Author Topic: Space Combat - what do you think the Effective Combat Range of weapons in space woul?  (Read 18098 times)

karajorma

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Quote from: Mr_Brit
Right to start things off the max range of space combat will be about 1000 km because of the limitations of technology. Seeing as beam weapons etc will not really take place in space because the amount of electric they use unless you can make a renewable fuel source that can take the drain of them, youíre pretty fucked if you have beams weapons, so scrap them. so now your left with 4 weapon options, hybrid (rail guns etc), projectile (guns etc), mines, missles (explosives) or believe it or not gravity (we are very far off from this but it is possible).


Sorry but no.

 I'd say that we're closer to a power source that will power beam weapons than we are to gravity based weapons. And it's incredibly premature to start ruling them out if you are including gravity based weapons anyway. In the years it will take us to figure out how to make gravity based weapons we'd have plenty of time to come across the renewable energy source you've so flippantly discarded.

And beam weapons are quite possible. The US experimented with the use of bomb-pumped X-ray or gamma masers during the Star Wars project. They could never get the yields high enough to make them worthwhile but given that we're talking about weapons in the far future I'd say it's not unreasonable to expect that we can see developments in that area.

And that's all without even mentioning the stupendous amounts of energy we could tap into from fusion or antimatter (both of which are also far in advance of gravity based technology).

ngtm1r

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My personal view rather matches the Berserker books. You can fire projectiles (kinetics) out to about 10 million klicks, but they will be either intercepted or dodged. Effective beam range is more like half that, and at that range, you'll hit most of the time...or would, but even at that range you are extremely unlikely to slip a shot through. Fights start getting interesting at effective missile range, one million kilometers, but decisive combat takes place at under two hundred kilometers.

They're also the only universe I know of that has true superluminal combat, but C+ combat is effective suicide; one shot slips through and your ship, no matter size or structural integrity, is going to tear itself apart. Occasionally a Berserker (which is roughly as large as a good-sized moon) survives a hit in C+ combat, but not often. Anybody else is just screwed.
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kilo_foxtrot

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laser lunacy
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2006, 11:42:00 PM »
I've been intrigued lately with the concept of lasers countering lasers. Remember Ender's Game? At longer distances, the lasers in the Battle Room had to be aimed on-target for longer than at closer distances, since there was dispersion in the beam. Long distance battles (say, in the millions of miles or km, your preference) using lasers would require lengthy exposure of the beam to the target. During that time, what if a laser on the target ship were fired with the appropriate phase difference to produce a zero-amplitude wave, nullifying the beam?

Naturally, it would be very, very hard to do, and would require fast, precise computer control with information gleaned from detectors all over the surface of the ship. The terminal point of the initial ray would also probably have to be incident upon the emitter of the target's laser, unless you wanted to get into the possibility of diffraction pattern damage from the laser, satellite drones around your ship spreading energy out by firing their own lasers and smoothing damage out over the hull instead of in one focal point... neato stuff.

Of course, this is only really important at "long" distances, since if you're in close, sure the other guy can fire a laser at you... but why not pump him full of KEW ordinance to teach him a lesson, since the accuracy is better at "close" range?

Summation: Lasers and KEWs are cool.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2006, 11:44:18 PM by kilo_foxtrot »
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aonomus

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Well it doesn't matter if you can fire the laser, you have to hit the exact same spot at the exact opposite phase (180 deg, out of phase) on your OWN ship, at the same angle, anythign else won't work because you can shine two out of phase lasers through each other and they will pass by without any difference. Not to mention that you can't actually measure the phase of the incoming beam until it hits, simple as that, at which point its too late and your hull will start heating up.

Another issue, a really powerful laser beam can burn through things pretty fast but you would think that they would make heat-dissapating materials cause they are in space anyway.

A laser is hard to aim over millions of km, a KE weapon at relativistic speeds is pretty much nil impossible to stop, placing a viper infront of it would make for a nice cloud of viper-dust, but the KE weapon would keep going unaffected. Rail guns may be able to accelerate things up to 10km/s, but the technology (right now at least) isn't going to work, not to mention over a million km, that'll take about 1 day to reach the target, by then *long* gone. Relativistic weapons are the only practical method for long-distance battles, and cause of conservation of momentum, you'd have your giant million ton ship flying off in the opposite direction at a decent speed that would be hard to deal with, let alone the structural stresses involved in absorbing the shock from accelerating something to C.

Joona

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Quote from: Mr_Brit

and also joona in a vacuum your blood boils at around 0* I think lol could be quite funny =p


Yes it does. I am a scuba diver so I know perfectly well what the bends and pressure differences mean. But not until you're dead for other reasons way before that. Like asphyxiation.

Human skin is a pretty tough "space suit" in itself, so the cause of death will certainly not be of "boiled blood". Astronauts and cosmonauts who've experienced a brief enough decompression to tell about it report that the saliva in their mouth kinda funnily fizzes away.

