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Re: ?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:10 am

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cthia wrote:The "Ya - Whatta Strike!" Begs to differ. But your mistake is when applying your notion to the real world. Scanning is accomplished with the limitations of technology. A full scan of the entire heavens is not possible as a matter of recourse. It is accomplished over time. Instruments have to be directed towards certain locations for a certain period of time. And, they have to be effected by humans with their human foibles, such as boredom and a lack of attention span. All the while not expecting something to be coming in on a completely random vector. Factoring in any other inherent limitations of the scanning system.

Those were stealthed ships, not rocks. They were also flying at very high speeds through the inner system and spent no more than a day or two there. And some of them were detected, just too late to make any difference.

Mind what I said: any rock that spends a month or more in the inner system will be detected. I gave a month exactly because of what you said: it takes time to scan the entire sky. This kind of passive detection is usually done by comparing two time-separated imaging of the same region of the sky and see if any blip moved. We are doing this now, with only Earth-based (ground or near orbit) right now. I can't believe any space-based civilisation wouldn't do the same, and use multiple imaging platforms further separated in space so parallax can be detected much quicker. Even Grayson, Masada, and Nuncio would have the systems. Systems like Manticore probably do this far, far more often. And given that they have thousands of platforms that are constantly, passively imaging everything, they can probably detect any rock moving through the inner system within a day.

This isn't affected by human foibles and apathy because it's a mostly automated system anyway. When an alarm rings -- which should happen at most once a year -- you send a ship to check it out or at the very least keep a closer look at it. This is why I said that the strike, if any, has to be quick enough that it wouldn't be caught by two time-separated scans of the same region. This completely rules out the 5-year timeline that was proposed before.

cthia wrote:I am not so certain about that Jonathan. But I'll circle back around to that point. Or end up there.

At any rate, I was actually proposing the use of a supercomputer not just to hit the planet, but to hit specific targets on the planet; like Mount Royal Palace. Although I was proposing much shorter launch points.

The closer you are, the less precision you need. But anyway, I agree with Jonathan: you don't need a supercomputer either way. The one you used to post here in the forum, whether a laptop, a desktop or a mobile phone, has more than enough computing power to make these calculations. The difficulty is not the calculation, it's the measurement of variables.

Agreed. IF all of the variables are known to the precision needed it would be child's play. But all of the variables in the resolution needed wouldn't be known. In the HV only relative or general positions are known, for the most part. But in no way are iron-clad spatial positions to the degree of being usable in equations for ballistic strikes on a planet available from every possible position in the vastness of space. You would need to know the EXACT location of the planet at any time index to a significant number of decimal places from all known points in space. And these points in space need to be calculated to the EXACT number of decimal points. There is too much variation in the HV. But then, HV weapons are corrected in flight. Or after they come back online after the ballistic phase.

I've argued before that in any system worth hitting anything, the navigation beacons and all the EM emissions will tell you exactly what you are with sufficient precision for a strike. The problem with those systems is that they are also chaotic enough with ships going every which direction every time, at random times, that you can't know all the factors downrange.

In other words, you can put yourself 50 AU from the planet and with significant enough precision the exact velocity and thus the time it would take to hit Mount Royal while Beth is having her supper. But you won't know what the projectile will take that time because it will be affected by forces outside of your control in its journey.

We can today launch a probe from Earth that will hit the Mars atmosphere at an exact angle and land within 100 m of where we wanted it to land, fly through the gap in Saturn's rings, or make a very close flyby of Pluto (at 40 AU!) with very minimal course adjustments.

Which is why I proposed the MA will dramatically eliminate the problem by getting much closer in for the shot. Just to ruffle ThinksMarkedly's feathers, the MA will be launching from a position close enough that some pervert will be looking down Beth's blouse. LOL

The problem with that is that you don't need a slow-moving object to make that strike. If you can get to within 1 million km of the planet, you use regular KEWs. In fact, if your plan is to devastate anyway, fire missiles with wedges. At 50000 gravities, a missile crosses 1 million km in 63 seconds. That's enough to raise the walls around Mount Royal, but not to move a tug to interpose a wedge, especially if there are multiple objectives. So Mount Royal survives, but Landing is gone.

It is enough time for defensive ships or stations in near, medium, or high orbit to launch CMs, though. And whether the launching ship survives to tell the tale or not is a different story.

I would think the ship itself would have to employ some sort of device to measure the exact position of the planet relative to itself to a significant number of decimal points from whatever point in space. Then the ship needs to be properly oriented towards the target. I think you are underestimating the difficulty of hitting even a huge planet from such enormous proposed distances using the relative positions known - even in the absence of solar winds and debris - in a totally ballistic strike.

I'm arguing (see above) that any system worth hitting provides such system-positioning system as a matter of courtesy to all the ships that come.
Re: ?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:41 pm

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cthia wrote:Because of the effect of futuristic tech, I was positing that even "Fat Man" could be made much smaller with the same yield. That remark was simply icing.
Well you hardly need future tech from the 40th century for that :D. Within the decade after the 21kt Fat Man US fission bombs were down to 1/5 the mass, 1/2 the size, and 3x the power (Mark 7 fission bomb). And once you got into fusion bombs a 21 kt bomb could be much smaller that that.

cthia wrote:Assuming, of course, that we actually COULD have produced a bonafide dirty bomb with our limited understanding of the technology - paired with our limited production techniques - at the time.


