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Relativity

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Re: Relativity
Post by tlb   » Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:01 pm

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tlb wrote:That was the sort of thing that I was considering when I said there was no alternative, without fighters in the sky to intercept and identify the plane as a passenger jet.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Even a fighter in the sky with Mark 1 Eyeballs can get identification wrong. See Korean Air Flight 007.

Slightly different situation, the cruiser was afraid of missiles and a visual inspection could have shown the Iranian plane was unarmed. was unarmed; while the Korean flight had violated military air space and the authorities were convinced it was a spy plane.
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Re: Relativity
Post by cthia   » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:04 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Yes. That's why they drill, so they can go from Condition 4 to Action Stations in the least amount of time. How low that number is, I can't tell (I don't think it was said in the text at all). 60 seconds may be too little, but 3 minutes sounds plenty. It is, after all, the time it took single-stage missiles to burn out their impellers.

More importantly, a ship not in friendly territory would maintain some level of readiness, from which it can get to full battle stations in less time.

This is where I'm having trouble. If the MAlign attacks, I'm predicting a hit on major systems while they still enjoy the element of surprise and shock. In the MBS during peacetime, now, the crew isn't even at general quarters. At the BoM Home Fleet didn't even have it's wedges up. The Home System always relies on its sensors to detect wedges coming across the wall. If the MAlign has them so nervous that every ship always has its wedges up then maintenance has to be a copper-plated Ransom, right about now. A King's Ransom too, because it has to be expensive as hell. It also seems it should add a measure of unpreparedness to Home Fleet, while having to be rotated in and out of maintenance. Even Imperator has to be serviced if her wedges are always up. All the MAlign needs is some benign intel about Home Fleet's overall readiness and maintenance schedules.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:I understand. My argument is that they knew the SLN was losing the war. They rushed Cataphracts A, B and C and did anything they could to make the SLN survive. If they had more hidden up their sleeves that wasn't a Top Secret state secret (like the spider or streak drives), they would have. If they had 10x improved impellers, they might have given the SLN / TIY a 1.5x improvement.

I'm not so sure though. The MA had to play a balancing act. They wouldn't have wanted to give the SLN too much help. They wouldn't have wanted to raise suspicions about where and how too much improvement suddenly came down the pipe. Some SLN officers were already suspicious. Two, they had to ensure they wouldn't telegraph what's coming over the horizon to the GA, especially when they had other operations against the GA in the pipeline, and three, the tech could have been in various stages of development at the time. The MA had to make every breakthrough appear as if it originated from TIY, within the realm of TIY's capabilities.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:RFC is fond of saying that you have to think through the implications of technology. If you have it, how does it transform your warfighting techniques?

That's difficult to do with your enemy's R&D. Especially one with totally unprecedented tech who you have literally no Intel on, who has a habit of thinking outside the box. Heck, it's difficult to do with the tech in your own neighborhood. Haven couldn't see each iteration of Manty tech. And vice versa.

Uh huh, after they can bring the wedge up. As I understand it a three minutes sucker punch ain't gonna given sitting ducks enough time. Byng would be proud.
ThinksMarkedly wrote:Any ship not at a dock or in orbit of a planet, or instead repairing the impellers, should keep its wedges up. There's no reason to shut it down, even in the Manticore system. Especially lone ships -- and capital ships are never alone. A squadron should also not keep all its wedge aspects oriented in the same way, which makes stealth ambushes quite difficult. The GA knows the MAlign is out there and has good stealth. Rule #1 of Space Warfare: don't make it easy for the enemy to kill you.

You've pointed out before that over a decade, the SOPs may relax. I agree. But we know there won't be a decade jump in the books, so the pressure will continue up. I don't see the GA relaxing procedures any time soon.


I guess you're cueing the same old song in my opening paragraph again, the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) of each ship.

