Author Topic: Rifle ballistics in LEO  (Read 35983 times)

Offline GI-Thruster

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #60 on: 07/02/2009 12:58 am »


1.  150 kW is enough to protect our sats from attack in orbit,
2.  especially if the HALLADS is in orbit.
3.  A 50 kW BLP reactor is the size of a basketball

1.  That is 25% more than the ISS produces

2. It is nowhere close to being fielded.

3.  when will that be available?

"3.  when will that be available?"

I think it is in a small sense already available.  There's one running months now at Rowan University.  There's a utility doing assembly on a commercial plant in NM or NV, I forget which.  I don't know if there's anything one would want to launch quite yet but I'm sure CIA is fully aware of how close they are to access.  I'm told 4 guys on the BLP board are ex-senior officers from CIA and you know, once in the company, always in.

For on orbit operations, you probably want to lose the heat engine cycle and do direct plasma-dynamic conversion.  Lower efficiency but no radiators needed.  Very simple system.  I think the real issue is that the current reactors have a solid fuel component that would not be easy to refuel/replace on orbit.  But making these things commercial requires they be able to refuel them so I'm sure they're working on this.  I asked Peter Jansson, who leads the work at Rowan about this but never got an answer.  Probably classified.  Certainly at least confidential.  Peter is on sabbatical teaching at Cambridge now so he monitors the ongoing work at Rowan and teaches classes there periodically with a video link.

So in short I'm guessing but if it's not available for orbit, it's probably because of the refueling issue.

Offline Jim

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #61 on: 07/02/2009 01:37 am »
I think it is in a small sense already available.

Doubtful, it takes years to go from bench to space. Look how long fuel cells took.   Systems have to be working on the ground with all the kinks worked out before they are used in space.

Again, this is still oogie boogie.  All the info is from one source, where is the independent confirmation.  Everything you bring up is fringe and not one has become mainstream.  You keep pushing these "systems" and where are they? 

Just like the lasers, most haven't left the bench and none of them have gone into operational prototyping. 

Your credibility is taking a dive because you keep pushing for things that are just on "the tip of our fingers".  The problem is that everyone of them can't be at the same stage and be right around the corner.    Just like 'standard" fusion has been almost there for 30 years.
« Last Edit: 07/02/2009 01:56 am by Jim »

Offline hop

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #62 on: 07/02/2009 01:46 am »
I think it is in a small sense already available.

Doubtful, it takes years to go from bench to space.
Even if what happened on the bench actually represented a viable power production technology, which it didn't. Following up in the blacklight thread: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=16535.msg430000#msg430000

Offline R.Simko

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #63 on: 07/02/2009 02:01 am »
I would think that the best choice of weapons would depend on the country doing the attacking.  If the attacker is a high tech country with many of their own assets in space, then a laser would be best.

If the attacking country in not so high tech and has very few of its own assets in space, then they could launch the largest satellite(s) they are able to, into the most populated orbit.  The satellite(s)  would simply explode in orbit, scattering 10s of thousands of steel ball bearings.


Offline GI-Thruster

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #64 on: 07/02/2009 05:08 am »
Jim, it's your job to put proven hardware into space.  I respect that.  It's my job to look at the future and identify emergent technology.  That's what I do.  If you can't respect that, I'll have to go without the respect.

In the case of BLP, I did read Hop's note in the other thread.  I have about a dozen objections.  Certainly what I wrote was not a gross misrepresentation.  The reactor is running.  They are pressing forward on commercialization this year.  The physics is not widely accepted and it is not going to be for years, no matter how much evidence is strutted out.  Even presuming the physics is correct, which I am not willing to do; the tremendous weight of evidence necessary to cause a paradigm shift in how we see these things will have to be almost unfathomable.  That's just how these things work.

Now Hop, I am not going to continue to argue with you about these things.  You obviously have no training in philosophy of technology and have not even read the most basic texts on the subject.  You have none of the skills necessary to identify an emergent technology.  I would be very surprised if you've even had a single upper division class in philosophy of science.  So we need to just agree to disagree.

Finally back to Jim's original objection: this stuff is way too new to be anywhere near ready for spaceflight.  We don't know this.  If it were being prepared for use in the military, it would certainly be classified.  We would not have any idea how close it is to flight.  Emergent technologies find their way into military application many years before civilians know about them.  Think how many years we were flying F117's before the public knew what we had.  That is NORMAL for highly classified emergent technology.  So for all we know, CIA has been flying BLP reactors for the last 5 years.  If they were, we would not know about it.

