Author Topic: Space Combat - what do you think the Effective Combat Range of weapons in space woul?  (Read 18121 times)

meleardil

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Dear Karajorma! :)
I liked your post. It was a very clear, and even gentle.
I did not start to "correct" things, because I dont know everything. If you point on something, and say "wroooooong!", the decent thing is to explain whats the correct. And I dont wanna start scientific flaming. I just made a sarcastic comment about it...I felt it sliding toooo far. I read many very interesting thougth in this thread however. You just want to be careful, and use your head to separate facts from daydreaming.
  *Bows to Karajorma* At your service!
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Ps: For direct questions I answer if I know the correct answer.
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karajorma

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I don't think anyone can claim to understand everything. Or even enough to properly answer the original posters question. There are simply too many variables to be considered.

Furthermore the rate at which discoveries are made will also shape the way things work. A universe which discovers FTL before shielding tech would fight in a completely different way from one that found them the other way round.

Arms races don't happen in a vacuum (hmmm. Maybe that's a bad choice of words :D ). Once the fleets of all the sides concerned have evolved in one direction it's very hard to go another way because any ship that moves away from the current norm makes itself vulnerable to attack. Suppose two sides have ended up with the strategy of having fast moving craft to avoid enemy weapons. If either side tried to makes slow, heavily armoured ships they'd be pounded to rubble very quickly even if that would be the optimum way to design space craft in that universe.

That's why I dislike seeing people ruling out technologies or styles of combat as impossible unless they can show that there is no way it could work. We have no idea what will be discovered in the next couple of centuries but more importantly perhaps we have no idea in what order it will be discovered. And that is a hugely important consideration.

meleardil

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I agree. It is just...its called science-fiction. You always add your fantasy into it, but you try to keep as much of the KNOWN rules of nature as you can. Because everything else should be considered as divine action or magic. :)
The BSG is soo wonderful, because it can really make people belive its real. Why else those handpicked-camera movements are so exiting? The long shots of talks instead of the jumpy hundred-camera-around stile which is soooooo popular otherwise? The twists in the caracters personalities? They all add to the feeling of "to be real".Do you want an Adama murmoring spells under his new mustache to blow up a basestar, or Starbuck walking in space without spacesuit? Technologie can build new things, science can reveil new layer in reality, but they never nullify the already known facts.
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aonomus

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Heh, if hospitals dump their PET scanners cause someone told them positrons don't exist, I'd be around with a massive truck and crane instantly.....

Combine enough and you can such the fillings out of people walking past your house!

Mr_Brit

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Quote from: karajorma
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.



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


 

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).

 

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.

 

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.


ok I don't want to head in a full scale argument into whoís right and whoís wrong Lol I must admit Iím not always right, just like to point out ideas and stir the jar a bit =) its what science is all about.

As for the gravity weapon this link will show you what I mean http://www.physics.helsinki.fi/~matpitka/antigr.html
And to be honest itís most like that gravity its self will be a form of magnetic field seeing as both seem to have the same properties, its just we don't know what cause it or how everything has a magnetic force put on them.

we are still not quite sure how pet scanners work as you said, plus it created so small that we don't exactly know what is happening, so people believe it is true, some do not. I do not.

I do have to point out Iím not a scientist lol, I am a engineer, so most of work is in science fact not fiction or theory.

As for fusion again we have this link
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1573450.stm
Kind of the same as your but explains it more, but still controlling that amount of temperature for a long time makes it very hard to keep going over a given amount of time. this could take a matter of 10's of years to solve but also could take 100's, when I am looking at space combat I am not looking in the 1000's of years to come, Iím look in the next few 100's of years. Sorry should have pointed that out. Itís why I ruled beam weapons out. And beam weapon do require a large amount of power, because the light has to be produced, to make the amount of light that is needed to put through the lens to create the heat needed to take out such a large object as a spaceship, your talking a lot of power. And when I say power I really mean power as in P=IV.

karajorma

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Quote from: Mr_Brit
ok I don't want to head in a full scale argument into who’s right and who’s wrong Lol I must admit I’m not always right, just like to point out ideas and stir the jar a bit =) its what science is all about.


