I was recently informed of WindyTV, which provides an amazing amount of information regarding our planet, projected on a global map. It is especially informative for sailors, with it’s current and wave data.
I wonder how quickly a scout team could set up a similar surveillance system for a newly discovered planet. Perhaps a week for a large division of 10,000 field scouts, with ~100 starships (including ~10 large ships, of roughly 10,000-ton region in size)?
How quickly could it be set up in wartime – the Solomani Rim War, say – when the invading force needs good, secure meteorological data ASAP? “And it would be nice if the enemy couldn’t knock down satellites as quickly as we put them out, hmm?”
That makes me think of cloud cover, and how it could be as important as mountains and shorelines for grav-based forces. Is it possible to hide three lift companies in the eye of a hurricane? It could be time to devise a rapid way to generate thick cloud cover… or take control of the planet’s weather control network (if any).
And is it possible to hide a particle accelerator bolt, so it looks just like a (greatly overpowered) lightning strike? When would this be useful, if ever?
Typically, weather manipulation is seen as heavy capital investment, not easily shifted from one world to another. But the ability to create local weather patterns could be interesting: we all know what happened to Napoleon and Hitler. Also of note is the kamikaze wind – typhoons that destroyed the Mongol invasion of Japan… twice.
A portable quick’n’dirty weather creation system could be of some value to an invading force.