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What happens to all that debris?

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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by cthia   » Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:08 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:I was specifically talking about unspent g-torps in the Darius system. Since the MA may have to launch huge salvos that may never get to fire because they never find a target.


Sure, they can be recovered. In fact, those should simply decelerate, turn around, and go for another attack run, if the enemy is still there.


Theemile wrote:They probably self-destruct if they run out of fuel ( like most missiles) but with Months of endurance, they will get several tries against their opponents, depending, of course, on their tactical programming.

I am all for the ability of additional attack runs. But a question just surfaced.

It would seem like that ability would require FTL ability equal to the RMN's, no? Because the g-torps should reach ranges as great as RMN missiles. If there is any chance to guide them to alternate targets, fine control will be needed. Both to precision guide the torp, and to simultaneously see the target in near real time. No?

As a matter of fact, how can long-range g-torps be guided to their targets without FTL ability?

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: What happens to all that debris?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:14 pm

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cthia wrote:I am all for the ability of additional attack runs. But a question just surfaced.

It would seem like that ability would require FTL ability equal to the RMN's, no? Because the g-torps should reach ranges as great as RMN missiles. If there is any chance to guide them to alternate targets, fine control will be needed. Both to precision guide the torp, and to simultaneously see the target in near real time. No?

As a matter of fact, how can long-range g-torps be guided to their targets without FTL ability?

How would they be guided? Slowly :D

But seriously, g-torps are supposed to have an "AI" self-attack capability second only to Mk-23Es so you just need to get them into the right area for their significant onboard sensors to pick up their target. (Who is hopefully unaware of them and thus not deploying all their ECM and decoys yet).
Generally the closing speed will be low enough that this should work even with really laggy radio or laser comms.

(Though if the g-torp's path puts it behind the target then your fire control; or at least navigation command, transmissions might be detected and that might let the g-torp get detected by it's response)
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by tlb   » Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:26 pm

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cthia wrote:I am all for the ability of additional attack runs. But a question just surfaced.

It would seem like that ability would require FTL ability equal to the RMN's, no? Because the g-torps should reach ranges as great as RMN missiles. If there is any chance to guide them to alternate targets, fine control will be needed. Both to precision guide the torp, and to simultaneously see the target in near real time. No?

As a matter of fact, how can long-range g-torps be guided to their targets without FTL ability?

Jonathan_S wrote:How would they be guided? Slowly :D

But seriously, g-torps are supposed to have an "AI" self-attack capability second only to Mk-23Es so you just need to get them into the right area for their significant onboard sensors to pick up their target. (Who is hopefully unaware of them and thus not deploying all their ECM and decoys yet).
Generally the closing speed will be low enough that this should work even with really laggy radio or laser comms.

(Though if the g-torp's path puts it behind the target then your fire control; or at least navigation command, transmissions might be detected and that might let the g-torp get detected by it's response)

Now that the spoiler period is over, wasn't there FTL control at Galton (just not quite as good)?

(I am on vacation, so do not have source material)
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by munroburton   » Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:04 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:I am all for the ability of additional attack runs. But a question just surfaced.

It would seem like that ability would require FTL ability equal to the RMN's, no? Because the g-torps should reach ranges as great as RMN missiles. If there is any chance to guide them to alternate targets, fine control will be needed. Both to precision guide the torp, and to simultaneously see the target in near real time. No?

As a matter of fact, how can long-range g-torps be guided to their targets without FTL ability?

How would they be guided? Slowly :D

But seriously, g-torps are supposed to have an "AI" self-attack capability second only to Mk-23Es so you just need to get them into the right area for their significant onboard sensors to pick up their target. (Who is hopefully unaware of them and thus not deploying all their ECM and decoys yet).
Generally the closing speed will be low enough that this should work even with really laggy radio or laser comms.

(Though if the g-torp's path puts it behind the target then your fire control; or at least navigation command, transmissions might be detected and that might let the g-torp get detected by it's response)


Hmm... obviously an impeller wedge isn't needed to receive FTL transmissions. But what about sending them? Has Manticore managed to put a FTL transmitter into something that has no (active) impeller wedge?

If not, then it stands to reason that the MAlign won't be able to either. Their spider ships would need to deploy something like the RMN's keyholes or recon drones in order to transmit faster than light.

But I do not think spider ships want FTL transmitters. Their whole party trick is having zero gravitic emissions.
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:07 pm

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munroburton wrote:But I do not think spider ships want FTL transmitters. Their whole party trick is having zero gravitic emissions.


Right, it isn't too difficult to build an FTL transceiver. The difficulty is in scaling up the bandwidth and scaling down the size of such a thing. Haven's first iteration of an FTL transceiver on their LACs required them to stop accelerating in order to transmit (though I remember that being a power issue, not a physics one).

