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Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A) 
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Post Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
What level is terran nuclear tech, do they have Pure fusion weapons?

I was thinking about the Mjolnir particle beam cannon and how it functions.
The energy requirement and discharge rate for the rail guns on Terran ships shows a level of technology required to produce small explosively pumped flux compression generators(EPFCG) capable of pure fusion. EPFCG are extremely cheap to build and with the rail guns it appears providing the initial charge sufficient for fusion is not difficult for Terran Tech.

Which made me wonder how is the Mjolnir Particle Beam Cannon powered, is it effectively a Casaba Howitzer?
It if uses EPFCG's it would make all the other races weapons including the waveloom look like a popgun against a single target through it would still have far less range, unlike the waveloom it would have no charge up time. Since much of the weapons active components are ejected as plasma during firing it should have less thermal problems then one would otherwise think to boot.

EPFCG capable of creating pure fusion would allow on cheap, mass production of EPFCG "ammo" for a particle cannons on ships and 1 use missiles.
A quasi neutral particle weapon that is actually installed into a ship and uses dual EPFCG's, one to generate the plasma for the particle stream and the second to provide electrical power to charge the containment systems to contain and collimate. Hydrogen based beam would have a velocity a few % of light and unlike what appears to be the case for the other races energy weapons it would have significant mass. I base velocity estimate off cold war research that shows ~120km/s for tungsten based particle beam, ~400km/s for iron and a velocity change that is surprisingly liner in relation to atomic mass of the element used for the particle beam and assuming hydrogen is as light as Terrans technology can go because they can't fire subatomic particles.

While Terran ships would still lose a fight due to range alone with the other races there would be a short moment as a Mjolnir volley fires at energy levels they can't match that this would be appropriate.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bSEfx6D8mA&pbjreload=10[/youtube]

I'm sure the Lori and Umiak could make far superior versions but the idea of particle weapon that half destroys itself appears to be only a human invention in the outsider universe(assuming its based on real Earth history), or maybe detonating fusion bombs inside their ships puts them off.

So I found some more data that is interesting... max collimation reached for hydrogen is ~0.00057 and max particle velocity unassisted is 10000km/s(3% light) for nuclear pumped particle weapon.

For Hydrogen bomb pumped particle stream using the Tsar bomb max yield 100mt.
Beam angle 0.00057 degrees
Efficiency 85%(Maximum estimated efficiency unassisted, no external fields)
Yield 100mt
Damage Penetrates ~30cm of steel at 50000km over 190000m2.

Best we can actually make today if humanity wanted too is apparently 20% efficiency.

Thats still around 7cm of steel over 190000m2 at 50000km...
Kinda scary what humans can do today if we really wanted to wage a space war.

Is a weapon that can penetrate 7cm of steel across the entire ships surface going to cause Lori and Umiak ships armour problems or is it meh thats nothing?


Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:13 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
The Terran Mjolnir is powered by a capacitor that is charged by the ship's fusion engines.

Explosively pumped weapons are destroyed as they fire, so they're not very useful as starship weapons. I suppose it's theoretically possible to build a firing chamber that can withstand the thermonuclear blast of firing, but if you can do that, it stands to reason that you can probably also make armor that can resist the beam that such an explosion would create.

A nuclear "shaped charged" concept is most practical as a torpedo warhead, as it will have very short range (the velocity of the beam is comparatively low, much less than 1% lightspeed, and it's hard to get a tight, accurate beam out of a firing platform that's in the process of disintegrating), and because a torpedo is destroyed by the explosion anyway. And it's simpler and cheaper than something like a bomb-pumped laser. I expect that torpedoes with shaped charge warheads will be a standard type along with omni-directional blast versions, essentially "armor piercing" and "high explosive" rounds for different purposes. But as with analogous anti-tank shaped charged weapons, the result is an increase of efficiency in delivery of the explosion's energy to the target, rather than some kind of order-of-magnitude game changer.

The same principles can be applied to antimatter warheads, so there's no competitive advantage for the humans here. If bomb-pumped weapons were superior, then the aliens would be using them too, only at higher energy levels.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Can TCA overhelm human technology weakness with WH40K style supergiant lasercanons?


Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:06 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
The numbers I gave for the 20% efficiency and hydrogen stream angle are real world numbers if we decided to make a weapon today(as far as theory and lab tests go)

The ability to generate the required magnetic fields already exists in outsider with the rail guns I believe, to accelerate 200kg to 200km/s over say 20m far stronger then anything produced by man to date in the real world or even needed for fusion power. Showing Terrans have both the ability for producing the power for fusion EPFCGs and tiring chamber magnetic shielding for fusion pumped particle cannons in my opinion.

Fusion in a magnetic containment chamber made for it I can't see making the ship immune to such weapons, shooting sabot round does not make a tank immune to sabot rounds or human shooting a bow immune to arrows.

Antimatter anti/matter particle reformation contaminates the hydrogen propellant forming new isotopes or elements increasing diffusion rates, at any given power level a fusion pumped version should have better collimation I don't know however to what degree.

Containing an antimatter blast in a ship seems far more dubious then a fusion reaction.
Hydrogen Fusion process only neutrinos penetrate magnetic shielding while positrons and helium are contained and as long as you don't have fissionable material stored onboard it should be fine. Antimatter/Matter reactions generate neutral particles that pass through the magnetic shielding, then you need physical materials that can handle extreme amounts of energy.

