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Anti-Ballistic Systems

  1. Feb 6, 2005 #1
    A few of the key problems of making the system efficient is properly targeting the incoming missile not to mention the multiple decoys and warheads.

    Can this problem be solved by fixing a powerful explosive, possibly a very small nuclear bomb on the anti-ballistic missile such that it explodes whenever the defense missile hits the incoming missile or when it misses its mark killing whatever possible warheads or decoys that are deployed?

    What other solutions can be there to this problem?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2005 #2


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    That is the $64 billion question. :biggrin:

    There are two phases to ABS problem -

    1) Detection

    2) Interception

    MIRV's complicate the solution.

    Basically, for every defense, there is an effective counter-measure that will defeat that defense.
  4. Feb 9, 2005 #3


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    Ahh... just what we want. A nuclear bomb spreading waste materials all over a large land area (and destroying electrical devised for miles with an electromagnetic pulse) all because our tracking system misidentifies a speeding Leerjet in the wrong airspace as a missile.
  5. Feb 10, 2005 #4
    I am talking about a very small nuclear bomb (which won't generate much electromagnetic pulse either) which has a much lesser yield than even the Hiroshima bomb but just sufficient to destroy the incoming missiles, its decoys and its multiple warheads. Instead of nuclear bomb one might use any other bomb one but I am not sure any chemical bomb would be sufficiently powerful to be useful.

    I don't think it's so easy to misidentify a Leerjet as a missile. A missile has a parabolic trajectory while a Leerjet doesn't.
  6. Feb 10, 2005 #5


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    Well, that's a relief!

    A stone has a parabolic trajectory, a cannonball has a parabolic trajectory, but a missile? Let's think about this one.
  7. Feb 10, 2005 #6


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    A nuclear missile spends most of its flight in a ballistic/parabolic trajectory (that's why they call them "ballistic missiles"). But that's not even the main reason why such an error would be improbable - the flight profiles are otherwise as different as flight profiles could be:

    -Learjet: 30,000 feet, level, 500 kts.
    -ICBM (boost phase): 30,000 feet, climbing at 70 degrees, 4,000 kts (guess)
    -ICBM (re-entry phase): 30,000 feet, falling at 80 degrees, 8,000 kts (guess)

    Avoiding hitting a learjet is as simple as programming the radar to not even lock onto a target traveling at less than 1000 kts. Currently, the ABM treaty prevents us from tracking objects in space and so AEGIS has the opposite constraint put on it: software restricts it to track only those objects below a certain altitude and speed.

    For the OP, using a large explosion to bring down multiple warheads would be problematic: they may not be close enough to each other to bring them down with one shot, even with a nuke. What's more, a nuclear warhead is traveling so fast, it has to be flying toward any explosion (even a nuclear one if you want the blast, not the em radiation you want to destroy the missile) meant to destroy it. If the warhead is moving at say, 8,000 kts and the explosion propagates at 2,000, essentially all the explosion is there for is to create a cloud of debris for the missile to fly through.
  8. Feb 10, 2005 #7


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    Patriot Missile batteries have mistaken F-16s for missiles causing friendly fire casualties which is what gave me the idea. A cruise missile wouldn't necessarily follow a parabolic trajectory and could easily be designed to carry a nuclear warhead.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2005
  9. Feb 10, 2005 #8


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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2005
  10. Feb 10, 2005 #9


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    Cruise missiles follow paths similar to N.O.E. flying aircraft. The difference comes in at the end of the flight, near the intended target in the "pop-up" phase. They already do carry tactical nukes.
  11. Mar 16, 2005 #10


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    F-16's are incredibly fast aircraft. I believe they have a top speed of M2.5. The SCUD-B variation in Iraq (i believe its the B) traveled 300km and i believe i read a report saying coalition forces had 20 minutes from time of launch to impact. Im not sure what the exact math is but its distance traveled was probably 800km or so in around 20 minutes which comes out to 2400km/ hour which is well in the speed-specifications for an F16. ICBM's though make a 10000km trip in about an hour, something only experimental NASA aircraft can really do so your really going ot be hard pressed to find an aircraft going into the upper atmosphere at thousands of miles per hour and mistakenly blow it out of the sky.

