#188. Tropospheric communication that works

Hi all.

I never tire of being amazed at what a comfortable time we live in. Almost everything that is possible

wish, is literally a couple of clicks fromyou. The delivery speed of the same Wildberries is impressive. I made an order on the morning of September 12 and already on the morning of September 14 I took the order at the pick-up point. During this time, the goods managed to rush from the warehouse in Kazan to the point of issue in Moscow. And it's free.

Sometimes similar distance orders are made forday: in the morning I ordered, the next morning I already took it. A similar procedure was recently performed by OZON, adjusted for the fact that the weight of the package was under 30 kilos. And again, it's free.

And I still have stories in my mail and accountsorders placed in different online stores in 2012-2015. There it happened that books that are in your own city were taken 4-5 days to the points of issue. And I was glad how well and quickly brought. At the same time, judging by the records, I also paid for the delivery.

At the same time, I guess that hardly anyoneThe speed of delivery is very impressive. Everyone will be surprised if it doesn't. Such delivery speeds have become not even a good tone, but the norm to which we are accustomed and believe that this has always been the case.

Table of Contents

  • Game store from VK
  • There are no base stations yet: tropospheric communication "Groza"
  • Conclusion

Game store from VK

News from Vedomosti appears on the network that VKontakte is going to launch its own game store. And for some reason, the store was immediately called the Russian analogue of Steam and Epic Games.

Firstly, nothing particularly new has been launchedwill be. VK and Mail.Ru have MY.Games, which is positioned as "an international developer and publisher of games of various genres for PC, consoles and mobile devices, headquartered in Europe." It is obvious that the new store will be created on the basis of the old one, they will simply change the scenery.

Secondly, I don’t know if this is a submission by journalists"Vedomosti" or so they were told by their sources in "VKontakte", but the very statement of the phrase about the Russian analogue of Steam and Epic Games sounds ridiculous. And the question arises why everything in our country must necessarily be some kind of analogue, which is immediately compared with the Western one: “Russian cola is better than American cola”, “Russian app store is better than Google Play”, “Russian base station is better than Chinese” and, of course , immortal about the "Russian iPhone killer".


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Is it really incomprehensible that you can’t immediately become a “killer” of something from scratch. Which VK Play is an analogue of Steam or Epic Games?

I especially like how the news is reprintedin Kommersant: “VK can invest up to $10 million in the implementation of the strategy, which is approximately two to four times less than the budget for the development of one AAA project abroad (development of Cyberpunk 2077, for example, cost $174 million).” I would like to ask: what did you compare and why? If we compare, then, probably, with other app stores.

By the way, it's no secret that the same Epic Games Store, which can perhaps be called the main aspiring competitor for Steam, is now unprofitable.

The store will bring the first profit, according to forecasts,sometime in 2025. Now every year the game store makes a loss. In 2019 - minus $181 million, in 2020 - another minus $273 million, last year - about $140 million.

Steam's turnover in 2021 amounted to $6.6 billion, which is almost 400 billion rubles. What kind of analogues can we talk about?

Thirdly, how can one be analogous ora competitor if the store will most likely be predominantly Russian games, since the toxic gaming community will kill any studio that starts to openly sell games in Russia.

However, VK itself claims that the Atomic shooterHearts from the Russian studio Mundfish (located in Cyprus) will be released exclusively in the VK Play store. By the way, perhaps it will be so, since at the beginning of September there was a press release that Focus Entertainment (a French developer) would sell the game in the world, and Mundfish in Eastern Europe and the CIS.

Main question:where will the games for the store catalog come from? There are not many games and studios in Russia. Go out of curiosity to the site of the game project MY.GAMES and look at the catalog of games to get an idea of ​​what the new store will be filled with.

At the same time, I do not deny that Russia needs a store for computer programs and games where developers can publish their products.

There are no base stations yet: tropospheric communication "Groza"

Making a selection of advertising posters from the middle of the last century, I came across posters dedicated to the "White Alice" and reporting that something new had appeared under the sun of Alaska.

"White Alice" is a tropospheric communication system,which, in the absence of satellite communications, helped connect Alaska to the mainland. Initially, the system was created by the military. The advertisement emphasizes this point: as soon as an enemy aircraft tries to threaten our northern borders, the signal will immediately be transmitted to the air base, regardless of the weather and weather conditions. However, it was used mainly for civilian purposes. It should be understood here that Alaska was such a wilderness that even in Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, in the 60s there was only one public telephone in the city center for almost 45 thousand people. Accordingly, telephone companies were in no hurry to break budgets by laying telephone cables. And tropospheric communications became an opportunity to establish communications in Alaska, allowing people to call other cities in the world wirelessly.

By the way, in terms of tropospheric communications, we also did not lag behind. The USSR not only caught up, but overtook the United States. In the second half of the 60s, the Sever system was built, which provided communications in distant regions.

The tropospheric connection looks, of course, impressive. Huge antennas 30-40 meters high were piled up.

Such "burdocks" stood throughout Alaska and in the tundra at a distance of up to 500 kilometers from each other.