Kinda sad its just standard charge capacitor and fire method :(
Actual working "space cannon" that even ejects "shells" is kinda cool :P

Arioch wrote:
The Terran Mjolnir is powered by a capacitor that is charged by the ship's fusion engines.

Explosively pumped weapons are destroyed as they fire, so they're not very useful as starship weapons. I suppose it's theoretically possible to build a firing chamber that can withstand the thermonuclear blast of firing, but if you can do that, it stands to reason that you can probably also make armor that can resist the beam that such an explosion would create.

A nuclear "shaped charged" concept is most practical as a torpedo warhead, as it will have very short range (the velocity of the beam is comparatively low, much less than 1% lightspeed, and it's hard to get a tight, accurate beam out of a firing platform that's in the process of disintegrating), and because a torpedo is destroyed by the explosion anyway. And it's simpler and cheaper than something like a bomb-pumped laser. I expect that torpedoes with shaped charge warheads will be a standard type along with omni-directional blast versions, essentially "armor piercing" and "high explosive" rounds for different purposes. But as with analogous anti-tank shaped charged weapons, the result is an increase of efficiency in delivery of the explosion's energy to the target, rather than some kind of order-of-magnitude game changer.

The same principles can be applied to antimatter warheads, so there's no competitive advantage for the humans here. If bomb-pumped weapons were superior, then the aliens would be using them too, only at higher energy levels.


Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:22 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Zorg56 wrote:
Can TCA overhelm human technology weakness with WH40K style supergiant lasercanons?

Look up Casaba Howitzer
We already real world super giant laser(particle cannons) capable of outdoing the Lori and Umiak if we had sufficient fissionable material to mass produce them.

My post wasn't made on a wouldn't it just be cool, it was If we can do this now, what can we do in outsider with terran advances in magnetic field generation...


Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:27 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
MBehave wrote:
Look up Casaba Howitzer
We already real world super giant laser(particle cannons) capable of outdoing the Lori and Umiak if we had sufficient fissionable material to mass produce them.

Arioch wrote:
If bomb-pumped weapons were superior, then the aliens would be using them too, only at higher energy levels.


What reason is there to think that neither the Loroi or the Umiak are aware of or capable of producing the casaba howitzer as effectively as humanity is? Also, how have you arrived at objective measures of the yields of plasma foci and waveloom devices to compare them against to determine that they are inferior to casabas?

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Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:42 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
A casaba howitzer (a nuclear shaped charge) and a bomb-pumped laser are two different things.

A nuclear shaped charge produces a jet of material that will be limited in speed and angle by what a physical cone can produce. The most successful test I can find used polystyrene as the propellant material to produce a particle beam with a spread of 5.7° and a velocity of 1,000 km/s. A beam angle of 0.00057° and a velocity of 10,000 km/s produced from a physical cone just does not sound plausible to me.

MBehave wrote:
The ability to generate the required magnetic fields already exists in outsider with the rail guns I believe, to accelerate 200kg to 200km/s over say 20m far stronger then anything produced by man to date in the real world or even needed for fusion power. Showing Terrans have both the ability for producing the power for fusion EPFCGs and tiring chamber magnetic shielding for fusion pumped particle cannons in my opinion.

Fusion in a magnetic containment chamber made for it I can't see making the ship immune to such weapons, shooting sabot round does not make a tank immune to sabot rounds or human shooting a bow immune to arrows.

There is a significant difference between a Tokamak-style sustained fusion reaction and a 100mt Tsar Bomba detonation. The magnetic field might be able to contain the plasma shock wave -- though I doubt it -- but it won't do anything to protect against the pulse of thermal and gamma ray radiation. This is literally the same thing as a point-blank-range torpedo warhead explosion.

But regardless, if your magnetic field can contain the effects of the explosion at point-blank range, then the magnetic fields of the target's deflector screens can much more easily deflect the resulting jet which will have a much-reduced energy.

There is a limit to how large an explosion you can use to power a gun of a certain size, past which it will blow up in your face. The explosive force of a typical bullet is actually quite small; it's unlikely that a pistol bullet would seriously hurt you if it went off in your open hand. However, if you tried to use a hand grenade in a cone like a shotgun, I think you'd be much more likely to hurt yourself than to hurt your target. You might be able to build something that could contain the explosion without bursting, but I doubt you'd be able to carry it.

MBehave wrote:
Containing an antimatter blast in a ship seems far more dubious then a fusion reaction.
Hydrogen Fusion process only neutrinos penetrate magnetic shielding while positrons and helium are contained and as long as you don't have fissionable material stored onboard it should be fine.

You're ignoring the photons, which represent a significant portion of the energy of the explosion, and which will not be contained by the magnetic field.

MBehave wrote:
Zorg56 wrote:
Can TCA overhelm human technology weakness with WH40K style supergiant lasercanons?

Look up Casaba Howitzer
We already real world super giant laser(particle cannons) capable of outdoing the Lori and Umiak if we had sufficient fissionable material to mass produce them.

My post wasn't made on a wouldn't it just be cool, it was If we can do this now, what can we do in outsider with terran advances in magnetic field generation...