A dirty bomb would have been much easier to make than an actual atomic bomb - it's just highly radioactive material of some sort that you spray around with conventional explosives.

That means you need way less understanding of nuclear physics to make one than you would to make even the simplest atomic bomb; like Little Boy. (Its uranium gun design was much simpler to design and build than Fat Man's more advanced plutonium implosion design; though both less efficient and more annoying to get the nuclear material for).

That's why dirty bombs are primarily talked about in the context of terrorism. All the terrorist organization needs is access to radioactive waste - which they could get from something as simple as old X-ray machines (back when they used all radioactive sources instead of particle acceleration) to add to their existing explosives.
Re: ?
Post by cthia   » Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:58 am

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fallsfromtrees wrote:I am sceptical about the accuracy of "fire and forget" from 1 billion miles away - without any mid course correction, an error of 1 second of arc means a miss of 771 km at the target- and that assumes that you have the speed of the projectile exactly correct and the exact distance. At a speed of 10% c (quoted in the books as the speed of the KEWs from LEO), the flight time for 1 Gkm is about 33,333 seconds. If the distance is off by 1% (not unreasonable for a craft in stealth, unable to use any ranging tech without being detected), the flight time is 33,666 seconds or about 333 seconds (5.5 minutes longer). In 5.5 minutes, the planet will rotate about 152 km - hardly a near miss.

The same calculations of error apply to the speed of the projectile, although that is more easily controlled for precisely - but as an example, if the speed is low by 0.1% (one tenth of a percent), the flight time will be 33,366 seconds (at exactly 1Gkm). That is only 33 seconds longer, and the miss distance is "only" 15km.

And this does not take into account solar wind, dust concentrations, and the gravitational influence of other bodies in the solar system.

Targeting from that far out with no mid course correction is extremely unlikely to be successful in targeting something as small as the palace on Manticore.

I am in total agreement. Even without the solar wind.

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
Re: ?
Post by cthia   » Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:02 am

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Brigade XO wrote:So what does a 100 ton missile pushed up to .6C and comming in ballistic -except for some small adjustmet control for corrections and whatever can be switched on at the last moment before atmospheic entry- do to a planet?

We could turn that into a thread of its own.

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
Re: ?
Post by Brigade XO   » Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:33 am

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Given the way this thread is developing, lets take a moment and recall that -at the moment- the single largest problem as an active threat to humanity in the HV is the Alignment. Of course they don't see themselves as a threat but rather as both savior and the natural progression of humanity to "improve" itself

We have already seen in what has been persented that the Alignment really isn't concerned with killing millions or billions of people in either it's direct attack or in the results of it's machinations. Setting nuclear bombs in the THREE largest Beowulf orbital habitats? Just chump chage to them. It is very clear in the discussion and description of the Oyster Bay strikes the Manticore Binary System (and by logical extention on the Grayson home planet) that the ONLY reason the they didn't strike at targets on the planets themselves is the likelyhood that that would force the Solarian Leage to call the attacks as EE violations and the public outcry (at least all those League Member Planitary Systems leadership) to both crap thier pants and demand that the perpetrators be found and punished. As it was, "only" the debris falling on three plants in the MBS technicaly didn't meet the criteria of an EE and so the League (the bureaucracies- with the presumed encouragent of the Alignment moles and agents) and so perhaps bring SL/SLN to the MBS and the resulting (you know it would happen) tech transfer of RMN military equipment etc that would be grabbed/stolen in the process would massily change the calculus of the Alignment being able to have the SLN crushed and the League fragmented.

Lenny Dets just outside the hyper limits of systems (or closer) seeding the system with impacters on ballistic trajectories and ready to switch on normal impeller drives to "regular" missiles to hit planets as high fractional C velocities and devistate "problem" populations- well that sounds about right.
Use the Spider Drive weapons to hit serious targets elsewhere as required.

The Alighment is going to end up replacing and or modifying the poplulations of any system it takes over to meeet it's needs for what will be essentialy production facilites of food, equipment and supplies. The Gods and their proxies firmly in control and anything other than Star Lines to be firmly kept as-at best- servitors who are closely controlled with modifications made as thought nessisasry.

Heck, after you smack a planet with a couple of major KEWs and the population still gives problems, hit them with another round -from really close- at any location seen as a source of whatever behavior or thought you find offenseive to the Alignment and let the resulting "nuclear winter" effect kill off the majority of the population. You can always come back a couple of hundred years from then and land your own required forces. And given that you will control the orbitals, you can have ever so much greater sence of power by sitting up there with various recon platforms deep in the gravity well and your shipboard and orbital sensors watching and just vaporize anything you wan't with smaller strikes. Remnant populations groups looking "restive".....the Fist of the (incert what the Alighment want's to be known as to lesser beings here) will strike them from on-high and nothing left but the fading flash and a rolling debris cloud.

Is that bleak enough for you?

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