Neil Baumgardner (nbaumgardner@phillips.com)
Fri, 23 Jun 2000 13:59:47 -0400


Lim Jyue wrote:

> 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.

That's not necessarily true. As you partially indicated, there is a difference
between inertial and terminal guidance. Inertial guidance simply gets you in the
right place, using some sort of navigation system, basically an autopilot. As long
as you have the fuel and a reliable enough navigation system, distance is
irrelevant and it should be able to get you wherever you want.

Terminal guidance, OTOH, attacks a specific target once you're there. IOTW, the
inertial guidance would get the missile to say, go to 'Side 5, 30 Bunch colony,'
and then terminal guidance kicks in, using optical recognition I suppose, or IR, to
specifically attack a farmsat.

To put it in simpler terms, you could think of the WWII V1 and V2 rockets as having
inertial guidance, but no terminal guidance. You point it in the right direction
and hope it hits something. A Sidewinder OTOH, basically only has terminal
guidance, you're already there, just point and shoot. Combine the two, and you've
got the equivalent of a Tomahawk cruise missile.

IMO, this is one of the things that is a little missing from Gundam. AFAIK,
minovsky particles shouldnt affect terrain counter or GPS inertial navigation
systems, or optical based missile guidance systems. There should be more cruise
missiles and even short-range Sidewinder type air-to-air and anti-MS missiles. Then
again, I guess you'd need a pretty big warhead (compared to today's standards) for
the latter ;)

    Neil Baumgardner

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