What are Fractal Systems?
A fractal is a natural phenomenon or a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale. It is also known as expanding symmetry or evolving symmetry… One often cited description that Mandelbrot published to describe geometric fractals is “a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole” __ Fractal (in Wikipedia)
Multi-Fractal Systems are Even More Interesting
Multifractal systems are common in nature, especially geophysics. They include fully developed turbulence, stock market time series, real world scenes, the Sun’s magnetic field time series, heartbeat dynamics, human gait, and natural luminosity time series. Models have been proposed in various contexts ranging from turbulence in fluid dynamics to internet traffic, finance, image modeling, texture synthesis, meteorology, geophysics and more.
But in the emerging age of advanced drones, robots, nano-machines, and swarming systems of autonomous drones, the concept of “advanced manmade multifractal systems” is about to get interesting.
What is a Fractal Navy?
A fractal navy is a sea defence that is made up of large numbers of interacting systems at all size scales up to what is necessary and affordable — including lots of drones that swarm, from the nano-scale to the micro-scale to the macro-scales. A fractal navy is meant to cover all meaningful spatial scales, depending upon the waters it is meant to surveil and help defend. Nanobots and microbots may require protective carriers and “sabots” to convey them to the site of their missions, depending upon ambient conditions.
The US Navy of the present is not a fractal navy, but is instead an extravagantly priced fossil navy built around sea defence concepts more suitable for the 19th and 20th centuries.
The U.S. Navy is building a fleet that is not adapted to either the future mission set or rising threats. It is being built centered around aircraft carriers and submarines. Surface ships are being constructed as either escorts for the carriers or as ballistic-missile-defense platforms. While the littoral combat ship (LCS) was originally intended for sea-control operations in the near-shore environment, its current design is best employed as a mother ship for other platforms to enter the littorals. The result of all this is a brittle—and thus risk-adverse—fleet that will not give us influence, may increase the likelihood of conflict, and reduce the range of mission options available to the national command authority.
The US Navy — and the US military in general — has “jumped the shark” in a manner that does a disservice to US taxpayers, citizens, and other residents. But DARPA is trying to reel the Pentagon back into a 21st century reality. … More
Navies for Seastead and Island Nations, Private Flotillas
The seasteading concept is evolving into something of considerable substance and economic investment. One does not build an investment of that magnitude, then leave it undefended for every rogue nation and sea pirate to attack or molest.
Still, seasteaders cannot afford to waste money for an extravagant defence like the governments of the US, China, Russia, and other corrupt monstrosities are doing. They will have to take a different approach, more scale-conscious approach. Not surprisingly for a student of history, the less expensive approach can also be a more effective approach in terms of providing security — if systems are designed and intermeshed properly.
A Seastead’s Fractal Navy Will Have No Nuclear-Powered Submarines or Aircraft Carriers
Nuclear navies are meant to be far-ranging, with individual mission cruises that may last up to a year or more. There is no need for such extravagance by a seastead or island nation. A seastead’s fractal defences will generally stay close to home — although small space-based satellite-swarm reconnaissance systems may prove useful for prosperous seastead and island nations.
The seastead itself will almost certainly be powered by nuclear reactors. An abundance of nuclear generated electrical power and process heat will allow the seastead to power all of its systems, departments, enterprises, residencies, and its surveillance systems — including its fractal navy — economically and almost effortlessly.
A fractal navy will be largely made up of autonomous swarms of surveillance and defence drones — most of them being very small in size. Some will function in the sky, some on the surface, and some will provide eyes and ears under the sea.
The collaboration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) extends relative reach, and therefore the operational footprint. The unmanned aircraft and USV work together to extend data link ranges, and the USV can carry, deploy and recover the UUV, thereby extending its range and providing a safer environment for the host vessel. Extending mission capabilities is critical to efficient and effective maritime missions, creating situational awareness that delivers actionable data and value.
Some defence drones and swarms of the future will be able to function in multiple environments — as needed — in the air, on the surface, or underwater, constantly relaying crucial information to seastead systems and departments. Others will be highly specialised for particular function.
Economies of scale in manufacturing will help keep costs down, but 3-D printing and other on-site manufacturing methods will help keep the fractal navy operating and innovating.
Even Large Navies Will Be Forced to Scale Down, in a Fractal Manner
In the old days, the battleship was the measure of a navy. Next, it was the aircraft carrier group that determined the reach and throw-weight of a navy. But soon, a modern multi-functional frigate will be as large as a navy’s ships will have to be. It will be able to launch its own air force, fire its own missiles and rockets, surround itself with defender drone swarms, destroy enemy aircraft – submarines – missiles – ships, maintaining reconnaissance and projecting lethal force over an area thousands of miles in radius.
Another potential area of innovation designed to improve protection for the new Frigate is the use of “space armor” techniques.
“This involves taking specific spaces and improveing the armor and ballistic protection of the ship to make it more survivable,”Brintzinghoffer added. “Putting armor in vital places improves your ability to absorb damage.”
Part of the rationale for developing the Frigate relates to a new Navy strategy to better arm its vessels with offensive and defensive weapons, enabling them to be better equipped for what’s called deep or “blue water” combat. The strategy, called “distribued lethality,” seeks to better prepare the Navy for higher-tech adversaries and potential near-peer competitors.
More concepts on a future navy: