GBI EKV ETC
So the picture looks like the EKV is mounted upsidedown? and presumably its the solid metal plate (bottom of picture) that <s>does</s> is suppose to do all the damage... looks like a good 200kg's worth...
The US Missile Defence Agency has suffered another embarrassing failure in a live test conducted last week over the Pacific. An Exo-Atmospheric Kill Vehicle. Credit: MDA What a space-combat weapon actually looks like. The trial saw a medium-range ballistic missile target lift off from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall …
If the design is still the same since the days of Star Wars (which I think it is) some of it should open up like an umbrella (around 5m diameter). Bulgarian umbrella for nukes, made by Americans :) Instantly lethal. If on target of course. The stuff on the bottom looks like the front portion of the payload housing of the missile. So unless I am mistaken, this actually takes off bottom up compared to what is on the picture and the yellow bit opens up to a 5m diameter killer umbrella once outside the atmosphere.
That looks like a real engineer's place with its coiled up pipes, mysterious tank, pulley and chain, box of rubber gloves and the "limit of floor" sign.
I suspect there are two white-coated men just out of shot, scratching their bald heads and looking perplexed...
Boffin 1: "Are you sure this is what we ordered?"
Boffin 2: "It said on the box it was an EKV."
Boffin 1: "You don't think they've sent us a combi-boiler again do you?"
Boffin 2: "No they wouldn't try that twice would they. Did you read the instructions?"
Boffin 1: "Nah. Just help me rip the rest of the packing off and we'll bolt it on top of the rocket..."
Putting aside that the only good thing about ABM tech is that it got the US and the Russians to the peace table and reduced the then threat of a 'nuclear doomsday'...
You have to admit that its really a cool application of technology.
I guess its a lot easier on trying to hit a controlled inbound missile than it is to try and crash a space craft in to an asteroid/comet moving at interstellar speeds...
Not really so easy. Asteroids and comets don't have evasive manouvering capabilities, and tend to have very predictable movements.
Missiles, as people here have already stated, not so predictable.
<strike>Also is it just me or is everyone's post time coming up as Jan 1st 1970? Epoch fail?</strike>
Scratch that. It's coming up as 1970 when you click the "withdraw" button though. Someone made a boo boo when re-hacking the comments section?
If the interceptor design has not changed since Reagan Star wars it is 5, not 0.5. The design I remember from those times was supposed to open an umbrella. It is a neat optiimisation problem - size of the umbrella vs precision of interception. 5m by the way is not particularly bad. Most modern missiles can achieve that provided that the "notoriously buggy X band radar" gets the tracking info right and provided that the target does not maneuver. Considering how little it needs to maneuver to avoid being killed and how easy is to achieve that "little" trying to build such an intercpetor is very much in the realm of throwing good money after bad.
Fortunately for the americans there is no possibility that anyone is ever likely to fire a nuclear missile at them - although the complete lack of any credible threat has never been known to stop them spending money on defences (or should that be: on their buddies' defence companies) in the past.
In the thermodynamically [i.e. snowflakes chance in hell] minute chance that a small pacific island does develop WMDs, and decides to lob one at the yanks, I won't mind if they say "I told you so".
the only threat we have is from the USA & our own western governments who are controlled by the corporations, who are hell bent on making money any way they can even if it means poisoning and killing us all.
If you doubt this watch GasLand http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1558250/
wake up slaves....
"What should have happened then is that the EKV should have used its small manoeuvring thrusters to get itself directly in the warhead's way."
So am I correct in thinking they are trying to directly hit a target a couple of hundred miles away, with a closing velocity of n000 MPH (was it even manuvering for this test?, as would be expected with a good MIRV, or coping with decoys?)
Kinetic kill looks elegant on paper, but I would suspect they would get better results with space born equivelent of a shotgun (saturate the target area with lots of fragments, as per most Air-to-Air missles)
I wonder how the generals will explain this one to congress, "there was a verifiable deviation in the test data accumulation"?????