Again, whenever I think of the whole thing, I can't seem to shake the Waka Waka Waka sound of PACMAN gobbling up widgets, sprockets, cogs and nodes.

cthia wrote:True, I can't say it is a logical extension of RMN tech. I can say it would be a consistent habit of the MA to think outside the box. And, having their location classified, not operating on a time schedule while fighting for its life, able to work on tech sporadically for centuries allows them to accomplish what the average Navy doesn't have time to do. Even if that other Navy has the motivation or insight. We're talking Alphas, baby.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:On the other hand, not having to fight for its life never produced the type of encouragement that Samuel Johnson talked about ("when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."). We know, for better or for worse, that conflict and war are moments in history that spur innovation. And we know RFC believes that because it's the underpinning of the entire Honorverse and he explicitly wrote so in The Valkyrie Protocol.

I understand that and it's a poignant point. OTOH, the MAlign isn't completely oblivious about the latest technology used on the battlefield. Textev witnesses their ever watchful eye on GA tech. They're either trying to mirror it or steal it. So they have certainly been watching. We all agree that knowing something is possible makes it much easier to recreate it, because you know the research isn't a pipe dream.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:The MAlign was never under existential threat, but the MA and later the RoH were. They are now, though.

You keep throwing me off with your abbreviation for Manticoran Alliance. At any rate, what??? The Alignment would beg your pardon on that. To the point that they've relocated to an unknown region of space and have been working on weapons to do something about it. The entire galaxy is responsible for creating this monster because of its stance on genetic modification. It's like a religion with the MAlign, and they were never free to practice their religion, whether the known galaxy felt it was more of a cult or not.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:And I've said before and will say it again: RFC must be holding something about MAlign tech that he hasn't told us about. The little we know about the Lenny Dets makes no sense as a warship. It's too slow and too vulnerable, depending exclusively on stealth. So I do think they must have some technological breakthrough we haven't heard about yet, which makes this ship useful in combat. Maybe it is a 2-million-gravity missile, but I don't think so. A 5-million-km graser is more likely and grasers are an area we've been told they've researched.

I certainly agree there. In fact, I don't think you'll find anyone to disagree with you on that. That's why I think a specialized missile to support their insane proximity to the enemy is logical. See the other thread about the graser. This thread is straying a lot from it's appointed task.

cthia wrote:Agreed, but those limitations were reached long ago. See my sentiments of missiles operating in a veritable minefield of debris on the aptly named thread. But somehow matter has never seemed to. . .matter.
ThinksMarkedly wrote:It hasn't happened often that the ships being attacked stay with their debris. Almost every single engagement involves ships accelerating somewhere, which means the debris is always left behind (or ahead, as the case may be). Shaping a course around a cloud of debris that you know is there is trivial.

The one exception I can think of is the Battle of Hypatia, where SLN TF 1030 stayed put close to the planet, and this only because they were caught with their pants down and didn't have time to accelerate away from the planet anyway. But in this battle, RMN TG 110.2 was firing 4-minute ERMs at 46000 gravities, which only gave them 110 Mm/s more than the launching ships' base velocity. TG 110.2 had accelerated for the attack, though, but that means the missiles' terminal velocity must have been around 0.4c to 0.45c.

Well, this is where understanding my sister's intolerance of sci-fi compels me to decree that I will always maintain separation of at least a parsec between sci-fi and a slipstick. Translated, I would suggest that plain old space dust would destroy a missile at < 0.5c let alone 0.9c, long before reaching the targets or having to worry about larger debris. But fortunately, I'm not my sister.

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: Relativity
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:57 pm

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cthia wrote:This is where I'm having trouble. If the MAlign attacks, I'm predicting a hit on major systems while they still enjoy the element of surprise and shock. In the MBS during peacetime, now, the crew isn't even at general quarters. At the BoM Home Fleet didn't even have it's wedges up. The Home System always relies on its sensors to detect wedges coming across the wall. If the MAlign has them so nervous that every ship always has its wedges up then maintenance has to be a copper-plated Ransom, right about now. A King's Ransom too, because it has to be expensive as hell. It also seems it should add a measure of unpreparedness to Home Fleet, while having to be rotated in and out of maintenance. Even Imperator has to be serviced if her wedges are always up. All the MAlign needs is some benign intel about Home Fleet's overall readiness and maintenance schedules.


