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A new idea for sandcasters...

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Re: A new idea for sandcasters...
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:23 pm

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Galactic Sapper wrote:Come to think of it, has anything ever been said about ships coming to grief due to physical collision with debris from other ships? Especially in the major fleet battles pre-cease-fire, where the ship at the head of the wall of battle might blow up and have the rest of the fleet dive into the debris field at 300+ gees?

The forward energy weapons and point defense clusters might hit the biggest pieces but there'd be scores of torso- to small-car-sized pieces of armor and structural framing and other high-density bits hitting your hull at multiple kilometers per second. And that's if those same forward weapons aren't having to engage an enemy at the same time.

I don't specifically remember that being mentioned. But I always kind of assume the ships were staggered a little bit. After all the wedges are 300 km across but the ships only have a frontal width of around 0.2 km. Even being staggered in depth by a few km would hardly reduce the effectiveness of the wall rolling behind wedges to blunt attacks -- but it'd make it much less likely that heavy debris would come straight down the throat at the nose of the trailing ship.

Also remember that their sidewalls project way forward of the ship, I think all the way to the leading edge of the wedge. So they're at 149+ km long and an opening of only 10 km wide, even for debris coming front dead ahead the ship has to change heading about 1.92 degrees to interpose the sidewall between itself and the debris. And if the ships start off slightly staggered then most debris would either miss them or come in such that it'd hit the sidewall anyway.

But that's just my 2 cents. Like I said, I don't remember it actually being discussed in the books, or in any of RFC's posts.
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Re: A new idea for sandcasters...
Post by Theemile   » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:29 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Galactic Sapper wrote:Come to think of it, has anything ever been said about ships coming to grief due to physical collision with debris from other ships? Especially in the major fleet battles pre-cease-fire, where the ship at the head of the wall of battle might blow up and have the rest of the fleet dive into the debris field at 300+ gees?

The forward energy weapons and point defense clusters might hit the biggest pieces but there'd be scores of torso- to small-car-sized pieces of armor and structural framing and other high-density bits hitting your hull at multiple kilometers per second. And that's if those same forward weapons aren't having to engage an enemy at the same time.

I don't specifically remember that being mentioned. But I always kind of assume the ships were staggered a little bit. After all the wedges are 300 km across but the ships only have a frontal width of around 0.2 km. Even being staggered in depth by a few km would hardly reduce the effectiveness of the wall rolling behind wedges to blunt attacks -- but it'd make it much less likely that heavy debris would come straight down the throat at the nose of the trailing ship.

Also remember that their sidewalls project way forward of the ship, I think all the way to the leading edge of the wedge. So they're at 149+ km long and an opening of only 10 km wide, even for debris coming front dead ahead the ship has to change heading about 1.92 degrees to interpose the sidewall between itself and the debris. And if the ships start off slightly staggered then most debris would either miss them or come in such that it'd hit the sidewall anyway.

But that's just my 2 cents. Like I said, I don't remember it actually being discussed in the books, or in any of RFC's posts.



Don't forget about particle screens. They won't stop the big chunks, but they are designed to stop random space debris up to .8c. I would think they are designed to stop anything that is too small to be detected in time to interdict, which probably means objects the size of a soccer ball can be deflected with ease.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: A new idea for sandcasters...
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:50 pm

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Theemile wrote:Don't forget about particle screens. They won't stop the big chunks, but they are designed to stop random space debris up to .8c. I would think they are designed to stop anything that is too small to be detected in time to interdict, which probably means objects the size of a soccer ball can be deflected with ease.

Sounds like another potential system for clearing sand, if an oversized generator could be fitted onto a missile instead of a warhead or EW penetration aide.
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Re: A new idea for sandcasters...
Post by Theemile   » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:30 am

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Galactic Sapper wrote:
Theemile wrote:Don't forget about particle screens. They won't stop the big chunks, but they are designed to stop random space debris up to .8c. I would think they are designed to stop anything that is too small to be detected in time to interdict, which probably means objects the size of a soccer ball can be deflected with ease.

Sounds like another potential system for clearing sand, if an oversized generator could be fitted onto a missile instead of a warhead or EW penetration aide.


Sand is useless in Honorverse tech for normal operations - and we've debunked my "special case" idea here. There are so many ways to clear sand, and the most important problem is the acceleration of ships themselves. Anything emitted from the bow of an SD moving at 350gs is already behind the ship 1 second later. There would be a continuous need to replenish the sand, which is useless just moments after it is dispersed, and no ship could carry enough to provide sufficient dispersion for more than a handful of seconds.

Any Grav wave generator (wedge, sidewalls, particle generator) can sweep sand, but a ship emitting sand will find the sand field limited to inside the ship's own wedge and sidewalls - and getting sucked into those fields while the emitting ship screams away from the cloud; so getting a sweeping field inside the other ship's wedge is a pointless exercise in futility.

