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Author Topic: Satellites Discussion  (Read 3274 times)

RifleMech

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #60 on: 22 February 2019, 10:43:11 »
Humans got along without weather and communications satellites for a long time. No reason to think humans couldn't still do so. Weather forecasting existed before satellites and Short wave radio can be used for over the horizon communications.


Ideally sure, they'd have multiple satellites. A new colony who hasn't had time to study the planets weather patterns is especially going to want them. That doesn't mean that they'll be able to keep them though. Things happen and they may not be able to replace them. And after several hundred years, I would think some of the colonists would have enough knowledge of the planets weather patterns to be able to forecast the weather.

SteelRaven

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #61 on: 22 February 2019, 12:54:12 »
I just get stuck on the idea that planets that rely on interstellar trade would have trouble with a satellite.

I know the Succession War era was backwards but the first satellite was launched in 1957 and I know Wolves on the Boarder at least talked about deploying Satellites via dropship. If a planet is not using using satellites, it's because the people with the means simply are not bothering to.     
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Maingunnery

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #62 on: 22 February 2019, 14:13:38 »

If a planet is 'underdeveloped', then using a satellite network for communication might be the cheapest option for global communication. While developed worlds can rely on cabled networks for global communication.

So I think that the basic package would be:
26 Communication satellites (with side-benefit of GPS?)
1-4 Weather satellites

anything else?
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Colt Ward

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #63 on: 22 February 2019, 14:36:31 »
If a planet is 'underdeveloped', then using a satellite network for communication might be the cheapest option for global communication. While developed worlds can rely on cabled networks for global communication.

So I think that the basic package would be:
26 Communication satellites (with side-benefit of GPS?)
1-4 Weather satellites

anything else?

One thing . . . you do not really need even artificial satellites for communication.

You can use HAM radio (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio) to communicate with other stations, and it was used to remote stations to link to larger nodes.  This was replaced with satellite uplinks b/c of bandwidth and digital fidelity IIRC but are still used b/c of the cost of satphones even today (IE http://www.swld.com.au/pages/aus_remote_area.htm). 

Older techniques that are still referenced in some sci-fi settings is bouncing a signal using a orbital body (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%E2%80%93Moon%E2%80%93Earth_communication).  From what I could find, this was used for direct links in the late 40s, 50s & 60s before satellite communication links.  Most BTU settled planets have moons of some sort, and I know there are theories about moons being required for habitable/lifebearing planets, so this should be a com practice available in most places.

I still contend that with DS and SC settled planets are not required to have something orbiting in LEO/GEO, they can build a signal/com relay & weather observatory on a moon which will have lower operating costs.  Less likely to be damaged in passing, cannot just be blasted out of the way by inbound DS, less maintenance costs (fuel, etc), and still easy access.
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Maingunnery

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #64 on: 22 February 2019, 14:50:23 »
One thing . . . you do not really need even artificial satellites for communication.

You can use HAM radio (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio) to communicate with other stations, and it was used to remote stations to link to larger nodes.  This was replaced with satellite uplinks b/c of bandwidth and digital fidelity IIRC but are still used b/c of the cost of satphones even today (IE http://www.swld.com.au/pages/aus_remote_area.htm). 

Older techniques that are still referenced in some sci-fi settings is bouncing a signal using a orbital body (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%E2%80%93Moon%E2%80%93Earth_communication).  From what I could find, this was used for direct links in the late 40s, 50s & 60s before satellite communication links.  Most BTU settled planets have moons of some sort, and I know there are theories about moons being required for habitable/lifebearing planets, so this should be a com practice available in most places.

I still contend that with DS and SC settled planets are not required to have something orbiting in LEO/GEO, they can build a signal/com relay & weather observatory on a moon which will have lower operating costs.  Less likely to be damaged in passing, cannot just be blasted out of the way by inbound DS, less maintenance costs (fuel, etc), and still easy access.
Don't have those methods have far lower bandwidth? Or large amount of lag?
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Colt Ward

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #65 on: 22 February 2019, 15:07:48 »
The moon bounce was used for direct Pearl Harbor Naval Base to Pentagon links using teletype.  You do have to calculate red shift from the phase of the moon by what I was reading.  But that was something they could do easily at the time and should be easy even with 80s computers- heck maybe just need a hard copy table.

Bandwidth . . . well, afaik they do have computer uplinks and digital options with HAM radio, though it may sound like dial up internet.