Without meaning to sound rude, your examples are not from the real world. I don't know of any hypothetical nuclear shaped charged design capable of your proposed 0.00057° and 10,000 km/s, or of any real-world materials that could contain and survive a 100mt explosion.

But as Siber mentions, even if such performance was possible, there's nothing about it that would make it unique to humans or necessarily superior to the alien weapons. Being able to penetrate 7cm of steel is not very impressive performance for a WW2 tank round, much less a TL10 starship weapon.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
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To MBehave:
Here are some useful links for nuclear driven directed energy weapons:
http://toughsf.blogspot.com/2017/05/nuc ... -heat.html
http://toughsf.blogspot.com/2016/06/the ... itzer.html
Essentially, one can classify such systems into broad categories:
1) HEAT charges. Uses Monroe effect to shape the beam into a converging cone for massive armour penetration. Problem being the very short range such a weapon would have (kilometers at most). Uses a liner above the absorption layer. The jet of metal quickly loses stability and breaks into pieces at long distances. Basically a hit-to-kill weapon.
2) Casaba Howitzer (proper): designed as propellant charges for Orions, these take nuclear energy and convert it into a DIVERGING but NARROW cone. They don't use a liner, instead they use an absorption layer made of light stuff (plastics, aerogels, etc). Instead of drilling a small orifice (centimetres to meters), they heavily irradiate a larger spot size (meters) with flash-worthy energy. These have ranges in the low thousands of kilometres, and the most efficient and straightforwards design.
3) A version related to the above is the particle-beam version, which collimates the ions from the above device. Higher speed, longer ranger, but less efficient. Basically tries to create a long-range HEAT charge (trades some of the penetration power for range).
4) EFP versions: these shape a large chunk of metal and propel it. These have slow velocities, massive momentum and essentially recreate the effects of a rail gun. These are BIG systems, since the liner needed to absorb the power of a nuke without vaporising masses in the tens of tons. Powerful weapon but limited but limited in range as much as raiguns.
5) Bomb-pumped lasers. These are somewhat indirect systems, since the bomb energy is used to power a laser rather than directly. They have the best range (since they use gamma and X-ray frequencies), but are hard to aim due to, essentially, blowing up.
Most of the above weapons are not very good. You don't need 1 and 4 if your warhead is a nuke. If it detonates on contact, it's gonna do damage. No need for shaping, and offers basically no range advantage.
Option 2 is what most warheads probably already use. It's cheap and easy. The explosives differ depending on tech level.
Option 5 is not mentioned, and I believe this is due to the technology path of lasers being cast in shadow once most civilisations invent particle weapons. Essentially, why use lasers of any type when you have something like the Mjolnir. Like asking yourself why use a stone sword (Macuahuitl) when you can make them of metal? Sure, initially, the results might be comparable, but there is a limit to them, and less of one to another (to use the same analogy, a Macuahuitl would be comparable to a bronze sword in overall effectiveness, but inferior to a broadsword made of steel; same with spear-casters versus arrows versus slings; though there could be examples of technology becoming more vulnerable as it advances; the Spaniards found out the hard way that slings, which fell out of use in Europe during Roman times due to covering armour and shields, were easy to make, packed quite a wallop, had easy reloads, and very effective against their less covering armour, which was designed to protect only vital areas from arrows and early handguns).
To do some shameless advertising, in my fic, humans due try to experiment with BPLrs, though it's more of an "throw everything at it and see what sticks" type of thinking. Sure, SDI studied them, but never quite got them to work well. Even if it did, their range would still be in the high end of human static lasers like the heavy ones found on the Victory. 40-50Mm is good, better than 1,2,3,4, but getting a warhead to within that range of any of the combatant's ships is no small feat (as we saw during the battle, they have good point defences).
The Loroi and Umiak use particle beams that are shaped into ribbons for extra range. A normal one suffers from blooming (protons and electrons in a beam would repel each other), so would have no advantage over a laser. The Mjolnir, as Arioch once said, is a neutron cannon. So no EM spreading, only normal blooming.
I expect humans to use some sort of superconducting storage for their weapons. Quick charge and discharge, and basically a prerequisite of fusion tech (I would also like to point out that a heavily charged armature is straining under it's own magnetic field; it can make quite a big explosion if you were to say, use it as a grenade :) ). I also expect most human lasers to be FELs driven by wakefield accelerators (since FELs have better efficiency, and wakefields are compact). This is mostly a case of shoehorning existing tech to fit a SF story though :P .
Only technical aspect I have a problem with is human missiles having such low accelerations. Surely, since we already posses ones that can do a 100 Gs, we can do the same in the future. Sure, it's space, so no aerodynamic control surfaces,and the engines need long burn times so high ISP, but still...just put a nuclear engine of some sort on it. A NSWR or NPP type should work fine, or even a mongo electric type if you can... 12G is really low....

EDIT: also keep in mind, humans aren't well versed in space combat. No major conflict, and the only possible one was basically a scuffle between fleets of armed merchant ships. Humans could probably easily develop stuff like blisters, but until recently did not need them; the TCA was a glorified police force until contact.


Last edited by Mr.Tucker on Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:27 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:15 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
The Terran Mjolnir is powered by a capacitor that is charged by the ship's fusion engines.

Explosively pumped weapons are destroyed as they fire, so they're not very useful as starship weapons. I suppose it's theoretically possible to build a firing chamber that can withstand the thermonuclear blast of firing, but if you can do that, it stands to reason that you can probably also make armor that can resist the beam that such an explosion would create.


