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Double Edge
28 Sep 11,, 02:52
Saw this interesting Canadian documentary on robots & war the other day.

Remote Control War | CBC Documentaries | Aug 25 2011 (http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/doczone/2011/remotecontrolwar/)

hrm the video stream only works if you're in canada, oh well

Chogy
28 Sep 11,, 14:39
Even without the video, it's a good topic for discussion... the automation/autonomization of war. Removing the human, and allowing robots to do battle. We're heading strongly in that direction. Now we've got airborne micro-suicide drones that can loiter and then attack when an enemy is sighted, not by firing a missile, but by behaving like a miniature V-1 buzz-bomb.

I can see a day when individual soldiers wear small electronic IFF devices, and anyone not wearing such a device is subject to attack by drones like this.

Double Edge
28 Sep 11,, 16:57
Even without the video, it's a good topic for discussion... the automation/autonomization of war. Removing the human, and allowing robots to do battle. We're heading strongly in that direction. Now we've got airborne micro-suicide drones that can loiter and then attack when an enemy is sighted, not by firing a missile, but by behaving like a miniature V-1 buzz-bomb.

I can see a day when individual soldiers wear small electronic IFF devices, and anyone not wearing such a device is subject to attack by drones like this.
About that bolded bit all i can tell you after watching that show is 'i had no idea' :eek:

This is a huge area with billions being poured in. Ten years ago this all sounded like sci-fi, but after the numerous drone success stories i'm not so sure anymore. They compared the present state-of-the art of robots to aviation in the 1920's. There's still a long way to go but its inevitable and the improvements as dramatic.

One of the topics they discussed was a team of autonomous robots being left to decide on their own how to best tackle a situation. The machines once programmed will make decisons in a complex environment much faster than a human ever could and would get it right more often. The only option that would not be delegated was to kill or not.

Towards the end they talk about terrorism, if you thought 9-11 was bad, imagine a 1000 flying robots headed for your city. What can you do ?

Stitch
28 Sep 11,, 17:54
Yes, we are definitely "heading strongly in that direction", as Chogy said. There seems to be a lot of attention currently focused on drones and their use; NPR published two interesting articles on drones and their use on the same day (yesterday). For those interested, they can be found here:

As Drones Evolve, More Countries Want Their Own : NPR (http://www.npr.org/2011/09/26/140812779/as-drones-evolve-more-countries-want-their-own)

In The Hunt For Al-Qaida, Drone Program Expands : NPR (http://www.npr.org/2011/09/26/140807753/in-the-hunt-for-al-qaida-drone-program-expands)

Chogy
29 Sep 11,, 13:27
The leap to true kill autonomy, though, is going to be a big one and not lightly taken.

Surveillance is palatable by just about everyone, but a robot deciding, on its own, to use lethal force... close, but we're not quite there yet.

USSWisconsin
29 Sep 11,, 13:31
Even without the video, it's a good topic for discussion... the automation/autonomization of war. Removing the human, and allowing robots to do battle. We're heading strongly in that direction. Now we've got airborne micro-suicide drones that can loiter and then attack when an enemy is sighted, not by firing a missile, but by behaving like a miniature V-1 buzz-bomb.

I can see a day when individual soldiers wear small electronic IFF devices, and anyone not wearing such a device is subject to attack by drones like this.

A damaged IFF or a dead battery could be a real bummer in this situation,,, One would hope there was a person somewhere in the chain of command on these machines.

Doktor
29 Sep 11,, 13:45
A damaged IFF or a dead battery could be a real bummer in this situation,,, One would hope there was a person somewhere in the chain of command on these machines.

I remember before NATO hitting Serbia all OSCE vehicles put fancy orange color on their roofs in order not to get hit.

OTOH the pilots hit convoys with refugees thinking they are Serbian army. So there are no guarantees the human will prevent cluster fvckup

USSWisconsin
29 Sep 11,, 13:56
I remember before NATO hitting Serbia all OSCE vehicles put fancy orange color on their roofs in order not to get hit.

OTOH the pilots hit convoys with refugees thinking they are Serbian army. So there are no guarantees the human will prevent cluster fvckup

True, but there is at least someone to hold accountable. The idea of autonomous killing machines sounds like Terminator...

Doktor
29 Sep 11,, 14:42
True, but there is at least someone to hold accountable. The idea of autonomous killing machines sounds like Terminator...

