Tomonaga (Tomonaga@xtra.co.nz)
Tue, 25 Apr 2000 13:04:39 +1200


Regarding Gundam's eyes. They are for targeting and ranging. The stereo
vision gives the depth perception necessary for accurate targeting and
ranging. The main camera+eyes system used in the Gundam is
technologically inferior to the more sophisticated all-in-one system used
in the GunCannon and the GMs and probably the Zeon monoeye.

See below regarding communication:

L. M. Lloyd wrote:

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> First off, Minovsky particles interfere with radio transmissions, but
> that does not make radio antennas useless. In fact the more
> interference there is, the more you need an antenna.

Let me point out some things:

1) You need an antenna of somekind to receive a signal in the first place.
: )
2) If there is interference, then the signal is not being received by the
antenna due to whatever is causing the interference and is not the fault
of the antenna.

You were probably thinking of the strength of the signal, in which case,
to pick up weak signals you will need a better antenna or rather a more
suitably located one.

> There is a big
> difference between radar being useless, and radio transmissions being
> useless. Stealth technology makes radar useless, but that does not
> mean that a stealth airplane does not need a radio.

Current modern stealth technology (i.e. stealth fighter/bomber) doesn't
really make radar useless. They are not really 'invisible' to radar.
Their designs minimise the cross sectional area detected by radar. From
the point of view of an operator using conventional air defence radar, the
stealth aircraft are not distinguishable from birds/model aircraft etc.

What really makes radar useless is flying in the blind spots i.e below the
coverage of the radar.

Also although the name RADAR (radio detection and ranging) suggest they
operate at normal radio frequencies, in fact they operate at microwave
frequencies. The long end of microwaves overlap with the short end of
radio waves in the em spectrum.

Someone mentioned that MS might communicate using microwave frequencies
but that's not possible since Minovsky particles blocks all low
frequency(long wavelength) em waves below Near IR. That means, all
microwaves and radio waves.

> How do you think
> ships communicate with MSs? Also, it is not like the entire universe
> is filled with minovsky particles. You often hear commanders calling
> for a minovsky broadcast just before an attack, this would suggest
> that there were no minovsky particles being released prior to the
> broadcast.

The power plants in the ships and MS are constantly emitting Minovsky
particles at low levels. In battle, in order to negate the effectiveness
of radar and radar guided weapons they purposely broadcast high levels of
Minovsky particles. This suggests that they do still have and use radar
when possible otherwise what's the point?. And you are right that the
entire UC universe isn't filled with Minovsky particles, it is after all
'man made' or rather 'man released' but judging from the anime, once
emitted, they don't dissipate very fast and 'linger' in the battle areas
for a long time.

In the original series, it is made clear that Zeon ships communicate with
each other using laser transmission (with video and audio) and I think the
Federation also use this technology as well.

> What I mean is that having a way to disrupt the proper functioning of
> radar, renders radar an unreliable detection and targeting method
> (therefore in a military context useless), but it takes far less to
> render radar ineffective, than it does to completely absorb all radio
> communications. Therefore it makes perfect sense that MSs would have
> extremely large (and sophisticated) antenna, in order to receive the
> best radio signal possible, despite the large amounts of minovsky
> radio interference.

If you looks hard enough there seems to be a lot of inconsistence in the
method of communication used in the UC universe. The best scientific
explanation is that normal methods of communication and detection are
still viable and utilised as long as there is no Minovsky particles
blocking the signal. When normal communication is not possible due the
interference, then they use alternative methods such as the aforementioned
laser method as well as infrared, visible and audio signals. The latter
is made most obvious by the scenes depicted in Z Gundam. i.e. MS hold
hands (sound is passed through the body) when pilots communicate with each
other in areas saturated with Minovsky particles. Also ships launch signal
flares to communicate orders such as commence attack, retreat etc...For
simple messages, they could even use morse code and a flashlight but they
are more likely to use a more sophisticated automated 'telex' type system
using a light source and detector.

Receiving the best radio signal possible is a matter of placement and the
size of the antenna in relation to the frequency you are using. In any
case the optimal antenna size is exactly half the wavelenth of the signal.
An antenna the size of the V fins(~2m long) on the Gundam suggest it is
designed to receive radio wavelenths of ~4m long which is in the mid-to
upper range of VHF i.e the higher end of FM signals. : ) FM might be good
for local radio stations but not too suitable for long distance
communication. However in the anime, the Gundam is usually advised to
stay within 10km radius of the White Base so it's not out of the question.
Also the antenna on the GunCannon and Gun Tank are in fact antennas(they
are called Souz[?] Type78) although for some reason GMs don't seem to have
them . It's funny though that in some battles, MS pilots are completely
cut off from communicating with their ships and other pilots both friendly
and enemy (all depending ofcourse on the convenience of the story). : )

Tet

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