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Kinetic Bombardment

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posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 07:03 AM
In the 1950's an early version of Reagan's infamous 'Strategic Defence Initiative' was envisioned. It was called BAMBI, and stood for Ballistic Missile Boost Intercept. It was essentially a constellation of very small orbiting satellites that had rocket boosters and primitive IR tracking heads that were supposed to home in on Soviet nuclear missiles during their boost stage, when they were slowest moving and producing the most heat.

With the advent of the SDI, this BAMBI program was resurrected as a program called 'Smart Rocks,' where satellites housed the weapons and dropped them. From here the program kept moving forward until it was more like the BAMBI program once again, with individual weapons floating around in space once again. This program was called 'Brilliant Pebbles.'

In the early/mid 1950's there was another program called Project Thor, named after the hammer-wielding Norse god who could rain metal death down as he pleased. It reportedly originated from a U.S.A.F. research project, and is basically summed up as 'an orbiting tungsten telephone pole with small fins and a computer in the back for guidance.'
Once given the launch command, a satellite would drop the the 'pole,' which would then speed up until going at orbital velocity, around 9 kilometres a second. At this speed, when it hit a ground based target, it would have the explosive equivalent of a small-yield nuclear weapon, and would also have great penetrating power because of it's long, thin profile.
This program was the first example of what we now call 'kinetic bombardment,' using dense objects travelling at very high speeds to eliminate targets without the need of explosives.

Another program along the same lines was initiated in the early 80's, and was called either officially or unofficially 'Rods from God'.
The system worked on the same principles as the Thor program, but was obviously a lot more accurate, and could be likened to an earth-penetrating nuclear weapon, like the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator.
The rods, 1 foot thick and 20 long, would be able to hit almost any target on the Earth's surface, with a minimum time from when the order was given to when the projectile struck of about 15 minutes.

A rail gun simply consists of two rails, poles if you will, that you place a metal projectile in between. If you apply a positive charge to the base of one rail, and a negative charge to the other, the projectile completes the circuit, and acting on the Lorentz force, this moves the projectile up the rails. Rail guns can propel things to incredible speeds, along the lines of 65,600 feet per second. For comparison, the bullet from an M-16 leaves the barrel going at 3, 200 f/ps.

There are a number of problems associated with rail guns. Massive amounts of power are needed to operate rail guns, and wear of the rails themselves must be taken into account. This wear is probably the main obstacle designers have to deal with. As the projectile is flying up the rails, the rails bend outward because of the same magnetic forces that are propelling the projectile forward. As the space between the rails and the projectile increases, electrical arcing occurs, which vaporizes the rail surface and renders the rail inoperable. This problem is mainly an engineering one: rails must be developed that must be highly conductive, but that also cannot bend outward. The United States military has made some major steps forward in this area.

There has been some talk that rail guns could be used to propel satellites into orbit. An obvious problem with this would be that the satellite, and all it's delicate internal components, would be exposed to exceptionally high g-forces, which would surely have destroyed anything we have put into orbit so far.
But if a satellite were to not have delicate internal components, and was made robust enough to withstand the g-forces, then theoretically a rail gun could propel it to escape velocity, and project it up on a computed angle so that it could 'slot' into an orbit.

The reason that I am talking about all this is because a member of ATS - he has requested that his name not be mentioned (so any of you who might have an idea please do not say anything) - has claimed that he is part of a project being run by a branch of the Japanese Self Defence Force that involves lofting three hundred and forty - yes, 340 - satellites into orbit using a very large, very special rail gun.
He was officially told that the satellites would be used as a defensive measure against an Extinction Level Event asteroid, but has been led to believe otherwise.

He says that two satellites are in orbit already, both test versions of what is to come. All 340 of the satellites will be armoured to the extent that they 'can withstand any current anti-satelite weapons,' using his words.
Each of the satellites will be carrying 500 iron-cored depleted uranium rounds, coated in silicon. They are reportedly slightly bigger than a golf ball.
One of these rounds has been test 'fired' into Russia and left a crater 100 metres wide and 40 deep (110 by 44 yards).

