So what would space combat be like eh - Discuss space stuff

For things not related directly to ApeZone games. Discuss, debate, but do it in good taste.

Postby Sith4dmin » Sun Aug 05, 2001 2:34 am

*snorts* None of you could have handled the spacebattles.com forums back in 1998... now there was real flaming.

Not that I'm encouraging any such.
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Postby Jdemacek » Sun Aug 05, 2001 8:35 am

None of us could have handled it... Sir, I will have you know that I ran Firenet BBS network consisting of nearly a hundred nodes World Wide.. Of which there was political flame wars of the such never seen before.
*hrmph*
: )

Actually, I consider this an important topic and I have been doing some analysis of parabolic intercepts and other methods that space combat could indeed happen, I am taking a rather ambitious (unrealistic?) attempt on making a 4x game based on real science. I got the inspiration after reading Sir Arthur C. Clarke's "The Songs of Distant Earth"

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Postby Wyzak » Sun Aug 05, 2001 2:18 pm

>Now let me give a real example. To get to mars, the >ship traveling will be 90 percent fuel in mass. Only 10 >percent is the ship. It not only has to push the ship >there, but has to turn around and slow down before it >reaches its destination, and it also has to carry the >fuel to get back. So the amount of fuel required is the >fuel required to get there squared.
[Also the mass of the fuel increases as you calculate fuel needed to accelerate fuel, but decreases again as you take into account the consumption of fuel decreasing onboard mass. Ack...]

Proof positive that calculus is for everybody.


Space combat will probably not be practical until an entirely new propulsion system is developed. Popular Science and Science News outline warp theory, graviton, and energy-wave propulsion rather nicely, although the information is sketchy since the rules of physics need to be broken/rewritten before anything is practical.

Also the problem of sudden acceleration on a human is a very sticky one. One torpedo hit at high speed and everybody inside the ship is smeared on the inside of the bulkhead wall.
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Postby Jdemacek » Sun Aug 05, 2001 2:23 pm

Warp theory and gravity manipulation is rubbish, The first requires gravity manipulation, the second has no theory to be based on (there is no general theory of gravity!) And most importantly, assuming if all other difficulties were overcome, how would you warp space without tidal gravitational forces tearing everything apart and tossing it into a neat and tidy (pun) singularity.
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Postby Eros935 » Sun Aug 05, 2001 2:40 pm

>how would you warp space without tidal gravitational forces tearing everything apart and tossing it into a neat and tidy (pun) singularity<

Superglue?
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Postby Site Manager » Sun Aug 05, 2001 10:00 pm

Well now heres an idea for you guys to chew apart... I saw a Star Trek (Sorry, but what else am I supposed to refer to it as, "That Star Show" ?) series and the races weren't advanced enough and didnt have the right material for high speed space travel, but they did manage to create ansibles and send messages at near infinate distances almost instantaniously. They would then go virtual reality in several senarios and play war, the computers would kill anyone as if it were real life. The best programmers that had the most nasty weapons won the war and the other team would be eradicated leaving only the stupid civilians who didnt know squat. The ships that were en-route for several years would arrive a few month later to take the planet and voila that was intergalactic war. If a team lost the ships that were en-rout were self destructed by ansible and thats how entire civilizations were destroyed, without even firing a shot.
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Postby Praetor Ryan » Thu Aug 16, 2001 8:07 pm

not very realistic.......... how would one communicate faster than light or radio ehhh....... the only way i know of yet hasnt been explored fully enough to be considered a credible possibility........tachion signals, blink tachions at a receptor s...o.....s hehehe
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Postby Praetor Ryan » Thu Aug 16, 2001 8:19 pm

hey crown i made this topic and i do want ideas not arguments.......

im starting to think that space combat will be a very quaint thing, taking days to conclude battles, even with small forces, the sheer recharge times should make battles quite interesting,.... as for the velocity thing its a similar problem to submarines and the enourmous pressures, we willl handle that eventually, i think. thrusters wouldnt be a good way to move around, how come no one has mentoned a bussard Ramjet or laser prop sail ehhh, these are probable types of transit........ slow but better than fing thrusters
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Postby Smelly Cheese » Mon Oct 08, 2001 8:55 pm

this is one of the longest threads i've seen.....


fighters would be almost impossible in space combat because you have to have an atmospshere to even turn the ship unless you had an engine pointing in every direction but then you couldn't see where you where going beacuse there's no place to put the cockpit and then you would fly into something and go... BOOM!!
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Postby Vaaish » Tue Oct 09, 2001 9:11 am

Vectored thrust and small maneuvering jet clusters.
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Postby CHOAM » Tue Oct 09, 2001 3:57 pm

