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Giant electromagnetic 'launch ring' possible: U.S. air force

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posted on Oct, 6 2006 @ 11:15 AM
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The Air Force also suggests it could be used for military purposes, quickly launching weapons around the world.



Very interesting line thrown in at the bottom. It seems like the whole article is claiming this would launch objects into space until the last line. I wonder who is actually funding this program now?


Looks like a possible global artillery gun in the makings.

mod edit: Cut down length of link to correct page width
Please use this in the post creation window in future to cut down the length of your link, as long url's can alter the width of the page.
Or alternatively you can use: [url=www.urlhere.com]link name here[/url]
A good walkthrough to explain in more detail is ATTN :Image Size Guidelines

[edit on 6-10-2006 by UK Wizard]




posted on Oct, 6 2006 @ 11:27 AM
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OMFG!!! I designed that mofo!!!

Sorry, but a friend and I drew up the plans for this years ago! OMFG!!! Right down to the very description of the craft, an egg-like shell protecting the package. The only difference is that ours coiled more than once and had to be in space to avoid as much gravitic influence as possible. I can't believe this! We sat, worked out the math, and everything checked out. I submitted the rough plans to my dad, who showed them to some of his friends in the lab, and told me it was neat, but there was no way they could get something like that built out in space, especially since it couldn't orbit Earth. The logistics were just too insane, between having a very limited launch window per year, keeping the platform stationary, keeping a crew working on it year-round...

...neither one of us thought of putting it on Earth's surface, but it looks like someone did. He said they'd keep it and knock the idea around someday... looks like it happened.



posted on Oct, 6 2006 @ 11:53 PM
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You guys are not serious about this get up are you??? Particularly as a weapon or weapons platform??

Public schooling right!!??

Orangetom



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 12:12 AM
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Originally posted by orangetom1999
You guys are not serious about this get up are you??? Particularly as a weapon or weapons platform??

Public schooling right!!??

Orangetom

And on your 6

From the article:


The Goleta California company has received funding to begin a two-year study within several weeks. Boosters of the ring hope to one day use it for thousands of launches a year, at a fraction of today's cost of putting things in space.
------
The Air Force also suggests it could be used for military purposes, quickly launching weapons around the world.

Yeah, orangetom1999, apparently all those PhD types working for that Goleta California company, that recieved funding for this study, missed out on "public schooling right"?

If the Air Force is "suggesting" such, obviously it was because some public schooled PhD types proposed such to them.


Reminds me of a segment from Ripley's Believe it or not.....

[edit on 7-10-2006 by Seekerof]



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 06:45 AM
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cough , cough


this was discused in a space exploration thread last week ,

the story is a genuine one -- and has some merits , though there are drawbacks too

from the story i posted :


Although Epstein is sceptical about the prospects for such a ring, he cautions that if built, the ring itself could become a target for attacks. This is because of its potential for use as a weapon, launching missiles that could reach anywhere in the world. "The ring then becomes one of the most important targets on the planet,"


due to the "nature of the beast "- it would be very diffictult to harden against attack .

i guess if built the ` ideal ` way to defend it would be within a restricted zone so large that it would be beyond range of direct attack [ from the ground ]

and able to be protected by ADA [ air defence artilery ] and SAM [ surface to air missiles ] cordons to prevent air / missile attacks .

but i spent a dangerously high percentage of my education at the dreaded " public schools " so what do i know


[edit on 7-10-2006 by ignorant_ape]



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 10:35 AM
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That was precisely my first thought.

Any viable long lasting weapons system or platform today is mobile..portable. They are not located in a fixed position.

Fixed platforms are very inviting targets. By the article it takes a long run up time for this design to even get ready for a launch. The main target to stop a platform operation like this is the power supply. This thing would take alot of juice. This is the main drawback to its portability...the power supply. The ring itself would have to be precisely aligned. Electrical contacts precisely made..little or no line losses.

Remember...designers are considering electromagnetic catapults for aircraft carriers. They are having a number of technical difficulties with the design going from concept to actual installation.

This is not a new concept. This was visualized many years ago back when they realized that magnetic levitation technology was possible and the directions it could be taken. I recall reading articles on it over ten years ago in popular science or mechanics..etc etc. The articles back then were for preciesly what the original poster had in mind...a inexpensive way to launch payloads into outer space.

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 03:17 AM
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OT,

>>
Any viable long lasting weapons system or platform today is mobile..portable. They are not located in a fixed position.
>>

Oh please. How many missile silos and airfields do you know that are mobile?

The first threat which tosses /anything/ into our hemisphere is going to get nuked by multiple redundant-by-the-numbers counterfire and so is going to have to be Pretty Damn Desperate to be so freakin' STUPID.

OTOH, a Fajr could be mounted on a container ship and fly a nuke into Boston Harbor from 30 miles past the TL and what the hell are you gonna do about it? You're gonna radioisotope isolate the manufacturing plant and if it's inside Russia or China, you will likely choose to nuke Iran or Norkia /anyway/.

>>
Fixed platforms are very inviting targets. By the article it takes a long run up time for this design to even get ready for a launch. The main target to stop a platform operation like this is the power supply. This thing would take alot of juice. This is the main drawback to its portability...the power supply. The ring itself would have to be precisely aligned. Electrical contacts precisely made..little or no line losses.
>>

Blah, blah blah.

Lets talk domination of the 'High Frontier' as the first precondition to being /able to target/ this kind of a system. Do you honestly supposed that Cape Canaveral and Houston (and Alice Springs and SPACECOM and and and) are any LESS easy to spot?

Never mind the realities of trying to play Olympic Discus on a worldwide basis with a weapons platform that needs HOURS to spool up.