Must try myself sometime :biggrin1:

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kilo_foxtrot

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shotguns in space
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2006, 02:55:50 PM »
I think I covered the first argument when I offered the drawbacks, as well as the possibility of satellite ship lasers. Yes, you'd have to wait for the attacker's beam's incidence upon the hull to start measuring phase... but at appreciable distances, a very powerful laser is still going to take time to heat the hull. It would end up being a race between the degradation of your own armor and the reaction of your own counter-laser system. You probably wouldn't get out of it unscathed, but better a set of scorch marks over the hull than a molten hole bored straight through. If you have power to fire your own laser, it becomes less of a shootout and more of a choking grapple between two ships to see who can last the longest.

Yes, KEWs have their advantages in space, but any error or variability in targeting is going to increase as a function of the distance to target. For relatively closer distances, where the ordinance doesn't have as far to travel, they would most likely be ideal. Of course, if you've got a target that is dancing around, moving erratically but still controlled, you've got a very hard mark to hit. Guidable or "lockable" missiles might be preferred over lasers and KEWs in a case like that... or the buckshot method, where a "space shotgun" blasts out a big cloud of projectiles that might have a better chance of putting ordinance on target.

The heat dissipation concept is important. If you take out your enemy's heat sinks or radiators or such, then they're going to have to greatly limit their activities, slowly cook, or both. Fun fun!
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kilo_foxtrot

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shotguns... in space!
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2006, 03:00:51 PM »
I think I covered the first argument when I offered the drawbacks, as well as the possibility of satellite ship lasers. Sorry if I wasn't clear. The satellites could be at such a distance from the ship that the angle of incidence for their lasers closely approximate that of the attacking beam. Of course, that introduces more lag in the control of the system, since you have to instruct the satellites in what to do by radio. Yes, you'd have to wait for the attacker's beam's incidence upon the hull to start measuring phase... but at appreciable distances, a very powerful laser is still going to take time to heat the hull. It would end up being a race between the degradation of your own armor and the reaction of your own counter-laser system. You probably wouldn't get out of it unscathed, but better a set of scorch marks over the hull than a molten hole bored straight through. If you have power to fire your own laser, it becomes less of a shootout and more of a choking grapple between two ships to see who can last the longest.

Yes, KEWs have their advantages in space, but any error or variability in targeting is going to increase as a function of the distance to target. For relatively closer distances, where the ordinance doesn't have as far to travel, they would most likely be ideal. Of course, if you've got a target that is dancing around, moving erratically but still controlled, you've got a very hard mark to hit. Guidable or "lockable" missiles might be preferred over lasers and KEWs in a case like that... or the buckshot method, where a "space shotgun" blasts out a big cloud of projectiles that might have a better chance of putting ordinance on target.

The heat dissipation concept is important. If you take out your enemy's heat sinks or radiators or such, then they're going to have to greatly limit their activities, slowly cook, or both. Fun fun!
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FireHawk

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Hi, so KEW projectiles shot out in a space battle that miss their target go on and on and on at the same speed as when they were shot out of the gun, unless slowed by gravity, right?

So in theory if BSG returned back along its route or near its route to the twelve colonies years later it could be hit by missed KEW rounds or nukes in space or in the orbit of planets that were shot out during battles years before.........those colonials have all the luck, dont they?

Cheers

Unknown Target

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The KEWs would actually keep accelerating, until they reached near the speed of light (which is like 9999999999 miles per second or whatever). So a bit of cosmic space dust would basically be like an atomic bomb. You know those "deflector shields" in Star Trek? IIRC that's what they're for - clearing space dust and the like out of the way of the ship.
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Wanderer

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KEW would keep accelerating? which energy would accelerate them? Once Kinetic Energy Weapon is fired it will keep its velocity relatively constant (gravity would still influence this) instead of increasing it. If it would be a rocket or similar system it would sooner or later run out of propellant

And AFAIK in Trekkie ships the blue things or the funny looking antennas pointing forward were used to deflect particles and deflector shields were totally different thing,

But i would stick with particles accelerators.. though not as fast as lasers particle guns would have relativistic or near relativistic speeds so their travel times wouldnt be excessive.. Non-charged particles will not even repulse each other so the beam dispersion wouldnt be huge either. Also AFAIK as those have potential to cause ionizing radiation that would be a nice extra, radiation burns and light EMP effects for non-protected cpus..

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I would opt for launching Leoben's out of airlocks at high speed towards you target, with enough velocity he could do damage and certainly would rattle the fragile dispositions of you target :P
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Mr_Brit

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Sorry but no.

I'd say that we're closer to a power source that will power beam weapons than we are to gravity based weapons. And it's incredibly premature to start ruling them out if you are including gravity based weapons anyway. In the years it will take us to figure out how to make gravity based weapons we'd have plenty of time to come across the renewable energy source you've so flippantly discarded.

And beam weapons are quite possible. The US experimented with the use of bomb-pumped X-ray or gamma masers during the Star Wars project. They could never get the yields high enough to make them worthwhile but given that we're talking about weapons in the far future I'd say it's not unreasonable to expect that we can see developments in that area.

