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Plasma Weapons / Laser Weapons


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#1 GreatGold

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 01:00 AM

Hey -

We are at a point now with the fluff text, that we need a concencus on how Plasma Weapons will work. I'm assuming that all classes of plasma weapon should operate under the same general principles, with variations depending on gun size and purpose.

Therefore, what are the general principles we wish to use? Have they been discussed already? If so, could someone please cut and paste the best parts to this thread so that we can accumulate and correlate the best ideas?

The exact same is true for laser weapons.

At this moment, we have some interesting HWP concepts up on the CTD Asset List, thanks to Cpt. Boxershorts. They are quite good, so give em a read, and if you have any suggestions let Cpt. Boxershorts know.

I'm a little hesitant to assign him the Plasma and Laser HWP's until we have a good idea of where we want to go with the general plasma/laser weapons concepts. I'm also hesitant to start assigning and working on any of the techs that use these concepts until we have a better idea.

They are so central to the game, that we really should cement them. That all said, any ideas?

Thanks,
Gold

ps - just to clarrify, i mean the overall general concepts that will be applied to all weapons of that class, not specific nuances.
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#2 Breunor

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 11:35 AM

This previous discussions I read about the plasma weapons (and thus how the models should look) had the process going like this:

the elerium is injected from the weapon clip into a mixing chamber, as is some type of catalyst. When the two are combined, the elerium breaks down into a highly volatile plasma, which is then propelled down the barrel and towards the target using magnetic fields. If you check out the plasma rifle or heavy plasma, you'll see two pods on the sides, then the feeding tubes going to the back of the weapon. The spikes in front are the 'particle accelerators' if you will. The catalyst that reacts with the elerium (and what elerium is actually called) wasn't specified. But that's the general process there.

Deimos I think had described the laser weapons, mainly a high power light emitter with focusing mirrors within the weapon's body to make the laser pinpoint sharp.

#3 GreatGold

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 03:14 PM

Hey -

Thanks, thats more than enough to go on. We can probably sail easily on from this point.

Thanks,
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#4 Deimos

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 07:56 PM

Laser or Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission or Radiation (heh I love Acronyms) works by having a substance (anything from a ruby to co2) electrically stimulated by what is basically a flash tube. This excites the atoms in the substance which get agitated and release photons.

Unlike normal light where the photons are produced in random directions the photons in a laser are directional and always head in a single direction.

The lasing substance is housed in a tube with a fully reflecting mirror at one end and a partial mirror at the other. When the Atoms are excited by the process some of them release photons and these photons bounce back and forth on the mirrors whilst gaining momentum and energy. Once enough photons have enough energy and momentum they break out of the partially mirrored end of the tube in a highly focussed beam. This is the laser.

To get enough strength to be able to cause the massive amounts of damage required to kill different material properties would have to be used and very high energy levels would have to be used.

In the case of the weaponry we could say that a Co2 (carbon Dioxide) gas is used to produce a high frequency Infrared laser which is pulsed by a high yield fast repeating superconducting capacitor to produce a micro burst of laser light in the high IR and microwave parts of the electromagnetic spectrum at around 12,000nm.

This would of course use a enormous amount of energy so the battery 'clip' would have to be a very advanced form of a hydrogen fuel cell that delivers the enormous voltages and amperage needed to fuel the capacitor.

The laser could be classified as a CLASS V device (strictly speaking doesn't exist but neither do laser weapons).

As the weapon fires in the microwave and IR parts of the spectrum it would be invisible to the naked eye so the it would come equipped with a smaller powered targeting laser, probably a CLASS I device and would emit a red beam in a similar way to a laser pointer.

I think the only thing that would be visible would be the effects of the laser on the target. I imagine that there would be a flash as the laser energy hits the target and probably a quite a loud bang too. Other than that it wouldn't be visible.

I know that would break from the stereotypical 'star wars' type laser with their red or green beams and the pechow noise they make but I don't know how effective it would be in game. People who have looked into lasers (excuse the pun) would probably say that we got it right but I don't know how Joe public would react to it, they might prefer the star wars type effect.

I personally feel it would be very cool to show a little red targeting beam and a flash-bang when you hit the target. If the player didn't hit the target, no flash-bang. The sound effect for the laser registering a hit, I see it as a small click (of the trigger) and a much larger bang (bit like a lightining strike or a high voltage spark jumping a gap). For a miss in battlescape where it doesn't hit anything, there should just be the trigger click.
Visually I think for a hit there should be a very bright flash synched to the bang. Again if the shot doesn't hit anything in battlescape, no flash. I think it's unlikely that the weapon wouldn't hit something in BS as there is always some sort of terrain or building close by.

