Deep Space Force

CAUTION : Long introduction. Scroll right down for the images.

Some of you may remember my “Project Orion” animation from last year :
The final animation sank without trace here, but that’s OK, because it was very successful elsewhere. I’m still keen on promoting the concept (giant spaceship propelled by nukes), so I’ll make another one - or try to, it’ll take some work to keep render times down.

This one will take the form of a space battle. In 1962 President Kennedy was shown a model of the spaceship as a last-ditch effort to keep the project alive. This abominable concept was for a ship capable of wiping out every Russian city with a population over 200,000 from orbit. Sadly the model has now been lost. Descriptions of it say it was equipped with 5 inch guns for defence, Casaba-Howitzer bombs (a directed-energy nuke), and 500 Minuteman-style 25 megaton bombs. Kennedy, like the scientists involved and any sane person, hated the idea. One year lated the Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed and the project was cancelled.

But supposing Kennedy had, for some reason, been a warmonger ? With the opportunity of obliterating Communism he would surely have enthusiastically endorsed the project. However, it has since come to light that though the US had no knowledge of it, the Russians knew of the American program and had started their own. So had Battleship Orion gone ahead, the result would be a stalemate. The Cold War would have continued, each side continuing to build a fleet of space battleships, never risking open conflict for fear of total annihilation.

I will set the eventual battle in 2050 at Callisto, outermost of the Gallilean moons of Jupiter. 2050 provides ample time for development of large ships (and I do mean large) and sophisticated space weaponry (lasers etc.) but does not lie too far outside the bounds of foreseeable advances. I chose Callisto for no real reason; I just wanted to render it.

Everything here will be physically and technologically sound. No Star Trek shields or tractor beams or spaceships performing impossible manoeuvers (with artistic concessions such as audible explosions in space). If anyone has any good links to possible space weapons it would be much appreciated.

So, without further ado, here are the very early images so far :

I would like to see Tachyons used in some of the technology. I think tachyons could be used to make cloaking devices and instant teleportation between long, interstellar distances… You can have the battle take place all over the Galaxy.

Much as I enjoy Star Wars, a complete fantasy is NOT the goal here. Tachyons are purely hypothetical. There is no reason to suppose they actually exist. Moreover, use of such technology would make the entire focus on nuclear propulsion pointless. As I said I don’t want any technology requiring more than 50 years of development.

Ah, ok… Sorry, thought you menat you would take any technology that might be possible at all… Forgot the 50 year limit.

I know somewhere they were working on making a force feild device, but so far it’s just an electrical feild that shocks you when you reach it… Just wear a rubber suit to get by… I don’t remember where I read about it, I actually thhink I saw it on the Science channel, but I do know it is real.

Hi, Rhys! I adore your Orion drive spacecraft, you can really make Blender jump through hoops.

I humbly offer my website with a space weapon section:

Keep in mind that the Orion pusher plate is also very handy as a shield against hostile nuclear warheads. Keep it pointed at incoming nukes and the enemy will be at a disadvantage.

Tynach : no worries, I just don’t want time-travelling spaceships…
(altough that could be interesting)

I will try and find about this electric force field. Could be useful for disabling incoming missiles.

nyrathwiz : Those links are AWESOME, thank you very much !

I’m not sure how useful the pusher would actually be for defense against nukes - if one got too close that would be game over, a side-strike could also be damaging.

I have a question… Are you going for totally possible? For instance, are you going to calculate every slow reflex by making time for crew members to get to a part of the ship? And, are you going to have to have artificial gravity technology for that? Or calculate the time it would take for them to float down? Or are the ships remote control?

The force feild mentioned could actually somewhat slow down matter coming at it, even when non-magnetic. Something to do with it being strong enough to actually magnetically repell the outer electron shells of atoms. I think they said that if they increased the power, it might block something like a rock, but it would also greatly expand the area of the feild itself, and the energy might actually destroy the rock… Could be usefull as a weapon as well. A generator itself flung at a space craft, just destroying everything, nothing stopping it (except what it’s hitting, maybe it would repell it too much)…

He already does.
The three segments are on long enough booms so that adequate gravity can be created while only spinning at a rate of one revolution per minute or less.
Spinning faster than that causes motion sickness in the crew due to the Coriolis effect. The longer the boom, the slower the spin required.

Bigger pictures, please! I want to enjoy the obvious huge amount of detail you put into these things. :slight_smile:

[Edit] Look up Tesla’s directed energy weapon. That and a few weaponized tesla coils on a ship would be awesome!

Oh, baby, those are some nice textures and settings.

I have a question… Are you going for totally possible?

More or less. I’ll make certain artistic concessions - sounds in space, beam weapons visible, and ships fighting at close range. Really I don’t think it would look at all convincing otherwise. As far as technology goes, then as long as the theory is sound and no major breakthroughs are required (and it doesn’t need a planet-sized power source or whatever), then it’s ok. So laser weapons are in (in development now), but teleportation is out (in development but not at all likely to be useful anytime soon).

For instance, are you going to calculate every slow reflex by making time for crew members to get to a part of the ship?

I don’t think you’d get anything like that. As on a naval warship, the crew are at various stations and respond to orders from the bridge. There’d be little or no need for anyone to do much physical movement.

I’ve looked up this electric force-field thing, but all I get is some armour system for vehicles that’s useful against RPG’s. Haven’t found anything about repelling non-conductive objects, but I’ll keep looking.

LOTR Junkie : Not really a whole lot of detail yet actually. That will change, given time…

I’ve looked up the “teleforce” weapon but without much success. I can’t find very much on how it was supposed to work (wikipedia gives the impression that it’s a neutral beam of metal particles that’s zapped with static electricity). Most sites seem to give the impression of very flaky, far-out research that belongs in the anti-gravity class : maybe real, but probably a conspiracy theory.
Tesla coils : would that work ? To get a spark, you need a highly charged object and a neutral one. Surely it would just discharge to the hull of the spaceship.