There will be 15 hours between each launch, as it takes 14+ hours to charge the rail gun before each launch.
He says the rail gun for the launch of the first real operational version of the satellite has already begun charging, and at GMT 6:28am on the 17th, he said there was approximately 13 hours, 23 minutes until the rail gun would be ready to fire, which translates to GMT 8:00pm on the 17th, which is in exactly 6 hours as I write this.

I think and hope this guy is playing me for the fool here, but what do other members think of this? I thought that this was worth bringing up, at the risk of looking a fool.
He says the project is called 'SS-2391.'

[edit on 17/1/2007 by watch_the_rocks]

posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 11:53 AM
Do you have an idea of the speed of the bullet ? A 100 m wide 40 m deep crater seems very big to me. Do we have an expert on ATS who can tell if this seems feasible. You said the bullet was fired in Russia. So is this an international anti-asteroid cooperation ?

posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 02:41 PM
A lot more energy then just doing a kenetic drop of this DU golf ball, that is for sure. And more energy then any orbiting satellite I think would be capable of inducing into a firing system.

I am all for kenetic bombardment, but it has limited tactical applications. You really have to go for hard stationary targets or wide arrays of sensitive equipment, such as a radar dish array field. Where you dont want to blow the place up just disable it from functioning. Its hard to move stationary buildings so fixed missle sites, communication towers, command control buildings, pumping stations etc basically high value infrastructure targets that could be easily damaged by raining down debris over them.

mass x velocity - friction = kenetic energy joules

for such a large crater 110 x 40 of average tundra there should be a base formula maybe 100,000 lbs of tnt equivalent. So convert that to joules and then play with the kenetic energy formula to see what the terminal speed and mass seem reasonable to create such a damage field.

I would say use a mass of 2 to 3 lbs (maybe its bigger then a golf ball) and see what the velocity you need to reach a large value of joules equal to the destructive power required to blow a massive hole in the ground.

The velocity is greater then railgun speeds for sure.

Added note, even when firing DU through the atmosphere at hyper velocity, a large percentage of the mass is going to be in a heated liquified state making your projectile a penetrator not an explosive.

The tungsten telephone pole works because the forend is heated and has a penetration value followed behind a mass which would cause extensive impact damage.

[edit on 17-1-2007 by robertfenix]

posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 10:44 PM
I'd like to add somnethign that I've been thinking about.

With the mass driver system, you could have a hybrid system in which
the mass driver propels the launch vehicle to a certain altitutde, and
than have on-board rocket engines kick in, and since the mass driver
will have been able to propel it a good ways up, the rockets and fuel
could be diminished by a significant amount.

posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 12:38 AM

"watch_the_rocks" Says:
He was officially told that the satellites would be used as a defensive measure against an Extinction Level Event asteroid, but has been led to believe otherwise.

Maybe I missed this, but would you please elaborate on what you think the "other" purposes of such "satellites" might be?

posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 01:00 AM
Obviously, other uses would include using the 30, 000 rounds to destroy targets on the earths surface. Did you really need ask?

posted on Jan, 20 2007 @ 01:03 AM

"watch_the_rocks" Says:
He was officially told that the satellites would be used as a defensive measure against an Extinction Level Event asteroid, but has been led to believe otherwise.

Obviously, other uses would include using the 30, 000 rounds to destroy targets on the earths surface. Did you really need ask?

You are right, I have to apologize, I didn't explain the question that I was asking in great detail. After re-reading the post, I see what you mean.

Well I think what I meant was, what led him to realize the truth, that "all of a sudden something tells him that this was not the original purpose". From the description you make, it's "obvious" that this was the original intent. So why would your friend be led to believe that X was the purpose then suddenly realize that Y was really the purpose. Again from your description Y was obviously the purpose, however, he was misled. How was he misled.

Do you expect us to believe that he unintentionally helped deploy such a "weapon system" without knowing what he was doing? He either was misled or knew, which was it? How was he misled?

Did something happen to your nameless friend that would have changed a preconceived notion of what was planned? Was he threatened? Did somebody leak some additional information? Or did he intentionally assist in its construction knowing full well the intent without advocating his discontent? Was he not in a position to advocate its construction (could he have disagreed, disbanded, or disappeared?)

~Wants to advocated and advertise construction, then separate from responsibility. I think I might understand anonymity.~

posted on May, 20 2012 @ 02:33 PM
For the god rod, why are the rods made of titanium, and not another substance?

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