Laser Guns or Rail Gun

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posted on May, 19 2004 @ 07:12 PM
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The problem with railguns is the damage to the rails.

And yet another problem we haven't even addressed with rail guns. I wracked my brain over this one for a couple of days and came up with some possible solutions. First thing (and kind of obvious to me) would be to pump liquid nitrogen or some other cooling agent through the rails prior to firing to at least minimize the damage from plasma etching (which is a product of arcing). Second thing to do is to cool the bolt and shuttle (an optional conductive piece that holds the actual projectile) by immersing them in a cooling agent. Next thing would be to put little resiviors of coolant on the contact edges of the shuttle to help with very localized arcing and keeping the temp down.

About damage done by a rail gun: a lot matters on the design of the the bolt/projectile. For instance, if you wanted a bolt that minimized air drag and maximized distance as well as penetrating power, you would make it very thin and tapered. But if you wanted one that created a fairly large sonic boom over a shorter distance and put large holes in things, you would design it to look like a pellet from a pellet gun. A large somic boom would be good for distracting/deafening troops.

But really, you just can't beat the coolness factor of a rail gun.




posted on May, 20 2004 @ 07:03 AM
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Originally posted by devilwasp
intelgurl u got there b fore me
a rail gun would cause a great amount of damage imagine getting hit by something so fast that by the time u scream the bullets gone and ur limb is missing


RAILGUNS are science-fiction, G.

Anyway, RAilguns and lasers have no interestes in the actual Urban Guerilla context.

They want to make a Space based laser to remotely kill anybody they want, where they want, when they...

I don't like this idea, and anyway, they don't have the technology yet to use lasers on a battle ground :

Okay here's some quote of Bob YAMAMOTO, project responsible on military solid state lasers at Lawrence Livermore laboratory :



"... The lasers of the battle field will have to be rather compact and mobiles to enter the tail of a helicopter, the belly of a jet or on the back seat of Humvee. "


But for Mike Campbell, an expert out of lasers of General Atomics?San Diego :


"If we had them today, they'd be at the former Saddam Hussein International Airport, making sure no one gets off a shoulder-launched missile at an aircraft," said Mike Campbell, a laser expert at General Atomics in San Diego.
."


Of course, actually, lasers are "near perfection weapons"; able to destroy everything on a battle ground, even tanks armors. To get perfections, they need to be automatized, but, for an ethical reason, experts don't think that automatize lasers weapons is a good idea :


"When you develop the capability to track, target and destroy something in a second, then the temptation to remove humans from the decision cycle becomes very great," said Loren Thompson, chief operating officer at the Lexington Institute, an Arlington, Va.-based defense think tank.


About the snuper use of lasers :

"It would be a very long-range, ultra-accurate sniper rifle," suggests John Pike, a weapons expert and director of GlobalSecurity.org.


About railguns :

"They would have substantial surplus capability for some power-hungry weapon of the future, and whether that would be a laser or a microwave gun or a rail gun isn't certain," said GlobalSecurity's Pike


And :


But forget about "Star Wars" and blaster pistols knifing the air with multi-colored beams. Visible lasers so far don't pack sufficient punch over distance to be useful weapons.

The laser battlefield will be largely invisible. Targets will explode, break apart in midair or burst into flame without apparent cause.

Soldiers won't buckle themselves into a laser cannon. The earliest battle laser systems are designed to defend U.S. troops and aircraft against airborne shells and missiles. That means computerized systems for tracking, targeting and firing faster than humans can react.

And the world's first laser weapons won't be worn on the hip: The most technically mature candidates are sprawling monstrosities weighing 50 tons and filling the better part of a Boeing 747 or, in the case of Northrop's MTHEL, a full-sized drug store, backed by chemical tanks or factories to recharge the lasers.


And anyway :


"You have to get these lasers out in the field to see if they work. If you hit a bump in the road, do they hold up? Do you need five Ph.D.s to make them work?" said General Atomics' Campbell.


And for the conclusion, the game ain't played yet :


"I'm sure there will be many games to be played in measures and countermeasures and counter-countermeasures," said Northrop's Scwartz.


Quotes form :

Oakland Tribune October 19, 2003
Warfare at the speed of light
By Ian Hoffman

Link to the full article :
www.globalsecurity.org...



[Edited on 20-5-2004 by Nans DESMICHELS]



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 12:17 PM
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nans rail guns exist and are operational today
mabye not in the military just yet but they are in civie street
nice qoutes but i still think railguns and such are gona be in use mabye not next 10 years but soon



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 11:06 AM
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Intergurl, while I appreciate your input, I think you are missing the real world practical application of the laser weapon.

