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Beitrag #10088 Verfasst: Freitag 8. März 2013, 03:16

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Registriert: Dienstag 26. Februar 2013, 17:38
Are the ELF transmitters based on a mistranslation?
At first I thought that ELF transmitters in Aquanox are based on real life Extreme Low Frequency transmitters, which are ginormous radio transmitters (and I mean enormous, the antennae used in one real life ELF transmitter were up to 45 kilometers long). Then I started examining the games more closely.

Stoney Fox from Aquanox 2 claims that he "rigged up a lousy ELF transmitter" from the junk at a station he was being held at in the "Stoney in a Fix" mission. If you look at what real life ELF radio transmitters require, that would have been completely impossible. The "Alert in Neopolis" cutscene from Aquanox 1, Flint mentions that "[NeoYuppies] even expose themselves to the enormous vibrations of the Extreme Low Frequency transmitting system, because they believe it will evolutionize their brains." As anyone who is near a radio that has its volume turned to minimum can discover for themselves, real-life radio waves don't produce vibrations of any sort we can perceive--furthermore, the ELF nodes ingame produce a throbbing bass sound at regular intervals when you're close to them. Furthermore, real-life Extreme Low Frequency radio transmitters only penetrate seawater to a depth of less than 1 kilometer, nowhere near enough distance to communicate oceanwide.

This is what leads me to believe that what the translators of Aquanox term "Extreme Low Frequency" doesn't actually refer to "Extreme Low Frequency" radio (which refers to radio waves from 3 to 300 Hertz), but to "Extreme Low Frequency" sound. The latter is more accurately described in English as "Infrasound," or sound at a frequency that is below the range of human hearing (20 Hertz or below). Real-life animals do use infrasound to communicate with each other over long distances, though I don't know whether the bandwidth is enough to carry actual voice communication (ELF radio is limited to "a few characters per minute" and I don't know if similar bandwidth restrictions also apply to Infrasound), or if indeed it could function like radio (in being able to penetrate barriers that would muffle or distort sound waves).

Perhaps a better term for the ELF transmitters would have been "infrasonic transmitters" instead. That would fit all the portrayed functions of the "ELF nodes"--low bass sounds, enormous vibrations people can feel, long-distance transmitting capability, and the fact that all you need is a sufficiently powerful and waterproof subwoofer. Still, the fact that sound can reflect off things like underwater mountain ranges or temperature variances would probably necessitate something like underwater communication cables instead for a more foolproof solution.

Of course, I've always believed that the localizers of Aquanox needed a bit more help. Where on Earth did they get the idea for "Amok-Running Sony Boys" from? Does anyone know what the original German line was and a better translation for it?


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Beitrag #10089 Verfasst: Freitag 8. März 2013, 13:38
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Re: Are the ELF transmitters based on a mistranslation?

quote:


Mazryonh hat geschrieben:
Of course, I've always believed that the localizers of Aquanox needed a bit more help. Where on Earth did they get the idea for "Amok-Running Sony Boys" from? Does anyone know what the original German line was and a better translation for it?


Errr, that sounds indeed... interesting! Sure that it wasn't "Sunny Boys"?
Maybe you can ask Miss_Understood if she comes around every two years or so. :|

I've always wondered about the ELF as well.


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Beitrag #10090 Verfasst: Freitag 8. März 2013, 22:28

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Registriert: Dienstag 26. Februar 2013, 17:38
Re: Are the ELF transmitters based on a mistranslation?

quote:


Corny hat geschrieben:
Errr, that sounds indeed... interesting! Sure that it wasn't "Sunny Boys"?


No, if you watch the appropriate part of the "Alert in Neopolis" cutscene from Aquanox 1, you'll easily see the "Amok Running Sony Boys" bit. Another thing you can notice if you play through Aquanox 1 is that Flint often makes references to "amok-runners," a term that really has no real English basis, except maybe "spree killer."

quote:


Corny hat geschrieben:
I've always wondered about the ELF as well.


