Thursday, July 8, 2010

Is RDF used in the modern world?

UPDATE: Right it is twelve hours later and the cops have not found him so I think I will take the tinfoil hat off and trash that little piece of speculation.

So here is a little public speculation. There is an armed and exceptionally dangerous gunman loose in Northumbria. He has declared war on the police and has already killed a man and shot two others including a policeman. The story leads the BBC website. The police believe they have the fugitive tied down to quite a small area of woodland. There are armed police, armoured vehicles and all sorts in the area.

Yet the Radio 4 BBC 6 o'clock news does not lead with this story. It has two other very long pieces which take up 15 minutes first.

So I am wondering whether police did a deal with the BBC and are using radio direction finding equipment to target the gunman. He is probably able to listen to the radio news on a small receiver. I wonder whether police are anticipating he will want to listen to news about himself. I would imagine they would need a short period to triangulate signals and then a more extended period to check them.

If he is caught in the next few hours that would boost my speculation into something more concrete. If not then he is smarter than he looks or the BBC genuinely think that speculation over a possible US Russian spy swap is more important than reassuring the thousands of civilians in the area who await news and are scared for their safety.

Time will tell.


Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Am I missing something here?

I thought the fugitive had to be transmitting for there to be any triangulation of signals.

Shane Ponting said...

Uh yeah - a consumer radio receives not transmits. Sure you have leakage in the form of Local Oscillators but at AM/FM frequencies that would dissipate within only a few metres. Unless he has something which actively transmits any sort of meaningful triangulation will not be possible.

Oswald Bastable said...

Back in the days of detector vans, valve technology and the power used made detecting an operating local oscillator a lot easier to- well- detect than on a modern solid state device.

Even then, the sight of a detector van would send paranoid sheep (who knew nothing of electronics) trotting off to the Post Office for a TV and/or radio licence!

Oswald Bastable said...

I meant to say that the sight of the detector van was more effective than the actual detecting ability!

Anonymous said...

That's not the problem.

The cops knew where he was early on.

The unarmed cops. And then he shot unarmed locals.

There are obvious reasons why this happens in the UK and NZ and doesn't happen in Texas.

Anonymous said...

Anon reminds of the recent case in the US where 3 cops shot an armed guy a number of times. When the reporter asked the Sherriff why so many shots he looked straight at the camera and said Their magazine were empty

David said...

It is possible of course that the police asked the BBC to blank their coverage for a bit to leave him psichologically isolated. This would be valid if they knew he was listening and was liable to act on information contained in news bulletins.

Anonymous said...

What if he was just listening to Alan Partridge's show. Tin foil hat theory, Sag.