didn't- stealthy ships, drones, and missiles. Instead, zero detection and the "silver bullets" apparently took out all of the platforms! Is it back to the drawing board for the alliance or did I miss something?
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Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by kzt   » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:48 pm

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It's a fire control system.
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Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by runsforcelery   » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:56 pm

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jaydub69 wrote:Spoiler warning







So I read UH, really liked it for the most part. Wished for more infodumps but that's just me. Curious about the absolute complete failure of Mycroft in Beowulf. I thought it was designed to detect exactly the thing it didn't- stealthy ships, drones, and missiles. Instead, zero detection and the "silver bullets" apparently took out all of the platforms! Is it back to the drawing board for the alliance or did I miss something?


Mycroft is not a sensor system; it's a fire control system, essentially a communications hub not a lookout post. It relays information from the system sensor net at FTL speeds only when it is brought fully online and the communications loop needs to be tightened.

The Silver Bullets were delivered by freighter, dropped out of the cargo hold of a merchant ship with a completely plausible reason for being in-system and following the course it followed. Nothing but active radar at relatively close range (we're talking star system-scale "close" here) would have detected them when they were dumped. They then coasted ballistically from the point at which they were dumped for many hours before they deployed their spider drives (which are like Really Really hard to detect) and moved to their distributed positions, where they switched on their passive sensors and started listening for the "test and reply" transmissions they knew Mycroft had to conduct. They used that data to localize the communication nodes.

When they detected the arrival of the Solarian task force, they took out the communication nodes. This had no effect whatsoever on the sensor net or on the range of the system-defense missiles. What it took down was the FTL control link, which — as the results when the missiles eventually launched demonstrated — reduced accuracy but not by a remotely decisive factor. More to the point, it took out those communication nodes before they had time to download the targeting orders to the missiles, so in addition to the actual transmission time, the defenders lost the original upload time. That is, they had been intending to use Mycroft and had routed the targeting queue through that communication loop when it went down, requiring them to begin the uploading process all over again.

The loss of Mycroft made the defenses more lethargic but no less decisive in the end. It was the interval caused by the loss of Mycroft, coupled with the slower transmission of light-speed commands, which let Capriotti survive as long as he did and get any of his ships out, but it had nothing to do with the success of Hasta. That was a failure of the system net in general, because the first stage platforms were so very, very stealthy, far stealthier than any weapon the Grand Alliance had yet seen out of the SLN. And — as I thought I made clear in the original narrative — the GA also allowed itself to be distracted by the deliberate deception measure of the "noisy" recon drones proceeding the Hasta platforms. The sensors — and the computers and human operators behind the sensors — were concentrating on the noisemakers to an extent which helped to hide the incoming Hastas.

Mycroft is still just as effective as it was, but the Alliance is going to have to analyze what happened — trust me, they will — and determine how the Alignment pulled it off. Whether or not they will be able to ID the specific ship that was used really doesn't matter; they will be able to figure out how it was done. At that point, they will realize that Mycroft needs to be either significantly hardened or given much greater levels of redundancy, either — or both — of which are completely feasible.

There is no way to prevent something like Silver Bullet being infiltrated into a star system. As Oyster Bay demonstrated, if you translate out of hyper far enough out and send your bad news in slowly enough on ballistic trajectories, you can get platforms into a star system. The distance at which you can hyper in "quietly enough" to avoid detection is being significantly affected by the upgrades in sensor nets which followed on Oyster Bay's heels to push the detection perimeter much, much farther out, but the threat simply can't be completely eliminated.

What can be done — and is being done, albeit at considerable expense — is to increase the overlap of passive and active sensors designed to detect normal-space targets around the system periphery. It would have been far more difficult to infiltrate Silver Bullet into Beowulf the way the Oyster Bay missiles and graser torpedoes were infiltrated into Manticore, but the Silver Bullets were deployed from a ship already inside the sensor perimeter, and the same is true of the Hasta platforms.

