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Bolton: Iranian Jamming Technology Could Be Worse News Than Downed Drone
FOX ^ | 12/11/2011

Posted on 12/12/2011 6:26:23 AM PST by Just4Him

American officials insist that neither weaponry nor technology brought down a U.S. drone that was flying over Iranian territory earlier this month, but a former U.S. ambassador says if reports are true that Russia provided jamming equipment, the situation becomes all that much worse. "Some reports have said Russia sold (Iran) a very sophisticated jamming system a short time ago," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told Fox News on Sunday. "Now, our military says that is not true, it came down because of a malfunction. I certainly hope that's right because if the Russians have provided Iran with sophisticated jamming equipment it means a lot else is at risk too."

Bolton said Congress ought to be concerned if the Iranians are in possession of jamming technology that can bring down missiles, planes and communications and guidance systems "for a whole range of our weapon systems."

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
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1 posted on 12/12/2011 6:26:26 AM PST by Just4Him
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To: Just4Him
It looks like we saw it in action; I would hope that was on purpose.
2 posted on 12/12/2011 6:32:24 AM PST by HereInTheHeartland (I love how the FR spellchecker doesn't recognize the word "Obama")
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To: Just4Him; CodeToad; Squantos; hiredhand; Myrddin
I thought our frequency-hopping algorithms made jamming our drones impossible?
3 posted on 12/12/2011 6:37:05 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Travis McGee

Plus, these things MUST have a “go home” function if communication is lost.


4 posted on 12/12/2011 6:42:01 AM PST by super7man
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To: nuconvert

Ping.


5 posted on 12/12/2011 6:44:59 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: super7man

Just suppose that the GPS signal is also jammed and the critter doesn’t know where it is much less where “home” is.


6 posted on 12/12/2011 6:46:13 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Just4Him

John Bolton should have been on the Presidential primary circuit. Plain talking, no nonsense Republican.


7 posted on 12/12/2011 6:46:19 AM PST by arkady_renko (I want to believe.)
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To: Just4Him

I said from the beginning the drone was jammed by the Iranians. Bolton is right if they can jam our drones , they can probably jam our GPS guided cruise missiles.


8 posted on 12/12/2011 6:48:42 AM PST by Venturer
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To: Army Air Corps
Just suppose that the GPS signal is also jammed and the critter doesn’t know where it is much less where “home” is.

The Obama family's investment in LightSquared is paying off?

9 posted on 12/12/2011 6:49:43 AM PST by arkady_renko (I want to believe.)
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To: Just4Him

This would actually be a good thing. We’ve been getting too used to fighting against technologically-inferior opponents, and getting dependent upon weapons systems that rely upon nobody being in a position to jam signal reception: GPS-guided bombs, remote-controlled UAVs, etc, etc.


10 posted on 12/12/2011 6:50:07 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.)
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To: arkady_renko

The drone was an early Christmas gift from “O”-bet on it


11 posted on 12/12/2011 6:54:21 AM PST by SMARTY ("The man who has no inner-life is a slave to his surroundings. "Henri Frederic Amiel)
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To: Just4Him

The jamming is possible, but highly unlikely. At 50,000ft, the energy levels required are just too high to effectively and reliably jam data links and GPS - especially when you don’t know where the victim of your jamming is located.

The antennas are shielded by the body of the aircraft. Then again, it IS theoretically possible.


12 posted on 12/12/2011 6:58:13 AM PST by RFEngineer
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To: Army Air Corps

I think gyros alone can get it close to home where communication can be re-established. Just guessing.


13 posted on 12/12/2011 7:01:02 AM PST by super7man
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To: Just4Him
I find it hard to believe that if such a drone loses its link to the controller that it is not programmed to autonomously return to base. As a matter of fact, it would not be particularly hard to program the drone to execute the entire mission, regardless of jamming and to continue to transmit information back to base. The only capability you would lose is the ability of the operator to make real time adjustments, for whatever reason.

If the Iranians capability was truly “sophisticated” they would never have leaked a word about it, much less boasted. Boasting, evening when heavily cloaked with disinformation, gives the enemy far too much intelligence. If they had leaked the “feat” to the press, surrounded by a bodyguard of disinformation, it would have served their public relations and intelligence objectives far better.

Everything I've heard about this in the press makes me think the Iranians are definitely delighted by their luck, but they are exploiting it like total amateurs and the Western mainstream media is exhibiting its habitual dilettantism.

14 posted on 12/12/2011 7:02:53 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Ceterum autem censeo, Obama delenda est.)
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To: Army Air Corps

I’m sure they have a self contained navigation system that they can home too. Rarely do they sorely rely on GPS because it can be blocked.


15 posted on 12/12/2011 7:06:37 AM PST by USAF80
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To: SMARTY

“The drone was an early Christmas gift from “O”-bet on it.”

