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Planning for the Gbaba

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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by Theemile   » Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:49 pm

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n7axw wrote:
Erls has it right. Due to the replication of scientists in AI form the Federation was able to pressurized its research and reach parity with the Gbaba. However it was not accomplished soon enough to save them. Merlin's assumption is that Safehold will eventually be able to build on that research and produce ships superior to the Gbaba since what the Federation had was the floor necessary for survival.

I agree that the focus should be on getting rid of the Rakuraii. Until that happens Safehold will be stuck at a steam powered level of industrialization.

Don

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It's been awhile, but I believe at the time the Ark Fleet left, the Gabba still had a "slight" advantage is sensors and speed, but in all other avenues, the Federation had hit parity or were ahead of the Gabba -

The Gabba had just been acquiring a standardized fleet for >6000 years.

The last major Human fleets were either destroyed or escaped with Operation Ark. And it still took the Gabba 10-20 years so break through the defenses to take Earth. There is no way for this to be so other than Terran technology had eclipsed the Gabba in certain areas, sufficient to hold off the hordes for years.

The USA, the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, may have been able to map the sky with 377 million $ - an amount which is more then the GDP of many nations in the period the mapping took place - and was done over how many years? And that sky map cannot tell you accurately the number of planets around Proxima and Alpha Centari A&B, our closest celestial neighbors. It does not even label all the Earth crossing asteroids, or accurately account for several decent gravitational disturbances in the outer solar system. Our sensor systems would be lucky to see a craft the size of a Honorverse SD in orbit of Mars or Venus, let alone wandering around a neighboring star system.

The Ark fleet might have accumulated such data, but as others have mentioned, until the bombardment system is removed and advanced industrial processes can happen in the open, any attempted observational effort is just wasted effort, and any resources spent on this would be better spent on other endevours. There are several layers of technology which need to be developed and deployed en mass prior to even put more than a handful of people in a think tank. Owl is almost out of certain critical materials, and his limited facilities are already slated for use.
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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: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:23 pm

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One thing to remember is that the Federation Navy was able to drive back the "First Contact" Gbaba Fleet and was even able to capture a few Gbaba bases.

Then the Gbaba Main Fleet showed up and drove the Federation Navy back (those that survived the attack) to the Federation Star Systems.

Just succeeding against the "First Contact" Gbaba Fleet should tell us that the Federation Navy wasn't too far behind the Gbaba Fleet technologically.

It was also clear that the Gbaba Main Fleet greatly out-numbered the Federation Navy.

Theemile wrote:
n7axw wrote:
Erls has it right. Due to the replication of scientists in AI form the Federation was able to pressurized its research and reach parity with the Gbaba. However it was not accomplished soon enough to save them. Merlin's assumption is that Safehold will eventually be able to build on that research and produce ships superior to the Gbaba since what the Federation had was the floor necessary for survival.

I agree that the focus should be on getting rid of the Rakuraii. Until that happens Safehold will be stuck at a steam powered level of industrialization.

Don

-



It's been awhile, but I believe at the time the Ark Fleet left, the Gabba still had a "slight" advantage is sensors and speed, but in all other avenues, the Federation had hit parity or were ahead of the Gabba -

The Gabba had just been acquiring a standardized fleet for >6000 years.

The last major Human fleets were either destroyed or escaped with Operation Ark. And it still took the Gabba 10-20 years so break through the defenses to take Earth. There is no way for this to be so other than Terran technology had eclipsed the Gabba in certain areas, sufficient to hold off the hordes for years.

The USA, the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, may have been able to map the sky with 377 million $ - an amount which is more then the GDP of many nations in the period the mapping took place - and was done over how many years? And that sky map cannot tell you accurately the number of planets around Proxima and Alpha Centari A&B, our closest celestial neighbors. It does not even label all the Earth crossing asteroids, or accurately account for several decent gravitational disturbances in the outer solar system. Our sensor systems would be lucky to see a craft the size of a Honorverse SD in orbit of Mars or Venus, let alone wandering around a neighboring star system.

