Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Gaming the system.

Does it make me a bad person if, when I saw this, the first thing I started doing was trying to game out countermeasures?

I can think of three or four.


(H/T to WesternRifleShooters.)

42 comments:

Wolfwood said...

Tin foil?

Tam said...

Yeah, my Wookie suit is lined with the stuff.

It is a little silly, of course. The deer and ducks don't have any of this gear, and that's why I own guns.

Anonymous said...

It does not stop him from hitting me with the first round does it?

Didn't think so.


Gerry

Ian Argent said...

Even a counterable system ups the ante to play the game, though. Get the false positive rate and arc of uncertainty down far enough, to the point at which the box can call in a mission from the organic mortars, mgs, or GLs of the unit automagically and it's going to be very unhealthy to pot at a US trooper wearing one of these things. Hell, even with enough accuracy to make it worthwhile for the unit commander to call "action left" (or whatever) and the risk of squeezing off at a US trooper goes up.

Snipers live until they are localized, as with any other supporting arm (particularly one that depends on stealth). Add this to effective body armor to survive the first shot and you get an amazing force multiplier.

This may be a Mark 1 Mod 0; but ompare the performance of the P-40 to the P-52; and note that this system is subject to Moore's Law...

(For a graphic, if fictional, description of what happens when this kind of system is used against snipers, see the Aldenata saga by John Ringo (particularly A Hymn Before Battle). Fiction, yes - by someone who went and did .

WV: notsingi - what the snipers facing this system will be doning

Anonymous said...

A bad person... depends on how you feel about the ATF, FBI and local SWAT teams ordering these once the price comes down. Not that I'm pro sniping the police, but there is a balance of power issue contained in the 2nd amendment and much of the founders' discussion of a general right to bear arms. We've done pretty well on keeping the military itself out of law enforcement, but we've also missed a point about that. The founders had never seen a modern, professional police force. When they warn against a "select militia" and claim "the sword, and every other terrible instrument of the soldier" are the birthright of civilian citizens, the rise of SWAT teams wielding weapons civilians generally can't have strikes me as exactly what they were warning against. It's not just about keeping the national army from domestic policing when you can have a dedicated, full-time paramilitary force doing the same job.

Anonymous said...

"Does it make me a bad person...?"

No, it makes you a jaded and suspicious paranoiac anticipating your own gov abusing new technology against you (again).

IOW, not bad, normal.

AT

Anonymous said...


Get the false positive rate and arc of uncertainty down far enough, to the point at which the box can call in a mission from the organic mortars, mgs, or GLs of the unit automagically and it's going to be very unhealthy to pot at a US trooper wearing one of these things.



So when that sniper is in a school, behind a UN aid mission, dressed as a nun...

Ken said...

It makes you someone who's been paying attention.

RevolverRob said...

How effective will that be when the gunfire is coming from all sides?

-Rob

Ian Argent said...

Coming from all sides isn't sniping, it's an ambush.

Likewise, while I'll agree that the cops are becoming increasingly militarized; I dunno that them getting something like this is a step down that road.

BTW - I am thinking of ways to spoof this too. It doesn't mean you're a bad person, just that you play Shadowrun :)

Joel said...

I'm sure the grunts are all clamoring for more pounds to carry and more buttons to push.

Ian Argent said...

Given that it apparently takes direct, written and regularly reinforced, orders for some troops to wear their body armor; no, I wouldn't expect they're happy about it. Particularly if it eats batteries.

People bitch about seat belts and helmets, too.

(ObDisclaimer - feel free to not wear either seatbelts or helmets as you please. While I am less doctrinaire about requiring the vendor to provide safety systems before selling you your choice of deathtrap, you are free to disable those that only affect you and your passengers.)

Overload in Colorado said...

"A bad person... depends on how you feel about the ATF, FBI and local SWAT teams ordering these once the price comes down."

Chicago already has these in place. They're mounted high on power poles, and have a blue police light on top. The camera will turn to whereever the shot comes from.

http://www.securityinfowatch.com/root+level/1279235

Ian Argent said...

Cops having them doesn't bug me, really. By the time we have to shoot at cops, something will have gone irretrievably wrong, and likely they'll be ambushed, not sniped...

Cybrludite said...

Seems to me that this piece of kit would need to be worn openly to be effective. Until it's cheap enough to be built into everyone's k-pot, the best counter-measure will be to shoot the poor SOB who has to carry the damn thing. Most likely that's going to be the squad leader, designated marksman, or the platoon's butter-bar, who would be your primary targets anyhow.

Ian Argent said...

Which is why those guys should be wearing their kevlar underoos...

BTW - it's not "when this is cheap enough to build into the helmet", it's when "the computer that is cheap enough to be built into the helmet runs this".

Anyway, as I said - this is Mk1 Mod.0. How useful was the starlight scope in vietnam? And now every PFC Snuffy has one that is smaller, better, and more tactikool (and that didn't directly benefit from Moore's Law).

Anonymous said...

So now the first shot will probably be taken at the sensor. When the sensor explodes the troops will know they are taking sniper fire. :)

Ian Argent said...

Good luck with that. I mean, seriously, if you can hit a PDA-sized target you may as well just go for the headshot in the first place.

Three countermeasures a little less ridiculous include waiting until the infantry you're supporting opens up, remotely triggering some kind of sound-and-lights package, or just plain spotting for artillery/command-detonated mine/IED.

phigmeta said...

one word:

Suppressor


Notice how that is not mentioned int he marketing video.


thanks for playing

Ian Argent said...

Unlikely, based on what I've read of these things. They're a little more sophisticated than that - supposedly they can generate a vector from the sonic boom (one of the reasons they're so big and expensive). Supressor+subsonic I could buy, but forcing the Red Team down that road just makes your kevlar underoos more effective and the sniper less accurate.

