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Two technical questions

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Re: Two technical questions
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Jul 02, 2024 3:34 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:The small wedges on the missiles probably do some unpleasant things. But they also last for just a few seconds, and seemingly aren't more than a few square meters across. So even if the insane gravitational effect on the atmosphere creates some toxic gasses it wouldn't have time or volume to convert all that much of that atmosphere.


It shouldn't create toxic gases at all. The passage of the wedge through the atmosphere should simply ionise the gases that are there, so it should be no more toxic than lightning.

In fact, aren't atmospheric wedge missiles described as "looking like a ray gun?"
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Re: Two technical questions
Post by Brigade XO   » Tue Jul 02, 2024 6:46 pm

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There is also the ability later to launch missiles from both broadsides (and double the number in each volley) but that means that at least half of the volley has to more or less wait till the 2nd half clears the launching ship's wedge and then switches on it's wedge. So when it is about to
"catch up" to the misses launched from the side closes to the target, then that other side brings up their wedges so you have everything more-or-less in the same arrival time-on-target.

I guess the nominal launch speed is low enough that it won't take too long from the off-side volley to swing around the mothership's wedge and spread out to make up an amalgamated wave coming in to help overwhelm the defender's CM and energy defense weapons.
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Re: Two technical questions
Post by tlb   » Tue Jul 02, 2024 7:06 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:There is also the ability later to launch missiles from both broadsides (and double the number in each volley) but that means that at least half of the volley has to more or less wait till the 2nd half clears the launching ship's wedge and then switches on it's wedge. So when it is about to "catch up" to the misses launched from the side closes to the target, then that other side brings up their wedges so you have everything more-or-less in the same arrival time-on-target.

I guess the nominal launch speed is low enough that it won't take too long from the off-side volley to swing around the mothership's wedge and spread out to make up an amalgamated wave coming in to help overwhelm the defender's CM and energy defense weapons.

That is normally done by rotating the ship about the long axis 180 degrees; rather than asking the missiles from one side to make a U-turn, which would have to be done under power (which would kill all momentum).
Last edited by tlb on Tue Jul 02, 2024 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Two technical questions
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Jul 02, 2024 7:08 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:There is also the ability later to launch missiles from both broadsides (and double the number in each volley) but that means that at least half of the volley has to more or less wait till the 2nd half clears the launching ship's wedge and then switches on it's wedge. So when it is about to
"catch up" to the misses launched from the side closes to the target, then that other side brings up their wedges so you have everything more-or-less in the same arrival time-on-target.

I guess the nominal launch speed is low enough that it won't take too long from the off-side volley to swing around the mothership's wedge and spread out to make up an amalgamated wave coming in to help overwhelm the defender's CM and energy defense weapons.
We've seen that done two different ways.
Early on we saw the DD Principality/Breslau do it by spinning on her long axis and doing that launch, continue rolling 180 degrees, launch the other broadside, and then both broadside's worth of missiles brought up their wedge "a classic double broadside from something fairly powerful—probably a light cruiser" [HotQ]
(Not mentioned, but being spun up like that must be degrading your fire control on missiles and CMs because the constant rotation means your own wedge keeps interrupting your links to them. You can reestablish - but that's got to cost you some effectiveness. OTOH with twice the missiles arriving on target you've quite a bit of extra effectiveness to spend :D)

The other was the late war/interwar off-bore launches where a ship either sitting nose/tail on to the enemy, or using Keyhole to put its wedge toward the enemy. Either way both broadsides are 90 degrees to the enemy, and it can launch missiles (or CMs) from both simultaneously, with all missiles making that 90 degree turn post-launch to head downrange towards the target together.
(This newer method means you can use your chase control links, or use relayed control links, to maintain uninterrupted fire control over the missiles)
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Re: Two technical questions
Post by aairfccha   » Tue Jul 09, 2024 12:05 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:It shouldn't create toxic gases at all. The passage of the wedge through the atmosphere should simply ionise the gases that are there, so it should be no more toxic than lightning.

Lightning can create nitrogen oxides, some of those (NO and NO2) can be pretty nasty. And while lightning doesn't create a lot of those, it is also less persistent than a floating impeller wedge can be.
ThinksMarkedly wrote:In fact, aren't atmospheric wedge missiles described as "looking like a ray gun?"

That could also be a result of simple speed (which creates heat, which can also lead to the formation of NO and NO2 if the air gets hot enough). The Sprint missiles were glowing white within seconds after launch at an acceleration which was pedestrian by the standards of proper Honorverse ship-to-ship missiles.
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Re: Two technical questions
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Jul 09, 2024 4:41 pm

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aairfccha wrote:In fact, aren't atmospheric wedge missiles described as "looking like a ray gun?"

That could also be a result of simple speed (which creates heat, which can also lead to the formation of NO and NO2 if the air gets hot enough). The Sprint missiles were glowing white within seconds after launch at an acceleration which was pedestrian by the standards of proper Honorverse ship-to-ship missiles.[/quote]
Though it seems like the crew launched impeller missiles are vastly lower accel than a true ship-to-ship missile.

The later seem to have settled in right around 46,000g in their normal half-power setting; with the cutting edge of CMs up at 130,000g.

But your post got me to go look back at the text-ev around the two impeller launched anti-air missiles we know of - and they seem to be a lot slower
Short Victorious War wrote:The launching charge lit the tower roof like lightning as it spat the Viper missile from the tube. Its tiny impeller drive kicked in almost instantly, accelerating it at over two thousand gravities even as its sensors picked up the glare of reflected laser light from the air car below and in front of it, and its nose dipped.

Flag in Exile wrote:The small, high-tech kamikaze had lost its target when Troubridge dove for the deck, but its seekers had reacquired lock, and it came slashing in at over ten kilometers per second. Even so, the pilot had almost denied it a hit, and its impeller wedge's leading edge caught the pinnace's rearing nose one bare meter aft of the radome.


So the Peep Viper anti-air missile accelerates at around 2000g - and if we assume it has no more than about 20 km of range then from the moment its impeller snaps on it'd have about 1.44 seconds of endurance, and top out at ~28 km/s (about Mach 81) -- or less if it had to maneuver significantly.

For comparison the Sprint missile you mentioned topped out at 7610 mph (3.4 km/s) - or about 1/8th the velocity this Viper seems like it might have.

With the SAM used against Honor's pinnace we don't have acceleration numbers on, but we know the flight time was long enough for the pilot to almost evade it; and hit the ground before the missile's wedge struck the pinnace. And we know its terminal velocity (though it presumably had to arc over and counteract a fair bit of its original vector). But at 10 km/s terminal velocity and seemingly several seconds between launch and impact, it's likely no quicker than its Peep counterpart.
(And that also gives it a terminal velocity a bit over 3x the sprint missile)
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