So how the weapon works. On the handgrip where the thumb sits would be a small button to activate the targetting laser. Once the target is aquired press the trigger in the usual way.

On the test range there would be a 100% accuracy score only limited by the diffusion effects of the weather. For battlescape all the fog of war, mvement of the person firing the weapon and battlefield conditions of quickly aquiring the target and laying down fire would reduce this to a more realistic level.

Well that's how I see laser tech working in the game, anyone in the CTD who wants to as usual can use it or not as you like.

#5 Deimos

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 08:05 PM

Here's some links on laser tech.
http://www.repairfaq...am/lasersam.htm
http://technology.ni.../mcsele/lasers/
http://www.scitoys.c...ight/light.html
http://www.lasertoolsco.com/

#6 Fred the Goat

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 12:33 PM

I heard the military (i.e. the U.S. military) actually looked extensively into lasers. It was found that a "laser rifle" kinda thing was doable, but not practical (the battery was a little big to lug around, or whatever). On the other hand, they found that a wide beam, portable blinding laser turret kind of setup would be very efficient, but...er...not exactly ethical. You know, permanently blinding everyone on the other side of the battlefield. Don't ask my why bombing them is better. This is all hearsay anyway, I dunno.

#7 Fred the Goat

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 12:35 PM

Gauss on the otherhand, exists today. There's at least one battleship out there that can fire aluminum "slugs" at near light speeds. Interesting, scary stuff.

#8 GreatGold

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 01:26 PM

Fred -

Do you have any links to this "Guass Battleship"?

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#9 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 10:20 AM

By the way, please let me know what people think of the HWP descriptions. I'm going to update them with some of the info above, but I'd love to get some feedback.

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#10 mikker

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 10:34 AM

I thought they were cool.

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#11 GreatGold

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 11:31 AM

Hehe -

Mikker, and everyone else, he needs constructive thoughts... that will help with ideas, changes, correction.

Do the write-ups make sense, or the made up parts too made up? Or are they believable and understandable? Should any of them be more explained, and if so how?

Stuff like that :D We already know they are DAMN cool :devillaugh:

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#12 stoopher

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Posted 15 June 2003 - 11:13 AM

battle ships launching aluminium slugs sounds like urban myth to me.

As a mechanical engineer I can promise that it'ld be unlikely to reach 0.01% of light speed. How heavy are the aluminium slugs? 0.2kg? 0.01kg? The lighter the easier it is to fire them. The only thing man has ever launched at light speed is the odd helium particle. And the reasons for this is because it is very light. even atmicro grammes the slug would take all the energy the earth can produce in a day to accelerate to a fraction of light speed. do the maths yourself. Light speed is 299792458 m/s and the formula you can approximater to is (1/2)*m*v*v where m is mass of slug and v is velocity. On top of that this does not take into account relativistic effects. The faster you travel the heavier you get. so actually the m term would increase.

With all due respect, sluigs at light speed? Yeah right. I don't need no lack of links to know this is not entirely true.

come on people lets switch our brains on. If you want me to vet any ideas which are frankly rubbish then I'ld welcome this task.

#13 mikker

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Posted 15 June 2003 - 11:42 AM

Ok.

They suck.

Better? :hammer:

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#14 GreatGold

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Posted 15 June 2003 - 11:56 AM

Very helpful Mikker, very helpful...
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#15 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 15 June 2003 - 01:19 PM

I was actually wondering how you fire aluminum magnetically? Last time I checked, aluminum isn't exactly known for its ferrous properties.
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#16 Deimos

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Posted 16 June 2003 - 05:02 AM

No one likes my laser description? Not one comment :crying:

Well maybe a plasma description will work better?

The theory of creating a superheated state of matter as a weapon has been known for some years, however taking the theory and actually making a prototype had not been an easy task due to the huge amounts of energy required. Until the discovery of a portable power source any plasma accelerators actually built took up a lot of space due to the size of the superconducting magnets needed to contain this new state of matter.

With the arrival of the aliens, all this changed. We now know how to construct minaturised superconducting magnetic coils that not only contain the plasma 'bolt' but can also direct its energy to propel it forward, making it a very effective weapon.