The One doesn’t give Christmas presents. Kwanzaa, maybe. Eid, for sure.


16 posted on 12/12/2011 7:08:06 AM PST by Clioman
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To: Just4Him

There’s only one way to find out. Send another.


17 posted on 12/12/2011 7:10:38 AM PST by Sundog (When Hollywood defines reality there is no reality.)
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To: Just4Him

RADAR TECH.: Sir. The radar, sir. It appears to be... jammed.

HELMET: Jammed? Raspberry. There’s only one man who would dare give me the raspberry. Lone Starr!
-Space Balls(1987)


18 posted on 12/12/2011 7:11:43 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: USAF80
Rarely do they sorely rely on GPS because it can be blocked.

Agreed.
19 posted on 12/12/2011 7:13:49 AM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Travis McGee
"Bolton said Congress ought to be concerned if the Iranians.."

And the Queen said: If I had testicles, I could be King.

Goddam sensationalist reporting.

20 posted on 12/12/2011 7:16:46 AM PST by verity (The Obama Administration is a Criminal Enterprise.)
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To: Travis McGee
I thought our frequency-hopping algorithms made jamming our drones impossible?

They make it hard to take control of the drone, but not jamming. You just jam the entire section of the spectrum where the transmitter operates. Simple in theory, hard in practice. You need to know how wide a band to jam. And you need some serious gear to do that but then that is what the Russians were selling them. Finally you tend to blind any of you own equipment operating in that range.

I have always been a big fan of the cheap drone. Think V-1 buzz bomb with a camera instead of a warhead. Have an assembly line crank them out by the thousands. Sure they will probably shoot down five out of six. But they are shooting million dollar a pop SAMs at you $200,000 a copy drones. You force them to wage economic warfare against themselves. And when you lose a drone no big deal.
21 posted on 12/12/2011 7:25:19 AM PST by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: RFEngineer
The antennas are shielded by the body of the aircraft.

Depends on what it's made of. Fiberglass composite is invisible to RF. Carbon and aluminum aren't.

22 posted on 12/12/2011 7:25:28 AM PST by Thermalseeker (If ignorance is bliss how come there aren't more happy people?)
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To: Army Air Corps
Just suppose that the GPS signal is also jammed and the critter doesn’t know where it is much less where “home” is.

Backup nav systems should let it know pretty much where it is in 3D space.

23 posted on 12/12/2011 7:26:09 AM PST by fso301
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

I too thought the Iranian response was strange. Why publicize the fact they have the drone, especially if it was brought down with jamming technology? They would get a brief public relations bump but reveal a lot about their capabilities.


24 posted on 12/12/2011 7:40:12 AM PST by BigBobber
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To: Travis McGee

US ambassadors don’t have clearance for such knowledge, so I highly doubt his guessing is accurate.


25 posted on 12/12/2011 7:42:13 AM PST by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: Thermalseeker

Depends on what it’s made of. Fiberglass composite is invisible to RF. Carbon and aluminum aren’t.

We can be confident that a stealth platform does not conduct RF through the wing/body of the aircraft.


26 posted on 12/12/2011 7:43:47 AM PST by RFEngineer
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To: BigBobber

A muslim would not miss the brownie points among their own. They brought down a dreaded weapon of the great satan after all.


27 posted on 12/12/2011 7:44:00 AM PST by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: Army Air Corps
Just suppose that the GPS signal is also jammed and the critter doesn’t know where it is much less where “home” is.

You still have inertial navigation...assuming that it was part of the system. Counting on GPS to always be there is a single point of failure kind of mistake. Ditto for assuming the satellite links will be there.

28 posted on 12/12/2011 7:53:53 AM PST by Myrddin
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To: Just4Him

This whole episode is curious. Could Iranian radar even detect this thing up in the air? If not, how did they find it - did they somehow recieve and interpret the radio signal controlling the aircraft?

And, judging by its non-wrecked condition, it looks like it did not ‘crash’...so was it ‘jamming’, or was it ‘taking over the controls’?

If the Iranians/Russians are able to do this, it seems there is little they can’t do (I’m thinking satellite communications, etc.).

Wow....still hoping for a Trojan Horse scenario.


29 posted on 12/12/2011 8:04:36 AM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: Travis McGee
The frequency hopping or CDMA approach is resistant to jamming on a single frequency. You jam that kind of signal with a frequency hopper or CDMA. The technology to receive the signal is common as dirt. CDMA cellphones are a common example. In theory, the PN sequence we use should be hard to follow. The GPS version repeats on a 2 week cycle, but you can "join" that cycle by using the encrypted channel to get info on where the PN cycle is currently functioning. The jamming exercise is simply a denial of service attack using a technique that whacks enough receiver samples to prevent complete reception of a digital data packet. You don't even have to hit 100%. Just keep the reception disrupted.
30 posted on 12/12/2011 8:07:20 AM PST by Myrddin
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To: PapaBear3625
This would actually be a good thing. We’ve been getting too used to fighting against technologically-inferior opponents, and getting dependent upon weapons systems that rely upon nobody being in a position to jam signal reception:

How is this possibly a good thing, sure you wrote that right or maybe I am missing your point?