Never mind, I checked out the glossary at the back of the Aquanox 2 manual (the .pdf version), and it mentions ELF as a very slow method of communication, about 1 letter per 30 seconds. That puts it firmly in the "ELF radio bit" though the evidence I've shown demonstrates the creators may have gotten it confused with infrasound (which would travel farther). Fibre-optic communication via cables on the seafloor would also allow for modern-level bandwidth.


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Beitrag #10091 Verfasst: Samstag 9. März 2013, 02:52
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Re: Are the ELF transmitters based on a mistranslation?
Infrasound would have the same restrictions in bandwidth. And cables are point-to-point. What if you want to have a network for sending navigational information to ships, maybe a news-ticker too?

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Beitrag #10092 Verfasst: Samstag 9. März 2013, 04:04

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Re: Are the ELF transmitters based on a mistranslation?
Well, we have other alternatives. It's the way that Aquanox treats ELF radio as being able to carry real-time voice communication like conventional (through the air) radio frequencies can that I take issue with. There is no current way to mount an ELF transmitter on a vehicle the size of the various Scout subs we see in Aquanox, and even then, the very low bandwidth would prohibit real-time voice communication anyway.

Short-range sub-to-sub voice communication in real-time might work better with hydrospeakers (underwater loudspeakers) and hydrophones (underwater microphones). These can operate in higher frequencies (and with higher bandwidth than infrasound) but don't carry as far at most depths. There's also the issue of their signals reflecting off temperature variances in water or off hard rock (like the canyons and underwater mountains that Aquanox loves to have us fight in, never mind that virtually all of the ocean away from near-shore areas is a flat and featureless mud plain).

Blue-green lasers can penetrate farther than other wavelengths of visible light do underwater, and operate at the speed of light while being wireless, with good bandwidth possibilities. The problem is they are strictly line-of-sight and each transmitter must be squarely aimed at each receiver (which could be difficult at long distances, unless you use a hull material that can somehow sense a series of non-destructive laser pulses anywhere on its surface, and then "fan" the laser in a cone to increase likelihood of hitting the ship). They can also be "jammed" by visual obstructions as simple as clouds of sediment or schools of fish, depending on their intensity (though if your laser is strong enough to blast through a cloud of sediment, it's likelier to blast a receiver to pieces rather than relay a complex message).

Some NPCs in Aquanox 1 mentioned "synaptic communication" which according to the game is based off of organs in sharks (called Ampullae of Lorenzini) that are sensitive to electric fields and are primarily used by those animals to find food, but could be used for underwater electrocommunication. I don't know just how far this form of communication could carry or the bandwidth limitations.

If we wanted to reconstruct Aquanox so it would pay a little more respect to science (it's supposed to be science fiction after all), I'd say that long-distance communication would best be carried out by ships/stations/floating buoys in the SOFAR layer of the ocean (about 750 metres below sea level), which is how most submarines communicate underwater if their general location is known. Infrasound would be best suited for short messages (because of its low bandwidth) since it can carry a good distance without the need to be at a specific depth, most likely for short military orders or distress signals. More secure long-distance communication would probably have to rely on the fiber-optic cables or courier ships (or couriers riding EnTrOx jumpships). Short-range ship-to-ship comms could then be handled via hydrospeakers and hydrophones, as I mentioned earlier.


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Beitrag #10095 Verfasst: Sonntag 10. März 2013, 14:13
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Re: Are the ELF transmitters based on a mistranslation?

quote:


Stoney Fox from Aquanox 2 claims that he "rigged up a lousy ELF transmitter" from the junk at a station he was being held at in the "Stoney in a Fix" mission. If you look at what real life ELF radio transmitters require, that would have been completely impossible.


Maybe he used the antenna from the Station and used his transmitter only to transmit his signal to the ELF communication system.

The enormous vibrations of the Extreme Low Frequency transmitting system is nothing you can feel but you have to believe. It's the same discussion like todays electrosmog from mobile phones etc.

And the bass sound could be caused by a very high voltage which powers the extreme long antennas to produce a very strong signal.

They had 600 years to improve the bandwith of the ELF technology. It's definitely still limited, but higher than today.

