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Post Re: Page 84
anticarrot wrote:
Actually in a modern military it isn't.

We are not talking about the modern Earth ground military. The Loroi are not the modern United States; they are not a democratic, civilian, free-press, war-hating liberal society that is the world's lone superpower, always assured of total superiority in every conflict, concerned only about the level of human casualties incurred, and caring little about the material cost. The Loroi are a totalitarian, closed, military society without freedoms of press or self-expression in which civilians are second-class citizens, engaged in a total war which they are in very real danger of losing and facing total annihilation. Casualites are never desirable, but they don't drive Loroi military policy in the way that they drive the policy of the United States.

You would always like for your veteran crews to survive, but starship battles in Outsider are often fought out in nowhere-space where rescue is nearly impossible. In order to be in a position to recover survivors, you have to win the battle and "hold the field"... and even given those conditions, the terrific energies of the drives and weapons involved don't leave much margin of error for fragile organic creatures. Crew safety measures that compromise combat effectiveness don't save any lives, when the victorious enemy watches the survivors die. Crews of a failed vessel most often die... they don't usually live to fight again. The best way to protect your crews is to build a vessel that doesn't get destroyed.

anticarrot wrote:
Logistically speaking, equipment is far easier to replace then people.

This is a modern Western assumption. It has not been true for most of human history, and is still not true in much of the world where life is cheap and materiel is expensive.

anticarrot wrote:
If it can't then a fist-sized 50gigaton antimatter bomb will suddenly make even pesky human torpedoes become much more useful. ;) Even at 40G, it would still take Tempest 5 minutes to escape the lethal zone of a single bomlet.

How did this bomb get in point-blank range of the Loroi ship? Any decent warhead at this tech level will destroy a ship at point blank range. The trick is the delivery method.

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Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:41 am
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Post Re: Page 84
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Actually in a modern military it isn't. Combat effectiveness is often directly proportional to training and combat experience. if you considder crews to be expendable then you never get that experience. Thats why modern NATO tanks have blow out panels, not to save the tank, but to ensure the crew survives. Logistically speaking, equipment is far easier to replace then people.
I'm not sure if that's really true when you consider that Warships in the Outsider verse are.

A: Huge, massively expensive investments to manufacture and maintain (A Outsider warship is MUCH more complex than a modern warship)
and
*B: Require comparatively small crews. (a 300 meter long Loroi ship has only a fraction of the crew of a 300 meter long modern aircraft carrier).

And this is a species that has a warrior recruitment pool that's somewhere in the tens of billions, and the ability to replace it quickly with a 9-1 female to male ratio and rapid maturation. So I wouldn't say it's realistic to say that it's more resource costly for the Loroi to train a ship crew than it is for them to manufacture a gigantic state of the art warship.


This doesn't mean the Loroi try to take unnecessary casualties, and aren't more averse to it than the Umiak. But there's only so much you can do to keep a crew alive after the shields fall and you start taking hits from these kind of weapons.


Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:42 am
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Post Re: Page 84
I do think along the same lines as mjolnir that some sort of wedge of armour between the main ship and the engines might help the ship survive loss of containment in an engine by sparing much of the ship from the resulting blast. It could allow a ship to continue functioning somewhat (perhaps under certain levels of the resulting explosion), protect the crew and perhaps other high value parts of the ship, although the latter is only useful if specialized equipment is not required to salvage the remainder of the ship.

Just as there are many ways for an engine to fail (blown gasket, cracked engine block, seizing due to heat, oil degradation/too much friction, failure of fuel pump, a poorly located clog in a number of these sub systems etc) there will be a variety in the degree of how bad a loss of containment is, all of them won't result in such a catastrophic explosion. Designing for these explosions I think might help out in the long run. If the ship survives the blast, at least they can fire off any unspent munitions or get a few more shots of with their main cannons. If they are lucky the velocities involved in the next joust place the enemy fleet away from their location and they may only marginally participate in or be completely ignored by the remaining combat... While they can't be jumped out of the system I would assume with free time guns, fuel, munitions and personnel could be salvaged and jumped out aboard other ships as they will likely be modular. A lot of the ship would have to be scuttled, but some key potentially expensive components could be saved and similar ships *might* be able to be fitted with still functioning parts from the ship that is being cannibalized, such as how with some effort and a few tools you should be able to field strip and replace say a tank's treads, strip off some of it's armour and take all the ammo.