Since missiles, sidewalls and other grav fields cannot exist in a grav wave, and an emerging ship isn't accelerating for as much as several minutes, I was thinking that those unique circumstances MIGHT allow sandcasters to be useful. But you cannot eject enough sand to be useful, the defenses still know where your ship is, what you do eject will only be used to sandblast your unprotected hull with sheets of plasma after grasers hit the sand (yes dispersing grasers, but not enough), and the grav wave will grind down any sand to atoms and quickly disperse it.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: A new idea for sandcasters...
Post by Brigade XO   » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:45 pm

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I though you had to use a Sandcaster to direct the sand such that it would be between your ship and what was being fired at it. That does raise a few questions as to exactly where you start throwing sand in relation to your ship (as soon as you can actualy do that) when you exit the wormhole. Where are the defening ships, mines, forts, whatever? Will be interesting to have to discharge the sand almost 360º around your ship.....and keep it up for how long....till you can 1) get your wedge up, 2) target the things you need to shoot at including launching CMs to defend against missle weapons.
How dense is a plume of "sand" need to be to disrupt a graser beam such that it doesn't make it as far as you hull? There is also the not so minor problem of launching the sand and then having to do things like fly through it fairly quickly (like as soon as you can reconfigure the sails to wedge).....which means that your partical shielding is going to impact that sand as you overtake it AND you are going to have to "look though" that cloud with your own sensors to see what is where, identify what is there and try and direct your weapons/contermeasures at the people/things that are going to be shooting at you.

Somehow I suspect that if you could project enough sand at a hostile ship or fort within graser range to meaningfully degrade the beam, you are also not going to be able to shoot your own energy weapons though the same cloud (presuming you are still behind it) for the same reason.
And shooting missiles through that is going to screw up your missiles......sandblasting the seeker heads is the least of the problems since your missile is going to be accerating at ? how many km/sec ? and so is going to imitate a bird trying to fly through pattern of birdshot since the "sand" will be essentially standing still compaired to the speed of your bird.

So, just how dense (and of what material) would your "sand" cloud need to be to block an Honerverse Laser or Grazer and how much sand at what dispursion rate (because it is going to dispurse starting immediately) is going to be capable of doing that?

Brings to mind the line from "The Holy Grail" ---I fart in your general direction. :)
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Re: A new idea for sandcasters...
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:37 am

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I'm fairly sure the answers to those questions is "It just won't work".

If nothing else, sand would only absorb the first shot. Because a few terrajoules of gamma ray radiation would leave ionized gas and not sand (and probably leave it radioactive as well, but that tends to be ignored in this universe).
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Re: A new idea for sandcasters...
Post by tlb   » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:01 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:So, just how dense (and of what material) would your "sand" cloud need to be to block an Honerverse Laser or Grazer and how much sand at what dispursion rate (because it is going to dispurse starting immediately) is going to be capable of doing that?

Brings to mind the line from "The Holy Grail" ---I fart in your general direction. :)

What is the dispersion mechanism in a vacuum? I understand that not every particle need be moving in the exact same direction, but the side components should be very small compared to the main direction.

In a shotgun (if I understand correctly) what leaves the muzzle is not just the pellets, but also highly compressed gas; which is suddenly free to expand in all directions taking the pellets along for a ride. In the Honorverse we are more likely talking about a mass driver, instead of compressed gas, and so there is nothing to cause an expansion; except the lack of perfect direction control.
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Re: A new idea for sandcasters...
Post by kzt   » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:24 pm

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How much “sand” do you need to be the same as a meter of hull armour? I’d argue somewhere in the range of a cubic meter per meter. Which means several order of magnitude more than the volume of another meter of hull armor. So this certainly seems like an ineffective way of trying to protect the ship.
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Re: A new idea for sandcasters...
Post by Brigade XO   » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:37 am

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Yeah, a mass driver (well a LOT of them) mounted on or through the hull pushing a lot of sand at each load is probably the primary delivery system but that does mean that the nominal interception is going to be really close to your hull and you probably will have to be at least not accelerating when you use it or you run into your own sand.

Launching some kind of "sandbag" that will burst later to deply the sand is going to call for a really large missile.

I think Manticore has some old junk lying around it can use for test vehicles. Some heavily used former SLN SDs come to mind. Weld on your Sandcaster systems (hull mount will probably work) and all sorts of test equipment & sensors. Run the SDs by remote control from another ship using FTL link and have at it.
All you really need is a SD that has a working drive system, navigation and communications. At least initially you don't even need a working defense system- it would just get in the way of the test.
Even if sandcasting is a compleat waste of time, there should be some interesting data.
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Re: A new idea for sandcasters...
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:36 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:Yeah, a mass driver (well a LOT of them) mounted on or through the hull pushing a lot of sand at each load is probably the primary delivery system but that does mean that the nominal interception is going to be really close to your hull and you probably will have to be at least not accelerating when you use it or you run into your own sand.

Launching some kind of "sandbag" that will burst later to deply the sand is going to call for a really large missile.

I think Manticore has some old junk lying around it can use for test vehicles. Some heavily used former SLN SDs come to mind. Weld on your Sandcaster systems (hull mount will probably work) and all sorts of test equipment & sensors. Run the SDs by remote control from another ship using FTL link and have at it.
All you really need is a SD that has a working drive system, navigation and communications. At least initially you don't even need a working defense system- it would just get in the way of the test.
Even if sandcasting is a compleat waste of time, there should be some interesting data.

It's at this point you should realize you've conceptually recreated the old autocannon point defense systems.
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