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Re: [FT] Railgun Goals

From: Thomas Barclay <Thomas.Barclay@s...>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 14:18:21 -0500
Subject: Re: [FT] Railgun Goals

Thomas spake thusly upon matters weighty: 

> On Wed, 25 Nov 1998, Sean Bayan Schoonmaker wrote:
> > Perhaps before we get too far along any one trail for our K'V
> > discussion, we should establish some general goals.
> very sensible. a pre-argument argument!
> > 1) The "To-Hit" mechanic should reflect a projectile flavor. In my
> > that means performance should be relatively constant out to a given
> > and then drop off quickly.
> this may play well, but as physics it is pretty groundless.
> WARNING: what follows is fairly simple algebra etc, but it is
> probably badly-though out and deeply incorrect. it also makes lots of
> unjustifiable assumptions which are never clearly defined.
> the hit probability should fall off with the fourth power of range.

I'm skeptical about some of the math on the way here. But it seems to 
be on the order of magnitude I'd expect. 

In truth, if your target envelope is a sphere, and your railgun burst 
through it has a spherical cross section (an approximation of sorts), 
is seems likely the burst will	generate a truncated-tip conical path 
volume through the volume of space we call the target envelope. The 
ratio of the volume of this conical path to the total size of the 
target envelope volume may be something that defines the hit-miss 
result. It isn't that obvious though, because it isn't strictly a 
relation of these two volumes. But your intial work seems to assume 
no spread. 

Even beams gravitically focused will have spread. In the 
FFS (Traveller) construction system, gravitic focus was postulated 
for beams as a requirement as no mechanical focus was of sufficient 
accuracy. So the spread of the pattern may have something to do with 
changing the area of the shot pattern. And that is an *unplanned* 
variance - let's call that modified choke. You may be able to control 
the choke of your shot pattern to make it very wide at close range, 
for PDS and for good hit probs. 

Gaming Note: Interesting trade would be a mechanic that lets you 
palsy the damage in exchange for better hit probs. 

> > 4) Mass should be relatively low, and point cost should be
relatively high.
> i don't see why massdrivers should be smaller than beam batteries; if
> anything, i would say they are larger but cheaper.

Depends on relative energy requirements. Which I can't begin to 
> excellent methodology. maybe we should submit the list for ISO 9000
> process quality certification?

I'm in the middle of a 9001 Audit. You don't want that - you'll never 
rest comfortably again....
Thomas Barclay		     
Voice: (613) 831-2018 x 4009
Fax: (613) 831-8255

 "C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot.  C++ makes
 it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg."
 -Bjarne Stroustrup

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