> On Monday, April 17, 2000 11:15 AM Billy Brown
> firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> > One other problem that needs to be seriously looked at: EMP
> effects on the
> > vehicle & cargo during launch. I know rail guns have a strong enough
> > magnetic flux to be dangerous to people, let alone electronic
> equipment. A
> > launch system like this should have a much weaker field, but there might
> > still be a problem at high rates of acceleration.
> Then use it only to launch bulk cargo which will not be effected by such
> things, such as fabricated parts for space stations or water tanks.
Sure, but that greatly reduces the launcher's usefulness - especially when
you consider how universal imbedded electronics are becoming. In 20 years
I'd expect anything more complex than a brick to come with some combination
of imbedded sensors, computers and communications gear, all of which is
pretty delicate unless you go well out of your way to harden it.
Mind you, I have some hopes that this will turn out not to be a problem for
the acceleration range we are interested in, but it definitely needs to be
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