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Stock SAM challenge


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The aim of this challenge is to build a stock or stock + DLC missile system which is capable of taking down an aircraft in mid flight from a ground launch.

 

The missile will be graded on several fronts. LOWEST score is best. However, subscores do not just add. Instead, the total is the square of the sum of the square roots of all subscores.

I.E.

total score=(costScore^0.5+automationScore^0.5+reliabilityScore^0.5+rangeScore^0.5+targetScore^0.5+damageScore^0.5)^2.

 

1. Cost: missiles will recieve a subscore directly proportional to their cost. Pretty simple really.

 

2. Automation: this subscore will be based on a tiered system, with the tiers being:

Plug and play: just switch the missile to target lock and activate the missile as a fire and forget weapon. 0 points.

Manual ranging: manually modify variables of the missile based on the parameters of the target, then launch it as fire and forget. This should not take more than a few seconds for a trained operator. 2000 points.

Manual staging and action group: trigger stages or action groups manually and in mid-flight: 5000 points.

Manual steering: the missile is essentially completely or partially remote controlled, with little automation present or a large degree of operator attention needed. Steering is at least partially driven by remote operators (you) rather than being entirely automated. 10000 points.

 

3. Hit reliability: how many times in a row can the missile hit and damage targets on different vectors each time? This subscore is 10000 divided by the most hits in a row achieved. Hits that do not damage the target at all are not counted as hits, so as to avoid shrapnel spray attacks that are totally ineffective being considered "reliable."

 

4. Range: how far away can the missile hit? Score is 100000 divided by the maximum range a hit can be demonstrated at.

 

5. Target class: this subscore is dependent on what type of target you demonstrate the missile against. Note that other tests must use the same target type.

Class X: target is a hypersonic vehicle above 1500 m/s and 20 km or a satellite in orbit. 0 points.

Class R, fast: target is a supersonic recon aircraft moving at least 800.0 m/s and at least 20000 meters altitude. 2000 points.

Class R, slow: target is a subsonic or moderately supersonic recon aircraft. under 800.0 m/s, but above 20000 meters altitude.  4000 points.

Class F, fast: target is a small fighter, under 10 tonnes empty and at least 350.0 m/s. 6000 points.

Class B, fast,: target is a conventional heavy or light bomber, an aircraft over 10 tonnes empty. Target is moving at least 350.0 m/s. 8000 points.

Class F, slow: target is a small fighter, under 10 tonnes empty and below 350.0 m/s. 12000 points.

Class B, slow: target is a conventional heavy or light bomber, an aircraft over 10 tonnes empty. Target is below 350.0 m/s. 20000 points.

Class H: helicopter/VTOL: target is hovering and/or moves under 100.0 m/s. 30000 points.

Scores are cut by 2x against evasively maneuvering targets, or 4x for Class F targets pulling maneuvers of at least +7 G to evade the missile.

 

6. Damage: the expected damage achieved in a hit. Note that this is neither the minimum nor maximum damage. A shattering missile that bounces off harmlessly 5% of the time is still shattering and a harmless missile that shatters bombers 5% of the time is still harmless. With the exception being if your "missile" actually consists of submunitions or a salvo fired together or in quick succession. Admittedly this is a bit more subjective than some other categories. Please make the target aircraft semi-reasonable in design. It doesn't need to be a flying tank but it shouldn't be specifically designed to be easy to kill.

Shattering: almost all hits turn even large and durable aircraft into a cloud of debris or cut them in half. Large wings pieces, Mk3 fuselages, and more are generally sheared off or annihilated, the cockpit is separated from the aircraft, or generally the aircraft can no longer be called an aircraft after a hit in most cases.. 0 points.

Serious damage: aircraft usually loses the ability to glide in a stable, straight, fashion. Mk1 fuselages, engines, medium wing segments, or cockpits are sheared off or annihilated. While the plane often is still loosely intact, it often is missing critical components to even make a controlled ditching or crash-landing and is doomed to crash almost immediately. Smaller aircraft may be shattered. 2000 points.

Moderate damage: aircraft typically has considerable reduction in performance or may lose critical components. Typically a mission kill and may force the aircraft to ditch or crash-land. Loss of control resulting in unrecoverable aircraft state and crash also qualifies. 5000 points.

Light damage: aircraft is typically still basically functional with most hits. Wing segments, fuselage, cockpit, and a sufficient number of engines usually survive, but missiles do reliably destroy a small number of control surfaces or other small parts, and might sometimes break intakes, engines, nosecones, etc. Also applies if the aircraft loses control in a recoverable way, even with no part damage. 10000 points.

Harmless: most of the time, a successful impact on the target causes no loss of parts at all and does not cause flat spin, stall, or other loss of control of the aircraft. It takes a pretty lucky hit to even cause superficial damage. 20000 points.

 

So for example a missile which usually mission-kills or disables maneuvering subsonic bombers, which you can demonstrate hitting 5 such bombers in a row before missing, and which has an effective range of 25 km, and which requires you to modify a KAL based on the target range but otherwise flies itself to the target, and costs 4500 per missile, would be:

(sqrt(5000)+sqrt(20000/2)+sqrt(100000/25)+sqrt(10000/5)+sqrt(2000)+sqrt(4500))^2=152475.

