Ballistic Weapon Technology

Research and Development in SotS2.
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Mecron
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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by Mecron » Sat May 28, 2011 5:35 am

:thumbsup:

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Stoneface
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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by Stoneface » Sat May 28, 2011 2:39 pm

Good reasoning Konaei but unfortunately it had the opposite of the intended effect on me. I got this little evil idea that you could fire a nearly critical enriched uranium projectile which could just be fired out of a mass driver without starting nuclear chain reaction might achieve criticality on impact with something heavy armoured. I admit that even nuclear explosions are meaningless if you could achieve significant fraction of light-speed and there are probably thousands of other reasons why it won't work better then a fully inert depleted uranium projectile. Solforce probably scrapped the idea because of the low error margins and the extremely embarrassing loss of the Protector.

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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by Konaei » Sat May 28, 2011 4:43 pm

There are two major problems with your idea: First, U-235 is only about .7% of all uranium. This means that you greatly increase costs of manufacturing due to processing. Then you have the fact that at least in the fission era, u-235 is quite valuable for power generation and you have all this useless u-238 just laying around (one of the key reasons it is/was used in modern KE rounds).

The second problem is again a matter of logistics. Even assuming the shells would be small enough that they would not reach critical on their own (the size of a large turret would probably indicate that this is unlikely) together, you would have to store hundreds of rounds that are generating immense amounts of heat just by sitting there. Aside from the fact that the radiation would kill the spacers in the ship itself, all that heat would have to bled off somehow. The best way would be to use it to generate electricity, but then how are you going to get the shells when you need to shoot them at someone.

I think that sci-fi weapons generally go two separate ways: Complex launching apparatus for relatively simple projectiles that are used in large numbers (I would include lasers, plasma cannons and MDs in this) or simple launchers with complex munitions which are launched in small numbers (in SOTS torps and missiles fall into this category). You use complex munitions for long range targets and simple munitions for short range targets. This is the way it is done now, and I don't see it changing.

There were some interesting experiments in the 70's and 80's with long range ballistics that never really panned out. The US and UK had develpoed 206mm nuclear artillery shells which were never used, Gerald Bull (interesting guy if you want to read the wikipedia article) even experimented with using a cannon to launch projectiles into space. More recently the US was experimenting with a liquid propellant based artillery system which they eventually canned. Just about everything you can think of to hurl rocks at bad guys has been tested, and so far, the simplest systems have been the one we stick to. When people are shooting back at you, you need something dependable, not just something that looks good on paper. As a geek I fall into that quite frequently myself. Fortunately the user always will hold the designer/purchaser accountable for it's effectiveness.

Just don't talk to any Canadian soldier about what a great vehicle the LSVW or Iltis is... (yeah ok, it's not a gun, but the same principle applies)
Fun starts with C3H6N6O6 :), but only if you're licensed :(

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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by kdonovan » Sat May 28, 2011 5:35 pm

Konaei wrote:There are two major problems with your idea: First, U-235 is only about .7% of all uranium. This means that you greatly increase costs of manufacturing due to processing. Then you have the fact that at least in the fission era, u-235 is quite valuable for power generation and you have all this useless u-238 just laying around (one of the key reasons it is/was used in modern KE rounds).


Given the huge cost of moving any mass over stellar distances, I suspect minimizing the mass of the projectiles is much more economical than minimizing their initial production cost - though SotS does not seem to go with approach.

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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by Pengu » Sat May 28, 2011 6:58 pm

Konaei wrote:Just don't talk to any Canadian soldier about what a great vehicle the LSVW or Iltis is...

The LSVW is only the greatest vehicle ever designed.

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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by Konaei » Sat May 28, 2011 9:27 pm

That is like a mule kick to the gut, which might be more pleasant than riding around in one of those....
Fun starts with C3H6N6O6 :), but only if you're licensed :(

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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by Azrael Ultima » Sat May 28, 2011 9:33 pm

Pengu. Chart upside down. Try again.
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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by jp161 » Sun May 29, 2011 12:55 am

I can only sympathize with the big hurt this kind of talk gives people... But one thing to remember: Most people aren't masters in Explosive Ordnance Engineering.

I'd dare to say that not even from the geeks 'round here...

Then there's the "gameplay trumps reality", which of course goes as far as the game makers decide.

So while it is quite possible that you're correct (please don't take offense, you seem to be pretty sure to be correct and I have no reason to doubt that :thumbsup: ), it's still quite clear that it doesn't get 1:1 to game.

