Note: the information contained in this "Science Log" is heavily based on fiction and may or may not correspond with current facts and laws in the modern, nonfiction science
world. What you are about to read is strictly conceptual
, not absolutely factual. As such, please treat this as just scientific ruminations
and ideas of a lightly educated (and human) writer. It has been a while since I wrote on E2, but have never forgotten the experience. Thank you!
The FSMP Inferno
is a juggernaut
(heavily armed and heavily armored cruiser), officially and technically assigned to the Heavy Munitions and Carrier Combine Platform
category. This will be a light overview of the plate's (slang used by stellarmen for "platform
") offensive and defensive capabilities, stellarcraft compliment, systems, and structure concept.
For a considerable amount of time, space-faring vehicles/craft were designed using the unibody concept. In this concept, the platform's (military designation for stellar "ships": platform) systems (lethal, nonlethal, critical, and noncritical), weapons and defense, habitation facilities, and craft hangers were all enclosed in a shell (armored, if utilized by a military). Although still employed by various non-military carrier and transport/entertainment organizations, it has been all but abandoned and/or rejected by every stellar military still in operation. The reason behind this is simple, and one that should have been immediately recognized. In a firefight, military craft get extremely hot due to stress and demand on their power sources (weapons fire, defense functionality and resistance, exponential increase in computer processing, etc.); this, of course, resulted in extreme strain on cooling systems, including the radiators, which often were damaged whether they were hit or not due to overheating. The unibody concept was basically a coffin. Systems often overheated, space was very limited, and the crew was exposed to many dangers because they were in close proximity to the platform's systems. If there was a reactor leak, coolant leak, or a heat aversion systems leak, the crew suffered greatly; if there was an internal munitions detonation (due to overheating, mostly), the crew had an estimated 2% chance of survival. There were many episodes where the crew suffered too heavily, losing control of their platform, even though the platform was still operational and utilizable. The unibody concept quickly became known as the coffin concept.
After losing a grossly large number of stellarmen to the unibody concept, military designers moved over to the exobody concept. This became a huge success. For the most part, platforms hold two things in top priority: (1) defense, and (2) offense, unless the category renders the platform exempt of these priorities. Although platforms utilize polaric aversion fields and accelerated particle field defenses, these do not always work or are impossible to utilize in certain situations (which will be discussed in "DEFENSE SYSTEMS"). This led to the use of fusion armor, which is in no way related to nuclear fusion (discussed in "DEFENSE SYSTEMS"). Armor could not be excluded from any new concepts that would be introduced. The exobody concept makes full use of armor, and then some. Think of a shopping mall. The building itself has its walls covering everything inside, but the stores in the mall have their own separations. So it is with the exobody concept. This concept utilizes an armor shell with corresponds more to the safe arrangment and placement of the platform's systems rather than the space-efficient arrangment and placement of its systems. Inside this armor shell is basically a hollow space. The platform's systems are placed in a way to were most of the lethal systems (i.e. power systems, propulsion, and cooling) are arranged and placed towards the rear and/or as far away from the habitation centers as space allows. The habitation centers are basically cubical or rectagular structures housing the stellarmen, but are not inbuilt with the other primary systems, such as propulsion or power. The habitation centers are also coated with light armor and heat aversion compounds. Each system is suspended by itself, using beam-structure technology inside the armor shell to secure the systems. Between every system is an area of hollow space, allowing for heat ventilation and internal placement of the plateform's radiators (inside the armor shell, that is), protecting them from enemy fire but also allowing them to do their job. This proved to be much safer, but required the platforms to be very large and massive. Being an unforgiving place, though, space has forced the military to take these measures.
Needless to say, the Inferno is based on the exobody concept design.
Defense systems include, but are not strictly limited to:
a. accelerated particle field
b. polaric aversion field
c. fusion armor
d. short-range anti-missile
/lightcraft electromagnetic pulse defense grid
e. half-range anti-gunship medium munitions defense grid
f. half-light scanners
g. electromagnetic distortion countermeasures
h. signature carriers
Accelerated particle field.
