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Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/17/2007 5:21 PM

The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star is reporting that the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Dalhgren Division successfully tested an 8 megajoule electromagnetic rail gun in October of last year. The gun is a scale prototype of a planned 64 MJ unit that will serve as a weapon on future naval ships. The gun is expected to have a striking power equivalent to that of a Tomahawk cruise missile at ranges of up to 200+ miles, at a cost-per-shot of about $1000, compared to the $1M cost of a cruise missile.

The projectiles fired by the weapon will be inert, and do their damage via kinetic energy. The project director likened the impact force to hitting the target with a Ford Taurus moving at 380 mph.

The Navy will take delivery of a 32MJ prototype in June of this year. The gun is being built by General Atomics.

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#1

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 12:46 AM

Interesting development. I wonder how they address the heat issues?

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 1:44 AM

What heat?

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#5
In reply to #1

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 8:32 AM

Hi calhafe. I can understand how they do it, my question is why do it in the first place? As an ordinary human being living on planet Earth I often wonder why we seek to kill each other when nature does it for us anyway! I personly have no beef with anyone living on the other side of our planet, or even my next door neighbour, so why would I or anybody else for that matter want to devise ever more sophisticated ways of killing them? I blame governments for all this. As an engineer I travelled the world visiting and working in many countries and I never once experienced animosity towards myself or even my fellow Englishmen. I learned their language, their culture and I respected them. Maybe this is the problem? How many of our politicians have bothered to learn their language or their customs? So the last thing we humans need is another weapon to kill them with!

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 9:32 AM

One premise of "The Ugly American" by Lederer and Burdick was that the politician(s) and political system was not in tune with the needs and cares of the people in the locale where the story took place; this resulted in the influx of radical (?) groups [in direct opposition to American policies] that were trying to improve the lot of the common person. The "Ugly American" was an wealthy engineer from Pittsburgh that self supported his dream and worked with the local people to improve their lot. He and his ideas had been dismissed by the political hacks who called him the "Ugly American".


Most people in want in the 3rd world are extremely receptive to help of any caring individuals. Unfortunately, politicians dont seem to be of that mind regardless of their country or allegience (which is often themselves).

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#18
In reply to #5

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 11:15 AM

Just exactly why is it that no one can post an article on any kind of technically interesting development without some yaahoo trying to turn it into a mindless debate on his personal political stance????

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#22
In reply to #18

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/20/2007 6:16 AM

Guest. The answer to that question is simple. The technology is fine, its just that any new technology today seems to be turned into a weapon of some kind or another. The technology in question has been around for some time now and it could be put to great use in other fields other that a machine of war! And thankyou for calling me a."Yaahoo", at least it tells you something about my stance on war, and before you get on your high horse, I am not a politically minded peson I am just sick to death of all the needless killing in the world today.

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/20/2007 6:43 AM

My sincere commiserations to you Scapolie. It is a sad reflection upon our society that we seem to be unable to live with each other in peace and harmony. This ordnance, by the sound of it is a return to the old idea of 'Gunboat Diplomacy' It served the British Empire well for some time, and then there was competition to see which nation could build the most gun-boats, soon after we had WW1 etc. War is the failure of diplomacy. Let us all hope and pray those hard lessons have been learnt.

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#24
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/20/2007 8:14 AM

Alastair Carnegie. "Hoots man", you sound like a Scotsman after my own heart. Myself, I travelled the world with my job and I made friends everywhere I went, and never ever met animosity whatsoever. In fact I still keep in touch with many of these friends and we visit each other every now and then. I have come to the conclusion that it is politicians who upset the balance between peoples, because I get along fine wherever I go, whatever religion, creed or colour. I am an Englishman, and I have lived and worked in Scotland, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, India, The USA, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Brazil and Nigeria, and I am still alive to tell the tale. So now you maybe better understand my outburst. Where are you from?

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/20/2007 9:22 AM

Cooo aren't you a sociable, well travelled, happy bunny...

John

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#28
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/20/2007 1:13 PM

I was born in Kenya Scapolie, but schooled here in UK. Nairobi Kenya by the way, is well known as the place to send rookie Diplomats. If you lived near Muthaiga, like my Uncle, and were a long time resident of Kenya, you would often be invited to an Embassy Party. There are so many National Holidays, there are often several big celebrations of Independence/whatever on the same day. My family were in the Diplomatic Service, so naturally I was invited. The rules are Greet the Host and his Lady Wife with congratulations, spoken if possible in the mother tongue of the Host, then mix with the guests. Five minutes per guest, and keep to non-controversial topics.....no talk of Politics...i.e. small-talk....Naturally with friends you know, you can talk more openly. The term, "Gunboat Diplomacy" often might crop up in such a conversation about whatever international crisis was in the news. My Uncle David taught me an inoffensive response....

"Yes Sir, Gunboat Diplomacy, we all feel so sorry for the poor Sultan of Zanzibar, to who we dreadful British even sent the unfortunate Sultan, the bill for the Naval Munition, we used to blow his Palace to smithereens"

'Real Politik', I believe was the term the Kaiser coined for this. The old rules of warfare were that the loser pays the victor's expenses. I suppose this piece of solid Naval Munition signals that you can now be on the receiving end of GD at considerable 'discount'.

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#124
In reply to #22

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

02/03/2008 1:00 PM

Perhaps you should write a letter to the editor of Al Jazeera or to some of the other militant Islamic magazines that are recruiting people to attack indescrimanately, women and children or to hide behind women and children while they fire at coalition troops.

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#26
In reply to #18

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/20/2007 9:43 AM

Well, I've been working in the medical business for about 28 years now, and you can't help but see here in the Land of The Free (where we have the world's highest percentage of citizens in prison) that every aspect of our lives is now taxed, subsidized, prohibited, mandated, demagogued and tabooed. I now work only for non-USA companies because my whole segment of ultrasound imaging equipment has moved...not because of labor rates; we've lost jobs to the Netherlands, Israel, Germany... It's our litigation, taxation and regulation. We have more of that the all the other nations on earth combined. So medical companies can bring a product to market TWICE as fast...in ITALY! (oh the shame!)

So of course we have to think about politics. It knows where we live and it never, ever sleeps. Government is like tooth decay...either you aggressively brush it away from time to time, or it builds up and destroys your smile.

And this discussion is about weapons, after all.

