Let's talk biologics & false contacts

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musurca
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Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by musurca »

While creating scenarios, I've often wondered what a "realistic" approach would be for placing biologics and false contacts underwater. Are there any (ex- or current) submariners, marine biologists, oceanographers, etc. lurking on this forum who would be willing to give their expert opinion? Some of the specific questions I would have are:

1) How should one determine the correct density of whales, fish, etc. for a particular area of the ocean? Casual googling produces interesting charts like this but how much of this is salient from a perspective of disambiguating contacts via sonar?

2) At what depths should they travel? What speeds?

3) From a sonar operator's perspective, how do they move? Erratically or predictably? Do they change speed and depth frequently?

4) How much extra work does ocean life produce in these scenarios for a sonar operator? Do modern analysis systems automatically filter these out for the most part? Was this different in previous eras?

Obviously CMO is a game of abstractions, and "it depends on the scenario" is always going to be the most correct answer—but moving past that, I'd be curious how to approach this as rigorously as possible.
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by vettim89 »

Depends on the species. Baleen whales (humpbacks, grey, great blue, etc.) will either be feeding along upwell zones or migrating. Either case they will be almost always above they layer and moving rather sedately - 2-3 kts. Carnivorous whales (sperm, beluga, orca, dolphins/porpoises, etc.) will actively hunt and can exceed 20 kts if in pursuit of a prey. They will also dive sometimes deeper than submarines. The movement of carnivorous whales will be much less predictable in course, speed, and depth
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by BeirutDude »

ORIGINAL: musurca

While creating scenarios, I've often wondered what a "realistic" approach would be for placing biologics and false contacts underwater. Are there any (ex- or current) submariners, marine biologists, oceanographers, etc. lurking on this forum who would be willing to give their expert opinion? Some of the specific questions I would have are:

1) How should one determine the correct density of whales, fish, etc. for a particular area of the ocean? Casual googling produces interesting charts like this but how much of this is salient from a perspective of disambiguating contacts via sonar?

2) At what depths should they travel? What speeds?

3) From a sonar operator's perspective, how do they move? Erratically or predictably? Do they change speed and depth frequently?

4) How much extra work does ocean life produce in these scenarios for a sonar operator? Do modern analysis systems automatically filter these out for the most part? Was this different in previous eras?

Obviously CMO is a game of abstractions, and "it depends on the scenario" is always going to be the most correct answer—but moving past that, I'd be curious how to approach this as rigorously as possible.

At one time I researched fishing grounds and that, but these days I just provide a reasonable level of Fish Schools, Orcas and Whales usually at a 10-2-1 ratio, Teleport them and set up a Sea Control Patrol Mission or ASW Patrol Mission for them at "Cruise" Speed. I mean they are really an abstraction right now. In ASW one of the biggest ambient noise makers is Snapping Shrimp which aren't in the game. I do keep more biologics closer to the coast than well offshore, but that is about it for me. I tend to play more attention to air routes and shipping lanes, than the biologics.
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by Gunner98 »

Based on the assumption that the number of marine biologists and oceanographers playing this game will be fairly small, I come at it from the other tack. How much do I need to make the scenario interesting to the player and create an ambiance of reality.

I put wrecks on reefs and chokepoints, magnetic contacts where I want to distract the player from and SSK or something and fish and whales traveling toward two 'patrol zones' so that they cross the players path.
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by musurca »

I come at it from the other tack. How much do I need to make the scenario interesting to the player and create an ambiance of reality.
I get that approach, but for this question I'm more interested in taking a step back to look at the ground truth behind the abstractions, if that makes sense. Already I think vettim89's point about the difference between the behavior of carnivorous whales and baleen whales is already going to be incredibly useful for the submarine sandbox quick battle that I'm collaborating on with boogabooga—in which seeing something below the layer suddenly move at 20kts is precisely the sort of thing that might lead to an errant torpedo being fired off. (Whether the DB entry for Orcas supports that max speed currently is a separate issue.)

Beyond pleasing the small but ardent demographic of marine biologists, I think it would interesting to look at real behavior for more sophisticated Lua control of biologic contacts (beyond the usual approach mentioned by BeirutDude, i.e. throw 'em on a Sea Control patrol and let 'em wander.)
In ASW one of the biggest ambient noise makers is Snapping Shrimp which aren't in the game.

Interesting -- ambient, as in just raises the noise floor? You wouldn't mistake Snapping Shrimp for a submarine?
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by Gunner98 »

ambient

No, I'm talking about look & feel of the scenario. To give the player a better feel for the environment and an occasional rush of blood to the head when a goblin is detected, which then turns out to be false.