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Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:56 pm
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Post Re: Page 84
osmium wrote:
I do think along the same lines as mjolnir that some sort of wedge of armour between the main ship and the engines might help the ship survive loss of containment in an engine by sparing much of the ship from the resulting blast. It could allow a ship to continue functioning somewhat (perhaps under certain levels of the resulting explosion), protect the crew and perhaps other high value parts of the ship, although the latter is only useful if specialized equipment is not required to salvage the remainder of the ship.
What good will that do when 5.2 kilotons of anti matter equivalent goes off in your ship? I'm REALLY doubtful that it's remotely practical to try to armor/shield your ships internally from that kind of blast going off from the inside.
osmium wrote:
Just as there are many ways for an engine to fail (blown gasket, cracked engine block, seizing due to heat, oil degradation/too much friction, failure of fuel pump, a poorly located clog in a number of these sub systems etc) there will be a variety in the degree of how bad a loss of containment is, all of them won't result in such a catastrophic explosion.
Losing containment on a couple of pounds of this stuff results in nuclear level detonations inside your ship. Any loss of containment results in a vital explosion, which will destroy the containment measures for the rest of the ships destroying it outright.


Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:04 pm
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Post Re: Page 84
Rosen_Ritter_1 wrote:
What good will that do when 5.2 kilotons of anti matter equivalent goes off in your ship? I'm REALLY doubtful that it's remotely practical to try to armor/shield your ships internally from that kind of blast going off from the inside.


And the portion of the ship it was inside would likely be a total loss. That's the engine pod.


Rosen_Ritter_1 wrote:
Losing containment on a couple of pounds of this stuff results in nuclear level detonations inside your ship. Any loss of containment results in a vital explosion, which will destroy the containment measures for the rest of the ships destroying it outright.


Assuming measures aren't taken to prevent this from happening...such as an armored wedge to direct the blast around the main fuel store. The reflected blast will likely do even more severe damage to the surrounding parts of the ship, but that's still an improvement over the main fuel store, inside the main body of the ship, losing containment.

Yes, it's an antimatter explosion, or at least the equivalent of one. That doesn't mean it'll magically go through everything in its way. It's a violent but very brief event. Temperatures of the fireball are extremely high, but there's little time for conduction to transfer heat to the ship, and those high temperatures will cause extremely fast radiation of heat to surrounding space. The blast effect and shrapnel from the former engine module are harder to deal with, but coming from a predictable location. The ships carry sufficient fuel for operating the engines at full power for on the order of a hundred hours, only a tiny fraction of the total fuel need be involved in a reactor failure. We're talking about massive damage and almost certain loss of the ship as a member of the fleet, yes...we're talking about total destruction of an engine module and quite possibly breaking up of the remainder of the ship. You just don't have grounds for saying that such a failure must cause loss of the main fuel store.


Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:42 pm
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Post Re: Page 84
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*Antimatter radiation largely pions, which are unreactive with matter for several dozen meters, and decay into 60% neutrinos, which are completely unreactive with normal mater. A more exotic material might produce even less reactive radiation. IIRC, the Winter Tide is relatively small, and large pieces of it might be inside a (relative) safety zone.


If it was a matter of choice, you would engineer the material the opposite direction. If at all possible you would make it so it was more reactive, more powerful, by mass so you could use less of it to achieve the same output. Regardless, are we discussing putting an uncontrolled annihilation reaction within the ship and engineering the ship to withstand it? Why not just put this miracle feat around the entire hull and not worry about weapons fire in the first place, seems a bit more direct ;)

This kind of reactor failure is not going to be 'deflected' like a chemical explosion/shockwave in an atmosphere. An ammo explosion creates an expansive force and you "simply" allow it to expand in a direction you choose. An uncontrolled annihilation reaction is going to create an intense burst of radiation. You're not going to direct its movement 'away' and any matter it contacts will change energy states. If they find anything of the crew I imagine it would be more in the lines of thermal shadows on whatever decking is left. And even if we had a nice solid chunk of unobtainium to insulate the crew from the radiation with it wouldn't readily dissipate that absorbed energy off into space. Not when there is perfectly good matter it can conduct that energy to right there.

Arioch wrote:
I think those would be propellant rather than reactor fuel (even a "mostly" reactionless drive still requires reaction mass, and a matter-annihilation reactor probably doesn't produce any on its own); the struts seem too vulnerable a place to store reactor fuel. I have a notion that the propellant tanks and the engine struts operate as part of the ship's cooling system, which might explain why they seem to be relatively unprotected, and why some ships seem to have redundant struts adjacent to each other.


I can see dumping heat into the reaction fuel and burning it as an active cooling measure. I cant see having reactor fuel separated far from the reactors, not given its volatility. Presuming loss of fuel containment means loss of the ship, why create a third major point of vulnerability? My only question is how much reactor fuel mass do they actually need using anti-matterish reactions.


Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:34 pm
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Post Re: Page 84
Nemo wrote:
I cant see having fuel storage far separated from the reactors, not given its volatility. Presuming loss of fuel containment means loss of the ship, why create a third major point of vulnerability? My only question is how much reactor fuel mass do they actually need using anti-matterish reactions.

