Reply to topic  [ 92 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A) 
Author Message
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:19 pm
Posts: 3085
Location: San Jose, CA
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
CrimsonFALKE wrote:
Here is an idea why not say go with a freaking bio weapon that you spray insecticide or someshit on Umaki worlds and by pass all this fleet based combat. We all know this war's factions won't tolerate the existence of each other lets up the conflit to out right genocide. Make a few drone ships with the weapon show up in system and blast the shit out of the enemy home worlds.

If they could have done that, they already would have. There is no access to enemy populated worlds.

The border is guarded. Drone ships are not immune to being destroyed by defending fleets. Those worlds which are near enough to the front to be within range of such strikes have long ago already been evacuated or depopulated. Those worlds which are deep enough within their own territory are not reachable by the enemy; at least, not without a major offensive to push the front that far.

It's very easy at this tech level to destroy the population of a planet. You don't need to use bioweapons.

_________________
Outsider


Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:43 pm
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:31 pm
Posts: 242
Location: Tallmadge Ohio
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
Arioch wrote:
CrimsonFALKE wrote:
Here is an idea why not say go with a freaking bio weapon that you spray insecticide or someshit on Umaki worlds and by pass all this fleet based combat. We all know this war's factions won't tolerate the existence of each other lets up the conflit to out right genocide. Make a few drone ships with the weapon show up in system and blast the shit out of the enemy home worlds.

If they could have done that, they already would have. There is no access to enemy populated worlds.

The border is guarded. Drone ships are not immune to being destroyed by defending fleets. Those worlds which are near enough to the front to be within range of such strikes have long ago already been evacuated or depopulated. Those worlds which are deep enough within their own territory are not reachable by the enemy; at least, not without a major offensive to push the front that far.

It's very easy at this tech level to destroy the population of a planet. You don't need to use bioweapons.


Well is there any chance to use drones to boost Loroi numbers or are drones to cowardly for Loroi taste


Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:12 pm
Profile
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:19 pm
Posts: 3085
Location: San Jose, CA
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
CrimsonFALKE wrote:
Well is there any chance to use drones to boost Loroi numbers or are drones to cowardly for Loroi taste

An unmanned starship would not be less expensive to construct than a manned starship, (it might be more expensive, due to the automated systems that would need to replace the crew's function), and it would be less capable in combat. The Loroi are at times experiencing shortages of trained crews, but not to the point where it would make economic sense to construct unmanned ships.

If unmanned warships could fight as effectively and more cheaply than manned ships, then all the ships would be unmanned. Since both sides use crews, it seems reasonable to suppose that they do so for a practical reason.

_________________
Outsider


Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:26 pm
Profile WWW

Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:59 pm
Posts: 9
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
Hello!

So, I've mostly been lurking for a while, but thought I would weigh in on the problems with automated drones.
First, drones need to be controlled by something. Either by a platform in-system, or by another ship that is in formation with them.

Having a ship controlling other ships avoids communications latency, but is essentially 'putting all of your eggs in one basket' as far as the utility of those drone ships goes. If the controlling ship is disabled or destroyed, you've just lost those drone ships too. This might not be a terrible problem at first, but once your enemy figures out what you're doing, they're going to start targeting your controller ships first. This could be mitigated by having multiple such controller ships in a given formation and having automatic 'hand-off' of control to other controllers if one is disabled, but there is only so much computational capacity you can fit into a ship.

A remote platform that is far away from a battle avoids a direct threat scenario, but that distance now works against you in the form of communications lag. Since neither of the major combatants appear to possess FTL communications*, you're stuck at light speed. At anything further than 75,000 km away, the drone control system is going to have an effective reaction time inferior to that of a human crew member. Enemy crewed ships would fly circles around your drone starships.

Both of these approaches are also vulnerable to electronic warfare and signal spoofing.

I didn't address AI-controlled ships here, as that leaves the definition of 'drone' and is more 'crewed by a supercomputer'. I think there might be some resistance in both militaries to that idea, especially if they have a hint of what the Historians are capable of.


* The Loroi farsensing ability seems to be an exception, but from what I can tell it's only one-way and thus not useful for this purpose.


Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:30 pm
Profile
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:19 pm
Posts: 3085
Location: San Jose, CA
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
All of the above is true, but it's not just a question of control and decision making. Starships are extremely complex collections of systems that need monitoring, calibrating, maintenance and repair. Automation can take care of some of this, but there are times (especially in combat) when things go wrong and solutions to unexpected problems need to be figured out and implemented on the fly, and sometimes manually. At this tech level, living operators can do this more effectively and more cheaply than the equivalent mechanical systems.

That's not to say that there aren't robots aiding the living crews in these ships; there are. But the tasks that robots tend to be worst at are things that nobody expected to happen.

_________________
Outsider


Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:13 pm
Profile WWW

Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:00 pm
Posts: 460
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
Arioch wrote:
CrimsonFALKE wrote:
Well is there any chance to use drones to boost Loroi numbers or are drones to cowardly for Loroi taste

An unmanned starship would not be less expensive to construct than a manned starship, (it might be more expensive, due to the automated systems that would need to replace the crew's function), and it would be less capable in combat. The Loroi are at times experiencing shortages of trained crews, but not to the point where it would make economic sense to construct unmanned ships.

If unmanned warships could fight as effectively and more cheaply than manned ships, then all the ships would be unmanned. Since both sides use crews, it seems reasonable to suppose that they do so for a practical reason.


But the technology for automated ships are there so I suspect that there could be some niche uses for such ships even thou combat are unlikely, that is unless you want to create a fire ship to physically ram an enemy installation. However, doing that can probably be done with any ship simply be programming the autopilot to behave like a missile. Hiding a fleet from faar seers however could perhaps allow for a build up in an area to remain unnoticed until, perhaps the entire fleet jumps into a system to revive actual crews.

Still I suspect that automated ships are most likely to be civilian freight ships. I had this idea of a manned lead ship in convoy with the rest of the ships being unmanned with technicians from the lead ship visiting them when the need arise. A perfect unmanned ship would be designed very differently with no need to fit crew facilities inside it. It always amazes me when looking at the animated Star Wars Clone Wars series how the separatists ships not only have a crew of robots, they even run with a breathable atmosphere onboard! A robotic ship should have nothing of that.


Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:42 pm
Profile
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:19 pm
Posts: 3085
Location: San Jose, CA
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
A starship in Outsider -- even an unarmed one -- is a very expensive piece of hardware. Ramming things with starships is not a very cost-effective use of resources. Kinetic energy of a collision increases with the square of velocity but only linearly with mass (KE=1/2mv^2), so at high velocities, you're much better off letting missiles do the ramming -- they're easier to hit targets with, they accelerate at greater rates and so can achieve higher velocities and therefore much greater damage with a smaller mass -- and they're cheap enough to be expendable.

_________________
Outsider


Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:37 am
Profile WWW

Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:00 pm
Posts: 460
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
Arioch wrote:
A starship in Outsider -- even an unarmed one -- is a very expensive piece of hardware. Ramming things with starships is not a very cost-effective use of resources. Kinetic energy of a collision increases with the square of velocity but only linearly with mass (KE=1/2mv^2), so at high velocities, you're much better off letting missiles do the ramming -- they're easier to hit targets with, they accelerate at greater rates and so can achieve higher velocities and therefore much greater damage with a smaller mass -- and they're cheap enough to be expendable.


I suspected as much. A fire ship in a modern setting is unlikely thou the British actually pulled it of during WW2 to take out a repair dock in France in order to deny this resources to the krigsmarine. The ship was an already obsolete destroyer, packed with explosives and manned by commandos. They rammed the dock, stepped of the ship and begun causing mayhem in the area before retreating. The explosives detonated on a timer later destroying the dock. Apperantly the germans believed that the ship was only there to block access to the dock rather then destroying it. In an Outsider setting I suspect that the way to go would rather be to boobytrap a derelict to explode in hope of taking out at least an enemy salvage crew and whatever shuttlecraft that brought them there.


Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:14 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:32 pm
Posts: 186
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
At a Loroi/Umiak tech level I could still imagine anti-matter based fireships capable of taking out entire planets / fleets / solar systems. The idea would still be that a fireship needs to survive long enough, for example by looking "innocent & harmless", to reach the position where it can inflict serious damage or wipe out the opponent. With 16/17th Century technology fireships have been succesfully applied, but it never was an easy to deploy weapon.


Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:50 am
Profile
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:19 pm
Posts: 3085
Location: San Jose, CA
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
No ship at this tech level is innocent or harmless; they're all potential weapons. Any unidentified ship approaching a dock or other vulnerable target would be fired upon by the defenders. The only way this ruse could work is during peacetime, or to somehow disguise the ship as a friendly. Given TL10+ Friend or Foe ID systems, this would be difficult to pull off. You would essentially have to have a captured ship, but even then you would need to somehow explain how this ship suddenly appeared from enemy territory.

_________________
Outsider


Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:50 pm
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:47 am
Posts: 16
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
Arioch wrote:
All of the above is true, but it's not just a question of control and decision making. Starships are extremely complex collections of systems that need monitoring, calibrating, maintenance and repair. Automation can take care of some of this, but there are times (especially in combat) when things go wrong and solutions to unexpected problems need to be figured out and implemented on the fly, and sometimes manually. At this tech level, living operators can do this more effectively and more cheaply than the equivalent mechanical systems.

That's not to say that there aren't robots aiding the living crews in these ships; there are. But the tasks that robots tend to be worst at are things that nobody expected to happen.


Over at the COADE forums, we had this discussion a bit. While we concluded that crews will not be in the thousands, hundreds, or even high-dozens range, there was still need for some crew, if just to repair the numerous computers and systems to maintain the ship. Automation is a useful tool, but all tools need a human behind them somewhere, even if behind a screen, to help make sure it all goes well. Even for a system patrol vessel...add in FTL and multiple systems and their attributes, you add even more complexity, wear-and-tear, and need for upkeep.


Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:09 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:47 pm
Posts: 20
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
I wonder about that. To operate and monitor a spacecraft, you can get by with a small crew. But you can also look and something with a multi-mission role like a Nimitz class carrier, it has 6,000 sailors without the added complexity of being space worthy. The limit on crew size might have more to do with logistics than anything else. An Ohio-class submarine has a crew of around 150-160 sailors and represents a vehicle that is capable of independent operation in a hostile environment.

Got a link to that other forum post, I'm a bit curious about the discussion. [Ah! Found it, that will take a while to digest.]


Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:05 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:35 pm
Posts: 1292
Location: Middle of Nowhere
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
hi hi

danuis wrote:
Automation is a useful tool, but all tools need a human behind them somewhere, even if behind a screen, to help make sure it all goes well.
I can accept that from a narrative standpoint, it is necessary to have humans in the story, and don't think that is unreasonable at all. But from a standpoint of realism, I would suggest that we are far more likely to invent computers that can do all those things and do them better than a human could before we invent a way to easily travel between stars, than the other way around.


Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:31 am
Profile WWW
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:19 pm
Posts: 3085
Location: San Jose, CA
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
Computers can't turn a wrench. Robots can, but unless your tech level is very high, robots are more expensive than humans and less capable. If we're talking prediction of the future, I think humanity will most likely achieve absurdly high levels of technology before we ever (if ever) find a way to move ships between stars... and at that point there may be very little distinction between living and automation... but that is a separate discussion.

I have been recently studying how modern merchant ships operate, and here is a case where automation has been taken to the extreme limit that is economically feasible. Almost all large cargo vessels are now modular container ships that are the simplest and most efficient arrangement of systems that require a minimum of manpower to operate, load and offload. Very large ships 300-400 meters long now have crews as small as 22-33, but despite the automation, the crews can't get much smaller than that. 4-5 of these crewmen are deck officers (including the captain) who take watches on the bridge and steer the ship, and 2-4 are stewards and cooks who tend to the needs of the crew, but the remaining 13-24 are engineers and deck hands who keep the systems running and prevent the ship from falling apart. That number may continue to fall as the effectiveness of automation increases, but at some point you reach a minimum number of people who must be necessary to maintain the ship. There needs to be eyeballs on all parts of the ship to make sure there isn't a problem, and hands to fix the problems when they're found. Even automated systems need to be calibrated and overridden if they fail.

