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Chinese spy balloon over US

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Chinese spy balloon over US

Old 10th Feb 2023, 15:26
  #281 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 212man
As expected really, but why let facts get in the way of a good story!
I don't see what difference this makes. Just because this one might (he has not examined it himself) have indeed been carrying weather related sensors does not mean others are innocent. Nor does it entitled China to operate aircraft in US airspace without informing them, requesting permission and filing a flight plan. The US were right to force it down and I would expect the UK to do the same.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 19:25
  #282 (permalink)  
 
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"Weather balloons" as was, back in the day.

Essentially two types, both Hydrogen, the gas was in a special brick shed away from risk.

The big ones carried a payload, and were lauched 0001 and 1200 as routine from about 10 UK sites to give wind [radar target tracked], temperature and humidy, the basis of the tephigram.
Supplementaries were flown, with radar target only, at 0600 and 1800, and "as required".

Every airfield with regular Met staff also had cloud base / low level wind-finder balloons, no payload, much smaller, and several colours chosen to maximise visibilty. These were tracked manually by theodolite and stopwatch, and the ace observers could compute winds in real time. Ace forecasters needed an hour.

One demo. at our college was regularly flown: three balloons, red, white, blue, from a known base line, and each tracked. The idea was to illustrate the large effect of low-level turbulence and dispersal ...... even after one minute, although all three were at the same height + / - a few feet, the horizontal scattering was huge.

And I won't begin to describe the naughties that can be achieved with hydrogen, candle or slow fuse, and various other ingenuities that should have got us a severe reprimand, if not the sack. I lost a set of eyebrows to H2 around 1970.

E & OE, it was a long time ago.

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Old 10th Feb 2023, 19:30
  #283 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Video Mixdown
I don't see what difference this makes. Just because this one might (he has not examined it himself) have indeed been carrying weather related sensors does not mean others are innocent. Nor does it entitled China to operate aircraft in US airspace without informing them, requesting permission and filing a flight plan. The US were right to force it down and I would expect the UK to do the same.
Blah blah blah. Im pretty sure that once you lose control of a balloon in 120 kt jet steams your option are quite limited. Filling a fight plan? I guess youre an MS Simmer?
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 19:50
  #284 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 212man
your option are quite limited
You'd have thought on a balloon of that size, a telecommand to vent gas and drop out of the sky into the sea would have been a standard option ... assuming you actually were not intending to fly over the continental USA.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 20:05
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Originally Posted by paperHanger
You'd have thought on a balloon of that size, a telecommand to vent gas and drop out of the sky into the sea would have been a standard option ... assuming you actually were not intending to fly over the continental USA.
if you had no ill intent and were not a threat to air traffic, why? They admitted responsibility and apologised.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 20:09
  #286 (permalink)  
 
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The only weather balloons I've ever seen were the ones that carried a dangling radiosonde and a radar reflector on a long string. Not large IIRC. Think they were launched by one or two people. This thing was reportedly 200ft across. The images of the wreckage being hauled aboard a ship support that. Who the hell needs a 200ft diameter weather balloon?

I can understand China playing the Putin game and just repeating lies endlessly.

Does anyone really believe that a 200ft balloon with a payload the size of a regional jet could have been anything other than surveillance kit?

Do any of the experts here support the view that a 200ft balloon carrying a few hundred kg of kit could be anything other than surveillance kit?

Surely if it was that big and legit it would carry a transponder. The absence of one, or ADS-B, is damning evidence that its purpose was nefarious.

Does make me wonder if this stuff has been going on for a while. If the balloon hadn't been spotted in very clear skies over Montana would we ever have known about it?

Interesting that the second device shot down today was said to not be a balloon.

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Old 10th Feb 2023, 20:13
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_
The only weather balloons I've ever seen were the ones that carried a dangling radiosonde and a radar reflector on a long string. Not large IIRC. Think they were launched by one or two people. This thing was reportedly 200ft across. The images of the wreckage being hauled aboard a ship support that. Who the hell needs a 200ft diameter weather balloon?

I can understand China playing the Putin game and just repeating lies endlessly.

Does anyone really believe that a 200ft balloon with a payload the size of a regional jet could have been anything other than surveillance kit?

Do any of the experts here support the view that a 200ft balloon carrying a few hundred kg of kit could be anything other than surveillance kit?

Surely if it was that big and legit it would carry a transponder. The absence of one, or ADS-B, is damning evidence that its purpose was nefarious.

Does make me wonder if this stuff has been going on for a while. If the balloon hadn't been spotted in very clear skies over Montana would we ever have known about it?

Interesting that the second device shot down today was said to not be a balloon.
how big do you think the ones you saw launched ended up at top of climb? They were huge!
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 20:33
  #288 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 212man
how big do you think the ones you saw launched ended up at top of climb? They were huge!
Perhaps. The payload was tiny though. I remember seeing the bloke get it out the back of a Landrover. The radiosonde bit could be lifted by one bloke.

