Navy Railgun Tests Leading to Ship Superweapon by 2020 - Page 6




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  1. #51
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    ° Ignore El Mahdi
    I heard that Dave Kzach and Danny...

 

  • #52
    I'll have a post on this up on my blog tomorrow, but I'll preview a few items for discussion here.

    This isn't the first weapon-packaged test, not by a long shot. PM EM Gun at Picatinny Arsenal and UT Austin had a long-running program to use railgun technology for anti-tank use, until the program was shuttered and transferred to the Navy in 2009. The problem for Army use was the poor rail durability and inability to reduce the power source size sufficiently for ground application; it needed about a decade of development for that.

    In naval use, when combined with a guided projectile like an Excalibur 155mm round (well, it's hypersonic GPS-guided equivalent, of course), it could provide anti-ship or naval gunfire support to a range of over 100 nautical miles, which means a ship over the horizon could accurately engage targets well inland. MAXORD for a projectile at that range is in low-earth orbit, so the shipboard model had some potential use for anti-satellite and anti-ballistic missile applications.

    Still, a lot of work has to be done yet on power supplies and rail durability, so don't expect a ship mount any time soon.
    "The Soul of D&D? It's rolling a natural 20 when you're down to 3 hit points and the cleric's on the floor and you're staring that sunnavabitch bugbear right in his bloodshot eye and holding the line just long enough to let the wizard unleash a fireball at the guards who are on their way, because they're all that stands between you, the Foozle and Glory." - WizarDru

  • #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustrum_Ridcully View Post
    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.
    We are not yet at the Star Wars and Star Trek level, where space engines have nigh-unlimited fuel, and you can drive around willy-nilly. Every ounce of propellant on your ship has to be lifted from the ground into orbit - it is heavy and expensive, and so limited.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kzach View Post
    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?
    First off, please leave the religious commentary out next time, thank you.

    Second of all, yes, heat. The Sun warms us through electromagnetic radiation. So yes, you can use radiative cooling in space. But, compared to the convective and conductive cooling options available on the ground, radiative cooling is typically very slow, and/or requires huge radiating fins

    Huge fins radiating heat means "huge target that is super-easy to detect in space". Not exactly what you want from a weapons platform.

  • #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    First off, please leave the religious commentary out next time, thank you.
    Why? It's perfectly relevant to the question I was asking.

    And who's talking weapons platforms? I'm talking ships! The Yamato Cannon, for instance, was an energy-based rail-gun

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kzach View Post
    Why?
    Because the EN World Rules say, specifically, that real-world politics and religion are deemed inappropriate for these forums, however relevant you feel them to be.

    Moreover, they also forbid discussion of moderation in-thread. So, from here, if you have further questions, you can take it to e-mail or PM. Thank you.

  • #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kzach View Post
    Heat? A problem in space? Really?
    Yes, really. I expected you to have been in enough of this type of discussion to know this already.

    It is a common myth that the vacuum of space is cool. But it actually can be better described as lacking any temperature at all, as it lacks what could have a temperature.

    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?
    As I mentioned, you can try to radiate heat (well, it's not trying. You will do that). But it is a far slower process. The sun is so incredibly big and hot that radiation is enough to heat up Earth.
    But, you may notice, the sun isn't exactly getting cooler while doing so either.

    Temperature is movement of small particles (e.g. molecules, atoms). This type of movement generates radiation, which takes energy from the movement and reduces the temperature. But a far more effective way to cool a bunch of particles moving is to bring them in contact with a bunch of particles moving slower (e.g. being cooler). The particles will transfer their movement energy and the slower particles with get faster, the faster get slower, and the temperature drops (for the hotter particles).

    The vacuum of space lacks all these other particles to collide with and transfer energy with. So all that is left is radiating heat. And that's a slow process. If your satellite or space ship is producing too much heat, it can't cool it down that way, and it will get hotter and hotter until it stops functioning.
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  • #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustrum_Ridcully View Post
    Yes, really.
    You're much more fun than Umbran. He's such a McGrumpy Pants.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mustrum_Ridcully View Post
    I expected you to have been in enough of this type of discussion to know this already.
    And you should have much lower expectations of me by now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mustrum_Ridcully View Post
    As I mentioned, you can try to radiate heat (well, it's not trying. You will do that). But it is a far slower process. The sun is so incredibly big and hot that radiation is enough to heat up Earth.
    But, you may notice, the sun isn't exactly getting cooler while doing so either.
    Well that's just great; so the Earth is a giant Greenhouse stuck in a giant vacuum! We're so screwed.

    Also, I think you may have hit upon the best concept for a space-gun! The transferral of energy through a plasma conduit propelled at relativistic speeds, ie. the Yamato Cannon!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderfoot View Post

    If I'm reading the technology right, basically this is a very high powered catapult, meaning it's fire and forget, straight line trajectory so anti-aircraft and missile defense uses are neigh unto impossible as there would be no way to "direct" the round or have it home like radar, sonor, laser, video and fly by wire munitions.
    I'm afraid you're not reading it right!

    The article says (my emphasis)

    U.S. Navy commanders ultimately want a weapon capable of firing up to 10 guided projectiles per minute at targets up to 100 miles away
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plane Sailing View Post
    I'm afraid you're not reading it right!

    The article says (my emphasis)

    U.S. Navy commanders ultimately want a weapon capable of firing up to 10 guided projectiles per minute at targets up to 100 miles away
    That indicates the navy wants to be able to use a round that is large enough to have a guidance package.

    Earlier, several of you were talking about recoil. A rail-gun should be able to minimize it. In a traditional gun/cannon/rocket launcher the ammo rests upon the barrel. When it is fired it must over static and dynamic friction of the barrel/rocket tube and the air in the way. The first thing a rail gun does in preparing to fire is to generating magnetic field. This will suspend the round in the middle of the chamber and not touch the "barrel wall" at all. This will eliminate the need for extra force needed to over come it. This is why they are talking much longer ranges then a gun powered system.

    The other eventual use of this system I see it too fire missiles. Even with mass manufacture of missiles you still get the occasional failer to lunch from the tube or explosion of a missile in the rocket tube. This creates a potential dangerous situation for our sailors. If we have one rail gun that tosses out a missile so that the rocket engine fires in midair. We can eliminate the occasional dangerous misfire and extend the range of the missile in question.

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    ° Ignore Plane Sailing
    Quote Originally Posted by TanisFrey View Post
    That indicates the navy wants to be able to use a round that is large enough to have a guidance package.
    But just how large does that have to be? Since military technicians are now seriously talking about rifle rounds with terminal guidance(!)
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