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Satellites in the game - 11/14/2018 5:06:07 AM   
DWReese

 

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What EXACTLY can an orbiting (passing by) satellite see in the game? I know that in real life a satellite can be aimed at a particular area and yield a tremendous amount of detailed data about a very specific area, but does it work the same in the game?

In the game a satellite seems to have a huge search radius area (like a radar). But, does the satellite search in the entire search radius like the radar does, or does it only look directly at the exact area that it passes over?

Thanks in advance.

Doug

< Message edited by DWReese -- 11/14/2018 6:28:48 PM >
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RE: Satellites in the game - 11/14/2018 5:34:13 PM   
rmunie0613

 

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From my observations, it very much depends upon the type of satellite, and the visibility/weather. I have had satelites spot some otherwise hard to find mobie units in good weather 100nm away from the area they passed over, while in poor weather even passing directly over a unit had no effect.

(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: Satellites in the game - 11/14/2018 6:33:33 PM   
DWReese

 

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Thanks for responding.

How wide is the radius? Is this huge 400 mile radius, or is ut limited to just what's directly beneath it? I would think that with this huge radius boundary that is visible on the screen, then it could probably see anything in that whole area but, from the fiction books that I've read the field seems to me to be much more limited.

Anyone know?

Doug

(in reply to rmunie0613)
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RE: Satellites in the game - 11/14/2018 8:17:10 PM   
CV60


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quote:

Thanks for responding.

How wide is the radius? Is this huge 400 mile radius, or is ut limited to just what's directly beneath it? I would think that with this huge radius boundary that is visible on the screen, then it could probably see anything in that whole area but, from the fiction books that I've read the field seems to me to be much more limited.

Anyone know?

Doug


There are different types of satellites in the game, and they work differently. Call up the in game Database viewer, and it will give you information on the various types. Specifically, the game models the following general types: SIGINT, Electro-Optical, MASINT, DSP (Missile Early Warning), ESM, and Radar Imaging. Each of these types works differently. Generally speaking, a specific type of satellite will detect certain signatures, but not others. A DSM satellite won't detect ships at sea, but will detect ICBM missile launches. An ESM satellite will detect ships that are radiating, but not units that are in EMCON. The actual theoretical maximum range of the satellite sensor(s) are given in the database viewer in the "Sensor/EW" section under "Max Range"

< Message edited by CV60 -- 11/14/2018 8:31:56 PM >

(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: Satellites in the game - 11/14/2018 9:24:01 PM   
DWReese

 

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Thanks for responding.

I am aware that there are different types of satellites. I am also aware that they each have different capabilities. Obviously, I failed to convey my question properly, and in a manner that would be more understandable. That was my fault.

There are, let's say, three IMGSAT satellites in the db. Each essentially searches for the same thing--ground targets. One has a max range of 19500 nm; one has 6500 nm; and one has 2000nm. I understand that weather and clouds, etc., can disrupt the imagery. But, for the purpose of this discussion, let's say that everything is perfect. So, my question is does the satellite with the 19500 mile range see ALL things that far? Or, does it see buildings at that range, but tanks at say, 5000 miles? Is there a size scale? Also, is there a "power" level on each satellite? Is the 19500 range satellite about three times better than the 6500-range one? Is it ten times better than the 2000-range satellite?

The reason that I ask is sometimes you read/hear that a satellite needs to be re-programmed to go "over" an area and it might only be there for 13 minutes or so. I see that they travel very fast, but if you have a 19500-range you can probably see things for a long time, unless the detection range diminishes the further away from the actual satellite is from where you are.

I guess what I am envisioning is some kind on concentric circles that exist and go out from the satellite in various ranges. If something the size of "X" can be seen as long as it is within, say, two range circles of the satellite, and whenever X is no longer within those two circles, it is no longer able to be seen. Is that how you perceive it to work in the game? I would hate to think that to three soldiers are sitting along a forest line setting up some SAMs that aren't even active yet and this satellite spots them from 5000 miles away. If that's the case, this thing is unbelievable. It knows all and sees all. Is that possible, or would it have to know where to look for them?

It would be nice to know.

Thanks in advance.

Doug

(in reply to CV60)
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RE: Satellites in the game - 11/14/2018 10:16:34 PM   
TheOttoman

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese

So, my question is does the satellite with the 19500 mile range see ALL things that far? Or, does it see buildings at that range, but tanks at say, 5000 miles? Is there a size scale? Also, is there a "power" level on each satellite? Is the 19500 range satellite about three times better than the 6500-range one? Is it ten times better than the 2000-range satellite?


