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Re: Space Geography

From: Robert N Bryett <rbryett@g...>
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2011 10:24:41 +1000
Subject: Re: Space Geography

On 25/09/2011, at 06:46 , Tom B wrote:

> c) Stealth: I'm thinking that a ship ought to be able (with a minimal
PSB) to be able sink heat locally for some time. This is why I proposed
a short period (12, 24, 48 hours) where a ship can have thermal stealth.

How exactly, without resorting to chanting-druids-in-the-engine-room
physics? If you're going to propose heat-sinks of some kind (ice
tanks?), just what mass are you going to ascribe to them, bearing in
mind the rather considerable energy they're going to have to absorb?
What will be the implications of that mass for propulsion, manoeuvre,
etc. when compared with ships that do not have to dedicate mass to
heat-sinks? Bear in mind also that your cold sinks will warm up as they
absorb energy, and once they're warmer than the space background, you
still have the IR-signature problem. And there is nothing very exotic or
expensive about an IR telescope.

> e) If detectors occupy known places in space, it may be reasonably
cost effective to attack them with ballistic projectiles perhaps with
final phase manouvering.

Bear in mind that you cannot really fix the position of anything in
space, so the most you could know would be the orbit. And if you're
going to allow stealth for nuclear-powered starships, you should allow
it for (probably unmanned) sensor platforms which would probably be
smaller and have fewer problems with energy management. Fair is fair,
you know. Then you could allow, say, a third of your sensor platforms to
be hidden, while the others are cooling down (see your proposal for
thermal stealth above), give them some cold-thruster (compressed air?)
orbital jiggle capacity to make plain ballistic attack unfeasible... Why
should the defending side be stupider than the attacking?

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