The Ark fleet might have accumulated such data, but as others have mentioned, until the bombardment system is removed and advanced industrial processes can happen in the open, any attempted observational effort is just wasted effort, and any resources spent on this would be better spent on other endevours. There are several layers of technology which need to be developed and deployed en mass prior to even put more than a handful of people in a think tank. Owl is almost out of certain critical materials, and his limited facilities are already slated for use.
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Paul Howard (Alias Drak Bibliophile)
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Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile]
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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by Nathan C.   » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:03 pm

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On the technology I don't know if they are equal or not but it seems like a very low cost to try and get a potential major advantage.

Theemile

The system that the US set up has only mapped a small portion (I think it's about 1%) of the sky and it can only see larger short orbit planets due to the resolution and restrictions that NASA has put on it so that they can explore more of the sky. Additionally the largest part of the cost for the program was R&D and Personnel Neither of which would be applicable here. Also why does the GDP of any safeholdian realm matter, they aren't building it, Merlin is. What do you think Merlin's GDP would be given that he has so much technology. He could start a strip mine on Armageddon reef and dump more precious metals then had ever been mined from the current safeholdian mining techniques even if he just has only slightly concentrated levels of gold like .17 PPM. Tying the ability to produce it to the GDP doesn't feel like the most accurate way to look at it since Merlin is not driven by profit or money in any real way.

Aside
As a note looking for anything near earth is actually very simple and can be done entirely passively from the planet in a process of looking at a given section of sky then looking at it again a few hours later. The reason we currently have issues with this is there is very little to no resources put into near earth observation and conflating looking for an asteroid in your own solar system and looking for a planet orbiting another star is like comparing a pea to a planet and saying they are the same b/c they are both round. As for your notion that we couldn't see a ship the size of an SD you are probably right if it had the sky as the background and no emissions of their own however you could see it easily if it was backlit against the planet. If you need proof of that look at Shoemaker-Levy 9 which was done with old tech by today's standards.

Yes I made the very bold assumption that they have better photo receptors which would increase the area of sky that can be looked at. I assume it would take something like 8 satellites (each watching 1/8 of the sky) 60+ years. The number of satellites could be changed depending what amount of the sky you wanted to look at but the length of time for the observation is bounded by potential orbital characteristics.

As for the critical materials point that is very interesting. Assuming you rule out the production of specific isotopes you could produce any pure element you needed with very low emissions. It wouldn't be cheap but it is well understood now. The hardest problem is that once you isolate and concentrate the material from the ore you either want to do electrolysis or pyrolysis. For certain materials like aluminium this can't be done without electrolysis, which as the name indicates requires electricity. Now I'm going to make the assumption that Merlin has something that can generate power. Assuming that if all of the electrical processing was done in a faraday cage you could prevent any leakage emissions. This is something that I am surprised they haven't already started doing. I am assuming that the orbital array can "sniff" the atmosphere for isotopes using spectra lines.

People keep saying that if they are doing this it is wasted effort. That would imply that the equipment needed to do this overlaps with other manufacturing needs. I don't see this. Merlin is not proving steel plates or any other large quantity items that the empire needs. Yeah he sometimes manufactures things but you notice it always happens quickly this implies to me that there is not a large backlog.

Charles
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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by jgnfld   » Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:56 am

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Re: Would Cayleb/successors practice genocide on a species with a proven record of committing large numbers of genocides on multiple intelligent species? Who refuse any notion of allowing other intelligent species to survive--even as a remnant--let alone proliferate in peace?

My answer from my understanding of human nature and history is "in a heartbeat".

For any and all intelligent life over a large, but unknown sector of the Galaxy, the Gbaba are a deadly, dangerous, 100% mortal plague. Perhaps a remnant can be saved and allowed to live and perhaps even thrive one way or another (as proved to be the case with the Achuultani in Empire from the Ashes). But when it comes to species survival against a deadly-to-their-group external force, humans have never once questioned the need to kill off said force that I can see.

And, when you come right down to it, in species terms any lesser response is morally wrong to any human who values the existence human life and human choice. Personally I'd 1) feel utterly terrible pushing the button to commit Achuultani genocide of billions, perhaps trillions of them--might even cause me to commit suicide myself later in a fit of depression, but 2) I'd still do it for the continued existence of humanity.

