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Re: ?
Post by Theemile   » Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:26 am

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tlb wrote:The Leonard Detweiler ships would not have this problem if they fire from closer in, since a graser beam cannot be tracked (unless the intervening space is dusty). But the target is not the size of New York City, only of the New York City Zoo in this analogy, which cannot be localized directly unless looking through the open bow or stern aspects.

PS. Is that a 99% kill rate or is it that only 1% can actually achieve a hit on the hull (with some of the others simply missing)?


Another point is 1 Graser shot is not 1 Kill - even against an un-shielded target. Yes, a larger Graser will do more damage, and will be more decisive, but is rarely 1 and done. An SD can be expected to absorb dozens of hits before being combat ineffective, and sidewalls will obscure the target, and bend and diffuse the graser shot so it misses or loses intensity. So ships with 50 Grasers in a broadside don't target 50 opponents - they target 1, destroy it, then move to the next.

Even hitting an SD's "unarmored" ventral and dorsal sides just means there is no major surface armor bands - each floor and wall below is a major armoring component designed to absorb laser and graser fire - Yes, you will damage the ship more by hitting it there, than you would on an armored side, but not necessarily enough to destroy 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: ?
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:01 am

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Theemile wrote:
tlb wrote:The Leonard Detweiler ships would not have this problem if they fire from closer in, since a graser beam cannot be tracked (unless the intervening space is dusty). But the target is not the size of New York City, only of the New York City Zoo in this analogy, which cannot be localized directly unless looking through the open bow or stern aspects.

PS. Is that a 99% kill rate or is it that only 1% can actually achieve a hit on the hull (with some of the others simply missing)?


Another point is 1 Graser shot is not 1 Kill - even against an un-shielded target. Yes, a larger Graser will do more damage, and will be more decisive, but is rarely 1 and done. An SD can be expected to absorb dozens of hits before being combat ineffective, and sidewalls will obscure the target, and bend and diffuse the graser shot so it misses or loses intensity. So ships with 50 Grasers in a broadside don't target 50 opponents - they target 1, destroy it, then move to the next.

Even hitting an SD's "unarmored" ventral and dorsal sides just means there is no major surface armor bands - each floor and wall below is a major armoring component designed to absorb laser and graser fire - Yes, you will damage the ship more by hitting it there, than you would on an armored side, but not necessarily enough to destroy it.

I'm predicting that an LD will have at least fifty of the most powerful grasers with which mankind has yet had the pleasure to make toast. I'll go out on a limb and say five will mission kill a target. That is ten ships targeted every five seconds. Fifty ships destroyed in twenty-five seconds. It will take thirty seconds for the targeted ships to react. And react to what? From where? They won't be reacting to incoming missiles with a wedge which give notice before arrival. Remember the grasers which ignited the Byng incident? Initially, none of the ships even knew what had happened.

I disagree that an SD will be able to absorb dozens of these hits. Think of the hitting power of Thor's hammer.

Sidewalls will be fatally weakened when hit with just one of these babies. The other four will ram the point through.

Sitting ducks will be roasted Peking Ducks. LOL

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: ?
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:40 am

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I see a fatal consistency of underestimating the Lenny Dets. The enemy can not allow a Lenny to get into it's optimum firing range. It doesn't matter if they are eggshells if there's nothing left alive to engage it.

Consider the ever raging discussion about ramming that began in the Battle of Spindle thread, and is still raging. Sidewalls are not gods. They cannot attenuate a force that overcomes the attenuation. Initially, that was the entire design problem of lasers. Sidewalls can't deflect an infinite amount of energy.* And, an unarmored ship has never been hit with the power of these sledge hammers.

*Infinite for all intents and purposes.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: ?
Post by tlb   » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:43 am

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cthia wrote:Remember the grasers which ignited the Byng incident? Initially, none of the ships even knew what had happened.

I agree that if the sidewalls and the wedges are down, then the ships will not know what hit them; which was the situation with the destroyers at New Tuscany. However the ignition point was the destruction of the space station. in the way that the Malign would later repeat at Beowulf. From Storm from the Shadows, chapter 41:
That meant there was no one who could possibly have tied Lieutenant Rochefort to Manpower or Mesa before he pressed that function key.
And no one could possibly tie the lieutenant to anyone after that, since the message he transmitted was actually the detonation command for the two-hundred-kiloton device hidden inside a cargo container a Jessyk Combine freighter had transshipped to Giselle a month before . . . and which was now stored in a cargo bay approximately one hundred and twelve meters forward and three hundred meters down from Lieutenant Rochefort's compartment.
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Re: ?
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:55 am

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tlb wrote:
cthia wrote:Remember the grasers which ignited the Byng incident? Initially, none of the ships even knew what had happened.

