October 29, 2012

How one man's Nyet saved the world.

The venerable Foxtrot. India also had four, known as the Kalvari class.

A Russian does well http://indrus.in/articles/2012/10/28/how_one_mans_nyet_saved_the_world_18673.html

How one man’s “[Nyet]” saved the world


"If the earth is not an overcooked radioactive wasteland today, the credit for that goes not to Khrushchev or Kennedy but to an unknown Soviet submariner named Vasili Arkhipov who refused to ignite World War III despite the gravest provocation."
In popular fiction the Cuban Missile Crisis seems to be all about JFK's and "Barbeez" do-no-wrong brilliance. Its a little bit more complicated.
Anton Kalashnikov

October 28, 2012

Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) Pollution & Security Monitoring

Basic functioning of WBANs which can be minute (rice grain sized) and injected into the human body. Many pets already have injected chips, just under their skin, carrying a large amount of digital information.
Fascinating technology brought to notice by http://www.uberveillance.com/ October 26, 2012.

See http://www.uberveillance.com/blog/2012/10/26/wbans-1.html "...Wearable sensors in Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) provide health and physical activity monitoring.
Modern communication systems have extended this monitoring remotely. In this survey, various types of wearable sensors discussed, their medical applications like ECG, EEG, blood pressure, detection of blood glucose level, pulse rate, respiration rate and non medical applications like daily exercise monitoring and motion detection of different body parts. Different types of noise removing filters also discussed at the end that are helpful in to remove noise from ECG signals. Main purpose of this survey is to provide a platform for researchers in wearable sensors for WBANs. Wearable sensors in Wireless Body Area Networks(WBANs) provide health and physical activity monitoring.Modern communication systems have extended this monitoring remotely.."

MORE  http://arxiv.org/pdf/1208.2376.pdf

WBANs may well have applications in determining the medium to long term health effects of water and air pollution, reactor spill radiation (like Fukushima) as well as mobile phone and other device radiations levels.

Security monitoring-tracking (WBANs as listening and video devices?) is another possible application which may already be in use by security services with the money and know-how - hence human rights advocates should be concerned.

October 26, 2012

Boeing's EMP "CHAMP" weapon test succeeds

Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) test in the US.

America has maintained its military lead through quantity of weapons, a larger defense budget and also by producing high quality innovative weapons. Like the Suter air, sea and land based electronic jamming weapons electro magnetic pulse (EMP) weapons jam enemy military (eg. radar and sigint)  and many civilian electronic systems. EMP weapons, like CHAMP, are likely to be used in many war and peacetime special forces situations, even counter terrorism - because the US (or other Western buyers like Israel) can claim there are no intended military or civilian casualties.

See http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/25/boeing_champ_missile_microwave_attacks/
US multinational "Boeing has successfully conducted a test of a missile capable of blasting a building's electronics with an energy beam without harming the structure itself. The era of [electro magnetic pulse] EMP weapons has arrived it seems.

The Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) is an air-launched device that uses a high-powered microwave pulse to disable electrical systems. On Oct. 16th the missile was tested at the Utah Test and Training Range and successfully toasted electrical systems in a two storey building."

http://www.gizmag.com/boeing-champ-missile-test/24658/ explains "The difference is that where an EMP weapon uses a nuclear warhead or an explosive shot through a wire coil to generate a pulse over an area, the Boeing CHAMP missile aims a precise beam of high-energy microwaves at a target, or multiple targets, as it flies over."

Also http://io9.com/counter-electronics-high-powered-advanced-missile-project/ in which Annalee Newitz commented:

"These drones are being touted as non-lethal weapons, aimed at taking out an enemy's "electrical systems," like say targeting systems or maybe their intelligence databases. But to say that this is a non-lethal weapon seems a bit disingenuous, since so many lives depend on electricity. Knocking out the computers in a hospital, or the technology in computer-guided vehicles, could lead to fatalities. And losing databases of information could lead to many more deaths in the long term. Imagine one of these drones taking out a stock exchange or a water management system. Or a computer-controlled dam. The consequences could be quite dire.

So thanks, Boeing, for bringing us into the era of indirectly lethal weapons. Things are about to get interesting, as they say."

October 23, 2012

Climate change a challenge to many military roles & to basing issues.

