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Would HV ships need an extreme makeover for a TV series?

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Re: Would HV ships need an extreme makeover for a TV series?
Post by Brigade XO   » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:48 pm

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I'm not sure there is enough time to display energy weapons fire on tactical screens from when they are fired till they get to where they are aimed. Can the sensors track the beams (they are beams of directed energy) in transit? Based on what we have been told, the firing of such weapons such was the the Grazer shots by the Sliver Bullet systems ,were noted even by the SLN battlecruisers but not pinpointed. The Beowulf Defense systems got locations but at the same time the actual weapons were destroyed by the required overload of their systems (which also functions as a self-destruct). At best the tactical systems would have to draw conclusions of point of origin and then damage( if inflicted) on ships etc within the theoretical range/time of lightspeed weapons.

I know the books talk about point defense lasers etc as "coherent beams of light" but would they show up in space? No atmosphere to have particles get excited and glow.

Which brings up another possibly dubious question: when you are firing libhtspeed weapons, are all the weapons in the broadside targeted at the same part of the intended victim? Or is it more like a WW I or II spread of torpedoes a bit fanned out such that if the calculations are not spot on, your are essentially putting some over-lead on some of the beams so the target runs into the spot where they are going to be instead of a miss by all of them?

Skeet, bird shooting, aerial gunnery.....shoot where they ARE GOING TO BE when your shot travels the distance, not where they are now. :)
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Re: Would HV ships need an extreme makeover for a TV series?
Post by kzt   » Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:14 am

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Brigade XO wrote:Which brings up another possibly dubious question: when you are firing libhtspeed weapons, are all the weapons in the broadside targeted at the same part of the intended victim? Or is it more like a WW I or II spread of torpedoes a bit fanned out such that if the calculations are not spot on, your are essentially putting some over-lead on some of the beams so the target runs into the spot where they are going to be instead of a miss by all of them?

Skeet, bird shooting, aerial gunnery.....shoot where they ARE GOING TO BE when your shot travels the distance, not where they are now. :)

I think, but not sure this has been clearly stated, that the energy weapons are fired to cover the probable location of the target. At close range this is a pretty limited volume, but by 3 LS it becomes a significant amount of volume much larger than the ship and the energy weapons are firing as fast as they can to more effectively cover that volume.

But grasers are extremely destructive, so one hit can cripple or destroy the ship.
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Re: Would HV ships need an extreme makeover for a TV series?
Post by Theemile   » Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:21 am

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kzt wrote:
Brigade XO wrote:Which brings up another possibly dubious question: when you are firing libhtspeed weapons, are all the weapons in the broadside targeted at the same part of the intended victim? Or is it more like a WW I or II spread of torpedoes a bit fanned out such that if the calculations are not spot on, your are essentially putting some over-lead on some of the beams so the target runs into the spot where they are going to be instead of a miss by all of them?

Skeet, bird shooting, aerial gunnery.....shoot where they ARE GOING TO BE when your shot travels the distance, not where they are now. :)

I think, but not sure this has been clearly stated, that the energy weapons are fired to cover the probable location of the target. At close range this is a pretty limited volume, but by 3 LS it becomes a significant amount of volume much larger than the ship and the energy weapons are firing as fast as they can to more effectively cover that volume.

But grasers are extremely destructive, so one hit can cripple or destroy the ship.


That's when side walls are up, blocking direct observation of the ship.

When sidewalls are down, or when it is possible to fire directly up and down the wedge openings, it is possible to directly observe the ship (Though warship ECM is still trying to skew observation of the ship), and it is possible to attempt to target the ship, or portions of the ship.

Remember also, warships are continuously changing their positions (inside the wedge and their actual heading and velocity) to throw off firing solutions by taking advantage of the observation lag.

So a Merchie - or an unwary warship - could be "sniped" with a laser since no sidewalls, or the "Random Walk", would obscure the location of the ship. (Which we saw in SoS with a Pinnance laser taking out a merchie hyperdrive, and the Hexapuma taking out the Mars-C with a Spinal Graser down the throat.)
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Re: Would HV ships need an extreme makeover for a TV series?
Post by kzt   » Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:22 am

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It doesn’t matter, they can adjust their acceleration enough that even if you are looking at them you can’t reliably predict where they will be in the next three seconds. So you need to instead shoot at where they might be, limited by their velocity, acceleration and turning ability. With garbage scows, I mean SDs, this is a somewhat limited piece of space. DDs etc are much more capable of maneuvering, as well as also being much less capable of taking damage.
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Re: Would HV ships need an extreme makeover for a TV series?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:37 pm

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kzt wrote:
Brigade XO wrote:Which brings up another possibly dubious question: when you are firing libhtspeed weapons, are all the weapons in the broadside targeted at the same part of the intended victim? Or is it more like a WW I or II spread of torpedoes a bit fanned out such that if the calculations are not spot on, your are essentially putting some over-lead on some of the beams so the target runs into the spot where they are going to be instead of a miss by all of them?

