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Everything posted by monophonic

  1. That's the second step overall. Laser-based self protection systems are already operational, but most physical harm they can inflict is if they manage to burn out the IR sensors of the incoming missiles. Mostly they are designed to dazzle and/or confuse the seeker. High energy systems capable of physically damaging the missile's airframe, like the SHiELD you mention, are indeed coming up but not operational quite yet. I count them as the second generation of self defence lasers. They will be quite useful against small drones not really worth a missile shot too.
  2. Yes. The external pressure to let the chest breathe against the high internal overpressure used to force extra oxygen into the bloodstream. Absolutely not at all like the situation on Mars that has been the discussion, where the internal overpressure is no more than you experience blowing up a party balloon. That is not a problem for a healthy body to handle without external support, remember the body can itself generate that pressure difference without too much effort.
  3. Those suits are for far more than just survival in a low pressure environment. They use pressure to force blood towards the head during high G maneuvers, and also to support the ribcage to contain the overpressure gas mix they breathe to increase the oxygen content of the said blood. Both are done just to maximize the amount of oxygen available to the brain during high Gs. They are very extreme measures for a small gain, but that small gain is the difference between life and death when things come to that.
  4. Firstly, because large-scale air conflict between peers is very rare. Since WW2, only Korea, Falklands, Indo-Pakistani wars, and Iran-Iraq come readily to mind. Of those only Korea had anything like AWACS used in theater. I discount the wars of Israel because while the numbers say "peers" the results are very lopsided. Rest of the candidates either feature only little air warfare or so large imbalance of forces that the AWACS could fly about their mission unthreatened. Secondly, because AWACS are a very high value asset so they are protected accordingly. In case it or anybody else detects an incoming enemy that just might be a threat to the AWACS, everything in range will abandon their current mission to protect the AWACS which itself will move to evade the aggressor. Therefore, as to attack an AWACS the enemy needs to commit a very large force against a very large force, a serious attack on an AWACS is barely distinguishable from general offensive counter air warfare. Russia, and Soviet Union in its time, has developed some very long range air-to-air (and lately surface-to-air) missiles. Those have been dubbed "AWACS killers" in public despite being more important for intercepting bombers over the vast swathes of Siberia. Other nations haven't really bothered, and as the Soviets and Russians haven't fought peers since the Sino-Soviet border conflict theirs haven't shown their true effectiveness either. Personally, I believe had the cold war gone hot, plenty of AWACS and other C3I planes would have got shot down on both sides in short order.
  5. That internal overpressure is about what you need to generate to properly blow a party balloon. So that pressure difference is certainly no risk to our ribs. Okay, so a pressure mask and a pressure diaper. Something to keep the water from leaving through skin. How do those pressure suits work? I suppose they are not as bulky as an Apollo suit? Might a rubber jumpsuit suffice? Something akin to a diving dry suit but tighter fit? Or would it have to be too tight to get into? Maybe a gel could help there? Could the moisture in such a gel also help maintain an equilibrium between the water in the skin and between it and the suit? Okay, I don't know what's got into the tap water this time. But clearly there's too much of it. Or not enough. I'll stop asking questions now. For now. Of course to stay upright on the Skylab track their feet had to move at considerably higher velocity than their heads. That can be handled by the human physique and psyche, though, as is obvious.
  6. Usually it is mainly the graphics. Even when I am doing nothing but staring blankly at the screen trying to figure a way out of the mess my civ is in the game is still drawing the display 60 (or whatever fps you are getting) times a second. There are still many animations to draw, like the units' idle fidgeting, animated terrain details, what have you (I haven't actually played any Civ after 3 but these principles have remained the same since the first). On top of that the game engines in use are typically heavily optimized towards fast paced first person shooters (i.e. big money makers) where getting every last drop of performance is king and everything else, including power(=heat production) use optimizations, is subservient to that singular goal. Civ-style turn based grid map games just aren't worth optimizing for as performance is usually sufficient with the brute force approach even on older family use hardware. As GPU calculation methods are getting more and more common, low CPU usage is no longer necessarily indicative of low calculation activity e.g. AI functions or such. High CPU use of course still indicates something is going on.
  7. I think Ariane would have been chosen even if SX/Falcon9/Heavy was an option at the time. It is a long standing European tradition to insist that European funding be piped back to European industries no matter how much cheaper everybody else does it.