If the platform's power source systems are sufficient in power supply and cooling capabilities, this defense-category system is extremely effective. A structure in the shape of a stub arm, the accelerator,
houses the output components (electromagnets
, cooling components), and bends at a 90 degree angle, usually pointing to the front of the platform. This "arm" rotates around the exobody (widthwise) on the particle field rotating assembly,
which has to allow the arm to clear all protrusions from the platform. Located throughout the expanse of the exobody are particle field resistors,
which function to "shape" the field into somewhat of a teardrop form. At the back and front of the platform are two more arms that point straight forward (or backward), and are the lockers,
which function to "seal" the particle field at the front and back. This field, emitted by the accelerator
and the lockers, rotates around the platform at lightspeed
. Its function: obliterate anything that comes into contact with it. The subatomic particles
collide with anything that tries to pass through the field, and destroy it, whether it is a missile or any other kinetic weapon, a beam weapon, or practically any other kind of weapon.
However, there are two drawbacks. 1) To operate and maintain the functionality of this defense system, the platform has to have a substantially large power source. Even at the minimal charge factor of the particles, they still have to be accelerated to lightspeed, and that requires massive amounts of power---at least three dedicated fusion reactors, or 2/5 power from a collider (platforms like the Inferno do not see that as a major issue, being that they have ten fusion reactors and one collider at their service). 2) Once the field is accelerated to optimal rotating velocity, the platform is immobile and practically blind. Not only can nothing get in, but nothing can get out as well. This includes scanners and sensors. The only type of scanner that can effectively operate are the visual scanners. The platform also cannot fire any weapons of any sort during this field's operation; if something does happen to go off, the shock would undoubtedly return back to the platform, damaging or possible even destroying it.
Polaric aversion field.
Located on various locations throughout the exobody, there are the polaric impellers.
Their function is to use the charge sensors' data to match the electric charge of oncoming mass and magnetically impel them away from the ship, whether that is to completely stop the mass (if that is possible), or to "push" it into a different direction, at least to the point of missing the platform, if nothing else. The upside to this defense system is that the platform can be in full weapons operation during the operation of this system, and have complete mobility
. The "polaric fields" are only activated and employed if and when an oncoming mass
is detected. Although this system can still be used in defense against beam weapons, it grossly fails to avert particles headed their way at lightspeed. The downside to this system is that it depends heavily on the platform's mass to give the polaric fields any sort of significant presence. The higher the mass of the platform, the stronger the polaric fields can be, making this system practically useless on lightcraft and smaller gunships. The impellers do tend to get extremely hot, and sometimes fail due to system components overheating or just plain melting. There are usually safeguards
Fusion armor. Not to be confused with nuclear fusion, this term is used with a different definition in mind. Two types of armor are "fused," in a way. At the very outer layers of the armor, it is the impact-resistance type of armor, whereas the very inner layers are the abrasive type. At the center of the armor, the ratio is 50/50. The platforms that imploy the double-hull design (such as the Inferno) have the armor hulls arranged to where the outer hull is the impact-resistance to abrasive combine type, and the inner hull is the abrasive to impact-resistance combine type.
Short-range anti-missile/lightcraft electromagnetic pulse defense grid.
