BobbyKadmon

Should/Could We Build Real Battlestars

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Posted (edited)

 

In the name of Richard Hatch...

KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE.

Would it be possible to build real Battlestars, especially if we collectively wanted to, and if AI were used to accomplish most of the physical labor in Earth orbit or more ideally on the moon? Do you believe we could make it so?

 Ofcourse we don't have FTL, yet; and we may never have it, doesn't mean we can't use nuclear energy (or Tylium) to accelerate over longer periods to reach a good % of LS. Also wouldn't stop us from using AI to set up advanced bases as we travel out from our local system. Issac Arthor has some great inspirational material on his channels you could check out.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZFipeZtQM5CKUjx6grh54g

Isn't this the whole point of building autonomous AI in the first place for fracks sake?!  AI was the main theam of the BSG franchise and allowed that civilization the capacity to do stuff we currently can't and perhaps at the same time face our fears.  The first ships could easily be constructed using raw material from the moon. less gravity, limitless solar energy and all the same resources/ores, semiconductors, metals we have on Earth. Seriously all the same resources are available,  because once upon a time the Earth and moon were part of one big happy planet that got slammed.

It is known lighter than air technology can reach the edge of Earths atmosphere and could easily be used as a platform for assisted lunch to higher orbit, reducing energy and financial costs significantly.

IMHO just think we Humans better get off our collective 'assets' and on with it before we over rabbit our planetary resources out of global biological limits, The Toasters can save us! lol

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium-3

Edited by BobbyKadmon
improvement/ upgrade lol

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, BobbyKadmon said:

 

In the name of Richard Hatch...

KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE.

Would it be possible to build real Battlestars, especially if we collectively wanted to, and if AI were used to accomplish most of the physical labor in Earth orbit or more ideally on the moon? Do you believe we could make it so?

 Ofcourse we don't have FTL, yet; and we may never have it, doesn't mean we can't use nuclear energy (or Tylium) to accelerate over longer periods to reach a good % of LS. Also wouldn't stop us from using AI to set up advanced bases as we travel out from our local system. Issac Arthor has some great inspirational material on his channels you could check out.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZFipeZtQM5CKUjx6grh54g

Isn't this the whole point of building autonomous AI in the first place for fracks sake?!  AI was the main theam of the BSG franchise and allowed that civilization the capacity to do stuff we currently can't and perhaps at the same time face our fears.  The first ships could easily be constructed using raw material from the moon. less gravity, limitless solar energy and all the same resources/ores, semiconductors, metals we have on Earth. Seriously all the same resources are available,  because once upon a time the Earth and moon were part of one big happy planet that got slammed.

It is known lighter than air technology can reach the edge of Earths atmosphere and could easily be used as a platform for assisted lunch to higher orbit, reducing energy and financial costs significantly.

IMHO just think we Humans better get off our collective 'assets' and on with it before we over rabbit our planetary resources out of global biological limits, The Toasters can save us! lol

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium-3

 

I think the shear scale of such a project would be preposterous. Look at the cost to build an SLS. Now imagine this. Any resources you bring back to earth would cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars per kilogram. 

2 minutes ago, Cheif Operations Director said:

get off our collective 'assets' and on with it before we over rabbit our planetary resources out of global biological limits

Not going to happen any time soon

Edited by Cheif Operations Director
Added substance

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Posted (edited)

@BobbyKadmon, right off, define "battlestar".

Because in common parlance (or, perhaps, TVTropes-speak) it means a specific class of warship that is a carrier-battleship hybrid.

15687_original.png

imperial-starfleet-star.jpg

On 8/16/2019 at 2:20 PM, BobbyKadmon said:

reducing energy and financial costs significantly.

No. Most of the dV is expended laterally.

On 8/16/2019 at 2:20 PM, BobbyKadmon said:

before we over rabbit our planetary resources out of global biological limits

And do you know what happens when we do "overrabbit"? We merely end up in a new Malthusian Age. Which is going to be ugly but survivable... if you play your CRISPR cards right and have enough nerve gas.

Edited by DDE

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Posted (edited)

Battlestars look cool in the cinema. But this sort of carrier-battleship would be very problematic to build, and even harder to use effectively in combat. There were attempts to build such things for bluewater Navies:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ise-class_battleship

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSwMS_Gotland_(1933)

But they remained only interesting footnotes as dead end in warships development. Why?