The important aspect is what munroburton touched on: the transmission is detectable. TEiF told us that it is (or can be) directional, but it's not laser-focused. The SLN could tell that the RMN was transmitting with their obsolete technology, even if they had no idea what it was they were detecting. So a transmitter is going to be detected, or at least localised to a specific region and thus can be taken out. An LD may not want to transmit this way.

Receivers are another story. We don't know what it takes to build one or how quickly they can be made sufficiently stealthy. But it makes sense to have those aboard ships and torpedoes. They can't be used offensively, but they can be used defensively in one's home system. Transmitters in orbit of the planet are probably reasonably safe from long-range attack, at least initially, lest the attack hit the planet.

They aren't needed to redirect torpedoes, though. As others have said, those have sufficiently smart AIs on board. And given how long it's going to take for them to decelerate and re-accelerate towards the target, the light-speed lag is not going to be an issue in this phase.
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:17 pm

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tlb wrote:Now that the spoiler period is over, wasn't there FTL control at Galton (just not quite as good)?

(I am on vacation, so do not have source material)

Yes.
To End in Fire wrote:Galton’s current FTL net required a far larger transmitter and a much higher power budget, both of which drove up the size of the platform in which it was mounted, and its bandwidth was far narrower[snip]
The control platforms, on the other hand, were almost impossible to hide once they brought their FTL transmitters online; the Alignment’s inability to generate directional grav pulses was another aspect in which its capabilities lagged the Grand Alliance’s. That was why each cluster of sensor platforms was linked to a total of three widely separated control platforms. Only one of them at a time would transmit data to Tschermak and the enormous habitats in orbit around it. The other two provided redundancy, standing ready to replace the first if an enemy managed to localize and destroy it


So yes they did. And I suppose (while they lasted) those control platforms could have potentially sent an FTL orders to the g-torps. But it seems like there's no way the MAlign's FTL com tech is up to squeezing a transmitter into something the size of a ship, much less a torpedo or missile so and FTL com would be unidirectional with no ability to tell whether or not the g-torp was receiving and understanding you.

(Also even Apollo missiles can only handle FTL over about 4-5 light-minutes - so it's also possible that a g-torp wouldn't be able to hear a signal from one of those control platforms beyond that range. By the time their initial attack attempt was blown they they might well be beyond FTL range and unable to hear an FTL recall/retask order)

But I think for that to work the g-torp would need one of its grav sensors pointed at least somewhat towards the control platform -- and those are probably focused forward to better see and track targets. Who knows if they also had rear facing ones to receive FTL comms; they might need to pivot their nose towards the control platform to even notice it broadcast...
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:52 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:So yes they did. And I suppose (while they lasted) those control platforms could have potentially sent an FTL orders to the g-torps. But it seems like there's no way the MAlign's FTL com tech is up to squeezing a transmitter into something the size of a ship, much less a torpedo or missile so and FTL com would be unidirectional with no ability to tell whether or not the g-torp was receiving and understanding you.


Today, and at least the Galton technology. It's possible and actually very likely Darius has further advanced the technology, but I wouldn't expect it to be much more advanced. Not even Haven's pre-Alliance latest iterations were small enough to mount on a missile or even a torpedo. (The g-torps are the size of 3 Ghost Riders)

(Also even Apollo missiles can only handle FTL over about 4-5 light-minutes - so it's also possible that a g-torp wouldn't be able to hear a signal from one of those control platforms beyond that range. By the time their initial attack attempt was blown they they might well be beyond FTL range and unable to hear an FTL recall/retask order)


It looks like the range has been considerably extended, because Honor was shooting missiles at the Galton installations from the hyperlimit. Even if we assume the Galton star was a much cooler K-type star and the installations were not in the Goldilocks zone, the distance from the hyperlimit (around 15 light-minutes from the primary) and the installations is likely above 5 light-minutes, possibly above 8.

I don't see why the transmission power would be an issue. The transmitter is a Keyhole II, directly powered by the ship, so it has all the power it needs. There's no need for stealth. The attenuation is unknown, but we're talking about something that took less than 10 seconds of travel time. So that leaves only the sensitivity of the receiver and this is an area the GA and the Dynamic Duo in particular would have spent considerable time improving.

The biggest issue for firing at such a long distance is the fact that the ship transmitting the targetting orders would have very poor sensor returns in the first place. So the accuracy is likely going to fall off, no matter what.

As for the g-torps, yes, they may exceed the range of the retasking orders, but they can be preprogrammed to simply turn back towards the hyperlimit in case of a miss. They're not that dumb that they would simply continue on.

But I think for that to work the g-torp would need one of its grav sensors pointed at least somewhat towards the control platform -- and those are probably focused forward to better see and track targets. Who knows if they also had rear facing ones to receive FTL comms; they might need to pivot their nose towards the control platform to even notice it broadcast...


