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    Missile Defense

Nazi engineer and Disney space advisor Wernher Von Braun helped give us rocket science. Today, the legacy of military aeronautics has many manifestations from SDI to advanced ballistic missiles. Now there is a controversial push for a new missile defense system. What will be the role of missile defense in the new geopolitical climate and in the new scientific era?

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dirac_10 - 03:04am Jan 24, 2001 EST (#585 of 588)

rshowalter - 12:04pm Jan 23, 2001 EST (#582 of 584)

dirac, how 'bout some reference on those fancy lasars? I'm quite interested. Especially since the lasar development has been going on, at high priority, for so long.

Yeah, interesting how so many people are innocent of the fact that they exist. Since it is trivial to point out that it exists, consider the possibility that you are innocent of other factors too. Here's what was reported scantily in the memory. It will shoot down a Katusha rocket (big deal) or a jet at 10 km. It shoots down the jet by destroying the plastic bubble around the pilot. It was developed jointly by Israel TRW. The deal was made a couple months ago to purchase it. It will be operational in one year.

Here's something from the Federation of American Scientists:

And another one:

All you have to find this kind of stuff is use a search engine. I used laser and Israel on Yahoo. These and many others popped up. Not the best, the first.

For a brand new technology, ten or hundred or thousand fold increases in a figure of merit

"Figure of merit"? Define that puppy for this case.

sometimes (though not often) happen with continuation of effort. That's rare.

What are you talking about? Got any examples? Virtually nothing to do with electronics meets that criteria. Nothing to do with lasers too. Or Computers, goodness knows. Are computers, lasers, and electronics involved?

Experience after the infancy of a technology usually has this pattern - initially, and at perhaps 10% of the project cost, 80% of maximum possible functionality is achieved.

Uhh, did you just make that up? How about some real science? How about some data or scientific principles or anything. That figure of merit stuff is garbage, scientifically speaking. It is what is called hand waving.

After that, incremental improvements come hard.

Get that from a Oijua board? It most certainly ain't science.

So, after HOW LONG do we have military lasars? After HOW MUCH MONEY AND PRIORITY?

We have admitted to the press that we have a 10 km laser now. I repeat my point. Since when have we told the public all about our military secret weapons? Why would you think that the laser that was reported in the press, and you were totally innocent of, is the best we have? Think about how silly that is.

How much power do they have?

They didn't give it. Enough to zap a katusha at..

What is their range?

10 km.

How plausible is it that they be developed to shoot through the atmosphere to the extraordinary level of precision that missile defense requires?

The angular precision at 100 km needs to be 10 times as great.

If not laser/focused, inverse square dispersal would mean it would need to be 100 times as powerful. Since it is a laser, and can, in theory, be focused to a point at 100 km. this doesn't apply. Clouds and the air and pollution will take a toll but is linear. Not inverse squared. And no doubt frequency dependent. We are of course limited to wavelengths smaller than the missle to be able to affect it. Even at 20k km/hr, even at much more than 100km distance, it moves less than a centimeter in the time it takes light to make the round trip.

Heck, we don't even need to understand Newton. Kepler will do nicely. ICBMs are extremely predictable. Very expensive Sitting Ducks.

Now, what pray tell is the science that says that it is even slightly difficult?

10km shoot downs, after all this time, may be reason for pessimism, not optimism.

Based on voices in your head? Based on intuition? Based on something a burning bush said?

Because no scientific reasons whatsoever have been presented. The "figure of merit" thing i

dirac_10 - 03:07am Jan 24, 2001 EST (#586 of 588)


Because no scientific reasons whatsoever have been presented. The "figure of merit" thing is engineering and scientifically worthless.

dirac_10 - 03:16am Jan 24, 2001 EST (#587 of 588)

mhunter20 - 02:47pm Jan 23, 2001 EST (#583 of 586)

In the visible spectrum? These lasers must be very, very, very intense.

Apparantly not visible... I'm not sure.

If we had something like Tesla's death ray (was a beam sent from Shoreham, NY to Tunguska, USSR?)

Uhhh...Hmmm...Hard to believe. Wonder what his alabi was?

we could send the beam right through the Earth and potentially destroy missiles before they're even launched.

Don't know about the death ray, but when he tried to transmit noticable power for power tansmission, all kinds of strang things happened on the ground in the area between.

There would be no atmospheric diffraction problem and no reflection problems (how do you destroy the missile without destroying the sattelite if the missile is coated with reflective paint?).

No mirror is perfect. All have an efficiency. And there is possibilities for resonant wavelengths/modulations that will bounce off our mirrored satellites and not Saddam's missles.

Plus our mirrored satellites would receive an unfocused beam and the missle wouldn't.

Of course, if it existed, Tesla's death ray could also be used to attack as well as defend.

Lasers too. Speed of light. Destroy anything on the face of the earth. No warning. One poster said this offensive ability is why it has been downplayed. Why we went to missles, (at least in public.) I wouldn't know.

mhunter20 - 09:49am Jan 24, 2001 EST (#588 of 588)

dirac_10 1/24/01 3:16am

Plus our mirrored satellites would receive an unfocused beam and the missle wouldn't.

Good point.

If I remember correctly, the Tunguska event was attributed to a meteorite. Apparently, Tesla was relieved that no one was killed and he permanently disassembled the device that transmitted the beam, which was connected to his magnifying transmitter.

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