And that's all without even mentioning the stupendous amounts of energy we could tap into from fusion or antimatter (both of which are also far in advance of gravity based technology).

lol sorry to say but your wrong

Yes "America" has made beam weapons, in all truth we known about the technology of 100's of years, just not till now that eleritric can be used in such a way of convert the energy into a "beam" of light. Thatís what beam laser is, itís a very simple idea but to make a manmade version needs a lot of technology.

Antimatter we don't even know if it is true lol nor dark matter or dark energy. One fact we do know that is truth is that E=mc^2, and from this we found out the universe can bend. Thus making gravity weapon possible, we can effective "bend" the ship till it rips apart. Getting the technology to do this is a different matter, but there are theories and tech behind it, itís just along way off. Now for antimatter, *cough* bullshit *cough* in my eyes could not exist? why, scientist have clamed them have made it for 0.004 of second or something like that, why did the box it was made in not blow up? Because itís not true. As for fusion; thatís just science fiction atm, plus would you think we could contain it in? there is no known metal that could withstand its heat really, the only know theory for making it is the "star in the jar" theory which was proven as flaw, the only reason why scientist come up with this bullcrap is because they get paid for it and also can win a award worth £1 million pounds in there wallet

Thatís why I have ruled it out, because there is no way to have a fuel source for it. space ships will run on ion drives in the next 100's of years which means there going to be like carriers on the sea and have nuclear power plants in them, or they will use solar panels but this will be ruled out quickly when space gets populated because they are easily broken, this means they will have the electric to run for about 40 MW now most of that is going to be used up by life-support and the sensors and lighting, to make the light for a beam weapon your talking in the MW's thatís why NASA's idea of a Boeing 747 with a laser in it is only able to fire once, and the satellite they "maybe" putting up in space will only be able to fire once every day, because of the amount of power need to get that light at the frequency and magnitude needed, so in a heated battle you would be only be able to fire a beam weapon once, and for the cost and the power, whatís the point in that in a space battle? Plus a simple mirror can reflect the light off anyway so you just shine up your armour and bobís your uncle youíve got a ship that canít be hit by beam cannons so sorry mate you are wrong lol.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2006, 11:41:00 PM by Mr_Brit »

karajorma

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Quote from: Mr_Brit
Yes "America" has made beam weapons, in all truth we known about the technology of 100's of years, just not till now that eleritric can be used in such a way of convert the energy into a "beam" of light. That’s what beam laser is, it’s a very simple idea but to make a manmade version needs a lot of technology.


I don't need you to explain to me what a laser is. Apparently you are having trouble with what a maser is though if you think that you need a big electrical source to power a bomb-pumped graser.

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Antimatter we don't even know if it is true lol

Sorry but that is utter bollocks. Scientists have made anti-hydrogen under laboratory conditions already.


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One fact we do know that is truth is that E=mc^2, and from this we found out the universe can bend. Thus making gravity weapon possible, we can effective "bend" the ship till it rips apart.


You've got to be kidding me with this one. We have yet to discover the graviton and yet you believe we are closer to gravity weapons than antimatter. A substance which we can already make and control (in very very small quantities admittedly).

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Now for antimatter, *cough* bullshit *cough* in my eyes could not exist? why, scientist have clamed them have made it for 0.004 of second or something like that, why did the box it was made in not blow up?


Because they only made 11 atoms of anti-hydrogen. IIRC they held them in a magnetic field in a particle accelerator and then smashed them into matter. But that's just anti-atoms. We already make antimatter on a routine basis in PET scanners.

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As for fusion; that’s just science fiction atm, plus would you think we could contain it in? there is no known metal that could withstand its heat really, the only know theory for making it is the "star in the jar" theory which was proven as flaw, the only reason why scientist come up with this bullcrap is because they get paid for it and also can win a award worth £1 million pounds in there wallet


Again that is absolute bollocks and proves that you don't understand the concepts.

1) Hot fusion is very real. The fusion occurs in a hot plasma torus constrained by magnetic fields. The only problem is scaling it up and making it efficient. I'm sure that is much closer than gravity weapons.
2) Sonoluminescence was proved to be a load of very poor science but Pyroelectric fusion is real.

But if you're such an expert why waste your time with us. Go tell ITER that they are wasting their time. While you're at it why not go around to to all the hospitals and tell them that their PET scanners can't possibly work cause the positron is still theoretical.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2006, 12:31:07 AM by karajorma »

meleardil

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I graduated in astrophysics. This thread starts to become a joke... it is not even worth to comment it anymore. Every time when someone educated comes up with an interesting point, others jump on it with the most lunatic theories. Next time someone will come with "astralprojecting demons into enemy's CIC" kinda weapons... I suggest stop reading it to anyone with the slightest interest with his own mentalhygienie. :p
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karajorma

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Then tell us what's right and what's wrong meleardil :)