# Hurricane dispersal by supersonic booms & implications of building real life star destroyers

• Yes
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• No
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• Yes
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• Probably
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• No
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Okay so, I have wondered for a while whether or not it would be possible to disrupt and disperse a hurricane by creating a series of sonic booms. Apparently there is a patent for the method. Why wouldn't we actually do it for Hurricane Harvey or the incoming Hurricane Irma, it's safer flying through a hurricane at supersonic speeds than subsonic speeds, and it would save a lot of lives and prevent a lot of damage if it worked. What do you guys think about it?

Here's the link to the 'patent':
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2010/0147206.html

Edited by moonsparkejo
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"Leonov says "the professionals" in this area have "simply ignored me. "

Remark mine: Professionals where MIT or NHC scientists.

Might that be for a reason ?

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29 minutes ago, moonsparkejo said:

Okay so, I have wondered for a while whether or not it would be possible to disrupt and disperse a hurricane by creating a series of sonic booms.

Let's put it this way....  The largest nuclear weapon ever built has about 1^10-100000 of the energy required to dissipate a hurricane.  The sonic boom of any aircraft of practical size has about 1^10-10000000000000000 of the energy of that weapon.

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15 minutes ago, DerekL1963 said:

Let's put it this way....  The largest nuclear weapon ever built has about 1^10-100000 of the energy required to dissipate a hurricane.  The sonic boom of any aircraft of practical size has about 1^10-10000000000000000 of the energy of that weapon.

You might want to review your powers of ten. Even Planck scale numbers never go beyond 10100, which is a lot less than 10100000. You probably meant 105 (100,000).

Edited by Gaarst
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25 minutes ago, Gaarst said:

You might want to review your powers of ten.

Nope.  I meant "the energy is so much smaller it can't usefully or practically be described".  Go be a pedant somewhere else.

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As a general rule, and after having heartily smiled over the guy's other inventions, simple solutions to complex problems don't work. Hundreds of others have probably thought of it before. The energy that drives a tropical storm is by magnitudes too high to be influenced by any human means, other than stopping global warming but that's not going to happen. The rotation is caused by Coriolis force and the the energy is driven by ocean surface temperature. Just try to guess what the kinetic energy of the rotating air and water is, we are talking about trillions of tons of water of air rotating with high speed. Harvey vomited 9 trillion(*) tons on Texas i read somewhere ... but this should be checked.

Only the cut off from warm water supply (moving over colder water) or the filling up with surrounding higher pressure (moving over land, kindly ask to search the explanation yourself) can end the life of a hurricane.

American trillions: 10^12t

Edited by Green Baron
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23 minutes ago, DerekL1963 said:

Nope.  I meant "the energy is so much smaller it can't usefully or practically be described".  Go be a pedant somewhere else.

Then say that it's much smaller and don't throw random numbers around.

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38 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

As a general rule, and after having heartily smiled over the guy's other inventions, simple solutions to complex problems don't work. Hundreds of others have probably thought of it before. The energy that drives a tropical storm is by magnitudes too high to be influenced by any human means, other than stopping global warming but that's not going to happen. The rotation is caused by Coriolis force and the the energy is driven by ocean surface temperature. Just try to guess what the kinetic energy of the rotating air and water is, we are talking about trillions of tons of water of air rotating with high speed. Harvey vomited 9 trillion(*) tons on Texas i read somewhere ... but this should be checked.

Only the cut off from warm water supply (moving over colder water) or the filling up with surrounding higher pressure (moving over land, kindly ask to search the explanation yourself) can end the life of a hurricane.

American trillions: 10^12t

You might be able to redirect, however the political fallout here will be so high none will touch it as people will die in the redirected impact area and the redirect would be an chance to redirect by random factor.

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The NOAA gets asked about nuking hurricanes frequently enough to warrant an official response: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/C5c.html

Substitute "nuke" with "sonic boom" and you have your response. (Aside the radiation... unless you're using a nuclear powered aircraft... then it will be the same)

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13 minutes ago, Racescort666 said:

The NOAA gets asked about nuking hurricanes frequently enough to warrant an official response:

Lol ! Nuke a hurricane, this is so cute. American style, eh *devilkerbal* ? Yep, the barometric pressure doesn't change no matter how juicy the explosion.

Oh, i wasn't aware that the E-kin is only 10% of the hurricanes energy, yet enough to level islands. Thanks !

