Re: Re: Off-Topic, but keep reading..........
- From Graham Taylor GM6JDZ (RAFARS1845)
Mike, many thanks for this detailed response. I honestly thought the 130s
had to do some dangerous manouvre to deploy their giant longwire antennae-
thank you for explaining. I am always interested to wonder what 'improved
EMP and nuclear effects hardening' truly means in practice. I agree totally
that fibre-optic connectivity would have to be the channel of choice on the
ground, but it is terrifying to think about the potential degree of
disablement to avionics and comms systems that would be experienced in an
NCA-tasked aircraft during an exchange. Good grief, if a portable CD player
can be implicated in affecting the flight control surfaces of a fly-by-wire
McDonnell-Douglas widebody, what on earth would the spread-spectrum
fieldstrength hit from a plain vanilla nuclear device do to a tiny aircraft
like the E-6?
I'm interested to see your academic interests, Mike. Your perspectives on
the 'regrowth' of the ionisphere do cheer me up, plus I must concede that I
was unaware as to the positive compensatory effects available to 'patch'
the path-loss budgets by using adaptive HF techniques, I was thinking about
this in terms of normal sunspot cycles and night/day band effects (now I
think about it further, it is very analogous to semi-automatic traffic
re-routing on switched 'wire' networks).
Thanks also for your comments on HAARP. Yes, it's polar position is
interesting. Somehow I feel that real estate prices were not the major
factor here. But how has this project created such a cult following amongst
the conspiricy theorists? It seems to be implicted in everything covert
(according to some): OTHR beaming systems, ELF comms for EAMs out to
deep-sea submarine fleets, taking-out chunks of the ionisphere for tactical
denial purposes on demand, Reagan's STARWARS non-starters, and that
eternally-rumoured Coldwar communications smoke-free squib, RF human
biological wireless C3I mechanisms (as it were). Who remembers all the
1970s/80s complaints about the embassy audio bugging device microwave
claims (was it in Moscow?): now that I *can* just about believe in!
(This last point is perhaps better taken off-list, but have you been
involved at all in research into fractal antenna systems? Are their any
other holy grails waiting to be found in the field of propagation (no
I'll dive in here on a few topics.
First, the C-130 Tacamo planes with the VLF trailing wire antennas
have been replaced by the Navy's E-6 TACAMO. See the following
links for some information.
The plane doesn't make any sort of "kamikaze dive" to deploy the
antenna, although there is a special flight profile they fly that will
cause the antenna to orient itself almost vertically. My professor at
Penn State happened to be involved in the design and verification of
this antenna, and I have a lot of documentation in my lab that I
haven't read yet, I am not sure if any of it can be disclosed,
however. The trailing wire antenna is never deployed over land
since it can jam on retraction and require part to be cut off and
The Navy factfile site will indicate that there are two missions for
the E-6, communications relay to the sub fleet, and airborne
command post. The E-6A can do only the former, while the E-6B
can handle both roles. I also believe that the B model has
improved EMP and nuclear effects hardening.
As far as the use of HF radio in a trans/post attack environment (or
following other global calamities), lots of events cause disruption to
the ionosphere, and it always restores itself. While HF
communications might be blacked out for a period of hours to days
following an event (and this might only occur in limited regions that
usually occur in pairs due to injected charges following the Earth's
magnetic field lines), the UV radiation from the sun that causes the
ionosphere to form in the first place is not going to be affected by
any terrestrial events. Hence, the ionosphere will repair itself,
certainly in less time than it would take to restore any other
seriously damaged communications network. If you are involved in
post-attack communications planning, HF is one of your primary
assets. With adaptive links and real-time channel characterization,
the reliability of HF circuits in a disturbed ionospheric environment
is substantially increased.
As far as terrestrial communications are concerned, I would pick a
fiber-optic communications system over a twisted pair copper cable
any day, although the vulnerability of any cable route (which we
can see from all the terraserver images referenced over this list) is
high if targeted in an attack.
Lastly, in reference to HAARP, this project is based on the work of
Dr. Anthony Ferraro of Penn State, who theorized that HF
modulation of the current path in the ionosphere could result in ELF
wave creation, and thus be a substitute or backup for the Navy's
ELF system in northern Michigan and Wisconsin. Unfortunately,
HAARP became somewhat politicized and its location (chosen due
to political pork-barrel concerns as I understand) is not in the
optimum spot for producing these effects (the auroral zone of the
ionosphere isn't a place to expect reliability for testing a new
theory). Although there has been a lot of hoopla regarding some
testing they are doing, especially with requests for QSL's from
hams and others, the project has yet to produce and important
results, to the best of my knowledge.
One of the hopes of the HAARP/ELF project was to be able to
create a mobile ELF communications system that could go with
NCA assets as they disperse prior to an attack. Of course, the
HAARP array and transmitters cover many acres and so far there
hasn't been any breakthroughs that will allow a portable package to
be developed that can also produce the required combination of
output power and antenna gain.
Mike Jacobs, N3YAV
Antenna and RF Engineering Laboratory
Penn State University
State College, PA
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Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Off-Topic, but keep reading..........