YES of course I agree with the mega laser platform for such things as ICBM shoot down, battelfield protection etc.

But I am 100% sure that within the next 6 years there will be a compact Chemical energy source that will power a sniper type weapon, ie something portable by a two man fire team. This weapon system might replace the old TOW fire by wire, Anti-Tank system.

I know there has been work done with Argon in the past and I feel there is a new "isotope" waiting in the wings that has a radical energy decay pattern that can be tapped as a reactive medium to be used as a power source. The heat exchange is needed only at the power generation point ie the "power pack" and not the weapon itself.



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 01:41 PM
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Originally posted by robertfenix
Intergurl, while I appreciate your input, I think you are missing the real world practical application of the laser weapon.


I'm all about real world applications... and in the real world there doesn't seem to be any current projects dealing with actual deployment of a laser system specific to sniping - (other than sighting the target).
There is research ongoing in this area and it could be that you are referring to that...

If a laser sniping weapon were to be under development it would more than likely be a solid state laser due to the fact it could get it's power from an electrical supply rather than a chemical reaction, it would therefore be safer in the field and due to it's size be more mobile and concealable - both very important to a sniping application.


But I am 100% sure that within the next 6 years there will be a compact Chemical energy source that will power a sniper type weapon, ie something portable by a two man fire team. This weapon system might replace the old TOW fire by wire, Anti-Tank system.


A sniping weapon and a TOW anti-tank missile are two very different systems for very different applications.


I know there has been work done with Argon in the past and I feel there is a new "isotope" waiting in the wings that has a radical energy decay pattern that can be tapped as a reactive medium to be used as a power source. The heat exchange is needed only at the power generation point ie the "power pack" and not the weapon itself.


Argon lasers are rare gas ion lasers, are you just guessing at this or do you have a specific project name or info?

The use of isotopes to produce energy on the battlefield whether in a chemical laser reaction process or as an isotope in a nuclear reactor powering a solid state laser presents some very undesireable probabilities in a rugged battlefield situation and you cannot imagine how irresponsible deploying such a thing would be.

Additionally an isotope would require heavy shielding to protect the users of the weapon, you would almost be better off to throw the weapon at the enemy, the radioactivity they would be subjected to would certainly be just as fatal as the laser itself.



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 02:52 PM
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It just doesnt make sense to use a laser as a anti personal weapon. Yes lasers are fast, but bullet can do the same job more quickly and is much more cheaper. Also remember laser beam cannot penetrate smoke or sometimes dust. It is simply too expensive, heavy, too sofisticated personal weapon. Lasers are good for targeting, shooting down misiles or blinding sensors.
Personaly I think if some energy weapon will be fielded, it will be some kind of microwave weapon. Now US forces have fielded microwave pain beams (nonlethal) but this weapon can be easily modified and used as lethal weapon (and it could be very ugly and efective weapon causing the water in your cells will cook off and for example if you are hit to the arm your arm could simply explode.) Microwaves can go through the smoke and don't need such high power input and cooling like lasers. The firing device could also have various microwave beam configurations(simply by changing frequency and power input) - for example nonlethal pain beams, nonlethal knocking down beams (will make you unconsious), or lethal beams. It could be also used to jamm/fry electronics. So some kind of universal weapon (or Star Trek phaser/disurptor).

[Edited on 21-5-2004 by longbow]



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 11:36 PM
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i think a rail gun is just as effective as a tank shell........striking distance might be better but who needs to strike from 10000 miles? rail guns might be integrated when we are fighting with mechs



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 06:33 AM
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oh its more effective than a shell this things exit hole from a tank will be massive probably fit your head through it



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by SiRiNO
A laser in use would look pretty cool, but you cant beat the insane speed of a railgun projectile


Last I heard they had mounted an experimental railgun on a battleship, pretty big.


I could be wrong but I thought high powered lasers would travel the speed of light?

Can anyone confirm this?



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by gooking

I could be wrong but I thought high powered lasers would travel the speed of light?

Can anyone confirm this?


Of course. And not only high powered ... Every laser.
LASER BEAMS ARE LIGHT.