Edited by Green Baron
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OK... wait... so someone is suggesting tossing a nuke into a BadS hurricane that's headed straight towards me???

Yeah.... right.... Sorry, I've seen way, way too many Sci-Fi movies through the decades to trust this one.... With my luck, Sharknado would become a reality, or I'll end up in some radioactive cloud and suddenly have super powers... or a third eye....

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Play nice, please. No need to fight over powers of ten.

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The “that's not how any of this works” horse has already been beaten to dead, buried, dug up, cooked into a soup and eaten by a tribe of pagans.

To make a new contribution I came up with:

• The Planetary Society refers to meteor strikes as “the only natural disaster we can prevent.” (emphasis added by mr. Kerbart). While I do not deny the chance of bias, they did not say "aside from Hurricanes."
• If it were that easy, it  would already have been done. Even if the patent holder wants to license his technology for \$1M per use, it'd be dirt cheap compared to the cost of a hurricane landfall. Heck, insurance companies would gladly pay a hundred-fold of that.
• Getting a patent is easy. You don't need to demonstrate a working prototype (as the software industry is more than well aware of these days); just because there's a patent doesn't mean the solution actually works. But rest assured: if the smartest people of the world get together and figure out a way to make this work (at the expense of a lot of taxpayer money, surely), this guy will happily step forward and collect the money for his "effort!"
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2 hours ago, Green Baron said:

As a general rule, and after having heartily smiled over the guy's other inventions, simple solutions to complex problems don't work. Hundreds of others have probably thought of it before. The energy that drives a tropical storm is by magnitudes too high to be influenced by any human means, other than stopping global warming but that's not going to happen. The rotation is caused by Coriolis force and the the energy is driven by ocean surface temperature. Just try to guess what the kinetic energy of the rotating air and water is, we are talking about trillions of tons of water of air rotating with high speed. Harvey vomited 9 trillion(*) tons on Texas i read somewhere ... but this should be checked.

Only the cut off from warm water supply (moving over colder water) or the filling up with surrounding higher pressure (moving over land, kindly ask to search the explanation yourself) can end the life of a hurricane.

American trillions: 10^12t

Makes sense, but if there are over 500 supersonic aircraft doing this at once, would it not mess with the hurricane's air flow enough to substantially weaken it to the point where it would save thousands of lives and mitigating damage?

2 hours ago, magnemoe said:

You might be able to redirect, however the political fallout here will be so high none will touch it as people will die in the redirected impact area and the redirect would be an chance to redirect by random factor.

1 hour ago, Just Jim said:

OK... wait... so someone is suggesting tossing a nuke into a BadS hurricane that's headed straight towards me???

Yeah.... right.... Sorry, I've seen way, way too many Sci-Fi movies through the decades to trust this one.... With my luck, Sharknado would become a reality, or I'll end up in some radioactive cloud and suddenly have super powers... or a third eye....

1 hour ago, Racescort666 said:

The NOAA gets asked about nuking hurricanes frequently enough to warrant an official response: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/C5c.html

Substitute "nuke" with "sonic boom" and you have your response. (Aside the radiation... unless you're using a nuclear powered aircraft... then it will be the same)

1 hour ago, Green Baron said:

Lol ! Nuke a hurricane, this is so cute. American style, eh *devilkerbal* ? Yep, the barometric pressure doesn't change no matter how juicy the explosion.

Oh, i wasn't aware that the E-kin is only 10% of the hurricanes energy, yet enough to level islands. Thanks !

Guys I never suggested NUKING the hurricane, I was referring to whether it's possible to use hundreds of supersonic booms together or less if it would be enough, to disrupt the hurricane and weaken/disperse it in order to save lives

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5 minutes ago, moonsparkejo said:

Makes sense, but if there are over 500 supersonic aircraft doing this at once, would it not mess with the hurricane's air flow enough to substantially weaken it to the point where it would save thousands of lives and mitigating damage?

See my post above about the unimaginably huge difference in energy.  Five hundred supersonic aircraft at once are practically less than nothing compared to energy being expended by the hurricane.

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7 minutes ago, moonsparkejo said:

Makes sense, but if there are over 500 supersonic aircraft doing this at once, would it not mess with the hurricane's air flow enough to substantially weaken it to the point where it would save thousands of lives and mitigating damage?

Unlikely.

The differences in scale are just so enormous. You're talking about weather systems that are hundreds of kilometers in size.

