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Old 11-24-2012, 08:16 AM   #106
fjtorres
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I like three stages. Good.

Now I've just got to figure out what kinds of stuff would be involved in freefall combat training. How to shoot your enemy without punching a hole in the ship wall?
Tasers!
Look at current non-lethal weaponry prototypes; the pain beams, tanglers, foam grenades, etc.
Then up the ante beyond non-lethal levels.
A fast hardening sticky foam grenade to the face can be as lethal as a garrote. Or a direct contact shock-stick with enough amps to kill and not just stun. Would look "cool", too; kinda like a bo staff. Lethal gasses might be part of the toolkit. An inert gas attack in an enclosed space might also do the trick. If you want to get fancier/more speculative; nanites...

The microwave beams in particular are a good choice, methinks, because most space electronics need to be radiation hardened so there is likely a range of beam intensity that will really mess up humans without killing hardened electronics.

Breaking things is easy; selectively breaking the *right* things is a lot harder.
And the skills to properly use these selective weapons in constrained environments would definitely qualify the troops as "elite".

Edit: I forgot the contemporary options -- blowgun/airgun darts loaded with fast-acting poison inducing near instant anaphylactic shock. Rubber pellets coated with a similar contact toxin. Lots of possibilities on the biochem front.

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Old 11-24-2012, 08:40 AM   #107
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I know I know, sorry I was just philosophizing on this thread title.
Please don't find me and kill me with whatever new branch of the military is invented with the ideas provided on this thread, thanks

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By providing food for thought for people willing to exercise the gray matter.
We *are* talking about a Science Fiction Story.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:35 AM   #108
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I know I know, sorry I was just philosophizing on this thread title.
Please don't find me and kill me with whatever new branch of the military is invented with the ideas provided on this thread, thanks
No need to send them.
The orbitting laser death satellite already has you targetted.
(Unless that annoying Chris Knight twerp has messed with it again... If he did, enjoy the popcorn.)
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:10 AM   #109
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In freefall, the solutions need to be 'reaction-less' or the user would be displaced from their current position.
A possible solution would to have the user fire using a 'targeting device' and the cannon mounted on a high mass (stabilized) platform do calculations and the actual firing.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:57 AM   #110
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In freefall, the solutions need to be 'reaction-less' or the user would be displaced from their current position.
Uh-huh.
The reaction force could be useful if you know how to use it in manuevering.
(Of course, weapons can be designed that counter the reaction force--compressed air jets, etc).
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:50 PM   #111
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Freefall close range would be hell of difference too. A whole new martial arts branch to learn
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:47 PM   #112
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Freefall close range would be hell of difference too. A whole new martial arts branch to learn
Judo with knives? Grab and slash.
Hmm, whips!
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:47 PM   #113
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The own and opponents momentum would be - so i think by magnitudes more significant in these conditions - and much more dangerous if misjudged Just applying all the bits and pieces about trouble with simple movement in 0G or micrograv conditions scattered around the SF I read and whatiffing them up to Space-Fu makes my mind spin.
btw. Nyrath might be just the right person to question about that his site covers already aspects of space suitable weaponry.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:46 PM   #114
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IMO, weapons such as foam to the face or microwave beams, will not be widely employed in space combat. People in space are already protecting themselves from one of the most hostile environments (vacuum, high-energy radiation, extreme heat & cold). Just as today's ships have life jackets, tomorrow's space dwellers will probably have various forms of personal environmental protection. So acoustic, electromagnetic, and similar weapons may be nullified.

Most weapons in widespread use will have effective counters (e.g. reflective coatings against laser frequencies). I suppose it is possible for small elite forces to use odd weapons that are not commonly known, and therefore not so easily countered. I do like the idea of super-sticky balls or sprays to immobilize (released with a solvent chemical spray or command to nannites). Seems like a probable extension of today's technology.

One of the earlier weapon tropes, for good reason, was the rocket-assisted bullet or dart. That has the advantages of not having to deal with much recoil when firing and 'smart' targeting (in-flight correction) yet delivering good old-fashioned kinetic energy. Drawbacks include expensive and, perhaps, heavy/large ammunition. Of course you won't need to carry nearly as much ammunition if you have smart targeting.