Sure you can make such an armour but that will add a lot of mass to the ship. You may be willing to reinforce the firing chamber in such a weapon but covering an entire ship that way may not be feasible.


Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:21 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Sweforce wrote:
Arioch wrote:
The Terran Mjolnir is powered by a capacitor that is charged by the ship's fusion engines.

Explosively pumped weapons are destroyed as they fire, so they're not very useful as starship weapons. I suppose it's theoretically possible to build a firing chamber that can withstand the thermonuclear blast of firing, but if you can do that, it stands to reason that you can probably also make armor that can resist the beam that such an explosion would create.


Sure you can make such an armour but that will add a lot of mass to the ship. You may be willing to reinforce the firing chamber in such a weapon but covering an entire ship that way may not be feasible.


Also, a firing chamber has lots of surface area to distribute the energy onto. The armour would be shone in a small spot. That's why laser concentration mirrors don't melt, but laser spots drill like crazy.


Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:30 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
I am aware particle beams and lasers are different things but pure hydrogen weapons can be used to power lasers too and mass production of pure fusion allows the mass production of both cheap weapons/warheads.

Hydrogen fusion does not effectively produce any escaping gamma radiation, the gamma rays are captured by the hydrogen/helium plasma and remitted mostly in the thermal wavelength. This is how the "shaped" charge works, its not actually using explosive force its using thermal radiation conversion into the propellent and why it can be so efficient.

Thermal radiation making it to the shielding would not be direct emission but secondary emission and be significantly less and over an extended time compared to normal fusion blast, specific types of plasma are opaque or even reflective of thermal wavelengths further different densities of plasma also interact much like thermal layers in the ocean sliding over each other instead of mixing. Their is a reason uranium is used as a case liner to focus the thermal radiation where it needs to go. Keeping residue plasma in the ship and attempting to cool it would cause problems, which is why you would expel it behind the primary particle blast. As I stated in my follow up post you may want the containment chamber to be only one use as well, It only needs to last a thousandth of a second or so and then insulate long enough for it to be ejected from the ship like a shell casing from a gun to take the excess heat with it, over a few minutes it may even just melt down into slag. which would actually be cool :)
I don't claim their are not significant problems with such a setup, only the technology for railguns shows its already being done.

To use your own example, smokeless powder burns, blackpowder explodes.
You can get blackpowder that if ignited on your hand could cause serious damage beyond just burning flesh while smokeless powder never will(besides burning obviously) Guns don't contain the explosion, they redirect it, block the end of most guns and they can fail explosively so.


Err that should be 0.057 not 0.00057.
I actually ran my numbers through online calc to double check them before posting and posted those and somehow 0.057 got turned into 0.00057.
The actual energy delivered was worked out using the correct beam angle, the area is wrong but it actually makes the weapon even more effective.
Its impossible for LORI or Umiak ships to dodge at 50000km.
Assuming the ~7cm or 30cm of iron penetrating power is dangerous to them its 100% hit/Kill weapon at 50000km.

SDI nuclear weapons study project Prometheus cites 0.057 for hydrogen beam as achieved not theory(same paper you are referring actually) and 10000km/s hydrogen but at only 5% efficiency in theory. Ideas have been put forward of using a magnetic lens also powered by the blast to increase the efficiency and that would increase it to 20%. I am not sure if this is in the Prometheus paper or came from elsewhere.

I am assuming the firing chamber provides the collimation so it can redirect all the hydrogen particles into the correct beam angle giving 85% efficiency and 0.057 angle.

I understand you have your outsider universe rules, I just thought it would be a pretty interesting way for the cannon to work and I like adapting real world technology to what ifs in science fiction verses. Also along with if they attacked today, as it stands we can in theory produce Howitzers that gives 0.057 hydrogen beam at 5% efficiency or a larger cone at ~80% efficiency without using a focusing array, with in theory brings the 5% efficiency up to 20%. This is as a missile based one use system not a ships cannon.

Plus I like the idea of a big ass space gun using lower level technology but in a way that makes it a match for more advanced weapons.

Arioch wrote:
A casaba howitzer (a nuclear shaped charge) and a bomb-pumped laser are two different things.

A nuclear shaped charge produces a jet of material that will be limited in speed and angle by what a physical cone can produce. The most successful test I can find used polystyrene as the propellant material to produce a particle beam with a spread of 5.7° and a velocity of 1,000 km/s. A beam angle of 0.00057° and a velocity of 10,000 km/s produced from a physical cone just does not sound plausible to me.

MBehave wrote:
The ability to generate the required magnetic fields already exists in outsider with the rail guns I believe, to accelerate 200kg to 200km/s over say 20m far stronger then anything produced by man to date in the real world or even needed for fusion power. Showing Terrans have both the ability for producing the power for fusion EPFCGs and tiring chamber magnetic shielding for fusion pumped particle cannons in my opinion.

Fusion in a magnetic containment chamber made for it I can't see making the ship immune to such weapons, shooting sabot round does not make a tank immune to sabot rounds or human shooting a bow immune to arrows.

