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The Military Power Technology

Military Uses 'Bat-Hook' To Tap Power From Lines 282

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the cutting-corners dept.
Zothecula writes "As soldiers are fitted out with more and more electrical sytems to extend their capabilities, they become increasingly dependent on the power needed to run them. Since soldiers in the field don't always have ready access to an electrical outlet when they need to top up the batteries, the US Air Force has developed a device that taps directly into the electricity flowing through overhead power lines ... a kind of bat-hook for real-life superheroes."
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Military Uses 'Bat-Hook' To Tap Power From Lines

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  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Thursday November 11, 2010 @02:55PM (#34199150)
    You might think you are a real-life superhero, but you are probably not.
  • Re:Is this legal? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jolyonr (560227) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:05PM (#34199284) Homepage

    > Will the military have a special contract with the power companies to let them do this?

    Probably not a big issue when you have a lot of guns and are invading the country in question.

  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AnonGCB (1398517) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (smaps7)> on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:10PM (#34199350)

    I never said they weren't necessary, but we shouldn't revel in their actions. And yes, like you say, sometimes they are doing what they do for the greater good. Many times it is just needless interventionism though.

  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by zhong-guo-1 (1929014) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:10PM (#34199356)
    There's no reasoning with hardcore statists, they are too far gone. The cognitive dissonance between patriotism and objective morality is too much to handle, so they go with patriotism. iraqbodycount.org ~100,000 documented civilian deaths. What is going to come of that? How many people did the US piss off.
  • Re:Is this legal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Compaqt (1758360) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:11PM (#34199370) Homepage

    Well the article says this is for special ops forces, which basically means that they are in Country X without an invitation, usually to kill people and break things. So recharging their iPhones seems to pale in comparison.

  • by icebike (68054) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:12PM (#34199384)

    This seems odd if you ask me. Anytime the US military assaults a populated area the first thing to disappear is the power grid.

    Once they hold an area, they could just step into any building and get all the power they need. Who's going to say no?

    Seems this is designed to be used for clandestine operations, where they need a fairly substantial amount of power from a power system they know is still operational.

    But look at the size of the cable notch and you can see this is to tap into building feed lines (entrance lines), its not big enough for high tension lines, (which generally aren't rubber coated any way). Any line small enough to fit in that notch

    Does that mean this is planned for suburban/residential areas or locations where there are building feed lines overhead? Some of the images on the linked page seem to show this (the unshielded cable in the images being for suspension only, and the other two conductors for power).

    Yet that kind of entrance is not all that common in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, so one wonders if this isn't for domestic use in disaster relief situations where no one will begrudge them the power.

  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AnonGCB (1398517) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (smaps7)> on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:15PM (#34199420)

    I'll agree with you on your second set of statements, but just because they're doing their job doesn't excuse them. They are invading a country where they aren't wanted and are murdering people.

  • Re:Is this legal? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drdrgivemethenews (1525877) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:17PM (#34199446)
    Presumably it's for use mostly in other countries. Which means they'd better have 220v converters, or switching power supplies.
  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by AnonGCB (1398517) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (smaps7)> on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:19PM (#34199468)

    I don't have a simplistic and unrealistic impression of how the world works. I never stated a cadre of beliefs, you are simply assuming - for the sake of rational debate you, and everyone else, should stop doing that when you encounter an opinion you don't like.

    As I stated in another comment - "I never said they weren't necessary, but we shouldn't revel in their actions. And yes, like you say, sometimes they are doing what they do for the greater good. Many times it is just needless interventionism though."

    Yes there are complex reasons, but the use of force is supposed to be a last resort rather than the second option.

  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blair1q (305137) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:21PM (#34199504) Journal

    If you're not going to give them a parade, then you need to pay them more.

  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:23PM (#34199526)

    Blame the one (politicians) wielding the sword, not the sword itself.

