Citizens of the Imperium

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-   -   Cut the chatter... (

Keklas Rekobah June 14th, 2004 08:13 PM


"... the chatter would be so heavy with internal slang and anacrynoms an outsider would be hard pressed to pull anything useful from the transcript." - Burocrate

"3) Customs: Simple encryption (if any) with prosigns and buzzwords, like the HF Q-code and the police 10-code. "Thuh-REE delta seven, Two AL-fah wun; XTP your zed on a ten-thirty-three. Break. SO is 'Trader Jim', code NINE-er NINE-er oh-MEE-gah. Break. He's code four. how copy?" "AL-fah wun, delta seven, we copy code four on one 'Trader Jim'." "Roger delta seven..."

(Translation: Trader Jim is declared harmless, and may pass through customs unchallenged.)"
- Me, fifth post above.

BetterThanLife June 15th, 2004 06:19 PM

The reason to cut the chatter in the first place over an encrypted system is to limit the communication to actually useful information. Like Bandits at 12 O'Clock High! The other reason is slightly more important. You may not be able to listen to the conversation, but you don't need to hear the words or understand them to DF them. If you are talking I can tell where you are, if my teams are alert, where you are going if you are mobile, and direct attacks against you. OOops! So much for secure coms and surprise.

Andrew Boulton June 16th, 2004 09:39 AM

With laser and meson comms, you don't need to worry about intercepting your signals or using them to locate you, which is why the Navy use them almost exclusively. (The signals are probably encrypted anyway, just in case).

I see there being a constant stream of data being passed between ships within a fleet, 99% of which is computers talking to each other. There will also be a lot of data traffic between civilian ships and the starport - as soon as ships enter a system they'll automatically plug themselves into the local internet and exchange email, update navigational databases, etc.

Straybow June 16th, 2004 11:04 AM

Huh? I thought the idea behind Xboat is everything has to be plain language. Nonsense messages filled with codewords, surely, but still plain language. No encryption at any level, just standardized data compression and redundant fault tolerance of some sort for the whole bundle.

Spinward Scout July 3rd, 2004 11:46 PM

Cool responses! Thanks! What's some real-world chatter like? I know what trucks are like on the CB - they get pretty raunchy sometimes. I'm thinking military and airport traffic types of things.



PBI July 4th, 2004 07:24 PM


Originally posted by Sir Dameon Toth:
Cool responses! Thanks! What's some real-world chatter like? I know what trucks are like on the CB - they get pretty raunchy sometimes. I'm thinking military and airport traffic types of things.



It really depends on the particular nation in question, how far down the chain you go, and what the tactical situation is. In the Canadian military, for example, using foul language on the radio is a chargable offence, so the professionals (i.e. the Signals folks) are quite quick to jump all over that kind of stuff, but you don't find many of those types of folks hanging around at the platoon level. It would help to know if you're asking about peacetime traffic, wartime traffic in a period of calm, or waryime traffic when in contact with the enemy.

Spinward Scout July 5th, 2004 12:40 PM


All of the above.



PBI July 5th, 2004 08:46 PM

Okay, now that that's narrowed down, would you be looking for army or navy? [img]smile.gif[/img]

Andrew Boulton July 6th, 2004 10:17 AM

Somebody just sent me these...

