CompetitiveYou2034 t1_j78jst4 wrote

[Moot response, written after balloon is popped over the Atlantic ocean.]

> The balloon is carrying 1,000 lbs of equipment ....

The capture planes were cargo aircraft that carry many tons. 1,000 lbs would not be a problem, dragged by a wire behind a heavy lifter.

Unfortunately for today's events, those capture planes are in a bone graveyard or sold for scrap. Worse, the pilots trained in such maneuvers are long retired or gone.

If it was deemed needed, the Air Force could easily recreate the 1960s air skyhook capability.

My predictions are:

-- the Chinese will not be brazen enough to repeat the spy balloon anytime soon. Therefore. no need to recreate skyhook.

-- if they do send another, the US will shoot it down in Alaska or over the Pacific ocean as it enters US adiz.


CompetitiveYou2034 t1_j73ois3 wrote

Puncture the balloon, let it descend slowly, capture it via a plane trailing extended hooks.

Recap: a historical feat of pilot derring do!

Before we had high speed digital communication with our spy satellites, before we had digital cameras with megapixel lenses ....

1960s - 1980s, US spy satellites took high resolution pictures on actual film.
When a film canister was complete, or had time urgent info, it was ejected under a parachute.
A specially modified plane was waiting, that trailed a long wire with a v-shape, or hooks, which snagged the parachute canopy.
The plane reeled in the wire. Picked up the canister, and flew to have the film processed.
Example: KH-8 Gambit 3 satellite.

Same thing can be done with Chinese spy balloon.

The Chinese payload is a bigger than a film canister, but the capture plane can still fly it's payload for a soft-ish landing, dropped from say 50 feet onto a fireman's jumper rescue inflated balloon.

Seems very fitting, capture a payload from a balloon, drop it onto another balloon.


CompetitiveYou2034 t1_j73mstz wrote

Important question regarding the Chinese spy balloon.

How does it report back info?

Surely it was not planned to store the info, and then continue round the world, or return flight over the Arctic or the Pacific Ocean!

We should physically capture it to determine it's communication method(s), encryption, etc.

If this was truly quote a civilian meteorological platform that went off course, the Chinese can have no complaint to our examining it.


CompetitiveYou2034 t1_j5o2b4c wrote

If nothing else, momentarily passing in front of objects causes them to apparently blink, or at least lose a few photons..

Will have to take into account the starlink orbital locations database, identifying each starlink satellite with it's orbital parameters and masking version.

Ground based observations will become harder with increasing #s of starlink types in near orbit, from multiple countries.

SpaceX can gain good will by providing an "offset" by reduced launch costs to higher orbits of astronomical sensors.


CompetitiveYou2034 t1_j2fn8t2 wrote

Repeat of lesson learned with Air Force interceptors in Vietnam, which were originally only equipped with air-to-air missiles. Then they faced Russian Migs in actual combat. Guns were added!

Moral: A true multi-role fighter must have a gun.

Future: A gun can fire a short burst at each drone. Very economical.

Add computer auto control and off-axis shooting, and the fighter can fly past a flock of drones, downing them all.


CompetitiveYou2034 t1_iu94yo7 wrote

When checking pictures on ID's, who looks at hair styles anyway? Women change their hair styles, length, color, etc. So a hair difference makes no difference!

Let people keep their hair covers on. Also, then you don't need mirrors.

Face coverings are different and crucial. Checking ID's we need to see the person's face.