There is no perfect defense. Mycroft simply means that a successful attack will require the kind of overwhelming force that no one has or else a tactical/technical surprise of one sort or another. That's pretty much what the Alignment accomplished in Beowulf, but like Oyster Bay itself, it's also pretty much a once-off tactic. I'm referring here, of course, to Silver Bullet, not the bombs smuggled aboard the habitats.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by jaydub69   » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:49 pm

jaydub69
Lieutenant (Junior Grade)

Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:35 am

runsforcelery wrote:
jaydub69 wrote:Spoiler warning







So I read UH, really liked it for the most part. Wished for more infodumps but that's just me. Curious about the absolute complete failure of Mycroft in Beowulf. I thought it was designed to detect exactly the thing it didn't- stealthy ships, drones, and missiles. Instead, zero detection and the "silver bullets" apparently took out all of the platforms! Is it back to the drawing board for the alliance or did I miss something?


Mycroft is not a sensor system; it's a fire control system, essentially a communications hub not a lookout post. It relays information from the system sensor net at FTL speeds only when it is brought fully online and the communications loop needs to be tightened.

The Silver Bullets were delivered by freighter, dropped out of the cargo hold of a merchant ship with a completely plausible reason for being in-system and following the course it followed. Nothing but active radar at relatively close range (we're talking star system-scale "close" here) would have detected them when they were dumped. They then coasted ballistically from the point at which they were dumped for many hours before they deployed their spider drives (which are like Really Really hard to detect) and moved to their distributed positions, where they switched on their passive sensors and started listening for the "test and reply" transmissions they knew Mycroft had to conduct. They used that data to localize the communication nodes.

When they detected the arrival of the Solarian task force, they took out the communication nodes. This had no effect whatsoever on the sensor net or on the range of the system-defense missiles. What it took down was the FTL control link, which — as the results when the missiles eventually launched demonstrated — reduced accuracy but not by a remotely decisive factor. More to the point, it took out those communication nodes before they had time to download the targeting orders to the missiles, so in addition to the actual transmission time, the defenders lost the original upload time. That is, they had been intending to use Mycroft and had routed the targeting queue through that communication loop when it went down, requiring them to begin the uploading process all over again.

The loss of Mycroft made the defenses more lethargic but no less decisive in the end. It was the interval caused by the loss of Mycroft, coupled with the slower transmission of light-speed commands, which let Capriotti survive as long as he did and get any of his ships out, but it had nothing to do with the success of Hasta. That was a failure of the system net in general, because the first stage platforms were so very, very stealthy, far stealthier than any weapon the Grand Alliance had yet seen out of the SLN. And — as I thought I made clear in the original narrative — the GA also allowed itself to be distracted by the deliberate deception measure of the "noisy" recon drones proceeding the Hasta platforms. The sensors — and the computers and human operators behind the sensors — were concentrating on the noisemakers to an extent which helped to hide the incoming Hastas.

Mycroft is still just as effective as it was, but the Alliance is going to have to analyze what happened — trust me, they will — and determine how the Alignment pulled it off. Whether or not they will be able to ID the specific ship that was used really doesn't matter; they will be able to figure out how it was done. At that point, they will realize that Mycroft needs to be either significantly hardened or given much greater levels of redundancy, either — or both — of which are completely feasible.

There is no way to prevent something like Silver Bullet being infiltrated into a star system. As Oyster Bay demonstrated, if you translate out of hyper far enough out and send your bad news in slowly enough on ballistic trajectories, you can get platforms into a star system. The distance at which you can hyper in "quietly enough" to avoid detection is being significantly affected by the upgrades in sensor nets which followed on Oyster Bay's heels to push the detection perimeter much, much farther out, but the threat simply can't be completely eliminated.

What can be done — and is being done, albeit at considerable expense — is to increase the overlap of passive and active sensors designed to detect normal-space targets around the system periphery. It would have been far more difficult to infiltrate Silver Bullet into Beowulf the way the Oyster Bay missiles and graser torpedoes were infiltrated into Manticore, but the Silver Bullets were deployed from a ship already inside the sensor perimeter, and the same is true of the Hasta platforms.