Now the tropospheric communication stations are abandoned and,despite the fact that they were located in remote and hard-to-reach places, they were plundered. On YouTube you can find a lot of videos of what the stations look like now.

For example, here is one of the stations in Taimyr.Looks very futuristic, right? The stations ran on diesel fuel, and the military was responsible for maintaining them. So there is nothing surprising that there are whole deposits of empty and half-empty barrels around the stations. Over time, they will rust completely and begin to poison the environment even more.

I hope that you looked at the pictures and photographs and curiosity woke up in you, but how does it work.

Typically, microwave signals propagate alongstraight and, accordingly, are limited by the horizon, which is usually at a distance of up to 70 km, and then the Earth is rounded. However, if you are a supporter of the theory of a flat Earth, then you can state your version of events.

And it seemed that the problem was unsolvable, but the wisescientists came up with a way out: energy dissipation in the tropospheric layers of the atmosphere. Thus, for example, it is possible to establish a connection between two objects, between which there is some kind of obstacle (such as a mountain or a spherical Earth).

The picture above shows how this works.connections. The Vitya tower sends a signal to the troposphere, where at an altitude of 10-15 km the signal is re-emitted, reflected from the upper boundary of the troposphere (this is also called a tropospheric mirror). This is due to changes in pressure, humidity, temperature. As a result, the signal begins to scatter in all directions, including the side where the Gennady tower is located. Thus, Valery and Anton can communicate with each other, despite the obstacle in the form of a mountain.

Based on the picture, I think you understanddisadvantages of this type of connection. So, for example, only a small part of the dissipated energy is captured, so for reliability, several antennas were erected at once in order to transmit only their own part of the information to each, and then it was all combined in the receiver.

Many countries around the world have built tropospheric antennas. For example, there was even a connection between Cuba and Florida.

And then satellites came along, and tropospheric communications became a thing of the past as obsolete technology.


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However, if this were indeed the case, thenwould be of this material. In the past few years, an idea has arisen in Russia to revive tropospheric communication. The fact is that tropospheric communication can also be used to transmit digital data. Modern systems are capable of operating at speeds of 4-16 Mbps.

First, tropospheric stations do not have tobe so huge. Here, for example, is the R-412 mobile tropospheric station. Of course, such stations are weaker and operate at shorter distances (up to 250 km), but they are clearly cheaper than satellite Internet.

About ROSTEKH and ROSELEKTRONIKA, we recentlythey said in the context that gentlemen from these most worthy structures showed M. Mishustin (this is our prime minister) a domestic 5G base station, the mass production of which (according to a press release) is planned to begin in 2024. Although Maksut Shadayev (head of the Ministry of Digital Development) says that the first Russian base 4G station will appear only in 2-3 years.

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But it turns out that the Roselectronics holding of the Rostec state corporation is not only about mobile base stations, but also about tropospheric communications too.

And even the first pilot zones are already unfolding.They say that a high-speed tropospheric communication line was organized between Gorno-Altaisk and the Seminsky Pass, popular among travelers, located at an altitude of 1717 meters.

Moreover, as you can see in the illustration above, the speed promises solid. Almost 4K video can be watched.

There are even live photos.Let me quote from the official press release: “The Thunderstorm kit includes an antenna with a diameter of 150 cm, which can be installed both on the roof of a building and on a tripod, as well as a high-speed digital tropospheric communication modem. This modem was developed by the Radio Communications team, it uses the latest information processing approaches, including an equalizer based on neural networks.” Sounds very good. If you're curious, the task of a neural network equalizer, usually trained using the particle swarm method, is to adaptively adjust to reduce distortion that occurs when transmitting or receiving a signal.

By the way, I like Ruselectronics.They have a good catalog with prices on their website. There we learn that one "plate" costs 5 million rubles. Basically a very good price. If you have money and need internet in the country, then you can buy a couple of these.

It is indicated that the distance between the "plates" canbe up to 200 km. So consider how many "plates" you need. The stations have an Ethernet connector, so you can "power" from your home router. The power is listed as "no more than 100 watts".

There are even 2021 field test resultsthe previous version of Thunderstorm, which indicated that the maximum supported speed is 50 Mbps. And during transmission, the average speed was 6 Mbps. Now the speed has doubled.

With the help of such a tropospheric connection, it is possible toto provide communication in hospitals in remote regions or along the route. The price of 5 million rubles is, in principle, very competitive. Thus, the Vedomosti newspaper cited the words of an employee of a cellular company who indicated that “installing an LTE base station in a village where there is a tower and an optical communication line costs 3-5 million rubles. If there is no tower - up to 7 million rubles. But here, of course, one must understand that the Internet must be distributed from Groza in some way. So the maximum you can dream of islets of communication every 200 kilometers.


It's funny that by the time I finished writing thistext, the news arrived that satellite Internet from Elon Musk is now available on all continents, and Russian representatives have already promised that they will shoot down satellites if they are used for military purposes.

Elon Musk understood everything quickly, so the coverage map looks like this. Tropospheric communication is an excellent solution due to its low cost (against the background of satellite communications).