How this is achieved is detailled here. In the rear of the weapon there is a strange crystalline substance that serves as the power source for the weapon. This is pre-charged and activated to start up the perpetual chain reaction that casues the weapon to work. Once this substance has been activated it is inserted into the weapon along with the fuel in the form of a clip. Any matter will work but for optimum results aluminium shavings provide the best reation.


Also within the rear section of the gun, just in front of the holding area for the crystalline structure, there is a pre-mix chamber where the aluminium is superheated by an electrical charge measured in terawatts. Once the matter is superheated it is in a very unstable state and would tear the weapon apart if it were not for the ring of superconducting magnets containing the plasma.

A small amount of this plasma is directy injected via a channel of magnets into the crystalline area where sustains the reaction to power the weapon.

The rest of the plasma matter is then directed into the firing chamber and held in another ring of magnets, this time much larger. All these magnets are fed by the reaction of the alien crytalline stucture which gives off enormous amounts of electrical energy and is collected into incredibly high capacity capaitors which pulse generate the electricity to power not only the magnets but also the charge for heating the fuel.

Once the plasma is in the main magnetic chamber it is ready for firing and pressing the trigger discharges the capacitors which fire one after another to accelerate the plasma 'bolt' out of the weapon.

This entire reaction from injecting the fuel to ejecting the plasma 'bolt' takes a little over 0.3 of a second and as imagined with the amounts of electrical energy involved there is a considerable amount of heat involved which has to to vented otherwise an overload of the weapon occurs which leads to a chain reaction, which violently destroys the it. The weapon has a heat exchanger system which allows it to fire three bursts before needing to vent the heat. This gives the operator a weapon that is not only very destructive but also capable of laying down a barrage of fire which would equate to a sustained rate of fire of 180 rounds per minute.

#17 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 16 June 2003 - 06:01 AM

Hey. I like the laser description and the idea of stuff being vaporised without the slow moving starwars blaster beam thing.

I like the plasma tech too. The weapon would have to be amazingly well shielded to avoid EMPing everything on the battlefield and frying the operator.

#18 red knight

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Posted 16 June 2003 - 07:08 PM

You would like to add a very efficient coolant for the heat exchange... maybe reuse some heat for something....

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#19 Deimos

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 01:39 AM

Good call. Ok EMP shielding, could be one of the properties of the alien alloy?

I guess that part of the heat exchange system could redirect some of the waste heat back to the pre-mix chamber to help heat up the clip material. I think though it would still produce a lot of heat :) The reason for it firing only three rounds before exhausting the heat is for the autofire in battlescape. I thought it would be fun to explain why there are only three rounds fired :)

#20 Fred the Goat

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 01:19 AM

Well, there are only three rounds fired from an assault rifle, too...yeah right.

As for lasers, sometimes it's best to substitute what looks cool for what's technically accurate. I vote for laser beams. Not slow moving shots, mind you, but nice, red beams.

As for the light speed aluminum, I may have to retract that. True, aluminum isn't magnetic. Hmm...and light speed is really fast. This is, once again, hearsay. Let me see if I can find a link...damn...looks like it's hogwash. :Blush: Here's a link to that aerogel stuff, just so I don't feel like a total schmuck. :unsure:

http://stardust.jpl....ch/aerogel.html

#21 Deimos

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 05:36 AM

As for lasers, sometimes it's best to substitute what looks cool for what's technically accurate.  I vote for laser beams.  Not slow moving shots, mind you, but nice, red beams.

Hmm, and be like every other game out there that has depicted lasers. The problem with red lasers is that there isn't enough power in them to burn skin, never mind causing bodily damage. We have to remember that our target audience is most likely technically savvy and going that extra mile to explain and show something that reflects current technology shows that we're paying attention to detail rather than taking the easy cop out way of 'movie lasers'.

#22 red knight

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 01:54 PM

The point with lasers is this: Lasers are a Coherent Monocromatic Light Source, if you can see the laser then it dont burn cause the laser to burn must be on the infrared spectrum (if i dont recall wrong from that Laser course i took like 6 years ago). The lasers used to perforate, and solder and burn are invisible to human eye.... Slow motion lasers (movie style) has cough up very well on the issue...

For a laser weapon aiming would be as easy as firing a visible laser (not as a weapon), but instead as an aiming laser, but that could tell the attacker where you are (not a good thing either) and because of that accuracy must be perfect, another issue is light scattering and travel distance. If you dont account of that your laser would kill someone out there 9 KM away (for small scattering) and if you change that, the laser would be not so accurate and will lose accuracy and the damage is not punctual anymore (more of a range weapon) causing damage along the path (think of it as a cone instead of a line). If you want too much physic detail you wont have a laser weapon at all....