Well.

You want your battleship well armed with big guns. And well protected against enemy big guns (Otherwise https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Hood). With high survivability, allowing it to get up close and personal with the enemy (for WW II time period it would mean up to 30 000 meters - usually less). Which means armor. Thick slabs of high quality, dense material protecting vital parts of the ship (engines, power plant, main guns, ammo magazines). Heavy stuff.

For a carrier, you would want a ship able to carry a lot of planes, with spacious hangars and magazines for servicing and rearming your planes for the full duration of mission\battle being fought at distances of couple of hundreds of kilometers. Which require big hull - which would be difficult to protect with armor without eating into useable inner space too much. And this inner space is filled with highly combustible aircraft fuel and explosive ordnance for the planes. This tends to happen to unlucky carriers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Midway

That's two opposable goals you would have to merge in one ship.

Also, consider this: After even victorious battle, battleship (unless it was ridiculously, Hollywood-esque lucky) will need shipyard time, if not outright drydocking. Being hit by a fast flying, armor piercing several hundred kilograms of explosive projectile leads to much damage.

Meanwhile, victorious carrier most likely won't get hit even once, and will need only to resupply spent fuel, ordnance and replace lost planes and crews.

There are other important factors of course, but end result - extinction of battleships and domination of carriers (or rather carrier battle groups) will probably carry into space warfare as we can imagine it now.

Edited by Scotius

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(So, the airplane manufacturers' lobby was stronger than steel kings.)

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36 minutes ago, Scotius said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSwMS_Gotland_(1933)

But they remained only interesting footnotes as dead end in warships development.

Now-now. The aircraft cruiser was a decent concept in the pre-radar days, so long as one didn't consider it a strike asset.

The 1930s concept of naval battle did not give carriers the luxury of dictating engagement range; the German Plan Z also considered them autonomous commerce raiders. Hence these on Lady Lex:

3d5d833bb94bb2576dcea3013061bb8f.jpg

The concept sorta resurfaces in the Soviet Navy, where the engagement range is considered drastically extended, and the carrier serves as a force augmentation element for a surface combatant group:

d9572798b9218e3510b1b89bdd7dcf75.jpg

Which was, as you can see, a bit mismatched.

43 minutes ago, Scotius said:

There are other important factors of course, but end result - extinction of battleships and domination of carriers (or rather carrier battle groups) will probably carry into space warfare

Well, ain't that a rush to judgement.

For example, in laserstar warfare, mobile mirrors and/or beam-driven drones would represent the carrier element, while the laser would represent a credible main "gun".

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7 hours ago, DDE said:

Because in common parlance (or, perhaps, TVTropes-speak) it means a specific class of warship that is a carrier-battleship hybrid.

Oh, got it.
A real life battlestar.

Spoiler

22russia-web-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75

It has both rockets and planes, as you wish.


 

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4 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

(So, the airplane manufacturers' lobby was stronger than steel kings.)

They were all just puppets of the radar manufacturers.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, DDE said:

They were all just puppets of the radar manufacturers.

All of them hail aluminium tycoons. Aluminium planes, chops, ships, rockets, spaceships, antennas.

Edited by kerbiloid

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Just now, kerbiloid said:

Oh, got it.
A real life battlestar.

  Hide contents

22russia-web-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75

It has both rockets and planes, as you wish.


 

I was going to cite her, but I decided to go with a more straightforward analogue. After all, in nuBSG it's the basestars that have missiles.

Although you can't deny certain similarities.

4e2046e71859cb613a1f5f8b2d574b0e.jpg

bsg212_0564.jpg

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In naval scenarios, all that matters is having the largest number of planes and missiles in the right place. It doesn't really matter whether it's a single big ship carrying both or two smaller ones carrying one each. However, the latter arrangement is better when you're limited in ship size by practical concerns, such as the Panama canal. 