So, I think our job is to develop android RoboPols that look like the leaders we can bow down to and worship...but that do nothing other than smile, make pandering speeches, and shake hands. No oppression, slavery, genocide and war, but we can still have our bumper stickers and yard signs and big, expensive, lavish campaigns in which nobody ever talks about who can do what to whom.

Ahhh...what a wonderful world that would be.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/20/2007 11:22 AM

Andy, It's never ceased to amaze me at how the USA survives with all the litigation going on there...

I have worked along side medical researchers and provided them with the instruments they asked for... I've supplied these all over the world, New Zealand etc, hospitals every where...

BUT as soon as a couple of hospitals in America wanted to buy them, my insurers almost passed out when I told them... my policy with them specifically excluded selling anything to the USA... but medical as well...!!! they asked for a premium of more than I could afford... so I had to turn away any orders from America and any of its states, although I did sell one to Hawaii after they signed a form stating it was only to be used on animals for none life threatening purposes etc.. etc...

John.

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#29
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/20/2007 3:00 PM

We still survive only because of the wealth systems created under the "do nothing" president Rutherford B. Hayes. We've been in decline in real terms (vacation time, hours worked/week, time spent with kids, education, height) for quite a while now. It won't be long before Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the..." becomes a series.

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#30
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/20/2007 4:06 PM

A quote from the Roman, Marcus Tullius Cicero -

"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor: he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear."

The Decline may already be in progress, but the Fall will be imperceptible to all but a very few. A nation conquered from within, by long and patient stealth, simply evolves into a new nation that bears no resemblance to the old. The founding fathers of America recognised one essential truth. America (Bless Her) is a 'Trading Nation' That is her greatest strength. America's greatest weakness in my view is shared by poor suffering small businessmen here in the UK. When Tax Collection is made into an 'Enterprise'...... The "Enterprising" will take full advantage of the catastrophic blunder.

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#31
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/20/2007 6:25 PM

Unfortunately, nothing has changed since Cicero's time. And Cicero wrote,

"Cujusvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore perseverare," or, "To err is human, but to persevere in error is the act of a fool." Danged if we haven't been doint the same dumb things over and over and over...

So I still think humanity's greatest challenge/engineering feat is to create android politicians who have no needs or ambitions, and who do absolutely nothing but smile, talk pretty, and smile sincerely.

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#70
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/06/2007 2:47 PM

With a built-in thermite self-destruct mechanism that automatically triggers when the polls show them at less than 50%.

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#75
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/23/2007 4:41 AM

A 'first past the post' voting system leads to situations where those in power are elected with a very small % of voter support. Most of the androids would explode upon election. 'Democracy' is a bit of an illusory concept (not that I have a better suggestion). Our own Mr Brown is about to become PM without a single vote . It could be argued that anybody desiring to be a politician is inherently unsuitable - the desire of wanting to tell others what to do is questionable.

(I am in cynical mode today)

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#35
In reply to #18

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/23/2007 1:09 AM

I must be one of those 'yaahoos' then, but turn to the thread 'Spy Coin' and to my utter horror, I have discovered the nature of the 'Solution' by Fresnell subterfuge, only the "Blind will lead the Blind" and those who escaped with just a micro-wave induced 'cataract' will be seen as men of vision, though their brain tumor might be problematical. It was all foretold, I believe. but a Chaplain would say that, wouldn't he. What would the RMPTA know anyway?

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#66
In reply to #18

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/06/2007 2:22 AM

Some of the minds debating this development on this thread seem like pretty good minds to me. Doesn't sound much like a personal/political stance so much as a stance that considers the (much neglected) value of life. And since this device is designed to extinguish life, for my part I'd say such a debate is warranted, yes? Does looking at this thing from all angles and not just a technical one make all of us here yaahoos (sic)? Sounds like maybe you need to get in touch with your inner yaahoo.

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#122
In reply to #18

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

02/03/2008 6:58 AM

politics are interwoven with engineering in places were engineers make things that kill people. Who is this weapon supposed to stop? That is a strategic question. I'm interested in rail guns for getting payloads into low-earth orbit, but if we're not facing down a mechanized army roughly the size of our own, the weapon looks like one more advance in the long-ended cold war. Another world-war-II-era terror weapon that is mostly useless in the current situation or the future situation because there is nothing to use it on. It's worthless in facing down terrorists, for example. In due time, it would be modified for use in destroying systems that keep masses of humans alive in great cities, or on the masses of humans themselves in some sort of obliterative shock and awe shuck and jive. Weapons of this kind are obsolete, warfare of this kind is obsolete. It's like coming up with a new railroad-mounted mortar of civil war vintage, or a new musket, or a new tool for digging to ease trench warfare. Or a new technique for mass and charge. Or a new and better lance or sword. We don't need it. It does no good. It will cost billions and offer few interesting physics or engineering challenges. So it becomes a political question--why waste scarce resources on such a thing? Is there more to it than the gee-whiz effect? If you agree, if you disagree, it's a political question and no longer an engineering question. We all know the principle of rail guns and the potential and most of the drawbacks that would have to be overcome. If you asked about the drawbacks, you'd get cogent, well-thought answers. So it's not an interesting engineering question unless you expect that tomorrow we will be fighting the Kaiser.

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#123
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

02/03/2008 10:13 AM

"...politics are interwoven with engineering in places were engineers make things that kill people..." - This is so true, but I think we must all keep in mind that technology by itself is innocent, while the application may or may not be evil.

Slinging objects into an orbit may be used for either peaceful or subversive purposes.

"...worthless in facing down terrorists..." - All the more reason to confine harmfully potential technologies, rather than splashing them all over the media.

it is known today that terrorists, lacking the deep technology-base of established countries and states, my lay their hands on anything whatsoever, if it may serve their declares purpose to bring a civilisation down on it's knees.

Such goals can be anything primitive capable of near WOMD effect: Smuggling a ship loaded container into a megalopolis harbour, and detonating a "dirty (Radioactive) bomb". The long-lasting effect of such device may be for years to come, in costly efforts to clean the kill-zone and further efforts to rebuilt it's commercial and civil aspect, usually with a degree of influence on a national level, maybe even wider.

In this particular case of a rail gun, the main venue is that of feasibility. While a normal gun has recoil and requires energy and heat dissipation, so is a rail gun.

In a rail gun the launch energy does not come so neatly packed as in cordite drums, it requires giant capacitors and coils, and very long recharge periods. This electricity is usually originated from chemical source such as combustion engines. So, in many practical respects, it is somewhat parallel route with-a-difference, only behind the conventional proven route of launching object ballistically.