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Edited by red knight, 18 June 2003 - 01:55 PM.

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#23 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 08:06 PM

Maybe we could include a tracer equivalent? You know how high rate-of-fire weapons fired at night have tracers (incindiary rounds, so you can see where you're shooting) every 150 rounds or so....maybe a laser rifle shifts frequency to visible light every second or so.
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#24 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 08:19 PM

I can understand that it wouldn't be accurate to have a beam shot and make some dodgy noise, but what is the alternative? Having an invisible laser, that has an aiming laser appear first and then they shoot, with no noise whatsoever. I would rather see a movie laser than that, it is a game afterall, not a science lesson.

#25 GreatGold

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 09:43 PM

Maybe we could include a tracer equivalent? You know how high rate-of-fire weapons fired at night have tracers (incindiary rounds, so you can see where you're shooting) every 150 rounds or so....maybe a laser rifle shifts frequency to visible light every second or so.


A very interesting compromise. Keeps things realistic, but also game-playable. Could this idea be expanded on?

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#26 F*SH

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 05:07 AM

Right, so (without being able to find this forum. It's hidden from me..) I thought up a system for the laser tech. It's not known stuff, but I can't see it as physically impossible:

Instead of using brute energy to stuff pure power into a target, which is infeasible really for a sidearm, the technology relies on atomic resonance. Much like the sonic equivalent (you ever seen pure-note singers shatter glass) or even real world events (like pushing someone on a swing), the photons in the laser light would stike the atoms, pushing them into a vibration. But since these photons are arriving at such a rate to cause resonance, we would very quickly see a huge change in temperature. Huge change of temperature cuases sudden material expansion: small explosion. Shock wave and damage caused by small explosion inside a body would kill any unarmoured being.

The wavelength of the laser light would have to very short to cause resonance in atoms. I get around this by adding more impressive-sounding words, such as 'resonating wave inserted onto a carrier wave (~5000 angstroms [yellow light]) by amplitude modulation.'.... :blink:

The effect of the superheating would also take place in the air, making it glow briefly yellow.

#27 decklen

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 09:06 AM

It Really is to late to read all this, my eyes are hurting but i thought id put in my 2 cents before bed, ive got a history with this stuff, and i thought id throw in a little info on HEL Systems, High Energy Laser Weapons Systems.

Now this stuff was actually looked at and put into practice by the American Government in the 20th century. And i'll just write a basic description for 'what ever' weapon (laser) wether it be a x-com craft armament , which is probably more suited as these things weren't exactly portable.


This could be a run down for the history of aviation laser research, maybe the research level of 'laser weaponary' and when we get to specific weaponary, specialise.

Several decades of science and technology, concept development, and engineering development have provided the underpinnings for a significant contribution by high-energy lasers (HELs) to national security needs originally for tech to tech defense have been amended for the on going alien threat. The potential for speed-of-light response with a wide variety of effects to support a variety of missions suggests a new level of flexibility and adaptability—attributes that are particularly valuable in the complex national security environment currently existing and unfolding. As in the case of most important new technologies, we are just beginning to understand and exploit the potential of high-energy lasers.

It is nonetheless important to realize the extent of this potential in aide with x-com. Directed-energy weapons can add a new dimension to a wide range of missions and various battle situations. Appropriately developed and applied, high-energy laser systems can become key contributors to the 23rd(the year xenocide is based) -century arsenal. Success for directed energy requires hard and expensive work to mature the technologies, develop operational systems, and apply the capabilities operationally.

In the relatively near term, the new capabilities afforded by the use of high-power lasers have improved numerous aspects of warfare from initial detection and identification of targets to battle damage assessment after their attack. Directed-energy weapon systems, of the type discussed, have been a significant force of multipliers providing “speed-of-light” engagement, unique damage mechanisms, greatly enhanced multi-target engagement, and deep magazines limited only by the fuel available for these new weapons systems. The use of these weapons offers the opportunity for the strategist to select from a range of lethal through non-lethal effects to the target system. The laser beam delivers its energy to a relatively small spot on the target—typically a few inches in diameter. The incident intensity is sufficient to melt steel. Typical melt-through times previous to amended studies for missile bodies are about 10 seconds, which in practice and theory has been extremely effective against the on going threat with a devesitating effect to alien anatomy. But if the heated area is under stress from aerodynamic or static pressure loads, catastrophic failure can occur more quickly. The beam can attack specific aim points on a threat that are known to be vulnerable; for example, cranium and various external anatonomy for an effective neturelization. The laser weapon design, therefore, must include the ability to "see" and identify specific aim points, to put the beam on that aim point and hold it for a few seconds, and finally, to determine when the desired effect on the target has been achieved.