There is a significant difference between a Tokamak-style sustained fusion reaction and a 100mt Tsar Bomba detonation. The magnetic field might be able to contain the plasma shock wave -- though I doubt it -- but it won't do anything to protect against the pulse of thermal and gamma ray radiation. This is literally the same thing as a point-blank-range torpedo warhead explosion.

But regardless, if your magnetic field can contain the effects of the explosion at point-blank range, then the magnetic fields of the target's deflector screens can much more easily deflect the resulting jet which will have a much-reduced energy.

There is a limit to how large an explosion you can use to power a gun of a certain size, past which it will blow up in your face. The explosive force of a typical bullet is actually quite small; it's unlikely that a pistol bullet would seriously hurt you if it went off in your open hand. However, if you tried to use a hand grenade in a cone like a shotgun, I think you'd be much more likely to hurt yourself than to hurt your target. You might be able to build something that could contain the explosion without bursting, but I doubt you'd be able to carry it.

MBehave wrote:
Containing an antimatter blast in a ship seems far more dubious then a fusion reaction.
Hydrogen Fusion process only neutrinos penetrate magnetic shielding while positrons and helium are contained and as long as you don't have fissionable material stored onboard it should be fine.

You're ignoring the photons, which represent a significant portion of the energy of the explosion, and which will not be contained by the magnetic field.

MBehave wrote:
Zorg56 wrote:
Can TCA overhelm human technology weakness with WH40K style supergiant lasercanons?

Look up Casaba Howitzer
We already real world super giant laser(particle cannons) capable of outdoing the Lori and Umiak if we had sufficient fissionable material to mass produce them.

My post wasn't made on a wouldn't it just be cool, it was If we can do this now, what can we do in outsider with terran advances in magnetic field generation...

Without meaning to sound rude, your examples are not from the real world. I don't know of any hypothetical nuclear shaped charged design capable of your proposed 0.00057° and 10,000 km/s, or of any real-world materials that could contain and survive a 100mt explosion.

But as Siber mentions, even if such performance was possible, there's nothing about it that would make it unique to humans or necessarily superior to the alien weapons. Being able to penetrate 7cm of steel is not very impressive performance for a WW2 tank round, much less a TL10 starship weapon.


Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:21 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
MBehave wrote:
Fusion in a magnetic containment chamber made for it I can't see making the ship immune to such weapons, shooting sabot round does not make a tank immune to sabot rounds or human shooting a bow immune to arrows.

No one else has pointed this out, so I will.

Sabots and bows are not the same thing as nukes and particle beams. They don't work the same way. If you have a shield that can protect your ship's weapons from point-blank nuclear detonations, then you have a shield that could be protecting your entire ship. The magnetic fields needed to accelerate particle beams can be used to deflect particle beams. If everyone was using a single wavelength of laser, people could armour their spacecraft with mirrors to reflect that wavelength, in the same way that the firing spacecraft uses mirrors to direct the beam.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
RedDwarfIV wrote:
MBehave wrote:
Fusion in a magnetic containment chamber made for it I can't see making the ship immune to such weapons, shooting sabot round does not make a tank immune to sabot rounds or human shooting a bow immune to arrows.

No one else has pointed this out, so I will.

Sabots and bows are not the same thing as nukes and particle beams. They don't work the same way. If you have a shield that can protect your ship's weapons from point-blank nuclear detonations, then you have a shield that could be protecting your entire ship. The magnetic fields needed to accelerate particle beams can be used to deflect particle beams.


I'd say this is true, but also likely a lot more difficult to implement than I feel you're implying. For example, while we can, today, use magnetic levitation to melt very small amounts metal without contacting any other surface (to get ultra-high purity), turning that "inside out" to say you could put a similar field on the outside of a quite large vehicle and get the same kind of field density... no, not so much. There are aspects to redirecting the fields to get a high density on the inside of a "bottle" that are not as readily available when the system is inverted, and there would also likely be a gob-smackingly tremendous power requirement to project this field in any event.

Now, what is "enough" in terms of deflection is a good question, so maybe the power requirement isn't as large as I'd think at first glance, but it would certainly not be small....


Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:52 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Sabots bows and particle weapons are all the same thing, a system designed to take energy from 4 dimensions and condensing it as much as possible into 1 dimension.
Shields with the same strength of the firing chamber are insane in power requirements as in blowing up Earth levels of power...

Lets assume 100mt Casaba Howitzer cannon.
Firing chamber is a Sphere 18m across with a hole for the beam to leave so lets round down to 1000m2 surface area.
85% efficiency of the howitzer(energy is already moving in the wanted direction and isn't needing containment)
That chamber only needs to handle 15% of the energy max.
Magnetic fields need to be 0.015% of the energy per m2 of the blast that needs to be contained at the surface.
Now lets say the beam is 1m2 area at the muzzle for ease of calculation.
85% over 1m2 at the muzzle.
Strongest field needed inside the firing chamber is 5666* weaker then needed to stop the beam at the muzzle.
Reaction takes place over 1/1000th of a second.
beam angle is 0.057

Shield with the same strength per m2 as the firing chamber can stop the beam once range past ~80km.

Sounds great right?


Well ships are big... lets go with the Lori Vortex Mk.2(which is what the Tempest is)
Quick and dirty 750m*450m/3*2 surface area seems about 66/33 empty/filled space from the ships profile picture and treating it 2d so only top/bottom surfaces counted.
Image
Tempest has a hull surface area of 225000m2.
You need 225* the energy just to have the same shield capacity as the firing chamber for the same amount of time.
Want to run that shield for 60 seconds, that's 13500000 times the energy used.

