Re: GPS BASICS: WAS:Re: BASICS: Property Rights

Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 12 Dec 1998 16:47:57 -0500

Spike Jones wrote:

> Eugene Leitl wrote:
> > Michael Lorrey writes:
> >
> > > > Actually, what's the point in sending a Tomahawk from an off-shore
> > > > Destroyer or human-piloted fighter/bomber, when you can send
> > > > something up in a parabolic trajectory that uses GPS to steer while
> > > > decending upon its target?
> >
> > I'm not sure, but don't you get EM shielding during atmospheric
> > reentry due to the plasma screen?

Yes of course, but only for a minute or two during the most intense part of reentry. Interpolation techniques along with some accelerometers can take up the slack for the interim.

> >
> > > Because:
> > >
> > > a) objects in ballistic trajectories tend to trip major alarms in the HQ's of the
> > > Strategic Nuclear command centers...
> yes, however, the major alarms would be irrelevant, for they would
> sound only minutes before the reentry body finds its target. it would
> be quite unclear with such a system who fired the shot, since it can
> be arranged, with current technology, to be fired from a submerged
> submarine, whose location was unknown before the launch. spike

Yes, the identity of the sub may be unknown, then again maybe not. I do know that with current microphone technology we can identify the type of sub from across the pacific ocean (the mikes were developed for high fidelity listening to whale songs, but got coopted by the Navy). Additionally, every missile type has its own sonic, chemical, and trajectory signatures, and every type of warhead has its own signature in terms of radiation emissions, yeild, and seismic signature.

The technology to intercept terminal stage warheads has already been demonstrated. Since China is not a signtory to the ABM treaty, once there is one instance of another nation using large ballistic warheads on cities with a large death toll, then Russia will probably fold its objections to the US deploying more Star Wars technologies. I do know that the Phalanx anti-aircraft gun has been tested in modified form as a radar guided terminal interception system. It works quite well, though it puts a lot of metal in the air which come down eventually....

Mike Lorrey