A spaceborne warship, however, is another matter. Generally, larger warships are easier to armor, because of square-cube law. On the other hand, it doesn't really work out like that in practice, since the linear dimensions don't increase at the same rate. You want the smallest possible frontal profile, since it makes the ship harder to hit with direct fire weapons. This means that in practice, increasing your ship's size mostly involves increasing its length, and both armor mass and ship volume grow nearly linearly. Of course, at some point your dimensions have to go up, because you need to fit a nuclear rocket nozzle capable of pushing that tub around. Making a carrier without these provisions (pointy nose, long) is a huge gamble, since it'll die quickly if attacked.

In space, you'd generally want high speed, high accuracy, low mass railguns as weapons, which are optimal as both anti missile/drone weapons as they are as anti-starship ones. Therefore, it makes sense for the carrier to be able to at least hold its own in a space battle. Of course, the power system (usually not weapons themselves) adds a lot of mass, so a more effective, but less cost-efficient option might be a group of ship, with a lightly armed (and low-powered) drone/missile carrier and several gigawatt-level gunboats. Exact balance depends mostly on economics. Conclusions are based on Children of a Dead Earth, so near-future tech is an assumption here.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, those are all big, important heavy hitters. But those modern capital ships are also horrendously expensive - thus few in numbers. And every such ship automatically becomes prime target for enemy strike. Which means every Admiralty responsible gets very, very paranoid cautious when one of their golden toys needs to go anywhere near a conflict zone.

And the end result is:

ship-img-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&aut

and

hms-queen-elizabeth.jpg

Destroyers, frigates, minesweepers and submarines do all the hard work, while flattops serve as mobile parade stands :lol:

 

Edited by Scotius

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Posted (edited)
On 8/16/2019 at 7:01 PM, Cheif Operations Director said:

I think the shear scale of such a project would be preposterous. Look at the cost to build an SLS. Now imagine this. Any resources you bring back to earth would cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars per kilogram. 

Not going to happen any time soon

Wiki claims the US Navy's Ford Class Carrier program costs $37G to design and $13G per carrier, although it relies on a military industrial complex assuming that such carriers are as critical to homeland defense [snip].  I strongly suspect you could build an Orion with a budget like that, and an Orion would qualify as a "battlestar" by any 21st century definition (even if it is a mid-20th century design).

I also think an Orion class "battlestar" could project force significantly better than any aircraft carrier or fleets of carriers (although it wouldn't be able to power stricken cities with electricity the way carriers can).  Getting it up to orbit would obviously have political and diplomatic issues, to put it mildly.

Edited by Snark
Redacted by moderator

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Posted (edited)

could we build one? probibly. the question is would it be an effective battleship or just a big fat target that eats fuel like mad. 

i think its going to be more expanse-like (assuming we have torch drives) much smaller ships with much of the battle taking place at beyond visual range. smaller ships accelerate faster and can dodge dumb projectiles better. active defences will be used instead of armor, unless you can come up with armor that weighs less than a bunch of pdcs. even if we do have powerful torch drives they will likely be <1g drives. the expanse's powerful epstein drive makes a lot of larger ships possible that wouldn't be practical with lesser drives. 

battlestars use fighter screens and do have some ww2 style flak screens. but flak screens dont make sense in space (exploding shrapnel can come back) but then again neither to the gatling gun type pdcs used in the expanse. ammunition is heavy. very accurate single barrel autocannons with a low rate of fire to minimize error from recoil induced vibrations make more sense. you might even do away with guns for small interceptor missiles as the ability to course correct improves accuracy and effective range. or perhaps maybe gun fired missiles, more like a grenade launcher really or something like the torpedo launchers on star trek (technically a rail gun that fires self propelled ordinance, eliminating the need to burn fuel on initial acceleration and more fuel for course corrections). you might also have some directed energy weapons, more to scramble the sensors on incoming warheads than to actually kill them. 

as for the fighters it makes little sense to project firepower like that. limited fuel and ammunition means they can be easily overwhelmed, plus you have the limitations of pilots and the tactically undesirable need to recover them. or take the mass you saved not having fighters and carry more missiles/guns/ammo/torpedoes. 

