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Ultimate Geek
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# 251154 11-Jun-2019 09:51
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Interesting...

 

 

 

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/06/unmanned-aircraft-post-2030-multi-billion-dollar-defence-plan-revealed.html


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  # 2255869 11-Jun-2019 10:57
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I wonder why they plan on UAVs and a satellite for marine surveillance. It seems to my mind (having seen a prototype back in 1995) that unmanned solar-powered boats would be a much simpler (and cheaper) proposition.

 

The way I see it, each solar-powered boat would be sent to a particular location, where it keeps itself in place, monitoring radar for contacts, and transmitting them back to NZ for analysis and investigation. In the event of a fault, it either motors back to base, or is picked up by a ship. A whole chain of these could be placed around our EEZ.

 

 


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  # 2255875 11-Jun-2019 11:08
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If they can make it Cube sized then we could launch it ourselves from Mahia


 
 
 
 


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  # 2255884 11-Jun-2019 11:33
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I dont agree with all this defense spending, but we are tied up with our defense partners, so we have to. I'd like to know if our share is fair though.


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Ultimate Geek
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  # 2256073 11-Jun-2019 14:16
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"NZ is considering launching its own satellite"

 

No it isn't, this is frankly bollix.

 


If you read the Defence Capability Plan 2019 (PDF, here: https://defence.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Defence-Capability-Plan-2019.pdf) you will find it says nothing of the sort.

 

What it does say [emphasis added below] is

 

  • "234. Surveillance from space through the procurement of specific coordinated services from operators of satellite systems" and
  • "238. The current Wideband Global Satellite system used by the New Zealand Defence Force as part of its global defence communications network, will require replacement after 2030. The current [WGS] satellite constellation will reach the end of its life and be replaced with a new capability"

The only reason to have our own satellite capability would be to ensure sovereign control - i.e. nobody else can turn off our access. To be generally useful, you are talking about a geostationary orbit satellite of a similar type used by commercial SATCOM operators, or perhaps a much more expensive 'hardened' military equivalent. Just to buy the 'bird' and a launch costs about $US50M or more, then you also have to buy, build and operate the ground control facility - actually a geographically separated pair of facilities for resiliency - this is what gives you the "nobody else can turn us off" capability. This very quickly becomes eye-wateringly expensive - I think the last time this was talked about (?20 years ago?) it looked like about $NZ100M upfront and tens of millions a year in operating costs.

 

So no, the DCP does not say that "NZ is considering launching its own satellite".
Newshub either made it up, or didn't understand the DCP, or are talking about something completely different but misleadingly conflating it with the DCP.


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  # 2256086 11-Jun-2019 14:25
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frankv:

 

I wonder why they plan on UAVs and a satellite for marine surveillance. It seems to my mind (having seen a prototype back in 1995) that unmanned solar-powered boats would be a much simpler (and cheaper) proposition.

 

The way I see it, each solar-powered boat would be sent to a particular location, where it keeps itself in place, monitoring radar for contacts, and transmitting them back to NZ for analysis and investigation. In the event of a fault, it either motors back to base, or is picked up by a ship. A whole chain of these could be placed around our EEZ.

 

 

This is quite unnecessary.
What we should do is purchase information from a RadarSat provider (or several RadarSat providers) who have satellites in polar orbits that traverse our EEZ several times a day. These provide information about all the ships they pass over - they also listen to AIS beacons so can provide rich data about legally-compliant ships - and download it to a ground-station which we would build in NZ.
You then send a plane / drone / ship to have a look at anything that shows up on radar but isn't transmitting an AIS beacon, as it is obviously either in trouble or up to no good, and probably the latter.

 

Each of your boats would have a surface radar horizon of only a few tens of kilometres, you would need hundreds (thousands?) to provide comprehensive coverage of the EEZ


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