I have waited to post, because I wanted to see which direction people will go.
This is my take, and this is the direction of my curiosity.
To bad I lost all my links from couple of years back when I was looking up stuff on optical multiprocessor research, because most of the cutting edge
research led to Far East Russian institutes in Vladivostok and Khabarovsk. I was blown away by the stuff I stumbled upon. Research publications
leading back to early 50s. Basically everything led to unparallel depth of research and understanding of physics. It’s like a massive
industrialized culture of r&d which is not based on predictable patterns of market driven economy, and they got the best tools to work with. Science
is their religion. Got a theorem? Russians got the gear to prove it, or not.
When I read that in early 80s Russians solved the problem of rarified plasma in optical multiprocessor core cells, I couldn’t help to think “what
do you mean solved”? Publicly, to this day it is still in theoretical stage of research. The internet concept evolved from military strategic data
linking, largely as a safeguard in case of nuclear attack, while Soviets opted in favor of stand alone “behavioral pattern” concept, the early
form of AI, do to predicted vulnerability of remote system attacks, or “hacking” as we call it these days.
Now don’t tear me a new one, but the Stephen Wiesner’s quantum cryptography concept was being mentioned in Soviet research on strategic remote
data linking much earlier then 70s, and the single photon counters were mentioned as a possible secure data transmission method, while predicting dark
counts in both ultraviolet and near-infrared frequency ranges. Again, the cost of technology development and implementation did not warrant the
expenditures at that time, thus the shift towards stand alone systems. Instead of pulling fiber to static sites, mobile systems with much higher
survivability ratios were chosen.
I still couldn’t get over the discrepancies in apparent Soviet technological levels and research depths.
Russians unquestionably lead in neutron pulse research reactors,
Kurchatov institute laid down the foundations for controlled fusion and high temperature plasma physics back in 51 and lead the way ever since.
This is where we are;
This is a miniscule aspect of the Russian research base which utilizes pulse reactor tech.
Note US and European research involvement levels in the same field.
Just for example, most people, as I was, would be surprised to learn that high-tech companies of the world are lining up to lease time at Russian
research facilities to test their theories, while Russians have done so “back in the days”. It’s clear that long ago they have perceived the
theoretical limits of the microprocessor circuit, and while Moor’s law is basically a business plan, Soviets opted to dump all of their research
into the “next step”, while allocating a small portion of the effort to reverse engineer what we have put all the work into. Make a lot of damn
This little tidbit cracked me up though - micro.magnet.fsu.edu...
Among other things, and as ironic as it is, the Russian is misspelled.
Same goes for programming. Years ago a friend called me up and said that he absolutely has to bring me a computer game his son was playing. It was
Su-27 Flanker 1.0 flight simulator. Unbelievable physics engine running on a 468, and for a kicker the programming was also done on 486 PCs. I
couldn’t believe it. An absolutele marvel of programming.
We always blame Russians for reverse engineering our technology, all while we constantly recycle their research, which they them selves put on
Back in the early 60s Russian mathematician Pyotr Ufimtsev developed the concept of “stealth” through his method of calculating radar cross
section, radar absorption and refraction materials, etc. After a full review Soviet defense department discarded the idea do to the astronomical
manufacture cost of “stealth” aircraft, and its apparent vulnerability to the low frequency air defenses of that time.
The Kosovo incident showed it to be absolutely true, when a F117 was brought down by a SA-2 system. An existing radar “spoofing” system on a bear
bomber was cheap, practical and effective. The system successfully “phased” the bombers radar signature in a radius of up to 300km from its
actual position, thus forcing F-14 Tomcats to chaise “ghosts” and “shadows”.
The B-2 is an old concept as well, basically being a scaled up version of the German Horton HO IX / Gotha Go 299 Flying Wing Bomber from 1943.
The Horton was the first aircraft which specifically implemented “stealth” techniques, being constructed largely from wood in conjunction with
lower RCS do to flying wing configuration.
It was a shocker when in 76 when Belenko defected in his MiG-25 though.
This just about covers it;
"My God! Look what this thing is made of! Why, the dumb bastards don't have transistors; they're still using vacuum tubes! These engines are
monsters! Maybe the Sovs have a separate refinery for each plane! Jesus! See these rivet heads sticking out, and look at that welding! They did it by
hand! Hell, the pilot can't see a thing unless it's practically in front of him! This contraption isn't an airplane; it's a rocket! Hey, see what
they've done here! How clever! They were able to use aluminum! Why didn't we ever think of that? How ingenious! It's brilliant!"--- MiG Pilot :
The Final Escape of Lieutenant Belenko”
The tube radar was EMP/jam proof and was so powerful it could burn through jamming signals emitted by approaching bombers.
MiG-31, (1975) was the first interceptor to carry phased array radar with encrypted digital link, allowing it to process and share target data with
other platforms in real time. This allows MiG-31s to tactically engage various targets in a “pack”, and while one MiG for example tracks a target
it can simultaneously fire on another target tracked by either another MiG or a by a ground/sea based radar, and vice versa. To this day MiG-31 it is
the most capable interceptor platform.
So this whole idea that Russians are low tech is an extremely dangerous misconception.
Their welding technologies are unsuppressed to this day by the way. Most high tech welding methods we know of are of Russian military origin.
Impact, double beam laser, vacuum laser, gas laser, etc.
This one is my favorite, and it originated from Russian submarine wielding technologies. I’m sure various research phases are conducted at
Kurchatov institute or similar facilities;
“To improve the strength and service properties of welded joints, the Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science of the Siberian Division
of the Russian Academy of Sciences uses a new approach, based on controlling the process of electrode metal melting and transfer in pulsed welding.
This approach uses a flexible energy process, which ensures control of the complex electrodynamic system that involves the power source, electrode,
arc, and weld pool. The process uses instantaneous values of energy characteristics, feedback channels, and subsequent study of the influence of
adaptive pulsed welding on the structure and properties of welded joints on high-strength steels.3,4,5
This study investigates pulsed welding's influence on the structure and the physical and mechanical properties of welded joints made from X67 and
17G1SU. The properties studied are strength under tensile static loading; microhardness of the structural components and its distribution in the
welded joint zones; impact toughness at 20 degrees C and -60 degrees C; and these characteristics' compliance with oil and gas pipeline welded joint
This one I picked up when I was searching for bicycle factory contractor that was doing their high quality welds dirt cheap while much faster then
conventional methods. It turned out to be a Russian military spinof company called Litech.
This is an outtake of another excellent example of how it really is:
This is the type of blatant ignorance which creates our illusions;
“This comprehensive review characterizes and compares the cold war period (Soviet) with the current state of Acoustics Research and Development in
Russia. "Soviet" R&D was overpriced, over-staffed and inefficient, but produced a lot of very original research results. Many of the results are
still unknown in the West.”
Overpriced, over-staffed and inefficient, but we actually have no idea what the hell they were doing other then openly releasing “a lot of very
original research results“ which we were to quick to adopt.
Russian industrial manufacturing capacity is also drastically misjudged.
I’m not going to go in depth, but just as an simple example of Soviet metallurgy and machining capabilities, other then making the best
missile/submarine hauls and aircraft fuselages, Russians still have the longest range artillery technology dating back from the 50s, while we still
have to rocket assist our shells just to match Russian unassisted range. Obviously we still can’t touch the range of Russian rocket assisted
[edit on 3-12-2005 by iskander]