High-energy lasers have two characteristics that make them particularly valuable for effects-based application: they are extremely fast and extremely precise. The laser begins its attack within seconds of detecting its target and completes its destruction a few seconds later. This means the operator has time for multiple shots if needed to destroy the target or engage multiple targets.

With on going research and funding by the particpating governments the weaponary needed to a crucial design and effective win is not far away :zzzzz: edit where u like i dun care though come on it took me 1 hr

thats a begining, i tired.. bed time..
rock on :rock:

#28 decklen

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 09:21 AM

ive got crap on aircraft for ABL designs, air borne laser weaponary, the one above was more for hand held crap or heavy weapons systems or an intro too..

if you didn't understand a thing i said in that previous post... i'll just get 8 hrs sleep and go into specifics..night

#29 Deimos

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 04:01 PM

Jim, you ought to re read my laser tech post. It does explain what the visual and aural effects would be.

Yes I agree its not a science lesson but I didn't just make up any old crap when I wrote up the laser description. I did quite a bit of research on real lasers and based the description on that.

As for noise an industrial laser makes, ever hear a lightining strike close up? There will most definitely be a both a visual and aural effect. The visual effect of a Co2 laser (which for the purposes of not scrolling up) emits in the high IR and microwave frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum would be similar also to a lighting strike as the target would basically be flash boiled. So is that enough of an effect for ya?

For the targeting of the weapon you either go with a visible low power Class I laser (not recommended due to the enemy tracing the beam) or go for an Class I or II near visible IR or UV based laser (solves your opponent seeing your beam) and polarise the optics in the goggles and eye pieces of the armour to show the targeting beam.

Come on guys, all it takes is a little bit of lateral thinking and we can have something unique and feasable. We are after all going to be releasing this game into a Sci-fi saturated market so we need as many unique selling points as we can to make the game stand out. We're definitely not going to get that by copying every other movie like effect out there.

Edited by Deimos, 19 June 2003 - 04:11 PM.


#30 chrisp_21

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 10:19 PM

Just a note... personal lasers weapons have been created but like stated earlier were
found to be impractable due to power limitations. Basically you would have to have a
small nuclear reactor in the weapon to fire more than a few times. However it is not
unreasonable to assume that a such a power source couldn't be found. You could get
into sub-atomic energy, matter/anti-matter, or some type of cold fusion. Any of these
may be possible. Not only is it a nice weapon, it will power a city block for 2 years!!

#31 decklen

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 11:33 PM

Well im awake, so here's some stuff on a possible description 'part of' a craft armanment

all this stuff im getting from documents i have, just gota change it round to suit the game needs.

With the research into the field of laser weapons in the (century) applicatoins within the aiborne weaponary were pushed into. Xenocide research teams applied their history and study of past coalition and WW's reasearch into the laser armanment to the Air Borne Laser Weaponary System.

The ABL program is integrating a multi-megawatt chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL)(or what ever you chemestry or physics nuts wanna put in there) into x-com craft (possibly to the new craft or evoultion) to level the playing field of the dog fights of the skys. The aircraft laser system consists of four main assemblies: Power Source, Beam Control and target assembly, which in turn aligns the laser, and compenstates for atmospheric distortion. Battle Managment and communications, AI systems to provide engagement and fire control. Turrent assembly which locates and tracks targets and propagates the laser.

The turret assembly contains a 1.5-meter-diameter telescope and is mounted on the nose of the aircraft. Six onboard infrared sensors will provide 180 degrees front pan of coverage to autonomously alien aircraft signatures. The aircraft, cruising at approximately 40,000 feet, will use the high-energy, 1.3-micron-wavelength laser to penetrate alien craft to their demise.