But what are you using this communication for?  Emergency calls, news alerts or other vital messages that are not huge packets of data.  It also meets the KISS principle for tech loss and/or early primitive colony set up.
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Maingunnery

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #66 on: 22 February 2019, 15:19:57 »
But what are you using this communication for?  Emergency calls, news alerts or other vital messages that are not huge packets of data.  It also meets the KISS principle for tech loss and/or early primitive colony set up.
Early colonies will be doing a lot of surveying/prospecting, the ability to directly upload the results of tests, while also determining the exact locations, will make the process so much more efficient. 
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Iceweb

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #67 on: 22 February 2019, 20:58:59 »
My satellite knowledge is limited, especially where it comes to BTech, but I have to wonder if using a few stealth armored satellites is a worthwhile prospect. 

I get that standard operating procedure is to blast anything the defenders could use into debris on the way in, and it is really hard to hide in space.
 
I'm just thinking if I am governor of planet backwater if I might want to invest in a (single) stealthed weather sat that is hard for pirates to find and in case of a house raid it goes into silent hiding mode until we tell it to turn back on. 

Sure it is more expensive than a disposable satellite, but maybe it lives long enough to be a worthwhile investment instead. 

Anyone know if this has been tried or if it could even be cost effective?   

guardiandashi

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #68 on: 23 February 2019, 00:04:07 »
it might sound weird but IMO if you are going with a "stealth sat" it might make the most sense to go with a highly custom one, where you basically take an asteroid, and mount retractable solar panels, com arrays, and instrument clusters, with camouflaged hatches that cover those things over when it goes into "stealth mode" also having large battery/cap arrays, so that it can at least redeploy the solar panels even after a long idle period say several months to a year or so so that it can effectively reactivate itself without having someone have to go visit it, and give it a "jump start"

Kidd

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #69 on: 23 February 2019, 02:03:12 »
The best stealth is not being there at all, until it's time to be there.

Whereupon I begin to wonder, what differentiates a satellite and a shuttle in station keeping orbit.

RifleMech

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #70 on: 23 February 2019, 08:54:39 »
I just get stuck on the idea that planets that rely on interstellar trade would have trouble with a satellite.

I know the Succession War era was backwards but the first satellite was launched in 1957 and I know Wolves on the Boarder at least talked about deploying Satellites via dropship. If a planet is not using using satellites, it's because the people with the means simply are not bothering to.     

Just because a JS comes along once a few months or less doesn't mean the planet has the technological capability to launch a satellite into orbit. Planets have all kinds of problems they can't fix without importing parts. If they can build and launch a satellite they can do things like fix the water purifier.

The satellites used by the Wolves belonged to the Wolves. Not the planet's.


The moon bounce was used for direct Pearl Harbor Naval Base to Pentagon links using teletype.  You do have to calculate red shift from the phase of the moon by what I was reading.  But that was something they could do easily at the time and should be easy even with 80s computers- heck maybe just need a hard copy table.

Bandwidth . . . well, afaik they do have computer uplinks and digital options with HAM radio, though it may sound like dial up internet.

But what are you using this communication for?  Emergency calls, news alerts or other vital messages that are not huge packets of data.  It also meets the KISS principle for tech loss and/or early primitive colony set up.


Having a station on the moon would keep things simple but I think a colony would be prepared to keep things even simpler. Just in case something on the station breaks. Conduction maintenance and repairs on planet would be simpler and cheaper than doing the same on the moon.



Early colonies will be doing a lot of surveying/prospecting, the ability to directly upload the results of tests, while also determining the exact locations, will make the process so much more efficient. 

If information could be sent with Morse Code I don't think HAM Radio would have a problem sending survey results.

Daryk

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #71 on: 23 February 2019, 08:58:00 »
It depends on how much data you're trying to move.  Morse has an abysmal data rate.

RifleMech

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #72 on: 23 February 2019, 09:23:50 »
True but information could still be sent that way.

Maingunnery

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #73 on: 23 February 2019, 09:31:58 »
True but information could still be sent that way.
We could be talking about Terabytes per day or more.
And than we would also have multiple teams out in the field.
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RifleMech

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #74 on: 23 February 2019, 09:50:31 »
Why would you need terebytes to send "we found w at x by y"? 

Multiple teams in the field could be handled by having their own reporting times and having more than one receiver at the base.

