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A concept.... positron/electron weaponry...
ravengenesis
Hmm... to me I feel that anti-matter weaponary would be like a beam that would disipate matter... Sort of like a sub-atomic separation, ripping apart stuff... It's just my feel..
Unit 1 Genesis Justice GOOO!!
 
revan
(In reference to RagingBlueeind's post)Would that be a SHARG? At least in terms of the weapon itself and not the payload that sounds like a SHARG.

Personaly, in my opinion the Higaran navy would be loath to deploy anti-matter weapons on a large scale due to the fact that they could well turn out to be deadlier to themselves than to the enemy. With the Vagyr's re-oriented force structure they would most likely also not deploy said weapons. The protections required to keep antimatter stable are prohibitive. Further space constraints on a strikecraft in terms of ammunition space could require lesser protection for the ammunition than would be best.

My knowladge of this subject is admitedly limited though.



A half-kilo of antimatter reacting with a half-kilo of normal matter nets you an energy release somewhere abouts 21.5 megatons (speaking of megatons, what kind of yields do missiles typically have?).

Generaly a modern nuclear missile generaly has around a 20 megaton nominal yield. That said the largest nuclear weapon in history that was a constructed or actually tested was the "Tsar Bomba" which tipped the scales at over 100 megatons nomical yield. Strangely it was the cleanest nuclear weapon ever tested too.


Just my 2 cents.

[edit] In the interests of being thorough I should state that the average yield on a US thermo-nuclear wepon is 9 megatons. The Russian's could well be larger owing to their supposedly less sophisticated targeting systems.
Edited by revan on 06-10-2005 06:11
 
MarieHawke
The fact about nuclear missiles is, that numerous smaller blasts over a wide area would eventually turn out to be more destructive than a single bomb. Granted, the single bomb is much much sexier, but from a tactical standpoint, that huge hole in the ground isn't going to do much for a long time. That and radiation factors would be much less.
A starlight sharpshot magical girl!
 
RagingBlueWind
that made me wonder, why aren't mass drivers firing nuclear tipped shells? i mean we have nuclear artillery right now, i dont think it would be that hard to make a nuclear mass driver. or is it... Shock
 
TelQuessir
We actually do have railguns deploying nuclear payloads - that's the very large 640mm and 1200mm class weapons.

In terms of realism this goes both ways.

One is that a railgun with a very good muzzle velocity doesn't need any payload to do its job of destruction - kinetic impact is impressive.

But on the other hand a railgun able to handle a wide variety of payloads is a nice thing to have. As it stands, the nuclear-shell firing railguns are special purpose weapons and in later versions of PDS, they will fire solid shot. Just imagine a 20 ton 1200mm chunk of metal coming at you.

LDS won't have any effect on such a large round, but we have HDS (hyperspace defense system) to deal with such troublesome objects.
Edited by TelQuessir on 06-10-2005 06:52
 
CIWS

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RagingBlueWind wrote:
hmmm... just wondering, what kind of velocities do current mass drivers hurl their ordanine at? cuz this is my idea...


I haven't actually measured it but considering they never take more than a second or two, and ranges are in the hundreds to thousands of kilometers.. fast.

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design a special mass driver that hurls projectiles much faster than current mass drivers. naturally itll have a really long reload rate simply because it has to charge capacitors to have enough energy for this "super speed" mass driver.


It'll give it less time respond but the LDS is based on laser weaponry.. you're never going to throw a round faster than it's own fire.

There is a similar concept in the form of the SHARG on the old hyrdrasharks, which carried a nuclear warhead inside.

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but if you could get a mass driver to fire rounds fast enough so they would have a good chance of penetrating any CIWS, that would take care of the problem with being intercepted before they leave the ship.


Interception is always going to be a risk in the PDS battlespace. This doesn't become a real problem though unless you happen to do something like fill your round with an extraordinarily volatile substance garaunteed to explode without expensive containment equipment.

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now the ammo could be stored in the core of the ship which is probably the last place to get hit before a ship actually explodes. i think that would be relatively safe in terms of protecting a ship against its own munitions because by the time the AM containement ruptures, the ship would be swiss cheese already.