    As to whoever mentioned the nuclear-tipped defense, the first 'allies' ballsitic missile defense system (joint US-UK venture i believe) was actual nuclear weapons tipped missiles that would come within a few miles of the incoming missiles and detonate
  12. Mar 16, 2005 #11


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    And of course, who teh heck is going to fire a cruise missile at the mainland USA? Unless you develop stealth technology, your not going to get close enough to try it.
  13. Mar 16, 2005 #12
    Canada? :rofl:
  14. Mar 16, 2005 #13


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    Thats why ive always proposed invading canada and mexico and cuba... cant be too careful with these people bieng so close :P
  15. Apr 23, 2005 #14
    I believe the US is a signatory to treaties outlawing nuclear explosions in the atmosphere and in space.
  16. Apr 23, 2005 #15


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    Wooo resurrected threads :D

    The US and British plans to detonate nuclear weapons in the atmosphere to stop incoming missiles was in the early early days of ICBM's and before that treaty was signed.
  17. Apr 27, 2005 #16
    sid galt
    I wrote a paper in 1979 presenting a case for a terrestial non-nuclear defense system.This system was designed to utilize existing technology to accomplish several goals.

    The first was a system that could not be used against the indigenous population and one that did not present a terrosist target.

    The second requirement was to have characteristics of either outright destruction of the target or to knock it away from its' intended target.

    The third was a system that could be utilized for the benefit of the community at large in the event of natural disasters.

    the fourth was that the system could be sustained using indegeaneous fuels or known as being omnivorous (regarding fuels) alcohol,diesel,jet fuel, peanut oil etc. etc.

    the fifth was this defense system would or could be privately owned and operated with and by private citizens from the surrounding communities

    the sixth was that system during non emergeny operations would be 'solar powered' with the definition of fermentation as being one form of renewable solar energy.

    The system I came up with utilized railroad diesel locomotives with four to six tank cars and four to eight flat bed cars housing 'knetic energy' weapons or otherwise kown as 'rail guns'. There would be several cars for high density electrical energy storage or (super capicators) capable of storing several gigawatts.

    Assuming the area to be protected is Los Angeles which is the home for several million people and has perhaps the largest city limits also has an intricate rail systen with rail sidings ideal for permanetly located defense systems.

    the city limits for hypotetheticals exceeds one hundred square miles and assuming a defense weapon at every node of a ten by ten matrix the volume and density of the projectiles poured into to the reentry window that mirv's or other offensive weapons 'have' to go through could easily fulfill the above mentioned criteria.

    I spent a lot of time trying to implement the idea to no avail, though. Anyway that would be one way to accomplish your goal.

    Refugee from the Nuclear Industry.

    frank MR. P
  18. Apr 28, 2005 #17
    Mr. P has anyone , to your knowlege , ever tried to store energy from lightning?
    what would we need for such a system?
    Very very large capicitors?
    how large a cap would we need , theoretically ?
  19. May 4, 2005 #18
    willib all seriousness aside I believe Tesla came close to that realization during his Colorado Springs experiments in 1899. In that senerio he was attempting to create a significantly larger potential difference, than naturally exists .beteeen the Ionosphere and ground where literally mankind would be existing inside the diaelectric....Yeah! some pretty awesome thinking there! Of course when J.P. Morgan (Teslas' money source) discovered the real purpose behind Teslas' Wardencliff Project he allowed Tesla to 'hang himself ' knowing that Tesla did not pay attention to revenue generating practices and accounting and by allowing Tesla to become over extended, he essentially let the inventor kill his own project through ego induced ignorance..The threat J.P. Morgan understood that Tesla presented to JP's empire was that Teslas' New' distribution system would be ubiquitous and free or near so except for the cost of an antenna and simple translating devices like a sparkgap resonator.

    Capacitors are one way to store electrical energy statically also it would be hard to be in series with lighting bolts to effectively charge the capacitor.also a typical lightning bolt possesses a potential of a few million volts exceeding the dialectric qualities of any known substances to date however, Why couldn't you ,store, for long periods like hours or days , extremely large quantities of electricity dynamically rather than statically by using cryogenically maintained super conducting resonating 'tank 'circuits to provide 'peaking' power to the grid which would reduce other polluting sources and reduce disruptions to the distribution system??? huh?
  20. May 4, 2005 #19
    lol , i was serious..
    although i asked if a capacitor could be used , i knew the answer..
    i cant see why not , with todays technology , somone couldent harness a known quanity of voltage and current !!. I mean it is not something that is effing magical !!
    It is a known !! ..
    There would be hurdles to overcome , i am sure, like how to distribute that much current.
    Possibly it could be distributed to a ' bunch ' of very large capacitors..all connected in parallel.
    I believe in my core that it can be done.

    Our government could do more research.. i'm sure.
  21. May 4, 2005 #20
    That seems to imply the possibility of a case where no countermeasures are possible. It might be more sensible to say that the known countermeasures are cheaper.
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