Optimistic Scenario

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Tue, 18 Mar 2003 13:04:30 +0100 (CET)


On Mon, 17 Mar 2003, Gordon Mohr wrote:

> My uninformed (but reasoned!) belief is that any signal strong enough
> to jam GPS is pretty easy to locate and destroy. Alternatively,

Not if you litter the landscape with cheap jamming boxes. A malfunctioning
satellite receiver dish can blanket a whole seaport for miles without even
trying. Notice that this is civilian GPS receivers losing acquisition.

> military-grade receivers or fixed reference booster beacons may be
> able to offset much jamming.

Current smart bombs use GPS+inertial navigation combo. Here jamming will
merely degrade accuracy. More advanced, expensive ones use a radar
altimeter tracking a preloaded SAR terrain map, video guidance, etc.
Military GPS uses directional aerials (you'd have to use jammers inserted
in LEO to get them) and is in general much more resistant to jamming by
design.
 
> But even such loyalists can't believe they can win. So while they might
> calculatingly prefer Saddam to no Saddam, if we create an air of
> inevitability about the eventual outcome, they'll calculatingly prefer
> not fighting to fighting.

All it takes is a nutjob planting a nuke in a hirise penthouse. Moderately
competent designers in possession of plutonium and a few gram of tritium
can give you 50 kT with a tritium-boosted basically pure fission nuke. I
presume the first one will be a crude, dirty few-kT or sub-kT device, 
though. 
 
> With a successful war, all that anti-American sentiment will morph
> back into the generic, free-floating background envy/resentment from 
> whence it came. 

Sure, people forget. But don't underestimate the amount of hate this 
campaign is generating. Switch to a more diverse newsfeed.
  
And stock up on really good sunblocker.