Not neccesarily. A direct hit may not penetrate, but ships systems take quite a beating throughout the course of a battle, to the point that sometimes they become temporarily disabled. That is not the sort of environment you'd want to bring antimatter into.

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of course, when the ship does blow up, we have really big problems for EVERYONE! but what if there was a way to safely get rid of antimatter. a controlled annihalation of anti matter as in u funnel minute amounts of antimatter into a chamber to be annihalated. i wonder how long it would take ti disarm?


Depends entirely on the amount of anti-matter. The only fast way though is to basically toss it off the boat. If you have a 'disarming' chamber to dispose of the stuff it's still going to need considerable shielding if you want to get rid of the stuff in anything approaching a timely fashion. This in turn takes up more room in a ships limited interior volume.
If the fireball can't be seen from orbit you obviously aren't trying hard enough.

There is no 'overkill' only 'open fire' and 'I need to reload'. -Schlock Mercenary
 
CIWS

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RagingBlueWind wrote:
that made me wonder, why aren't mass drivers firing nuclear tipped shells? i mean we have nuclear artillery right now, i dont think it would be that hard to make a nuclear mass driver. or is it... Shock


Well it seems Tel aleady posted on the matter as I was composing my last post. I would like to point out we don't actually have any nuclear artillery anymore. Got decomissioned.

Tel's got a point about the kinetic impact to. A 20 ton hunk of metal striking at 100 kps will produce a greater energy release than the Hiroshima bomb.


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(In reference to RagingBlueeind's post)Would that be a SHARG? At least in terms of the weapon itself and not the payload that sounds like a SHARG.

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Generaly a modern nuclear missile generaly has around a 20 megaton nominal yield. That said the largest nuclear weapon in history that was a constructed or actually tested was the "Tsar Bomba" which tipped the scales at over 100 megatons nomical yield. Strangely it was the cleanest nuclear weapon ever tested too.


I was referring to the yields on the Higarran and Vag missiles actually.

Oh and the Tsar bomb was test-fired at 50 megatons, it was supposed to be 100 megatons when it was fully assembled, but I don't think the ruskies ever actually did that.

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[edit] In the interests of being thorough I should state that the average yield on a US thermo-nuclear wepon is 9 megatons. The Russian's could well be larger owing to their supposedly less sophisticated targeting systems.


Well you also need to keep in mind that this yield is divided among multiple warheads, both to help prevent interception, and because our good friend the Inverse square law means that 10 200 kiloton nuclear warheads will damage a far larger area than a single 2 megaton warhead.
Edited by CIWS on 06-10-2005 06:59
If the fireball can't be seen from orbit you obviously aren't trying hard enough.

There is no 'overkill' only 'open fire' and 'I need to reload'. -Schlock Mercenary
 
TelQuessir
Nuclear artillery is still in service - on bombardment cruisers like the Iskandar Shah and Arelian Defender.

The Nalthoran converted liner (Majestic CBR) also has a pair of 640mm railguns in the nose with nuclear payloads.

And don't forget the Cazador class destroyer - this little monster is built around 3 1200mm railguns.
Edited by TelQuessir on 06-10-2005 07:06
 
RagingBlueWind
hmmm so its solid mass vs atomic energy. im guessing a rail gun fired nuke is less effective than a solid mass rond becase a solid round is simply more massive. but what if u were to have an solid (or mostly solid round), that had fissionalbe material near the rear. using purely the force of impact, u could drive the fissionable material into a second core near the nose. therefore, you could replace all the room a firing mechanism needed with solid mass, but still dedicate a small portion of the mass to a fissionable warhead. granted, ur using fission not fusion so its not nearly as powerful, but i would imagine that should the solid round penetrate the hull, that due to the velocities, you could very well time the nuclear explosion to occur internally. remember, mass for mass, a nuclear explosion should still be more powerful due to the equation E=mc^2. for a normal mass driver, its written e=.5mv^2. so basically, its almost the same, but for a nuke, the velocity is already the speed of light. so unless mass drivers are hurling their shells at the speed of light, mass for mass, nukes are still more powerful. thats the math as i see it anyways... however, intuitively, i want to agree that mass drivers hurling large objects at high speeds are more powerful... am i missing something in my math?
 