Tower: "Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o'clock , 6 miles!"
Delta 351: "Give us another hint! We have digital watches!"
================================================== =========
"TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 Degrees."
"Centre, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?"
"Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?"
================================================== =========
From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue: "I'm @#*^* bored!"
Ground Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!"
Unknown aircraft: "I said I was @#*^* bored, not #*^"X^# stupid!"
================================================== ==========
O'Hare Approach Control to a 747: "United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, three miles,
United 239: "Approach, I've always wanted to say this... I've got the little Fokker in sight."
================================================== ==========
A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight. While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar,
ATC asked, "What was your last known position?"
Student: "When I was number one for takeoff."
================================================== ==========
A DC-10 had come in a little hot and thus had an exceedingly long roll out after touching down.
San Jose Tower noted: "American 751, make a hard right turn at the end of the runway, if you are able.
If you are not able, take the Guadalupe exit off Highway 101, make a right at the lights and return to the
airport." ================================================== ==========
There's a story about the military pilot calling for a priority landing because his single-engine jet fighter
was running "a bit peaked."
Air Traffic Control told the fighter jock that he was number two, behind a B-52 that had one engine shut
"Ah," the fighter pilot remarked, "The dreaded seven-engine approach."
================================================== ==========
Taxiing down the tarmac, a DC-10 abruptly stopped, turned around and returned to the gate. After an
hour-long wait, it finally took off. A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, "What, exactly, was
the problem?"
"The pilot was bothered by a noise he heard in the engine," explained the flight attendant. "It took us a
while to find a new pilot."
================================================== ==========
A Pan Am 727 flight waiting for start clearance in Munich overheard the following:
Lufthansa (in German): "Ground, what is our start clearance time?"
Ground (in English): "If you want an answer you must speak in English."
Lufthansa (in English): "I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany.
Why must I speak English?"
Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent):
"Because you lost the bloody war."
================================================== ==========
Tower: "Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency 124.7"
Eastern 702: "Tower, Eastern 702 switching to Departure. By the way, after we lifted off we saw some
kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway."
Tower: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff behind Eastern 702, contact Departure on frequency 124.7.
Did you copy that report from Eastern 702?"
Continental 635: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes, we copied Eastern.. we've
already notified our caterers."
================================================== ===========
One day the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold short of the active runway while a
DC-8 landed. The DC-8 landed, rolled out, turned around, and taxied back past the Cherokee Some
quick-witted comedian in the DC-8 crew got on the radio and said, "What a cute little plane. Did you
make it all by yourself?"
The Cherokee pilot, not about to let the insult go by, came back with a real zinger: "I made it out of DC-8
parts. Another landing like yours and I'll have enough parts for another one."
The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a short-tempered lot. They not only
expect one to know one's gate parking location, but how to get there without any assistance from them
So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between
Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747, call sign Speedbird 206.
Speedbird 206: "Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of active runway."
Ground: "Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven."
The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.
Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?"
Speedbird 206: "Stand by, Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now."
Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?"
Speedbird 206 (coolly): "Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark, -- and I didn't land."
================================================== ==========
While taxiing at London's Gatwick Airport, the crew of a US Air flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale made a
wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727.
An irate female ground controller lashed out at the US Air crew, screaming: "US Air 2771, where the hell
are you going?! I told you to turn right onto Charlie taxiway! You turned right on Delta! Stop right there. I
know it's difficult for you to tell the difference between C and D, but get it right!"
Continuing her rage to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically: "God! Now you've
screwed everything up! It'll take forever to sort this out! You stay right there and don't move till I tell you
You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour and I want you to go exactly where I
tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you! You got that, US Air 2771?"
"Yes, ma'am," the humbled crew responded. Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell
terribly silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771. Nobody wanted to chance engaging the irate
ground controller in her current state of mind. Tension in every cockpit out around Gatwick was
definitely running high. Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence and keyed his microphone, asking:
"Wasn't I married to you once?"

Spyder_GS July 7th, 2004 01:59 PM

As ex-SigInt in the US Army, I can attest to alot of the things already commented on. Most of the traffic will be very business-like and ordered. Occasionally there will be some lapses.

IMTU, ships Communications equipment are programmed with the vessel reg number. It works a bit like XM (satellite radio here in the US) as specific vessels can be contacted without a general broadcast. There are still general broadcasts, but most traffic is P2P. The military does, of course, have equipment that permits them to listen in to these conversations.

Militaries perform any mission sensitive communications with encryption. As of the mid-late 90s, the noise generated on an encrypted freq in use by the US Army was negligible. You could tell the freq was in use, you just couldn't hear anything. And jammers remain immensely effective against communications. Against something other than radio freq comms, I am doubtful of the effectiveness of jamming unless you can be in close proximity to the receiver, sender or in the line of transmission (mesoncomms excluded obviously).

Naval Maneuvers: Most of this will be point to point. There will likely be a large number of freqs in use at any given time as fleet orders are given, positions and speeds reported, small craft control channels, PD coordinates between ships, targeting data is shared, firing orders and tactical maneuvers implemented. Any given channel should be orderly at any given time...right up until actual combat. Then you get to add damage control reports into the mix.

Ground Troops: Very similar to Naval traffic. Target data, grid locations (for maps), enemy type-position-direction of movement-speed and force strength, objective information, orders, fragmentary orders, requests for transportation or support, fire orders, forward observer reports (for artillery) and supply orders. And more, casualty reports...crap, the list never ends.

Customs: A lot of coded traffic back and forth between inspectors and control, probably encrypted. Possibly the occasion call in the clear to a vessel to heave to for inspection. Occasionally, the odd engagement against smugglers or general baddies. These engagements would stay on Customs channels unless the found themselves overmatched and had to call for assistance...which might not make it in time...

The rest of the categories were pretty well described. Not certain I can add anything right now..I'll think on it though.

Hope this helps and hasn't regurgitated too much from previous posts!

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