  8. Because it is (Amphibious Assault) Ship. I.e. the amphibious part refers to the assault, not the ship itself. The ship is needed to make the assault swim. The boots, tracks and tires the ship vomits at the beach then make the assault crawl. Sometimes the bigger ships don't go to the beach itself, but instead drop smaller ships from their rear ends that proceed to the beach to vomit out the boots etc. The biggest ships can also throw off helicopters that fly to the beach or even farther inland and drop the boots onto the ground. Some even use only helicopters. It is a whole ecosystem out there, with various niches and specialized species of Amphibious Assault Ships to fill those niches! But the assault is always amphibious, because it comes from the sea and goes to the land.
  9. Alternatively the arm and weight could be shaped so that the arm will clear the weight regardless of timing. As we have all three dimensions to work with this should be possible. I think the practical solution could be to split the counterweight into two, one on each side of the counterarm, and placed far enough from the arm itself that distance between the weights will remain more than the payload end mechanisms can safely pass between. For the gun system, I have a vague idea that I just cannot refine, so I'll just drop it here in case someone more knowledgeable might take interest and break apart. I am thinking of a single chamber gun, but not loaded with a truly explosive charge. Instead the grain in the chamber would be not entirely unlike the grain in a solid fuel rocket. Burning slow enough to keep the acceleration on the payload manageable but providing enough gas to keep the pressure up long enough for the payload to reach the maximum velocity attainable. I wonder if such a system might work even on a theoretical basis.
  10. Although... maybe the actual threat is not a bespoke Starship spy satellite, but the excess capacity on any Starship launch? Any Starship zipping about replacing broken Starlink satellites with new or repaired units could carry a hidden secondary camera payload of substantial size. How would you time a SSBN movement to avoid potential spy sats when there is a potential spy sat overhead at all times? Even though you might not quite cram an entire KH-11 into the Starship unnoticed, very valuable intelligence could be collected by lesser devices if they can catch those most secretive of maneuvers out of the blue. Of course the number of earth imaging satellites has exploded and even cube sat sized units can provide surprisingly good resolution these days, so in a way there are potential spy sats overhead at all times already. A determined state could avert those by spending money, though, as in buying imagery from said satellites at the time and some other place than the operation they seek to hide. It is the non-commercial satellites that are most troublesome.
  11. You think many injectors on single chamber is silly? At one point von Braun's team planned to use six chambers on one nozzle for the A10! Presumably each chamber with a silly number of injectors.
  12. I'll also throw in the AMaRV or Advanced Maneuverable Re-entry Vehicle. It was a nuclear warhead the USAF developed in the seventies and flight tested at the turn of the eighties but never fielded. It used flaps not entirely unlike KSP airbrakes to pull hairpin turns at hypersonic speeds.
  13. 1. In hydrogen bombs the heat and pressure necessary to start fusion is reached with a small fission device. So no. There is also the intermediate level of boosted fission device, where a small amount of fusionable material injected into the fission core provides a significant boost to the energy output. 2. Depends on the exact technology level, namely how difficult it is to reconfigure the guidance system, but not very much. You may lose some range or be limited to longer flight times as the airframe may not be strong enough to fly the optimal trajectory. Specifically for the M-V rocket, though, it has been suspected to be easily weaponized. 3. @DDE gave a much better answer above than I ever could.
  14. On the other hand if the rover broke down before you dropped the carousel you would lose all the samples. Just goes to show how unrealistic the entire "sample now, collect later" strategy is, I guess.
  15. The civilian GPS signal used to be artificially noisy to limit the accuracy. This was called "selective availability." They have turned it off now because augmentation methods and other GNSS systems have made it ineffective plus a lot of civil and merchant activities have become dependent on accurate location. To my knowledge the capability still exist even in the newest satellites. But for example my cell phone's navigation chip picks up (at least) GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and Beidou satellites. The app I check this with lists a couple more systems and has a category for unknown satellites too. So fiddling with just your own system's output may turn out to be ineffective as a drone protection. For the curious this also is (one way) how the russian GPS spoofing that's been in the news every once in a while works. They drown out the satellites' transmission with their own that causes the calculated position to drift off the real position. Careful calculation should allow them to control how much and where the drift is at least in a limited target area. Less predictable effects will happen outside the target area, of course. Countermeasures include encrypted transmissions that the malicious party cannot create (GPS at least has these), directional antennas that reject the spoofing signal coming from low elevation and listening to a lot of satellites and rejecting the outliers whose transmission suggest a position far from the others.
  16. Try thrust vectoring when your nozzle is affixed to the skin of the space craft. Well, vanes or propellant injection would still work, but there must be a good reason why most TVC capable motors go for the moving nozzle system.
  17. Perhaps it could if done by selective breeding only as that process dates back to prehistoric times. Direct genetic manipulation certainly wouldn't be primitive at least by today's standards. What would be considered primitive at the time there are colonies on other planets that would consider themselves to be primitive is up to anyone's imagination.