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musurca
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by musurca »

Sorry, a bit of unclear forum cross-talk there on my part-- my question was for BeirutDude in relation to his point about Snapping Shrimp being big "ambient noise makers" in ASW (as opposed to "ambience of reality").
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by Parel803 »

I'm no ASW but got this from a mate who is familiar with the game but doesn't play. Hope it's useful and please don't shoot the messenger :-)
with regards GJ



1) How should one determine the correct density of whales, fish, etc. for a particular area of the ocean? Casual googling produces interesting charts like this but how much of this is salient from a perspective of disambiguating contacts via sonar?

This is difficult to asses. However there are some biological atlases that may give a clue. Fishing grounds can be derived from observing the AIS monitoring sites and combining this activity with known fishing grounds suchs as shoals and banks. Whales generally move from fishing grounds to fishing ground, with a annual tracking form northern feeding grounds to southern breeding grounds.

2) At what depths should they travel? What speeds?

This very much depends on the fish. In general they are either found swimming close to the bottom, in which case they are hardly ever seen on sonar as these fish often swim in small groups. Other fish, such as herring, cod and mackerel, swim in larger groups. Their depth varies on daylight, deeper during the day and shallower at night. Depths varying between 20 to 150 meters.

3) From a sonar operator's perspective, how do they move? Erratically or predictably? Do they change speed and depth frequently?

Groups of fish move erratically unless there are hunting fish like Tuna. Then they are more predictable. The can change depth and speed abruptly. Their movements are either slow and consistent or they are very erratic. These periods interchange.

Groups of fish give a recognizable echo, however this is highly dependant on the operators experience. The sound is somewhat muffled and the doppler effect inconsistent and unclear, the tracking is inconsisted. The effect is known as “jumping echos’. The combination of these effects generally indicates “sealife”

4) How much extra work does ocean life produce in these scenarios for a sonar operator? Do modern analysis systems automatically filter these out for the most part? Was this different in previous eras?

As you said highly dependant on the scenario. When approaching and above the continental shelf the workload on sonaroperators significantly increases. Sealife and bottom contacts may result in ‘interesting sonarcontacts’ uptu once every 15 minutes.

Modern analysis system will give some assistance in filtering, but this is (again) highly dependent on operator experience. The more training (and experience) and operator has, the better he (or she) is able to detect ‘sealife”.

(Note: modern day youth has a remarkably lower ability to use their ears for indetifying sonarsouns. Most likely due to the use of headset for music and the regular visits to musical festivals and music bars.)
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by BeirutDude »

quote:

In ASW one of the biggest ambient noise makers is Snapping Shrimp which aren't in the game.


Interesting -- ambient, as in just raises the noise floor? You wouldn't mistake Snapping Shrimp for a submarine?

Ambient Noise is the term for background noise in the water which tends to mask a ship's/sub's/target's signature. Snapping Shrimp are very loud and, at least in the 1980s, were the bane of our existence (off the SE CONUS). When they were active you could shoot an atlas rocket through them and not hear it.

so "Ambient Noise" is biologics, ship engines/water flow around hulls (flow induced resonances or FIRs), cavitation (bubbles collapsing on prop blades), waves breaking, seismic/volcanic activity, etc.
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by boogabooga »

Interesting discussion. I've though of this too, especially in if large whales really can make their way into shallow, partially cut-off gulfs and seas like the Persian Gulf.

However, I think point 4 is the most important. If it turns out that biological contacts are so familiar and easy to filter out that the sonar room takes care of it by themselves and such contacts never reach the captain's desk or could never be mistaken for a submarine-for even a minute-then the most "realistic" thing would be to leave the biologicals out of the scenario altogether.

musurca did very well in lua to vary the speed and depth of the biologicals- nothing is more of a purpose-defeating give-away than have them all cruising around shallow at the exact same speed.



There is a You Tube-er and social media personality floating around by the name of Sub Briefs aka Jive Turkey. You might check his material; this seems like the kind of question that he would have addressed at some point.
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by musurca »

Parel -- I owe you and your friend a beer, thank you for that. That kind of specific info provided by you and vettim89 is incredibly helpful.

When you wrote that "sealife and bottom contacts may result in ‘interesting sonar contacts’ up to once every 15 minutes" when above the continental shelf, does 'interesting' mean that (as boogabooga was suggesting) that this is interesting enough to be sent up the chain as a possible goblin? Or 'interesting' in the sense that it just takes a little bit more work to disambiguate it (assuming the sonar operator isn't a youthful Coachella regular)?

