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Old 08-30-2007, 12:45 PM   #21
David Johnston
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Originally Posted by Mailanka
How do you "hide" in space? There's nothing to hide behind, and you're far, far warmer than the background radiation (of, what, 4 degrees K?),
OK now I want to see a scene where a combat spacecraft is "running silent" by coasting with the engines off and running refrigerant through the exterior hull while inside the ship things are getting hotter and hotter...
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:01 PM   #22
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston
OK now I want to see a scene where a combat spacecraft is "running silent" by coasting with the engines off and running refrigerant through the exterior hull while inside the ship things are getting hotter and hotter...
Glen Cook, Passage at Arms, isn't exactly that, but it's got some similarities.
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:05 PM   #23
Verjigorm
 
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

On one hand, are fighters more plausible in tight encounters? For example: earth orbit in a highly developed setting like THS? Small manned craft(or manned by Ghosts, Cybershells or whatever) can certainly be useful.
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:21 PM   #24
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Originally Posted by Verjigorm
On one hand, are fighters more plausible in tight encounters?
No, not really. There's basically no reason to use a manned craft unless you need autonomous decision-making, which generally means only the command craft needs to be manned.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:45 PM   #25
Maz
 
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

If you want to include psionic powers you could just say that the big ships have a forcefield that can't be penetrated, but psionics can move through it. Once inside the forcefield the ship is more or less defenceless.

So you need 'fighters' manned with a psionic to penetrate through the forcefield and do damage on the ship. and then of course you would need fighters to attack these fighters... but this is moving way out of "hard science".
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:36 PM   #26
JAW
 
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

Big missiles are cool if you also hawe manned fighters to intercept them. Now why don't just make smaller missiles to intercept the big missiles -- becouse there's nothing cool in that - no heroic spitfire pilots intercepting v-rockets.. etc..

Anyway yah you propably need some sillysience to make space fighters plausible. One relly cant dodge a laser no matter how manouwerable ship one has and dodging ewen projectiles is questionable. Yah big FTL driwe would make it sensible to hawe smaller ships witouth the FTL do the fighting but they would not be likely to haw much resemblance to aerial fighters.. Reactionles driwes - taht are too big to be fitted into smal missiles but big enough to be fitted into fighters, and worse computers, automated sensors etc than we hawe today well maybe then..
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:45 PM   #27
JAW
 
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston
OK now I want to see a scene where a combat spacecraft is "running silent" by coasting with the engines off and running refrigerant through the exterior hull while inside the ship things are getting hotter and hotter...
Had some discussion about htis in G:traveller boards.. BAsicly it's hardly plausible but some sort of directed heat sinking might be possible - ie the heat is radiated to one direction so you the ship is "invisible" to other directions.

For example hawe that refrigerated hull and then radiators on one side of the ships and heat reflecting plaets to keep the radiation in some manageable arc.

Still for maximum stealth the inside could be getting hotter and hotter - and naturally lights and any unneccary systems would hawe to be shut down. But now we get more into u-boat parallers than fighter parallers.. Nothing wrong with that though :-)
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:38 PM   #28
dynaman
 
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

For the part about not being able to hide in space. Most battles will not take place in deep space, defenders will choose a spot that gives a maximum chance of an ambush, or will manufacture some means of hiding in the open (decoys being the one I can think of).

Lots of other battles would take place near planetary rings too.

On the other side, attackers will do all they can to mitigate those advantages, staying well clear of Saturn and going right for Earth as an example - then the defenders have to come out of hiding.
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:06 PM   #29
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Originally Posted by dynaman
or will manufacture some means of hiding in the open (decoys being the one I can think of).
Unfortunately, to make an effective decoy, you basically need to make it about as expensive as a full-on ship. The problems are as follows:
1) To confuse infrared scanners, the decoy needs a reactor of about the same energy output.
2) If the decoy has to manuver, it's exaust plume has to match the real ship. That means that it has to be thrusting at about the same energy as the real ship, which means it has to have about the same mass as the real ship, or it will accelerate noticably faster.

So, basically, a decoy has to be as big as your ship, and have a similar reactor. Why not put on some weapons on it while you're at it?
(All this is taken from http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/rocket3w.html, which is intensely worth reading for this sort of discussion.)
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:35 PM   #30
dynaman
 
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Default Re: [Space] Fighter-to-ship ratio: what is it and why?

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Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen
1) To confuse infrared scanners, the decoy needs a reactor of about the same energy output.
2) If the decoy has to manuver, it's exaust plume has to match the real ship. That means that it has to be thrusting at about the same energy as the real ship, which means it has to have about the same mass as the real ship, or it will accelerate noticably faster.
For 1, the "real" ships are going to need some kind of way to make them radiate less heat, in the direction of the known enemies. Or go ahead and crank up the heat on the decoys, it will be cheaper then more real combatants. The important point is that if it is possible then it will be tried. It may not fool anyway at short range, but at long range it may make all the difference

For 2 put a bunch of weight in the decoys if needed. Once again the important thing is if it is cheaper to have the decoy.

I may be off base, but I doubt that space detection is anywhere near as cut and dried as we make it out to be - sure we see lots of rocks at a long distance currently, but we miss a good number still as well.
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