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missile defence

Discussion in 'Space Technology' started by gf0012-aust, Apr 4, 2017.

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  1. gf0012-aust

    gf0012-aust Grumpy Old Man Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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  2. colay1

    colay1 New Member

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    Until the day arrives when UAVs roam the stratosphere swatting ascending BMs with lasers, they apparently can help extend the reach of AEGIS ships on station in some convenient patch of water.


    https://www.mda.mil/system/potential_new_technologies.html

    Early Intercept

    By leveraging Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and space assets for pervasive over-the-horizon Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) image.sensor netting, the engagement zone of current Standard Missile-3 interceptors can be extended to the pre-apogee portion of a missile's trajectory...
     
  3. gf0012-aust

    gf0012-aust Grumpy Old Man Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    yep, as I've said before, they are flying comms bearers as a single platform - as a hive they become a virtual array

    (similar to what I've said about F35 advances - the difference being that the larger they get the greater persistence and potential projection)

    so, if you extrapolate that to the potential for Locust type UAS to be launched from sonarbuoy tubes etc... then the ability for ASW aircraft to launch array nets in support of land or sea support becomes significant

    then there are the developments where UAS have been launched out of "howitzers"

    its an instant battlefield array/net
     
  4. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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  5. colay1

    colay1 New Member

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    I cited this article in the UAS thread but it also rightly belongs here. BPI offers significant advantages in that BMs are most vulnerable and easily detected while ascending on a highly visible plume of flame and before they can deploy warhead(s) and decoys. A UAS-based system can integrate into AEGIS to cue SM-3 interceptors or directly address the threat if equipped with a suitable AAM.

    https://www.usni.org/magazines/proc...oost-phase-could-counter-north-korea-part-two
     
  6. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    This article discusses a technique to allow neutrons to be directed in a beam. Neutrons are useful for detecting dense things like explosives. Currently neutron detection is effective for buried IEDs but this new technique may allow for the detection of nukes at ranges measured in kms and thus would be able to sort decoys from real nukes.

    Detect Nukes In Flight With Electron Beam Technology
     
  7. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    Interesting article, though it manages to gloss over quite a few stumbling blocks which could limit the usefulness of the technology, or render it useless outright.

    The first is what the practical range and field of view such a neutron beam might have. An ICBM at apogee and burnout (when the MIRV's would likely be released) is most likely going to be moving at 6 - 7 km/sec, with the individual MIRV's then starting to decelerate once they enter the atmosphere, but still likely moving at several km/sec. Assuming a neutron beam is pointing in the correct direction and has a range of 1,000 km (average ICBM apogee) and the average MIRV speed over the course of re-entry is 4 km/sec, that would provide 4 minutes, 10 seconds for the system to scan, detect, process, classify and potentially engage the MIRV's. OTOH if the max range of the neutron beam was only 100 km and still with an average re-entry speed of 4 km/sec, that would provide only 25 seconds for the entire OODA loop. If the range limit of the neutron beam was less than 100 km (especially significantly so like 30 km or less) and/or the actual re-entry speed of a MIRV was closer to the 6 km speed of an ICBM, that could further compress the time available to act to the point that nothing could be done.

    Side note: if I remember my physics correctly, neutrons found in nature outside of atoms are unstable and decay into either hydrogen atoms or protons and free electrons after 15 minutes, which could impact how either neutron beams perform at range, or what the readings could be.

    The second thought has to do with how practical detecting a gamma burst would actually be, in terms of identifying a nuclear warhead. From my POV, I think it would be of limited use, as a decoy should be fairly easy (and cheaply, compared to an actual warhead) to manufacture which should still contain enough dense material to trigger a gamma burst from the neutron beam. I would expect that a 'real' nuclear warhead would contain an amount of shielding to contain the radiation from the fissionable material in the warhead, both to protect personnel that would be doing maintenance or handling of the ordnance, as well as to protect the electronics which would make up the guidance and trigger/fuse systems. I would expect a good decoy would be made to approximate the dimensions and weight of an actual warhead, which would likely include a dense material to replicate the shielding normally found in a warhead, and then a material which substitutes for the fissionable material. Materials like tungsten or lead come immediately to mind as potential candidates for shielding and/or a fissionable substitute, and I would strongly suspect either/both such materials would be dense enough to trigger a gamma burst if hit with a neutron beam.

    The third thought is that, while a neutron beam might be able to be used as a directed energy weapon to disrupt electronics, the article seemed a bit dismissive IMO of extant capabilities and in turn the protections against directed energy weapons and EW. The hardening of electronics to provide protection from EMP's comes to mind, as does TEMPEST shielding. I would also expect space vehicles (like ICBM's and MIRV's) to have at least some shielding to protect the onboard electronics from cosmic rays, some of which are in the form of high energy Alpha particles which would likely have significantly more KE than the neutrons from a beam emitter. The reason I say that is such high energy Helium nuclei which are very similar to high energy Alpha particles have been created using various particle accelerators which tend to be systems which are larger than a few hundred pounds, and require a fair amount of power to operate even for brief periods of time.
     
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  8. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    I agree the article is pretty vague on details which is understandable given the topic. As far as detection is concerned, the gamma burst detection should be dependent on the material I would think. Perhaps some kind of MCA analysis of the resulting gamma burst could be performed in order to identify the materials in the object of interest.

    I agree, this proposed neutron beam is unlikely to be effective at frying electronics, especially at extended ranges unless something about its output is being kept secret.
     
  9. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    Sorry, the last week or so has been rather hectic with some things so I have not had a chance to really reply like I meant to.

    The potential issue I see with this is that, unless the neutron beam is capable of penetrating the shielding material of a nuclear warhead so that the beam can interact directly with the warhead material (U-235 or Pu-239), the beam would be incapable of providing information other than it encountered something sufficiently dense to trigger the gamma burst. As a side note, and being deliberately vague for what I hope are rather obvious reasons, nuclear warheads typically contain materials to block or absorb neutrons specifically to prevent them from interacting with the fissile core.

    Again, much is going to depend on what the electronics are designed to do, and if they are hardened or shielded in some fashion. Disrupting electronics is not particularly hard to do if one has certain technical backgrounds, nor does it even require significant or hard to acquire resources. I could likely assemble such a system for less than USD$1,000. Managing to accomplish it at range would likely present a significantly greater challenge and I have a couple of ideas on how it could be accomplished, however I am not going to attempt to test the ideas because it would require violating FCC regulations,