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Super Heavy Advanced Plasma Cannons?
CIWS
Well, DEW seems to be all the rage in the coming generations and a not insignificant number of HGN KEWs have been phased out in favor of Plasma cannon and the newer Advanced Ion Cannon, mostly it seems because on top of increased hitting power they are also much less vulnerable to interception by Vag LDS systems.

So, what is the limiting factor that prevents the creation of a Super-Heavy grade plasma cannon as a capital armament?

What sort of advancements can be made on plasma cannons in order to keep them viable when Ion weapons are being miniaturized to the degree they are?

The Higaarans have long since overcome the problems that limit viable plasma weapons, being able to both safely and easily generate the plasma as well as contain it over long distances.

One thing that immediatly comes to mind is shaping the containment field so improve the penetration of the plasma round. Anything else anyone can think of?
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
 
BigFish
I think plasma weapons are falling out of use due to general impracticle-ness (is that even a word?).

A ship with plasma weapons needs a bigger reacter and fuel bunkerage to generate the extra plasma and then big pipes running from the reator to the weapon hard points to deliver the plasma. this is a big clunky system with high cost, high maintainance, high volume, high chance of (possibly catastrophic) failure and relativly low damage potential.

ICAs are in the ascendant as they are a lot more practical. They are a self contained unit that basically generates the beam all on its own through some kind of matter -> energy conversion. They are small, low volume, easy to maintain and refit (a 'cut-and-paste' mentality), dont draw as much power from the ships reactors, not as likeley do damge the ships innerds if they fail and, importantly, kick arse.

A way to get plasmacannons back into the fray would be a hybrid of ICA and plasma cannon technology. This host ship has a normal primary reactor for general use. The main reactor does not supply plasma for the weapons but supplys electricity via some big old wires (still not ideal but a lot more reliable than plasma conduits) to secondary reactors, one for each plasma gun. These secondary reactors are very small and innefficiant - actually using power rather than generating it (why they need to draw power from the main reactor) but, freed from the need to generate power, can generate a lot more plasma (especiall if it further coupled with this matter to energy conversion tech). This plasma can be hotter as it will be ejected as a plasma bolt much sooner than if it has to be shunted around in a ship first, there will be more of it and the weapon system will be simpler and more reliable with less chance of plasma leakages. Also, this simpler arangement will save a fair bit of space inside the ship for either other systems, armour or more reacters to increase the output of the plasmacannons. Also, existing ships would need a lot less modification to use this new tech.

Anyhow, that my view on the situation. Im sure the fluff experts will rip my argument to shreds or ICAs are just better, lol
 
Inert
Having a more penetrating plasma bolt is silly. Plasma does damage not by kinetic energy, but by heat. However, the plasma cannon will not phase completely, as plasma cannons are now being standard issue grade weapons, replacing the rapid fire kinetic autoguns.
 
RagingBlueWind
i know this sounds ridiculous but its just an idea. since plasma does damage through thermal damage, why not make.... a plasma flamethrower? a converted marine frigate could, instead of dumping marines, simply start to torch holes through armor. it would *almost* be like getting hit continuously by HEAT rounds because the jet of plasma would be highly concentrated (obvious difference is its not on a tank round nor is it a chemical reaction). but feel free to smack me around for this one. even i think its a little impractical but hey, im just throwing ideas out so if someone can make something better out of this feel free.
 
TelQuessir
Plasma flamethrower = plasma lance Pfft
 
CIWS

Quote

Inert wrote:
Having a more penetrating plasma bolt is silly. Plasma does damage not by kinetic energy, but by heat. However, the plasma cannon will not phase completely, as plasma cannons are now being standard issue grade weapons, replacing the rapid fire kinetic autoguns.


Both actually. Plasma is highly energetic but it's still matter when you get right down to it. It has mass, and throwing it at something at multi-kps speeds is going to sting.

Likewise even when dealing with thermal weapons there's still the intensity issue. Focus the same amount of energy across a smaller area and you get better penetration.
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

Quote

TelQuessir wrote:
Plasma flamethrower = plasma lance Pfft


Only the lance has the benefit of being pretty tightly focused.. if you just go venting plasma around you aren't gonna do much since the stuff'll disperse and cool if you don't contain it somehow.
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
Correct. But a lance as a ranged weapon is very inefficient - hence my usage of flamethrower analogy.
 
CIWS
Ah.

I wonder how much mass can reasonably be compacted into a single plasma shell?
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
 
Warman1
I have an idea for a possible plasma-ish weapon. I call it the Ionized Plasma Pulse Cannon.

Since the plasma of plasma weapons is just superheated matter and ions are atoms that have a higher/lower electron charge then normal, the basic idea is to use the ionized mattor and sent it through the superheating areas used for creating plasma and launch it out at your enemy. The end result is a cloud (or whatever you call the plasma bolts) of Ionized Plasma shooting at the enemy.

The reason I call it a pulser cannon is that you probably would do more damage if it is in a few bursts then in a beam and would probably have better range that way. Though variations upon this weapon could lead to some interesting results.
 
Fu
Well, if i recall correctly plasma is superheated matter that has lost cohesion between its atoms and electrons - in effect you are firing matter ionised both ways at once.

Quote

Source:www.plasmas.org
Plasma consists of a collection of free-moving electrons and ions - atoms that have lost electrons. Energy is needed to strip electrons from atoms to make plasma. The energy can be of various origins: thermal, electrical, or light (ultraviolet light or intense visible light from a laser). With insufficient sustaining power, plasmas recombine into neutral gas.