An airburst in the Ionosphere is an EMP. The strength of the intercept device would be directly relational to the coverage of the resulting neo stone age. I think they are trying to intercept outside of the atmosphere though...not sure if an exo-atmospheric intercept using a small tactical size device is a good idea either. Satellites, ISS, and so forth.
I agree with you on tacky though. Fugly.
The 1975 era interceptor programme and the first generation russian interceptors were nuclear armed. The rumour mill says that Russians are going for HE warheads now. It is a nobody knows as all sources show "conceptual art" for their missiles and sites and I have yet to see a single picture.
Hit-to-kill works only against opponents who don't have any reasonable aerospace engineering capability.
Everybody else will just mount the same little thrusters on their ballistic warheads and have a computer generating a little thrust every 1/3rd of a second, based on random data from a noise diode. These are overlayed to the normal control commands of the guidance system. Much easier than the defensive system, as it does not matter if you miss by 100 meters when lobbing a nuke at LA.
This makes the incoming warhead's path much less precisely predictable and then hit-to-kill will not work.
But certainly one way to keep America's Best Engineers away from commercial work, so China and Germany LOVE THIS !
Generally the idea with cold war era ICBMs (i.e. those actually in service not whatever North Korea might eventually come up with) is to be able to target the missile silos of the other side so you destroy them before they're launched. To counter this the land based silos have incredibly strong protective covers, to the extent that missing by 100m would in fact be a fail.
Having said that if they can't hit one re-entry vehicle how they'd cope with the 10 you'd expect from a standard ICBM is beyond me. Although I suspect it's beyond them as well which makes you wonder what other use it could have?
I think the idea is you hit it before it goes MIRV on you. Hit it high up, but while it's STILL going up. MIRVs, IIRC, don't deploy until they go over the top--otherwise, their flight plans aren't as predictable.
As for a detonate-on-kill, since it's nominally halfway between you and the enemy, you stand as much chance of being blasted with an EMP as the enemy, so a "hot" launch is usually not advised.
I admit that adding thrusters just for the purpose of random movements will generate new R&D cost and it will degrade the primary function of the delivery system, the delivery of a warhead with as much weight as possible. Substantial movements will mean substantial fuel and weight for tanks, thrusters and all the control systems (valves, batteries, computer, test systems etc).
Still, it is possible and I would even argue that a good engineer can make such a "tumbling" system with the same precision as a ballistic system.
In theory, the sequence of thruster impulses would cancel each other out and the trajectory could look like a corkscrew. Or like a half corkscrew with s-figured trajectories in three different planes.
In reality, thrusters are not 100% exact and accelerometers aren't perfect either. Yet the accuracy of accelerometers is primarily determined by time and not by the trajectory.
What follows from that is that experienced Russian, German, French or American engineers could certainly make a "tumbling" MIRV Bus and "tumbling" MIRVs with competitve accuracy. If an additional radar sensor is used, there will be zero accuracy difference.
I assume tumbling is one of Topol-M's features, in addition to decoys.
Dead on. First Strike is always to get the enemy's vehicles before they are able to complete their warm up sequence (after there is a launch detection that initiated the command.) The warm up takes essentially 20-30 minutes after initiation, and flight time from launch detection depending on trajectory is under that.
Second strike is military targets (ranking does not need to be written here) with EMPs going off steady over the enemy. Population centers do not even figure in unless they are strategically important...which since they have no silos in them...are not.
The concept of "winning" is based on getting as much as possible before it launches.
They did have nukes on the end of some interceptors back in the day (50s & 60s), then they discovered the joys of high altitude EMP and what it did to electronics on the ground, and then there's the various treaties that are supposed to stop that sort of thing.
IIRC (I'm supposed to be working, so haven't checked my possibly faulty memory), the 80s era ASAT weapon deployed a wire net behind it to increase the chances of interception, but actually hit in the couple of tests before they canned the project. You don't need to hit with much at closing speeds of several thousand mph to make a mess of the target.
Tell those boffins to stop watching Matrix.
In which world do you defend yourself against bullets by grabbing a gun and shooting down the incoming bullets?
