Charlie Stross wrote:
> An axe and a live crewman are not going to accidentally toast all your
> avionics and set fire to the airframe if there's a short in the detonator
You don't toast your avionics, you only toast the s00per s3kr1t kRyPt0
and s1g1nT components. And you can do it with flip-switches, in a galvanically
separate circuit (lest you fry something, or lose power). With high-threshold
igniters. And/or mechanical igniters, which are immune to electrical interference.
(So if somebody NEMPs you, you're not toast, literally so).
> And if there's a fire on board, you don't want equipment racks adding
> to the !fun by exploding around the crew who're trying to control it.
Modern explosives are essentially inert. It's just the detonators which
are susceptible to mechanical and thermal stimuli.
> On the other hand, much of the equipment will have been custom-designed.
> Surely it'd be possible to wire a couple of rails inside the equipment
> racks to opposite poles of a 415 volt three-phase supply, separated by
> something low-tech like a knife switch locked behind a panel saying IN
> EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS? It's amazing what a few kilowatts will do to
One word: "nondeterministic". Frying equipment with a bow discharge
is *not a good idea*. 'nuff said.
> delicate electronics -- without requiring high explosives inside a
> pressurised cabin.
Pressurized cabin, that's an argument. However, you can blow out pieces
of the hull first, and then ignite the self-destruct pyrotechnics. (Please
observe that them are *thin* sheets of plastique). Notice also that
thermite is essentially neutral in relation to pressure, and reliably
slags equipment in few 10 s, while being easily containable in sandboxes.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:55 MDT