31 posted on 12/12/2011 8:08:01 AM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Rush Limbaugh = the Beethoven of talk radio)
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To: PapaBear3625

Undoubtedly Pooty sent Iran a jammer.
The good thing would be our early ability to find a good work-around or even a good hard hitting counter-measure.

Who knows what the actual config of the drone nobama gave them was. Probably not setup or equipped like what nobama “thought” he was giving his bretheren, more or less just a way to feel them out. I will give our Mil and CIA more credit than to be as dumb as nobama.

I don’t care what Russia gives them, two things are in play. One, most everything Ruski Mil sucks in real life (excepting AK-47) and if Russia gave them a ballbearing, we can count on the stupid camel jocks to either file on it or pack sand in it.


32 posted on 12/12/2011 8:28:14 AM PST by X-spurt
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To: lacrew
This whole episode is curious. Could Iranian radar even detect this thing up in the air? If not, how did they find it - did they somehow recieve and interpret the radio signal controlling the aircraft?

The classic approach to "stealth" aims to disperse the signal striking the target in multiple directions or absorb the signal to attenuate the reflected signal. That works when the radar transmitter/receiver is in a single location. The new approach is a form of "crowd sourcing" using ganged radar receivers at multiple locations. The "ping" from a transmitter is received by multiple receivers at widely separated locations. That data is correlated to resolve a target. The short answer is that "stealth" is a technology that is nearing its useful life as detection techniques have improved. The advent of an RF rich environment creates an "ocean" through which aircraft must travel. The RF acts as a passive transmitter. If you fly an absorbing object through that "ocean", it creates a detectable disruption. The "ganged" receiver approach can resolve a target that way, albeit with "fuzzier" resolution than a standard radar T/R approach.

BTW, you "beat" the ganged radar by breaking the data links used to "gang" the receivers. That puts your "stealth" back in business. The bad guys have been using buried fiber optic cable for the data links.

33 posted on 12/12/2011 8:28:23 AM PST by Myrddin
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To: RFEngineer
We can be confident that a stealth platform does not conduct RF through the wing/body of the aircraft.

Not necessarily. Fiberglass aircraft, for incidence, are almost invisible to radar and it's not because they are absorbing or reflecting RF energy. BTW, I'm also an RF Engineer, I've worked on a couple of stealth projects, specifically range testing various materials for echo signature.

34 posted on 12/12/2011 8:29:34 AM PST by Thermalseeker (If ignorance is bliss how come there aren't more happy people?)
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To: Las Vegas Ron
It's a good thing to know in advance so you don't send your best assets in to be slaughtered because you underestimated your opponent. They tipped their hand too early. We've been exceptionally bold on the assumption that we were dealing with technically inferior opponents. This incident exposes that we have a more substantial opponent. Forewarned is forearmed.
35 posted on 12/12/2011 8:34:01 AM PST by Myrddin
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To: GonzoGOP

Good thinking!

As my old Granddad always told me “Son, use your head for more than just a hat-rack”


36 posted on 12/12/2011 8:34:42 AM PST by X-spurt
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To: Myrddin

TMI.


37 posted on 12/12/2011 8:42:47 AM PST by patton ("Je pense donc je suis," - My Horse.)
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To: Myrddin; PapaBear3625
It's a good thing to know in advance so you don't send your best assets in to be slaughtered because you underestimated your opponent.

Ah, now I get it...duh, must need more coffee!

Thanks for the reply ;)

38 posted on 12/12/2011 8:58:05 AM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Rush Limbaugh = the Beethoven of talk radio)
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To: Travis McGee

If they are Jamming GPS signal from Sats,then you not using Freq-Hoping. Also, Frequency Hopping makes it harder to Jam,not impossible you just have to Jam much wider channel. Also,where is guarantee that the Drone was using it, instead something much simpler,because its cheap.


39 posted on 12/12/2011 9:12:28 AM PST by alex2011
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To: Myrddin

Interesting...sounds like it takes alot of equipment and processign power to ‘defeat’ stealth. No way the Iranians did this by themselves.

Perhaps our pals the Russians have been gently stabbing us in the back.


40 posted on 12/12/2011 9:54:13 AM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: Las Vegas Ron
How is this possibly a good thing, sure you wrote that right or maybe I am missing your point?

I'd rather find out our deficiencies in a minor incident against Iran, rather than finding out how vulnerable we are in a major conflict against China.

