New York Times on the Web Forums
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
(5518 previous messages)
- 06:01am Nov 7, 2002 EST (#
5519 of 5523)
I take on board all your six points, rshow, and it remains
a mystery to me why shooting down all planes wasn't possible
(cheaply) by all states decades ago. So I'm trying to
understand why you think that animal-like controls are
the one breakthrough required for effective and ubiquitous
missile technology and why coupled differential
equations are necessary for those.
In the problem
posed earlier, a missile has to accelerate towards the
place where it believes its target will be in the time it will
take to get there. It could make its prediction for the next
millisecond - in which case it will follow a sub-optimal curve
towards the target. Or it could predict where the target will
be in ten minutes - in which case evasive manoeuvres are easy.
Over time, the gap between the missile's belief about that
position and the actual position will gradually narrow.
Breaking the problem into two parts, software in the missile
will have to ask:
1. What's the target going to do and where will it
Physical laws, current trajectory, heuristics about the
likely behavior of the target, and the physical capabilities
of the target being pursued will all be part of that
prediction - which, at best, will be a probability
distribution. This seems, to me, to be the same problem
whether we have animal-like controls or not so I'll
skip to the next question.
2. How am I going to get there?
This problem would be absent from the computer model which
would just direct x newtons of force on the missile so
that the sum of all forces produces a net force along the
vector to the predicted target position. In the real world
there are rocket engines and control surfaces to worry about
but we'd be trying to achieve the same thing. What are special
about animal-like controls? Is my assumption that the
missile would just have to be more manoeuvrable than the
target hopelessly ill-informed?
I'm not a rocket engineer, mathematician or physicist but
it's a fascinating problem ... I hope you can correct some of
- 06:52am Nov 7, 2002 EST (#
5520 of 5523)
Earth vs <^> <^>
Mazza...and anyone else concerned with civilization's
I know Rshow and his ideological dupe Lchic don't really
care about defense...only appeasement and "moral equivalence"
with ruthless dictators. I offered kalter.rauch
10/31/02 6:17am to Rshow as a riposte to his dismissive
post vis microwaves. In return, all he would allow was......
Kalter, you're a dishonest idiot, but I'll
post this and get back to you......rshow55
As I expected, he has done no such thing, preferring
instead to fill this forum with flowery paens to the
"statesmanship" of Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il and the
babbling idiocies of Koffi Annan. And of course, Lchic has
fulfilled her role as a propaganda chaff dispenser.
Be that as it may, for you and anyone else interested in
REAL THREATS, as well as their solutions, I tracked down the
background study paper for the Aviation Week & Space
Technology article on EMP weapons (the magazine site itsself
was off-line unfortunately). The paper may be perused
Energy and Fleet Defense
You'll find Col. Walling's credentials impeccable.
Also, I include a source which has material typical of that
presented by Schwartau in his survey......
Pulse (EMP) systems
I should mention that Schwartau's reputation has become
"controversial" over the last decade. The researcher will find
derisive reviews of his military surveys, though only in the
most general and emotional terms...while ignoring the
technical foundations behind the technology. The negative
reviews also TOTALLY ignore the fact that Schwartau's work
includes military/munitions as a small sideline. Critics are
silent (in agreement?) with his assessment on more well-known
aspects of "cyberwar".
All I'm saying is that freedom-loving peoples have real
hope in this new technology. This isn't at all some delerious
"wunderwaffe" delusion nor a fiscally unattainable proposal
typical of an Edward Teller. The weapons, their devastating
effects, and theoretical soundness are founded upon a logical
progression based on well known science. Yes, there are some
technical obstacles with regards to the EMP pulse, chiefest
being the danger to the beam weapon from its own emission...to
wit, the fact that an antenna broadcasts in "lobes", one of
which COULD fry the emitter. But even this "drawback" can be
turned into a plus through a feedback circuit, thereby
significantly increasing the weapons lethality!!! At present,
however, this is only a hope, but not outside theory.
All I'm saying is that lasers, or even "plasma packet"
thunderbolts aren't the end of the rainbow, but really are the
technological pot of gold which may yet deliver Reagan's SDI
"umbrella" over The West!!!
(3 following messages)
New York Times on the Web Forums