We'll have to agree to disagree. My argument (as below) is that right now and for the foreseeable future, the GA knows that there's an enemy out there who has good stealth and likes to ambush. They've done so twice already (Yawata and Beowulf Strikes). They're also extremely ruthless, q.v. the Mesan Atrocity. So all the home systems and major industrial nodes and population centres will need to keep their level of readiness up. Not full action stations, clearly, but something like Condition 3, wedges up, heterogeneous formation, random evasive patterns.

Over time, that's another story.

cthia wrote:I'm not so sure though. The MA had to play a balancing act. They wouldn't have wanted to give the SLN too much help. They wouldn't have wanted to raise suspicions about where and how too much improvement suddenly came down the pipe. Some SLN officers were already suspicious. Two, they had to ensure they wouldn't telegraph what's coming over the horizon to the GA, especially when they had other operations against the GA in the pipeline, and three, the tech could have been in various stages of development at the time. The MA had to make every breakthrough appear as if it originated from TIY, within the realm of TIY's capabilities.


I agree they can't give everything, but at the point where The Plan is falling apart, they would have tried something to save it.

Then again, there's the "throw good money after bad" angle. They may have realised that the plan as it was had already become irreparable, so they cut their losses. That's very smart, if it is what they did. It just doesn't sound like they thought this was happening: as late as the Beowulf Strike (Operation Fabius), the MAlign was still slipping some technology to the SLN and trying to get it to come out on top. Honor put a sudden and final end to all of that, much more quickly than I think they had predicted.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:RFC is fond of saying that you have to think through the implications of technology. If you have it, how does it transform your warfighting techniques?

cthia wrote:That's difficult to do with your enemy's R&D. Especially one with totally unprecedented tech who you have literally no Intel on, who has a habit of thinking outside the box. Heck, it's difficult to do with the tech in your own neighborhood. Haven couldn't see each iteration of Manty tech. And vice versa.


I didn't mean the GA figuring out what the MAlign is doing or vice-versa.

I meant you: you were proposing new technologies and weapons. You have to take them to their logical consequences as well as the logical precedents that would have led to them.

This particular thought is why I am so impressed with David's works in general and the Honorverse in particular: technology doesn't exist in isolation. I'm right now reading The Valkyrie Protocol and he neatly plugged a hole in what the technology would have allowed and would have sent the economy tumbling down if it were possible (no spoilers given). We have to take things with a grain (or mountain) of salt because perpetual motion machines are abound and several laws of conservation are getting violated, but in general there's no gaping hole you could drive an SD through.

I understand that and it's a poignant point. OTOH, the MAlign isn't completely oblivious about the latest technology used on the battlefield. Textev witnesses their ever watchful eye on GA tech. They're either trying to mirror it or steal it. So they have certainly been watching. We all agree that knowing something is possible makes it much easier to recreate it, because you know the research isn't a pipe dream.


No, they aren't oblivious, clearly. They're also funding development themselves, their own equivalent of Project Gram. But we can compare Project Gram's results pre-war to what came out during the wars and conclude that the hanging sword of Damocles contributed enormously to getting technology out of the door. When your life or nation hangs in the balance, you can't afford to wait for the perfect.

There were also other economic incentives not available in peace time, such as specific funding for the war and the economies of scale for warfighting matériel. Neither of which was the case for the MAlign. Their entire funding consisted of diverted funds from Mesan enterprises and other transtellars they managed to infiltrate, at least until Darius had a self-sustaining economy.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:The MAlign was never under existential threat, but the MA and later the RoH were. They are now, though.

cthia wrote:You keep throwing me off with your abbreviation for Manticoran Alliance.


That was intentional :D

cthia wrote:At any rate, what??? The Alignment would beg your pardon on that. To the point that they've relocated to an unknown region of space and have been working on weapons to do something about it. The entire galaxy is responsible for creating this monster because of its stance on genetic modification. It's like a religion with the MAlign, and they were never free to practice their religion, whether the known galaxy felt it was more of a cult or not.


The Plan is in tatters. They needed the SLN fractured into warring factions and the RF to come out as the beacon of civilisation, and none the wiser on the existence of the Alignment in the first place. None of that is true.