For the purposes of this conversation, the 19,500 mile range is the "functional" range, meaning that anything in that circle is what the satellite can see. There is no real size scale, nor is there a power scale. You should think of it just as a camera orbiting in space focused downward to Earth. Whatever is in the viewfinder is all that the camera can see.

quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese
The reason that I ask is sometimes you read/hear that a satellite needs to be re-programmed to go "over" an area and it might only be there for 13 minutes or so. I see that they travel very fast, but if you have a 19500-range you can probably see things for a long time, unless the detection range diminishes the further away from the actual satellite is from where you are.


Orbiting satellites are constantly moving and so the consumers of that data understand that they provide "point in time" information, so an ESM satellite will provide info that is "at this point in time, in this area" (say a shipping lane, or a known naval route), there were these emissions registered. Note that "a point in time" could be considered anywhere from a few minutes to more. Geosyn satellites (like those used for Early Warning) sit in a particular are and scan what it can see, so it can always watch out for whatever it needs to.. so an Early Warning sat, sitting over the middle of the Pacific, for example, can cover the entire Korean peninsula 24/7.

quote:

I would hate to think that to three soldiers are sitting along a forest line setting up some SAMs that aren't even active yet and this satellite spots them from 5000 miles away. If that's the case, this thing is unbelievable. It knows all and sees all. Is that possible, or would it have to know where to look for them?


Something like your example is more/better handled with UAVs, because it's more cost effective and operationally effective, but it is not outside of the realm of reality to have something like that on a strategic level of intelligence.

(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: Satellites in the game - 11/14/2018 11:32:49 PM   
DWReese

 

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Very interesting stuff. Thank you for sharing it with us.

So, for game purposes, if my ground units are positioned within a certain area, and a ground-searching satellite is observed passing over/near/around my location, then I can reasonably assume that it will detect them, given no outside atmospheric limitations?

Doug

(in reply to TheOttoman)
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RE: Satellites in the game - 11/15/2018 6:16:34 AM   
bradinggs


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Hi DWReese, I know exactly what you talking about, as far as I know, it doesn't work like that as that is some extra detail that they probably would have to work on, you talking about AGI's STK for example where you have the circle of visibility under the satellite but its sensors are restricted further by the aperture and antenna restrictions and so need to be tasked actively in directions etc. I think here it does as previously mentioned above, basically goes over and if there's something there to detect, it will detect it. Guess you could take it that as you command, the intelligence collection process is doing their job below you and getting the tasking correct. Could go further and put in a percentage on whether it is does detect or not, that could add in some "error" by the collection team perhaps and add to the sense of not picking up everything, even if they are all in plain sight.

< Message edited by bradinggs -- 11/15/2018 6:17:12 AM >

(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: Satellites in the game - 11/15/2018 9:45:46 AM   
DWReese

 

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Thanks for your reply.

Talk about having God's Eye?

I started doing some mini tests and I found everything that you said to be true. The satellite seems to "see" everything within its range, both big or small.

I became interested in this topic while playing the scenario LIVE: Kuril Sunrise, which has LOTS of satellites. I had never paid any of them very much attention in other scenarios, but this scenario had so many that I began to wonder exactly what they could do, and what I should expect them to do. From the beginning, it appeared that my units' positions always seemed to be known. That observation prompted my original question.

Since then, I read an article in Wayne's Dropbox about satellites. It seemed to confirm what we have said, but in real life the satellite doesn't have as broad of a range (almost unlimited) as the game's version does. So, I could do some further testing (which I really don't want to do because there aren't many scenarios that really have/rely on satellites) or simply put it on the back burner as being something that I could like at on a rainy day in the future. That sounds like the way to go.

Thanks again for everyone's input on this topic.

Doug


(in reply to bradinggs)
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RE: Satellites in the game - 11/15/2018 11:24:58 PM   
TheOttoman

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese

Thanks for your reply.

Talk about having God's Eye?

I started doing some mini tests and I found everything that you said to be true. The satellite seems to "see" everything within its range, both big or small.