Edited by Nuke

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1 hour ago, Nuke said:

i think its going to be more expanse-like (assuming we have torch drives) much smaller ships with much of the battle taking place at beyond visual range. smaller ships accelerate faster and can dodge dumb projectiles better. active defences will be used instead of armor, unless you can come up with armor that weighs less than a bunch of pdcs. even if we do have powerful torch drives they will likely be <1g drives. the expanse's powerful epstein drive makes a lot of larger ships possible that wouldn't be practical with lesser drives. 

battlestars use fighter screens and do have some ww2 style flak screens. but flak screens dont make sense in space (exploding shrapnel can come back) but then again neither to the gatling gun type pdcs used in the expanse. ammunition is heavy. very accurate single barrel autocannons with a low rate of fire to minimize error from recoil induced vibrations make more sense. you might even do away with guns for small interceptor missiles as the ability to course correct improves accuracy and effective range. or perhaps maybe gun fired missiles, more like a grenade launcher really or something like the torpedo launchers on star trek (technically a rail gun that fires self propelled ordinance, eliminating the need to burn fuel on initial acceleration and more fuel for course corrections). you might also have some directed energy weapons, more to scramble the sensors on incoming warheads than to actually kill them. 

First of all, armor is a must if there are kinetic weapons in play. Active defenses can't hope to keep up with the rates of fire needed for space combat. They can kill missiles, though, and in fact are so good at it that the usefulness of missiles is questionable. Compared to a gun, a missile is much more bulky and much heavier. Ammunition, surprisingly enough, is not all that heavy, at least compared to missiles.

Second, slow-firing guns don't work. There are physical limitations on accuracy, and ships dodge. At long ranges, you don't really need much dV or acceleration for that. Flak screens work, if your muzzle velocity is greater than the flak's detonation velocity. Which it should be, or your effective range will tank, due to aforementioned dodging. Gun-fired missiles do work, sort of, but it's hard to make a gun big enough, especially a railgun. Coilguns fare better, but not much. The basic problem always boils down to this: any energy you put into a projectile, you must first make. The secondary issue is that any energy you make but can't use, you must radiate. Big, high-energy guns run headfirst into both, and the result tends to be giant, heavy radiator panels. In the end, the quick-firing PDs with high exit velocity usually come out on top, unless armor gets really thick. Making that armor protect radiators is hard, but possible, since engagements tend to be head-on.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Nuke said:

but flak screens dont make sense in space (exploding shrapnel can come back)

That's because you should look at flak in Sins of a Solar Empire and not BSG. The blasts are conical.

This is also the first space-to-space weapon used, the first IS satellites carried frag warheads.

5 hours ago, Nuke said:

you might even do away with guns for small interceptor missiles

You're about to walk into the eternal laser vs. missiles arguments. Greater minds than you have spent their time there; you may note that kinetics weren't even on the table.

5 hours ago, Nuke said:

or perhaps maybe gun fired missiles, more like a grenade launcher really

Say no more.

HeDgrqj.jpg

Every tank and IFV gun in the former Warsaw Pact that's 100 mm or larger has had a missile designed for it.

Actually, scratch that, the Italians already consider their beloved 76 mm a CIWS, because

BEMIL087_13856_0.jpg

5 hours ago, Nuke said:

you might also have some directed energy weapons, more to scramble the sensors on incoming warheads than to actually kill them. 

At present power levels and without dedicated platform engineering (the only current laser frontline-deployed is designed as CIWS drop-in replacement)? Yes.

But with the gigawatt monsters we can design on the backs of envelopes? You get a pretty impressive zapper.

3 hours ago, Dragon01 said:

First of all, armor is a must if there are kinetic weapons in play. Active defenses can't hope to keep up with the rates of fire needed for space combat. They can kill missiles, though, and in fact are so good at it that the usefulness of missiles is questionable. Compared to a gun, a missile is much more bulky and much heavier. Ammunition, surprisingly enough, is not all that heavy, at least compared to missiles.

COADE experience suggests that railguns with projectiles measured in grams but five-digit rates of fire are exceedingly effective. Between them and lasers, some amount of light armour is a must.

3 hours ago, Dragon01 said:

Flak screens work, if your muzzle velocity is greater than the flak's detonation velocity. Which it should be, or your effective range will tank, due to aforementioned dodging.

Not if you trade range for coverage - pop off so much flak that there won't be a trajectory for the missile where it can avoid the screen yet still reach the target.

Also, flak in space is far more persistent. It will cleave through a much larger volume than in air.

3 hours ago, Dragon01 said:

In the end, the quick-firing PDs with high exit velocity usually come out on top, unless armor gets really thick.