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#33
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/22/2007 5:23 PM

I read a book called "The Causes of War". It was authored by Geoffrey Blainey around 1972 (with 2 updates since), but the author's conclusions still seem to hold true today. The author had researched the causes of war since 1700 (he did not consider civil wars). Many of his conclusions run counter to common thinking. Some of these were:

Investment in armament seems to have no direct connection between whether or not war occurs.

Fraternization between potential opponents seems to have no direct connection between whether or not nations go to war.

Peace movements are just as likely to be a cause of war as a deterrent to war.

War is less likely when there is a dominant power than when there is a "balance" of power.

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/23/2007 12:56 AM

If Geoffrey Blainey reads this blog, This is the Son of Brian Jewell his good friend, reading his Dad's farewell 'Address' last May 9th. Brian's last feature appeared in the May edition of 'The Soldier' The head of BBC Radio 3 played beautifully on the Piano. Brian wanted that instead of the Organ. Brian was instrumental in the production of the 'Conquest & Overlord' commemorative 'Tapestry/Embroidery' stitched by The Royal College of Needlework. to honour the American and British who gave their lives in the offensive to recapture France. He went on to become War Correspondent for the Mirror Newspaper.

We had endless conversations and even disputes over the causes of 'war' but we both agreed that 'Economics' was a prime mover. War in self defence will be accepted by a Nation's Citizens, but seldom if ever will a war of 'aggression' be so accepted, unless their economic situation is utterly desperate. There are problems with being a dominant 'Empire'. Good old Ike pointed them out in his farewell address to his beloved Americans from the White House. You can watch him look apprehensively towards the 'editor' as he starts the phrase "Industrial Military Complex"

Ike's Daughter now informs us that under no circumstances was her Father permitted to include as he wanted to, the word 'Congressional' into that complex. Ike gave a grave warning to the People of America, that he dreaded the day an incumbent of the Oval Office was unfamiliar with the machinations of this Military Industrial Congressional Complex. He warned of the huge monetary burden upon the Citizens of America in keeping and maintaining a huge 'Standing Army'.....

A standing army must at all times be ready for battle. there is no earthly point in having untrained troops. That training requires... it is an absolute mandated imperrative....'Veterans' ...of... 'Actual Warfare'

It is a true if sad 'fact' that the Citizens of a country keeping a standing army, must be hoodwinked constantly into pseudo-defensive postures. even if it involves fake evidence of belligerence from named adversaries. The Empire must adopt the stance of "The International Bully".....Lies and cheating and every Machiavellian strategy must become the common currency of Foreign Policy. If say 'France' does not like an 'Automatic Invasion' clause inserted into a United Nations Resolution like 1441, then move the offending clause to another position in the Resolution....Then spend hours and days with the delegates saying "Let's have it in clause 2...how about clause3, well then clause 5 etc. as the poor Diplomats weary and try to remain awake...eventually they realize that America is going to get her way.

The consequences of this may be catastrophic in the long term. Let us all hope and pray that this will not come to pass. The entire world is now waiting patiently, and co-operating with one-another to ensure the total economic collapse of the American Economy.....I may not live that long to see it come to pass, but come to pass is almost a dead certainty...if this policy is adhered to. There Brian...I said it for you.

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#36
In reply to #34

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/23/2007 9:19 AM

I wish I could argue against the kernel of your argument. Sadly, you're right. I've spent over a decade (look me up on the web...I can't post links here) fighting socialism/fascism/imperialism in the USA, but I represent only a tiny band of folks who believe that Freedom Works. How sad that the nation that proved that free markets and free people make for both prosperity and security would break free from the Rule of Law and become yet another chapter of The Rise And Fall story.

I know it seems we've strayed a bit from engineering with this thread. But it's foolish to think that anybody can escape politics these days. We're all under its thumb...though some of us more than others.

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#39
In reply to #36

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/23/2007 4:40 PM

The bit I most liked on the Wikipedia entry was the last few words. "Andy ha FIVE children.".... What a handfull!...and I have three and one 6year old granddaughter. Also many 'adopted' wee bairns from a rather large and expanding family.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_High_Constable_of_Scotland

Christmas could soon bring me to the bankruptcy court if I don't start to emulate dear Scrooge.

I loved the main feature today on AOL News, a brave Australian Diver, escaped the 'Jaws' of a great white shark, near the town of Eden. Brave Mr. Eric Nerhus was not going to become luncheon meat for the bloody brute. he poked him one in the eye.

I hope American Engineers take heed of this useful strategy (metaphorically speaking) in their navigation of the Shark infested world of business. If self-employed, you either stand up to bullies, or otherwise it is better to have a boss who can do that for you. My one certainly can. No doubt about that.

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#41
In reply to #39

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/23/2007 4:59 PM

Sadly, I'm self-employed as a private contractor now, and I'm no match for the sharks...or for the doubled-payroll-tax I must suffer. It's not just the strange quirk of our laws that make me wish I'd had twice as many kids, but having a dozen or so would allow me to escape my new tax rates...

Congratulations on your wee ones!

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#37
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/23/2007 10:03 AM

"A standing army must at all times be ready for battle. there is no earthly point in having untrained troops. That training requires... it is an absolute mandated imperrative....'Veterans' ...of... 'Actual Warfare' "

I do not agree with this statement. At any point in time, for most armies, 99% or more of the troups have not been engaged in actual combat. Even in warfare, most of an army becomes involved in logistics and not actual combat. Even if an army has veterans of armed conflict, due to technology advancements, much of what they know will be obsolete for the next conflict. To believe that a Switzerland or Sweden could not defend themselves -- because they have not been involved in armed conflicts for generations and thus have no veterans of actual warfare -- would be a mistake.

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#38
In reply to #37

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/23/2007 3:47 PM

Well Said Sir. I concede to you with a light heart, and am grateful to you for lifting the burden of my fears and misgivings.

I also believe that technological advance, a discussion perfectly in tune with the subject of this thread, is key to securing peace and stability in an uncertain world. I do urge readers to search for Ike's speech. Google video must surely have it? Ike made mention how vital it was for America to be mighty in arms, so that no adversary would risk their own destruction. I concur wholeheartedly. I noted Ike's regret that improvisation, such as turning ploughshares into swords, a good Biblical allusion, was impractical in the modern era. That does not mean that this is necessarily a redundant concept. A plough will ensure food is placed on the family table, and so will a gun, if not of a 'vegetarian' persuasion.

