The physics of space battle

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Post by the-anger on Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:21 am

brain melting is normal. we have opened the quantum can of worms (or have we). Schrodinger's worms...

i think it's still fine so long as we don't need to discuss the physics of brain melting...
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Post by Nightwing on Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:29 pm

Abstractness wrote:I didn't know Solar wind is a usefull powersource.

If you've seen Star Wars, In one scene, Count Dooku's ship uses a solar sail to move. That is a completely unpowered, passive propulsion system, but it is effective. There are many more examples, but it would take too long to get into them...

The sun is also essentially a gigantic nuclear reactor, with the same risks that would be present if a nuclear reactor on earth melted down. Chernobyl or Fukushima-Daichi anyone?

The solar wind is pretty much pure radiation. The main components of solar wind are photons (Light) and gamma radiation (Which can kill...). If Earth didn't have a magnetic field, it would be a barren wasteland, since it couldn't deflect the solar particles.
Look at Mars to see what could happen: Mars used to be almost Earthlike, but it's core was too small to maintain the protective magnetic field. Once the magnetic field died, the solar wind essentially boiled away the atmosphere and water of Mars. Scary.

On another note: Did you know that you can actually SEE the solar wind with the naked eye?
Here's how: Go up into space, and close your eyes. You should see tiny blue streaks darting around in your eyeballs. This is caused by the solar particles interacting with the fluid in your eyes... Pretty cool, if you ask me...
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Post by Loki on Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:54 pm

Nightwing wrote:
Abstractness wrote:I didn't know Solar wind is a usefull powersource.

If you've seen Star Wars, In one scene, Count Dooku's ship uses a solar sail to move. That is a completely unpowered, passive propulsion system, but it is effective. There are many more examples, but it would take too long to get into them...

I wouldn't consider George Lucas a credible expert on astrophysics...
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Post by Nightwing on Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:57 pm

Loki wrote:I wouldn't consider George Lucas a credible expert on astrophysics...

I wasn't saying he was. I was just pointing out one of the many uses for solar wind...
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Post by Abstractness on Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:14 pm

Nightwing wrote:
Abstractness wrote:I didn't know Solar wind is a usefull powersource.
The solar wind is pretty much pure radiation. The main components of solar wind are photons (Light) and gamma radiation (Which can kill...). If Earth didn't have a magnetic field, it would be a barren wasteland, since it couldn't deflect the solar particles.
Fail: Solar wind only consists of the charged particles. Photons aren't charged and aren't part of the solar wind. Gamma rays are photons too. I was aware that photons are useful for pushing solar sails, but the solar wind is about 2000 times weaker, hence almost useless. Solar wind, solar sail, It can be confusing.
Nightwing wrote:
On another note: Did you know that you can actually SEE the solar wind with the naked eye?
All I know, is the green Aurora Borealis which is caused by the solar wind hitting the magnetosphere:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG0fTKAqZ5g (watch in full HD)
about at 1:20. This is of course also visible from the ground if you live in the polar regions.
Nightwing wrote:
Here's how: Go up into space, and close your eyes. You should see tiny blue streaks darting around in your eyeballs. This is caused by the solar particles interacting with the fluid in your eyes... Pretty cool, if you ask me...
Fail: These flashes are caused by cosmic rays which mainly come from supernovae instead of our sun: sunny
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_ray_visual_phenomena
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Post by the-anger on Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:22 am

the sun-as-a-nuclear-reactor analogy is not exactly correct. the sun's internal process is nuclear fusion, due to the intense heat and pressure at the core with an abundance of light elements (up to iron). our reactors on earth utilize nuclear fission of very heavy elements, and the fission process is throttled by neutron-absorbing control rods.

meltdown occurs when the fission process goes out of control and depending on the circumstances you may or may not see a nuclear explosion...

nuclear fusion reactors are something else... once you are able to start the reaction, the fusion rate has to be fast enough to maintain the ridiculous heat and pressure under which fusion can occur. if that somehow got out of control the rate of fusion would likely follow suit and result in a fantastic cement block centuries later as a monument of "don't". but far more likely is that the reaction would damage the containment equipment, the plasma escapes damaging the reactor and possibly the immediate area around it. but, if the reaction were to suddenly accelerate enough it may just fuse all the fuel before the containment broke, quite possibly erasing the continent the reactor was on.

physics...
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Post by Abstractness on Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:02 pm

I posted an insane aircraft design here: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=705635
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Post by Loki on Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:43 pm

Abstractness wrote:I posted an insane aircraft design here: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=705635
"You just be logged in to view this page."