(Ninja'd)

Edited by Steel
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3 minutes ago, moonsparkejo said:

Makes sense, but if there are over 500 supersonic aircraft doing this at once, would it not mess with the hurricane's air flow enough to substantially weaken it to the point where it would save thousands of lives and mitigating damage?

No. Hurricanes are really, really big, and really, really strong. Aside from the logistics of getting 500 supersonic aircraft lined up in front of the eye of the storm, as @Green Baron pointed out, we're talking about 1012 tons of water alone whose movement you're trying to alter. It's like an army of ants trying to slow a car down ("but what if it's a MILLION ants?").

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6 minutes ago, moonsparkejo said:

Guys I never suggested NUKING the hurricane, I was referring to whether it's possible to use hundreds of supersonic booms together or less if it would be enough, to disrupt the hurricane and weaken/disperse it in order to save lives

I'm sorry... I wasn't picking on you. I was making a joke in response to that article @Racescort666 posted a link to.

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Just now, Steel said:

Unlikely.

The differences in scale are just so enormous. You're talking about weather systems that are hundreds of kilometers in size.

hmm.. good point, in principle, do you think the idea would work if the number of aircraft was increased high enough?

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3 minutes ago, moonsparkejo said:

hmm.. good point, in principle, do you think the idea would work if the number of aircraft was increased high enough?

If you had millions of aircraft in perfect syncronicity then maybe you might stand some sort of chance of having some effect. Even then, there's no way of telling what that effect would actually be.

Edited by Steel
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Shockwaves don't change anything. They just go through, pressure rises locally and drops again. There are lines of thunderstorms, each bolt releases a shockwave. How many in a hurricane over its lifetime ? Millions ?

The guy you mentioned should concentrate on "popup devices to scare of an attacking bear" or "bookmark to open a book at a selected page".

Physics wise, he is a nut.

Like me.

Sometimes.

:-)

13 minutes ago, Kerbart said:

@Green Baron ("but what if it's a MILLION ants?").

... a million splattered ants. :-)

Edited by Green Baron
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7 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

Shockwaves don't change anything. They just go through, pressure rises locally and drops again. There are lines of thunderstorms, each bolt releases a shockwave. How many in a hurricane over its lifetime ? Millions ?

The guy you mentioned should concentrate on "popup devices to scare of an attacking bear" or "bookmark to open a book at a selected page".

Physics wise, he is a nut.

Like me.

Sometimes.

:-)

Lol... Considering I'm 15, that's why I decided to post on here about it  in the first place, I love discussions like this. For Instance in Phys Ed my friends and I started discussing the technicalities and implications of building a Star Destroyer given we had the technology to do so... feel free to post about that if you have any interest in it

Edited by moonsparkejo
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8 minutes ago, Green Baron said:

Shockwaves don't change anything. They just go through, pressure rises locally and drops again. There are lines of thunderstorms, each bolt releases a shockwave. How many in a hurricane over its lifetime ? Millions ?

The guy you mentioned should concentrate on "popup devices to scare of an attacking bear" or "bookmark to open a book at a selected page".

Physics wise, he is a nut.

Like me.

Sometimes.

:-)

... a million splattered ants. :-)

Not strictly true. If a sonic boom had no effect then people wouldn't have complained so much when Concorde broke all of their windows

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4 hours ago, moonsparkejo said:

Edited 6 minutes ago by moonsparkejo

"Logistics and circumstances aside."

It's hard to get not snarky here, because logistics and circumstances are the issue. Sure, if you line up thousands of planes and have them deliver a non-stop barrage of sonic booms I'm sure it'll work at one point. But if we're that far off into lala-land, why not just build a 5-mile high hurricane-resistant wall out in the ocean to stop it in its tracks? Or lay out a couple of thousand of miles of cooling pipes to cool the water to cut off the energy source of the storm. Surely there are a few practical problems with the latter solution, but "physics and reality aside?"

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Oh, yeah, generally

- easy solutions to complex problems don't exist

- if someone says "the professionals ignore me" that is a sign that he has no arguments

- if you find texts in internet magazines, titled "scientists have found out", that is most surely bogus

7 minutes ago, Steel said:

Not strictly true. If a sonic boom had no effect then people wouldn't have complained so much when Concorde broke all of their windows

It has a local (meters) effect, and it moves too fast for the pressure behind and in front of the glass to equalize. After it is through, everything is as before. Except for the letter to the insurance. The schockwave doesn't move air away, like a waterwave doesn't move water.

Edited by Green Baron

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