Warships are different matter -- in addition to the added complexity of weapons and war fighting systems, ordnance, small boats and aircraft that must be handled, the crew must be able to fully man the ship 24-7 in combat situations. This means multiple watches, extra hands to deal with expected damage and malfunction in combat, and redundancy so that the ship can still function if they sustain crew casualties. As automation has increased, modern warship crew sizes have also dropped, but the current US surface combatant, the 155m Burke-class DDG still requires a crew of 276. And that's even after measures like requiring deck hands to prepare meals and do steward-type work... and there is significant concern within the Navy community that these ships may not be able to function properly with such small crews if they are ever put into a real war situation.

Until we get into ultra-mondo-high tech bio-ships that have self-sustaining internal metabolisms, warships will require hands to keep them working. The super-high-tech Historians' probe vessels are completely automated, but even the Historians' warships still require crews.

_________________
Outsider


Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:29 am
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:35 pm
Posts: 1292
Location: Middle of Nowhere
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
hi hi

Arioch wrote:
but that is a separate discussion.
I, uh, guess I'll leave it at that, then.


Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:44 pm
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:47 am
Posts: 16
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
Arioch wrote:
Computers can't turn a wrench. Robots can, but unless your tech level is very high, robots are more expensive than humans and less capable. If we're talking prediction of the future, I think humanity will most likely achieve absurdly high levels of technology before we ever (if ever) find a way to move ships between stars... and at that point there may be very little distinction between living and automation... but that is a separate discussion.

I have been recently studying how modern merchant ships operate, and here is a case where automation has been taken to the extreme limit that is economically feasible. Almost all large cargo vessels are now modular container ships that are the simplest and most efficient arrangement of systems that require a minimum of manpower to operate, load and offload. Very large ships 300-400 meters long now have crews as small as 22-33, but despite the automation, the crews can't get much smaller than that. 4-5 of these crewmen are deck officers (including the captain) who take watches on the bridge and steer the ship, and 2-4 are stewards and cooks who tend to the needs of the crew, but the remaining 13-24 are engineers and deck hands who keep the systems running and prevent the ship from falling apart. That number may continue to fall as the effectiveness of automation increases, but at some point you reach a minimum number of people who must be necessary to maintain the ship. There needs to be eyeballs on all parts of the ship to make sure there isn't a problem, and hands to fix the problems when they're found. Even automated systems need to be calibrated and overridden if they fail.

Warships are different matter -- in addition to the added complexity of weapons and war fighting systems, ordnance, small boats and aircraft that must be handled, the crew must be able to fully man the ship 24-7 in combat situations. This means multiple watches, extra hands to deal with expected damage and malfunction in combat, and redundancy so that the ship can still function if they sustain crew casualties. As automation has increased, modern warship crew sizes have also dropped, but the current US surface combatant, the 155m Burke-class DDG still requires a crew of 276. And that's even after measures like requiring deck hands to prepare meals and do steward-type work... and there is significant concern within the Navy community that these ships may not be able to function properly with such small crews if they are ever put into a real war situation.

Until we get into ultra-mondo-high tech bio-ships that have self-sustaining internal metabolisms, warships will require hands to keep them working. The super-high-tech Historians' probe vessels are completely automated, but even the Historians' warships still require crews.


Indeed. And while intrasystem ships might 'see' everything or have hours or days of advanced warning, maybe cutting down on the 24/7 cycle, when you jump from system to system, it re-adds the need for crew as systems and scenarios become complex and out of the immediate information cycle.


Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:22 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:35 pm
Posts: 1292
Location: Middle of Nowhere
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
hi hi

Handling complex inputs is one of the things that artificial intelligence excels at. They're getting to be generally better at separating signal from noise than humans.

If there's one factor about space travel that is in humanity's favor, it is the timescales that events happen at. A computer's fast processing power might become less important when the next closest intercept is measured in days. :P


Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:11 pm
Profile WWW

Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:00 pm
Posts: 460
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
icekatze wrote:
If there's one factor about space travel that is in humanity's favor, it is the timescales that events happen at. A computer's fast processing power might become less important when the next closest intercept is measured in days. :P


Or centuries if you do not have access to FTL...