Got a screen cap you can post here?
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Post by Abstractness on Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:00 pm

Note that this sketch represents the entire aircraft.
Also the aircraft may be much longer than in the sketch.

The physics of space battle - Page 5 Hypers10
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Post by Loki on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:49 am

Needed a second look after my coffee started working Wink

You're proposing a flying wing that rides it's own compression wave inferno? How is this not cool?

Got some questions and confirmations on operation;
Inertia and gas pressure keeps the fuel pressed against the rear of the tank? Presumably you would stop cooling the fuel once you reached cruising altitude; it'll start boiling on it's own from there, though once you got it compressed inside the tank, all you may have to do is close the fuel valve and open it when you need it.
Seems like you'd have to maintain a very fine balance between fast enough and not too fast to keep the ignited fuel from expanding beyond the fuselage. Am I missing something here? No actual measurements or angles to compare too.
How do you get it up to speed to begin with? Standard turbine thrust? Rocket boosters?
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Post by Abstractness on Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:17 am

Loki wrote:Needed a second look after my coffee started working Wink

You're proposing a flying wing that rides it's own compression wave inferno?  How is this not cool?
I didn't even think about wings, because at those speeds the fuselage should provide enough lift.
It has a pointy nose in the front and a toroidal aerospike in the back.
Loki wrote:
Got some questions and confirmations on operation;
Inertia and gas pressure keeps the fuel pressed against the rear of the tank?  Presumably you would stop cooling the fuel once you reached cruising altitude; it'll start boiling on it's own from there, though once you got it compressed inside the tank, all you may have to do is close the fuel valve and open it when you need it.
Seems like you'd have to maintain a very fine balance between fast enough and not too fast to keep the ignited fuel from expanding beyond the fuselage.  Am I missing something here?  No actual measurements or angles to compare too.
How do you get it up to speed to begin with?  Standard turbine thrust?  Rocket boosters?
you could use a ramjet stage to achieve mach five, or alternatively and more violent:
you could also use a ram accelerator to start out with mach five:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1399/1046415745_2a0b63eabd_o.jpg
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Post by Loki on Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:42 pm

If there's no wings, what are you using for control surfaces? Or will some ailerons on the fuselage suffice?

Have you considered this method for launching materials into orbit? Getting it up to Mach 6 will put it in the mid-range for orbital speed.

This is quickly becoming a vessel for transporting robust, non-living materials if you're using the ram accelerator lol
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Post by Abstractness on Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:36 pm

Loki wrote:Inertia and gas pressure keeps the fuel pressed against the rear of the tank?  Presumably you would stop cooling the fuel once you reached cruising altitude; it'll start boiling on it's own from there, though once you got it compressed inside the tank, all you may have to do is close the fuel valve and open it when you need it.
Seems like you'd have to maintain a very fine balance between fast enough and not too fast to keep the ignited fuel from expanding beyond the fuselage.  Am I missing something here?
No, confirmed.
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Post by Viking Jack on Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:09 pm

the aircraft isn't that crazy in fact it reminds me to that experimental WW2 plane the bachem Ba349 aka ''the natter'' made like the V1 bombs.
i think you should add a less powerfull auxiliary engine along retractable wings for takeoff and landing and leave the main engine for cruising

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Post by Abstractness on Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:53 pm