While SotS 1 had plenty of abstraction going on, I'd wager most people still thought that the 4 minute combat rounds that represented one full turn (which is easiest to think as one year) being... 4 minute combat rounds. And the DN's that collide, are actually colliding even tho the distances there are abstracted and they'd actually be several hundreds of kilometers apart (just look at the planets O_o).

Anyway, when the MD's fire and you can actually see rounds, those aren't going at near relativistic velocities. Also, adding explosives in order to make a bigger boom... That just sounds fun.
Realistic? Maybe, maybe not.
Fun? Definitely.

Last point being (and second or something, but it's needed here as well): It's a game. It's not a space combat simulator (ehh, lol?). While it does keep up with the 'believable' -wibe, it's still more scifi than reality. Personally, I'm with the bunch that likes it when you add explosives to a spacegame ordnance in order to make it better at hurting things. :thumbsup:

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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by Konaei » Sun May 29, 2011 12:59 am

JP your logic is impeccable. I cede the field. Fun always trumps reality :)
Fun starts with C3H6N6O6 :), but only if you're licensed :(

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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by Ares_in_snow » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:21 am

What else do you do with a masters in Explosive Ordnance Engineering???
Appreciate the beauty of the shape of explosive molecules? I'm a huge fan of symmetric structures, and quite a few explosives fall nicely in that category. Hell, octanitrocubane is cubically symmetrical.

Something to keep in mind about explosives is that if the detonation velocity is significantly slower than the velocity your projectile is travelling at, you end up with a mousefart level explosion occurring over a very long volume. Lets take that Octanitrocubane I mentioned above: It is both the most powerful theoretical explosive ATM, as well as having the highest theoretical detonation velocity at just over 10km/sec compare that to the 300km/sec velocity we were talking about for the massdrivers, and you can see how ineffective it would be at actually adding energy to a strike.

Now something you COULD do is play an electron beam over a projectile until it builds up a massive charge to transfer when it hits. 'course there is a limit to how much charge you'd be able to put on it before it starts repelling the beam rather than absorbing it, (and I have NO idea where that point is) but it would be a fun EMP type weapon.

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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by Konaei » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:49 am

I definitely agree there is an ironic beauty to the physical structure of many explosive molecules. Interesting side note on ONC, Apparently Heptanitrocubane (1 less nitro group) in bulk (ie more than 1 molecule) is actually denser than ONC and supposedly less sensitive to shock (important thing in explosives is that you want the enemy to have a bad day, not you). Just a random bit of info. I don't want to scare away the peens (as Mecron puts it. I've never heard that term before. Must go to wikipedia.....)

I like your idea about the electron charge. Quite doable too. I'm not sure whether much EMP would take place, but I expect that once the projectile gets close enough to the target's armour, the charge will jump and possibly create a local weak point in the armour (ie melt it) depending on the conduction of the armour itself.

Interesting note, there were some experiments at an R&D facility in Canada to make an electron gun. The idea was to use a focussed microwave (not quite at the level of a maser) to ionize a path through the air for an electromagnetic charge. I don't think it ever really worked though, or at least not as a practical weapon. (I've only heard about this as a rumour and was never given a security briefing on it, so I'm assuming it's knowledge that is available if you look hard enough)
Fun starts with C3H6N6O6 :), but only if you're licensed :(

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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by Azrael Ultima » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:15 am

Konaei wrote:I don't want to scare away the peens (as Mecron puts it. I've never heard that term before. Must go to wikipedia.....)

:bangdesk:

Sorry... i... just... :bangdesk:
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The zeppelin of bluster Feldman excoriated Freddy with suddenly popped into a cloud of humility. (David Grand, The Disappearing Body, 2002)

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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by Ares_in_snow » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:44 am

ePeen is a way of referring to an internet-Wang. Generally a term used when people are dick-measuring in an internet argument, most often applied to peepul who don't know WTF they're talking about.

As for the "canuckistani Electron gun" What I'd been reading about was a system that would conduct a taser charge through the Ion channel left by a laser in the frequency of nitrogen's absorbtion spectrum. They were talking about being able to tune the frequency of the electrical discharge in order to burn out specific chips and the like. It works, but turns out to be far more difficult than expected, largely due to bloom: The laser beam heating up the air to the point that it starts to bend the path of the laser itself. Further; the taser discharge creates a secondary bloom resulting in even greater bending of the beam. At very short distances this is negligible, but the whole point of getting rid of the wires was to increase range.

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Mecron
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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by Mecron » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:05 pm

"canuckistani"

excuse me?

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fibio
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Re: Ballistic Weapon Technology

Post by fibio » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:45 pm

Huh, apparently Canuckistani is a slang term for a Canadian. See, I just read that as some obscure name :bangdesk:
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