(i dont know how big youw ant them but 1.3 micro.. aint big :) so what ever size you want these change away)

ABL is to have a salvo engagement capability work regardless of the structure of the xenocide craft. With in-flight refueling(a possiblity but for a cost in the game), a few ABL aircraft could, for an extended period, provide protection for the collective allied and theater civilian centers against the alien threat during a regional conflict. The ABL is to be able to operate effectively as part of a tiered theater laser defense, operating in concert with various ground-based systems, as the concept of operations. The system can also be deployed singly to a threat area with a lethal effiency. The applications of the laser weaponary are only knew and with the discovery of alien portable weaponary we are only at the start of such a line of advanced weaponary.

leads into plasma.......
or extras if u want

id appreicate some feed back on this crap, so i can stop if u dont like :)
:rock:

#32 GreatGold

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 01:58 PM

Hey -

Good stuff, but I think we are going to try to stay central to Deimos Concept for now. If you can take Deimos idea, and work some of your stuff into it, that would be excellent.

But if we stray to far, we will lose the "big picture" within all the individual entries. This must be avioded at all costs.

So, frrom here in everyone, take Deimos Concept and modify your ideas to fit within its parimeters.

PS - Decklen, I was just thinking, and I really think your stuf would be a VERY excellent backgroun section for the lasers. Keep it up, with thatin mind... and morph it into Deimos laser concept if possible.

Gold

Edited by GreatGold, 20 June 2003 - 01:59 PM.

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#33 decklen

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 12:34 AM

yup thats the reason i was writing it up there.. and if possible for people to use in descriptions of their own.. but yeh i'll leave the laser weapon description to deimos.. and if he wants to incorporate the ideas i have in my .. :) welcome welcome..

but yeh i'll probably just do the backgrounds on the weaponary if needed for plasma and laser


*the stuff i have been posting is from a department of defence document, so its the real deal stuff..

#34 Deimos

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 08:44 AM

but yeh i'll leave the laser weapon description to deimos..

I would write it up if I had the time ^_^
I've got loads of stuff going on in the art dept. So if anyone wants to expand and use the text feel free to do so.

#35 Fred the Goat

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 05:02 PM

Hmm...I really really think we need visuals other than an explosion and a charred body for the laser. People will appreciate an accurate scientific explanation for a laser, but they will appreciate a "shot" more. Something coming from the gun, and hitting the alien. Maybe the laser could ionize the air, and an electric streak could connect the weapon and target. Maybe the targeting laser could flash thick and pretty for a second, as the laser shifts from a weak visible beam to a strong non-visible one, passing through a strong visible stage. Maybe the laser is simply so cool that it suspends disbelief, and we all giggle with joy as a big, fat, red beam bops that little sectoid right on its swollen head. F*SH's yellow laser was an excellent explanation, I see no reason not to use that. But we really need some kind of shot. I promise you people will love us for being realistic and original, but they will be really sad if there is no shot.

#36 red knight

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 05:45 PM

The idea of ionized air can be further expanded to see where it goes, sounds promising (a nice tradeoff by the way)...

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#37 Deimos

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 06:50 PM

On a wargamng email discussion list I'm subscribed to the discussion of how lasers work underwater came up and the basic tenet was that the laser would flash fry the water in the lasers path leaving a tunnel for a second shot to go through. So an air ionisation effect would work really well. Maybe visually something like the railgun shot in Quake3 or maybe a vapor trail that leads to the target, sort of a line of steam effect.

#38 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 10:08 PM

What about the color of the laser? Something like a blue-green laser, so the water is transparent to its frequency?

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#39 Deimos

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 11:04 PM

The laser itself will most likely be invisble due to the wavelengths in the EM spectrum it occupies (see above) but the ionised air would be a steam grey colour which would vary with lighting and terrain.

#40 mikker

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Posted 27 June 2003 - 08:14 AM

i made a little document about laser. I have yet to eksplain the color though...

Laser

This type of energy has been researched in the years after the millennium. It enabled scientists to create an artificial star. Even though it is small, it uses great amounts of power, the same as the entire USA uses, and was indeed not created for warfare. But with the coming of highly advanced laser technology, it can be greatly minimised to the size. At long last, it is possible to create a highly powerful hand-held weapon.

First problem encountered, was the amount of energy needed to create the powerful beam. It was discussed, and even extracting the power from lightning was proposed. It was, however, dismissed because it still was impossible to capture the enormous energy from those. Another scientist, however, proposed if the recent NANO technology could be used, and they would try and find some way to get power, without using nuclear powers. At long time of research, it was done. Unlike fusion, and fission, those atoms did not split, nor wield, but simply bounce into each other, creating great amounts of controlled energy, with was sucked up the atoms, electrifying them up to a certain state, before it explodes. This idea was very quickly put into work.