I became interested in this topic while playing the scenario LIVE: Kuril Sunrise, which has LOTS of satellites. I had never paid any of them very much attention in other scenarios, but this scenario had so many that I began to wonder exactly what they could do, and what I should expect them to do. From the beginning, it appeared that my units' positions always seemed to be known. That observation prompted my original question.

Since then, I read an article in Wayne's Dropbox about satellites. It seemed to confirm what we have said, but in real life the satellite doesn't have as broad of a range (almost unlimited) as the game's version does. So, I could do some further testing (which I really don't want to do because there aren't many scenarios that really have/rely on satellites) or simply put it on the back burner as being something that I could like at on a rainy day in the future. That sounds like the way to go.

Thanks again for everyone's input on this topic.

Doug




The satellites are modeled after real world satellites that are (were) orbiting the planet. The capability you experience in Command mimics what you would experience in the "Real World"

(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: Satellites in the game - 11/16/2018 1:24:07 AM   
DWReese

 

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That's great to know. Thanks.

Doug

(in reply to TheOttoman)
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RE: Satellites in the game - 11/16/2018 6:10:24 PM   
gosnold

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese

Thanks for your reply.

Talk about having God's Eye?

I started doing some mini tests and I found everything that you said to be true. The satellite seems to "see" everything within its range, both big or small.

I became interested in this topic while playing the scenario LIVE: Kuril Sunrise, which has LOTS of satellites. I had never paid any of them very much attention in other scenarios, but this scenario had so many that I began to wonder exactly what they could do, and what I should expect them to do. From the beginning, it appeared that my units' positions always seemed to be known. That observation prompted my original question.

Since then, I read an article in Wayne's Dropbox about satellites. It seemed to confirm what we have said, but in real life the satellite doesn't have as broad of a range (almost unlimited) as the game's version does. So, I could do some further testing (which I really don't want to do because there aren't many scenarios that really have/rely on satellites) or simply put it on the back burner as being something that I could like at on a rainy day in the future. That sounds like the way to go.

Thanks again for everyone's input on this topic.

Doug




Typically satellites have to be tasked, meaning you have tell them in advance where to look, and for most of them they have a very narrow field of view, so you are looking at the ground through a soda straw. That means they can detect all vehicles in a small area for instance, but are not able to find all the vehicles in a theater.

This is hard to model in Command:
- either you ask the user to enter a tasking plan or areas of interest (by assigning the satellites to a recon mission over a specific zone for instance)
- or you have the satellites automatically do the job for you. For instance, they could look around known stationary units or building to find units nearby. Or they look at mobiles with some location uncertainty, to try to pin them down. But that does not help you to find an enemy unit you know has to be in a small area but that you do not have detected yet. Or to recon a path for your units to ensure there is no opposition.

So a balance has to be found between micro-management, which Commands tries to avoid, and a too high level of abstraction that gives unrealistic behaviour sometimes. I am curious what people would prefer: a more automated solution like currently, or having to manage the satellites a bit more?

Keep in mind using satellites for tactical/theater warfare is relatively new: in Gulf War 1, the US tried it and it was a failure due to the ground segment not being designed for that.

(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: Satellites in the game - 11/16/2018 6:32:55 PM   
DWReese

 

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I totally agree, the use of satellites for tactical warfare is very new. That's why I posed the question to our extremely knowledgeable group. I honestly wouldn't have thought too much about it, but the Kuril Sunrise has so many in the game that you begin to wonder exactly what they can see.

The various articles that I have read on Wayne's site seem to indicate exactly what you said that, while they have a large potential field, the actual ficus area needs to be very specifically defined. The satellite might be able to read the tag off of a motor vehicle, but it can't at the same time tell you how many cars are parked in the Disney World parking lot unless your car is also in the Disney World parking lot. So, the satellite shouldn't just be able to have a 20000 mile radius and be able to see everything in that radius. I would think that that would be unrealistic.

At the same time, it is fun to be able to conduct a surveillance of an area using a satellite. You don't need ground troops or air assets if you have a satellite to keep you generally apprised of where the enemy is, until it is time to actually conduct an attack.

Satellites seem to be very fun, and very interesting.

I don't have an answer to your question. I would suppose, without much to go on, that the satellite really shouldn't have the almost all-seeing range that it apparently does in the game. Perhaps it could be toned down, such as what I suggested in concentric circles from the center that constantly change as the satellite passes. Perhaps I'm way off base.

Oh well, time for others to chime in.

Doug

(in reply to gosnold)
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