Let's just say in an non FTL setting starships are highly unlikely to ever return to their point of origin. Instead, for going back in the other direction a new and modern ship will be built instead. This would lead to a situation where the further out from it's civilization start point (Earth for us humans), the lower the tech level of the colony. Old ships would of course receive upgrades before being sen away but the mere fact that original vessel may be millennia old is just something you cannot do much about. I can even envision settings where there are starships that have been active for millions of years.


Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:48 pm
Profile

Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 8:15 am
Posts: 58
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
Arioch wrote:
CrimsonFALKE wrote:
Well is there any chance to use drones to boost Loroi numbers or are drones to cowardly for Loroi taste

An unmanned starship would not be less expensive to construct than a manned starship, (it might be more expensive, due to the automated systems that would need to replace the crew's function), and it would be less capable in combat. The Loroi are at times experiencing shortages of trained crews, but not to the point where it would make economic sense to construct unmanned ships.

If unmanned warships could fight as effectively and more cheaply than manned ships, then all the ships would be unmanned. Since both sides use crews, it seems reasonable to suppose that they do so for a practical reason.


As long as we're talking about drone and unmanned weapoons, are Relativistic Kill Vehicles a viable strategy? Sure they take years or even decades to do their thing, but I don't think that's an issue when the Loroi/Umiak War has been going for 25 years and seems to be a two-way war of extermination that will likely go on for decades or centuries. In this situation a long-term strategic weapon like a swarm of RKVs could be a viable way to force capitulation, the major problems being the matters of targeting and timing. (Basically, finding worthwhile targets that may be several lightyears away, and relying on those targets being there years from now.)

Some advantages RKVs would have within Outsider:

-Stealth: An RKV needs only a relatively quiet low-thrust, high-impulse engines. Assuming the preferred long-range detection method is to look for the Gamma/X-Ray/Thermal signatures of starship drives, the low-power ion engine of an RKV is incredibly stealthy, with only a low-level thermal signature that could easily be masked by keeping the thrusters behind the bulk of the vehicle. Another bonus is that an RKV can shut down or jettison its drives and coast silently towards its target from outside easy detection range. The only signature in this case would be the occasional random flashes as chunks of interstellar medium impact the leading edge of the weapon, but other than this it would be down to luck; looking in the right place at the right time to spot a tiny target in time to do something about it, which is only frustrated by...

-Unpredictability: Most of the strategy that's been shown in the comic revolves around the defense of known and largely predictable hyperspace entry vectors. (It's mentioned somewhere that both sides are constantly exploring and looking for new systems or jump-points in order to outmaneuver a system's defenses or find a hyperspace backdoor into their rear lines.) Since an RKV has an amount of maneuverability en route and doesn't need to take a "straight" path between one system and another, an RKV could be programmed to attack a system from unpredictable vectors, as well as "safe" systems far behind the front lines; this becomes even worse for the defender when you realize that they may only detect the RVK at the last second, giving them precious little time to mitigate their damage, which brings up...

-Unstoppable: As far as I can tell, there is no good way to stop an RKV near its terminus. Attempting to destroy the RKV merely turns a solid lump into a cloud of relativistic shrapnel, and even a small portion of it hitting its target will be a significant disaster. The only realistic is to deflect it, but even this is no easy feat; any interception would need to take place well outside the targeted system, which would necessitate early detection- assets would then need to be moved to intercept the RKV and since there isn't a good way for those assets to match its velocity, they'll likely get a single shot at an intercept.

-Mass-Producible: Considering that the RKV is just a mass, full, a high-impulse engine, and basic guidance you can probably afford to mass-produce them; while it is theoretically possible to stop a single RKV, dozens could be launched at a single system, guided along unpredictable courses to attack a system from several directions. With some patience and calculation, you could theoretically launch multiple swarms against several systems so that every swarm hits at roughly the same time, wiping out large sections of the targeted species/faction and affording a significant strategic advantage, especially if you're able to his large, "static" targets like shipyards, mining operations, agricultural and population centers, etc.