There is no perfect defense. Mycroft simply means that a successful attack will require the kind of overwhelming force that no one has or else a tactical/technical surprise of one sort or another. That's pretty much what the Alignment accomplished in Beowulf, but like Oyster Bay itself, it's also pretty much a once-off tactic. I'm referring here, of course, to Silver Bullet, not the bombs smuggled aboard the habitats.
runsforcelery wrote:
jaydub69 wrote:Spoiler warning







So I read UH, really liked it for the most part. Wished for more infodumps but that's just me. Curious about the absolute complete failure of Mycroft in Beowulf. I thought it was designed to detect exactly the thing it didn't- stealthy ships, drones, and missiles. Instead, zero detection and the "silver bullets" apparently took out all of the platforms! Is it back to the drawing board for the alliance or did I miss something?


Mycroft is not a sensor system; it's a fire control system, essentially a communications hub not a lookout post. It relays information from the system sensor net at FTL speeds only when it is brought fully online and the communications loop needs to be tightened.

The Silver Bullets were delivered by freighter, dropped out of the cargo hold of a merchant ship with a completely plausible reason for being in-system and following the course it followed. Nothing but active radar at relatively close range (we're talking star system-scale "close" here) would have detected them when they were dumped. They then coasted ballistically from the point at which they were dumped for many hours before they deployed their spider drives (which are like Really Really hard to detect) and moved to their distributed positions, where they switched on their passive sensors and started listening for the "test and reply" transmissions they knew Mycroft had to conduct. They used that data to localize the communication nodes.

When they detected the arrival of the Solarian task force, they took out the communication nodes. This had no effect whatsoever on the sensor net or on the range of the system-defense missiles. What it took down was the FTL control link, which — as the results when the missiles eventually launched demonstrated — reduced accuracy but not by a remotely decisive factor. More to the point, it took out those communication nodes before they had time to download the targeting orders to the missiles, so in addition to the actual transmission time, the defenders lost the original upload time. That is, they had been intending to use Mycroft and had routed the targeting queue through that communication loop when it went down, requiring them to begin the uploading process all over again.

The loss of Mycroft made the defenses more lethargic but no less decisive in the end. It was the interval caused by the loss of Mycroft, coupled with the slower transmission of light-speed commands, which let Capriotti survive as long as he did and get any of his ships out, but it had nothing to do with the success of Hasta. That was a failure of the system net in general, because the first stage platforms were so very, very stealthy, far stealthier than any weapon the Grand Alliance had yet seen out of the SLN. And — as I thought I made clear in the original narrative — the GA also allowed itself to be distracted by the deliberate deception measure of the "noisy" recon drones proceeding the Hasta platforms. The sensors — and the computers and human operators behind the sensors — were concentrating on the noisemakers to an extent which helped to hide the incoming Hastas.

Mycroft is still just as effective as it was, but the Alliance is going to have to analyze what happened — trust me, they will — and determine how the Alignment pulled it off. Whether or not they will be able to ID the specific ship that was used really doesn't matter; they will be able to figure out how it was done. At that point, they will realize that Mycroft needs to be either significantly hardened or given much greater levels of redundancy, either — or both — of which are completely feasible.

There is no way to prevent something like Silver Bullet being infiltrated into a star system. As Oyster Bay demonstrated, if you translate out of hyper far enough out and send your bad news in slowly enough on ballistic trajectories, you can get platforms into a star system. The distance at which you can hyper in "quietly enough" to avoid detection is being significantly affected by the upgrades in sensor nets which followed on Oyster Bay's heels to push the detection perimeter much, much farther out, but the threat simply can't be completely eliminated.

What can be done — and is being done, albeit at considerable expense — is to increase the overlap of passive and active sensors designed to detect normal-space targets around the system periphery. It would have been far more difficult to infiltrate Silver Bullet into Beowulf the way the Oyster Bay missiles and graser torpedoes were infiltrated into Manticore, but the Silver Bullets were deployed from a ship already inside the sensor perimeter, and the same is true of the Hasta platforms.