I agree, I think the reactor fuel would be stored in the nacelles right near the reactor... antimatter (or equivalent) doesn't seem like something you want flowing through long pipes all over the ship. The nacelles and the prongs should be the best-protected parts of the ship.

If a 350kt cruiser has, say, enough fuel for 100 hours of full-thrust 30g burn, and if we guess the reactor/engine is 50% efficient, then that's:
Code:
E = mc^2
KE = 1/2mv^2
v = at
fuel mass doubled for 50% efficiency

m(fuel) = 2 * E/c^2
        = 2 * m(ship)(at)^2/2c^2
        = 2 * (350,000,000kg)(294*100*3600)^2/(2*299,792,458^2)
        = 43,624,081.98 kg

43 kilotonnes of reactor fuel. Not sure if that's right -- feel free to check my math. Doesn't sound right. But that's 12% the mass of the ship, so maybe it is.

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Post Re: Page 84
Nemo wrote:
If it was a matter of choice, you would engineer the material the opposite direction. If at all possible you would make it so it was more reactive, more powerful, by mass so you could use less of it to achieve the same output. Regardless, are we discussing putting an uncontrolled annihilation reaction within the ship and engineering the ship to withstand it? Why not just put this miracle feat around the entire hull and not worry about weapons fire in the first place, seems a bit more direct ;)


No miracle armor is being suggested.


Nemo wrote:
This kind of reactor failure is not going to be 'deflected' like a chemical explosion/shockwave in an atmosphere. An ammo explosion creates an expansive force and you "simply" allow it to expand in a direction you choose. An uncontrolled annihilation reaction is going to create an intense burst of radiation. You're not going to direct its movement 'away' and any matter it contacts will change energy states. If they find anything of the crew I imagine it would be more in the lines of thermal shadows on whatever decking is left. And even if we had a nice solid chunk of unobtainium to insulate the crew from the radiation with it wouldn't readily dissipate that absorbed energy off into space. Not when there is perfectly good matter it can conduct that energy to right there.


The matter exposed to the radiation will absorb it and vaporize, yes. And continue to absorb it as it expands and re-radiates it, mostly to space. With all that mass around the reactor, including radiation shielding and armor, it's quite likely the thing to worry about is the rapidly expanding fireball and accompanying shrapnel accelerated by said fireball, not the radiation. A small, thick wedge of conventional armor could protect a central fuel stockpile from this, and the same armor would also be effective against weapons fire, so it isn't wasted mass.


Nemo wrote:
I can see dumping heat into the reaction fuel and burning it as an active cooling measure. I cant see having reactor fuel separated far from the reactors, not given its volatility. Presuming loss of fuel containment means loss of the ship, why create a third major point of vulnerability? My only question is how much reactor fuel mass do they actually need using anti-matterish reactions.


Because by doing that, loss of a reactor does not necessarily mean total loss of the ship. Again, they carry enough fuel for a hundred hours of operation at maximum power, there's no apparent reason for it all to be out in the engine pods. It makes more sense to periodically transfer a small amount of fuel to keep the reactor ready for a few minutes of full-power operation, and keep most of it in a central, extremely well protected location.


Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:21 pm
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Post Re: Page 84
hi hi

The fact that the Loroi aboard the Winter Tide thought that they had a chance to recover suggests that the Loroi do have some emergency protections in place, but it is a matter of opportunity cost. You can't make anything 100% safe, not even water. :P Once someone starts shooting holes in your control systems, things don't always go according to plan.


Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:59 pm
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Post Re: Page 84
icekatze wrote:
Once someone starts shooting holes in your control systems, things don't always go according to plan.
And if things are going according to plan, you're not in combat. Or so I've been told.

I'm sure it's comforting to know that a vehicle is "safe," but (and I can't claim to speak from experience) combat has to rank as one of the most dangerous environments known, and I'd rather be able to fight effectively than to have a piece of equipment which is bogged down by overly-protective systems.


Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:53 pm
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Post Re: Page 84
CptWinters wrote:
icekatze wrote:
Once someone starts shooting holes in your control systems, things don't always go according to plan.
And if things are going according to plan, you're not in combat. Or so I've been told.

I'm sure it's comforting to know that a vehicle is "safe," but (and I can't claim to speak from experience) combat has to rank as one of the most dangerous environments known, and I'd rather be able to fight effectively than to have a piece of equipment which is bogged down by overly-protective systems.


