Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Mon, 25 Oct 1999 08:41:52 -0700


Aaron asks,

>Can a Mobile Suit overheat like the Mechs from Battletech do? I hope this
>isn't a silly question. I was just thinking about this. I guess they
don't or
>else there would be some information on this, I would assume, wouldn't there?

  They certainly can, but they generally don't. Overheating is a definite
hazard for mobile suits, since they carry fusion reactors and all, but
they usually have an adequate amount of cooling equipment and stay within
their safe operating parameters - I can't, off the top of my head, think
of a single instance of actual overheating.

  Nonetheless, cooling considerations do limit what mobile suits and
mobile armor are capable of doing. The Big Zam can only use its I-field
barrier for about 15-20 minutes due to heat problems, and the Crossbone
Gundam Unit 3 has severe time limits placed on its I-field barrier for
the same reason. The F91 has all kinds of cooling systems to deal with
the heat of its biocomputer, up to and including burning off the outer
layers of its armor. And the Blue Destiny's EXAM system has a 5-minute
operating time limit for heat reasons.

Lim Jyue writes,

> As for space MS, I don't think a properly designed MS will overheat.
>One, the temperature difference between the internal and the external should
>promote heat loss. Two, I believe the space MS are built to dissipate
>unnecessary heat rapidly -- the Gundam's front vents are good examples. I
>honestly think retaining heat is more of a problem for space MS. =) Of
>course, radiation is the only way for heat to escape there...

  That's the kicker. In space, you can't dump heat by pumping air or
water through a radiator - you can only cool off through heat radiation,
which makes overheating a _much_ bigger problem in space than on Earth.
Ground-specific mobile suits like the Gouf benefit greatly from using air
cooling rather than bulky space-type cooling systems, and amphibious
mobile suits are able to carry huge reactors and thus power built-in beam
weapons mostly because of the ready availability of water for cooling
purposes.

-- Mark

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