So maybe they are not under direct existential threat right now, but they are in a crisis. That's nearly equivalent.

Well, this is where understanding my sister's intolerance of sci-fi compels me to decree that I will always maintain separation of at least a parsec between sci-fi and a slipstick. Translated, I would suggest that plain old space dust would destroy a missile at < 0.5c let alone 0.9c, long before reaching the targets or having to worry about larger debris. But fortunately, I'm not my sister.


MDMs were designed to reach 0.8c. Ergo, they have sufficient protection against regular space dust and occasional pebble.

Debris clouds would be a major impediment, if you had to fire through them. But missile engagements usually don't have to, as I explained. And what if you did lose 10% of your missiles due to impactors? 100% of the missiles you launched were going to get obliterated anyway. So long as sufficiently many of them can still strike at your enemy, the losses underway are the price of doing business. Unless they start to climb, they would barely be noted in the text, especially since losing a missile or two is common occurrence anyway.
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Re: Relativity
Post by tlb   » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:02 pm

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cthia wrote:I would suggest that plain old space dust would destroy a missile at < 0.5c let alone 0.9c, long before reaching the targets or having to worry about larger debris. But fortunately, I'm not my sister.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:MDMs were designed to reach 0.8c. Ergo, they have sufficient protection against regular space dust and occasional pebble.

Debris clouds would be a major impediment, if you had to fire through them. But missile engagements usually don't have to, as I explained. And what if you did lose 10% of your missiles due to impactors? 100% of the missiles you launched were going to get obliterated anyway. So long as sufficiently many of them can still strike at your enemy, the losses underway are the price of doing business. Unless they start to climb, they would barely be noted in the text, especially since losing a missile or two is common occurrence anyway.

A slight digression, but related to these points: I found a good discussion by RFC about particle shielding for a warship. The author talked about the operation of the particle shielding in the following Pearl: Kinetic Anti-ship Attacks

Here is the relevant portion:
As far as the effectiveness of a "down-the-throat" attack on a major combatant, the particle shielding definitely would present difficulties. I'd have to run the numbers, but the particle shielding is basically designed to handle collisions with solid objects massing up to about two metric tons at velocities of up to 60% of light-speed. More massive objects can be dealt with it lower velocities, and as the velocity rises above .6c, the size of the object the system can handle goes down. There is, however, a reason warships mount massively redundant point defense to cover the bow-aspect of their wedges, and a reason besides the need to engage an enemy vessel for mounting the most powerful chase weapons possible and mounting them in multiple numbers, instead of simply settling for the biggest, nastiest spinal mount weapon you can cram in. When an object too large for the particle shielding to deal with turns up, it is automatically engaged by the ship's point defense and -- if the ship has been cleared for action -- its chase energy weapons, as well. And the fire control on those systems is designed to engage targets coming in at better than 80% of light-speed. and they're also designed to begin engaging them at ranges in excess of 200,000 kilometers. So, I doubt that you'd be able to get your warhead close enough to score a hit before detonating, even if the slug were massive enough to punch through the particle shielding in the first place. Obviously, you'd have a better shot at scoring a hit with an "up-the-kilt" shot, where the particle shielding wouldn't be a factor… except for the minor point that the after end of the ship is designed to be the forward end of the ship when the vessel is decelerating. Which means -- you guessed it -- that the stern hammerhead is equipped with exactly the same sort of massively redundant, space debris-killing energy weapons and particle shielding as the bow.
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Re: Relativity
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:23 pm

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tlb wrote:A slight digression, but related to these points: I found a good discussion by RFC about particle shielding for a warship. The author talked about the operation of the particle shielding in the following Pearl: Kinetic Anti-ship Attacks