CIWS

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TelQuessir wrote:
Nuclear artillery is still in service - on bombardment cruisers like the Iskandar Shah and Arelian Defender.

The Nalthoran converted liner (Majestic CBR) also has a pair of 640mm railguns in the nose with nuclear payloads.

And don't forget the Cazador class destroyer - this little monster is built around 3 1200mm railguns.


I was actually responding to this-

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that made me wonder, why aren't mass drivers firing nuclear tipped shells? i mean we have nuclear artillery right now, i dont think it would be that hard to make a nuclear mass driver. or is it... Shock


Which I took to mean he was referring to stuff here on Earth such as Atomic Annie. I'm well aware of the many (and yummy) uses of my favorite kind of weapons in the PDS battlespace. Grin
If the fireball can't be seen from orbit you obviously aren't trying hard enough.

There is no 'overkill' only 'open fire' and 'I need to reload'. -Schlock Mercenary
 
CIWS

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RagingBlueWind wrote:
hmmm so its solid mass vs atomic energy. im guessing a rail gun fired nuke is less effective than a solid mass rond becase a solid round is simply more massive.


Depends entirely on what your solid round is made of and the yield of the bomb in your projectile. Most fissionable material tends to be rather heavy.. of course most fusion payloads tend to be very light.

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remember, mass for mass, a nuclear explosion should still be more powerful due to the equation E=mc^2. for a normal mass driver, its written e=.5mv^2. so basically, its almost the same, but for a nuke, the velocity is already the speed of light.


Well.. no. E=MC^2 will give you the most amount of energy that you can get out of a particular amount of mass. However there is the matter of efficiency and energy yield. In order for you to get that energy yield out of the nuclear reaction it would have to convert every scrap of the fisionable material into energy. In practice this simply does not happen.

A 100% matter-to-energy conversion (like you get with matter and antimatter) will net you roughly 9e16 joules per kilo of matter.

A quick internet search puts stupidly efficient fission at something like 8.9e13 joules, which is a bit over 1/1000th the energy yield. Now as I said, the level of efficiency for that number is stupidly high so in all likelyhood it's going to be lower, maybe even considerably so.

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so unless mass drivers are hurling their shells at the speed of light,


Impossible really because of that whole relatavistic mass increase thing.

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mass for mass, nukes are still more powerful. thats the math as i see it anyways... however, intuitively, i want to agree that mass drivers hurling large objects at high speeds are more powerful... am i missing something in my math?


See above. Sufficient impact velocity and mass will also get you a nice imitation nuclear blast on impact (only without all those pesky radioactive leftovers.. fun for blowing the crap out of enemy positions on real estate you want) as the kinetic energy of the strike reduces the projectile into a nice flash of plasma.
If the fireball can't be seen from orbit you obviously aren't trying hard enough.

There is no 'overkill' only 'open fire' and 'I need to reload'. -Schlock Mercenary
 
RagingBlueWind
so the reason that nukes are less efficent is because of energy loss due to conversion from matter to energy wheras a solid round is simply the transfer of energy.... im going to guess theirs less energy being lost when that round makes impact than when fissioanble material converts to energy. am i wrong?
 
CIWS

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RagingBlueWind wrote:
so the reason that nukes are less efficent is because of energy loss due to conversion from matter to energy wheras a solid round is simply the transfer of energy.... im going to guess theirs less energy being lost when that round makes impact than when fissioanble material converts to energy. am i wrong?


Apples and oranges really.

You will get a bit less energy from a mass driver impact as the firing ship puts into propelling it (this energy loss is pretty much inevitable due to physics). If you've got a big reactor, this translates to a big ouch.

The energy yield of a nuclear weapon on the other hand is determined by the efficiency of your fission mechanism, and how much fissionable material is left over since not all of it is actually used in the process (the leftover stuff is why even airbursting weapons produce nuclear fallout). For example, Little Boy was a pure fission weapon.. and it used more than 50 kilos of uranium in its warhead, yet its yield was a piddly 15 kilotons (6.27e13 joules).

