Lim Jyue (
Sat, 24 Jun 2000 00:21:46 +0800

At 15:41 06/22/2000 -0700, -Z- wrote:
>I'd expect biologicals, too, aimed at the farmsats rather than the populace

        You are expecting an unguided (or as Blackeagle suggest, inertially
guided) missile travelling across the System to be able to achieve the
accuracy to hit a target that's slight more than 500m in diameter?

        Anything travelling that distance is likely to be aimed at the
cylinder proper; hitting the farmsats can be viewed as a bonus.

        Hmm.. In this case, would the farmsats be a safer place? (^_^)

>Instead of sand, use ice. You could orbit a few MS venting steam on each pass
>and lay out a sheet of crystals to rival the rings of Saturn. And you could
>layer it by having the MS orbiting at different distances from the colony.

        That's another possibility, and you don't even need to use water --
just use anything that can freeze or simply bits. The word "Sand" is used as
a catch-all.

        If the initial Seas of Sand is not feasible, maybe we can use what
you suggest -- a (relatively) small physical shield placed near the cylinder
proper. The aim? To cause the warhead to detonate or deviate before reaching
the cylinder proper. These shields are perfectly expendable. They can be
anything, from ice to a suitable sheet of metal. You can even mount small
manveuring rockets to force a shield into a collision with a missile. Killer
Sats, in reverse. (Suicide Sats?)

        That way, you can have the sphere of defenses you need for
protection against missile strikes, but at a smaller cost than spreading
sand all over the place =) You don't need to worry about departure of
vehicles from a cylinder, since those paths are pretty rigid and you can
either not place shields there (and hope for the best) or get tugs to pull
them out of the way.

        If you know that the missiles are going to come from a direction,
via a line of defense further out, you concentrate the movable shield at
that direction. Anything to reduce the number of missiles coming in..

        As I was typing this, I realise I can steal a page from CCA and the
Battle of Britain of WW2 -- barrage balloons. Inflat, place, move as
necessary. Simple and elegant.. (^_^)

        With high-pressure inflators, you can even skip the placement, and
simple pump the balloon up and eject when you detect the missile coming in.

        Definitely a last line of defense, and it may not be all that
feasible, but it's a possibility.

Lim Jyue
ICQ: 24737555

I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.
Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God's business.

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