The American government may be as tight fisted as old Scrooge in the Dickens's Novel, but this can never be said of Americans themselves. And their generosity and charity is not restricted to just cash. This 'Navy Rail Gun' project could restore Ike's dream of dual-use application of technology. We hope and pray for continued success in civilian related projects that may earn more than monetary currency for old Uncle Sam's back pocket. Perhaps a good slap on the back and a warm handshake with a "Well done Sir"

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#40
In reply to #38

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/23/2007 4:52 PM

I hate to tell y'all (second-person pronoun, southern Indiana vernacular) to mistrust technology, but in war it's passion and civilians that beat back monstrous foes. We've never beaten a guerilla or civilian force. Almost nobody ever has. If it's peace you want, it's armed citizens, like the Swiss, that are most effective.

I wish we'd arm to the teeth and leave others alone. Porcupine with a smile, y'know.

But now, the only Dickens reference that works in America is "Bleak House," as our courts have become an embarrassing crime to the degree that English Chancery Courts never matched.

Here's to hoping that the Rail Gun is used for ejecting our radioactive trash into the sun or something. I'd hate to think that we're trying to make war cheap and convenient...

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#42
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/23/2007 11:07 PM

Andy, take heart and never succumb to despondency. I faced that problem well over two decades ago. There was this knock on the door...."Sigh for this please" said the postman. The blooming box of Tax Forms nearly gave me a hernia lifting it to the office.......What on earth is all this?.......So a quick call to my dear accountant, Elton John foolishly just sacked him for mistakenly thinking him too expensive!....and the problem was sorted..... But for two whole days, I had to stand before about two dozen Tax Inspectors after our accounts were submitted. Braham my dear Accountant told me he would wait outside, but I was on my own. The second day I remembered to bring my own water bottle. The Tax Inspectors seated round what looked like four large billiard tables end to end, each had a water jar. After an hour or so of inane grilling about receipts for paper clips etc. I begged for a drink myself. The Tax Inspectors were deaf...they did not even respond. OK play it your way. one good turn deserves another. no good turns deserve nowt.....nudda....We have successfully traded now for a quarter century, and the Tax Inspectors have never received a brass farthing from a turnover now mounting well into eleven figures pounds sterling.

Thanks for the drink mates! Tax has been paid elsewhere. Poke em in the eye every time. There are grave restrictions to this tax-avoidance strategy, it is not for the feint-hearted. I live a life of frugal simplicity. Each time you pop a pop-can of fizzy drink, soft or alcholic..... brings in the bacon.... that and many more things familiar to all of you, but discretion does not permit me to mention here. The Tax-man has nothing to fear, he gets his fair share, but at our discretion not his.

For those curious, and with the sense to interpret the statement, it is necessary to adopt a different currency of exchange. Thank you US Navy, for the Rail Gun, We owe you a tab. keep up the good work. BTW the Soviets are hot on your tail. YOO Ltd. have been instructed to start Architectural Drawings for the Space Station, we hope and pray, emerges from this. I still think the Space Fountain Idea is a good foundation project. I wonder how many miles of 'Active Cable' could be launched with this equipment?

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#3

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 6:55 AM

I thought the main obstacle was the wear rate of the rails.....

John.?

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#4
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 7:50 AM

There is no wear if they are using magnetic levitation with superconductors, like the maglev train.

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#6

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 8:35 AM

Wouldn't a mag-lev railgun be free of friction wear? I'd think that the rail/tube/whatever would get hot briefly, and maybe at some point there'd be arcs/shorts that'd screw up the gun, but I think the "heat issue" would be that of the projectile moving at such high speeds with sea-level skin friction.

Even assuming the projectile is a pretty solid hunk of insulated stuff, with no explosives and only enough fragile stuff inside for guidance, it'd still be a trick to keep it from burning up as it leaves the gun.

If it's a Taurus-mass thing that hits at 380mph from 200 miles away, we're talking about a very, very fast launch.

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#7
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 9:17 AM

My understanding of the rail gun concept is that the rails supply the high current pulse which the missile contacts and passes the current through it to produce the enormous magnetic pulse to force the missile along the track / rail.

The problems I remember reading about was that the enormous currents passing through the missile and the rails was melting the rails and causing a huge wear rate...

John...

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#10
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 9:49 AM

That could be. My experience is very limited; having only once built a small 60-cycle resonator that shot a steel slug about 200 meters straight up (I was a teenager, and got myself into some trouble).

But these should be very brief, albeit massive, slugs of energy. I'd think that cooling would be much less of a problem in the gun...kind of like cooling in a Top Fuel dragster.

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#11
In reply to #7

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 9:53 AM

That's my recollection also, from about 10 years ago. As I recall the rails on those experimental guns were only good for a few shots.

BTW: (Andy) It's not a Taurus mass thing hitting at 380 mph, that's just the equivalent energy. It's much smaller moving MUCH faster.

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#32
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/21/2007 11:29 AM

You are exactly right John, I remember that from general physics, you have two parallel rails, and a conducting metal object that touches the rails. You pass a large amount of current between the rails, and the object will move. I still don't see how it would actually work, more than a few times because of the rails melting and getting destroyed.

I remember that you could use a solenoid (you know, a long coil of wire, say wrapped around a tube of some kind) to make the magnetic field go down length of the inside of the tube (in the direction of the current). I can see this lasting longer because there are no arcing problems.

You can try proving this concept by wrapping a long small wire around a regular plastic straw. Put a nail inside of it, and pass current through it (say a 9v battery, that should work). the nail will move in one direction or another.

I don't know if this kind of thing can be used to actually fire something, but it at least made me think when I saw this in class. I remember wanting to try making something that could shoot stuff, but I never did it. So is this what a "gauss rifle" is supposed to be?

-Nick

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#49
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

02/19/2007 8:19 AM

Hi Nickid, I have been thinking about your post, Go forward a few decades, even a Century or two. Then have superconducting solenoids (Space is near absolute zero) perhaps a mile or so in diameter.