This thing that was shot down had a payload the size of a small regional jet. Estimated to be a couple of hundred kg or so. That's about 100 times more than the weather balloons I've seen. The thing will have needed a specialised launch site. No idea how many people needed. Not just one or two blokes in the Landrover I'm sure.

I don't think anyone worried about damage from weather balloons coming down. The payload was so light there can't have been much risk of harm to anyone.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 22:26
  #289 (permalink)  
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A "high-altitude object" was shot down over Alaska earlier on Friday, the White House has said.

Spokesman John Kirby said the unmanned object was "the size of a small car" and was over a sparsely populated area at the time.

​​​​​​…the object over Alaska was travelling at 40,000ft (12,000m) and posed a "reasonable threat" to civilian aircraft.

He said the object had fallen into US waters that are frozen, adding that its debris field was "much, much smaller" than the balloon shot down last week off the coast of South Carolina.

"We do not know who owns it, whether it's state owned or corporate owned or privately owned," Mr Kirby said.

The object was first spotted on Thursday night, though officials did not specify a time.

He said two fighter jets had approached the object and assessed there was nobody on board, and this information was available to Mr Biden when he made his decision.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-64605447

P.S., Agrajag, if something the size of a small car dropped on my house or head, I would be upset. The payload on the large balloon was supposedly 1500 kilos (a ton and a half.)
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 23:57
  #290 (permalink)  
 
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Effected indignation and outrage, the US is as bad or worse at information gathering and using it to gain markets.
Our Australian government uses spying in military in all sorts of ways and helps the US gathering of intelligence with the likes of Pine Gap.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austra...berra%20office.
Is an example of how Australia treats it's close neighbours. That was not a security issue but for pure greed, cheating East Timor out of gas and fuel deposits.
Governments fein indignity and insult, truth be known they are as bad.
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Old 11th Feb 2023, 00:46
  #291 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Video Mixdown
I don't see what difference this makes. Just because this one might (he has not examined it himself) have indeed been carrying weather related sensors does not mean others are innocent. Nor does it entitled China to operate aircraft in US airspace without informing them, requesting permission and filing a flight plan. The US were right to force it down and I would expect the UK to do the same.

Weather balloons are limited to 2kg payload as per the chicago convention the first was absolutely over that. If over 2kg you are required to file flight plan for any country you reasonably expect to cross
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Old 11th Feb 2023, 11:44
  #292 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rattman
Weather balloons are limited to 2kg payload as per the chicago convention the first was absolutely over that. If over 2kg you are required to file flight plan for any country you reasonably expect to cross

Thanks for that, tallies with what I remember from seeing them being launched years ago. 2kg is a hell of a lot smaller than this monstrous bit of Chinese kit. I've heard differing tales of its weight. Lowest is a couple of hundred kg, highest 1,500kg. Either way if that falls out of the sky it's a serious weapon.

Ignoring the surveillance aspect, what about the safety certification? Surely to god it's not legal to fly an uncertified potential weapon like this over any country. Ballistic missiles I can understand. I remember being told that shells were fired over the the A360 that crosses the range close to Larkhill. Safe as the ballistic trajectory meant they couldn't just drop out of the sky. Got to be a chance that a massive balloon could just drop out of the sky.

The consequences of this thing having a major failure over a populated area could be severe. Could it be seen as an act of war?
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 02:24
  #293 (permalink)  
 
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https://abcnews.go.com/International...ry?id=97058669
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 06:32
  #294 (permalink)  
 
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Can some boffin here calculate the volume of a H2 filled ballon with the buoyancy to support a 1500kg payload at 60,000ft.

It has to be some stupendous amount as would the surface are of fabric needed to co rain it.

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Old 12th Feb 2023, 06:53
  #295 (permalink)  
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Maverick meets the balloon

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Old 12th Feb 2023, 07:37
  #296 (permalink)  
 
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Referencing "a small regional jet"

I suspect people are confusing the size of the payload and its weight - there are good reasons to make it BIG - especially if it has a camera onboard - but heavy - no
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 11:41
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How long before we see the first 10 Balloon flying suit patch?

Last edited by BlackIsle; 12th Feb 2023 at 12:02.
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 13:44
  #298 (permalink)  
 
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How light can you make a small nuclear weapon?
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Old 12th Feb 2023, 13:46
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https://www.b92.net/eng/news/world.p...&nav_id=115389
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Old 13th Feb 2023, 08:08
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Originally Posted by DodgyGeezer
How light can you make a small nuclear weapon?

small enough to put under a balloon - but what's the point? You have no control over where it goes - you'd have to hope it went over a target - and then you'd HAVE to drop it - at a time and place you can't predict so you can't get all your other forces ready to strike - and the certainty that a whole lot of ICBM's will come back at you

It's a balloon - and there are many reasons why they aren't front line military weapons since 1918.
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