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Thread: Signal Triangulation as a Strategy for Finding Taliban?

  1. #1 Signal Triangulation as a Strategy for Finding Taliban? 
    Time Lord
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    I was watching a documentary about some Green Berets in Afghanistan, and they mentioned that their enemy was constantly talking on their radios with each other, and they could overhear it.

    Would it do any good to start leaving signal triangulators all over the country side? Maybe little solar powered devices that have GPS, and highly accurate clocks, and the ability to listen for certain portions of an enemy signal, noting the time they receive it, and sending the time stamp (and the device's location) back to base?

    If the clock can measure down into the picosecond range, or some fraction of a microsecond, then any time three or more of these devices pick up the same signal, we'd know the location of the emitter.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor Wild Cobra's Avatar
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    Hmmm...

    I guess too much of the military is still using old commo equipment. Maybe not enough newer gear to go around that uses frequency hopping.

    Yes, triangulation would be useful, and I'm sure they do just that. It only takes two directional receivers from two locations, then imagine drawing two lines on a map that corresponds with the azimuth from the positions of the receivers, and you have the location on the transmitter.

    Rather simple actually.


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    The problem in the region where the comms are being overheard is that of geology. It would be possible to triangulate a signal, but only to the point at which it is strongest which could be the last gorge or mountain it was reflected from.

    It would take perhaps more energy and resources currently available, but, like you suggested, a network of receivers scattered around the countryside might be effect. The problem would be in how do you secure the receivers and the transmitters that would necessarily need to accompany them? This many devices would need to be set up for remote operation and the necessary encryption keys would need to be uploaded daily (they change at least daily). The logistics of such a project would probably be the main obstacle -the receiver/transmitters would need to be in the heart of Taliban territory.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor Wild Cobra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    The problem in the region where the comms are being overheard is that of geology. It would be possible to triangulate a signal, but only to the point at which it is strongest which could be the last gorge or mountain it was reflected from.

    It would take perhaps more energy and resources currently available, but, like you suggested, a network of receivers scattered around the countryside might be effect. The problem would be in how do you secure the receivers and the transmitters that would necessarily need to accompany them? This many devices would need to be set up for remote operation and the necessary encryption keys would need to be uploaded daily (they change at least daily). The logistics of such a project would probably be the main obstacle -the receiver/transmitters would need to be in the heart of Taliban territory.
    Yes, you are correct. I forgot about the signals that would reflect. It does complicate triangulation.
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  6. #5  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    The problem in the region where the comms are being overheard is that of geology. It would be possible to triangulate a signal, but only to the point at which it is strongest which could be the last gorge or mountain it was reflected from.

    It would take perhaps more energy and resources currently available, but, like you suggested, a network of receivers scattered around the countryside might be effect. The problem would be in how do you secure the receivers and the transmitters that would necessarily need to accompany them? This many devices would need to be set up for remote operation and the necessary encryption keys would need to be uploaded daily (they change at least daily). The logistics of such a project would probably be the main obstacle -the receiver/transmitters would need to be in the heart of Taliban territory.
    Yeah. The transmitters would have to be inexpensive, so they're expendable, and then you can leave them all over the place, wherever the soldiers go. So the question is not whether its feasible, but whether it would be cost effective. Reflection would make it complicated, too, so it might not be reliable in some terrain.

    It has to be an electronic device that's small, solar powered, GPS capable, and very precise in its measurement of the arrival times of transmissions in the kilohertz range. It has to be able to send and receive information, and programmable by remote (to change what frequency it monitors, at least.)
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  7. #6  
    Time Lord
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    The Soviets already tried that. Mujahideen responded to electronic jamming and monitoring with signal lights and mirror flashes. It was in Time magazine I think.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  8. #7  
    Forum Senior Kukhri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    I guess too much of the military is still using old commo equipment. Maybe not enough newer gear to go around that uses frequency hopping.
    Most modern armed forces (ei. US military) utilize advanced frequency hopping radios and nothing less. Anyway, it's mainly Afghani and Iraqi transmitters that we're discussing, not American/European.
    Co-producer of Red Oasis
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