Unit History - Skyeye Sentry
Skyeye Sentry (Skyeye Drone，Chinese: 天眼哨机)
Designation: Automated Sentry/Scout
National Origin: Celestial Empire
Designer: 11st Academy of Aerospace Research in Capital
Manufacturer: White Dove Unmanned Tech Works
Mass-Produced at: Infantry Garrison
>>High Density Superconducting Batteries (Military Version)/Lithium-Ion Batteries (Civilian Version)
>>Miniaturised Microwave Transmission Equipment
>>2D-6 Comprehensive Wide Area Measurement System [CWAMS, including: 96MP High Resolution Camera, Miniature Night Optical Device, High Sensitivity Vibration Sensor, High Accuracy Disguise Revelation System (Consists of Areal Environment Spectrum Comparison, IR Characteristic Recognition and Human Face Recognition processed by Complex AI Algorithm)] (Military Version Only)
>>6C-4 Low Lethality Target Denial System (Military Version Only)
>>Greeting Card with Signature of Ambassador from Celestial Travel Agency
Intelligence and logistics are equally important to other factors of an army. In the heat of the battle, it is very hard for spies to send out critical information accurately and quickly. Any mistake or delay will cause serious misjudgement by frontline commanders. The risk of spies being exposed cannot be overlooked either. This is why scouts or reconnaissance units are widely used throughout the history of war.
In the Celestial Empire, the history of scouts can be traced back as far as 1000 B.C. In the great work Shiming (Literal meaning ‘Explanation of Names’), the Chinese word “斥候” (Chihou, pronunciation: chì hòu, equivalent to scout) was mentioned as “500 hu (unit that measures displacement of ships) class ship has a cabin called Chihou, which is used for observing the actions of enemies.” The two characters are explained by “斥” as “measure”, “候” as “watch”, respectively. Another book, Shujing Yu Gong described scout as “serves their duty of scouting”. The ancients clearly recognized the importance of scouts in battle. In the past, scouts were astute and highly disciplined soldiers. They received more payment as the reward for risking their life in enemy territory. The casualty is so high, that a former scout even wrote in his memoir: “My incredible income was came from the wage of my brothers who sacrificed on the battlefield.”
As the battle evolves, scouts are required to study more and more skills. Their workload has become overwhelming, both physically and mentally. Many officers and generals agree that putting elite solders on scouting mission is simply too costly. These soldiers are too valuable to the army. The appearance of a revolutionary technology is the final straw on the scouts.
Less than ten years after the end of the European War, the FutureTech Corporation was founded in New Brunswick. Its ground-breaking Mobile Construction technology marked its rising not only within Allies military defence market, but also as one of the greatest threats to Celestial Central Academy of Technology (CAT) and Central Academy of Industry (CAI). Although the actual applications (for example the famous Allies MCV) were not put into use yet, the technology itself was already well-known among Celestial scientists and engineers. As a response, the Celestial Empire developed Global Informatisation Combat Command System and Compact Quantum Construction Core. The difficulties brought by Mobile Construction technology to scouts remained. Many staff officers argued that regular reconnaissance troops (Mostly human soldiers) would not be able to keep up with the constantly shifting battlefield caused by Mobile Construction technology. Theoretically, an MCV will be capable of building up a military base in days and stationing a well-equipped brigade in it. And the MCV can pack up in one day and perform strategic manoeuver to another location. This is far beyond the mobility and self-sustainability of any scouts. It also exponentially increases the risk of reconnaissance mission.
Joining the battle along MCV, are the notorious SIS agents from United Kingdoms. Equipped with advanced disguise technologies, these gentlemen can easily fool soldiers and even dogs -- if they are not fully trained. Infiltration, Sabotage, bribery and assassination are just like a walk in the park.
Despite realising the new challenge, it was not until the born of AI then the new generation scout became possible. The Ministry of War was very interested in these robots. They subsequently bought lots of civilian robots and refitted them for military use. The army however, considered these robots rough and incompetent. But the Ethics committees of Ministry of War intervened the further development, stating that it is too early to equip lethal weapons on unmanned vehicles or drones.