41 posted on 12/12/2011 11:44:29 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.)
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To: super7man

A go home function ... must have it - it’s so logical... Here’s a take on Obama’s role in NOT getting the drone back:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2818540/posts


42 posted on 12/12/2011 11:50:08 AM PST by GOPJ (Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred - Proverbs 15)
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To: Myrddin
The short answer is that "stealth" is a technology that is nearing its useful life as detection techniques have improved.

I've been saying for a while to F-22 fans that if we spend a huge amount of money on it because it's stealthy, and then stealth is defeated, then we're worse of than if we build a much larger number of improved F-15s.

43 posted on 12/12/2011 12:09:41 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.)
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To: Thermalseeker

“Not necessarily. Fiberglass aircraft, for incidence, are almost invisible to radar and it’s not because they are absorbing or reflecting RF energy.”

This is not a fiberglass aircraft. Otherwise it would not be necessary for it to have planform alignment, gaussian shaping, edge treatments etc.

There will be 20-30dB of attenuation from ground-level sources - so satcom links, including GPS will be very difficult to jam.

If you make something out of fiberglass you either treat the fiberglass to make it non-transparent with a gradual dielectric gradient coating, or you have to treat everything inside the aircraft - a far more complex challenge. You could make a glider out of fiberglass and it would be very stealthy, it also wouldn’t have any utility or capability.


44 posted on 12/12/2011 1:06:53 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: SMARTY
The drone was an early Christmas gift from “O”-bet on it

Factoring everything that is public, and the wealth of speculation, for that statement to be true means that Daniel Petraeus, director of the CIA is knowingly involved.

That would go a long way to explain a lot.

45 posted on 12/12/2011 1:14:18 PM PST by The Theophilus (Obama's Key to win 2012: Ban Haloperidol)
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To: PapaBear3625

“...if we build a much larger number of improved F-15s.”

I agree with you. Stealth depreciates over time as capabilities improve. Sheer numbers and far more ordinance per aircraft is not a bad thing.


46 posted on 12/12/2011 2:08:08 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: lacrew
Ganged radar requires data connectivity to each radar, an appropriate data interface, then something to aggregate the inputs to resolve a target. The primary expense is the radar unit. Data facilities next (underground). The aggregating location is a common resource.

The Russians are the probably source of the technology. Pure speculation, but consistent with their demonstrated track record.

47 posted on 12/12/2011 2:20:50 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: RFEngineer
This is not a fiberglass aircraft.

It's not carbon, either. Note the dent in the leading edge on the left side. Fiberglass, Kevlar and Carbon composites don't dent like that. There are some rather exotic plastics being used now. I'd guess it's either aluminum or one of those.

Otherwise it would not be necessary for it to have planform alignment, gaussian shaping, edge treatments etc.

There is no "one thing" that encompasses radar stealth. It's a combination of things to reduce radar return signature. Among those are overall shape, material composition, material coatings and on-board electronic countermeasures.

If you make something out of fiberglass you either treat the fiberglass to make it non-transparent with a gradual dielectric gradient coating, or you have to treat everything inside the aircraft - a far more complex challenge.

Actually, if you want to "show up" on radar in a fiberglass aircraft you use a corner reflector, although the engine produces a fairly strong return signature in certain orientations.

You could make a glider out of fiberglass and it would be very stealthy, it also wouldn’t have any utility or capability.

The Brazilian Navy and Brazilian Federal Police have been using a fiberglass motorglider called the "Ximango" for coastal patrols and aerial observation for over 25 years. It's cheap to operate and it's very stealthy with no added enhancements. Since Chavez has taken power it's also been used regularly along the border with Venezuela and to monitor narcotics smuggling along the Colombian and Bolivian borders, too. Earlier this year I consulted on a project where a group of investors were considering purchasing the company that manufactures the Ximango. The goal was to develop a stealthy, long range, manned observation platform from the design.

48 posted on 12/13/2011 6:32:08 AM PST by Thermalseeker (If ignorance is bliss how come there aren't more happy people?)
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To: Thermalseeker

“There is no “one thing” that encompasses radar stealth. It’s a combination of things to reduce radar return signature. Among those are overall shape, material composition, material coatings and on-board electronic countermeasures.”

There are three main elements to low-rcs stealth platforms Size, Shape, Coatings/Treatments. To the extent that you succeed in integrating all these in a successful platform you are as much controlling the signature as you are reducing it.

You still have visual, acoustic, IR to worry about.

Based on pictures of the Ximango, I’d say it’s not particularly stealthy in RCS - at least in the military sense. as a glider, it no doubt is stealthy acoustically, maybe somewhat in IR, and perhaps visually as well. Important for a drug interdiction mission, more than RCS.


49 posted on 12/13/2011 5:13:58 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: super7man
I think gyros alone can get it close to home where communication can be re-established

A compass and a speedometer can do that.

50 posted on 12/13/2011 5:58:13 PM PST by AndyJackson
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