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Old June 13th, 2004, 10:54 PM
kaladorn kaladorn is offline
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Interesting points Keklas. I'm a qualified VHF operator and have a bit of background working with airborne navaids as well as experience in public safety RF networks (helped deploy the RCMP's first truly national mobile policing application and write the back end servers to support it). And I spent some time wearing green and slogging through dirt carrying lots of lethal hardware, so I have some idea of the military side of it. And I'm working on getting qualified to Captain a yacht offshore.

Having said all that, your summary is reasonable except:

1. Meson is effectively uninterceptable if I understand it. It doesn't effectively exist between sender and target, and therefore is only decodable at the target (and you hope to hell you know where the target is or they aren't getting it either).

2. Expect XBoat traffic to be heavily encrypted. It is the *mail* and that contains lots of sensitive information.

3. The police nowadays (at least up here) are starting to make heavy use of encrypted voice privacy networks. Hook a normal radio monitor to one of those channels, all you get is a buzz. The data channels are going heavily encrypted (to prevent people like organized crime from hacking them and finding out tactical deployments and committing session hijacks to screw with national police DBs etc).

4. Selective jamming can bugger up even spread-spectrum stuff and if the enemy can work his was inside your frequency hopping algorithm or session, it may be possible for him to track your hops and save your transmission to attempt to decrypt them. The best comms is using this kind of tech with the same discipline you would with a one-time pad - use the fancy comms, but still encode your message with a one-time pad, keep it short, and your enemy won't be decoding it... ever.

Otherwise, you've pretty much hit it on the nose. But civilians will chatter, and the more of them and the merchant marine there are in a system, the more chatter you'll get. The reason that it won't matter too much is 1) you'll tightly allocate channels with the available technologies and so there will be plenty available and 2) chatter isn't about point-to-point. A lot of the time it is a social thing (CBers and HAMs will know what I mean) and hence will be just as useful broadcast as point-to-point.

Remember, we like to gloss over it, but laser, maser and meson require a fairly accurate location fix on your target, and he has to stay that way. I think if he starts doing evasive manouvers, running ECM or other jammers, or goes stealthy, you may have trouble with these methods. (Or not, its fanta-tech anyway, so maybe they can work around this with uber computers).
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