I'll be the first to admit that I'm not alway right either. :D

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As for the gravity weapon this link will show you what I mean http://www.physics.helsinki.fi/~matpitka/antigr.html
And to be honest it’s most like that gravity its self will be a form of magnetic field seeing as both seem to have the same properties, its just we don't know what cause it or how everything has a magnetic force put on them.


I have no objection to gravity weapons. I'm simply saying that work on fusion and antimatter is much more advanced than anything we have with gravity.

Quote
we are still not quite sure how pet scanners work as you said, plus it created so small that we don't exactly know what is happening, so people believe it is true, some do not. I do not.


Now it's this kind of statement that I take offence to. PET scanners are perfectly well understood. I've attended lectures on how they work! If you're going to claim that you don't believe in positrons, I'd love to hear your explaination for what the hell is producing the pair of annihilation photons that are observed when someone in injected with radionuclides and stuck in a PET scanner. Surely you're not going to claim repeated incidences of normal gamma ray emission that coincidentally happen to be occur at 180 degree angles to each other?

If you're going to claim that you don't believe that antihydrogen was formed in the other experiments how are you going to explain the annihilation photons in that experiment?

It's one thing to say you don't understand a subject but it's a completely different thing to say you deny the conclusions of the scientists involved in that subject when you can't even provide a basic reason why you don't believe that they are right.


Quote
this could take a matter of 10's of years to solve but also could take 100's, when I am looking at space combat I am not looking in the 1000's of years to come, I’m look in the next few 100's of years. Sorry should have pointed that out. It’s why I ruled beam weapons out. And beam weapon do require a large amount of power, because the light has to be produced, to make the amount of light that is needed to put through the lens to create the heat needed to take out such a large object as a spaceship, your talking a lot of power. And when I say power I really mean power as in P=IV.

1) First if you look at similar pages on gravity research you'll get the same timescale. We may find the graviton tomorrow, we may not find it in 100 or 100 years. No one knows. Yet you ruled out beam weapons while not rulling out gravity based ones. That's a hugely unfair thing to do.

2) I've continually mentioned bomb-pumped weapons as an alternative. This is a one shot device which channels the energy from a nuclear explosion into an X-ray or gamma-ray weapon. The US have already performed experiments designed around building one of these devices for the Star Wars project in the 80's. Since then nothing much has been done with the idea because of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty but scientists have had about 20 years to improve on the design and get the yields up to more acceptable levels.

If anything that make beam weapons the most likely of any space based weapon systems mentioned on this topic so I can't see why you're ruling them out based on considerations that matter not one iota to bomb-pumped weapons.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2006, 06:59:18 PM by karajorma »

northtwilight

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Quote from: karajorma
You might as well ask how long is a piece of string.

What space battles are like is completely dependant on the technology of that universe. Both BSG and FreeSpace are very similar in that we are dealing with ships that travel slowly but which can make instantanious long distance jumps.

Under those conditions it's completely pointless to have weapons that fire over millions of kilometres as there is very little chance that the target will still be there by the time your missiles arrive.

[...]


Since both set of technologies are completely in the realms of science fiction at the moment it makes it rather pointless to say what would be a sensible engagement range for a real space battle.


If you guys ever get the chance, you should pick up a copy of Protector by Larry Niven. It's the precursor (but not full original) to the Ringworld series, and the depictions of space fights in it sound pretty accurate, especially concerning near-light speeds.
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meleardil

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There are very nice universities around. I suggest to pick one.
The only thing I dont like, when people make statement about things they have not got a clue.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2006, 07:52:15 PM by meleardil »
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karajorma

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Quote from: northtwilight
If you guys ever get the chance, you should pick up a copy of Protector by Larry Niven. It's the precursor (but not full original) to the Ringworld series, and the depictions of space fights in it sound pretty accurate, especially concerning near-light speeds.

Ummmmmm.