Second problem was the energy outlet. By simply letting out all the energy, would deplete the power source after 1 shot. Without splitting the atoms, how would this work? It was solved, with a special coolant system to extract half of the energy in each atom, once it was above a certain amount. That energy was then led into another area, were it was stored for a shot. If the area is almost filled, it will start too led out some of the electricity out through small vents.

Third problem was recoil. When the atoms in the first area bunch into the walls of the laser weapon, it will shake uncontrollable. But with the help by layers of vacuum and very flexible materials, not to forget special springs, this was put under control.

The last problem was damage. The laser did very much damage, but the entire beam was invisible.

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#41 Fred the Goat

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Posted 05 July 2003 - 12:20 AM

Hmm...sounds cool, but it's not very technical. Like the extracting power from lightning bit, and the miniature stars part. That stuff sounds pretty cool, but I think we could wow people a little more if we had more hard science to back up the cool-sounding, yet highly fanciful sci fi stuff. Also, I'm not sure about that atom section. I hate to be a wet blanket, but I don't think atom-bouncing could produce energy. In other words, it sounds fantastic, but I'd vote for something that sounds more scientific. I dunno. What do other people think?

[Edit]

Whatever we do, I like the direction the air ionization is going. The gray steamy trail sounds cool, and we could even look into different effects of ionization, and maybe add some more special effects in there. I'd do it now, but I'm in need of sleep.

Edited by Fred the Goat, 05 July 2003 - 12:24 AM.


#42 mikker

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Posted 05 July 2003 - 04:28 AM

ok, it only took me 5 minnutes. :D

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#43 Fritz

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 03:49 PM

For the laser 'shot' idea, what if the light was passed through a material that slowed it down, and hense was 'concentrated' into a bolt, vs a beam... The only hole in that is that one would think the light re-gains it's proper speed upon exiting the material...

However, there exists a material out there that slows down light based on electric current passed through the material, so you pass a decent amount of current through the material, fire X laser for a period of time that would create enough photonic power to actually do something, and then pumping alot of energy through the material, essentially stopping the beam, then waiting for the trigger to be pressed, which removes all current from the slowing material, which essentially fires the beam at a strength large enough to do something, while you could use decently efficient lasers to store up the energy. Heck, an infrared pen light would almost do the trick. The only gap is re-obtaining the speed of light upon exiting said material.

#44 Fred the Goat

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 11:30 AM

As for the first part, yeah it does regain speed. As for the second, that sounds pretty cool! But, yeah, it still regains speed. What you could do with that is have it set up to make the material slow the front of the beam more than the back. So you turn on a beam, and photons are coming out of your gun, and they hit the slowing material, and bunch together. Then the slowing material "turns off", starting in a wave from the back, so that the last photons out are the first to speed up again. This would ensure that they all left the material as a solid bolt. And, yeah, I bet an infrared pen would do the trick if you let it on for a few seconds. Photons really add up fast. And the material could be separated by hundreds of minute glass plates, so that each section would be electrified seperately.

The only problem is that the Laser Text has already been written...hmm. Well, I'll see who wrote it and point their nose in here. Worth some thought, anyway, even if it doesn't go into the final version.

#45 GreatGold

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 01:05 PM

The only problem is that the Laser Text has already been written...hmm. Well, I'll see who wrote it and point their nose in here. Worth some thought, anyway, even if it doesn't go into the final version.

True, but that was only one laser text. For the other ones, we can always write-in new inclusions and such. Also, even though it is complete, if you have an idea and can support it - then let us know and we may well make a revision.

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#46 decklen

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 09:18 PM

IM ALIVE>>IM BACK!!!
mwhahahahha

after 2 months away im back.. well sorta .. yay for me!!

#47 Ancalagon

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 07:18 PM

I'm for the laser pen plan. It would allow for the good ol' suspensful laser bolt. Although you'd definatley need more than a laser pen for the type of quick warfare you have in x-com. the weapon should be as responsive as an assault rifle and should also be able to fire in burst mode
(which I am assuming is what atoushot is)

Fusion isn't an unreasonable power source either(that is if you need one). You would need a way to generate neutrons, a way to compress lithium deuterate to a 30th of its origanal size, and a way to produce the massive amount of heat required for the actual fusion process,(well, unless you were using cold fusion). Then you need a way to generate nuetrons and the things you would need to make the fusion "cold".