To run those shields for 60 seconds requires 21000 tons of antimatter. You know more energy then needed to blow up Earth, like actually blow it up so every atom is at escape velocity to every other one...

Even a shield million times weaker has high power requirements if its running for any duration.
Even the Lori and Umiak can't sustain shielding of sufficient power with their antimatter powerplants to counteract high yield fusion particle weapons based on the weapon damage charts and assuming their antimatter isn't magical.

RedDwarfIV wrote:
MBehave wrote:
Fusion in a magnetic containment chamber made for it I can't see making the ship immune to such weapons, shooting sabot round does not make a tank immune to sabot rounds or human shooting a bow immune to arrows.

No one else has pointed this out, so I will.

Sabots and bows are not the same thing as nukes and particle beams. They don't work the same way. If you have a shield that can protect your ship's weapons from point-blank nuclear detonations, then you have a shield that could be protecting your entire ship. The magnetic fields needed to accelerate particle beams can be used to deflect particle beams. If everyone was using a single wavelength of laser, people could armour their spacecraft with mirrors to reflect that wavelength, in the same way that the firing spacecraft uses mirrors to direct the beam.


Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:56 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
hi hi

Coming into this late, but the technology used to fire tank shells is also used to make tank armor. It's called explosive reactive armor.

As long as a weapon is traveling less than the speed of light, armor can react rather than needing to be constantly on all the time.


Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:00 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
I'm personally not sure about the premise that shielding and focusing magnetics are apples to apples, but... first of all, it's Loroi, not Lori. It's amazing how consistently people mangle that and only that.

MBehave wrote:
Shield with the same strength per m2 as the firing chamber can stop the beam once range past ~80km.


Secondly, I think it's worth mentioning that a short-range Loroi weapon reaches out 750 times that far, at which point if I'm not mistaken your energy is going to be deposited over something like six orders of magnitude more area.

Thirdly,
Siber wrote:
What reason is there to think that neither the Loroi or the Umiak are aware of or capable of producing the casaba howitzer as effectively as humanity is? Also, how have you arrived at objective measures of the yields of plasma foci and waveloom devices to compare them against to determine that they are inferior to casabas?


edit: stupid fragile BBCode

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Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:11 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
100mt is still more effective at 50000km across 50km then most Loroi weapons are at that range on pure power comparing the damage tables for the railgun projectiles which give a known energy level.

As for are they aware? Apparently not because shaped charge hydrogen weapons would be the norm, or antimatter shaped charges using the Outsiders carrier wave tech to give it low divergence and make it as good or better then hydrogen.

Or it could just be the idea behind outsiders is Beam weapons for cool factor, because if everyone is shooting missiles at each other that detonate from thousands of KM away to lance ships with a beam that will 100% be a kill, its simply not as cool to depict in a graphical way.

Siber wrote:
I'm personally not sure about the premise that shielding and focusing magnetics are apples to apples, but... first of all, it's Loroi, not Lori. It's amazing how consistently people mangle that and only that.

MBehave wrote:
Shield with the same strength per m2 as the firing chamber can stop the beam once range past ~80km.


Secondly, I think it's worth mentioning that a short-range Loroi weapon reaches out 750 times that far, at which point if I'm not mistaken your energy is going to be deposited over something like six orders of magnitude more area.

Thirdly,
Siber wrote:
What reason is there to think that neither the Loroi or the Umiak are aware of or capable of producing the casaba howitzer as effectively as humanity is? Also, how have you arrived at objective measures of the yields of plasma foci and waveloom devices to compare them against to determine that they are inferior to casabas?


edit: stupid fragile BBCode


Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:33 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
hi hi

Siber wrote:
...Also, how have you arrived at objective measures of the yields of plasma foci and waveloom devices to compare them against to determine that they are inferior to casabas?
Actually, I think the answer to this question is important, and really requires explanation and some math.

Even assuming 85% efficiency, which I think is a real stretch to begin with but okay, 10.8 kilograms of TNT per square meter is not really that impressive.


Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:49 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Contextually I'm guessing that this is arrived at by taking the KE of the described railgun projectiles in the weapon profiles page and then getting a joules-per-damage point conversion? The validity of that as a general rule is up to you I guess, but I'll run with it for the moment.

With a divergence angle of 0.057, 100 MT, 85% efficiency, and that conversion factor, at 50km the howitzer is a pretty fearsome weapon. Around 154 damage per square meter of exposed target hull, on 7.7 km radius zone. The meanest Umiak single torpedo has a max damage of 4000, and the meanest cluster munition 4320, with actual performance probably lower due to spent fuel. The Loroi counterparts do 3000 and 12000, respectively. Interestingly, the weapon profile page mentions that torpedoes can be omnidirectional, for damage to potentially multiple targets, or as a shaped detonation to hit a single target but not have to get as close before detonating. Sounds familiar.

The wave-loom does between 20 and 160 damage at a range of 100 megameters(max range being 600Mm, but much weaker there), where our notional casaba blast will be attenuated to around 0.00004 damage per square meter. Pulse cannons and plasma foci are still doing damage in that range band and beyond, too. Obviously not a perfect comparison since you'd want the howitzer to cross some of that distance first, but it gives some context to how coherent and long ranged those weapons are. Close range in this conflict isn't 50 km, it's 5000 km.