I agree that if the sidewalls and the wedges are down, then the ships will not know what hit them; which was the situation with the destroyers at New Tuscany. However the ignition point was the destruction of the space station. in the way that the Malign would later repeat at Beowulf. From Storm from the Shadows, chapter 41:
That meant there was no one who could possibly have tied Lieutenant Rochefort to Manpower or Mesa before he pressed that function key.
And no one could possibly tie the lieutenant to anyone after that, since the message he transmitted was actually the detonation command for the two-hundred-kiloton device hidden inside a cargo container a Jessyk Combine freighter had transshipped to Giselle a month before . . . and which was now stored in a cargo bay approximately one hundred and twelve meters forward and three hundred meters down from Lieutenant Rochefort's compartment.

That is not what I meant. Of course a ship won't know what hit them if the victim of one of these attacks. And no, the destroyers at New Tuscany didn't know what hit them.

I'm talking about the warships from both Navy's didn't know what destroyed the space station. The SLN didn't know. The RMN didn't know. IINM, it was speculated to be an energy beam after a missile was ruled out. That tells me energy beams aren't readily detected by the fleet. Am I wrong about that?

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: ?
Post by tlb   » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:20 am

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cthia wrote:I'm talking about the warships from both Navy's didn't know what destroyed the space station. The SLN didn't know. The RMN didn't know. IINM, it was speculated to be an energy beam after a missile was ruled out. That tells me energy beams aren't readily detected by the fleet. Am I wrong about that?

As I said earlier: "since a graser beam cannot be tracked (unless the intervening space is dusty)". So I agree that "energy beams aren't readily detected". However just after the explosion there is this exchange:
"Sir, I know the station's been destroyed," the captain said, speaking quickly and urgently, "but it was definitely a nuclear explosion—a contact explosion; CIC sets the yield at at least two hundred kilotons—and not an energy weapon. But we didn't pick up any missile trace, so—"
"Goddamn it, I just gave you a fucking order, Captain!" Byng snarled, absolutely infuriated that a mere Frontier Fleet captain would dare to interrupt him with arguments at a moment like this. "I don't care what you did or didn't pick up! We're sitting here bare-assed naked, without even sidewalls, and just who the hell else d'you think would have done something like this?"
"But, Sir, it couldn't've been a missile if we didn't detec—"

So it was not believed to be an energy weapon at the time.
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Re: ?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:45 am

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cthia wrote:That is not what I meant. Of course a ship won't know what hit them if the victim of one of these attacks. And no, the destroyers at New Tuscany didn't know what hit them.

I'm talking about the warships from both Navy's didn't know what destroyed the space station. The SLN didn't know. The RMN didn't know. IINM, it was speculated to be an energy beam after a missile was ruled out. That tells me energy beams aren't readily detected by the fleet. Am I wrong about that?

I'm pretty sure that would be more grasping at straws than a plausible belief that an energy beam sufficient to destroy even a civilian station wouldn't be detected by warship sensors at such close ranges. Not the beam itself - it's a nice tight collimated and focused group of photons - but the side effects of pumping that much energy through the less than perfect vacuum of space.

Mind you detecting it isn't the same as backtracking it, much less doing so quickly enough to effectively return fire.

But we're talking about uncountable numbers of unbelievable powerful photons. The vacuum of space isn't absolute (and even less so around an orbital station which, with the best will in the world, will be slowly out-gassing and probably has some level of microscopic debris sharing its orbit). Any gas particle or tiny metal or paint flake caught hit by any of those photons will create, ever so briefly, an energy emission that isn't restricted to the same path as the the beam. It's all those tiny emissions and scattering that sensors can pick up especially as close as all the ships were to the station -- lack of any of them would be strong evidence that the destruction of the station wasn't caused by an energy beam.

Mind you none of that gives the target any warning the beam is on the way. All those emissions are also moving at the speed of light. Though I guess if you had enough ghost rider drones out and they were in the right place and looking for those side effects of energy fire you might get up to one entire second of warning... :D


An LD that sneaks into energy range to attack is likely to do a lot of damage, especially if the targets are caught with their sidewalls down - and it will probably be hard to localize well enough to counter attack. But the beams themselves should trigger enough emission events that later analysis - if not necessarily real-time processing - will show there were energy beams flying around. Of course if they're hitting ships then the type of damage and the spectra of the armor that was reduced to plasma should make it blindingly obvious that energy fire is coming in.