Another thing to consider is the environment. In space a kinetic weapon gains efficiency since it doesn't lose any of its velocity to air resistance, just the occasional stray hydrogen atom, and in deep-space engagements gravity isn't going to affect their aim as much.

Nuclear weapons on the other hand lose a lot of their effectiveness because the biggest source of damage from a nuclear blast is the massive shockwave it produces. In spae there's no air, so no shockwave. Instead the bomb has to do all its damage through what thermal and ionizing rads it releases. Also the inverse square law comes into effect here (nukes explode in a spherical blast where it's total energy yield is spread evenly over the surface of the sphere). What this means is that if you double the distance from the point of detonation to the target, then the energy of the blast is spread across 4x the surface area, meaning that the effectiveness drops rapidly over distance (this is why you do more damage with multiple smaller nukes instead of 1 big one).

Furthermore a kinetic projectile delivers most of its energy into the target upon impact. A nuclear weapon on the other hand releases its energy in a spherical blast.. which means that right off at LEAST half of the weapon's energy never comes in contact with the target vessel.
Edited by CIWS on 06-10-2005 08:12
If the fireball can't be seen from orbit you obviously aren't trying hard enough.

There is no 'overkill' only 'open fire' and 'I need to reload'. -Schlock Mercenary
 
RoyalScion
Eh... so what could be done is a use of electro-magnetic containment fields to hold the anti-matter? Granted, there would be a need for super-redundant fail-safe systems, but I think the integration of anti-matter weaponry into certain weapons could be interesting... take for example if an Arbiter could fire projectiles containing anti-matter (Infeasible I know due to the huge stress of firing a projectile on the projectile... there would be a high chance of the projectile exploding on the way out of the barrel)

An idea would be to either scrap the electron idea and use pure positrons (would have be dangerous but feasible) or use the resulting energy from an anti-matter collisin (positron/electron) to produce huge amounts of energy for a DEW.

 
Nemmerle

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RagingBlueWind wrote:
remember, mass for mass, a nuclear explosion should still be more powerful due to the equation E=mc^2.

Power:
P = (energy transferred) / (time taken)
Or
P = delta E over delta t

Both the same thing really but the second one is easier to remember.
 
Glacialis
I don't know where the heck it went so far off-topic...

1) Flinging antimatter is dangerous because of the storage requirements. Too dangerous for deployment in a battlefield environment? In my opinion, yes

2) We are already converting matter to energy with ICAs. However inefficiently it is being done, the fact of the matter is that such devices can be installed on strikecraft, and in quantity onboard larger ships. Meaning, this is safer than antimatter. Antimatter may or may not be more destructive, but it's rather a moot point due to the dangers of using it.

3) The discussion on whether or not kinetic rounds or antimatter(?) would be more effective: Directing the released energy is the hard part. A kinetic round moving at relativistic (c-fractional) velocities is going to do a lot of damage. Chunks of matter tearing through internal systems are arguably much more damaging than some energy beam trashing/vaporizing a chunk of the outer hull. If that beam has penetration, sure, it might be comparable -- as our ion cannons (standard, assault, Pl, Li) do.

All of this leads to one final point:

Antimatter is not TEH UB3R!1!!

Antimatter is extremely dangerous to handle, for little appreciable gain compared to weaponry we already have.

Functioning as a power source or assisting with some other technological feat -- anything but as a weapon -- I can see it. Why? Because it will never leave the highly controlled and likely heavily armored section of an installation/vessel it's installed on. Only in the most extreme of controlled circumstances would antimatter be viable. And since we're talking about employment in a situation where there is extreme violence on a regular basis?

Antimatter is not TEH UB3R!1!!
 