A space shuttle going out and accelerating would compress the series of hoops, but perhaps a return shuttle might expand it again. Sir Isaac Newton's action-n-reaction at work. The trains would have to run on time though! If you can obtain a book called 'The Iron Sun' published in the 1970's by NASA consultant Dr. Adrian Berry. you will read that humans may one day be capable of seeing the Galaxy with new Solar Systems, complete with planets etc.

http://www.amazon.com/Iron-Sun-Adrian-Berry/dp/0224013572

There would be a lot of time needed for things to settle down, but hey! if you travel off at close to the speed of light, you can live in your time frame for just a few years, and return back in a few million, or even billions of years. Maybe seed your planets with life?..... Quite a cool future project! in my view.

(I often wonder if it has been done before? we are now in the very dusty...mostly iron/Fe...Orion Arm of the Gallaxy...seen as the 'Horse-head Nebula from the Northern hemisphere and the Coal Sack from the southern... Dr.Adrian Berry gives the calculations for when 'gravity' takes over and the 'Iron Sun' starts to collect hydrogen etc.)

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

02/20/2007 12:05 PM

I think I understand what you are saying. A superconducting solenoid would always have current flowing through it, and thus always have a constant magnetic field. Then use that somehow to propel a ship? But what about the acceleration?

I just found someone who is going to sell a gauss pistol kit. Here's the link:

http://www.gausspistol.com/index.html
That's such an awesome idea...

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#58
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/03/2007 5:24 PM

It's the old "Swords into Ploughshares" philosophy. If a weapon can also put food on the table, then there is ample justification for it's development. Human nature is not about to change in a great hurry, at least not in the short term, so defending oneself by demonstrating the capability to defend, actually prevents conflict. The strong bully tends to attack the weak.

The internet itself derived from a 'Defense Initiative', so in my view the basic decency and goodness inherent in the majority of humanity, can transform any technology into something of great benefit to all. My prayers are that this United States Navy initiative are blessed with similar rewards.

This technology seems to have made an 'evolutionary leap', but I am sure there is a long way yet for it to evolve further. We are 'Ascending from our Frog Pond' as Aristotle explained to the young Alexander. Reaching for the Heavens is the highest of Noble enterprises. It brings 'HOPE' to humanity, what greater gift could we bestow upon our children and grandchildren than realistic hope? Bless this team in their endeavours.

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#16
In reply to #6

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 10:50 AM

No guidance, it is a solid round; otherwise it would be a missile.


Is this still the same rail gun they were testing back in the early '90s where an aluminum pellet was propelled at nearly the speed of light? As I remember the system was too powerful to be tank mounted.


Before I was an engineer, I was on several tactical teams within the US ARMY special ops. I have been to many countries (mostly during the Clinton administration) completing missions. With the exception of the current administration (and thankfully it will only last 2 more years), for the most part you we have been fairly benign in doing good deeds here and there. While we do like control, we are not out right expansionists, and I would hate to see what the world would be like if another type of culture had the same power we have. We build new weapons before the other guys do... then for some strange reason we tend to sell the other guys. Just wait, more and more I see power shift to the Chinese.

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#9

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 9:48 AM

Wow! Just trying to compute the size of the capacitors required to store enough energy to launch a projectile with an impact kinetic signature eqivalent to a 380 mph 3100 lb.Taurus at 200 miles is staggering. Imagine the size of the contactor required to deliver that immense energy to the rails. Whoa ! That ain't your ordinary solinoid switch.

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#12
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 10:07 AM

Well, you sure don't want to put your tongue on the rails.

I'm sure that there isn't a single switch that handles all that current. There must be a bunch of relays for each cell of the rail gun. The other circuits handle very little current, no doubt.

Though I did like the helmeted operators of the Death Star in Star Wars, and the amazing sound (!) of the beam.

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#13
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 10:18 AM

Here's a video of a rail gun being fired (not the rail gun in this discussion) - with sound, although Andy will be disappointed

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#14
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 10:38 AM

Bor-ing. What they need is a little marketing work.

Overlay the whistle and hum of tube amplifiers, the startup sound of a fanjet, and then over-amp a sub-woofer before you let go with a huge "CRAAACK" Jiggle the camera all over, and add lots of smoke.

Show it to some Republicans, then you'll have funding for your weapon.

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#15
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 10:46 AM

.... and guys in futuristic helmets with glare shields, and lots of lights and lever-type controls, and a guy in a black cape, and an unsuspecting planet ... oh, wait. Sorry, got carried away.

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#17
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 10:56 AM

No; you're right. I'm sorry I forgot all that. It's very important. Maybe even have a few Tesla coils/Jacob's Ladders throwing sparks around.

Too much is never enough.

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#19
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 11:19 AM

A warning siren is an absolute must.

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#65
In reply to #17

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/06/2007 2:17 AM

Now I know what you do out on that Indiana farm of yours. Cool!

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#21
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 11:01 PM

If you think Seebeck Effect, and a big multilayer pile, introduce a 'Hot' element, bingo, do your sums, and you can generate fantastic currents for a few split seconds. No need for bothersome 'switches' either.....rather too bulky though.

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#20

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/19/2007 1:41 PM

(Copied from my post on another thread of the same topic)

The mass of the projectile is not mentioned, and I wonder how the reactive force of accelerating it to such high velocities will be handled and what means they use to create and/or store the required electrical energy.

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#43

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/24/2007 10:47 AM

If every country decided to all at once adopt a peaceful posture, there would be too much temptation for one to succumb to power. It'd be like a bully in a school of nerds trying to restrain himself from his natural behavior. The leopard cannot change his spots. Global peace would be nice though. Just my .02c/

I believe that the military rail guns have an exterior that breaks away briefly after it is fired.

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#44
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/24/2007 7:13 PM

Have no fear steve-0, These folk do not look like either bullies, of folk that could not stand up to a bully. I note that this kit looks much like the first Nuclear Atomic Pile, that was located in a University Squash Court.... That heap if graphite bricks did not look very interesting either..... BTW, I doubt this press photo was taken just after the 'shot'... If you stood near a large Naval Gun, it would be likely that you would go for a swim, being dragged out to sea in the wake of the munition. They tended to push a lot of air out of the way, Nature as they say 'abhors a vacuum', it needs something to fill it.... a curious onlooker will do just fine. he might also be slightly hard of hearing later.

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#45
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/24/2007 9:24 PM

What does that picture depict?

Did any of you see Charlie Chaplain's greatest movie, "The Great Dictator," in which the Germans' great new super-gun blew up a French loo? This picture seems to portray a similar effect.