Here's one video I found by JiveTurkey talking about some of the distinctive sounds made by humpback whales, including "bubble net feeding:" Analysis: Humpback Whales

As a layman, it's hard to imagine that whales could be mistaken for anything other than what they are-- is that true? (And it makes me wonder whether there have been attempts to disguise submarines as whales, i.e. hiding in plain sight.)
Snapping Shrimp are very loud and, at least in the 1980s, were the bane of our existence (off the SE CONUS). When they were active you could shoot an atlas rocket through them and not hear it.

I find this so fascinating and funny. Did a little additional googling and found this article which suggests the reason they're so noisy is that their tiny claws cause cavitation.

Was there no way to deal with this when they were active?

I guess there's no real way to simulate this in CMO at the moment, I assume, as I think there's no way to raise the volume of the ambient sound other than by increasing the sea state? (Or by putting the scenario in a shallow sea?)
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by tylerblakebrandon »

ORIGINAL: musurca

As a layman, it's hard to imagine that whales could be mistaken for anything other than what they are-- is that true? (And it makes me wonder whether there have been attempts to disguise submarines as whales, i.e. hiding in plain sight.)

I had an uncle who told me when he was in navy (of course this was back in the 60's) they killed a whale because they thought it was a Golf SSB surfacing to fire SLBMs less than 100nm off the Virginia Capes.
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by CV60 »

ORIGINAL: tylerblakebrandon

ORIGINAL: musurca

As a layman, it's hard to imagine that whales could be mistaken for anything other than what they are-- is that true? (And it makes me wonder whether there have been attempts to disguise submarines as whales, i.e. hiding in plain sight.)

I had an uncle who told me when he was in navy (of course this was back in the 60's) they killed a whale because they thought it was a Golf SSB surfacing to fire SLBMs less than 100nm off the Virginia Capes.

From "Fighting along a Knife Edge" by By Lieutenant Commander Jeff Vandenengel, USN, December 2019 Proceedings Vol. 145/12/1,402, https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedi ... -falklands


This left the submarine ARA San Luis as the single Argentine warship at sea for most of the war. Despite facing the entire British task force on its own, the San Luis completed a five-week patrol unscathed. She staged attacks on British warships but missed each time because of torpedo system malfunctions. Meanwhile, British ASW efforts against that single target proved futile. The British fired an astonishing 200 torpedoes at false contacts over five weeks, rapidly depleting their inventory. As Sir Lawrence Freedman dryly wrote in the conflict’s official history, because of ASW anxieties, “the Atlantic whale population suffered badly during the course of the campaign.”1(citing Freedman, The Official History of the Falklands Campaign, 214, 728.)
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by kevinkins »

Gee, they can make a this wargame so realistic as to be unplayable over a beer on a Saturday night. But the developers are sane and will not go that way. I understand the detailed tactical posts outlined above. They are fun to talk about. But, I go for playability vs micro micro detail and simimg things like whales.

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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by BeirutDude »

ORIGINAL: tylerblakebrandon

ORIGINAL: musurca

As a layman, it's hard to imagine that whales could be mistaken for anything other than what they are-- is that true? (And it makes me wonder whether there have been attempts to disguise submarines as whales, i.e. hiding in plain sight.)

I had an uncle who told me when he was in navy (of course this was back in the 60's) they killed a whale because they thought it was a Golf SSB surfacing to fire SLBMs less than 100nm off the Virginia Capes.

I was told that was not uncommon in WWII, especially the "Northern Right Whale" being hit by airships and aircraft.
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by BeirutDude »

Was there no way to deal with this when they were active?

It's like trying to hear what your partner is saying to you in a crowded bar or concert. They're right next to you and not at the same frequency as the music, but the music is so loud and so overwhelming all frequencies are affected.
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by Rory Noonan »

Hi guys,

We've added in some new DB entries for biologics and improved the existing ones based on expert advice. We've also improved the handling of the passive sonar signatures of all biologics in code, these changes will be out with the next update.

Thanks for the excellent discussion above!

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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by Parel803 »

Thank you for the DB entries. I'll check with my m8 for xtra info as req, before I start talking about ASW :-). We'll keep the beer in mind, cheers
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RE: Let's talk biologics & false contacts

Post by BeirutDude »

ORIGINAL: Rory Noonan

Hi guys,

We've added in some new DB entries for biologics and improved the existing ones based on expert advice. We've also improved the handling of the passive sonar signatures of all biologics in code, these changes will be out with the next update.

Thanks for the excellent discussion above!


Admit it, it was the Snapping Shrimp that did it! [:D] [:D] [8D] [:)]
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I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!
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