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #75 on: 23 February 2019, 10:06:55 »
It depends on what "w" is... if you have sufficient data rate, you can centralize the processing power to analyze the data vice putting the supercomputer in the field.  If you're looking for surface deposits, voice or Morse might be sufficient.  But if you're doing seismic or hyperspectral surveys looking for where to dig, you might need a bit more processing.

Maingunnery

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #76 on: 23 February 2019, 10:42:22 »
But if you're doing seismic or hyperspectral surveys looking for where to dig, you might need a bit more processing.
Indeed, I expect each team to record and test the: topography, soil, rocks, water, fauna, flora, etc.

Based upon the daily data upload an expert at the central colony/site could efficiently direct the teams for optimal results.
At the end they will know where to place industry, cities and agriculture (including which types).
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Brakiel

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #77 on: 23 February 2019, 14:51:27 »
Just because a JS comes along once a few months or less doesn't mean the planet has the technological capability to launch a satellite into orbit. Planets have all kinds of problems they can't fix without importing parts. If they can build and launch a satellite they can do things like fix the water purifier.

The satellites used by the Wolves belonged to the Wolves. Not the planet's.



Having a station on the moon would keep things simple but I think a colony would be prepared to keep things even simpler. Just in case something on the station breaks. Conduction maintenance and repairs on planet would be simpler and cheaper than doing the same on the moon.



If information could be sent with Morse Code I don't think HAM Radio would have a problem sending survey results.

Point of clarification: are we talking about colony worlds, likely in the Periphery, or the Inner Sphere? Because I can totally see some podunk planet out in the Periphery barely eking out a sustainable existence. I have a really hard time seeing how a typical planet in the Inner Sphere, with populations in the hundreds of millions (if not billions), either being incapable of doing local space launches or generating enough intersystem trade to find someone to haul a few tons of satellites up.

rogueranger1993

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #78 on: 23 February 2019, 22:53:32 »
Haven't had a chance to read all of the newest posts yet, but figured I'd finally reply after reading many of the earlier ones.

I tend to agree with Boilerman and Kidd myself - satellites are pretty cheap, and most worlds - not all, but most - will have one or more civilian small craft that can play the role of satellite delivery vehicle, so civilian sat networks (generally small/limited ones) will probably be pretty common in my headcanon. Granted, I'm a bit like Kidd - my headcanon sees the Inner Sphere being a bit more advanced than the pure mad max style originally fluffed, and more like 1980s to early 2000s IRL Earth technology-wise. Sure, there's definitely a scavenger culture going strong - especially so in the periphery - but I see the whole situation being a bit brighter technologically than it's often been presented to us as being.

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RifleMech

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #79 on: 24 February 2019, 00:43:23 »
It depends on what "w" is... if you have sufficient data rate, you can centralize the processing power to analyze the data vice putting the supercomputer in the field.  If you're looking for surface deposits, voice or Morse might be sufficient.  But if you're doing seismic or hyperspectral surveys looking for where to dig, you might need a bit more processing.


Indeed, I expect each team to record and test the: topography, soil, rocks, water, fauna, flora, etc.

Based upon the daily data upload an expert at the central colony/site could efficiently direct the teams for optimal results.
At the end they will know where to place industry, cities and agriculture (including which types).


I still don't think you'd need that much. It shouldn't take much to say if anything was found and if it had any value. Just think about all the information that was transmitted before WW1. There's no reason survey reports couldn't be. For all we know they were. Newer systems just lead to faster transmission times. Maybe


Point of clarification: are we talking about colony worlds, likely in the Periphery, or the Inner Sphere? Because I can totally see some podunk planet out in the Periphery barely eking out a sustainable existence. I have a really hard time seeing how a typical planet in the Inner Sphere, with populations in the hundreds of millions (if not billions), either being incapable of doing local space launches or generating enough intersystem trade to find someone to haul a few tons of satellites up.

Well established world would probably have lots of satellites. If they could put them in orbit themselves or hird some one. Less established or advanced wont.

Not all planets in the IS or Periphery are equal. Both will have highly populated planets and Podunk planets.They won't necessarily be on the fringes either. The planet could have been skipped over or a new attempt to colonize the planet could be made.

R.Tempest

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #80 on: 24 February 2019, 03:09:46 »
 It's sort of counter-intuitive, but you would want/need more satellites during the early days of a colony. Possibly less as the colony advances and you can switch to local relay towers for 'phone services.

Kidd

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #81 on: 24 February 2019, 03:22:05 »
Not really counter-intuitive. I too was going to comment that to have colonised the world, there would have to be an inter-stellar and intra-system aerospace capability.

