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Use of Satellites - 2/28/2019 12:46:09 PM   
DWReese

 

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I was wondering how many of you, who like to create scenarios, add satellites to your creations?

I was looking at some of the CMANO scenarios and discovered that many of them have satellites included. For instance, the scenario SALVO has 64 satellites in the game. With that many present, most of the units were observable at the start of the scenario. I wanted to see how many units would still be observable if the satellite weren't present, so, I eliminated all of the satellites and then most of the units were no longer able to be seen. I then re-started the game with the satellites present, and pretty much everything could be seen again. Obviously, the presence of satellites makes a huge difference

All of this got me thinking about EMCON, etc. It seems that if satellites are present (as they are in real life), and everything is pretty much able to be seen, why would you bother turning your radar off?

So, can any of you enlighten me about the use of satellites in CMANO? What am I missing? It doesn't seem as if you could enter the South China Sea (for instance) without all of the satellite owners knowing exactly where you are, and where you are going.

Thanks.

Doug
Post #: 1
RE: Use of Satellites - 2/28/2019 2:16:52 PM   
Gunner98

 

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Doug

I think it depends on when your scenario is set. Modern day, you are probably right. The data base at the attached link gives you a good idea of how their use has grown, https://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-weapons/space-weapons/satellite-database

For the Northern Fury Scenarios, they are used in some of the earlier scenarios but in 1994 there were relatively few up and once the ASATs start flying they are hard to replace - never mind the space junk left behind. We have a bit about it in the book and 'Hold the Line' is that last scenario of the group that has them.

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(in reply to DWReese)
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RE: Use of Satellites - 2/28/2019 3:16:23 PM   
SeaQueen


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Whether I include satellites depends partially on the geographic and operational scope of the scenario. More broadly scoped scenarios almost demand them. More narrowly scoped scenarios don't necessarily. Even when I include them, though, rarely do I include all satellites. If I'm putting together a scenario involving ballistic missile defense, for example, I will try to include satellite based systems along with other systems which might influence the BMD kill chain or provide early warning. In other scenarios, involving SEAD, I might include ELINT satellites and photographic satellites. In others involving anti-ship strikes, I might include ELINT and radar satellites. It all depends on what the focus is. Generally my criteria for whether or not to include them is whether or not they somehow impact the kill chain for the units involved.

This isn't to say that satellites are not considered in scenarios where they don't directly impact the kill chain. In those cases I might choose to use auto-detect, reference points, map overlays, or even just making a note in the side briefing in order to capture the effect of satellites or other methods of reconnaissance. In real life, satellites are not typically directly involved in the tactical level of warfare (although this is rapidly evolving with computers, computers and networking). There's an analysis process that has to occur between the satellite snapping the picture and transmitting it, and the war fighter actually making use of that data in the field. That takes time.

Including satellites inappropriately sometimes has the effect of artificially altering the kill chain in ways which are not realistic. Adding in scripting for things like "shoot-and-scoot" SAMs, ballistic missiles, artillery and what not also helps increase the uncertainty so that satellites are less decisive. If you can stay in motion, then those couple hours or even 10-20 minutes between satellite passes make a big difference in terms of the effectiveness of the enemy's ability to target you.

As for why would I turn my radar off, it depends, but sometimes it might be BECAUSE of satellites. Radar is a balancing act. If you turn it on, you can see, but you also might reveal your location and identity to satellite and terrestrial sensors based sensors. So you might choose to turn off your radar periodically to hopefully increase the uncertainty on your position and frustrate efforts to target you, be it by aircraft, submarines, surface ships, or ballistic missiles, who depend on satellites to make that initial ELINT detection. A radar satellite might be able to identify your position, but if they can't determine what kind of ship you are, they might hold off on the ballistic missile strike, which takes 15 minutes to fly out. They might send an MPA which takes hours to get there. Frustrating efforts to identify your warships buys you time. If I have a radar and a satellite, then it gets even better, because now I can let the satellite spot ballistic missiles and turn my radar off. Then, when I get an early warning from the satellite that ballistic missiles or bombers are inbound, I know to turn my radar back on because at that point the ruse is blown, and I need to be able to defend myself.




quote:

ORIGINAL: DWReese

I was wondering how many of you, who like to create scenarios, add satellites to your creations?

I was looking at some of the CMANO scenarios and discovered that many of them have satellites included. For instance, the scenario SALVO has 64 satellites in the game. With that many present, most of the units were observable at the start of the scenario. I wanted to see how many units would still be observable if the satellite weren't present, so, I eliminated all of the satellites and then most of the units were no longer able to be seen. I then re-started the game with the satellites present, and pretty much everything could be seen again. Obviously, the presence of satellites makes a huge difference

All of this got me thinking about EMCON, etc. It seems that if satellites are present (as they are in real life), and everything is pretty much able to be seen, why would you bother turning your radar off?

So, can any of you enlighten me about the use of satellites in CMANO? What am I missing? It doesn't seem as if you could enter the South China Sea (for instance) without all of the satellite owners knowing exactly where you are, and where you are going.

Thanks.

Doug


(in reply to DWReese)
Post #: 3
RE: Use of Satellites - 2/28/2019 3:28:57 PM   
DWReese

 

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Gunner98,

Yes, I was talking about a present-time scenario.

Thanks for the link. According to that article, almost 2000 satellites are up there right now.

While the SALVO scenario only had 64 of them (I'm sure that many are set to cover a different part of the earth), that's still quite a few. Running the scenario, one (or more) seem to pass overhead every few minutes, so trying for concealment seems futile.

