Re: go interceptors!

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Tue Jul 24 2001 - 07:41:46 MDT

On Sat, 21 Jul 2001, Mike Lorrey wrote:

> Sorry, John, you aren't thinking microgravitationally. A cone balloon
> in free fall will without guidance not remain oriented toward reentry,

If we need orientation, we can use microthrusters to orient the warhead
shortly before reentry. No need to spin anything, no funny signature.

> and thus will yaw to orient orthogonal to its direction, and continue
> spinning. This is detectable versus the guided orientation of the
> IRVs, which do not drift. If you deploy a balloon, it will always have
> the same cross section view to you no matter how much it spins and
> drifts.

So we package the warhead into identical aluminized baloon as the decoys.
Radar signature 100% the same.

> The problem is that a) a balloon will have a different radar sig than
> cones, and b) a balloon will have a different mass, and therefore will

Of course, you engineer the decoys and the warhead envelope to resemble
each other as closely as possible.

> follow a different trajectory than the much heavier IRV. For this

Not in vacuum. As soon as you see drag, it's too late to intercept,
anyway. Then, baloons are useless, admittedly. But they have served their
purpose, already.

> reason, the best 'decoy' is another IRV. You might as well put a bomb
> in it.

I thought the warheads were MIRVed already? Let's say 5% the real Mc Coy,
95% decoys?

> Unfortunately, the round object is a poor reentry vehicle. It slows

You don't have to be spherical at/during reentry, you only have to be
spherical during the ballistic arc outside of the atmosphere.

> down to subsonic too easily, the cone is designed to reenter and hit
> the target at a high supersonic velocity, reducing airtime. If it goes
> subsonic, then the IRV can be intercepted much easier with simple
> machine guns.
> What it shows is that decoys are irrelevant as a FUD strategy.

I think I'm giving up now.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:55 MDT