Coincidentally, the United States announced its unmanned sentry program about the same time. The Celestial General Staff immediately decided to cooperate with the Ministry of War to host a large-scale meeting. The meeting confirmed the new unmanned reconnaissance drone development program.
The project was assigned to the newly established 11th Academy of Aerospace Research. The academy’s specialty was small aircraft and unmanned aircraft. The project was given the serial number 1F566. The academy did not request any advanced materials. Instead, it simply chose to use PEEK (Polyether ether ketone). It has the glass transition temperature of around 143 degrees Celsius and the operating temperature of up to 250 degrees Celsius. It suits the various environmental conditions in the Celestial Empire. Additionally, it is very resistant to acid and base, as well as biodegradation. These properties make it a great choice for military equipment.
The power supply was consisted of a low noise electricity generator. It powered a tilting ducted fan that provides both thrust and lift. The aircraft can reach 40km/h top speed and ceiling 640m. The battery was a hydrogen (methanol) fuel cells pack. This powerful battery pack can power the engine for at least 72 hours. Later when the Husu Union Industry successfully developed the superior high density superconducting batteries, this new generation battery replaced the fuel cell.
To further extent the aircraft’s endurance, the engineers of the 11th Academy decided to fit the aircraft with a simplified version of microwave transmission equipment. Although this decision was opposed by many, it was proved to be insightful when the nuclear fusion technology was developed and almost made the Celestial army fully electricity-powered. The aircraft can not only recharge itself under the system, but also provide electricity to other Celestial equipment.
1F566 also had an interesting weapon system. It is a low lethality target denial system armed with directed microwave emitter. This weapon shoots out microwave that will cause skin irritation. If it focus for longer period, it will even cause skin burn or worse injury. It will normally trigger human instinct to flee from the aircraft. In case of this weapon failed, the system contained a compressed nitrogen sting launcher with an effective range of 32m in windy condition. There was an intense argument on if lethal toxicant should be used in the sting. Some people even proposed an autoloader design that may switch ammunition. The proposal was immediately rejected for obvious reason: not enough space.
The final decision was an anaesthetic developed by medical school of the Capital University. When the sting hits the target, the anaesthetic will be pushed from container into human body. The target will lose the ability of speech and coordination within three seconds after a sharp pain. Within 10 seconds the target will lose consciousness. Considering individual differences and injection location, the sting is nonetheless potentially lethal. So it is highly advised to inject antitoxic in 15 minutes.
Overall this weapon was still welcomed by the Celestial army. The strong anaesthetic can prevent the enemy to take any action before losing consciousness. As a result, Celestial soldiers can safely approach the target (and even inject antitoxic after that) without the risk of being harmed.
The surveillance equipment consisted of a small wide area measurement system produced by 208 Optoelectronics Factory. This comprehensive system included a 96MP high resolution camera and a starlight+infrared combined night optical device. The former can select standard resolution, 60 FPS focused mode or low resolution, 120 FPS scan mode. The latter can assist the camera to capture any target at night even without available light.
The algorithm was also constantly optimised to counter United Kingdoms’ agents and later Mirage Tank. Additional patches were added to further enhance its ability to distinguish other camouflages. For human scouts or agents, the UAV also had special function of marking suspicious noise location on the map.
The project 1F566 was officially named “Skyeye” after entering service. More usages were discovered by soldiers. Initially designed as unmanned scout, the Skyeye did fulfil her role nicely. Her service freed up troops from patrolling and scouting. Her microwave weapon, surprisingly, can be used like a mini microwave oven on the battlefield. This provided Special Forces or other covert operation forces a great tool of cooking when staying in the enemy territory. This discovery was soon known by soldiers in the army. More and more soldiers started to use Skyeye to boil water or heat up food, causing the mechanical failure record to go haywire. The army was forced to temporarily issue a warning to prohibit any non-combat usage of the Skyeye Sentry, but the illegal uses were still happening. Eventually Celestial engineers standardised the power level for each application of the microwave emitter. The warning was withdrawn. The Skyeye Sentry was exceptionally popular among artillery troops. They stated that “water boiled by chemical heater has strange taste and will completely ruin our tea.”
