Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

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Icedaemon
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Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Post by Icedaemon » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:25 pm

Dhraakellian wrote:Enter Trouble, stage right.

(Fortunately, it's trouble for the antagonists.)
Knowles2 wrote:Rule 1 of banned-weapon war crimes: Don't Miss?

edit: I see five shots in the second salvo but only four hits from the first. Where's that fifth projectile?
Missing is entirely permissable as long as one takes into consideration what is behind the target. Railgun fire at something between the firing ship and a sun or a lifeless planetoid with no significance is not a problem. If the projectiles are made mostly of some highly flammable material (aluminium or magnesium, though both are incredibly soft...) even an inhabited world might be fine, since the ammunition would burn up on entry.

zeracore
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Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Post by zeracore » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:50 am

for a projectile to be fired out of a rail gun it must be magnetic

and you don't want to fire magnesium throw one it shortens the life of the mag-rails of the gun

railgun consists of two parallel metal rails (hence the name) connected to an electrical power supply. When a conductive projectile is inserted between the rails (at the end connected to the power supply), it completes the circuit. Current flows from the positive terminal of the power supply up the positive rail, across the projectile, and down the negative rail, back to the power supply

it is also not uncommon for a rail gun projectile to get vaporized before it leave the mag-rails

what wood be more affective for space combat wood be a Coilgun/Gauss gun same amount of fire power less power to generate the affect

A typical coilgun, as the name implies, consists of a coil of wire, an electromagnet, with a ferromagnetic projectile placed at one of its ends. Effectively a coilgun is a solenoid, a current-carrying coil which will draw a ferromagnetic object through its center. A large current is pulsed through the coil of wire and a strong magnetic field forms, pulling the projectile to the center of the coil. When the projectile nears this point the electromagnet is switched off and the next electromagnet can be switched on, progressively accelerating the projectile down successive stages. In common coilgun designs the "barrel" of the gun is made up of a track that the projectile rides on, with the driver into the magnetic coils around the track. Power is supplied to the electromagnet from some sort of fast discharge storage device, typically a battery or high-capacity high voltage capacitors designed for fast energy discharge. A diode is used to protect polarity sensitive components (such as semiconductors or electrolytic capacitors) from damage due to inverse polarity of the voltage after turning off the coil.

plus if you had a powerful natural magnet you can make and unpowered Gauss gun more commonly known as a Magnet Gun

allikat
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Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Post by allikat » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:12 am

Railgun projectiles don't have to be entirely magnetic, they just have to have sufficient magnetic content for the coil fields to accelerate it to an acceptable velocity. A nickle/iron core will do that perfectly, and as small fragments of nickle/iron fall into atmospheres all the time, no real problem to anyone. A projectile of only a few kilograms will most likely shatter on impact with the atmosphere. Any metal can be magnetic, if you induce a voltage into it.

As others have said, it's only the misses which can cause a problem to others. While they remain in space, they will only have dust fragments and gravity wells to slow them down. A simple solution could be a small explosive charge inside, which could either detonate on impact, or shatter the projectile should it miss, turning it into fragments small enough to be absorbed by a ship's outer shell.

NefariousDrO
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Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Post by NefariousDrO » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:20 am

These types of weapons are fascinating, but let's not get too bogged-down in details. Unfortunately most people who are even aware of the concept of magnetic acceleration of projectiles tend to use the term "railgun" as the generic name. Not accurate to be sure, but it's becoming the generic. The salient point in this story is that the Souri Collective has been totally isolated from the rest of humanity for a couple of centuries, but lately started probing around the fringes and now decided to enter the fray. Their ships obviously don't conform to the rules of warfare that the former members of the old Earth-based regime subscribe to, and they clearly feel pretty confident about taking on both Daranir and UTC with only one ship. Given what we've seen I'd say they're probably right. What I'm really curious about is why they've suddenly decided to end their isolation, though. That and the fact that their name is highly suggestive and thus I would dearly love to learn more about them.

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Arv
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Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Post by Arv » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:51 pm

Allo allo, been a while.

On the subject of the Souri's one ship against two fleets, I would postulate that the Collective likely spent just as much resources and effort building that single Behemoth as the UTC and Darani spent building all of their ships combined. I remember being shocked by hearing that Darani Tempests were featherweights compared to those Behomoths; in essence that one Sourishi vessel is a fleet. It would be risky putting all your eggs in one basket I would think, but given their unknown capabilities and their being unfettered by conventional weapon restrictions, I don't think the odds are against them here.