If nothing else, RKVs could be an effective terror weapon, forcing opponents to divert energy and resources to protecting their systems that could otherwise be used defending jump points or pushing into enemy territory.

Is there any particular reason why RKVs wouldn't be a viable strategic weapon?

_________________
"But notice how the Human thinks. 'Interesting... how can I use this as a weapon?'" - Arioch


Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:36 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:35 pm
Posts: 1292
Location: Middle of Nowhere
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
hi hi

Relativistic Kill Vehicles are something that get brought up from time to time. If memory serves, there are a number of reasons why they're not employed, a number of which are political.

I'm not sure we can accept the premise that the war is expected to go on for decades or centuries. The leadership in the Loroi Union certainly does not want the war to go on that long, and there has to be serious concerns about whether they could sustain the war effort that long. Both sides seem to be looking for an opening to deliver a quick victory.

Using relativistic weapons would also likely undermine a government's support from its allies. When the Loroi practically wiped out the Tithric, it stunned their allies and caused a great deal of political headache for them. Even if they could wipe out a client state that decides they're taking their ball and going home, the Loroi do not want to fight a war on multiple fronts.

Neither side knows where all of the other side's colonies are. If one side decides to use relativistic weapons, the other side is likely to reciprocate. This leads to a bunch of colonies on both sides being wiped out, but not actually deciding the war.


Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:04 pm
Profile WWW
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:19 pm
Posts: 3085
Location: San Jose, CA
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
This kind of weapon has been discussed several times before; here's a whole thread about it, and more here.

In general I think that a weapon that takes decades to arrive at its target is just not a viable military weapon in the time scales of this conflict.

_________________
Outsider


Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:19 pm
Profile WWW

Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:14 am
Posts: 43
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
Well apparently I should have just gone with a big laser.

So messing around with energy numbers.
A Terran Cruiser has 6 heavy railguns, they fire a projectile with 16000000 MJ of energy every 60s so even assuming 100% efficiency this gives us a min amount of energy the ship can provide of 16000000*6 every 60 seconds to power a laser.

96000000‬ MJ of energy.
So a lets install a spinal mounted laser instead of a particle cannon on the Battlecruiser.

1e-8 wavelength Xray laser at only 5% efficiency(4800000MW Output) and a 20m wide projector that fires in 1 second pulses.
Gives a rather fearsome weapon.
Target distance-beam radius at target-Tungsten Armour Penetration Depth.
300000km, 0.183m, 91m
200000km, 0.122m, 308m
100000km, 0.061m, 2.4km(yep this thing could punch a hole clear through a Umiak Superheavy at 100000km if it was made from solid Tungsten)

Even at 500000km the beam radius is still good at 0.3m and still punches through 19m of tungsten.
Anything under 69000km and the beam stops just cutting and causes thermal shock and could be considered to destroy a ship outright.

Lets try something more "realistic" real world UV laser have working efficiencies of up to 23% both increasing the total output and reducing the waste heat. We need to increase the Emitter width to 60m due to massively increased divergence due to wavelength to compensate.
It does appear that it would just fit.
https://well-of-souls.com/gallery/images/cruiser1.jpg

2.23e-7 wavelength UV Laser at 23% efficiency(22,080,000MW output) 60m wide projector.
Target distance-beam radius at target-Tungsten Armour Penetration Depth.
300000km, 1.36m, 1.02m.
200000km, 0.9m, 3.45m.
100000km, 0.45m, 276.6m.

UV laser has lost a lot of its penetrating power over an Xray laser even with being over 4 times more powerful/efficient and at no reasonable point does it cause thermal shock only cutting action.
That said it seems like it would punch a hole through any ship at 100000km and cause serious damage at 200000km, while taking out turrets and other things on the hull at 300000km.

All calcs were done through this site, its fun to mess around with.
https://web.archive.org/web/20170412014001/http://www.5596.org/cgi-bin/laser.php


Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:57 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:22 pm
Posts: 367
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
MBehave wrote:
1e-8 wavelength Xray laser at only 5% efficiency(4800000MW Output) and a 20m wide projector that fires in 1 second pulses.
Gives a rather fearsome weapon.
Target distance-beam radius at target-Tungsten Armour Penetration Depth.
300000km, 0.183m, 91m
200000km, 0.122m, 308m
100000km, 0.061m, 2.4km(yep this thing could punch a hole clear through a Umiak Superheavy at 100000km if it was made from solid Tungsten)

Even at 500000km the beam radius is still good at 0.3m and still punches through 19m of tungsten.
Anything under 69000km and the beam stops just cutting and causes thermal shock and could be considered to destroy a ship outright.