Now perhaps with Jim's clearance he would know.  Perhaps not.  Clearance is after all not just paint with your brush.  Its need to know.

I would not assume USG is flying BLP reactors based on the available evidence.  There are dozens of bits of evidence both pro and con for this.  I'm neutral.  But it is really silly to presume that BLP is oogie boogie considering the years this has been going on, and the quality of folks associated with it.  Again, it is not rational to argue this is a hoax or a fraud, considering the people involved.  Even if the physics is wrong, which I think likely; this is not a fraud.

And sorry but lets return to our previous discussion.  Hop, make whatever argument you like in the BLP thread.  I'll be happy to read it and consider it but I don't intend to respond further.

Offline GI-Thruster

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #65 on: 07/02/2009 05:59 am »
One other thing, Jim.  If you've been reading my posts over the months, you know that I've debunked or set aside many more "fringe" technologies than I pay serious attention to.  I don't claim to "debunk' them unless they're frauds like Searle, MEK and Pod.  You have to have serious evidence to claim something is a fraud and lack of evidence is not evidence of lack.

But if you've been reading my posts, especially here in advanced concepts, you know I'm not a ZPFer despite many of my physicist and engineer friends are.  I don't embrace teleportation technology despite that the USAF study on this was written by an associate. I don't support the notions of plasma weapons.  I'm not an adherent of Ken Shoulders EVO's even though I know he was recommended for and received funding for his work by some of the greatest physicists of our time.  I don't embrace Tokamak fusion tech because I think its stupid.  I don't think building bigger rockets is cool just because Ares V is just really friggin big.  I don't jump on band wagons without enormous evidence and I am much more fully trained in how to evaluate evidence than my twin brother who is both a research scientist and a lawyer.  So saying all I embrace is "oogie boogie" really is begging the question.

All of the stuff you look at each day has to be proven.  All the stuff I look at each day cannot be proven.  If it were, it would not be "emergent."  Understand?

When you look at a technology that is unproven, you're disappointed because you can't fly it yet.  When I look at seemingly viable technology that is unproven, what I see is promise and hope.

So do you understand, this doesn't make me quixotic or unrealistic.  Its just me doing my thing while you do yours.  Stuff that is unproven is not by definition "oogie boogie."  Its only "oogie boogie" when it's based upon bad science.

Offline Jim

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #66 on: 07/02/2009 10:24 am »
1.   We don't know this.  If it were being prepared for use in the military, it would certainly be classified.  We would not have any idea how close it is to flight.  Emergent technologies find their way into military application many years before civilians know about them.  Think how many years we were flying F117's before the public knew what we had.  T

2. So for all we know, CIA has been flying BLP reactors for the last 5 years.  If they were, we would not know about it.


1.  The Have Blue flew from 77-79 and 117 not until 81.  People knew these were flying before the declassification in 88. Work started on the Have Blue in the 74 time frame.

2.  Yes, we would.  All the missions have signatures and it would be apparent if a spacecraft had no solary arrays.


Offline Spacenick

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #67 on: 07/02/2009 12:05 pm »
Wouldn't it be possible to use high performacne capacitors that are chraged up over several days to produce some 150 kW for a few seconds, long enough to kill optics with a laser?

Also I'd think that Russia (although not demeonstrated) definietly has the ASAT capability. With a launcher like this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Start-1 how hard can it be to build a kill vehicle, I mean Russia should defimnitely have the capability to build an ASAT sysetm within a few months if they really want to, wasn't the Chinese ASAT test done on very similiar hardware?

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #68 on: 07/02/2009 12:36 pm »
Wouldn't it be possible to use high performacne capacitors that are chraged up over several days to produce some 150 kW for a few seconds, long enough to kill optics with a laser?

Also I'd think that Russia (although not demeonstrated) definietly has the ASAT capability. With a launcher like this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Start-1 how hard can it be to build a kill vehicle, I mean Russia should defimnitely have the capability to build an ASAT sysetm within a few months if they really want to, wasn't the Chinese ASAT test done on very similiar hardware?