Jack, you see that the fuel flows all over the cockpit and half the fuselage is covered in flames, right ?
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Post by Viking Jack on Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:11 pm

thats why i said ''retractable wings'' not fixed ones once the plane takes off and reachs a good altitude it opens the fuel valve, the wings store themselves inside the plane and the main engine starts like i said the wings and auxiliary engine are just for landing and takeoff

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Post by Abstractness on Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:16 pm

Loki wrote:If there's no wings, what are you using for control surfaces?  Or will some ailerons on the fuselage suffice?
yes, at those speeds very small control surfaces should suffice to fly straight.
Loki wrote:Have you considered this method for launching materials into orbit?  Getting it up to Mach 6 will put it in the mid-range for orbital speed.
I have no idea how good it would work.
Loki wrote:This is quickly becoming a vessel for transporting robust, non-living materials if you're using the ram accelerator lol
Yes, the nice thing about it is, that it has already the right shape for the ram accelerator.
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Post by Viking Jack on Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:38 am

i still think your plane would make a nice interceptor if the retractable wings im thinking that the way some insects like the ladybugs use store their wings might work along with a conventional engine at the rear just for takeoff and landing operations

also you can always use it as a parasite plane and make some bigger plane drop it in midair if you don't like the wings idea another insane idea i have is using some kind of magnetic hooks in the mother plane for your plane to be recovered after a flight just like the old zeppelins with the biplanes

as for alternative control methods could it be possible to use a gyroscope just like the germans V2 rocket used?

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Post by Abstractness on Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:52 pm

Viking Jack wrote:i still think your plane would make a nice interceptor if the retractable wings im thinking that the way some insects like the ladybugs use store their wings might work along with a conventional engine at the rear just for takeoff and landing operations

also you can always use it as a parasite plane and make some bigger plane drop it in midair
Yes why not.
Viking Jack wrote:
if you don't like the wings idea another insane idea i have is using some kind of magnetic hooks in the mother plane for your plane to be recovered after a flight just like the old zeppelins with the biplanes.
Currently I don't even know if it would be possible to slow down my plane, because if you close the fuel valve, you have no cooling in the front and maybe everything blows up. If it is possible to slow down maybe the magnetic hook works, but I doubt you'll find a pilot who's bad-ass enough for this mission. I mean the docking would still happen at an insane speed.

Viking Jack wrote:as for alternative control methods could it be possible to use a gyroscope just like the germans V2 rocket used?
I think the gyroscope there was only a sensor for the control system, wasn't it?
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Post by Viking Jack on Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:21 pm

the gyroscope in the V2 was mostly used to maintain the rocket in course idk how exactly but the germans made the calculations on the gyroscope before launching the rocket then this one would keep the rocket flying straight to its target and then alter the course but to tell the truth i don't really know very much about how it worked

unless you can find a way to jettison the remaining fuel or send it elsewhere like a conventional engine i say yeah you are screwed:p anyway both ways fuel dumping and sending it elsewhere would work when it comes to droping and docking on a magnetic hook would be as easy as refueling in midair


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Post by Nightwing on Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:47 am

In the 'Honor Harrington' books, one of my favorite portrayals of a naval war in space, the ships are propelled by manipulating gravitational forces into wedges. These wedges are completely impenetrable, but due to the physics of the wedges, the front and back ends of the ships are open.
Ships are also optimized for old-style broadside combat.
A captains worst nightmare would be for an enemy ship to cross their 'T' and be subject to a full 'down the throat' or 'up the kilt' shot, where the only protections are conventional metal armor.
Missiles have a smaller but much more powerful version of the wedge drive, and anti missile defenses involve launching other missiles. The purpose of this is that if any wedges collide, it will completely annihilate both missiles. Even if one missile has no wedge, the gravitational forces will be sufficient to rip the enemy missile apart.

My point is this: If we could somehow manipulate gravity like that, space combat would be a cool proposition.
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Post by Abstractness on Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:22 am

First "scientific" paper which mentions my name somewhere:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6V3R1KJVnc_WlNUX1VyRjF4d0U
Since those artilects will build an exoplanetary base independently from us, maybe this will trigger an interstellar war.
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