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#47
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/30/2007 1:00 AM

Thanks for the good 'chuckle'....Here are some more chuckles:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_fountain

http://abstractfactory.blogspot.com/2004/05/futurist-fun-in-wikipedia-elevators.html

These advanced concepts may some day not so far off, save the human race from extinction. The first colonisation of space will be in our own earth orbit. No need for Velcro boots, a low orbit geo-stationary space station perhaps a tube round the equator. only a few miles in diameter to begin with, we have the technology, the material is already present as dust/iron, as for the past 100,000 years we have been going through the dusty Orion Arm of the Galaxy. (Horse Head Nebula in the Northern Hemisphere, The Coal Sack in the Southern) Space is cold enough for super-conduction. Iron dust attracts to a single loop closed solenoid, more iron =more flux= more iron = more flux =......... Space Station. Robotics are essential. This Naval Rail Gun could supply a small Space Station Assembly Plant. Freeze the components in ice, and fire them up. melt ice, retrieve components, drink water etc.

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#48
In reply to #45

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/30/2007 1:13 AM

Postscript; The tube itself a few miles in diameter, Also if Sea Levels are going to rise catastrophically, we better put some of it up there as Ice and also irrigation..... Good Shielding...also very handy for depositing CVD Diamond..... Plenty of options to plan for this first century of the New Third Millennium. Get Busy Students....Allow full rein to your imaginations. Submit any good ideas to Philippe Starke or John Hitchcox of Yoo Ltd. their design team might love them. Send them my best regards Also from the Carnegie Corporation.

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#46
In reply to #44

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

01/25/2007 7:21 AM

Well, really I was talking about the human equation. If the entire world was at peace I believe that someone would take advantage of the situation; the "bully" I was refering to. Hitler would be a good example.

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#51

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/03/2007 12:55 PM

I remember my first encounter with this concept. It was a Popular Mechanics item in1989. It was then described as a type of a linear motor consisting of the rail and the projectile being the sum of the circuit. I think it was then called something like Electromagnetic Gun.

The pulse energy was stored in slowly-charged bulk-capacitors, and discharged, to fire. Maybe some mention was to high frequency treatment in charge or discharge of the capacitors.

I refer to it now, because it was then considered a novelty, not a ready made weapon, so a bit more was revealed about the principles involved.

Wikipedia shows a sketch, although simplified, does not necessitate any friction, with the projectile (having permanent-magnet jacket?) passing through some servo loop coils, firing in turns.

Having no surface-to-surface friction does not however prevent the creation of excessive heat or recoil. Mother Nature is very unforgiving that way.

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#52

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/03/2007 1:30 PM

(Slightly off-topic)

I would like too see an EMP gun that fires a pulse strong enough to disorient/ daze a perpetrator (someone breaking into your house) without killing them. Just long enough for the cops to arrive

No projectile involved.

This may already exist and I haven't heard of it.

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#53
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/03/2007 1:45 PM

Such a pulse, being strong enough to daze, will also kill. Not only a perpetrator, but anything around, including trees, insects, bacteria, and viruses. A complete plug-and-play solution for sterilising life.

This idea was tested some twenty years ago and called: A Neutron Bomb (A weird-effect spin-off, of a fusion device),

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#54
In reply to #53

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/03/2007 2:10 PM

Well, I wasn't going to that extreme--

Thinking more of a Star Trek "phaser on stun"

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#55
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/03/2007 2:50 PM

Apparently the human body is tolerant to relatively strong electromagnetic oscillation and fields in general, regarding temporary, immediate, radical influence you may call "being dazed".

"Stun-guns", other than the known high-voltage, zapping variety, were tried during the seventies and eighties, to no real effect.

Even VLF, 5 to 15 Hz acoustic devices were tried, again, to no real effect.

You may resort to daze someone with boring stories, and it might work, but given that we're all quite immune to boredom, that too, might not suffice.

The rule in electromagnetic stun is: Enough to stun you is enough to kill you. A classic touch-and-go situation.

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#59
In reply to #55

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/03/2007 6:57 PM

Hi Yuval,

Check out :- http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7077

A 'Pain Gun' with a range of two kilometers. Mmmmmm "Ouch!"

And by accounts those VLF devices could rupture your guts. A real enough effect!

You had to curl up into a ball, just to avoid the excruciating pain. The research was curtailed on ethical considerations.

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/03/2007 7:47 PM

I'll take your word for it, and stand corrected. - Y

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#61
In reply to #60

Addendum: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/03/2007 8:04 PM

The article describes "Pulsed Energy Projectiles (PEPs), which fire a laser pulse that generates a burst of expanding plasma" which indeed is electromagnetic, although plasma as such is about a high-temp burn or a type of an explosion effect (of some type), if I understand it correctly.

Thanks for the reference.

Just to be on the safe side: The mentioned Acoustic VLF, was proven as you described, only during relatively rare and hardly controlled "Standing-Wave" situation, but nevertheless as you correctly stated.

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#63
In reply to #61

Re: Addendum: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/05/2007 9:41 PM

Hi Yuval, I decided not to post a website that lists all the 'nasty' new weapons currently under development. It's Easter after all! The message is 'Peace'

Of passing interest, In a past incarnation, working with the Acoustic Weapons Laboratory, Fort Halstead UK. I learnt that 'VLF' was first brought to the Military's attention, by a dodgy extractor fan/ventilation set-up in France. A long pipe and slow rev. fan produced VLF resonances that gave folk terrible gut-ache whenever they approached too near. CR4 ventilation engineers take due heed. No 'bull' allowed on this conference room. Safety comes first in all engineering.

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#64
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Re: Addendum: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/05/2007 9:53 PM

...The message is 'Peace'...

Right on, my dear brother

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#62
In reply to #59

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/04/2007 8:34 AM

They test it on animals. Damn. Sorry I brought the subject up.

Guess I'll stick with my 12 gauge for home protection.

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#71
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/07/2007 9:59 AM

Someone breaking into my house is gonna die. Period. The cops will only be a formality.

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#56

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/03/2007 3:07 PM

A boring-stories gun- Brilliant! You pull the trigger and it puts the guy to sleep

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#57
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Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/03/2007 3:22 PM

My mother taught me to "play-alive or be-gone", you know,

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#67
In reply to #56

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/06/2007 2:32 AM

I want one of those guns they use to shoot (thawed) chickens at aircraft canopies to simulate bird strikes. Blast 'em with paltry poultry!

Man, wouldn't that be one pullet surprise!