This is _exactly_ what it seems like. A desperate attempt to shoestring our way back into having a (small) satellite launcher without having to pay for a true HLV. Since it appears the bloody Chinese are into dazzling our overhead in an attempt to completely 'remove themselves from accountability' we may well need a NIRTS option to put small sats into orbit.

Except, oh wait, isn't that called 'Pegasus'? Snort.

>>
Remember...designers are considering electromagnetic catapults for aircraft carriers. They are having a number of technical difficulties with the design going from concept to actual installation.
>>

o to 150 knots with a 40-70,000lb payload is a 'wee bit different' from slinging a tiny ass basketball sized system up into orbit at _hypersonic_ (23X the speed of sound people) velocities.

>>
This is not a new concept. This was visualized many years ago back when they realized that magnetic levitation technology was possible and the directions it could be taken. I recall reading articles on it over ten years ago in popular science or mechanics..etc etc. The articles back then were for preciesly what the original poster had in mind...a inexpensive way to launch payloads into outer space.
>>

No doubt. Let's also talk about some realistic problems:

1. It's easier to get small objects up to extreme velocities in a short run than large ones up to low velocities in a long one. Now you want to get large ones up to extreme velocities in a long run. Stabilizing any kind of USEFUL (40,000lb endurance platform satellite) payload for the 'hours' needed to accelerate it to orbital velocity is ridiculous. Heat and electromotive performance variations in the magnetic tracks. Shifts in payload mass both before and during ejection which cataclysmic consequences to the ring (low yield nuclear equivalency).

2. HEAT, HEAT, HEAT.
Teeky Darts and Soda Straws this ain't. You wanna go 17,480mph at sea level? You had damn well better evacuate the ENTIRE ring of air. Completely. Because even the most minor of leaks is going to be like striking a match against a brick wall. If it doesn't shatter, it'll burn the shroud and possibly divert the unit off course (if dense enough). AFTER which you will have to 'vent to outside' a system which has still likely accumulated heat on the order of hundreds of degrees just from the magnets. So that instead of striking the match you are ramming it head first.

3. Accel.
Depending on whether you're on French, Chinese or American systems, anything which goes up is going to be doing between 6 and 12G. Maybe 15 at the outside. And it is a pretty rough ride (truck on washboard) because whether solid or liquid there are always going to be residual effects of hot gas pressure wavefronts expanding and interacting with each other within the overall mixing and plenum area in ways that are chaotic to say the least.
Yet compare this to the equivalent of a gun launched projectile with CONSTANT loadings for HOURS on the order of 2-3,000G whipping around that seven klick circle at roughly once per second and you're gonna have to design everything on the satellite around axial loads sufficient to withstand the centrifical forces involved. i.e. Reinvent satellite design and up it's structural:mission weight fractions by a good 10-20%.

CONCLUSION:
Another pipe dream. Especially if ANYTHING which has been said about the XB-70 type 'Mothership' and small-orbiter TAV are true. At best, this system could serve as -maybe- a cheap lower stage replacement. Taking the satellite package up to HARP equivalent altitudes (35-50nm) where you can perhaps reduce the total fuel and engine staging penalties for launch to a more acceptable level (again, 10-20%). The problem then being that I would use a light gas concept and Christmas Tree configuration to pump a linear acceleration track up a fixed slope rather than waste my time doing the roundy-roundy with an idiot-endemic EML system.

Plumbing is easy. Electrical is hard.

Even then, you'd likely need about four of these things just to get all the likely orbital inclinations covered. And this would still be a _LEO Only_ system.

If you wanted to OTV them up to a higher mechanic, you would have to have another system, (Solar Sailer would be elegant but a tailored expendable CRV is more likely) probably constructed and certainly /fueled/ (uh ohhh, HLV problem again) in orbit.

With which to rendezvous and decouple/recouple the payload. Adding another level of value at risk trades for damage.

Since we have effectively abandoned the ISS to serve as little more than a bloody Killroy Was Here proof of ego; the question becomes one of 'what do you expect to do that is useful'?

All the bigger comms and quite a few recce platforms are now shifting to high or Geo orbits, just to get the coverage at cost needed while at least /pretending/ to be beyond the reach of earth based DEWS.


KPl.



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 05:11 PM
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Sorry Ch1466...most of the missle silos on which I have worked are on submarines. Either the Tomahawk versions or the SSBN boats. Mobile launch platforms.

The scenerio you are describing on a merchant ships is also a mobile platform..not fixed.

Fixed launch platforms are easily located by overheads. I know this because one of the jobs with which we are tasked is to cover the wheels/propellors/propulsors on the boats we put in drydocks. This is one of the first prioritys due to satelllite overheads.

In the future ..mobile is the way to go.

You are correct about what happens when doing a run up on this kind of device...both in the arenas of heat and any error which takes place can be a catastrophy waiting to happen.
I dont recall what escape velocity is precisely but some 15,000 mph comes to mind. That is a very high velocity. Any error or malfunction would be tragic...even at half this speed. It is tragic when it happens under current launch protocals.

Seems to me I recall reading that years ago there was some experimentation going on in the arena of launching smaller payloads into orbit from a missle slung under the wing of a B52 mother type ship. The theory being that tremendous amounts of fuel were necessary under the current launch methods just to get a payload up to say...50 or 75 thousand feet. This is where the bulk of the fuels are burned up ..just to get the payload off the ground.
Anyway some experiments were being done in this arena but the information dried up on it quickly. I dont know if it was practical problems or politics/job securuity. The storys about this system of launch seemed to die out very quickly.

Thanks,
Orangetom



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