Although now I'm wondering whether the grav lenses used to focus energy mounts might be detectable by a warship's FTL grav sensors at energy combat ranges? :eek: Those lenses are vastly weaker than a wedge, or even sidewalls, but a ship is designed to track wedges at multiple light minutes while energy range is over 90 times closer, meaning the inverse square law kicks in hard. (Okay, against a normal warships with its wedge and sidewalls up the signal of the grav lenses forming is probably lost in all the grav noise coming from those more powerful sources; but if an LD is producing no other grav emissions might the lenses be detectable against that quiet background?
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Re: ?
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:26 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:That is not what I meant. Of course a ship won't know what hit them if the victim of one of these attacks. And no, the destroyers at New Tuscany didn't know what hit them.

I'm talking about the warships from both Navy's didn't know what destroyed the space station. The SLN didn't know. The RMN didn't know. IINM, it was speculated to be an energy beam after a missile was ruled out. That tells me energy beams aren't readily detected by the fleet. Am I wrong about that?

I'm pretty sure that would be more grasping at straws than a plausible belief that an energy beam sufficient to destroy even a civilian station wouldn't be detected by warship sensors at such close ranges. Not the beam itself - it's a nice tight collimated and focused group of photons - but the side effects of pumping that much energy through the less than perfect vacuum of space.

Mind you detecting it isn't the same as backtracking it, much less doing so quickly enough to effectively return fire.

But we're talking about uncountable numbers of unbelievable powerful photons. The vacuum of space isn't absolute (and even less so around an orbital station which, with the best will in the world, will be slowly out-gassing and probably has some level of microscopic debris sharing its orbit). Any gas particle or tiny metal or paint flake caught hit by any of those photons will create, ever so briefly, an energy emission that isn't restricted to the same path as the the beam. It's all those tiny emissions and scattering that sensors can pick up especially as close as all the ships were to the station -- lack of any of them would be strong evidence that the destruction of the station wasn't caused by an energy beam.

Mind you none of that gives the target any warning the beam is on the way. All those emissions are also moving at the speed of light. Though I guess if you had enough ghost rider drones out and they were in the right place and looking for those side effects of energy fire you might get up to one entire second of warning... :D


An LD that sneaks into energy range to attack is likely to do a lot of damage, especially if the targets are caught with their sidewalls down - and it will probably be hard to localize well enough to counter attack. But the beams themselves should trigger enough emission events that later analysis - if not necessarily real-time processing - will show there were energy beams flying around. Of course if they're hitting ships then the type of damage and the spectra of the armor that was reduced to plasma should make it blindingly obvious that energy fire is coming in.


Although now I'm wondering whether the grav lenses used to focus energy mounts might be detectable by a warship's FTL grav sensors at energy combat ranges? :eek: Those lenses are vastly weaker than a wedge, or even sidewalls, but a ship is designed to track wedges at multiple light minutes while energy range is over 90 times closer, meaning the inverse square law kicks in hard. (Okay, against a normal warships with its wedge and sidewalls up the signal of the grav lenses forming is probably lost in all the grav noise coming from those more powerful sources; but if an LD is producing no other grav emissions might the lenses be detectable against that quiet background?

Indeed, but that is tangential to my point. CIC will definitely be able to figure out what happened after they analyze the data. But that takes time. Time they don't have. The victims won't automatically assume the destruction is related to energy fire. And even if they are quicker off the mark than Chin was, what do they do? What orders are given? What maneuvers can be made, not knowing the location of the enemy? Less than thirty seconds and a fleet is gone.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: ?
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:38 pm

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Something I always meant to ask. I remembered it while watching the movie The Challenger Disaster.

MDMs have three stages. What happens to each stage as it burns out? Does it remain with the missile or separate like our current rockets. Does a burned out stage have any use? Seems like detaching the burnt stage would offer a smaller target to point defense, since the extra mass isn't going to be used to ram. It might even allow a bit more performance from the remaining missile.

That's how solid rocket boosters work anyways. Of course, I've never heard of them being detached. And I suppose geometry and the wedge might prevent that.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: ?
Post by tlb   » Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:10 pm

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cthia wrote:Something I always meant to ask. I remembered it while watching the movie The Challenger Disaster.

MDMs have three stages. What happens to each stage as it burns out? Does it remain with the missile or separate like our current rockets. Does a burned out stage have any use? Seems like detaching the burnt stage would offer a smaller target to point defense, since the extra mass isn't going to be used to ram. It might even allow a bit more performance from the remaining missile.

That's how solid rocket boosters work anyways. Of course, I've never heard of them being detached. And I suppose geometry and the wedge might prevent that.

As I understand it, that is the way that the Cataphract works; but in the MDM the drive elements are stacked together with baffles in between. There is the single micro-fusion reactor that supplies power to each in turn, so nothing detaches.
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