I was also wondering, if you are playing a present-time scenario that includes 64 satellites, would't you expect that to slow it down tremendously? And, thinking outside of the box, if every unit is going to be detected in this situation anyway, wouldn't it be easier (faster) to simply make ALL units auto-detected and skip all of the satellite inclusion?

Doug


(in reply to Gunner98)
Post #: 4
RE: Use of Satellites - 2/28/2019 4:00:16 PM   
DWReese

 

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Thanks SeaQueen,

That was the kind of insight that I was looking for.

I don't know enough about their complete use, but I do need them in this one because I have BMDs, and long-range strikes.

Including them, however, completely changed my scenario on the realism scale. It just proves that no one will be able to hide, at least from a Super Power, if they want to find you.

Doug


(in reply to SeaQueen)
Post #: 5
RE: Use of Satellites - 2/28/2019 6:44:10 PM   
gosnold

 

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So a few things regarding observation satellites:
- Many of them are optical satellites that are useless when the weather is too cloudy
- Even radar ones are less powerful than what Command shows: radar and optical satellites have to be tasked, meaning you need to tell them in advance where to look, because they don't have a very wide field of view. So they don't reveal everything in a theater like in Command, only over regions some tens of kilometers wide.
- Up to a recent date, images had to be manually interpreted, so if you had a detailed image of a large area it did not help you much, because you had to spend a lot of time looking for the targets, and they could have moved in the meantime
- SIGINT satellites however are very powerful: they have a very wide field of view and the detection of targets can be easily automated. However, that does not mean they are useful during an operation: during Gulf War 1, the US geostationary SIGINT satellites collected many signals, but the processing on the ground was too slow (it was designed for long-term NSA analysis, not military use)

A few links that might interest you regarding SALVO and SIGINT:
https://satelliteobservation.net/2016/09/20/the-chinese-maritime-surveillance-system/
https://satelliteobservation.net/2017/12/03/the-yaogan-30-high-revisit-constellation/
https://satelliteobservation.net/2017/07/31/history-of-the-us-high-altitude-sigint-system/

(in reply to DWReese)
Post #: 6
RE: Use of Satellites - 2/28/2019 6:44:13 PM   
DWReese

 

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Okay, I'm convinced that I should use satellites in my scenario. They don't pop up as often as I thought, so there is a window.

But, here's a question to those who create scenarios with them: If you select a satellite to appear in your scenario, where in the world does it actually begin? I mean after selecting it, does the satellite always start the scenario at the same location, or is it randomly placed somewhere along its orbit path? Is the exact location within the orbit something that can be edited? It could be important if you need it to occur at a certain time. I don't see anything written about that.

Thanks.

Doug

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Post #: 7
RE: Use of Satellites - 2/28/2019 6:52:56 PM   
Cik

 

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it depends on the date and it's orbit.

"polar" orbits slide over the globe, so generally they will pass over where you want eventually. but depending on when you start your scenario (time of day, day, month, year) the hour when it will go over the top of wherever will change.

there's an orbital calculator in the game menu. it can give you a rough idea of when flybys will happen in your AO of choice.

(in reply to DWReese)
Post #: 8
RE: Use of Satellites - 2/28/2019 7:04:27 PM   
Sharana


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If you want for the sat to start at specific point just change the current time / scenario start time and speed up till it's the way you want it and fix the current time / scenario start time again to start the scenario from there.

If you understand orbits you can edit them with LUA:

[Lua] Added method "updateorbit" to ActiveUnit_SE wrapper. This allows changing a satellite's orbital trajectory on-the-fly without touching the database.
Complete usage example (note the n\ escaping for the TLE line breaks!):
theSat = ScenEdit_GetUnit({guid='56f830c1-d0e2-430a-985e-0e301cc01eff'})

theTLE = 'Resurs P1\n1 39186U 13030A 17013.12537468 .00000446 00000-0 16942-4 0 9992\n2 39186 97.3847 79.3911 0015157 247.7411 195.8488 15.31966970198820'

theSat:updateorbit({TLE=theTLE})

< Message edited by Sharana -- 2/28/2019 7:16:36 PM >


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RE: Use of Satellites - 2/28/2019 7:12:04 PM   
DWReese

 

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Thanks.

It isn't that important now, but it is nice to know that you have the ability to make "arrange" something in the game to make the satellite appear at a certain place if need be.

Doug

(in reply to Sharana)
Post #: 10
RE: Use of Satellites - 3/1/2019 7:04:06 AM   
DWReese

 

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For anyone who is interested......I fired off some DF-21Ds today at a US carrier, and the ABM satellite that was passing overhead (I made sure that one was in the vicinity as they have a 2000 mile radius) immediately detected the launch. The US ships responded by firing their SM-3 (E version, with 1325 mile radius) at the incoming DF-21s. The missiles were all intercepted in space as they had not begun to descent as of that time. The game (and the missiles) all worked exactly how they were drawn up.

Doug

(in reply to DWReese)
Post #: 11
RE: Use of Satellites - 3/1/2019 12:32:28 PM   
SeaQueen


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Ooooo.... I wonder if I could use that to do some satellite maneuvering. Huuum...

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Post #: 12
RE: Use of Satellites - 3/1/2019 9:02:17 PM   
KnightHawk75

 

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@Sharana
Thanks for that TLE bit, good to know and something else to learn about. ;)

(in reply to SeaQueen)
Post #: 13
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