The historical problem, of course, is that humans and groups of humans too often define "the group" in far too limited a way...from sociopaths to teen gangs fighting over a block of "turf" to whole countries/large groupings bent on taking everything from other groupings. But the Federation--apparently of all humans--was the important group at the time of that war.
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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by Mark Time   » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:50 am

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Interesting thread. Rather than start an observation program, why not load up the skimmer (or one of the other vehicles) with a bunch of equipment, send it off to the asteroid belt and start building an industrial infrastructure.

The Rakuri would be a non issue and, in fact, Merlin and crew should be able to build up whatever they need to take out the Rakuri.

It may take a while to bootstrap the needed industrial base but I assume there would be sufficient raw materials and energy available. Once the Rakuri are taken out, they can go to full bore on uplifting Safehold.
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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by Nathan C.   » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:23 am

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Mark,

That's a super cool idea. I figured that would have to wait due to emissions and Gbaba detection. They could probably produce mining drones that could be run in remote mode that could build up not just their industry but their inventory. It may also be worth building a huge space laser since it would be a light speed weapon the rakuri couldn't really defend against it unless it always has shields up which I don't recall.
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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by Dilandu   » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:33 pm

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Mark Time wrote:Interesting thread. Rather than start an observation program, why not load up the skimmer (or one of the other vehicles)


Most probably because the existing industrial module A - would not fit into the skimmer, and B - too valuable to remove & disassemble. Not to mention, that Merlin isn't sure, what would Rakurai do, if it notice actual space traffic - not just exoatmospheric flights. Loaded shuttle, launching from Safehold could pretty well be hailed by Rakurai array with the automatic recognition signal. Let's not forget: the system killed one SNARC as soon as it went active.
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Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by Dilandu   » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:36 pm

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Should also point out, that Rakurai defense laser are probably capable of controlling all orbital space around Safehold. Lasers are quite long-range weapon in vacuum. Also, we do not exactly know, do system possess only lasers? It may be as well equipped with some interceptor missiles, capable of reaching any point of Safehold star system.
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Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by Mark Time   » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:01 pm

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Dilandu wrote:Should also point out, that Rakurai defense laser are probably capable of controlling all orbital space around Safehold. Lasers are quite long-range weapon in vacuum. Also, we do not exactly know, do system possess only lasers? It may be as well equipped with some interceptor missiles, capable of reaching any point of Safehold star system.


Maybe, maybe not. Given that success in building an industrial infrastructure in the asteroid belt would take care of the Rakurai problem, it's probably a risk worth taking. Remember, Merlin was willing to risk a Rakurai strike to see if steam power would be okay.

Also, why assume that a "space based bombardment system" would even be watching stuff so far away from Safehold let alone be able to reach out there. Besides, it either is or isn't. If it is watching that far out then the nascent industrial zone gets clobbered just like Merlin was willing to risk his steam engine trial getting clobbered. If not, then we're in business. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Finally, Owl has to be able to replicate the industrial module otherwise Merlin's cave would never be able to bootstrap an industrial infrastructure on Safehold which was the plan all along. If I remember, there are some pretty big assault shuttles just lying around. Use one of them. If a full blown industrial module won't fit in, then load it with whatever is needed to build an industrial module.

It seems like overkill to think that whoever built the bombardment system included weapons able to reach throughout the Safehold system. Dropping rocks and a way to get more rocks was all that was needed.
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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by Bruno Behrends   » Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:46 am

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I like your idea, Mark!

The one problem I see with it is this:

Merlin & Co don't yet know if the temple (through the Rakurai platforms or through other yet unknown means) has an ability to monitor the skies. And if it does how good that system is. So it can't yet be ruled out that the temple might be able to detect activity in the asteroid belt.

And if it does detect mining activity there that would be a dead giveaway about the use of federation tech.

And that in turn might trigger the temple AI or human AI or whatever to do something finally.

I mean: ok - maybe it is so dependent on the Wylson key or whatever that it wouldn't. But can Merlin & Co really bet on that?

I think it would be a real risk.

Nevertheless a good idea and something to keep in mind!

Is there a way possibly to hide the mining outpost from observation and keep the operation stealthy? On the backside of a moon or large asteroid maybe?
However these things tend to rotate. And follow an orbit around the sun or a planet. So the 'backside' of them should be visible at some point. Hm.
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