Since the number of Skyeye Sentry requested by the army was so large, the 11th Academy transfer some of the orders to White Dove Unmanned Tech Works. This decision was also taking into consideration that, should the situation require, civilian factories will have the ability to shift to military production.
Other than the orders from the Celestial army. The White Dove Works also acquired license to produce variant for law enforcements. This variant replaced the powerful military anaesthetic to a commercially available one and limited the power of microwave emitter. The surveillance system was linked to police database so that it can search for suspect in the population. It can effectively prevent crimes by using sting to disable criminals. The crime rate in Celestial Empire was dropped even lower after Skyeye Sentry entering police force. The most significant achievement of Skyeye Sentry was the crack down the infamous gang “Zhang San”. This success increased the public confident of criminal justice system.
Unfortunately these two variants are not available to civilians (With some exceptions that are approved by the police). In this case, the White Dove Works designed a civilian version with the same name Skyeye. On this new model, the weapon system was removed, the night-vision device was also cancelled and the camera was replaced with a model fits the civilian requirement (Lower resolution but improved noise reduction and colour depth). The civilian version Skyeye is so cheap that most Celestial families can afford it. Nowadays the Skyeye Sentry has become a signature view in Celestial Empire. Celestial citizens love the sentries’ powerful selfie function. It does retain the ability of being a mobile charger. People no longer need to carry the heavy mobile power pack with them anymore.
As the one of the perfect examples of military and civilian dual purpose products, the civilian version of Skyeye Sentry supports even more customisation than the military version does. This make it even more popular among the public. Celestial Travel Agency also often sends out its ambassador to help the sale. In these events the Skyeye Sentry will get a 10% off with the ambassador’s own signature on the greeting card as present.
But the most important contribution of the Skyeye Sentry remains in the military. The loss of Allies and Soviet intelligence department increased rapidly as more and more units were equipped with Skyeye Sentry. This includes some of the top agents within the Celestial Empire. Many were caught when they were delivering information. These sentries are also the greatest nightmare of spies on the battlefield. All the disguises are useless before the advanced algorithm. Only sting and arrest await these spies…
Notes from the Field
Battlefield reconnaissance has revealed at least these facts about the Skyeye Sentry:
Nowhere to Hide -- Skyeye Sentry can reveal almost any disguise on the battlefield. The minor abnormality on Spy or Mirage Tank’s disguise will be enhanced by the algorithm by hundreds of times.
Mercy for All -- The weapon system of Skyeye Sentry is by every mean non-lethal. In reality, the microwave weapon can only slow down enemy movement and distract them from combat. Plus it is designed to pin down single target but not supress riot. The most aggressive action it can do is using sting to disable a target. As a result, Skyeye Sentry requires assistance from human to actually stop crimes.
Eye of Providence -- The Skyeye Sentry’s incredible endurance allows it to oversee one region or go deep into enemy territory to provide detailed information to army commanders. The thorough analysis on the battlefield is critical to decision making.
Ghost in the Air -- Powered by quiet generator and ducted fan, the Skyeye Sentry can quietly fly on top of enemies without being noticed. But it does not contain any actual stealth design. Air warning radar is still capable of detecting it.
Anywhere You Need -- The efficient assembly line and cheap materials make the Skyeye Sentry easy to manufacture. Soldiers do not need much training to control them either thanks to the advanced AI in the sentry. Celestial Empire can massively produce Skyeye Sentry without issue.
Corona Development Team
Proposed by: Alpha
Written by: Ninghai
Edited by: CQ
Translated by: Mirage in the Void