There is no perfect defense. Mycroft simply means that a successful attack will require the kind of overwhelming force that no one has or else a tactical/technical surprise of one sort or another. That's pretty much what the Alignment accomplished in Beowulf, but like Oyster Bay itself, it's also pretty much a once-off tactic. I'm referring here, of course, to Silver Bullet, not the bombs smuggled aboard the habitats.


Thanks for the reply, always enjoy the detailed explanations from the great RFC. When I said Mycroft I meant the combined package of targeting platforms AND the sensor net. Anyway, thanks again.
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Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by Annachie   » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:17 am

Annachie
Admiral

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For some reason I thought that Mycroft already used transmitters physically seperated from the brains, and backup transmitters.

Just to stop that exact Silver Bullet type thing that Honor had already done to Moriarty (?) during the Haven-Manticor war.
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You are so going to die. :p ~~~~ runsforcelery
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still not dead. :)
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Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by pappilon   » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:18 pm

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Annachie wrote:For some reason I thought that Mycroft already used transmitters physically seperated from the brains, and backup transmitters.

Just to stop that exact Silver Bullet type thing that Honor had already done to Moriarty (?) during the Haven-Manticor war.


The silver bullet did exactly the same thing to Mycroft that Honor's Baldur (Mistltoe?) did to Moriarty. It took out the control links. What was totally unanticipated was the ability to maintain control, albeit much less efficient control, of the MK23E missiles using the RDs' FTL transmitters. 80% is not as good as 95%, but its a lot better than blind firing.
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The imagination has to be trained into foresight and empathy.
Ursula K. LeGuinn

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Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by JohnRoth   » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:44 pm

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Annachie wrote:For some reason I thought that Mycroft already used transmitters physically seperated from the brains, and backup transmitters.

Just to stop that exact Silver Bullet type thing that Honor had already done to Moriarty (?) during the Haven-Manticor war.


Mycroft wasn't designed as much as it was an upgrade to Moriarty to add FTL links. It was pieced together under enormous time pressure from existing hardware using the Honorverse equivalent of bubble gum and duct tape.

Whoever figured out they could use the recon drones as control links was the real genius. They're small, they're (relatively) cheap, they're stealthy and, most important, there are a lot of them.
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Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by George J. Smith   » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:10 pm

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JohnRoth wrote:
Annachie wrote:For some reason I thought that Mycroft already used transmitters physically seperated from the brains, and backup transmitters.

Just to stop that exact Silver Bullet type thing that Honor had already done to Moriarty (?) during the Haven-Manticor war.


Mycroft wasn't designed as much as it was an upgrade to Moriarty to add FTL links. It was pieced together under enormous time pressure from existing hardware using the Honorverse equivalent of bubble gum and duct tape.

Whoever figured out they could use the recon drones as control links was the real genius. They're small, they're (relatively) cheap, they're stealthy and, most important, there are a lot of them.


I would have thought it was obvious that RD's could be used, after all didn't Honor use a hermes bouy for the missiles she launched against Lester in BOM.
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Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by Weird Harold   » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:22 pm

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George J. Smith wrote:I would have thought it was obvious that RD's could be used, after all didn't Honor use a hermes bouy for the missiles she launched against Lester in BOM.


Yes, Honor used a Hermes Buoy in AAC. However, a Hermes Buoy is NOT the same thing as a RD. Honor could only handle a few pods with the Hermes Buoy, I'm surprised that RDs would have enough communications to talk to any significant number of Apollo control missiles. There are just a lot more RDs than Hermes Buoys around Beowulf.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

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Re: Spoiler!!... Mycroft and UH
Post by kzt   » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:58 pm

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You misunderstand. They were not “controlling” them. They were launched in fire and forget mode. What they sent them was a flight plan and target cueing, and then told them ‘now go get em!’. Everything after launch was up to the missiles. That’s why David brought up the control missiles the way he did.
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