Here is a small update, it’s a schematic of the ship. I think this is probably the best way to design it, shows the layout well.

What if there’s an accident, and some of the crew dies, in a critical part of the ship? You need to get other people to get in suits and go to that part of the ship. Are you going to allow time for all that to happen?

Rhysy, it looks good so far.
Keep in mind that if these ships are powered by nuclear reactors, or if they mount some sort of laser, the ships will require heat radiators.

Note that the nuclear thermal maneuvering rockets you have on the Soviet warship do NOT require radiators, of course. All their waste heat leaves in the exhaust by the magic of open-cycle cooling. In effect, their exhaust is the radiator.

But some sort of radiator will be needed for a nuclear power reactor.

Chemical lasers can also avoid the need for radiators by using open-cycle cooling. The drawback is the number of laser bolts is limited to the coolant supply. There is a picture of a space laser with open-cycle cooling at
scroll down to picture labeled with “Martin-Marietta design for laser anti-missile station. Note open-cycle cooling ports

As far as I know, there is no current scientifically credible way of creating a force field capable of fending off missiles. The best one can do is repelling particle radiation or charged particle beams.

If you haven’t already, you should read the last few chapters of Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s novel FOOTFALL. A hastily manufactured Orion drive warship is sent to attack an alien Bussard Ramjet invading Earth. They use Excalibur bomb-pumped X-ray lasers, but they don’t need the bomb part. They throw out a clutch of X-ray lasers, the lasers target the enemy, then the next propulsion nuke also pumps the lasers.

Tynach : I suspect an accident in a critical area, such as the drive section, would mean game over. If an exterior part is damaged, such as a gun turret, there wouldn’t be a lot you could do about it until the battle was over. The weapons used would be powerful enough that “damage” probably means complete destruction. However, less severe internal damage such as from impacts from missiles etc. would be difficult to represent. I might have weapon fire cease temporarily.

Update. Added some Gauss cannons (electromagnetic coilguns) and radiative cooling fins. I’m not sure how important they’d be. A lot of heat would be lost through the hull. I also think it’s reasonable to say with 50 years of development a lot of efficiency improvements could be made (fins would have to be kept as small as possible, otherwise the whole battleship thing becomes unworkable). New images :
Updated images :

nyrathwiz : I’ve not read Footfall… I know I should. I will have the X-ray lasers as seperate missiles each with their own nuke. That way they can surround the enemy ships at long-range. Thanks for those links, I’ll take a look at them. If you’re interested in nuclear spaceships you should take a look here :

I think that’ll do for weapons as far as this ship goes. Probably no more room/mass left for any more (well, maybe a few smaller guns). Next I’ll add ancillary details such as windows, random hatches and coolant pipes.

Rhysy, if you manage to find a copy of Footfall, the details about the Orion drive warship start at chapter 41, you don’t have to read the entire thing.

Roger the nuclear rocket forum, I was aware of them and check in occasionally.

The new renders you did are excellent.

Here’s a bit of an example of what I mean: Say there is a power line from the reactor to one half of the ship, and a power line to the other line. Say both lines run on the outside of the ship, and run right next to the sheild generator by chance. The opposing ship fires a VERY powerfull blast at the sheild generator, but the sheild is powerfull enough to block most of it. The result is that only the shield generator is knocked out, along with the power line that feeds it and half of the ship. The opposing ship has to re-charge to fire any other shot, so you have 10 minutes to put qualified people in suits, send them over to the damaged area, and re-rout power to the backup generator and half of the ship. Are you going to take the time to trace where each person is, how long it takes them to suit up and get over there, and how long it takes for the repairs?

I think that would be a very interesting twist, and I think it would be cool to put something like that in the animation.

By the way, those new renders are awsome!

Tynach, old buddy, you have to understand that Rhysy is trying to make a short movie as a Blender animation, NOT a space combat simulation program. :wink:
Even if he undertook the herculean task of doing a time/difficulty analysis of such a damage control operation on equipment that has not yet been invented, it would not make it into the animation. With the possible exception of the TV show 24, movies are not done in real time. Time is compressed where it will not be missed by the movie editors, to create effective pacing.

Not that shield generators are likely to ever exist in any event.

If you want to figure out such details, I’d go subscribe to the Yahoo Group SFConSim and ask there.
They have lots of technical experts who also design science fiction combat games. Many of the choicest tidbits on my atomic rocket site are quotes from various SFConSim experts.

Rhysy, I do not know how pedantic you want to be about the details.

For what it is worth, with respect to the “rockets for axial rotation”, on the Apollo service module, the rockets were not exactly parallel to the hull. They were aimed slightly upwards.üsen.jpg

Tynach, I have to agree with nyrathwiz - it would be extremely complex to do such an analysis. I also think it wouldn’t make sense. Power cells could be placed for every weapon that charge up during less agressive periods so that even if a power cabale was somehow severed - and it would have to be inside the ship - it wouldn’t necessarily render anything inactive. More importantly, guns and missiles don’t require recharging, only reloading, which is very quick. I envisage a space battle as being nasty, brutish and short. Should your countermeasures be disabled (i.e. anti-missile guns), the enemy will quickly cripple your ship. 10 minutes, I would think, would be a very long time to survive without defences.

nyrathwiz :

Rhysy, I do not know how pedantic you want to be about the details.

Selectively - if it’s easy, I’ll put it in, if it’s complex… maybe not. :wink: Angling the rockets is very easy, so I’ll do that. Good way to avoid the exhaust hitting the hull, I should have thought of that.
Do you run that Atomic Rockets site ? If you do, it’s absolutely fabulous.