Quote from: karajorma
I still think one of the funniest examples is the near lightspeed fight in Larry Niven's Protector where Jack Brennan fires a weapon at the enemy and then has to wait three weeks to find out if he hit him or not :D


It's a good reccomendation though for those who haven't read it though. :D

Now I wonder if this was just us thinking alike or whether you skimmed past my answer without noticing it but subcontiously starting thinking about Protector :)

EDIT : In actual fact although I know that the US worked on bomb-pumped masers I first heard of them from Larry Niven's Footfall so that's another reference) :D
« Last Edit: March 29, 2006, 08:50:58 PM by karajorma »

northtwilight

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Fucking hell ... I wasn't reading the thread carefully at all :) :) :)

The latter explanation, most likely ;)
I could do 10 years of this easily. I think this is some of the finest usages of television I\'ve ever been a part of in my life bar none. I\'ve been doing this for 42 years. I\'ve done some really good work on television and in motion pictures, but there\'s nothing like this show. I can honestly tell you that. By far, one of the finest dramatic pieces of work on humanity I\'ve ever seen in my life."
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jc4jc

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ok range is reliant on technology.
More advanced tech =  longer range.

with todays tech we are looking at kinitic/projectile/missile weapondry.
I'ff you think about how much pressure is required to escape Earths orbit. in space you don't have to worry about gravity and air resistance  to 'directly interfer with weapons.

the range would most likely be ranges of about less than 500miles. the most effective combat would be at about 10-15 miles. there would most likely be a mix of fighters frigates and heavier capital ships to allow for different weapon profiles.

heavier ships would start shooting at long range while fighters launch from hangers of carrier and very large battleship like ships. Frigate and destroyer size ships will fire LRM's use ECM and ECCM and use flak on fighters while closing in to engage each other with heavy projectile weapons while speical 'artillery' cruisers shoot even heavier projectile shells.

ok i ramble. At any rate if you want to get into nukes then you are asking for mines and very fast rockets with smaller payloads similare to the 'bombs' use on Japan during WWII. this would cause a great deal of damage for low cost.
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Mr_Brit

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Quote from: karajorma
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not alway right either. :D

 

I have no objection to gravity weapons. I'm simply saying that work on fusion and antimatter is much more advanced than anything we have with gravity.

 

Now it's this kind of statement that I take offence to. PET scanners are perfectly well understood. I've attended lectures on how they work! If you're going to claim that you don't believe in positrons, I'd love to hear your explanation for what the hell is producing the pair of annihilation photons that are observed when someone in injected with radionuclides and stuck in a PET scanner. Surely you're not going to claim repeated incidences of normal gamma ray emission that coincidentally happen to be occur at 180 degree angles to each other?

If you're going to claim that you don't believe that antihydrogen was formed in the other experiments how are you going to explain the annihilation photons in that experiment?

It's one thing to say you don't understand a subject but it's a completely different thing to say you deny the conclusions of the scientists involved in that subject when you can't even provide a basic reason why you don't believe that they are right.




1) First if you look at similar pages on gravity research you'll get the same timescale. We may find the graviton tomorrow, we may not find it in 100 or 100 years. No one knows. Yet you ruled out beam weapons while not rulling out gravity based ones. That's a hugely unfair thing to do.

2) I've continually mentioned bomb-pumped weapons as an alternative. This is a one shot device which channels the energy from a nuclear explosion into an X-ray or gamma-ray weapon. The US have already performed experiments designed around building one of these devices for the Star Wars project in the 80's. Since then nothing much has been done with the idea because of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty but scientists have had about 20 years to improve on the design and get the yields up to more acceptable levels.

If anything that make beam weapons the most likely of any space based weapon systems mentioned on this topic so I can't see why you're ruling them out based on considerations that matter not one iota to bomb-pumped weapons.


I thought i was dealing with a scientist of some type loll


Quote
I've continually mentioned bomb-pumped weapons as an alternative. This is a one shot device which channels the energy from a nuclear explosion into an X-ray or gamma-ray weapon. The US have already performed experiments designed around building one of these devices for the Star Wars project in the 80's. Since then nothing much has been done with the idea because of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty but scientists have had about 20 years to improve on the design and get the yields up to more acceptable levels


ture but they do not do the damage need in space combat for these big ships, also i did say that you can just shine up your ship and make a it a mirror lol easiest way to stop it. or with radiation, just line a ship with lead.

Quote
Now it's this kind of statement that I take offence to. PET scanners are perfectly well understood. I've attended lectures on how they work! If you're going to claim that you don't believe in positrons, I'd love to hear your explaination for what the hell is producing the pair of annihilation photons that are observed when someone in injected with radionuclides and stuck in a PET scanner. Surely you're not going to claim repeated incidences of normal gamma ray emission that coincidentally happen to be occur at 180 degree angles to each other?

