Re: SPACE: Lunar Warfare

James Rogers (
Wed, 15 Jan 1997 16:31:04 -0800

At 12:21 PM 1/15/97 +0000, you wrote:
>However, there are ways to get around this. For example, we could build a
>sunshield perpendicular to the warhead's trajectory which would reflect
>most of the IR away in directions that the lunar folx couldn't detect. We
>could also pack the warhead with liquid helium to cool the casing down to
>near-background temperatures before it reached detection range. The main
>concern would be how far we could drop the temperature of the warhead
>before the hardware would malfunction, and since emission has a
>power-of-four factor again even halving the temperature would cut the
>emission from 600W to about 30W.
>Finally, of course, it wouldn't be against the background of space as it's
>coming from Earth and would obviously be against the warm background of
>Earth itself, at least until it neared the moon. This may make life easier
>for you if I did cool the warhead down, of course.

I think you misjudge sensor technology. Military IR sensor satellites in
geosync orbit (~40000 km) can detect fractional degree changes at
resolutions of something like 10 meters on the planet surface. Some of the
new generation sensor platforms have much improved capabilities over even
that. Also, decent signal processing will be able to pick out small, weak,
differential IR sources against the backdrop of a spinning earth, since its
behavior would distinguish itself from an earth based IR sources.

>I don't care, because all that really matters to me is the crater size and
>James figures seemed to scale to roughly the same values as on Earth. The
>only disadvantage is that I'd have a harder time destroying your
>mass-driver. *However* just think what my EMP will do to your
>multi-kilometer long string of superconducting coils? I may not even need
>to hit it to destroy it. James?

I am not aware of any EMP studies on superconductors. Obviously, they could
handle EMP up to a certain point without a problem due to their
superconducting nature, but superconductors do have flux load limits. They
would certainly offer more protection than ordinary conductors, especially
if you are using the supercooled ceramic type superconductors. My
(unqualified) theory is that when you have a flux overload, the
superconductor would start to heat up. At a certain temperature point, it
would resume an entirely ceramic nature, which would then be unaffected by
EMP. If this was the case, EMP might be more of a nuisance than a threat.
But I am not qualified to make any kind of definitive judgement on this.

-James Rogers