  • by zhong-guo-1 (1929014) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:30PM (#34199624)
    It doesn't matter what you think of me, I don't care. You didn't address my points: The military is bankrupting our country, our presence in other nations engender ill will. What you said is: "As long as your following orders, it's ok. Herp derp, Soldiers are special, therefore I'm special too because I served. You're a cucka face" Wake up bucko, this isn't space command of the 21st century. China is going to beat our ass with a 2x4, and they're going to do it without using military might. We're fucked if people don't come around and accept the inevitable transformations needed to compete with the singular vision of 1.2 billion people. xue zhong wen hai shi ni mei you dong shi
  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:35PM (#34199672)

    Military is the only profession where part of your job description is to give your life for others if necessary. Not to mention that it's a very hard job and for not that much money. I think they deserve a bit of credit, considering that they protect your interests as determined by the politicians that you elect, who are actually the ones who control what our military does and who they invade or not invade. If you disagree with a particular war, fine, blame the politicians who started it. By calling the soldiers murderers, you are no better than the ignorant hippie pieces of shit who spat on the crippled Vietnam veterans and called them baby killers.

  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AnonGCB (1398517) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (smaps7)> on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:38PM (#34199702)

    No I'm not - but by choosing to join the military you are supporting 'preemptive murder'. You are going over there and killing people who (I assume) you strongly suspect are a threat to you. Unfortunately that threat is subjective - the only time I'd say you are justified in killing someone is self defense. Unfortunately, YOU ARE THE INVADER and they are defending themselves from you, not the other way around. By attacking them you are only inciting more hate toward your country and inspiring the populous there to come over and kill us here.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @03:58PM (#34199966)

    Anytime the US military assaults a populated area the first thing to disappear is the power grid.

    From TFA, this was requested by special operations critters. They and other secret squirrels are in, snooping around, way before the power grid is taken out by air strikes. This thingie is meant for them, not regular troops.

    Once they hold an area, they could just step into any building and get all the power they need.

    . . . if they hadn't destroyed the power grid as mentioned above. Oops. "Unpack the diesel generator, Scotty."

  • Re:Prior art? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brainboyz (114458) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:01PM (#34200010) Homepage

    What are you smoking? You can't make a claim like that and expect it to be believed without sources. Most (all?) power plants have crews monitoring voltage and frequency output and responding by bringing generators on or offline depending on the needs of the grid.

  • Re:Is this legal? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:08PM (#34200096)
    It's possibly a war crime actually. You're not allowed to pillage, and one would assume that would mean using an occupied nations electrical grid against it as well. Now, if you're in their with the backing of the ruling power, I doubt very much that they'd appreciate you damaging their power lines in that fashion.
  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tophermeyer (1573841) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:14PM (#34200188)

    They are invading a country where they aren't wanted and are murdering people.

    And we are responsible for sending them there.

    Own up to the fact that we have let our political leadership run wild with our recent wars. The military answers to Civilian authority. Soldiers very literally have no ability to refuse their orders. This is ingrained in them from the moment they enter basic training. Civilian authorities like that because it means we can send these guys to do our bidding while publicly denouncing the horrendous necessity of their existence.

    They are doing exactly what our political leadership is asking them to do. Our political leadership is elected by people like you and me. You can't put those atrocities on them without accepting equal responsibility for allowing it to happen.

    But if it makes you feel good about yourself to shit on these guys on Veterans day, go right ahead.

  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:41PM (#34200550)

    You're making the assumption that a strong military invokes blood lust.

    something about having a hammer and only seeing a lot of nails maybe?

    Parity tends to produce cooperation, overwhelming superiority tends to produce arrogance towards those you are superior too.

    Do you seriously thing we would have invaded Iraq if we didn't know our military could kick the crap out of them? (note this is different than actually planning for the consequences of *after* kicking the crack out of them which we didn't do either).

  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by endymion.nz (1093595) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:48PM (#34200626)
    Own up to the fact that the United States is constantly at war, even if they haven't actually declared war since WWII. It's what you do. Yours truly, the rest of the world.
  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gknoy (899301) <gknoy@anasazi[ ]tems.com ['sys' in gap]> on Thursday November 11, 2010 @07:59PM (#34202454)

    And yet, they still do a (mostly) thankless job, at great personal risk, which you or I would be unwilling to do. Much of what they do is good, some of what they do are for reasons which we might disagree with... they're still courageous.

  • by hitmark (640295) on Friday November 12, 2010 @06:41AM (#34205144) Journal

    could work, if the cape have strands of some material or other that will go rigid when electrically charged.

    Tho it would be more like a hang-glider then actually flying unless one also pack some kind of miniature jet or rocket.

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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