If you're going to claim that you don't believe that antihydrogen was formed in the other experiments how are you going to explain the annihilation photons in that experiment?

It's one thing to say you don't understand a subject but it's a completely different thing to say you deny the conclusions of the scientists involved in that subject when you can't even provide a basic reason why you don't believe that they are right.


antimatter is a question of the brain, as you know what it is I will not explain this time ^^ lol, I just don't think a real life particles can be reversed, and the anti-matter theory is more a question to even up numbers then a science, sorry if you have taken offence to this but it is my view. just like they think you can take a positive sound waves and a negative sound waves and they will cancel each other out, I think scientist just made this theory in the same thinking, but because are science in real terms really is not that advance yet we have used antimatter as a simple solution. you see my problem is where the hell does all that energy come from, if they react with each other like same as a explosion does, how the hell does this make the largest amount of energy then anything else. I mean are we really to believe that a negative charge and a positive charge make huge amounts of energy when they react each other, I am at a bit of a loss of how this can be, even after reading books and listening to ideas on this, this is why I think its is another phenomena happening maybe nuclear or some new type of radiation that is not know. Iím sure if you could explain where this energy comes from my views would very much change.

also  just think now I got my head around just a Q seeing as you work with "anti-matter", say if it was true, what would be the by product? And what would happen if the 2 hit each other, seeing as so much energy is produce and seeing as the 2 are mirror of each other, this would make nothing right? And say if it made it nothing would it is Endothermic or Exothermic reaction? And also just another cheeky Q, what is your job? =p
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Aircombatofficer

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To admit to everyone, I really dont know how most KEW would perform in space, But I read up on it at this link: http://www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_RailGuns,,00.html
and In the artical while doing rail gun testing at a lab they were able to fire a projectile in atmosphere at 1 G and the projectile reached a speed of 13,000 MPH in 0.2 seconds, now thats impressive!! But the problem with missles that I see is propellent and manuvering in space, a missles range is limited by the amount of fuel it can carry versus the weight of the guidance system and explosive, and missles use small fins as flight control surfaces. Being that there is no air in space, flight control fins are worthless so missle fuel would have to be used as micro thrusters for the missle, so what do you do? add fuel and make the missle bigger or reduce warhead or guidance size? But mirco thrusters would sure make for a manuverable missle.
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Unknown Target

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Quote from: Wanderer
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

The only thing that slows down objects on Earth is drag from the atmosphere and gravity. If there are none, then it will continuously accelerate. Why do you think the probes we've sent out are progressively moving faster? :p

Quote
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

I'm pretty sure they were the same thing. In the episode when Picard got taken over by the Borg, Riker tried to fire the remodulated deflector shield or whatever, and it came out of the glowy thing. The blue thing itself is known as the "Deflector Dish".
« Last Edit: March 30, 2006, 01:05:25 AM by Unknown Target »
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kilo_foxtrot

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« Reply #44 on: March 30, 2006, 04:07:46 AM »
Quote from: Aircombatofficer
To admit to everyone, I really dont know how most KEW would perform in space, But I read up on it at this link: http://www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_RailGuns,,00.html
and In the artical while doing rail gun testing at a lab they were able to fire a projectile in atmosphere at 1 G and the projectile reached a speed of 13,000 MPH in 0.2 seconds, now thats impressive!! But the problem with missles that I see is propellent and manuvering in space, a missles range is limited by the amount of fuel it can carry versus the weight of the guidance system and explosive, and missles use small fins as flight control surfaces. Being that there is no air in space, flight control fins are worthless so missle fuel would have to be used as micro thrusters for the missle, so what do you do? add fuel and make the missle bigger or reduce warhead or guidance size? But mirco thrusters would sure make for a manuverable missle.


You could use the thruster idea... or you could go in one of two routes:

1 - ballistic trajectory; point it where you think the target will be, and hope for the best

2 - gyroscopic correction; fun stuff can happen when you spin things really fast. Work out the numbers ahead of time for control and response, and put a small computer in the missile to control the gyros. The computer will interpret the signal from the detectors in the nose of the missile and adjust the gyros accordingly, changing the orientation of the missile. Since you are ideally constantly pushing the missile with the engine in the back, you'll eventually change your flight path. There are satellites in use now that use gyroscopes for attitude control (HST and the ISS, most notably).
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