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/06/2007 2:54 AM

...shoot (thawed) chickens at aircraft canopies to simulate bird strikes...

These two Californian dicks did just that, only with a purpose-built air-pressure ten inch (bore) gun. Forgot the name of their show, it's about checking urban legends with physics...

...wouldn't that be one pullet surprise...

Well, it will be as fast as a pullet

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#69
In reply to #67

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/06/2007 11:12 AM

...one pullet surprise...

Waitaminute... Only now I finally got it:

"pullet surprise" as in "Pulitzer Prize"...

Wow!, you're GOOD... May I invite you to my secret society?

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#72
In reply to #69

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/07/2007 10:04 AM

I'm already a member.

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#73
In reply to #72

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/07/2007 10:21 AM

Here's serious question here:

Can you really have an off-topic post in a "perpetual-motion" thread?

Yours, Sincerely,

Yuval, P., right here, waiting for the aliens

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#74
In reply to #73

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

04/07/2007 11:51 AM

Yuval asks: "Can you really have an off-topic post in a "perpetual-motion" thread?"

---

Hmmm....that's a tough one. Let me ask my bartender.

Btw, I'm reading Voodoo Science - The Road From Foolishness To Fraud, by Robert Park (ISBN 0-19 514710-3 (pbk)). Looks to be pretty interesting so far.

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#76

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/23/2007 12:58 PM

Here is some DIY

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#77

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/24/2007 11:09 AM

I'm listening, and I love it! I had no idea so much was being done in the field of non earth-based intelligent life. I have a hard time believing that we're the only [intelligent]-.. beings in the universe. If I disagree with another man's religious beliefs I simply filter them out for the benefit of what else he has to say of interest unless he tries to impose them on me. (Which Mr. Carnegie is not doing, in my opinion.)

I believe that the circular silent aircraft are indeed real. There is too much evidence from creditable witnesses to simply dismiss it. (military-experimental or alien; only a select few people could maybe answer that!)

But..all I have to say is, it's about time!

Thank you Mr Carnegie for your information. This gives me hope for the human condition to hear that we're simply not going to "blow them out of the air" if they want to visit. On a different note, if they are non-friendly I hope we have a "plan B"..

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#78
In reply to #77

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/24/2007 9:32 PM

Don't you think that if there was a shred of a faint real evidence for this, it would make the headlines world over?

With all my sympathy to delusional notions (They're entertaining no doubt, the source to an endless stream of jokes in our family), some serious considerations should be given to some serious evidence. "...Extraordinary claims deserve extraordinary proof..." was quoted by no other than Alastair here, only never to follow his own advice.

I do not require extraordinary proof. Anything to be generally accepted scientifically, accepted empirically should and would satisfy me. See? I'm humble this way.

And that proof is... Exactly where? Hidden by some governmental conspiracy to hide the existence of extraterrestrial super-power at our doorstep, for what? Some seventy years?

Like the Twin Towers that never fell? The moon landing that never took place? The Egyptian pyramids that were built by aliens?

The "Alien" myth is a latent cry for help, a protest against a false god didn't deliver upon prophecies declared. It's a kind of hysterical plea for redemption, unobtainable by mere humble, human, mortality.

As to the question of earth being the only form of life in the vast universe, or humans being the only form of intelligent around:

The Big Numbers Law ("Given enough time and enough space, even the most unlikely occurrence is possible") dictates, that we're probably not ("Probably" in the sense that we have no such positive proof yet).

Mind you, this does not mean we have some practical means to bend or change the laws of nature and travel beyond the speed of light to encounter these yet imaginary beings in a reasonable time in civilised terms.

And "reasonable time in civilised terms" means that we are unlikely to have logistical means to send a self-sufficient craft for some few millions of years of travel to a nearby alien colony,right here on our neighbourly milky way.

It's all a matter of good sense, and likely probabilities.

Not of "Can my childhood fantasy become true in my very own lifetime?"

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#79

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 7:28 AM

I agree that within the blink of time that intelligent human life has been in existence to intersect with "visitors" exploring our area would be a remote one, unless it was deliberately planned by them. I'm sure that we may not ever be able to develop the technology to "bend space and time" for far-space light-year travel (I'm being in-succinct due to the early hour :) but we have sent invitations in the form of radio waves and nuclear explosions (interesting how the "silver discs" started appearing in the sky right around the time of early H-bomb testing.) I think the most interesting sightings are the reports filed by military pilots. I believe those are credible.

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#80
In reply to #79

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 8:09 AM

"...sent invitations in the form of radio waves and nuclear explosions (interesting how the "silver discs" started appearing in the sky right around the time of early H-bomb testing)..."

Even normal radio and television signals will eventually reach the edges of our galaxy. The coincidence you stated here, is more telling of mass-psychology shift (not yet daring to plainly call it hysteria), than of some concrete evidence to alien presence let alone technology.

The birth of the nuclear weapon age, was psychologically significant in more than one way, not just the presumed appearance of alien visitation. It had it's reflection in the McCarthy era with all it's paranoia and cultural sidekicks, movies science-fiction books and even some "serious" theories, Von Neumann's "Game Theory" being the most significant.

It also had it's mark on world-wide political unrest in the third-block, the under-developed countries, having to decide their east-west political and military inclination and alliance, which pretty much drawn today's global economical lines, and eventually peaked with the formation of M.A.D (Mutually Assured Destruction) strategy on both ends of the cold-war, which practically meant a complete global eradication of life on earth.

The 50'es Baby-boomers were born and raised into this set of realities, concepts, and strategies. The famous Game Theory's "Prisoner's Dilemma" is an actual demonstration for the logical consequence of M.A.D. and even was presented as such.

It must have held enormous psychological burden on their prospect of livelihood and propagation. This, for my taste, is the more likely explanation to what I cal a latent cry for help, in protest against a false god which disappointed the viable prospect of life, on this earth under his control. This latent cry for help, or indirect protest, is to the effect of "Here we are, lost, on the brink of our doom, no higher power seemingly able to remedy this, please, anybody, local or alien, come and save us". This is a tell, a giveaway to a collective form of despair. Maybe even hysteria. Why not call it by it's proper name. This is about the fear projected to higher powers.

Each to their own call about this, but this is my testimony as someone born in 1953, right into this sizzling pan. All my defining years were under the threat of M.A.D.

