Post by omnipotentvoid on Jul 1, 2017 10:35:45 GMT
I've been wanting to make efficient anti drone missiles ever since I started to use the ideas form the blast launchers cluster munitions thread. The micro nukes are possible, with mass going below 200mg and length well below 1cm. The problem that these missiles face is the control unit. At 1kg it represents half of the wet mass of my medium sized anti drone missile concepts, reducing their dV and acceleration to the point of uselessnes. It has been pointed out before, but there should realy be a way to make lighter control units. I can understand the large mass for control units that are required to last days or weeks for drones/missiles that must fly between jupiters moons or make intercepts around uranus for targets in vastly different orbits. I'd actually expect control units for these tasks to be heavier due to bateries, lacking any other power generation method. I can't understand, however, why a missile that is expected to last all of 30 minutes at most is reguired to have a control unit 10 time heavier than a smartphone, which in it self is far more complex and powerfull than the missile control system needs and has a vastly longer battery life than the required 30 minutes.
I think allowing custom RC units would be interesting, where we pick battery mass, communication (laser, radio or both), radiation hardening, sensors, ... This way, we could make them as small or as capable as we'd like.
I think there's a good rationale for a smaller RC unit. The small unit would weigh 50-100 g or somewhere thereabouts, would only function in combat mode, and would have a radiation limit just like a manned crew module (so in practice you'd only be able to use it on drones and missiles without reactors).
Its mass is so much less because it doesn't have a huge battery, self-sufficient navigation equipment (atomic clock, etc.), or integral radiation shielding.
Blast launchers require no power, but they still count as weapons, so a missile that uses them is classed as a "drone".
Sorry, I didn't mean in regards to my example. I meant drones armed with coil/railguns and laser usually have their own power plants, yet still have the mass of the battery included in the RC unit.
It could be the battery XOR the radiation shielding. To have a working computer a few meters away from an un- or lightly-shielded nuclear reactor is going to need a lot of it. Of course, that wouldn't apply to the folks who use well-shielded reactors in drones.