It certainly makes a difference whether or not attackers care if they blow holes in the hull of a ship they are boarding. Defenders usually care more. You won't see a lot of flamethrowers or tracer/armor piercing rounds used for onboard ship defense today. Shotguns with buckshot (not slugs) are a favorite today because of high antipersonnel effectiveness, low cost, and yet still low hull penetration. Anti-materiel weapons (e.g. 50 cal sniper rifle) only make sense to use on approaching ships, not inside your own ship.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:04 PM   #115
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IMO, weapons such as foam to the face or microwave beams, will not be widely employed in space combat. People in space are already protecting themselves from one of the most hostile environments (vacuum, high-energy radiation, extreme heat & cold). Just as today's ships have life jackets, tomorrow's space dwellers will probably have various forms of personal environmental protection. So acoustic, electromagnetic, and similar weapons may be nullified.

Most weapons in widespread use will have effective counters (e.g. reflective coatings against laser frequencies). I suppose it is possible for small elite forces to use odd weapons that are not commonly known, and therefore not so easily countered. I do like the idea of super-sticky balls or sprays to immobilize (released with a solvent chemical spray or command to nannites). Seems like a probable extension of today's technology.

One of the earlier weapon tropes, for good reason, was the rocket-assisted bullet or dart. That has the advantages of not having to deal with much recoil when firing and 'smart' targeting (in-flight correction) yet delivering good old-fashioned kinetic energy. Drawbacks include expensive and, perhaps, heavy/large ammunition. Of course you won't need to carry nearly as much ammunition if you have smart targeting.

It certainly makes a difference whether or not attackers care if they blow holes in the hull of a ship they are boarding. Defenders usually care more. You won't see a lot of flamethrowers or tracer/armor piercing rounds used for onboard ship defense today. Shotguns with buckshot (not slugs) are a favorite today because of high antipersonnel effectiveness, low cost, and yet still low hull penetration. Anti-materiel weapons (e.g. 50 cal sniper rifle) only make sense to use on approaching ships, not inside your own ship.
s

Some very interesting observations here, although I don't agree with everything. For example, people living on the ISS don't appear to be using much protective gear while working.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:21 PM   #116
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We already have drones, and the next gen (or the next) fighter aircraft will be unmanned. Maneuvering in a zero G environment is much easier for machines than 1 G across terrain.

Many / most weapons systems will be fully automated in 200 years. "Soldiers" will be deploying remote weapons for the rest. People will be too expensive, too big (or too small), too slow, and have too few sensory systems to be winning fights in space.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:00 PM   #117
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I tend to agree with the probability of drone warfare but ... there exists some possibility electronics will be unreliable -- either impractical to shield against electromagnetic pulses (EMP) or hackable. When I think about today's 'arms escalation' between white hat and black hat hackers it is easy to imagine that fancy drones can get brain-jacked or signal-jacked and sent back against you or self-destructed.

A drone has to pull an awful lot of G-forces to outrun a radio signal. It doesn't seem practical for drones to be fully autonomous (no communications) unless you buy into really good future AI and then they'd still need some corruptable communication technique to assign and abort missions.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:14 PM   #118
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The farther you are away from human control, the more autonomous the drones have to be. Light is fast, but as the distance increases, so does the delay. It would be some time before a drone would be a better fighter pilot than a human would. but drones have a big advantage drones in that they don't need to eat or sleep. If you had human fighter pilots out by, say, Neptune, you would need a base for them. Drones wouldn't need this. They could sit quietly for months or even years, waiting for their orders.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:40 PM   #119
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...it is easy to imagine that fancy drones can get brain-jacked or signal-jacked and sent back against you or self-destructed.
Yes.
Especially since it's already happened.
http://www.informationweek.com/secur...s-dr/232300666

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December 16, 2011 12:30 PM

Iran recently captured a CIA batwing stealth drone by spoofing the GPS signals it received, fooling the drone into thinking it was landing at its home base.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:30 PM   #120
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Have I mentioned that you folks are seriously smart? This is awesome stuff.

For story purposes, I'm going to assume that brain-jacking, signal jamming and cyberwarfare makes drones unreliable at best. If I can pull it off, I may invent ways of nullifying most non-lethal projectiles so that combat strategy comes full circle and we end up with lots of hand-to-hand fighting. (Love the direct-contact shock sticks...)

Can y'all help me with a couple of boring questions, too?

(1) Protagonist has survived boot camp, been fast-tracked through zero-gee combat training, and is now being placed with an elite team of about twelve people. What's her rank likely to be? Private?

(2) What's the rank of her direct superior, i.e. the team leader?

(3) And the rank of the man or woman handing out her team's assignments?
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