Space Battleship Armor?

Discussion in 'SciFi & Fantasy' started by Edont Knoff, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    547
    Just asking for opinions ...

    In most sci-fi universes space ships are primarily protected by energy or force fields/shields. But they also have a hull.

    Do you think a space battleship should have an armored hull in addition to the shields? Or maybe, there should only be armor and no shields at all?

    Should mass be considered an issue? Some sci-fi universes have devices to nullify inertia, in other universes it's not explictely mentioned but inertia just doesn't seem to be a problem. So mass would be irrelevant, and space battleships could have many feet strong armor layers?

    Let me know what you think

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    Also, weapon types and the types of armor needed to protect against.
     
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  3. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Diamond with valence electrons. Bend like metal and not crack like crystal.

    Also it would be a posh luxury battleship!
     
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  5. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    Wouldn't a diamond coating be transparent and leave the lower armor layers/the interior vulnerable to lasers?

    And what exactly distinguishes "diamond with valence electrons" from ordinary diamond coating?
     
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  7. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    um... a transparent metal reacting to a laser beam is kinda' a funky thing to ponder.
     
  8. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    The cost of lugging heavy metal plating around the universe would be prohibitive, I think.
     
  9. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Why not get rid of the hull too and use fields to keep the air "in"?
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    A blown circuit breaker would be . . . unfortunate.
     
  11. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    That's where the Department of Redundancy Dept. rules.
     
  12. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    I think it depends on hetero want some science in your sci-fi or are just going fantasy in space?
    Force fields: what is their mechanism?
    What do they repel (energy? Matter? Both?)
    What velocities will combat be at (low sunlight, high sunlight etc)?
    What weapon types will ships use?

    Bear in mind that micro-meteorites are a hazard even in LEO, as well as debris travelling at km/s relative to you.

    You answer your own question regarding whether mass is important.
    In classical mechanics it is, but if you have the magic of inertial dampeners or nullifiers then mass, at least for ship size, is less significant.

    Personally I would start with the basic tech that you're allowing and extrapolate from there.
    If you're allowing energy shields, for example, how do they work, what else could the underlying tech be used for, etc?
    Why do you even need energy shields?
    What would they be shielding you from?
    What don't they shield you from?

    This way you can start to build a more holistic view of the tech, its rationale, the logic behind it etc.
    And in doing so reach answers yourself.
     
  13. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    547
    That something that makes me wonder about the Star Wars movies. Those ships have a open areas like hangar bays and apparently only a force field is keeping the air in. For a military ship that seems not very robust.

    Having said that, I think space battle ships should be evacuated in combat to prevent shockwaves running through the ship after hits, also to prevent fires. Strangely, old sci-fi novels knew that, the modern sci-fi movies all want the fire effects and crew blown around ...
     
  14. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    If the force field doesn't need a material surface to function it would be possible to have several "curtains" to divide the hangar decks into smaller areas. Use the small area closest to the breach as an airlock to move repair crews into the problem area.
    References? I've read that both ways as far back as the Lensmen series, from the 1930s.
     
  15. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    547
    Personally I'm a hard sci-fi fan. But I was asking about other peoples opinions, particularly about the armor of space ships.

    If was to make a sci-fi world ... let me try to list:

    Force fields - electric and magnetic fields, which can affect charged particles and magnetic projectiles.
    Folded space, if one wants to go really high tech.
    Velocities: Full range up to to relativistic speeds.
    Weapon types:
    - Particle cannons (ion cannons, fusion cannons -> projected plasma beams).
    - Gauss type cannons, or other projectile throwers.
    - Missiles, torpedoes, mines with a variety of warheads - fission, fusion, matter/antimatter ...
    - Laser type weapons.
    - If going very high tech, gravity effects to rip enemy ships apart.

    Even more reason to think about armor?

    I was asking for other peoples opinions. One person was already replaying, that they think lugging around tons of armor is unwieldly in space. So even if I can decide that for any world that I'll design, my primary wish was to know what others think about it.

    Sorry, I was asking for other peoples opinions. I can only get those from other people.
     
  16. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    ZBV Series from K.H. Scheer. Started in 1961 or so ...
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    OMG, keep your phobias to yourself.



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  18. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Erm... That reminds me of a porno title: "Sex Trek The Next Penetration".

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  19. Michael 345 Looking for Bali in Nov Valued Senior Member

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    You do know "force/energy" fields are great for SiFi but not obtainable in reality?

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  20. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Sure, my point is/was that armour is just one aspect in something that ideally needs to be considered holistically, i.e. shields, propulsion, armour etc should not be looked at in isolation.
    In isolation the issue of armour is like the length of a piece of string.
    There is no right or wrong answer - there just needs to be a rationale for any choice, and everything else needs to be complementary.
    You have the shields of Star Trek and Star Wars where weapons are incredibly powerful, and you have the shieldless setting of BSG or B5 where the hull is important. Each is valid as long as it is within a suite of tech that makes sense relative to each other.
    If you prefer harder sci-fi then I would think shields would be less acceptable, and ships basically become submarines in space.
    If you prefer the fantastical side like ST / SW then shields become more acceptable.
     
  21. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Gah!
    Stupid typo and auto-correct!!
    Thanks for bringing it to everyone's attention, though.
    Much appreciated.

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  22. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry, English is my only language.
     
  23. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

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    [pro and con of evacuated ships in battles]

    Sorry, at the moment of my first reply, I was not in a good mental shape. But I'd like to discuss that point some more. To me it seemed obvious that the effects of evacuation (no pressure waves, no fires) are a huge benefit in battle, compared to crew member sucked into space or blown through corridors, and fire fighters clogging ways.

    But I see that the need to wear pressure suits reduces the effectivity of the crew.

    Meanwhile I think that having a sort of inner compartment with most of the control structures and an outer compartment with machinery but less crew memebrs could be a good compromise. Keep the inner compartmane under pressure, so that the creew there can work normally and efficiently, but evacuate the outer compartment to reduce pressure waves and fires from weapon impacts ... and hope the weapons cannot reach the conatinmne of the inner compaartment.

    What were the pros and cons that you gathered from the books?
     

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