Indian troops of the Madras Regiment on the Siachen Glacier.

Armed forces in the Indian Ocean region usually confront each other under predictable geographic and weather conditions, such as the monsoon season. Longer term weather conditions, such as global warming, have not been expected and are unpredictable. Global warming will change the face of military competition in peacetime and alter war fighting particularly in mountainous Kashmir. Indian Ocean base building competition principally between India, China and the US will also involve more relevant environmental variables.

Global warming is frequently accelerating ice/glacial melt rates. This is making cold climate-glacial or ice-polar warfare even more dangerous for foot soldiers who are well advised to wear clothing that can counter icewater induced hypothermia and can keep them afloat if they freeze unconscious.
Military people driving vehicles are also more likely to slide-skid or, in worst cases, have thinning ice (over water) collapse under their vehicles. All this makes wide track Russian armoured vehicles (which are comparatively light) increasingly attractive buys.

Melting ice caps could put the capital of the Maldives, known as "Male" (pictured) under water - as well as newly constructed Indian bases on the Maldives.

US bases in the low lying islands of Micronesia and Diego Garcia may also be under increasing threat of inundation.

While militaries worldwide are comparatively well-funded organizations, who can afford sea-walls and other global warming countermeasures, maintaining some bases might become prohibitively expensive over the next few decades. A few decades is probably beyond the "couldn't careless" career time concerns of most senior military officers, DoD officials and politicians - but officers up to Major level may well feel the impact - hence need to take note..
Ice melting in much vaster quantities in the Arctic and Antarctic may raise Indian and Pacific Ocean levels by several metres, inundating some islands and low lying subcontinental areas, like the coastal flats of Bangladesh. This will increase overcrowding as island and lowland dwellers leave their homes and move to higher ground - with greater need for militaries to counter or control sectarian violence and refugee flows.

Militaries will increasingly be called on to aid their own civilians and other peoples as floods, Tsunamis and gradual sea-river levels rises become more frequently damaging.

From Breaking News 24/7, September 6, 2009 comes :
"Changing climate new adversary of India’s armed forces

NEW DELHI - A warmer world that threatens to change the battlefield and impact the capability of the military on land, sea and air is the new adversary of the Indian armed forces which are worried that the seriousness of the issue is yet to register at the government level.

“While global warming will have common effect of more pressure on the logistics and increased wear and tear of weapons, it will also have force-specific impact. The government needs to involve armed forces in studying its reasons and impact,” a senior armed forces official told IANS [Indo-Asian News Service], requesting anonymity.

The Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau which have large-scale military presence are among the areas most susceptible to climate change effects. The rapid melting of glaciers in the region would call for new deployment plans for the Indian Army manning the Siachen Glacier.

“Demilitarisation of the Siachen Glacier is out of question; so, its accelerated meltdown will call for coming out with a new deployment plan,” said a senior Indian Army official, wishing to remain unnamed as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The Indian and Pakistani forces have been standing eyeball to eyeball since 1984 at the Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield at 22,000 feet, where guns have been silent since a ceasefire in 2003.

Occupying the 76-km-long glacier, which has been melting faster due to global warming, is a huge logistic exercise and the changing climate will only increase the pressure on logistics.

According to a recent study “Security Implications of Climate Change for India” published by think tank Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), artillery gun platforms in the high altitude region that have become ice pillars would melt rapidly, making redeployment “a necessary but demanding task”.

“Unexpected melting (in the Himalayan region) would make troop movements extremely dangerous and the dumping zones and (makeshift) helipads may crumble with rapid snowmelt,” the report says.

“Besides triggering flash floods and a slew of disasters downstream, the melting would also result in severing of communication lines,” the army official added.

The Indian Navy is also concerned about the way changed climate patterns will shape the Indian Ocean region, creating issues of maritime boundaries, exclusive economic zone, port operations, shallow water operations for submarines and naval tactics.

“Climate change will alter the battlefields with rising water level submerging low-lying islands, the change in water temperature of a place affecting the sea flora and fauna and also affecting the deployment tactics for submarines,” said a senior official of the Indian Navy.

“The melting of snow in the Arctic Ocean may benefit China by giving them access to the Pacific Ocean and to warm ports,” he added.