Not necessarily. Armour requirements actually drop steeply as impact velocity increases.

screen-shot-2016-06-24-at-3-08-01-pm.png

Edited by DDE

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, DDE said:

Not necessarily. Armour requirements actually drop steeply as impact velocity increases.

screen-shot-2016-06-24-at-3-08-01-pm.png

COADE experience seems to indicate you still need hefty armor. :) The energy of a vaporized round doesn't really go away, and enough of them can and will beat down a Whipple shield. It just means your armor gets more complicated, with multi-layer shields that include an anti-nuke/laser ablation layer, Whipple layers, spacing, aerogel stuffing, a thick and strong backplate and finally a spall liner to catch any backplate pieces that break off.

Quote

Not if you trade range for coverage - pop off so much flak that there won't be a trajectory for the missile where it can avoid the screen yet still reach the target.

Also, flak in space is far more persistent. It will cleave through a much larger volume than in air.

The thing is, volume is not important. Area is. The optimal formation for incoming missiles is the surface of a sphere centered on the target, so that they can arrive at the same time, and it doesn't matter which one PD prioritizes. All that counts is a round's passage through that sphere. Thus, it's pointless to trade range for anything. The further out you start shooting, the more times you can shoot through a given area. Same reason rate of fire is so important. Space combat doesn't really care about volumes, funnily enough, it tends to end up more or less linear in geometry. Speed deltas involved are too high for laterals to matter much (though they are involved in determining closest approach range, which is a tactical consideration).

Edited by Dragon01

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Dragon01 said:

a thick and strong backplate and finally a spall liner

Which I like to call the "armoured belt".

*foghorn*

francuski-pancernik-przeddrednot-charles

25 minutes ago, Dragon01 said:

The thing is, volume is not important. Area is.

Volume is important because it's the terms in which the lethality of your frag charges is determined, with the accepted minimum probability of a target of a certain size getting shellacked as input.

granatarif-4.jpg

25 minutes ago, Dragon01 said:

All that counts is a round's passage through that sphere. 

If you treat the situation as abstract turret-missile pairs, yes. Not if you're attempting saturation fire.

Granted, saturation fire failed in the AA department in the 1940s.

Edited by DDE

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2 minutes ago, DDE said:

 

Volume is important because it't the terms in which the lethality of your frag charges is determined.

 

It isn't, and that's why frag charges suck. You might get impressive volumetric numbers, but if the enemy is on a flat (or slightly curved) plane, this doesn't help. In a linear situation, if an enemy missile wasn't somewhere when the first fragment passed through, then it won't be there when the second one passes along the same trajectory. Your best bet for efficient "flak" are flechette canisters, which project their payload in a plane. This maximizes area density at the cost of overall volume.

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On 8/18/2019 at 4:10 AM, Scotius said:

Yes, those are all big, important heavy hitters. But those modern capital ships are also horrendously expensive - thus few in numbers. And every such ship automatically becomes prime target for enemy strike. Which means every Admiralty responsible gets very, very paranoid cautious when one of their golden toys needs to go anywhere near a conflict zone.

And the end result is:

ship-img-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&aut

and

hms-queen-elizabeth.jpg

Destroyers, frigates, minesweepers and submarines do all the hard work, while flattops serve as mobile parade stands :lol:

 

At least with all those people on deck the carrier is less likely to crash into a merchant ship.

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1 hour ago, Reactordrone said:

At least with all those people on deck the carrier is less likely to crash into a merchant ship.

LOL So true! It boggles the mind that modern warship, bristling with radars, sonars, IR detectors etc. can so completely miss the presence of another ship. Equally big, or even much larger - on the open sea, in decent weather condition. Looks like all the advancements in technology do not matter much when eye and brain controlling them is fast asleep :P

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1 hour ago, Reactordrone said:

At least with all those people on deck the carrier is less likely to crash into a merchant ship.

There's nowhere near enough of them.

CvipjwpXYAAxOVF.jpg

And thus we neatly return on topic!

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Posted (edited)
Spoiler
1 hour ago, DDE said:

There's nowhere near enough of them.

Others are on oars.

 

Edited by kerbiloid

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35 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:
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Others are on oars.

 

Oars? How needlessly elaborate.

maxresdefault.jpg

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