"...most interesting sightings are the reports filed by military pilots. I believe those are credible..." Me too. My problem is with their somewhat populist interpretation, mostly made by over-the-top eager journalists.

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#81
In reply to #80

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 8:57 AM

OK. You win. No aliens, no flying saucers. I just arrived at work and have some hot jobs to do. No time for this. Sorry. Maybe someone else will chime in with an actual (non-over-the-top journalist's) pilot's verbatim report.

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#82
In reply to #81

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 11:41 AM

I never intended to win, only present my opinion in the matter of possible alien encounters, nothing personal to any effect.

I would also like to add, that I respectfully accept any positive notion, as to the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe, which I tend to think has no practical bearing on the matter discussed here, because:

1. The existence of alien life-forms is statistically enforced by the big numbers law, and I have no quarrel with that. I take it to be valid and meaningful.

2. Even with the existence of alien life, their rarity for viable contact may increase with probability of their being intelligent

3. Even with the existence of intelligent alien life of our definition, of entity of some sort, our effort to converse or meet with them, declines dramatically because of what's called "The time-space barrier", which is to say that our logistical effort to send meaningful means of delegation is severely limited to a practical sense of non-viability, given the distances and time-lengths involved.

My bottom line on this is to the effect of:

Let them show up. Until then, It's just mythology.

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#83
In reply to #82

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 12:48 PM

Most believers run an argument along the lines " if the universe is infinite, there must be infinite planets .....etc" . They seem to ignore that their model may have to include infinite distances , and hence infinitely sparse populations. There are many ways to junk the alien notion. Oddly I believe ET is out there some place , we simply have little chance of meeting up. Rational debate will probably not occur in Roswell or in Falkirk.

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#84
In reply to #83

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 12:55 PM

Tarot cards, supernatural, paranormal and ufos.

sheesh.

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#88
In reply to #84

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 2:03 PM

Right.

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#86
In reply to #82

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 1:50 PM

You're talking about our reality within where only our perceptions and applications apply. We have no idea of what our universe is; let alone what's beyond. In other words our limitations of the "space-time barrier" may not be someone else's. We may not be where we think we are. We may be on the scale of an atom within a molecule within a larger cosmos, therefore no way for "them" to visit us. You May be right. Within our tiny universe we may be the only ones alive ( I know I'm trespassing and breaking a lot of religious boundaries here) but there are so many unknowns (although we think we know-it-all) that it would be virtually impossible to say anything like "alien life" or any thing else does or does not exist. (In my opinion)

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#89
In reply to #86

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 2:08 PM

"...You're talking about our reality within where only our perceptions and applications apply..."

Right again. Never pretended otherwise.

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#85

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 1:02 PM

Boy, this aint "navy rail gun" anymore is it? OK I see your point, however the similarities of the abductors have a lot in common. Short: 4 or 5 ft.. grey skin, large eyes etc. But I digress. If they recovered a crashed ufo and sent it to be examined, do you honestly think that ANY government would let it be released to public domain? Let's face it, they think that the average John Q Public has the IQ of an ant when it comes to facing the possibility of dealing with life outside of our known boundaries. The religious implications alone are staggering.

IF there is any non-earth life here or has ever been here on earth it is a mystery and will probably always remain so and the believers and skeptics will always be having this debate and it will never be resolved and my fingers are getting tired of typing so I'm going to let it be and so the 747 or the military jet pilots from the 1950s who have come forth with eye-witness accounts will have their say, and I say that they're credible witnesses. Believe it or not. Like I said before; these mystery aircraft could be military-experimental or non-earth origin. Apparently nobody knows or nobody's talking about the silent silver/metallic colored disk shaped air-borne objects.

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#87
In reply to #85

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 1:52 PM

Hey steve-o , You're #77 looked as though you were a believer. Whats not to doubt ? Huge numbers believe , the Falkirk folk are the tip of an iceberg. I am absolutely and utterly convinced that they know something. They are without question living in a different world. My own little world is somewhat different , but reality is a heavy burden to bear. I will stagger on.

Next time I visit I , shall try and stay on-topic . I somehow doubt that ET will prevent me returning.

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#90
In reply to #87

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 2:14 PM

"...reality is a heavy burden to bear. I will stagger on..."

I could not have said it better. Thanks, Kris.

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#91
In reply to #90

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 2:20 PM

Always a pleasure .

ps I just hit the 80 limit having a clear up ! nearly to the bottom of the pile - so close I can taste it ! catch ya later dude.

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#93
In reply to #87

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 2:32 PM

Yeah, the "alien autopsy" --very entertaining..

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#92

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 2:23 PM

Kris-

I believe that the believers' believe. I personally have not (to my knowledge) ever ever had a close encounter with alien life, therefore I cannot say. I am simply fascinated with the silver discs and the "grays" reported through the years, although the numbers have died down since the 1950-1970s. I will say that I am open-minded and acceptable to the prospects. However I am NOT talking about Tarot cards and Ouija boards. Apples and oranges.

Yuval-

I can try to google up some credible Air Force pilot's accounts of their sightings, but I feel it would be useless at this point.

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#96
In reply to #92

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/30/2007 3:29 AM

Relax steve-o. My humour does not always translate well. Just to clarify my position ( which I think is the same as yours ) ;

Paranormal/Tarot etc - Bull . Believers genuine in what they think.

ET in contact - So unlikely as not to be true

Undeclared military aircraft - Certain.

Un-explainable phenomena - Certain. We don't know everything about nature.

Kris

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#94

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 3:20 PM

I do recall a story told by a Sargent when I was in the military stationed at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota; He said that he saw what appeared to be a F-111 approaching rapidly until it stopped, hovered silently then shot straight up out of sight. He may have been kidding, maybe not. He said that he didn't have a clue what is was. The missile silos up there were a hotbed of sightings in the day..

or maybe it was the Northern Lights

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#95
In reply to #94

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/29/2007 4:35 PM

F-111, what a beauty of an aeroplane. I'm a sucker for swept-wings. Nothing. Just a beauty this 111.

And the Hustler... Don't get me started... We were having this nice alien chat, and you had to bring my beauties into sight...

Now I'm ruined for two-three hours, drooling and shit

Why oh why

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#97
In reply to #95

Re: Navy Rail Gun Successfully Tested

05/30/2007 7:14 AM

didn't mean to get *off-topic*

hehehehe

Yeah beauts they are.

Alot of unknowns- nothing is for certain, including the 'grays', imho.

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