Inertia will kill any ships that move too fast, especially when it's small
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Postby scantron » Fri Oct 11, 2002 8:29 pm

seeing as how this seems to be dead since october 2001, i don't know if my 2 bits will even mean anything now, and since i'm a sci-fi nut, i'm a little bit biased, but...

with the exceptions of the propulsion systems that we may/may not ever achieve, the basic tactics and weapons that David Weber has in his "Honor Harrington" series still seem very plausible. i mean that they take into account inertia, sensor range, numbers of combatants vs defenders, ECM, etc... all without being "too sci-fi" if you follow...

anyway, i think that, as of now anyway, interstellar wars will be mostly of the "i'll drop big rocks on you if you don't do what i say" type of stuff and unless the target has enough space based hardware to prevent the enemy from ever getting into the system in the first place, nothing can stop it either. another good example of this is also a Weber series, Mutineers Moon, and Armageddon Inheritence... the enemy actually put one of the moons of saturn (?maybe jupiter, it's been a while) into a collision course with earth. after all it's "just" a big rock...

as for the ships themselves, unless we get somekind of ST / SW "shield" technology, any ship will have pretty dang massive armor for impact resistance (inertia damping) if nothing else than as a buffer for micro-meteor impacts, and radiation absorption. we'll probably have nuke missles and energy weapons, most likely lasers as there isn't any inertial reaction to it firing, whereas a particle accelerator, cannon (whatever) if it physically moves an atom (lots of them <g>) it will then affect the course of the ship itself, thru Newton's 3rd law. and the more times fired, the more effect it will have.

not to say we won't use particle weapons, but i think they will be used in gound-based platforms, on asteroids and such, rather than ships just due to the recoil involved.
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Postby mostevil » Wed Aug 27, 2003 12:04 pm

Warp theory and gravity manipulation is rubbish


That depends on if you mean startrek warp theory or wormhole theory (einstein-rosen bridge). Wormhole theory is valid although the energy requirements are immense (a 1m^2 tunnel to Alpha Centauri would require energy equivalent to the mass of jupiter! )

However the implications of quantum mechanics are that energy can be borrowed from the ground state (although nobody is sure how or why) meaning that plentiful energy may be availible... in which case why bother fighting ;)

Also the presence of the mass of a craft in the wormhole would make it unstable. Instability problems may be something that can be corrected for though. Some form of inertial damping and artificial gravity may still be required to stop the accellerations squishing the crew, this again may be achieved by warping spacetime more locally (akin to the warp field described in startrek only for protection rather than propulsion).

In effect the rosen bridge can be used to effect FTL travel and possibly time travel (although the theory implies one end has to be held open from the earlier time) Time theorys do not apply in that daft way seen in startrek though (Their physics is really bad).

Failing all that build a really big ship and be willing to travel for a few generations. In the short term Ion drives are looking very efficient in terms of fuel mass to power output, and provide constant acceleration / deceleration (just face the other way for the second half of the trip) and thus provide artificial gravity as a free bonus (although probably not much . :( )

Either way large scale war should be obselete in space as it is on earth. (read planet killers :0 )
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Postby CRS2117 » Wed Sep 24, 2003 6:27 am

Most weapons such as missiles and projectiles are not going to make an appearance in space combat as spacecraft will be travelling much to fast for this.

It's unlikely you'd intercept spacecraft en route to a target, and would be more than likely to engage it in orbit. However once in orbit one very effective weapon would just be in "front" of your target, and throw ball bearings back at them. At the speed they travel they could do some awesome damage. Failing that there's always the trusty laser, however as there is practically no atoms to dispers the beam you wouldn't see any pretty light show (which is why I'm convinced phasers are a phased matter beam... It works for me at least).

Shields, well the first ones will probaly be similar to the screens in STUN, although plasma and disruptor would need some other form of energy dissapation (hmm, anyway to make a cold beam?).

Interial dampeners are just a simple matter of finding the correllation between gravtiy and energy and other forces, and then manipulating the gravity it is different to the rest of the universe. This means from speeds of 20KMS to 0 you wouldn't have the "the seatbelt is trying to slice me into little bits" problem.

And that brings me to another point, if you don't fold space your going to need an ion drive and a very patient crew that are willing to have children. And as the community is small you'd have to have very tight reproduction laws. However if you can fold space into two points, or compress the space in front of you (and as there isint that much matter in space, there isint that much to compress) suddenly even a rocket drive will be more than fast enough, and has a lot more acceleration than an ion drive.

Antimatter doesn't seem possible really, besides some really unstable ways to contain it and very innefficent ways to produce it it just doesn't seem a viable choice for energy production. Making a weapon out of it yes, but too expensive for power. Zero point or Scalar energy is the only realistic ways of producing enough energy, and as none of it's being storered (as it supposedly comes from another dimension) you wouldn't have the trouble of very volatile fuel.
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