CIWS

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RoyalScion wrote:
Eh... so what could be done is a use of electro-magnetic containment fields to hold the anti-matter? Granted, there would be a need for super-redundant fail-safe systems, but I think the integration of anti-matter weaponry into certain weapons could be interesting... take for example if an Arbiter could fire projectiles containing anti-matter (Infeasible I know due to the huge stress of firing a projectile on the projectile... there would be a high chance of the projectile exploding on the way out of the barrel)


Super-redundant failsafes that-

1.) If built into the ship cut into your internal volume, thus descreasing the amount of other important things like fuel, ammunition, and supplies you can carry.

2.) Built into the shell- takes up a lot of internal room, decreasing the yield of the weapon while at the same time making the projectile much more expensive... especially since you have to shield these electronics heavily enough they don't get EMPed by the railgun firing, and make them sturdy enough that they don't fail under the acceleration shock.

As I've said earlier, the biggest problem with antimatter is that unlike pretty much any projectile in history you have to make huge efforts just to keep it from blowing up.
If the fireball can't be seen from orbit you obviously aren't trying hard enough.

There is no 'overkill' only 'open fire' and 'I need to reload'. -Schlock Mercenary
 
RoyalScion
So I'm guessing this thread is fairly moot now, since the viability of anti-matter as a weapon seems quite infeasible.... and since you have to create antimatter before you can use it to create energy.... so using it as a power source may be a moot point.

Erm... yeah that's about it.
 
Glacialis
Harvesting naturally-occurring antimatter may be quite profitable in terms of energy. Don't remember where exactly, heh. A station in very low orbit around a star could produce antimatter through normally "inefficient" means, due to the unlimited energy provided by the star itself.

But as a weapon, I'm not seeing it for the PDS universe. I could be wrong and missing an elegant solution however.
 
Shuku-Chi
New to this forum, so I'm not quite sure if it's been completely debunked yet but...

The Resource Controller (and Mobile Refineries) supposedly zipped resources from one point to another using microwormholes...

Now, the problem with these was apparently that everything that went through such a transferrence would be reduced down to it's component molecules.

Now, if you set up a passive collider next to a star, just sitting there, collecting energy and smashing shit into other shit you'd get antimatter production and storage in a non-combat ship, assumedly far away from action...

Then using the microwormhole technology you zip it over to a receiving device in a combat vessel. The reduction to component atoms wouldn't really matter since you're just shipping positrons anyway. You beam it directly into a magnetic bottle in a round or inside a warhead (maybe in the latter case even after it is launched, like "arming" a missile, provided you can fit microwormhole-receiving technology into a missile) and you have antimatter munitions.

Now, whether it'd be worth the effort? Energy expenditure would be a drop in the bucket, considering the massive power investment in things like ion cannons. Plus your anti-matter production device sits next to a star, so no worries about that.

Safety is helped by the fact that you're making/storing antimatter offsite, of course. Plus that the Hiigarans have been using Resource Controllers since the Homecoming would imply that it's a highly reliable/decently understood system.

Damage potential's a little tricky. The fact that microwormholes are used in resource collection could imply that large quantities can be transported at a time, which is good, since more mass equals more output energy. Plus, unlike even the "cleanest" fission/fusion reactions, matter/antimatter energy production is almost completely efficient, meaning it'll satisfy the e = mc^2 equation quite nicely.

However, you get similar effects to what people above described - the fact that you have spherical energry release would imply that you're losing much of your converted mass-energy to, well, space.

There might be the potential application that antimatter literally will annihilate matter it comes in contact with, and that'll slough off layers and layers of armor (in the case of warheads). If you can make mass driven containers with magnetic bottles inside, you could in theory "inject" the antimatter into the hull if the round has sufficient velocity and the correct shape, much like how HEAT rounds in modern tank munitions work today.

However, reactive armor of today is known to deflect such a explosive cone, and the tech of this world is far beyond that of ours.

But really, if you have fission warhead-equipped missiles, there's no reason why you shouldn't have the higher output antimatter variety.

Ideally, you'd have frigate-controlled drones (large enough to house wormhole receivers) pilot themselves into enemy ships (though a big target like that would be easy to shoot down), or direct munitions itself using mass drivers/missiles/both (much like the drones in the drone frigate, operated at range).
 
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