[Edited on 22-5-2004 by longbow]



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 01:37 PM
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Lazer gun...they wouldn't need bullets,but would need power of some kind, so humm..dunno



posted on May, 22 2004 @ 06:42 PM
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he does have a point about mechs though as conventional canons would be near unusable because of the risk of the kickback knocking the mech over(funny picture I know:lol
. Rail guns or other non-chemically driven projectile launchers would largely negate this with the added bonus of more precise aiming.



posted on May, 28 2004 @ 02:01 AM
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Originally posted by kogigaiden
i think a rail gun is just as effective as a tank shell........striking distance might be better but who needs to strike from 10000 miles? rail guns might be integrated when we are fighting with mechs



Originally posted by devilwasp
oh its more effective than a shell this things exit hole from a tank will be massive probably fit your head through it


A top'o'the line RG's projectile can travel over 8km/s There wouldn't be a hole in a tank, that kind of force would cause the tank to buckle in on itself like a tin can. It also would not be stationary it would most likely go flying through the air. In a recent test a 2.5 ft long slug 8 inches in diameter was shot at a 4 ft thick solid steel target 2 miles out. Upon impact the slug not only penetrated 3 something feet into the steel it crumpled around the impact point and turned into a secondary projectile ripping it off it's foundation and traveling an additional 213ft at an estimated 143mph. The RG itself took up roughly the same square footage as a small two-story house in the US. The power drain to fire that one slug was so immense it blacked out a gas station on the highway some 5 or six miles away, oh and it wasn't powered by the lines it had its own minature power plant but was partly connected for other reasons. Also the EMP that was discharged shut down all eletrical equipment for at least a 300 foot radius. Further more the rails (which were Oxygen Free Copper and hydrogen cooled) where partially melted, rated at a melting point over 1000 C and a Heat Capacity of .385 C.

As far as Mechs go it would be a good application for them to use, and be used against. Given there isn't any EMP or a way to protect the Mech from one.

The Rail Gun is a real weapon and it is devastating beyond any kind of projectile weapon we have seen. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we don't have the resources and technology to make it a battlefield used system.

So yeah-my vote is for the RG



[Edited on 28-5-2004 by Lythium]



posted on May, 28 2004 @ 02:53 AM
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In a United States Army test, 5 or 6 WW2 Sherman Tanks were placed side by side of each other. One railgun round was fired at the broad sides and went through all the tanks...when the final tank turret was opened, superheated gasses expelled from it heated the tanks insides by 450 degrees.



posted on May, 28 2004 @ 03:12 AM
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Yeah I remember hearing about that test-it was done on the salt flats wasnt it. Also if I'm not mistaken they never found the projectile...



posted on May, 28 2004 @ 03:29 AM
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I'm not quite sure...but in retrospect, I think it may have been in the salt flats.



posted on May, 28 2004 @ 12:10 PM
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Ok I went through some good ole DOD files I have-as few and far between as they come-found some interesting info

In a report written in 1999-

The reported cost to manufacture AND FIRE ONE TIME-

75,473,691 roughly 40% for maunfacturing (this isn't including research just manufacturing costs) and 60% for firing one round.

Average weight-

35 tons

ROF-

Inconclusive, They keep melting the rails

Average PSI of surface presure during impact with target-

Inconclusive, Basically they have nothing to go by but calculated estimations. Seems the EMP produced knocks out all DCI's and cameras. And so they are left with what their guess is.

Also at the end of the report is a statement saying that the currently it's too expensive to use for battlefield s however would fit nicely within our SatDef Programs.



posted on May, 28 2004 @ 12:18 PM
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imagine the use of it in space!
now in space u can build it as long and as big as u want
now imagine firing a small nuke from the railgun at a meteorite ....ouch
no air friction,no plasma behind it =clean simple.
now ud have to be pretty damm precise about the aiming but if u got it right then wow uv got a good anti asteroid gun



posted on May, 28 2004 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by devilwasp
imagine the use of it in space!
now in space u can build it as long and as big as u want
now imagine firing a small nuke from the railgun at a meteorite ....ouch
no air friction,no plasma behind it =clean simple.
now ud have to be pretty damm precise about the aiming but if u got it right then wow uv got a good anti asteroid gun

.
If you want to use a nuke against asteroids you don't need the railgun. You can use traditional rocket it is cheaper and can be guided.



posted on May, 28 2004 @ 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by devilwasp
imagine the use of it in space!
now in space u can build it as long and as big as u want
now imagine firing a small nuke from the railgun at a meteorite ....ouch
no air friction,no plasma behind it =clean simple.
now ud have to be pretty damm precise about the aiming but if u got it right then wow uv got a good anti asteroid gun


Aye that you do- it would certainly do the job-my only wonder is what would happen on impact. I mean you projectile would have to be huge, even if it was a warhead. Just all that force up there-talk about entertainment...

[Edited on 28-5-2004 by Lythium]





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