 All the Chinese did in their criminaly irresponsible sat destruction show was manuever close to a satellite and blow it up. Building an ASAT system that's a suborbital lob with closing velocities of several miles per second is like going to the gun range and trying to shoot a bullet out of the air. Except the speeds and distances with the sat shootdown are much greater.
 They're still trying to get the power and support trailer for the 150kw THEL anti artillery system down to 30 tons in a 53 foot trailer. And that's a whole lot simpler than an orbital anti satellite system would be.
 It wouldn't take days to charge caps for a laser shot. Less than an hour depending on your power source. There is some pretty interesting research going on in high energy capacitors, and that probably would be what powered on orbit high energy lasers. Even if it was nuclear instead of solar that would probably be the case. There's no need for a reactor or solar arrays to match peak laser power if it was only needed for a few seconds at a time.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #69 on: 07/02/2009 01:03 pm »
All the Chinese did in their criminaly irresponsible sat destruction show was manuever close to a satellite and blow it up. Building an ASAT system that's a suborbital lob with closing velocities of several miles per second is like going to the gun range and trying to shoot a bullet out of the air. Except the speeds and distances with the sat shootdown are much greater.
Say what?... I thought the Chinese ASAT was a suborbital lob of hitting a bullet with a bullet and not a co-orbital intercept followed by a large bang. You have a source for that?

Also, there where some pressers on it at the time that they had been trying to do this for some time, and it was the first time they actually managed to hit something.
« Last Edit: 07/02/2009 01:04 pm by kevin-rf »
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Offline Spacenick

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #70 on: 07/02/2009 01:31 pm »
It was suborbital yes, but I think the kill vehicle was maneuvered

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #71 on: 07/02/2009 01:42 pm »
but I think the kill vehicle was maneuvered

I think all sub orbital ASAT's to date have maneuvered the kill vehicle. You are still hitting a bullet with a bullet.

What was interesting about the USS Lake Erie shot to me was instead of hitting it straight on, it hit USA-193 from the side. I wonder if that tells us something about how the sensor in the SM-3 works. That Geometry allows for large fast changing angles that may make it easier to figure out what you have to do make sure you will reach the same point in space at the same point in time.
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Offline 2.71

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #72 on: 07/02/2009 06:32 pm »
  You have to have serious evidence to claim something is a fraud and lack of evidence is not evidence of lack.


That is exactly backwards. You need to disprove the null hypothesis to claim that something is NOT fraud.  Until then, everything is suspect. 

You want to claim the high ground of authority, but you are not entitled to that based solely on your own trumpeting of your highly qualified "philosopher" job that you do.

And resorting to the "For all we know the CIA is flying BLP reactors" argument is laughable. For all we know, I may be Jimmy Hoffa. Can you disprove that?

2.71
« Last Edit: 07/02/2009 06:35 pm by 2.71 »
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Offline GI-Thruster

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #73 on: 07/02/2009 07:17 pm »
Your argument is based upon the mistaken assumption that permeates much of post modernist society, that one is intellectually justified only in taking the position of the skeptic.  However, anyone who understands real epistemology, or how we come to "know" or believe things, knows that the proper approach is to begin not with an antagonistic stance and requiring all positive evidence, but to begin with a neutral stance and weigh all evidence on its own merits.

This is why I said others like you, are neither skilled nor capable of doing these sorts of evaluations, because you do it based upon your general temperament and psychological makeup rather than based upon reason.

There is also the third option which we employ in courts of law, where one is forced to presume innocence until evidence of guilt is found (the "optimists" viewpoint.)  That standard exists because of the ethical outcomes of incarcerating the innocent.  We should take one small pointer from this: there is no onus upon anyone when evaluating evidence, to presume guilt.  That's not a fair appraisal of the facts.  Presuming innocence is likewise not fair, but it is at least merciful.

However, in order to be fully rational in any appraisal, one needs to avoid both extremes, optimism and pessimism, because both of these provide blinders and filters that skew our appraisal of evidence.  In critical thinking, these blinders equate to rhetorical and logical fallacies like slanting through emotional language.  In any case, there is never anything other than a psychological basis for accepting the skeptics method and that method is certainly completely flawed.

You don't know what you're taking about.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #74 on: 07/02/2009 07:27 pm »
I am shocked.  Shocked!  Yea, and verily, I say unto thee, I am shocked that this thread has moved a bit OT.

Up above, it was asserted that figuring the ballistics for a rifle shot to hit the target was fairly simple.  I think we all know that the problem is pretty hard.  It's not hitting a bullet with a bullet, tho.  It's hitting a target two to three orders of magnitude larger diameter than your bullet, at what, 10 miles?  100 miles?  Both rifle and target are moving on predictable courses.

When I mentioned ballistics, I'm not being entirely rigorous, but I'm talking about the trajectory, and the foot-pounds of energy that impact the target, and the amount of leading, but not windage, that needs to be done to hit the target.

Also, it seems that with a passive projectile such as a rifle, your ASAT can have typical solar panels so as not to draw attention.  With the right design, the bird can also have other funciton; cameras and such, so as not to draw attention upon its launch.  A laser wouldn't leave a radar trail, but a bullet might not be noticed.  Obviously, if you send your bird on a shooting spree, it's unusual trajectory and dead birds in its wake would be noticed.  This would be unavoidable in an all-out conflict.