Tirno said...

Phigmeta, Why buys a suppressor when you can damp the sound without getting on the 5-0's radar?

When I was stationed in England, the firing range where the SPs did their mandatory qualifications with M-16s has an interesting arrangement to the firing positions. Each firing position was in a 8' diameter, 20' long concrete pipe. Except for the 6' wide path down the lowest part of the pipe, the rest was lined with foam egg-shell packing tiles, a cheap version of an anechoic tile. The effect was to make a sound absorbing chamber to keep the rifle report from alarming the surrounding countryside. It had to be a gesture of goodwill to the local, because I never saw anything like that in any state-side military installation.

You could probably achieve the same thing with a 5' by 3' rectangular new (thus stiff) rug and a pair of large alligator clips. Make a tube out of the rug, clip it in a circle (11" diameter, roughly), line it up on your target area, stick the end of the rifle in there, take your shot, grab the alligator clips and rifle and scoot, leaving the rug behind. There may be some more technicalities involved in positioning the rug-tube, but I figure that's going to provide a substantial sound muffling effect. Still won't do anything for a supersonic bullet's crack.

WV: gonsmum: exactly what I was talking about.

Bubblehead Les said...

I just can't help thinking about that section in the BOOK "Starship Trooper" where Sgt. Zim tells the recruit whose whining about using a knife that a soldier can be so bogged down looking at sensors that someone can sneak up on him and smash his head open with a rock ( or words to that effect, apologies to Mr. Heinlein).

wv: "Andedsq can lead to your skin turning puce if not treated properly"

Vaarok said...

The French have been using acoustic countersniper systems since the seventies in their APCs, it's a pretty old technology. The newer, modern'er, betterer one is impressive, but it's not new.

Cybrludite said...

The suppressors wouldn't be as big a help as you might think, because these systems work on the sound of the bullet as it passes through the air as well as the bang at the launch point.

Ian Argent said...

@Bubblehead Les - I was thinking that too; but we've learned a lot about information presentation and overload since ST was written. Started with pilots in Viet Nam (they studied them in combat to find out what they could do to reduce a pilot's information overload) and continues today, both in the military and in video games. (If you think the .mil isn't paying attention to how the game designers make interfaces, you've got another think coming).

Anonymous said...

"Chicago already has these in place."

Tell me again how well that's working out for them?

Gmac

idahohunter said...

Remote fire from one direction = Target rich environment.

Anonymous said...

Remote-lit and -detonated fireworks and firecrackers, somewhere away from where you're shooting.
That was my first thought -- condusion from multiple sources. Any rebuts?

B Woodman
III-per

Anonymous said...

That should be "confusion". Fat keyboard fingers.

B Woodman
III-per

Geodkyt said...

I don;t think these are easily spoofed with pyrotechnics -- the sound is noticeably different when analyzed, IITR.

OTH, any guy who can lay out command detonated firecrackers can lay out command fired zip guns. Which WILL spoof the system, as they are EXACTLY the signature it's looking for.

Probably an easier build, if you can get access to rather low power actuators (like from toy cars and planes).

Ian Argent said...

As I noted earlier, anything that will overwhelm the system with "possibles" will ... overwhelm the system. It still ups the ante to play the game, though.

Anonymous said...

Woodman

Exactamundo

Overwhelm the software, with subsequent follow-on confusion by [dependent] troops relying on multiple [erroneous] target designations by the system

OhioDude

Ian Argent said...

Horses for courses. We're currently in an asymmetrical conflict where one guy with an AK is the threat that this tool is countering, and forcing him to deploy countermeasures makes it a lot harder to do that.

This isn't so effective against the Big Red Wave coming down the Fulda Gap - nor against a frisky bunch of tax protestors with some time to plan.


WV: Slamer - Col Hammer's men & women used a similar system - admittedly one that was entirely software-driven.

Tam said...

If one had a dozen Mosin 91/30s and a dozen cheap RC cars, one would have a dozen "snipers"...

Ian Argent said...

If I had a dozen mosins... I'd probably be in violation of some damn NJ law! And be prepared for one hell of a range party :)

Duane said...

Tam, I want to see you maneuver that RC car with 51" of steel and wood sticking our the front

Ben said...

Duane,
Something tells me Tam was not talking about mobile snipers ... just using the parts as actuators for the triggers.

Of course, the .mil has gotten pretty good at dealing with radio controlled hostility. I think that realistically that scenario ends up with the pretty bird flying overhead (or the HMMWV that looks like it drove off with a radio station) tripping the spoof guns early.

Tam said...

Ian Argent,

"If I had a dozen mosins... I'd probably be in violation of some damn NJ law! And be prepared for one hell of a range party :)"

I know plenty of folks who consider a dozen Mosins to be a good start. ;)

Ian Argent said...

Tam:
I know plenty of folks who consider a dozen Mosins to be a good start. ;)

They certainly would be :)

I'd be happy to have one right now, and someplace to shoot it. I'm clearly not living here for the shooting sports.

Mike Gallo said...

Suppressor and subsonics is the way to go. With the advent of TrailBoss, this is VERY easy, safe, and accurate. That, or something as simple as modified bottle rockets or model rocket engines launched from a different vector. The problem is that you're better off w/o countermeasures. You're better off fooling the system once or twice to guage troop reaction, then use your knowledge of that to bring them into an ambush (IED would be first choice).

ravenshrike said...

Hmmm, your modern RC car, not the Toys R' Us version of course, has more than enough power to maneuver a rifle around. With the proper gear bolted to the RC car you could probable have a relatively cheap remote sniping platform built. Well, except for the scope. That would easily run you 20 grand for a scope with a built in remote feed camera.

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