The programmer? :biggrin:

FJV
30 Sep 11,, 20:22
Against third world farmers with AK's maybe.

Against a sophisticated enemy willing to jam the snot out of everything that moves:pari:

Chogy
01 Oct 11,, 13:42
Autonomous, pre-programmed drones cannot be jammed, as by definition, everything needed to run them is internal. No data links. They'll need sensors, but these are a lot harder to jam than an RF link.

Besides, even if there is a radio link, modern systems are frequency-agile and encrypted, and not all that easy to jam. We've had communications systems hardened to jamming for decades. The technology is advancing rapidly.

Doktor
01 Oct 11,, 13:50
US Military has capability to jam them?

If YES, someone else can develop tech to do the same.
If NO, it's bad, too.

FJV
01 Oct 11,, 17:19
Autonomous, pre-programmed drones cannot be jammed, as by definition, everything needed to run them is internal.

Consider cruise missiles. Cruise missiles are less effective against mobile systems. (situation on the battlefield has changed after the missile has been programmed)

Also these can be jammed. For instance the F-22 can fry internal electronics by focussing it's AESA radar.


Besides, even if there is a radio link, modern systems are frequency-agile and encrypted, and not all that easy to jam. We've had communications systems hardened to jamming for decades. The technology is advancing rapidly.

That depends on whether you just wanna jam one frequency, or you wanna jam the entire radio spectrum with a dirty transmitter. Frequency hopping will not be as effective when the frequency you're hopping to is also jammed.

kato
01 Oct 11,, 20:12
I can see a day when individual soldiers wear small electronic IFF devices, and anyone not wearing such a device is subject to attack by drones like this.
And i can see the developers of such a system being executed for war crimes, considering that's a direct violation of all Hague and Geneva Conventions ever written.


Besides, even if there is a radio link, modern systems are frequency-agile and encrypted, and not all that easy to jam. We've had communications systems hardened to jamming for decades. The technology is advancing rapidly.
Hint: There's a reason why electronic warfare and SOF counter-operations are already an integral part of the Northern Coasts littoral warfare maneuver series that by now half the EU participates in and both the USA and Russia are very interested in. The maneuver series draws heavily on scenarios being developed at the NATO Center of Excellence for Confined and Shallow Waters Operations (CoE CSW).

The scenario includes a shoreside broadband jammer station (realized using a German Army Hummel) that facilitates following targeted asymmetric attacks against pickets and other out-of-visual-contact ships and other nifty things like taking out the common air-defense or ASW network to slip in some aircraft or subs for things like attacks or mining. Jam their communication links and do it before the primary group can react. Within the scenario, SOF (combat divers) are then usually dispatched by submarine to take out this station using manpack ATGM.
Don't know what they have planned this year, but the SOF contingent is significantly larger. I'd wager a guess at regaining NFS capability guided by SOF ashore, possibly against a semi-symmetric enemy firing at the naval group. Would fit recent developments. One Hummel is in the ToE for this year though, so the jamming and counter-action thing is still valid.

Chogy
02 Oct 11,, 14:04
I realize no system is foolproof, but when the spectrum a system hops through is large enough, it becomes very difficult to jam. A jammer would need a certain average power output on every usable segment of the spectrum over perhaps several megahertz or gigahertz. Not easy.


And i can see the developers of such a system being executed for war crimes, considering that's a direct violation of all Hague and Geneva Conventions ever written.

I was not commenting on the legality, but only on the technology.


Also these can be jammed. For instance the F-22 can fry internal electronics by focussing it's AESA radar.

Maybe. But a flight of F-22's would have a very difficult time doing this to dozens or hundreds of 30 kilogram autonomous drones.


That depends on whether you just wanna jam one frequency, or you wanna jam the entire radio spectrum with a dirty transmitter. Frequency hopping will not be as effective when the frequency you're hopping to is also jammed.

Again, the jammer must radiate adequate noise on every individual frequency segment. If the targeted system hops through 300 megahertz in the upper UHF band, the jammer will probably not be capable. And when you're dealing with digital links, these are software systems with built-in error-correcting protocols.

In its simplest form, a series of bytes is transmitted, followed by a checksum. If the byte series doesn't match the checksum, the entire bundle is trashed and the packet is re-sent until the data is confirmed accurate. Noise and such can slow the stream, but it's hard to stop completely.

