Since I have particle shields in my setting for my armored vehicles, my military forces have also decided to try and extend that technology to the larger battlefield. One of the issues plaguing my tank corps and infantry is the presence of high precision artillery and air cover.
To combat this my engineers have taken the shielding concept used in tanks but applied to a much larger level. Massive poles are erected that disperse a combination of different particles at different heights based on what an engineer chooses. It can be a couple meters above ground, or higher in the sky based on what a military force in the region desires.
This particle shield is strong enough to shrug off a high velocity artillery, railgun strikes, multi megaton warheads etc (note that nuclear weapons aren't a part of this setting due to external reasons). To sustain these fields an electrical charge/field is required to manipulate and keep these particles from flying a way. These poles double as that. The amount of charge/electrical field intensity directly correlates to how strong said particle field is. These particles spread away from the poles and can spread for miles.
There are a few downsides however, the stronger the charge, the more radio and radar interference there is. At the maximum, radio and radar communications are effective in the meters range with some bad distortion/noise. Until further advancements, the only way to put up fresh particles is to power down a tower, load it with new particles, and finally turn it back on while releasing new particles. Essentially no hot swapping. They don't stop very small particles, so things like chemical and gas warfare can pass through it. The more powerful/electrically charged the field, the darker/less light is let in through an area. They can lose effectiveness under stress and constant punishment. Getting to a point where artillery or bombs will have chunks torn apart or face a damage profile as if multiple shotguns were fired at it, but still hit the ground/target. Past that, with no available particles in the sky, things fall through like normal.
Would my particle shield be effective in limiting maneuver/combined arms warfare?
- Technology is near future. Things like railguns (on large trucks), ETC guns, drones, better armor piercing weapons that rely on chemicals or mechanical properties are all common place. Tanks have a similar shielding system, though they are far more manageable to destroy by sending some long rod penetrators or railgun rounds its ways. Infantry anti tank systems have also caught up to a point where they can harass tanks or outright kill them using newer warheads (or swarm attacking with older warheads). There is some sci fi technology in the aerial domain in regards to flying wings and airships (think Ace Combat flying airship size and technology).
- There are no nuclear weapons for external reasons, though nuclear power certainly exists.
- The particles themselves are a somewhat renewable resource of sorts. They can be mined, synthetically made or harvested from an organism/bacteria etc etc. The bottleneck is in refining these particles such that they can withstand punishment and stay in their suspended lattice field. Lower quality particles won't withstand much punishment or won't be easily controlled/modulated.
- The height of this particle cloud can be controlled.
- Anything required for human life or animal life can go through the particle cloud (air/oxygen). The most powerful setting however can make the sky look a night/dark/dusty color with some pockets of sunshine though during the day.
- The maximum height of the cloud that can be controlled is based on this formula: MaxParticleCloudHeight=poleHeight*3.
- There is no nano technology nor does any faction possess the ability to build such technology for this setting.
- The darker a cloud (ie more energy in the field holding the particles up), the harder it is for aerial reconnaissance or sensors to get intel from what's underneath. Radar, lidar, optical etc all suffer at the higher ends.
Edit: In terms of communications, wire-based communications are unaffected. Furthermore, relay based systems that can take in a message and send it to another wireless relay meters down or more still work. It's just that there is noise added to the signal making it harder to get a cleaner picture without some filtering out.