  18. Is it really necessary for the biological part to travel to space? I say use something like coral animals or maybe insects that have been bred and/or genetically manipulated to grow into specific shapes and make their exoskeletons out of something suitable for the purpose. So take one shed starshipbeetle shell and install a few raptorcoral husks at the bottom. Okay, for the control computer you might need something living. Dogs are known to learn many tricks so pick a breed for a starting point. Make sure there is a well protected place in the ship for the - quite literally - ship's brain to sit in. Then just go play fetch with asteroids or something!
  19. Maintenance costs mostly, I should think, especially with podded propulsors. The complex angle gearings required for mechanical ones can be quite hard to get to for servicing. I have also seen lesser space requirements mentioned, as there is no need for big shafts running from the engines to the gearboxes and propellers. Oh, and electric transmission completely decouples number of screws from the number of engines. Power splitting and combining gearboxes are very specialized things and can be hard to maintain or even get right in the first place. (See Freedom-class combining gearbox issues.) The technology has advanced by several magnitudes since the eighties, don't even mention the sixties experimental SSNs let alone the battleship era systems. As mentioned complete electronic propulsion systems from engine to propeller/wheel are now commercially available off the self and with both wide and long service history. Very high power semiconductors appear to have been the key to efficient and reliable electric propulsion. In the submarine context there is also another consideration. Without mechanical links between the turbine and the propulsor the designers gain extra freedom in designing the frequency characteristics of each end. Not to mention reduced vibrating mass means less radiated noise overall, and the space gains leave room for additional quieting measures. Very very very important for an SSBN.
  20. The wonderful people of Project Rho have put a frighteningly large amount of though into exactly this. In short, mortgages, part payments and group buys would not be only possible, but downright required for private people to buy even the cheapest of starships. The other side of the coin is that you can use those to drive your story/plot to specific directions i.e. a trader failing to generate enough profit to pay off the debt may turn into piracy. Anyway, here's the link to the relevant page: http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/starshipowner.php Have fun!
  21. Newer US submarines have their reactor cores built to last for the entire lifetime of the submarine. That will be 30 to 50 years at current estimates with just the original fuel load. Unless the NTR is the only power source on your spaceship it can be run for a considerably lesser fraction of the ship's operational life than a submarine's, which (abnormal situations aside) is only shut down while pierside and on shore power. Therefore I would expect that other systems on the space ship would start to expire long before the reactor core dies. Of course such a long life reactor cores require fuel refined to a very high purity. While I have no knowledge I suspect it could be considered "bomb-grade" even. This constrasts with the French who are determined to use the same civilian grade fuel their nuclear power plants burn. Thus they have to refuel their submarines (and the only non-US nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the world) every ten years or less. So if politics restrict the purity of fuel used, refueling the NTR may become an issue to be solved.
  22. I don't think that would be a big problem, not technically at least. After all, Soyuz does exactly that and it has worked more than once in a real emergency. But it would probably require a completely new fairing and payload adapter, I imagine. Doubtful if the existing ones could be easily adapted to withstand such stresses as they would experience in an abort situation. There's a hole right there to sink money into. Any extra mass would come out of the cargo too, but that one is true of any LES system.
  23. I'd bet that if anything, the fuselages would have to be more rigid if they were connected at the tail. As is they are each free to flail about as they like without worrying about the other one. If they were connected any differential forces on them would concentrate as all sorts of stresses in silly crucial points in the structure. I think that may also be a major driver behind the separation of the hulls, to minimize any turbulence caused by one interacting with the other. I think what NG wants in Stratolaunch is the plane. As the last TriStar in operation Orbital's StarGazer is no less bespoke and closing in on it's 50th birthday must be getting expensive to keep flying. Whether building it was financially reasonable can be argued, but as somebody else has already paid for it NG can just as well reap the benefits from having a plane specifically designed for the job. So I expect Stratolaunch to merge into their Space Systems sector in not so distant future.
  24. It's not just stealth - it is also a decoy free of charge! But wait, there's more! Drop the outlet inside the enemy ship and now it is a weapon! Can you believe it? Call in the next 15 minutes and receive two for the price of one! Sorry... I'll show myself out.
  25. Some legal issues might be side stepped if you mix your explosive components in the chamber itself just before the detonation. Now tell me how much stoichiometric methalox can you pump into a chamber before it spontaneously ignites? Presumably the methane and oxygen should come from separate inlets but we would also want them to evenly mix before setting them off so probably not at the opposite sides of the chamber.
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