...Use the physics package as a "normal" nuke...
aftercolumbia - 23/3/2007 1:01 AMIt would be effective against targets on Earth unfortunately, if used in two manners:1. Shoot the gamma beam at Earth. The atmosphere will absorb energy, that's for sure, but the energy is still there, in the atmosphere. If the atmosphere absorbed all the energy, you'd wind up with a Tunguska like explosion. It is more likely that several hundred kilotons worth would make it to the ground (where it would actually have a smaller area of effect.)2. Use the physics package as a "normal" nuke. This results in a plain Jane 3MT nuke.Chelomei might consider this a "small explosion"...the guy who origininally designed Proton as a 100MT class missile.
joema - 23/3/2007 3:47 PMQuote...Use the physics package as a "normal" nuke...Based on that, I don't see the utility of the laser device. We already have nuclear warheads that can be launched into space that could achieve the same result without the intermediate step of generating a laser beam.If the asteroid is discovered far enough out (years), various non-nuclear methods could be employed: gravity tractor, kinetic impactor, etc.If it's discovered close (weeks-months), an ICBM modified for a precision stand-off detonation could deflect it without fragmentation. Virtually all ICBMs can reach earth escape velocity with a reduced payload. If that failed, you have a redundancy factor of several hundred. Just try again. By contrast if the laser is a highly specialized very complex device. Presumably you'd have only one, or maybe a single backup? If malfunctioned, underperformed, or the launch vehicle failed, it's "game over".It's technically interesting. The purpose of this forum is to discuss items like that. However it would appear to have very high development costs and limited redundancy relative to other options.
Olga - 23/3/2007 4:40 PMExisting ICBMs can NOT be launched some far deep into space for interception purposes.
Olga - 23/3/2007 4:40 PMA stand-off detonation is absolutely ineffective because of lacking an air blast in space – the base of sticking factor.
Olga - 23/3/2007...what will you do with the “reduced payload”? What will it be enough for?...
joema - 24/3/2007 3:16 AMQuoteOlga - 23/3/2007 4:40 PMA stand-off detonation is absolutely ineffective because of lacking an air blast in space – the base of sticking factor. A stand-off detonation is very effective -- the immediate X-ray and neutron burst simply vaporizes a thin layer of material from the asteroid surface which propulsively nudges the body in the opposite direction, without fragmenting it.
bhankiii - 23/3/2007 5:15 PMHave you considered putting this thing on the back of the moon? There's no atmosphere to get in the way, and it's always pointed away from the earth, so there are fewer political ramifications. Whatever damage you do to the back side of the moon would be considered acceptable, if it saved the earth.
joema - 23/3/2007 6:16 PMStriped down to a single 300 kt warhead, a Peacekeeper-class ICBM could easily achieve earth escape velocity.