However, if you had multiple birds, say a dozen, you could synchronize your initial shot from all twelve sats.  Further, if each bird had two rifles opposing one another, one could ameliorate, but not eliminate irregular trajectories after the shots were fired, but this would make the following scenario hard to create.

You'd still have the problem of 12 to twenty four sats going out simultaneously, but you could pop off a few of your own select satellites, and then your diplomat could scratch his head and say, "What the Farouk?  (Moderator note: Arabic term used for emphasis) Where did that meteor shower come from?"  This would imply careful target selection, and careful orbit predispositions so that the rain of fire would read realistically, because all the bullet trails would be on a tape somewhere, I'd reckon.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #75 on: 07/02/2009 07:30 pm »
Shocked, and deeply dismayed.  My wife of many years is supporting me in this time of trial....

Wait a minute. Have I been indicted?  Sorry guys, wrong confession.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline 2.71

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #76 on: 07/02/2009 07:40 pm »
Your argument is based upon the mistaken assumption that permeates much of post modernist society, that one is intellectually justified only in taking the position of the skeptic.  However, anyone who understands real epistemology, or how we come to "know" or believe things, knows that the proper approach is to begin not with an antagonistic stance and requiring all positive evidence, but to begin with a neutral stance and weigh all evidence on its own merits.

This is why I said others like you, are neither skilled nor capable of doing these sorts of evaluations, because you do it based upon your general temperament and psychological makeup rather than based upon reason.

There is also the third option which we employ in courts of law, where one is forced to presume innocence until evidence of guilt is found (the "optimists" viewpoint.)  That standard exists because of the ethical outcomes of incarcerating the innocent.  We should take one small pointer from this: there is no onus upon anyone when evaluating evidence, to presume guilt.  That's not a fair appraisal of the facts.  Presuming innocence is likewise not fair, but it is at least merciful.

However, in order to be fully rational in any appraisal, one needs to avoid both extremes, optimism and pessimism, because both of these provide blinders and filters that skew our appraisal of evidence.  In critical thinking, these blinders equate to rhetorical and logical fallacies like slanting through emotional language.  In any case, there is never anything other than a psychological basis for accepting the skeptics method and that method is certainly completely flawed.

You don't know what you're taking about.

Your reply is based on asserting that you know the basis of my argument. Thus you strive to establish yourself as the authority in this discussion. A clever rhetorical flourish on your part, but nevertheless still based in the world of imagination, where all your arguments lie.

You conflate knowledge with belief. And clearly you have strong beliefs. You should consider allowing others to seek understanding, rather than trying to hijack this forum to your own ends, and bullying people who don't share your outlook.

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Offline GI-Thruster

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #77 on: 07/02/2009 08:38 pm »
Whatever.

Point is, given what is expected the next few years, we could easily see laser combat capable spacecraft in less than a decade.  Solid state lasers are making their way forward, for the first time offering to satisfy dreamers and war-mongers alike:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/01/solid-state-laser-programs-on-track-for.html

These could be powered by EEStor caps that when packaged differently than how they are for use in Zenn electric cars, reportedly have a flat response to 100 kHz and truly unheard of power and energy densities, and the caps could be charged by BLP reactors that are a tiny fraction in size and mass of a comparable PV array.

What this means is, the future of sub-orbital, orbital and deep space combat is firmly in the hands of stealth and laser tech, and the ability to target over extremely long distances.

We don't need to be all that concerned with rifle ballistics in LEO.  We need to be concerned that in space, there's nowhere to hide.

Offline Jim

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #78 on: 07/02/2009 09:28 pm »
the caps could be charged by BLP reactors t

These don't even exist and hence you are promoting oogie boogie science or scifi science at the least

Offline Jim

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Re: Rifle ballistics in LEO
« Reply #79 on: 07/02/2009 09:28 pm »

Point is, given what is expected the next few years, we could easily see laser combat capable spacecraft in less than a decade.

Not even close to a decade, it will be much longer.
a.  There are higher needs in the DOD space program
b.  There is no one  pushing hard for this.  The DOD and NRO are having trouble with just comsats and reconsats.
c.  Even if the laser works on the bench, there is no power supply currently available and in use to make in viable.

A tactical  battlefield or airborne laser isn't as close as you state.

Star Wars or Star Trek is still many years away
« Last Edit: 07/02/2009 09:34 pm by Jim »

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