The geometry is not a problem if this is used only defensively, since the defenders can preposition the assets. But with the MAlign FTL transmitters, the problem is that they can only be used once before getting an up-close view of an Apollo missile.
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:20 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:It looks like the range has been considerably extended, because Honor was shooting missiles at the Galton installations from the hyperlimit. Even if we assume the Galton star was a much cooler K-type star and the installations were not in the Goldilocks zone, the distance from the hyperlimit (around 15 light-minutes from the primary) and the installations is likely above 5 light-minutes, possibly above 8.

I don't see why the transmission power would be an issue. The transmitter is a Keyhole II, directly powered by the ship, so it has all the power it needs. There's no need for stealth. The attenuation is unknown, but we're talking about something that took less than 10 seconds of travel time. So that leaves only the sensitivity of the receiver and this is an area the GA and the Dynamic Duo in particular would have spent considerable time improving.

The biggest issue for firing at such a long distance is the fact that the ship transmitting the targetting orders would have very poor sensor returns in the first place. So the accuracy is likely going to fall off, no matter what.

As for the g-torps, yes, they may exceed the range of the retasking orders, but they can be preprogrammed to simply turn back towards the hyperlimit in case of a miss. They're not that dumb that they would simply continue on.

But I think for that to work the g-torp would need one of its grav sensors pointed at least somewhat towards the control platform -- and those are probably focused forward to better see and track targets. Who knows if they also had rear facing ones to receive FTL comms; they might need to pivot their nose towards the control platform to even notice it broadcast...


The geometry is not a problem if this is used only defensively, since the defenders can preposition the assets. But with the MAlign FTL transmitters, the problem is that they can only be used once before getting an up-close view of an Apollo missile.

Apollo's a fiendishly effective weapon even with "just" the 23E's onboard smarts. (See how effective they were at Beowulf after getting their FTL control pulled out from under them) And against largely fixed defenses Honor didn't exactly need to be holding their hands all the way to target -- so I'd assumed she'd launched them to well beyond her ability to FTL control them.

But I'd think the real problem wouldn't be from ship to missile - as you point out a Keyhole II should be able to get plenty of power. (even if you're limited in size, and thus presumably resolution, of your grav receivers sensor due to the rather small diameter of the missile). But for the proper FTL control link the 23E is sending back data, sensor readings, and acknowledgments with its little FTL transmitter -- and even presuming the Keyhole II can mount larger and more sensitive receivers there's only so much power the 23E can use to blast its signal back (and it's trying to be heard over the background "roar" of grav signal traces of potentially thousands of missile impeller wedges)
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by Theemile   » Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:21 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
tlb wrote:Now that the spoiler period is over, wasn't there FTL control at Galton (just not quite as good)?

(I am on vacation, so do not have source material)

Yes.
To End in Fire wrote:Galton’s current FTL net required a far larger transmitter and a much higher power budget, both of which drove up the size of the platform in which it was mounted, and its bandwidth was far narrower[snip]
The control platforms, on the other hand, were almost impossible to hide once they brought their FTL transmitters online; the Alignment’s inability to generate directional grav pulses was another aspect in which its capabilities lagged the Grand Alliance’s. That was why each cluster of sensor platforms was linked to a total of three widely separated control platforms. Only one of them at a time would transmit data to Tschermak and the enormous habitats in orbit around it. The other two provided redundancy, standing ready to replace the first if an enemy managed to localize and destroy it


So yes they did. And I suppose (while they lasted) those control platforms could have potentially sent an FTL orders to the g-torps. But it seems like there's no way the MAlign's FTL com tech is up to squeezing a transmitter into something the size of a ship, much less a torpedo or missile so and FTL com would be unidirectional with no ability to tell whether or not the g-torp was receiving and understanding you.

(Also even Apollo missiles can only handle FTL over about 4-5 light-minutes - so it's also possible that a g-torp wouldn't be able to hear a signal from one of those control platforms beyond that range. By the time their initial attack attempt was blown they they might well be beyond FTL range and unable to hear an FTL recall/retask order)

But I think for that to work the g-torp would need one of its grav sensors pointed at least somewhat towards the control platform -- and those are probably focused forward to better see and track targets. Who knows if they also had rear facing ones to receive FTL comms; they might need to pivot their nose towards the control platform to even notice it broadcast...


Since we're talking a defensive system - do it the poor man's way.

Each device is programmed with a "home zone"; if ordered to attack outside the zone or the device follows a target outside the zone, after a proscribed amount of time it returns to it's home zone and continues to patrol. If it is running low on fuel, it returns to a "barn" to refuel. If it is damaged or runs out of fuel short of the barn, it either self destructs (if in a foreign system) or sends out a distress signal to be picked up (when used in defense in an owned system).

Just a nice automated system that tries to stay orderly and keep coverage until ordered otherwise.
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Re: What happens to all that debris?
Post by cthia   » Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:03 am

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This discussion reminds me of a question I have had for quite some time.

Missiles lose lock and reacquire. What prevents them from acquiring a friendly? What would prevent a g-torp from destroying an LD in its endless search for a target?

From Hunt for Red October. You've killed us.

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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