The Indian and Chinese navies have been trying to outdo each other for greater influence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), which is of utmost strategic importance to them for security of energy supplies. Climate change will also change the dynamics of the IOR.

“Take the example of the Maldives, a low-lying small island ecosystem. It is vulnerable to climate change and may be submerged due to rising sea level. Given the friendly bilateral relations between India and the Maldives, in all likelihood India will have to absorb many of the displaced Maldivians,” the official added.

Military aviation will also be affected by the change in climate patterns as the performance of the aerial platforms and munitions varies with weather conditions.

Weather support is critical for all aerial operations, reconnaissance, para-dropping missions, transport operations, search and rescue and combating. Climate change is predicted to increase the severity and frequency of extreme weather events such as storms, which will have their effect on aviation.

October 17, 2012

India's Thermonuclear Program

Believed to be a nuclear device being lowered into its Shakti test position.

See Interactive map India's nuclear industry locations http://www.nti.org/gmap/?country=india&layers=biological,chemical,missile,nuclear&layers=nuclear

Based on my independent open source research I maintain that India desires/has a thermonuclear capability. This is in order to maintain full or partial parity with China's thermo arsenal (for MAD) and to maintain a wide margin of superiority over Pakistan.

India like all other nations (except North Korea) is aware that hot nuclear testing (ie. with actual fission and/or fusion explosions) would cause international isolation and a range of Western and Chinese sanctions. Furthermore computer simulations of such explosions enjoy greater accuracy/assurance that, to a limited extent, reduces the need to hot test one's actual devices.

It is likely India would seek (has received) cold and hot test results - most probably from Russia and perhaps from France and Israel (noting Indo-Israeli joint tests of nuclear (intended) missiles).

Such thermonuclear hot test information doesn't come cheap. India's perserverence in paying billions for an as yet long-delayed, undelivered aircraft carrier from Russia would seem an extraordinary waste if it weren't for some of that money also going into thermonuclear test results and perhaps designs. Russia, after all has never used carriers in battle or seen a major naval action since it lost to Japan in 1905 (Battle of Tsushima). This makes the value of a Russian made carrier (even to copy or as a testbed) intrinsically dubious. However Russian aid in thermonuclear development is (or has been) vastly more important to India.

Observation of tests by P5 countries since 1940s as well as intel collection by covert means would also yield hot and cold test data and designs etc. Dual use components and processes from cooperative countries and companies would have also helped.

Can Indian boosted fission shots (at the 1998 Operation Shakti (Pokhran-II) multitest - see below) be considered to collectively amount to a two stage thermonuclear (thermo) test? http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/India/IndiaShakti.html

Is the trend that all P5 countries (except France) that have built submarine reactors have historically already built thermonuclear weapons - be seen as sufficiently indicative? As a side issue Brazil's current development of a submarine reactor may suggest that Brazil has not lost its very significant nuclear weapons development capacity.

In what ways might India's thermo devices derived from, differ from or be similar to, those of India's providing ally Russia? and perhaps from France and Israel?

Some context






Russian nuclear tests http://scholar.googleusercontent.com/scholar?q=cache:yefIzEzuzFAJ:scholar.google.com/+Pokhran+thermonuclear+strategy+-reactor&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5&as_ylo=2008

October 16, 2012

Nuclear India Too Dangerous to Travel To?

Picture http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/nation/south/anti-kudankulam-nuclear-power-plant-protests-turn-violent-992


"Julia Gillard (funny)  will use her first visit to India as Australia’s prime minister to begin uranium-sale talks, looking to open up a new market after appetite for nuclear fuel waned in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster."

However http://newamericamedia.org/2011/03/india-is-not-japan-nuclear-reactors-in-grave-danger.php

"Japan’s much touted, highly advanced disaster preparedness couldn’t stop the radiation leaks. India, [is worse than Japan. India is] “disorganized and unprepared for the handling of any kind of [nuclear reactor or U rod or Pu storage disaster, of] even much less severity” says Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, former chair of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), in an op-ed in the newspaper DNA. India has been lucky its systems haven’t had to face something like what happened in Fukushima. Environmental activist Praful Bidwai points out in the Hindustan Times that India also has boiling water reactors in its nuclear plant at Tarapur – “designed by General Electric, the same as Fukushima’s, only smaller and one-generation older, probably with weaker safety systems.”

