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Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a
nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a
"Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed
considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense
initiatives more successful? Can such an application of
science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable,
necessary or impossible?
Read Debates, a new
Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published
(5511 previous messages)
- 11:57am Nov 6, 2002 EST (#
5512 of 5515)
Are you saying that the barrier to to being able to
shoot down every winged aircraft the US has, or can expect to
build - to detect every submarine - and to sink every surface
ship within 500 miles of land was a lack of understanding
of coupled differential equations? Are you able to say more
about that and do those equations relate only to guidance? I
could build a 3D world in my computer. In this world I could
place a target which I would have moving about randomly,
erratically, evasively. My task then is to design a guided
bullet to place in the world to chase and hit the target. I
think I could do that using basic discrete trigonometry and I
think I could do it in a weekend. Where do the differential
equations fit in?
- 02:37pm Nov 6, 2002 EST (#
5513 of 5515)
Can we do a better job of finding truth? YES. Click
"rshow55" for some things Lchic and I have done and worked for
on this thread.
11/6/02 11:57am starts with this question:
Are you saying that the barrier to to being
able to shoot down every winged aircraft the US has, or can
expect to build - to detect every submarine - and to sink
every surface ship within 500 miles of land was a lack of
understanding of coupled differential equations?
Not exactly - is is due to not knowing how to build missile
controls even remotely as good as animal controls.
I want to answer the rest of your question well - in a way
that might even come up to the standards science writers
expect to themselves - which means an answer that is
technically correct from an expert point of view, but clear
enough for other readers, too. I'll have lunch, and get back
to that. Before I do, here's a summary I set out a month ago
that says some things compactly, with just a few additions in
rshowalter - 10:21pm Oct 4, 2002 BST (#334 http://talk.guardian.co.uk/WebX?14@@.ee7a163/357
. It is now technically easy to shoot
down every winged aircraft the US or any other nation has,
or can expect to build - to detect every submarine - and to
sink every surface ship within 500 miles of land - the
technology for doing this is basic - and I see neither
technical nor tactical countermeasures.
That's a judgement - let me review the reasons for that
1. Except for the cost of the
information-processing controls - missiles, including
actuators, are inherently simple, mass producible, and
cheap. (If made with the production engineering
sophistication routinely applied to cars - missiles of all
kinds would be astonishingly cheap, except for the cost of
2. The accelleration capacities of missiles
available forty years ago far exceed the accellerations
capacities of any manned aircraft - and also exceed the
accellerations of useful unmanned aircraft that have been
proposed. Ranges for those missiles were tactically ample -
and are higher now.
3. With guidance capacities even close to
those shown by animals for millions of years - these
missiles would essentially always find and destroy their
targets. The approach suggested for "dogfighting model
airplanes" above http://talk.guardian.co.uk/WebX?14@@.ee7a163/355
would provide guidance as good as that animals show. (
And, with the information provided, might be enough for
Commondata to solve the problem he proposes in a weekend -
though with more than just trig - because lines are curved,
f=ma has to be integrated over time to produce the motions,
and in some sense the math has to "estimate the future" well
enough for control.)
4. Countermeasures now used by aircraft
against missiles would be ineffective with the new approach.
Trying to ourfly missiles with near-animal guidance quality
would be hopeless. Counterbattery fire can't work against
the new scheme. Counterbattery fire now depends on the fact
that radar sources are at the same place as recievers and
missile controls. Turning on radars risks operator life and
system function - so that the radars are far less effective
in combat than might be expected on paper. In the
arrangement described for "model airplane dogfighting" radar
sources are not at the same positions as recievers or
missile controls. Moreover, chirpers are expendible, and can
easily be made too numerous to jam.
5. Technical considerations applicable to
ground-to-ship or air-to-ship missiles are analogous.
6. Submarine detection according to an
analogous scheme using sound waves rather than microwaves is
entirely practical - inherently inexpensive - and would give
resolution of x, y, z position of undersea craft to meters.
Guidance of a torpedo by sound waves would be exactly
analogous to missile guidance.
Back after lunch.
- 07:09pm Nov 6, 2002 EST (#
5514 of 5515)
Is this why some call you a Ismael?
(1 following message)
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