Skeet, bird shooting, aerial gunnery.....shoot where they ARE GOING TO BE when your shot travels the distance, not where they are now. :)

I think, but not sure this has been clearly stated, that the energy weapons are fired to cover the probable location of the target. At close range this is a pretty limited volume, but by 3 LS it becomes a significant amount of volume much larger than the ship and the energy weapons are firing as fast as they can to more effectively cover that volume.

But grasers are extremely destructive, so one hit can cripple or destroy the ship.
IIRC RFC said that one of the reasons older ship designs (as in, before the GSN got involved) tended to have a mix of grasers and lasers was to maximize the number of beams in their broadsides because - thanks to the obscuring effect of the sidewall and a ship's limited ability to move "off center" within its wedge - even at energy range you didn't have 100% confidence of exactly where the ship was (much less where it'd be in 1.6 seconds when your beams reached it - and of course any optical or radar look you had of it was already 1.6 seconds old by the time it got to you. (Assuming 500,000 km range; aka maximum energy range against a sidewall protected target).

You tended to need to "shotgun" your beams over the total area it was likely to be within, accepting that that guaranteed that many beams would miss. (You just wouldn't know which ones). And so accepting somewhat weaker weapons (lasers) in exchange for being able to carry more total broadside mounts seemed a good trade-off.

The Graysons realized that sensors and such were getting better and the uncertainty "bubble" the targeted ship most likely was within had been shrinking; and so they decided that they could accept fewer beams in exchange for making the remaining ones much more powerful.


Still, not only are you normally not targeting specific points on the enemy, you're often just hosing down the general area they're (partially) concealed within.

Now, there are some exceptions when you're really close. Like the MAlign armed freighter\ that pissed of Hexapuma at very close range; where the Sag-C used her PDLCs to very, very precisely target and destroy specific portions of the target.
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Re: Would HV ships need an extreme makeover for a TV series?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:33 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:The Graysons realized that sensors and such were getting better and the uncertainty "bubble" the targeted ship most likely was within had been shrinking; and so they decided that they could accept fewer beams in exchange for making the remaining ones much more powerful.


Or they realised that missile exchanges were far more likely to be the dominant exchange such that, by the time any ship arrived in energy range, it would be damaged sufficiently that ECM couldn't hide it completely and its ability to manoeuvre would be reduced too.

But going back to the discussion of whether you can see them and whether ships can pinpoint where they came from, I don't know if there's sufficient ionisation of the solar wind and dust in the path of the graser to light up its full track. It may be sufficient for Manticore and Grayson advanced sensors to see them. But even if they can't be seen, the graser mount firing is definitely visible. That's a powerful dump of energy and, however focused it may be, there will be leakage. If you couple that with where strikes happened, a pretty dumb computer can draw straight lines.

It may not attribute the exact sources to the exact destinations, but does it really matter?

And I mentioned that the laser or graser WILL ionise and even vapourise dust grains out in the interplanetary medium (IPM is not a real vacuum, nor is ISM or even IGM). So really sensitive cameras by the filming crew could pick them up :)

One of the producers in Star Trek (maybe Michael Okuda) was once asked why the ships made a "whoosh" sound when they flew by. He answered they had very sensitive microphones. Well, ISM isn't a vacuum so it can transmit sound. But it's of such low density that the speed of sound is virtually indistinguishable from zero. To hear the "whoosh", you either need computer correction or you need to be close enough to be run over by the ship. Now, if he had said it was a gravitational wave detector...
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Re: Would HV ships need an extreme makeover for a TV series?
Post by kzt   » Wed Mar 10, 2021 12:19 am

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Or just do everything inside, looking at the things the crew can see and the crews reaction and planning. They never run to the porthole to see how effective that last missile salvo was on the enemy
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Re: Would HV ships need an extreme makeover for a TV series?
Post by Michael Everett   » Wed Mar 10, 2021 1:01 am

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Sounds like how the first series of Seaquest DSV tended to do things. It would mainly focus on the tactical screen displays with only small clips of torpedoes travelling/impacting.
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Re: Would HV ships need an extreme makeover for a TV series?
Post by Theemile   » Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:25 am

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kzt wrote:Or just do everything inside, looking at the things the crew can see and the crews reaction and planning. They never run to the porthole to see how effective that last missile salvo was on the enemy


Have the camera show the gun crew prepping to fire - then as they fire, switch to a camera view looking out from the gun port and quickly zoom across the distance to the target and "see" the ship being damaged.

A combination of all the variations would probably be needed to keep the battle's energy up.
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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: Would HV ships need an extreme makeover for a TV series?
Post by kzt   » Wed Mar 10, 2021 1:58 pm

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Theemile wrote:
Have the camera show the gun crew prepping to fire - then as they fire, switch to a camera view looking out from the gun port and quickly zoom across the distance to the target and "see" the ship being damaged.

A combination of all the variations would probably be needed to keep the battle's energy up.

And then you zoom in on a jet black ship in darkness masked by a black energy field that blurs out anything behind it.
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