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Al Christians <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Al Christians <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 26 Feb 2001 15:48:15 -0800
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Tony Lowe wrote:
> The reason I write this, though, has nothing to do with the language.  When
> you are talking of the scale of shooting bombs, the error margins are so
> tight as to be ridiculous.  For our attitude determination system, an error
> of 1 mil (1/6th of a degree) was not really tolerable if you are shooting a
> cannon over several kilometers.  Mind you, our system was still a good
> order of magnitude over any magnetic solution, and significantly less
> noisy, but the systems engineering effort to establish good algorithms and
> compensate for that pesky embedded bug known as the 'real world' far
> overshadows trivial matters such as range checks.
> The point being, if the targets were missed, it is not an indication of a
> software error, but immature algorithms.  If the general's car was hit
> cause the munitions went the wrong way, it probably was.

OK.  The news story I saw said that the military experts were
attributing the inaccuracy of the bombing to a software bug not
because they had actually found a bug, but because so many of
the bombs had missed their targets by about precisely the same
amount.  Of course, all the details are military secrets AFAIK,
which is not very far.  Your description of what goes on in the
real world makes it seem that the story is not credible, that
maybe someone is reading tea leaves on his maps to try to come
up with an excuse for failure after the announcement that
things were efficient and effective.  Software is a convenient
whipping boy.