But BT podunk worlds aren't podunk because they never had aerospace; they're podunk because of raids, bombardment, stripped resources, lostech, etc.

Daryk

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #82 on: 24 February 2019, 03:34:51 »
I still don't think you'd need that much. It shouldn't take much to say if anything was found and if it had any value. Just think about all the information that was transmitted before WW1. There's no reason survey reports couldn't be. For all we know they were. Newer systems just lead to faster transmission times. Maybe
*snip*
Reports prior to WWI wouldn't include seismic or hyperspectral data, but would still have use.  It would just be a different use than a more advanced survey.  It depends on what you're looking for.

Maingunnery

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #83 on: 24 February 2019, 06:46:14 »
I still don't think you'd need that much. It shouldn't take much to say if anything was found and if it had any value. Just think about all the information that was transmitted before WW1. There's no reason survey reports couldn't be. For all we know they were. Newer systems just lead to faster transmission times. Maybe
Pre-WW1 surveys aren't effective or safe enough in this situation.

It would be expensive to have experts in every team, it would be cheaper to have the experts in a central location coordinating the work of the field teams. And with all the data that they should get (as I proposed) it would be possible for the experts to make predictions of the location/size/quality of any deposits. They would also be able to determine the optimum use for each type of area, allowing for more effective colony planning.

Also as it is an alien world there could be large number of possible hazards, anything from poisonous soil to crop/cattle eating lifeforms (fauna/flora/fungi). Not testing for this sets the colony up for failure, and if the hazards are found early then they can develop countermeasures.

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #84 on: 24 February 2019, 14:49:15 »
Pre-WW1 surveys aren't effective or safe enough in this situation.

It would be expensive to have experts in every team, it would be cheaper to have the experts in a central location coordinating the work of the field teams. And with all the data that they should get (as I proposed) it would be possible for the experts to make predictions of the location/size/quality of any deposits. They would also be able to determine the optimum use for each type of area, allowing for more effective colony planning.

Also as it is an alien world there could be large number of possible hazards, anything from poisonous soil to crop/cattle eating lifeforms (fauna/flora/fungi). Not testing for this sets the colony up for failure, and if the hazards are found early then they can develop countermeasures.

That all sounds like work for initial survey teams, though, prior to establishing the colony.
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Kidd

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #85 on: 24 February 2019, 14:57:10 »
That all sounds like work for initial survey teams, though, prior to establishing the colony.
It's work that continues through ongoing terraforming, settlement, land management, etc even farming, to track herds and pest swarms and maybe even predators

skiltao

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #86 on: 24 February 2019, 15:11:29 »
Sure, but not to the same variety of details or to the same geographic extent as the initial surveys.

Edit: also, terraforming is a pre-colonization activity, you can't lump it in with those other things. /Edit
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Greatclub

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #87 on: 24 February 2019, 15:19:28 »
battletech is the future of the '80s. In the 80s, satellites were obscenely expensive things governments put in orbit, and were technological marvels hand-crafted by the finest minds - at least in public perception.

The sats in 'wolves on the border' were a sign of the affluence and sophistication of Wolves Dragoons, not an 'of course' measure. It's a reflection of how things have changed in the real world, like the decline of fascination with Japanese culture. 

IMHO, the GM is free to chose his reality, the late '10s 'sats everywhere' realism, or retro '80s 'sats nowhere.' Although some expectation management with the players might be in order.
« Last Edit: 24 February 2019, 21:57:01 by Greatclub »

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #88 on: 24 February 2019, 15:31:46 »
That all sounds like work for initial survey teams, though, prior to establishing the colony.
Time is money, so I expect some overlap between the surveying and initial colony.
This will require some good imagery data to select a site with the best odds, this can then be done first (with a large radius).
If safe they can place an initial colony while the teams work on the rest of the planet.
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Kidd

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Re: Satellites Discussion
« Reply #89 on: 24 February 2019, 15:38:40 »
Sure, but not to the same variety of details or to the same geographic extent as the initial surveys.

Edit: also, terraforming is a pre-colonization activity, you can't lump it in with those other things. /Edit
I dunno about detail or volume

My proposal of BT terraforming (such as we know it, being a wholly hypothetical subject) is that it's an ongoing process and many BT planets especially the poorer ones are still working on expanding the footprint of human habitation on-planet. So I'd consider some land, weather and wildlife management activities to be part of terraforming - it's all to do with changing the face of nature in the process of improving quality of life for humans one way or another, right?