Ahem, er A-ship to that.

now I'm not in the military, but i read alot of soldier experiences, listen to alot of doc with vet interviewed and read up of the vehicle history's. and I've learned ( correct me if I'm wrong here) that military vehicle are, in general, engineered and designed to survive alot of punishment ( IE LAV's APC, IFV MTB, destroyers to Aircraft carriers). but they can;t protect against everything ( or as Arioch has pointed out, combat efficency goes down but a substansal amount). A good ground vehicle example is the tank, designed to be the most mobile, hard hitting and armoured vehicle on the ground. Yet, its track can be blown off ( mobility kill) it can take a hit in the engine in the rear; the but worst is when the main gun ammo is hit ( which is mostly on the inside of the tank) and all you need to see ( or look up) are the picture of Soviet T-72M's turrents being vaulted 10 to 30 ft away from the main hull, because one expossive or power charge got nicked, exploded and detonated the remain ammo in the tank. Their are only a few ways to design a tank to survive that ( the abrams has the ammo in the turrent rear with those blow of panels, the Merkava 4 to 6 have water filled ammo pouches to allow the crew to escape). even with those systems their is no absolute way to safely channel or protect the remaining vehicle from that amount of force. besides, the more rounds that a tank can carry the more damage it can do to the enemy.

now the example above might not apply to Outsider ships, but I would believe the Loroi would construct their ships with some sort of modular construction method/ ship compartmentalization that would allow part of a foundered ships crew to potentially ( very small mind you) survive a fatal reactor breach and evac them to safety ( as arioch as stated in these broads). another point brought up was the pro/cons of placing the engine pod on the outer edges of the ship. I think the odds of the crew surviving could be improved ( 5 - 20 % then normal) if the pods are physically shoot off ( like what happen to the poor bell).

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Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:58 pm
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Post Re: Page 84
Arioch wrote:
43 kilotonnes of reactor fuel. Not sure if that's right -- feel free to check my math. Doesn't sound right. But that's 12% the mass of the ship, so maybe it is.


Its a good starting point. That gets you the acceleration with no primary power left for combat. Consider bingo fuel at 50 hours acceleration, and reduce range as needed to allow for energy spent in combat. Air force reserves something like 5% with 20 minutes sea level loiter. No need to loiter in space, but with weapons and engines drawing from the same source... eh 10% remaining on mission complete?

Distracting myself, more concerned with the volume of the fuel though. More volume makes a larger target aspect. Ill assume anti-protons, and that it behaves similarly to the common one proton hydrogen isotope. Next, I'll outsource my math to wolfram. Ill assume its under high pressure (400 atmosphere), chilled (25K), and split evenly between reactor pods. 21.5 kilotons of hydrogen under those assumptions fills a sphere with a 38 meter radius or a cube with a 62 meter edge. Thats... mighty large. Maybe their "exotic" matter is a bit more dense. Just switching to helium under the same conditions makes it a 28 meter radius or 46 meter edge. Of course I have no idea under what conditions helium can be made to freeze either.


Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:29 pm
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Post Re: Page 84
hi hi

Could anti-iron be held in a stable magnetic field?


Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:24 pm
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Post Re: Page 84
icekatze wrote:
hi hi

Could anti-iron be held in a stable magnetic field?


I don't think that that question has ever been scientifically investigated. (Mainly do the serve shortage of anti-iron atoms) I have no idea what the theory says should happen.

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Post Re: Page 84
Nemo wrote:
Maybe their "exotic" matter is a bit more dense.

Yes, I had the same thought at the conclusion of the above math experiment: it would be convenient if the exotic fuel consisted of much heavier particles.

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Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:13 pm
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Post Re: Page 84
icekatze wrote:
Could anti-iron be held in a stable magnetic field?


Easily. Stacking antiparticles together to form nuclei as heavy as iron would be quite difficult, though...you're talking a much longer reaction chain involving much more difficult reactions than you'd use for fusion power, with high-energy antineutrons spraying out from many of them, and you're fusing particles that will annihilate if they make contact with your fusion reactor...incomplete confinement becomes a somewhat larger issue than a little plasma loss, and a lot of losses along the way. Your best bet for heavy antimatter is probably some process for converting matter into it. (this is despite there being no hints at present as to how you'd do such a thing)

I'm pretty sure even frozen hydrogen is diamagnetic enough to be levitated in this way, though, so you don't need iron. And the even the humans in Outsider have gravity control, making magnetic properties considerably less relevant. And something more exotic (some kind of metastable strange matter that can be induced to decay on demand, for instance) might be easier for the Loroi and Umiak to produce in a dense, somewhat less volatile form.


Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:05 pm
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Post Re: Page 84
good point Mjolnir, starting from smaller basic element might not be possible.

Now, my knowledge of chemintry is high school only but could these solution work out

A) start with more weighty/compact-able lower energy element and make the high density, high-energy particles. IE like the paper investigates
http://www.phy.bnl.gov/edg/samba/z_chen.pdf

B)Given the higher tech of the lorio and Umiak, could their fuels be derived from basic elements, arranged in a compact forms that could provide Alot of power / molecule weight.

C) using a heavier more common element and dividing it into fuel need, while the actual process is a complex but mass production process so production cost are lower; while allowing mass fuel ( say enough to make resupply the whole 51st fleet after coming back in say, 1-2 week time) ?

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