This defense grid consists of 50 EMP projectors which target lightcraft (fighters, missile deposits---a.k.a. "misdeps", mines, drones) and oncoming missiles, knocking out their electronic components, thereby rendering them ineffective
. To have any real effect on anything, the object that is targeted has to be within 1,000km, otherwise, the computer will be unlikely to predict the movements of said targeted object. To have a garaunteed hit, the targeted object will have to be within a certain proximity
of the firing platform (which depends heavily on the onboard targeting matrix's capacity). These pulses are rather ineffective against craft of larger mass, such as destroyer or cruiser platforms (since they are equipped with anti-EMP defenses), and more advanced missiles. The EMP defense grid, although extremely effective against some forms of weapons and craft, are nearing unemployment by many of the Kingdoms due to the fact that highly-advanced anti-EMP systems are starting to be installed on a higher number of platforms and weapons. Eventually, they will become obsolete
Half-range anti-gunship medium munitions defense grid. Using medium-scale/power munitions, this grid consists of medium-caliber rotary kinetic guns (RKGs), sub-light electromagnetic matter drivers (SL-EMDs), and half-light electromagnetic matter drivers (HL-EMDs). Only platforms in the Heavy Munitions and Carrier Combine category equip their anti-gunship defense grids with HL-EMDs, due to the considerably higher and enormous demand on power for the half-light accelerators. The RKGs in this defense grid can only achieve vega-sonic speeds (Vega-1 being 100 times the speed of sound). The RKGs particularily on the Inferno range from Vega-4 to Vega-6 (400-600 times the speed of sound), making their 1,000 caliber (1k/cal) RKGs very formidable to even well armored gunships. The SL and HL EMDs are basically magnetic rail systems which launch dense metallic matter held together by their manipulated/surcharged magnetism. This "matter," driven to a third of the speed of light, and even to half the speed of light, are extremely devestating to gunships of almost any size, save the canaanite-class gunships (which are the largest of the gunships). In effect, the matter drivers are weapons designed to shatter and/or tear apart their targets, versus pin-point targeting. The size of the Inferno's EM matter drivers range from Type 3 to Type 5 (Type 3: 30-foot diameter concentrated matter spheres, Type 4: 40-foot, Type 5: 50-foot). Due to the size of these matter drivers, entire lightcraft can be engulfed in these "concentrated matter spheres," the term used to describe the spheres of magnetic and metallic matter launched by the drivers.
Half-light scanners. As mentioned earlier, the term "half-light" refers to half the speed of light. Although there is good progress being made on full-light scanners, there are still issues involving wave acceleration, reception, and processing; visual scanners are the only full-light scanners which are fully developed. The Inferno is equipped with the best half-light scanner technology available. Half-light scanners are regarded as defense systems, being that they are critical in detecting incoming weapons and platform/ship signatures (which allows the recognition of class and category). Most kinetic and self-propelled weapons are within the Vega range of speed, and this makes half-light scanners crucial in relaying information on the movements of incoming weapons in time---enough time for the weapons computer and targeting matrix (WCTM) to triangulate on incoming fire and defend via the platform's defense grids.
Electromagnetic distortion countermeasures. This system uses scanner-like waves to send strong impulses of electromagnetic radiation, which act as scramblers against most types of military-grade scanners and sensors (all except for visual scanners). The degree of influence, however, varies depending on the mass of the opponent platforms. The higher the mass, the less effective these countermeasures are against enemies; on the flip side, the higher the mass of the utilizer of these countermeasures, the higher the effectiveness. Against craft such as fighters and gunships, though, the Inferno's countermeasures literally disable scanner/sensor guidance systems, forcing the pilots of such enemy craft to aim by sight. This effect lessens as these kinds of enemy craft further themselves, obviously, but in and of itself, electromagnetic distortion countermeasures which the Inferno is outfitted with are very effective.
Signature carriers. A very conventional weapon, but very effective if used correctly. It is simply a small pod that is launched from the platform which, once activated, carries the same signature as the launcher, except that it broadcasts it in different degrees of power. Depending on how it was set, it can overpower the signature broadcast factor of the platform that launched it, or it can be equal, or smaller. Signature carriers can be programmed to do almost anything, whether that is to pulsate the signature, have it barely detectable, or what have you. Skilled commanders have made good use of these carriers in the past.
(Discussed in next Science Fiction Log; see Science Fiction Log 9/29/13: FSMP Inferno