Meanwhile, in 2015...
RedDwarfIV wrote:
On the other hand, that's because our weapons wouldn't be up to par. Not unless we built a kilometre long spacecraft built around FEL Xaser loops or something..

_________________
If every cloud had a silver lining, there would be a lot more plane crashes.


Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:48 pm
Profile

Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:14 am
Posts: 43
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
Well its not the length thats important its the width of the Emitter.
Loroi seem to have Gamma lasers due to the small size of the point defense lasers emitters/lens and there range.

Battlecruiser/Cruiser is the first Terran ship large enough to have a decent ranged UV laser by a spinal mounted emitter/lens.

Large laser emitter/lenses are the way lower tech Civilizations could fight at the ranges or greater then Umiak/Loroi particle weapons.
Its however has the following problems
1.Spinal mounted Lens=1 Gun while particle weapons can be on turrets and don't need a wide emitter/lens.
2.Size makes it easy to damage, rendering it useless and the ship non combat effective.
3.It would generate between 3-5x more waste heat over the same on target energy particle weapon while using 3-5x more energy.

You would want to use particle weapons over lasers, but if you can't build good enough particle weapons then large emitter/lens lasers give you the ability to fight back.

RedDwarfIV wrote:
MBehave wrote:
1e-8 wavelength Xray laser at only 5% efficiency(4800000MW Output) and a 20m wide projector that fires in 1 second pulses.
Gives a rather fearsome weapon.
Target distance-beam radius at target-Tungsten Armour Penetration Depth.
300000km, 0.183m, 91m
200000km, 0.122m, 308m
100000km, 0.061m, 2.4km(yep this thing could punch a hole clear through a Umiak Superheavy at 100000km if it was made from solid Tungsten)

Even at 500000km the beam radius is still good at 0.3m and still punches through 19m of tungsten.
Anything under 69000km and the beam stops just cutting and causes thermal shock and could be considered to destroy a ship outright.

Meanwhile, in 2015...
RedDwarfIV wrote:
On the other hand, that's because our weapons wouldn't be up to par. Not unless we built a kilometre long spacecraft built around FEL Xaser loops or something..


Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:25 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:55 pm
Posts: 55
Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
The Outsider's Terran's heavy lasers have a range of 50,000 km and do relatively pathetic damage much past 20,000 km. These are main battery weapons. However, aside from the armor piercing qualities, the heavy laser is still more effective than the Mjolnir Cannon starting at 30,000 km. And while the heavy mass drivers will do more damage than either beam weapon, its effective range against more advanced races is only about up to 4,000 km.

Loroi's more advanced laser autocannons can fire out to 120,000 km and still can only do pathetic anti-ship damage past 20,000 km. Theirs are designed for defensive work, have a greater rate of fire than the Terran models, and are considered old fashioned by other local powers.

Effective combat ranges for Loroi blasters seems to be 40,000-50,000 km or less, even though they have some with a range up 300,000 km. The super heavy blaster can reach out to 400,000 km, but its effective range drops off after 90,000 km.
(Umiak blasters, while mentioned, don't seem to be as common on their ships verse the plasma focus types. But their blasters have greater combat ranges than most the Loroi blaster, their regular guns drop off slightly later than Loroi weapons, but don't have the overall range advantage.

Umiak Plasma focus seems to have an effective combat range of around 60,000 km aide from their early, shorter ranged Type 4, and their newer Type 7 extending that back out to 120,000 km
Loroi pulse cannon's variable yield is problematic, but their damage output doesn't drop off until past 90,000 km. Becoming far less effective at 250,000 - 300,000 km
The Historians pulsed array is much more versatile, and given the modes can be effective out to 300,000 km. With it being downright brutal at Terran's weapon's ranges.


Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:37 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 92 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.