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Does crashed technology have a countermeasure?

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posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 04:13 AM
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Just saw a thread about something being shot down, and wonder if drones/planes are equipped with some sort of "self destruct" to burn up the electronics and whatnot should a plane be shot down and recovered by an enemy.

I would assume these have to exist. At least for the "brains". Do they also for the skin? Shape? Is there a mechanism for essentially turning something that's very advanced into a few hunks and dust?

How and when is it activated?

Does the pilot accept going up in smoke too? I would sort of think that would be part of the deal, even though it's probably one of those things that isn't talked about in polite company.

I suppose I haven't ever paid much attention to this sort of thing. I remember seeing the captured drone in a freaking gym, and thinking OK, what are these guys actually going to do with it? Obviously send it off to an ally that has some actual capability. I also figured they wouldn't get much. Figured at a certain point everything was going up in smoke.

So how likely and how dangerous is it for a foreign power to get ahold of one of ours when it's been wrecked and actually learn very much?

What do we do with the stuff that's super black? When is that risk taken, flying in places where it's not easy or impossible to recover? Things go wrong, so what sort of contingency plans are in place?




posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 05:58 AM
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a reply to: Domo1

Well, first of all, we need to establish the difference between high value manned aircraft of current generation or experimental status, and unmanned craft, with regard to what is possible with regard to countermeasures, designed to deal with the possibility of a downed craft falling into enemy hands.

A craft which contains a pilot, even an incredibly secret aircraft, is still going to have some method of getting the pilot out, in the event that the craft is damaged beyond repair in flight. Normally, this comes in the form of an ejector seat of some sort, which boosts the pilot clear of the airframe, before activating a parachute to safely bring them to the ground.

The craft itself does not ordinarily require special systems for self destruction, as far as I am aware, because of the nature of the craft itself. The chances are that it is going to go to the ground, with enough fuel inside it to cause a hefty blast when it hits the ground, all but making certain that most of the critical components (which, these days, tend to be electronic as opposed to purely mechanical), are destroyed or damaged beyond the ability of an engineer to pick apart, or identify for that matter in many cases!

With a UAV, things are somewhat less complicated however. Its perfectly possible that someone might go to the trouble of installing burnout systems in the electronics, in such a way as to reduce the maximum surviving component size of any crashed or damaged UAV, to the size of a postage stamp. Whether they actually do these things or not however, is another question entirely, one to which I have no answers.



posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 06:04 AM
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a reply to: Domo1

A UAV generally has a self destruct during testing, to crash it if it leaves the range or certain parameters are met. Once they're out loose though, not so much. The termination signal has been sent to more than one UAV flying over the range, in normal flight, costing an aircraft. And they can be expensive aircraft. It doesn't burn the electronics, but it does cause it to crash in a way that destroys the aircraft.

Generally the policy is that if a UAV goes down, they bomb it to destroy anything on it. That's not always possible though, as we've seen. Certain agencies however seem to think that it's better to lose the system than to risk losing it by sending an errant termination of flight signal.



posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 08:31 AM
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The Drone captured by the Iranians comes to mind. They were successful in bringing it down and copying the tech I believe.



posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 08:43 AM
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a reply to: Plotus

There's a huge misconception that people have about how easy it is to copy tech, even starting from a similar level. They built something similar, possibly using some of the tech from the captured aircraft. That doesn't mean it's a successful and exact copy that is as effective as the original.



posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 02:38 PM
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It does depend of the design of the system, certain chips can be fitted with self destruct if they are scanned in certain ways, 99% of the systems stuff anyway is useless as if the power has gone down the contents of the memory chips will be zero, the CPU will at best be the moment it was knocked down and everyone knows where that was.

The main thing would be to get access to the comms systems and be able to shall we say hack into the data transmission and any surviving bits would always help the comp/maths nerds in wherever it is to decypher whats going on.



posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 03:20 PM
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a reply to: Domo1

Any kind of memory storage will be encrypted. Some disk drives actually have a layer of magnesium between the platter and the iron oxide. If the case is damaged, the seal is broken and the magnesium ignites with the available oxygen. All that data becomes iron oxide dust. The same would happen with Lithium batteries by default behavior.



posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 03:31 PM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
The craft itself does not ordinarily require special systems for self destruction, as far as I am aware, because of the nature of the craft itself. The chances are that it is going to go to the ground, with enough fuel inside it to cause a hefty blast when it hits the ground, all but making certain that most of the critical components (which, these days, tend to be electronic as opposed to purely mechanical), are destroyed or damaged beyond the ability of an engineer to pick apart, or identify for that matter in many cases!


I wouldn't bet on that. There have been several cases where an aircraft his righted itself after the pilot's ejection and has gone on to make a gentle landing when it ran out of fuel.



posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 03:40 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

And one that crossed several countries and crashed into the only building for miles.
edit on 10/24/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 03:48 PM
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a reply to: stormcell
Most of the tech should be using Solid State Drives for weight reduction, shock resistance and data speed.

I would think the first thing a system should do is have a certain case opening procedure, you know open door 1 and flip switch A, proceed to the other hidden door and flip switch B or place a USB or other external key device in during power up or the system automatically copies a non-functional random program in via bootloader. Do them in the wrong sequence and the entire system should wipe itself and go dormant.


Things like that can be done, other things that could possibly be done but would be problematic if a power glitch were to occur in flight would be to use the bootloader to load the entire operating system into volatile RAM via external connection so that the critical software is not left behind. The Bootloader can scrub the memory on bootup with whatever number of dummy writes first and then load the program.