Shooting down a supersonic rocket with an other supersonic rocket head on (even if it has thrusters) sounds like a similarly bloody stupid idea.
@ Syren Baran: This is politics, so it doesn't matter whether it can work.
Politician: "You say it won't work. How about we double the budget for the physical sciences / NIH / ..."
1st Scientist: "This is physics, it'll still not work"
2nd Scientist: "No way you can shoot down that bullet"
23rd Scientist: "I think it can work. Here is my account number."
Politician: "I found a scientist who can make it work!"
But they've sunk so much money into this project that it won't be killed by anything short of a Congressional veto, holy water and a stake through the heart. Bearing in mind the Republicans are entirely loopy about missile defence there is precisely zero chance of anyone sitting down and saying 'this is a crappy idea, why don't we...?'
The anti sat shot with the SM3 was dramatically harder. I don't know why this particular gizmo is boring, but it's an engineering problem. Hitting a bullet with a bullet is a bad analogy because the final stage guides itself to the target. This has been accomplished multiple times before and has nothing to do with tracking the sat before hand; the unpredictable nature of the solid fuel rocket stages, atmosphere and (in the case of ship based missiles) means that it is only possible to do this by working out the details in the final stage.
These mid course shots should be easier. The prior stages do need more delta v to reach the target but that is only a matter of size and money. The target is at its lowest speed - dramatically slower than a satellite - and subject to minimal aerodynamic forces.
As more difficult shots have been done before, including the already deployed SM3, it is fair to say this is embarrassing.
As to whether or not the whole the whole concept of missile defense is a good idea, I don't know. Haven't thought about it.
That you don't know if it'll work and that you want to find out what's wrong with it before you actually need to use it. Testing isn't about showing off something that already works, or there'd be no need for it.
I wouldn't call this much of an embarassment (or did you think that hitting a vastly supersonic thing with another vastly supersonic thing is easy, and that the other, more mature programs intended for a similar purpose don't have years of misses and failures in their development history? Remember what it took to get THAAD working--most of the time?), though I'm sure the people who like to attack easy targets in the news take great glee in it. The embarassment would be if nobody tested military hardware before it entered the field. Possibly--hell, quite likely--the SM3 will end up filling at least part of this interceptor's role, but there's something to be said for coming up with a few different designs and seeing which one ends up working best. Of course, that requires testing, and so does ironing out as many of the kinks in any given design as possible before a fair comparison can be made.
1.) Put the best IR camera system you can get on top of the vehicle (warhead or bus)
2.) Perform infrequent tumbling to challenge anything incoming to operate thrusters
3.) As soon as the IR camera picks up the hit-to-kill vehicle, start aggressive and frequent tumbling.
Hit-to-kill typically uses IR for terminal guidance, so the technology is there. This approach will save fuel and allow for the most violent maneuvers when it is required. Also, payload will be maximized.
somebody made a hell of a lot of money producing it and will make even more testing to find out why it couldn't do what it was ostensibly designed to do. And some US congressmen/women) got an extra nice Christmas present from some nice lobbyists to make certain it all happened. And the poor suckers that pay for it all got a little extra coal in their stockings, so they could keep the home fires burning. A win-win situation for all !...
It showed whether the system worked.
That is the point of testing.
The system might not be successful, but the test was - it proved something!
Anyway, I do wonder why it is necessary for both vehicles to travel quite so fast, if the interceptor was somewhat slower it could then have more time between detection and interception to get in the right place
The Commie plan to defend Moscow was (and as far as I know still is) for the Inner Party to flee for bunkers deep underground, while airbursting nukes overhead to slag any incoming warheads at a safe(*) distance. Soviet pragmatism at its best.
(*) Safe for the Inner Party - the Outer Party and Proles are glowsticks either way.
I'm surprised they didn't fake the test, um skew, um optimized the test. But when I she stuff like this I thing of Corporate welfare . This seems like using a bullet to shot another bullet. Except you are using a spring field bolt action rifle (enfield for those across the pond) and the enemy has 20mm Vulcan cannon .