So im sorry, but ionised plasma is going to do less damage than normal. Harobeam
Edited by Fu on 12-10-2005 07:26
"But trust is the color of a dark seed growing,
Trust is the color of a hearts blood flowing,
Trust is the color of a souls last breath,
Trust is the color of death."


-Robert Jordan , Wheel of Time
 
Glacialis
Less than normal? Er...what's normal?
 
Fu
Damnit.. i wrote an answer a few hours ago but forgot to click on post Banghead

Anyway, plasma 'normally' consists of Atoms that have got into a high-energy state, such that all the electrons fly off them. This means you have a cloud of positive and negative ions in the same space (As well as heat etc). If you ionise the materials, your plasma just becomes really hot ions. Besides - id like to think that all sorts of electrical mayhem would be happening to a piece of metal hit by plasma, as all the electrical charges would be looking for a partner. Wouldn't that screw with your hull sensors Wink
"But trust is the color of a dark seed growing,
Trust is the color of a hearts blood flowing,
Trust is the color of a souls last breath,
Trust is the color of death."


-Robert Jordan , Wheel of Time
 
CIWS
THen there's the little problem of containment.. if all you've got are a packet of ions all charged the same way... well positive and positive and all that.
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
 
MarieHawke
Then use a negative magnetic field to contain the ions.

Interesting, however - aren't plasmas already electrically charged? Feel free to shoot me with an MG42 if I'm wrong, it's been a while (read: several years) since I read about plasma >_<
A starlight sharpshot magical girl!
 
CIWS
Yes they are, but if the plasma's overall charge is neutral (i.e. equal number of positive and negative ions floating around in it) then it's still charged and you don't have that problem.

Of course it might be a better idea to use a positively charge containment field since that would push the plasma away from its boundaries and consequently compress it (provided field strength was high enough).
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
 
D1g1talm1nd
This is my first post but i have been hanging around for a while (PDS3). I seem to remember from class a couple of things about plasma, so i found some research done on it. Plasma is just super heated ions, they can be just electrons, protons, hydrogen or any form of hydrogen, ie deuterium. A hydrogen plasma would have have more kinetic energy because of the mass, but either ion would allow for bending the plasma bolt or beam. The problem with ion plasma or ion paticle beam weapons(DEW) is that all you have to detect if the incoming energy is positive or negeative and you could polorize the hull to the opposite charge to nullify the effects. All you would have left is the kinetic energy, no thermal. NPB (Neutral particle beam) weapons(hydrogen) would have the benefit of all the kinetic energy of ion weapons with the thermal damage, of the two, thermal damage is a lot greater. Plasma weapons and PBW weapons are the same thing, one is just a beam for the other is a bolt form. Both have to travel near the speed of light to be effective. Plasma bolt weapons have the problem of disipating way too fast, the physics behind it say that plasma is superheated and has electrons flowing at a higher energy level. The electrons would move faster than the protons causing instability, ie no way to contain it. The only way to do it would be to excite the protons seperate from the electrons so they have the same energy level, then fire it for maximum effect. Otherwise its a hell of a lot easier, and more powerful with the same energy, to do PBW(DEW). Using anything other than neutral beams or bolts would either dissipate too fast of be absorbed by the hull. For negatively charged beams or bolts that is good. Electrical systems have a hard time adapting to large amounts of extra energy, that is why EMP is so good. Here are a couple of links for further reading.Smile
http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/ai...berds.html
http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/progr...am/npb.htm
http://www.fas.org/spp/military/docop...c14-3b.htm
 
Cobalt Shiva
Ah, I'm not sure what kind of debate is going on here. There shouldn't be a whole lot to argue about.

Plasma is hot ionized matter. Plasma is MADE of ions - charged particles, be they stripped atoms or free electrons. 'Heat' just means the ions are moving around a lot.

Yes, you can deflect plasma with a magnetic field, but it takes quite a bit of energy - especially when the plasma is moving at relativistic velocities.

The difference between a plasma weapon and an ion beam was best explained by Tel: plasma weapons are big, crude flamethrowers; ion cannons are more focused, higher-velocity weapons. Ion beams don't require any kind of magnetic containment, either - just an accelerator.

Here's a concept: Fire two charged particle beams, one positive, one negative. Aim them a few meters apart on the target. You'll get a lot of induced current between the two impact points - and I mean a LOT. It'd melt hull and fry electronics - and the effect on crew would be unmentionable.
Edited by Cobalt Shiva on 13-10-2005 22:08
"This is tactical control..."
 
TelQuessir
Induction beam array, anyone?
 
Cobalt Shiva
Induction beam development shouldn't be too hard, as long as you can create a weapon effect of two (or more) paired beams.

Actually creating two separate weapon systems and scripting a damage bonus when they're both hitting the target would probably be tougher.

I'll leave the actual work up to those proficient in coding.

There's one minor technical note. PDSverse ship armor has a superconducting layer, which would spread induced current around. The induction effect would only take place after the beams had penetrated this layer. Doesn't make much of a difference, but it's worth noting.

I'd propose these induction-beam arrays as the next step in the evolution of energy weapons; they're easily developed from ICAs or plasma lances. Fluff-wise, they'd probably be an indigenous ADM or IVF development, as a way to prevent plasma lances from going obsolete.
Edited by Cobalt Shiva on 16-10-2005 14:04
"This is tactical control..."
 
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