A lot of this is harder than what I am making it seem to be due to the fact that a lot of the onboard systems probably have their own microcontroller and are pretty much black boxes connected to a larger system via a network I2C or CanBUS equivalent. Getting each system to self destruct or wipe would be more challenging, especially if they people tasked with back-engineering the system just rip cut as many wires as they can to separate things to prevent destruct communication messages from getting around the interfaces. There are many ways to defeat systems and they are as varied as the ways to protect them. There is no catch-all method for either destroying or retrieving the contents.



posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 05:50 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Know of two tales,one from WW1 and one from WW2 where planes flew and landed gently with dead pilots and crew aboard..First was a WW1 British 2 seat observer and second was a Spitfire that fell into a tree..Trying to find the stories online..
Edit found it..
Ghost plane

edit on 24-10-2017 by Blackfinger because: added link



posted on Oct, 24 2017 @ 07:10 PM
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I know that most modern aircraft have the ability to "zeroize" the onboard software. I can be done both manually or automated in case of pilot ejection or catastrophic airframe failure.

Erasing the software makes reverse engineering extremely difficult... it's comparable to having a dictionary with all of the definitions left blank.



posted on Oct, 25 2017 @ 03:36 AM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

Do you suppose that would happen with things like the Eurofighter, the F-22 and the F-35?

Many of the current generation military aircraft, are designed to be aerodynamically unstable from the outset, meaning that loss of power to the computer systems, for example, causes the craft to become utterly uncontrollable, unlike a light aircraft, or even a large passenger aircraft, which could potentially be glided to a safe stop, with difficulty perhaps, but not insurmountable difficulty.

Modern combat aircraft though, as far as I have been led to understand, merely plummet groundward when significantly damaged, because of their design. I cannot see an F-22 dropping out of the sky to a relatively clean halt, in the event of a systems failure.



posted on Oct, 25 2017 @ 05:28 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: JIMC5499

Do you suppose that would happen with things like the Eurofighter, the F-22 and the F-35?

Many of the current generation military aircraft, are designed to be aerodynamically unstable from the outset, meaning that loss of power to the computer systems, for example, causes the craft to become utterly uncontrollable, unlike a light aircraft, or even a large passenger aircraft, which could potentially be glided to a safe stop, with difficulty perhaps, but not insurmountable difficulty.

Modern combat aircraft though, as far as I have been led to understand, merely plummet groundward when significantly damaged, because of their design. I cannot see an F-22 dropping out of the sky to a relatively clean halt, in the event of a systems failure.


Aside from recent typhoon crashes, the first one was a Spanish Development Aircraft, apparently it fell like a leaf as power was cut, pilot ejected and the thing floated down.

It could have been DA7, Google pictures show it flat on the ground, obviously destroyed but remarkable typhoon shaped.

The only thing I would consider need destroying are the link 16, IIRC an Australian AP3C Orion had to make an emergency landing in China, excuse my limited knowledge but it had Link 14? Systems on board, once in China's hands, link 16 was introduced.



posted on Oct, 25 2017 @ 08:59 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

I think that the current computer control makes it more likely that an aircraft can be reasonably intact after a crash.
I agree that if the computer is knocked out the aircraft may not be flyable resulting in a crash, but, what happens if the computer is intact ? Several times an ejection has caused an aircraft to right itself. There could be several causes for this, everything from the force of the ejection to the change in the weight. The computer is supposed to keep the aircraft stable unless it gets control inputs from the pilot. I can easily see a computer keeping the aircraft straight and level until the fuel runs out and the aircraft impacts the ground. Depending on the type of terrain this could lead to a fairly soft landing and an intact aircraft.



posted on Oct, 25 2017 @ 09:14 AM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

Ah... I see.

In that case, perhaps all that would need to occur, is that when the ejector seat has fully left the aircraft, the computer needs to register that fact, and sever all control of the craft, with the engines throttled up to maximum... One would assume that in those circumstances, it would indeed catastrophically crash, with destructive energy enough to take care of any risk of its parts being reverse engineered.



posted on Oct, 25 2017 @ 09:34 AM
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originally posted by: Forensick

IIRC an Australian AP3C Orion had to make an emergency landing in China, excuse my limited knowledge but it had Link 14? Systems on board, once in China's hands, link 16 was introduced.


Are you referring to this:

en.wikipedia.org...

It was a Chinese J-8 colliding with a US EP-3E and forced to put down in Chinese territory.



posted on Oct, 25 2017 @ 09:37 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

Except when you are trying to minimize non-combatant casualties from the crashing aircraft. A system like that at an airshow wouldn't be ideal I would think.



posted on Oct, 25 2017 @ 09:43 AM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

No, but to be fair, you would not operate such a system at an airshow. They would have to make it so that the control severing system only operates if the GPS on the plane has the plane over a foreign territory. Either that, or you would only set the plane up to automatically cut computer control, when the ejector seat is activated when the craft is deployed in war, rather than just bumbling about to impress some folks with big engine noise and fancy moves!



posted on Oct, 25 2017 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

The thing is that we're talking about the military. There are two rules that are almost inviolable.

1. If it can be broken, they'll find a way.

2. If it can be accidentally activated, they'll find a way.

One of the reasons that several UAV types no longer have a flight termination system is because someone couldn't resist the temptation of the bright, shiny, candy like button.




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