Edited by Ancalagon, 13 August 2003 - 05:44 PM.


#48 FireHawk

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Posted 15 August 2003 - 07:24 PM

Just a few things. I glanced around.

I do know a railgun was put onto a battleship..I also know it shook the entire bloodly thing and almost made it tip over :)

if I remember correctly from a guy that WAS on the ship...it only fired a slug at about mach 3-4.
What the slug was made from I dont know.

On that I dont know if they are still developing any...but I would suspect they are...their are quite a few ways to reduce recoil..which is the big problem.

One way is to have 2 slugs fired at a time acclerated though clyindier tubes each going around opssite ways...they would in effeect blance each other...thou generate micovibrations taht would rip the gun apart if it wasnt made extremly strong...and the second fall out...Heat from the vibration.

Their are Chemcial lasers, they are unpractical however because of the toxic bypoducts and Single Shot nature of them.
They can bring a plane down from a few 100km.

As for how lasers work...ever thought of a light battery.

We have managed to slow light down to a few cm an hour :)
how?
super cooled gas cloud and 2 diffrent lasers fired into it...

Only one beam can pass though the gas cloud...as light actually makes what ever its passing though vibrate to its feq. The other Lasers photons just sit their waiting :)

you could in theroy make a "LIGHT BATTERY" that stores pure light in a supercooled gas cloud.
These would get charged up at the base. before you left.

Thou if one of these light battery packs got hit...you would know about it..so it would need to be armored and have some kinda safty. Along the same note...you could make a Light Grenade...which would basicly just be a very highpowered burst of light :)

#49 A_dxman

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 07:34 PM

Rail guns?
LASER's?
Plasma Weapons?
NONE of thers things acutaly exist in a practical form today.
The USA has lasers but they are very large and require ALOT of energy.
as for the colour. take atomic physics 101 the highest energy lasers are X-ray lasers an gama-ray lasers! pratical laser weapons developed for the starwars national defence project in the 1980 were all X-ray and gama-ray lasers. that meens that x-com lasers would have no visiable wave frequency.
Rail guns.
they are a good idea but who cairs about the counter force of firing a slug at 4 times the speed of sound or even 95% of light speed. the aliens have technology that can manipulate gravitation and in order to traverse the distanced etwene the stars or even betwene earth and mars they would need some way of removing an objects inertia for the equasion. By increasing the guns inertia to a point where it simply would not move when the rail slug is fired, you would then need to reduct the guns inertia so that the person firing the gun could actualy move it. OH and plasma weapons are even harder to build. Plasma is matter that has been super heated to the point where the individual molicules disassociate and the atoms of the substance are wizzing around at near light speed. just the temprature of the plasma prevents it being contained.

BTW

its i computer game, most ppl dont give a crap about physical impossibilities as long as the game is fun! :hammer:

Edited by A_dxman, 02 November 2003 - 07:37 PM.


#50 Cartesian

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Posted 03 November 2003 - 10:07 PM

I don't think we should go into the technical details of "how stuff works". I really don't since it doesn''t reallly add anything to the game.. As long as the concepts are well grounded in "real" science, we should keep our mouths shut since the devil is in the details. Please ignore the rest of this post is explaining in some deatil is not what we are after.

Fact of the matter is, a brief, plausible explaination in the X-net will suffice, and the less we say, the less the nitpickers/trekkkies in 5 years can harangue us about.

However if we wish to supply technical details we can do so based upon some of the desigs that are currently floating round the net:

Firstly: Laser weapons. Good one Deimos, you have covered a number of properties already. I thought I'd add a little:

A laser is monochromatic (of one frequency pretty much 1 in 10^15)
Coherent (same phase)
directional (less diffraction effects due to aperature)
and it can be sharply focused.

There are two mediums one can use to produce a laser. Both use an electromagnetic field to pump the electrons in the medium to a state higher than the ground state.

One medium is a crystal (such as ruby back in the day, or in the modern day, neodynium doped glass (see SSHCL on google)).

The other medium is a mixture of 2 or more gases. This is a gas laser. Most work by having 3 energy transitions which allow a population inversion of the energy levels to occur which bypasses the spontaneous emmission problem. There is another design floating round the net, the stavatti tis-1 which gets a population inversion by rapid expansion and cooling of the gas.

Plausible power sources: Hydrogen fuel cell (requires oxygen), radioactive source (such as polonium), magical source (such as elerium).