Navy Railgun Tests Leading to Ship Superweapon by 2020 - Page 5




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  1. #41
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    They've been talking about rail guns in space for decades now...But issues about recoil damping are even more important there than here on the ground.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    They've been talking about rail guns in space for decades now...But issues about recoil damping are even more important there than here on the ground.
    Just make a remote gun that fires a salvo. It runs away with the same power it uses to fire itself empty.

    Last edited by jonesy; Friday, 2nd March, 2012 at 11:02 PM. Reason: picture wasn't showing

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  • #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kzach View Post
    There's a blatantly obvious application that you're all overlooking here and so I feel bears pointing out: space-guns!

    We're one-step closer to ruling the galaxy, humans!
    Unlike in Firefly, real world firearms ammunition actually provides its own oxygen and would probably work unaltered in vacuum.
    Maybe some issues with recoil compensation may remain if there is no regular air in the gun. Maybe some automatic weapons would not work as well (they use pressure build up in the gun barrel to reload themselves automatically, but I suspect that most of that pressure comes purely from the explosion itself and whether air is in the barrel before doesn't matter at all.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    They've been talking about rail guns in space for decades now...But issues about recoil damping are even more important there than here on the ground.
    Why is recoil damping more of an issue? Sure, your spaceship/satellite will get brought off course a little every time it fires, but that's what your engines are for. I would expect the craft firing the weapon still be heavier, so it would be accelerated a lot less than the projectile (and we're not talking about relativistic weapons).

    I would expect that heating could become a larger issue, as without air to help transfer heat, it radiates only very slowly. And the craft itself has the same issue.
    Last edited by Mustrum_Ridcully; Friday, 2nd March, 2012 at 11:48 AM.
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  • #44
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    Why is recoil damping more of an issue? Sure, your spaceship/satellite will get brought off course a little every time it fires, but that's what your engines are for.
    Well that's it right there. A terrestrial rail gun- regardless of type- has all kinds of friction, anchors, and mass that can be used to keep it in place and on target.

    A space-based railgun cannot rely on those things. Each shot will move it, changing orbit & velocity, and thus targeting. Sure, you can use fuel to re-orient, but that takes time and a non-renewable resource.

    So the better your railgun's recoil damping, the more accurate & fuel efficient your killer sattelite is.
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  • #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustrum_Ridcully View Post
    I would expect that heating could become a larger issue, as without air to help transfer heat, it radiates only very slowly. And the craft itself has the same issue.
    Heat? A problem in space? Really?

    So, umm, how does that big ole star warm us up without an air conduit between us? Or are you one of those 'old testament' types?

  • #46
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    Thermal control in space is always an issue- depending on exposure, stuff can freeze or get boiling hot. Things that go from light to dark a lot can experience thermally induced metal fatigue.
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    It's just like putting things in a thermos. A vacuum is an awesome insulator.

    Now imagine that the contents of your thermos is generating it's own heat, heat that's dangerous to survival and equipment operation, but that heat has no where to go because it's so well insulated...that's the problem with space.

    Ever wonder why the shuttle craft is always shone with it's bay dooors open while in orbit...? They open the doors to assist in bleeding off heat from equipment. Once the doors are closed, they only have so much time to begin re-entry, or heat build-up starts becoming a problem. Believe it or not, one of the things that would instantly cause a mission abort and a need to return home is an inability to open the bay doors.

    Last edited by El Mahdi; Sunday, 4th March, 2012 at 10:19 PM.

  • #48
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    Hence Dave's annoyance at Hal...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    Hence Dave's annoyance at Hal...
    To be fair, Hal was never much of a team-player.

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    Good point.
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