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Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:48 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
I think even if there is some special weapon that humans could have potentially and major combatants dont it is:

1. It is still will be something that you can hardly use, because no matter how, you still need to produce a lot of energy.

2. It must be so complicated and esoteric that it could be developed only under certain circumstances and even if other civilizations knew about it they are like "Meh, not worth it".

Something like ancient multishot pistols when you have all those weird complicated mechanisms with levers and chains.


Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:17 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
I don't know if I am doing something wrong but I get completely different number.
I get ~50m diameter at 50km with 0.057 beam angle.
Triangle
Side a = 50000m
Side b = 50000m
Side c = 49.74188m

Angle A = 89.971
Angle B = 89.971
Angle C = 0.057

Checking by cutting circle into 0.057 degree slices and dividing also matches up.
360 degrees / 0.057 = 6315.789473684211
6315.6 for ease

50000m radius circle
314000m circumference
314000/6315.6 =49.71m

can also increase by just changing m to km for ~50km wide beam at 50000km

So assuming I didn't make a mistake.

Outsider Terran GWS HS-100 100kg KKV 400 km/s damage 27
Energy 8000000 MJ

85% of 100mt= 355300000000MJ
355300000000/8000000=44412.5

44412.5 times greater energy.
Energy at 50000km with 50km wide beam spread over 314000000m2
355300000000/314000000 =1131.53MJ m2
damage per m2=0.00381891375 in outsider damage charts

Well that seems useless... is it?

1kg of TNT has 2.175MJ of energy.
1131.53MJ=520kg of TNT per m2.
Vaporization for steel is ~6.8MJ per kg at 0c
166kg of steel per m2 is vaporized by the blast at 50000km(this is 2.2cm but its not actually correct because less steel evaporates while the steel will shatter like glass from the evaporated material expansion to at least 30cm depth)

Nope not useless at all but its still kinda puny compared to other weapons...
But its more shotgun then focused beam so lets add up its total damage.

Whats the total energy its delivering to a ship.

Top down hit on the Tempest at 50000km would cover 112500m2.(best case hit, can't work out a front on profile because I don't know its height and no profile picture to try to estimate)
Quick and dirty surface area by 750m*450m/3 due to 66/33 empty/filled space estimation on its profile picture.

112500m2*1131.53MJ
127237500MJ of energy delivered to the tempest on a top down blast at 50000km
It hits with 15.9 times the energy at 50000km then the Terran GWS.
Most powerful Plasma weapon is the Historian Plasma Array: Overloaded 26-40 damage at 5000km.
Loroi Waveloom max damage 160 at 100000km.
Casaba Howitzer full top profile hit on the Tempest = 429 points of damage at 50000km in outsider damage.

Hydrogen particle beam is also a plasma, Loroi and Umiak shields overload if hit by a powerful plasma blasts and cause damage to the ship even if the plasma was deflected.




Effects at 50000km
Can't be dodged due to area covered.
Their shields are going down.
They are taking damage from overloaded shields even if the shields protected the ship.

Without shields or maybe with them.
The hull will face massive crushing forces even if the armour is not shattered.
Massive amount of heat will be pumped into the ship, more then any kind of conductive/evaporative/radiant system could hope to deal with for the short term at least.
I suspect they will lose all sensors/turrets/engine nozzles and anything else on the side of the ship hit even if armour holds.
Possible spalling of internal hull sending shards of razor sharp shrapnel kicking around the inside hull.

Despite its awesome destructive power its not a GOD weapon....

Loroi and even Umiak have weapons that outrange the Casaba Howitzer and have ships with vastly greater acceleration, after the first engagements they would both just reverse engines and never let Terran ships get in range to be effective and pick them off at a distance.

Siber wrote:
Contextually I'm guessing that this is arrived at by taking the KE of the described railgun projectiles in the weapon profiles page and then getting a joules-per-damage point conversion? The validity of that as a general rule is up to you I guess, but I'll run with it for the moment.

With a divergence angle of 0.057, 100 MT, 85% efficiency, and that conversion factor, at 50km the howitzer is a pretty fearsome weapon. Around 154 damage per square meter of exposed target hull, on 7.7 km radius zone. The meanest Umiak single torpedo has a max damage of 4000, and the meanest cluster munition 4320, with actual performance probably lower due to spent fuel. The Loroi counterparts do 3000 and 12000, respectively. Interestingly, the weapon profile page mentions that torpedoes can be omnidirectional, for damage to potentially multiple targets, or as a shaped detonation to hit a single target but not have to get as close before detonating. Sounds familiar.

The wave-loom does between 20 and 160 damage at a range of 100 megameters(max range being 600Mm, but much weaker there), where our notional casaba blast will be attenuated to around 0.00004 damage per square meter. Pulse cannons and plasma foci are still doing damage in that range band and beyond, too. Obviously not a perfect comparison since you'd want the howitzer to cross some of that distance first, but it gives some context to how coherent and long ranged those weapons are. Close range in this conflict isn't 50 km, it's 5000 km.


Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:02 pm
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Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
hi hi

I'm not sure how the total energy hitting this ship is terribly relevant if it isn't focused.