FJV
03 Oct 11,, 19:52
The US routinely jams cell phone activated IEDs that use checksums.

If you can do it to them, they can do it to you.

I will leave it to any readers to make up their mind.

Chogy
04 Oct 11,, 13:58
The US routinely jams cell phone activated IEDs that use checksums.

If you can do it to them, they can do it to you.

I will leave it to any readers to make up their mind.

Does the cell phone actively hop at 500 hertz over a huge frequency band in lock-step with a partnered device?

Look, no data or comm system is 100% invulnerable, but modern digital electronics with frequency synthesis, and extremely accurate clocks, have tipped it a bit towards the "unjammable" side. Like armor vs. armor piercing, and stealth vs. AESA radar, the battle swings back and forth as technologies evolve.

Durian10
31 Oct 11,, 19:04
Don't forget about the fact that the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 reaper are widely used by the USAF for Reconnaissance and small scale air support. They both outfitted with AIM-92 Stingers, and AGM114 Hellfire missiles. While the Predator has been outifitted with Griffin air-to-surface missiles and the Reaper with the GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bombs. We are really not that far from R/C warfare.

Triple C
11 Nov 11,, 04:50
I think you are overestimating the effectiveness of cell phone jammers. Harper's just ran an article on those gadgets and the writer notes that when he was embedded in Afghanistan the best combat engineer he met used a stick tied to a cord for bomb detection. Nothing high tech. Just hand work and eye balls. Digital age people seem to overestimate the capacity of software quite a lot and honestly I think that reflects how overdependent on technology.

gunnut
11 Nov 11,, 19:54
And i can see the developers of such a system being executed for war crimes, considering that's a direct violation of all Hague and Geneva Conventions ever written.

Forgive my ignorance, but what specificly in the Hague and Geneva Conventions states that autonomous killing machines are illegal?

gunnut
11 Nov 11,, 19:58
The leap to true kill autonomy, though, is going to be a big one and not lightly taken.

Surveillance is palatable by just about everyone, but a robot deciding, on its own, to use lethal force... close, but we're not quite there yet.

Yeah, we have to wait for Skynet to go online. :eek:


Anyone remember that episode of Star Trek called "A Taste of Armageddon?"

The 2 warring planets developed a sophisticated and integrated computer network to fight their wars for them. Casualties are simulated and recorded. People are then ordered to disintegration chambers to be "neutralized."

Wars became clean, comfortable, and a fact of life.

YellowFever
11 Nov 11,, 20:12
I said this same thing (also bringing up Star Trek) about four years ago when a similar thread popped up.

War SHOULD be terrible and costly. It's suppossed to be avoided for this very reason.

Minskaya
24 Aug 12,, 10:58
~ Oversight is a core component of armed drone missions that are flown by the USAF. A drone flight crew is comprised of a minimum of three crew members. The Mission Pilot occupies the left seat. The Mission Weapons System Officer occupies the right seat. Slightly behind and between them sits the Mission Commander (who must outrank the Pilot and WSO). Before them are bifurcated banks of monitors, two keyboards, and two joysticks. All flight data is recorded, and the mission is audio/video taped. Any requests by the WSO to arm/lock-on/fire weapons must be verbally approved by the Mission Commander. Typically, it is the F2 key of the WSO keyboard that fires the missiles. After each mission an After Action Report (AAR) must be composed and signed by each crew member. The AAR and mission data is then reviewed by a team of analysts and peers. Falsify/fudge an AAR - you're done.

~ By far, the majority of military drone flights are reconnaissance missions. Besides video cameras (with extremely high resolution capability), sophisticated UAVs also collect data throughout the EM spectrum. Areas to be investigated are mapped according to a "keypad system" (square areas assigned letters/numbers like a on phone keypad). The resolution of a master keypad (of any size) can be reduced again and again via subset-keypads. Once you have established a master/subset keypad grid of an area, a drone can be ordered to an exact location (using the appropriate keypad letters/numbers) via keyboard. If enough data is collected, you can do some fairly amazing things. Let's use a structure like a warehouse as an example. Computer programs can construct a detailed 3D image of this structure. Using the joystick and a plasma monitor, a WSO can then manipulate this image (turn it about in different ways) to decide how best to target the structure (i.e. roof skylight, east side window, south side loading door, etc) depending on the mission and local conditions. Along with computerized 3D images, truly three-dimensional holograms can also be constructed.