ELF is used to communicate from habitat to habitat/habitat to ship all over the world. Ship to ship/ship to habitat communication is probably based on an acoustic system (as you already mentioned). With a underwater speed over 1440 m/s you have a relative high bandwith. And you need only two different sounds for 0 and 1. Different groups can use different frequenzies or different sounds and since it's bit based encryption is no problem, too.

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Beitrag #10101 Verfasst: Dienstag 12. März 2013, 06:39

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Registriert: Dienstag 26. Februar 2013, 17:38
Re: Are the ELF transmitters based on a mistranslation?

quote:


Spion hat geschrieben:
Maybe he used the antenna from the Station and used his transmitter only to transmit his signal to the ELF communication system.


If indeed ELF radio waves in Aquanox 2 are the same ELF radio waves in reality, he still could not have had a real-time voice conversation with William Drake in Atacama city, because of the very low bandwidth restriction (a few characters a minute). I know that Aquanox isn't a hard sci-fi series, but it would be a lot more believable if the writers tried to respect science a little more.

I can accept things like Plasma weapons in the Aquanox series (in reality plasma is very difficult to weaponize, with the only currently workable solution being a very power-intensive "firehose" type of weapon, NOT one that could emit sci-fi-movie-style "bolts" of any sort) because they could just have said they are built from reversed-engineered Biont technology. The Laser Gatling I also I find hard to believe as well, because light doesn't travel in "bolts" either. The Sizzler is plausible enough, however.

quote:


Spion hat geschrieben:
The enormous vibrations of the Extreme Low Frequency transmitting system is nothing you can feel but you have to believe. It's the same discussion like todays electrosmog from mobile phones etc.


Then Flint should have said "They even expose themselves to the radiation emitted by the ELF transmitting system" rather than the "vibrations emitted by the ELF transmitting system.")

quote:


Spion hat geschrieben:
They had 600 years to improve the bandwith of the ELF technology. It's definitely still limited, but higher than today. ELF is used to communicate from habitat to habitat/habitat to ship all over the world.


That's another problem. We still can't change laws of the universe. For example, the laws of ballistics that medieval people worked out to use their siege engines to destroy castles are the same laws of ballistics used to guide artillery shells today. The fact that ELF can't penetrate more than kilometer underwater, along with its very low bandwidth restriction, is another law of nature we can't change.

Maybe in Aquanox 3 these unscientific elements will be retconned away and replaced with more scientifically sound ones.


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Beitrag #10107 Verfasst: Mittwoch 13. März 2013, 22:04
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Re: Are the ELF transmitters based on a mistranslation?
You could use different frequenzies at the same time for example to get a higher bandwith.



quote:


Wikipedia:[...]The antenna length in Republic, Michigan was approximately 52 kilometers (32 mi). The antenna is very inefficient. To drive it, a dedicated power plant seems to be required, although the power emitted as radiation is only a few watts. Its transmission can be received virtually anywhere. [...]

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Beitrag #10110 Verfasst: Freitag 15. März 2013, 06:25

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Registriert: Dienstag 26. Februar 2013, 17:38
Re: Are the ELF transmitters based on a mistranslation?

quote:


Spion hat geschrieben:
Its transmission can be received virtually anywhere.


I think this line refers to "anywhere on a landmass," not at the depths that characters in Aqua most commonly live and fight at (the wikipedia article on Extremely Low Frequency radio waves still mentions how those waves can only penetrate "hundreds of meters" underwater, i.e., not to the kilometers-below-sea-level locations most commonly seen in the Aquanox series). That line still doesn't cover the fact that ELF transmitters need to be built to an enormous size to function due to the very low frequencies transmitted at, so that rules out mobile transmitters.


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Beitrag #10111 Verfasst: Freitag 15. März 2013, 12:24

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Registriert: Freitag 10. Juli 2009, 16:59
Re: Are the ELF transmitters based on a mistranslation?
What about the seafloor? Wouldn't it be possible to receive them anywhere as long as we ware on the seafloor?


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