Do we have some indication that defensive screens are perfectly flat barriers? If not, there's also no reason to assume that they would not absorb the incoming energy over time, probably an exponential curve if it's like most electromagnetic things.


Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:52 pm
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Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
Is it possible to make multistage thermonucler warheads?
This thing will cost absurd amount of money, and will be useless for all combatants, but for TCA?


Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:05 am
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Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
Extending shields is a bad idea.
Casaba is 1-2ms pulse moving at 10000km/s. Assuming a perfect spheric shield 2km in diameter around the Tempest, your extending the absorption time by 0.1ms but increasing the 2d surface area by 28 times.

Shields 2km in diameter need to absorb 12012 damage worth of energy in 2.1ms at 50000km from a 100mt Howitzer.
Don't think 5-10% increased absorption time is worth 28 times the energy needing to be dealt with.
8 charge wave loom does 160 damage and takes 8 minutes to charge and overheats and shuts down the Tempest in a single shot.

Total energy is very important for shields, its also important in heat.
Quote:
The advantages of the plasma focus are very high power and good armor penetration/ablation. The disadvantage is limited range, and like particle beams the plasma usually has a net charge and so will be significantly affected by defensive screens; however, plasma from the heaviest of these weapons can cause a splash effect that may overload screens even when successfully deflected.

Loroi/Umiak shields just cant handle the sheer energy according to insider.

Beams are quite wide in outsider as in meters across.
Hopefully I can be corrected if wrong, I am comparing profile pictures to battle pictures and could be completely off.
Type-KT Strike Cruiser Image
Image
That puts the 2 forward weapons as Umiak MR Type-7 Heavy Plasma Focus. The muzzle appears to be 10m wide.(this was a real rough guess)

10m wide at muzzle thats 78.54m2 area and it does 10-14 damage so 14 damage points= 0.18 damage per m2
at 50000km assuming the beam is the same width(have no data on it) with 9-12 damage=0.15

Its about 37 times more concentrated at 50000km then a howitzer.
However they are duration weapons.
This following is made up obviously as I don't think anywhere we are told actual beam duration for weapons.
Lets say Umiak MR Type-7 Heavy Plasma Focus fires over 1/20th of a second, 50ms.
So lets work out energy per ms per m2 for Howitzer and Plasma Focus.

Umiak MR Type-7 Heavy Plasma Focus 50ms duration time
0.15/50=0.003 energy per m2 per ms.

100mt Casaba Howtizer 1-2ms duration time.
0.0038/1=0.0038
0.0038/2=0.00191
Comparison
At 50000km Howitzer delivers 63-126% the energy per ms as the Umiak MR Type-7 Heavy Plasma Focus.

Again this is made up we don't actually know what duration the beams are but I think 1/20th of a second beam duration is reasonable. We know it is a duration beam style weapon due to this from outsider.
Quote:
Loroi Pulse Cannon
When the Historians gave the Loroi the plans for a dumbed-down version of their plasma focus, it was still too advanced for the Loroi to copy exactly; they could only get it to work in short bursts. The result was the Loroi pulse cannon, which sends multiple pulses of plasma down the carrier wave to the target; it doesn't do as much damage as the Umiak plasma focus, and the damage is highly variable, but it can do significant damage at much longer ranges. Currently the premier Loroi heavy weapon, the pulse cannon is effective both at overloading defensive screens and at damaging armor.


Howitzer isn't focused over distance but it is concentrated over time, ablative armour and the like is also less effective the quicker the energy is dumped into the target. Assuming 20ms beam duration for one of the best Umiak weapons it does comparable energy over time and over far greater area but for far shorter duration.

icekatze wrote:
hi hi

I'm not sure how the total energy hitting this ship is terribly relevant if it isn't focused.

Do we have some indication that defensive screens are perfectly flat barriers? If not, there's also no reason to assume that they would not absorb the incoming energy over time, probably an exponential curve if it's like most electromagnetic things.


Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:58 am
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Post Re: Terran Nuclear Tech (split from Terran Q&A)
Honestly, I think your 85 percent efficiency is grossly optimistic. In such "directed energy" charges, the narrower the cone, the less the efficiency. SDI studies (for weapons that is) ranged from 5% to 10%.
You are also underestimating the fact that part of the energy would be used to shove, rather than heat the target ship. A magnetic screen would also serve to turn more of that speed into heat (stagnant flow effect), while also being flexible (magnetic screens deform like bubble paper, and are unbreakable/immaterial, but, depending on how powerful they are, can effectively be as strong as mild steel; see any article on fusion energy, where they used 20+ Tesla fields; IF they were material they would have an absurd young's modulus). In fact, I suspect that Terran fusion drives use some kind of magneto-inertial-impact fusion, where a blob of fusion material, perhaps wrapped in either plasma or thin lithium foil, is launched at high speed into a specially shaped field, where a combination of eddy current heating and high speed compression cause it to fuse. Presto! Instant torchship, with little radiator needs. We already know terran railguns can reach routinely reach 400kps, so the target speed for impact fusion is only 2.5 times higher (roughly 1000kps; doable probably with more unconventional accelerator designs; though would be limited to large ships, which means small ones like shuttles must still use fission; 'takes notes').
If you wanna see REAL nuclear speculation:
http://toughsf.blogspot.com/2019/04/nuc ... on-to.html


Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:09 pm
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