 

 

Oh, and feel free to install physics range extender to avoid planes being terminated, and whatever mods needed to do any vessel switching that might be necessary. You may also enable all control modes on all probe cores.

 

 

Edited by Pds314
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I was going to start by shooting down a traditional airplane. Is there a mod or trick that will allow me to switch away from an aircraft during atmospheric flight? 

EDIT: I've downloaded "Physics Extender Continued" which seems to do the trick. 

Edited by ralanboyle
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Okay,

We needed a baseline. I am just a lowly pilot IRL and far too dumb to do your fancy math so I'll leave it to you Mr. @Pds314. The drone plane is Class B. (It is actually an Ore carrier from another current challenge. The SAM is "Plug and Play," and very reliable.  It costs 10,572. On these tests it hits the target from a range of about 15KM. It totally shatters the very heavy target every time.

While I am sure this score can be heavily improved, I wanted to throw up a quick entry to get a scoreboard going. 

 

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On 12/20/2020 at 7:13 PM, ralanboyle said:

Okay,

We needed a baseline. I am just a lowly pilot IRL and far too dumb to do your fancy math so I'll leave it to you Mr. @Pds314. The drone plane is Class B. (It is actually an Ore carrier from another current challenge. The SAM is "Plug and Play," and very reliable.  It costs 10,572. On these tests it hits the target from a range of about 15KM. It totally shatters the very heavy target every time.

While I am sure this score can be heavily improved, I wanted to throw up a quick entry to get a scoreboard going. 

 

Ok so I don't know the reliability but you did demonstrate at least 4 hits in a row based on that video I think. So reliability score is at most 2500.

So that's

(10572^0.5 + 0^0.5 + 2500^0.5 + (100000/15)^0.5 + 20000^0.5 + 0^0.5)^2

141294 points.

some thoughts:

1. That is serious damage! My experimental missiles don't do that level of damage. Maybe moderate damage but they definitely don't explode planes. They're smaller but even still. That thing packs a serious punch.

2. If it's very reliable, it might be worth considering whether using slow-moving, unmaneuvering heavy bombers as the target is really preferable, as if it can hit fighters with any consistency, it might be worth shooting it at them instead.

3. As you didn't say how many hits in a row it could get, I assumed it was just 4. But say it gets 10 hits in a row, that makes a pretty noticeable difference. Dropping the score to 127816. Theoretical perfect accuracy could drop it much further (106205) but this would need to be demonstrated with an infinite number of consecutive hits which obviously isn't practical.

4. I wonder if having something like this use a KAL as a timed detonation fuse could shower a maneuverable fighter in many ore tanks, grip pads, or steel bars? So far I've had zero luck with my tests against aggressively maneuvering aircraft, but a missile this size might be able to overcome the inherent inaccuracy of using target lock on a maneuvering target by shooting debris in all directions.

Edited by Pds314
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Okay @Pds314, Here is my second submission: 

1. 85,468

2. 0, Plug and Play

3. 10,000 Not reliable at all. 

4. 5 (20,000ish)

5.  6,000 (Class F)

6. 2,000 Serious Damage (probably would have shattered if I didn't autostrut every part to the root as usual. 

 

 

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23 hours ago, ralanboyle said:

I spent a lot of time making a cruise missile that has a range and stability well long enough to hit a target beyond the NE Island only to discover that I cant get range extender to work at that range...

Can you use apply new range? Things can get jittery with 100+ km but it's not THAT bad.

On 12/22/2020 at 4:08 PM, ralanboyle said:

Okay @Pds314, Here is my second submission: 

1. 85,468

2. 0, Plug and Play

3. 10,000 Not reliable at all. 

4. 5 (20,000ish)

5.  6,000 (Class F)

6. 2,000 Serious Damage (probably would have shattered if I didn't autostrut every part to the root as usual. 

 

 

Wait you have a 20000 km range?

Edited by Pds314
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19 hours ago, Pds314 said:

Wait you have a 20000 km range

Ha... It's a 20km range. I didn't know if you were using KM or M. 

At what point is this just aggressive docking? I made a small fast reliable rocket and manually put it into orbit, then manually rendezvoused with a LKO Sat. Then destroyed it. I mean, it is an A-SAT device but its really just a missile shaped satellite that I rammed into a sat at close range. What is your judgement for this sort of thing, @Pds314?

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/24/2020 at 2:38 PM, ralanboyle said:

Ha... It's a 20km range. I didn't know if you were using KM or M. 

At what point is this just aggressive docking? I made a small fast reliable rocket and manually put it into orbit, then manually rendezvoused with a LKO Sat. Then destroyed it. I mean, it is an A-SAT device but its really just a missile shaped satellite that I rammed into a sat at close range. What is your judgement for this sort of thing, @Pds314?

I mean manual flight will get you a lot of points. As will the actual cost of an orbital class LV.

 

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