Just when things could only get better: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-09-27/coimbatore/34126028_1_kudankulam-nuclear-power-plant-bhopal-gas-tragedy-satinath-sarangi

"A disaster at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant will be more destructive than the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984, said Satinath Sarangi, one of the leaders of the movement seeking justice for victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy. He was speaking to TOI after interacting with students at the Park Group of Institutions on Wednesday.

Sarangi claimed that power plants in India including those in Tarapur in Maharashtra and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan were among the worst in the world with respect to safety measures. Researchers from other countries visit these plants to study how not to run them, he said. He added that in the case of the proposed Kudankulam power plant, the nuclear establishment was still to reveal safety measures.


Given India's lack of concern about extreme social inequalities (its called the caste system), concern about terrorism, risk of being blown to bits by Pak nukes and industrial (including nuclear) risks + Is India too damn dangerous to travel to?

October 11, 2012

Alan Turing Remembered

Thanks to IntelNews http://intelnews.org/2012/10/10/01-1106/

"Britains’ GCHQ praises Alan Turing legacy. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19834593

In a rare public speech, Iain Lobban, the Director of GCHQ, Britain’s signals intelligence agency, has praised the legacy of British mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing. Widely considered the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Turing committed suicide in 1954, after the British government prosecuted him for being a homosexual. In 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown offered a public apology for Turing, who is also credited with cracking the Nazi Enigma code —a vital part of the Allied effort in World War II"

Alan Turing: why the tech world's hero should be a household name http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17662585 June 18, 2012

Alan Turing: The codebreaker who saved 'millions of lives' http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18419691 June 19, 2012 - also see http://www.alanturing.net/

Was Turing the father of computing? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18327261 June 20, 2012.

If only Turing had been born in the US. He would have been well recognized, rewarded and would have led a productive life through to the 1970s.

by Natasha

October 10, 2012

Iran aiding Syria tracking opposition via electronic surveillance?


By Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, Wednesday, October 10, 6:09 AM

"Iran is providing crucial equipment and technical help to Syria in its effort to track opposition forces through the Internet and other forms of electronic surveillance, according to U.S. officials.

The aid is the latest example of how Iran is helping Syria in its battle against rebel forces threatening the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The technical assistance is coming mainly through Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, the officials said.

Iran, which has long experience in tracking dissidents internally, has supplied surveillance and communications gear, as well as technical support in computer-network surveillance, said one intelligence official. Like others interviewed, he spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the topic’s sensitivity.

Among the tactics in which Iran is advising the Syrians is how to gain access to Web forums and chat rooms, where they pose as opposition members to identify and track targets, the intelligence official said. Syrian agents are then dispatched to kill the rebels, the officials said.

An array of sophisticated techniques used to entrap Syrian opposition activists has already been unearthed by tech privacy and security groups. Pro-government hackers have covertly installed spyware on activists’ computers by sending them e-mail and Skype messages purporting to be from opposition sympathizers that include attachments containing surveillance tools, said Eva Galperin of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet privacy group based in San Francisco.

The surveillance software can record keystrokes, steal passwords, turn on webcams and record audio conversations.

Iran’s electronic assistance began at least a year ago as part of a broader program to sustain the Syrian regime that included military advisers and fighters from Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite militant group closely allied with Iran.

“We know that Iran is there in a whole range of capabilities, and they’re offering what capabilities they have because they look at a loss of Syria as a huge problem,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said in an interview. “You can extrapolate from that everything they have available, from weapons systems to finance and training, and they do have a growing cyber-capability that’s concerning.”

Instead of weapons, the Obama administration has given the rebels communications gear, passed on intelligence on who is being targeted, and trained them in using covert channels to escape tracking by the government.

The intelligence official said advice on how to avoid being targeted includes “relatively simple techniques that anyone who’s computer-savvy can use to obscure” their identity.

“It’s a good way for us to help the opposition without having to send in troops and bombs,” said a former U.S. defense official.

The Syrians are reasonably good at internal security, but experts say the Iranians are better trained in electronic and computer-network surveillance.

“Technologically, they’re light-years ahead of Syria,” said Robert B. Baer, a former CIA case officer in the Middle East and author of several books on the region. “The Syrians have got to go to the Iranians for anything advanced.”

James Ball contributed to this report."