Here is the relevant portion:
As far as the effectiveness of a "down-the-throat" attack on a major combatant, the particle shielding definitely would present difficulties. I'd have to run the numbers, but the particle shielding is basically designed to handle collisions with solid objects massing up to about two metric tons at velocities of up to 60% of light-speed. More massive objects can be dealt with it lower velocities, and as the velocity rises above .6c, the size of the object the system can handle goes down. There is, however, a reason warships mount massively redundant point defense to cover the bow-aspect of their wedges, and a reason besides the need to engage an enemy vessel for mounting the most powerful chase weapons possible and mounting them in multiple numbers, instead of simply settling for the biggest, nastiest spinal mount weapon you can cram in. When an object too large for the particle shielding to deal with turns up, it is automatically engaged by the ship's point defense and -- if the ship has been cleared for action -- its chase energy weapons, as well. And the fire control on those systems is designed to engage targets coming in at better than 80% of light-speed. and they're also designed to begin engaging them at ranges in excess of 200,000 kilometers. So, I doubt that you'd be able to get your warhead close enough to score a hit before detonating, even if the slug were massive enough to punch through the particle shielding in the first place. Obviously, you'd have a better shot at scoring a hit with an "up-the-kilt" shot, where the particle shielding wouldn't be a factor… except for the minor point that the after end of the ship is designed to be the forward end of the ship when the vessel is decelerating. Which means -- you guessed it -- that the stern hammerhead is equipped with exactly the same sort of massively redundant, space debris-killing energy weapons and particle shielding as the bow.

Plus - though not germane to his point about point defense and particle shielding - an up the kilt shot is aiming at a significantly smaller target than one coming down the throat.

An SD - using the numbers from the wedge geometry infodump - has a viable up the kilt opening of about 800 km^2 (roughly the size of New York City). But in comparison a down the throat shot on that same SD has a viable opening approaching 5 times lager; about 3,600 km^2 (roughly the size of Rhode Island) (For this I'm treating it as viable if it misses the lip of the wedge and doesn't have to cross a sidewall)
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Re: Relativity
Post by kzt   » Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:32 pm

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If you can’t hit the wedge opening without really trying then hitting the actual ship is pretty hopeless.
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Re: Relativity
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:27 pm

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cthia wrote:I'm proposing a missile that can reach the top speed of .9c quickly, from an LDs low engagement range. Resulting in a missile still coming in at .9c from an LD's impossibly close engagement range.


There's no indication such a missile can be built. There's no compensator in a missile, Honorverse missiles have to be built to standards far beyond current artillery shells and you're proposing adding probably another couple of zeros to that.
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Re: Relativity
Post by cthia   » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:05 pm

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Loren Pechtel wrote:
cthia wrote:I'm proposing a missile that can reach the top speed of .9c quickly, from an LDs low engagement range. Resulting in a missile still coming in at .9c from an LD's impossibly close engagement range.


There's no indication such a missile can be built. There's no compensator in a missile, Honorverse missiles have to be built to standards far beyond current artillery shells and you're proposing adding probably another couple of zeros to that.

Well, I'm proposing the MAlign may be proposing. Relativity is already ignored. That's a huge allocation of handwavium that I ignored very early on, and I even bansihed my slipstick to make it, well. . .stick. The wedge seems to be a veritable sump of endless power.

On that note, bracketing for a moment whether the impellers, rings and nodes can withstand it, what would happen to the flight profile if all three stages burned simultaneously?

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: Relativity
Post by tlb   » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:14 pm

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cthia wrote:On that note, bracketing for a moment whether the impellers, rings and nodes can withstand it, what would happen to the flight profile if all three stages burned simultaneously?

I do not think you can ignore wedge fratricide, the same as happens when the wedges of a missile and a CM come together.
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Re: Relativity
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:15 pm

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tlb wrote:
cthia wrote:On that note, bracketing for a moment whether the impellers, rings and nodes can withstand it, what would happen to the flight profile if all three stages burned simultaneously?

I do not think you can ignore wedge fratricide, the same as happens when the wedges of a missile and a CM come together.
^this.
You'd get instantaneous destruction from catastrophic wedge inference.


(Well I guess if one set came up first you'd "just" get significant localized destruction around the other two rings when they tried to activate within the area of influence of the fully active one -- exactly what Honor did to the Havenite courier boat's nodes in OBS. OTOH the 3 rings on an MDM are so close that even blowing the other two could likely cause collateral failure of the fully powered ring. But that might only mangle the back-end of the missile instead of vaporizing the whole thing)
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