I'd certainly like to know why they're here though. Seems obvious they were in the vicinity to receive Admiral Novosi's broadwave transmission of her speech, and chose to act upon it. But after centuries of isolation from the galactic community, why would they intervene in this clash of nations now? They don't seem to have a horse in this race, what's their motivation? I wouldn't call this a "Souri ex machina" or whatever, but their sudden appearance is certainly jarring. And intriguing. Sure hope they stick around so we can get to know them, and don't just disappear as mysteriously as they arrived.

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Lokekar Kra
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Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Post by Lokekar Kra » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:24 am

In a sick way this is the right way to end the chapter, I mean right after the UTC and Dranir turn tail and run like mad. Perfect cliff hangar of an ending.

We do not know anything about the Souri other than they have huge ships which are armed with some projectile weapons. They very well could have much smaller craft that have not been spotted in recent history. They also could have the assortment of energy and missle based weapons everyone else has but are not in range yet.

I am most interested in if the Souri ship is launching any sort of smaller craft. All the Dranir capitol ships carry some sort of fighter complement and i would guess the UTC does as well. Kinda scary if the Souri launch FRIGATES as their 'fighter craft', not likely but we could say that 'everything is bigger in the collective'. :)
"He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us"
-Lost

cbhacking
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Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Post by cbhacking » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:47 pm

Railguns like those are anti-capital-ship weapons - massively destructive, designed to penetrate extremely heavy armor (an understatement, apparently), and long ranged - but probably lacking the tracking speed and rate of fire to be useful against small craft. Therefore we must assume they have either some truly excellent point-defense capability, or a large complement of interceptor craft.

Also, a single ship, no matter how big or well armed or long-ranged, can only be in one place at a time. That works fine for a concentrated battle like this, but not so well for patrols, or scouting, or pursuing an enemy who chooses to scatter. So... is that just a strategic choice they made (a few super-powerful platforms that lack versatility), or are those things super-carriers (capable of launching craft with reasonably independent operational capacity - eseentially frigates, as you say) as well?

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Arv
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Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Post by Arv » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:31 am

We'll just have to wait and see if the Behemoth has docking capacity for such large ships, but I would think it absurd that any military vessel wouldn't carry small craft for transport, reconnaissance, planetfall and boarding actions to say the least. It might be that they only use automated probes and shuttles, but they will have them. Now that I think of it, a monster ship like a Behemoth intended to be an entire theater of war would be ideal as a super carrier, especially one acting in an intelligence gathering role deep in foreign space. They may or may not launch in this particular engagement, but the armchair tactician in me would be quite surprised if they refused to rely on any smaller vehicles at all.

algesan
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Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Post by algesan » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:59 am

Agreed, don't get too bogged down in details unless David says to, most people do consider rail/gauss/coil guns to be the same thing and they are variations on magnetic linear acceleration. In general, linear accelerators do have a theoretical problem, especially over long range: if the enemy can detect the magnetic pulse (propagating at light speed), then they can order evasive maneuvers and at significant distances, trivially evade. At only one light second (~300,000km or 186,000 miles), with a .1c acceleration, the pulse will reach the target in one second and the projectile in ten seconds and then we get bogged down in details about fleet control (so ships don't swerve into each other), mass of delta V of ships and reaction speed of defensive maneuvers. Evasive maneuvers will even start throwing off light speed weapons after too much further.

For the younger readers, it was a worry back in the early 80s (the last chance the Soviets had to possibly win in Europe) that the Soviets would launch a Lunar orbiter that would actually slingshot using Lunar gravity back into various Earth orbits as a load of BBs running opposite to the general directions satellites move in. Nastiness incarnate, but at that time the US & allies could have stepped back into pre-satellite command and control. Now, unfortunately, I doubt it. At least, the trained personnel and equipment was being phased out sharply over a decade ago. The fun part? Even if all the satellites could be relaunched, they'd have to be in new orbits because the old ones would be full of debris flying at high speed still.

As to why BBs were so lethal: Because everything in space that requires delta V to move needs to be as light as possible to conserve fuel. Virtually any space war story requires some kind of fancy footwork to provide cheap and abundant "fuel" that is used up in extremely miniscule amounts, otherwise the ship movements we've seen here would deplete too much of their reserves.

zeracore
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Re: Official "Discuss the latest page" thread

Post by zeracore » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:07 am

yes it is a petty that most people have went to a generic term for rail/gauss/coil guns because the 3 work in completely different ways form one and another

man i remember the bb days that was wen thy were talking about the fact that if a bb sized meteor hit the space shuttle it cold kill every one on board

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