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Made in ca
Fresh-Faced New User




Range of a laser weapon could also be explained by its optics and loss of beam confinement. A laser pointer makes a tiny bright dot on something close but a big blurry dot on something further away. The same way a weaponized laser could cut through a ship up close but only make it warm further away. And without adjustable focusing optics, this loss of intensity happens in relation to the square of the distance, meaning the effectiveness of the weapon will drop off exponentially with distance. Focusing will have limits too, limited by the size of the focusing chamber, how far the lenses can travel. And if your optics are tooled to focus well at great distances they might not be able to focus on targets that are up close. Ranges of only 100 km or 1000 km could be realistic. After that it's nothing but a bright flashlight.

Projectile weapons suffer similar problems, be they electromagnetic railguns or conventional propellant cannons. Tiny imperfections in the ammunition or gun, even effects from local gravitational bodies which are not uniform, could cause individual shots to vary by a tiny fraction of a degree. And over distances like 100 to 1000 km that could easily mean missing wildly.

Although of course none of these would be a hard number range, just a gradual loss of accuracy or strength until it's no longer worth trying to shoot.

Only weapons that can adjust their course in flight, guided missiles, could push their effective range to much greater distances, in that case limited by the efficiency of their engines and how much fuel they have.
   
Made in gb
Sagitarius with a Big F'in Gun




Bath

Solaradmiral wrote:
Range of a laser weapon could also be explained by its optics and loss of beam confinement. A laser pointer makes a tiny bright dot on something close but a big blurry dot on something further away. The same way a weaponized laser could cut through a ship up close but only make it warm further away. And without adjustable focusing optics, this loss of intensity happens in relation to the square of the distance, meaning the effectiveness of the weapon will drop off exponentially with distance. Focusing will have limits too, limited by the size of the focusing chamber, how far the lenses can travel. And if your optics are tooled to focus well at great distances they might not be able to focus on targets that are up close. Ranges of only 100 km or 1000 km could be realistic. After that it's nothing but a bright flashlight.

Projectile weapons suffer similar problems, be they electromagnetic railguns or conventional propellant cannons. Tiny imperfections in the ammunition or gun, even effects from local gravitational bodies which are not uniform, could cause individual shots to vary by a tiny fraction of a degree. And over distances like 100 to 1000 km that could easily mean missing wildly.

Although of course none of these would be a hard number range, just a gradual loss of accuracy or strength until it's no longer worth trying to shoot.

Only weapons that can adjust their course in flight, guided missiles, could push their effective range to much greater distances, in that case limited by the efficiency of their engines and how much fuel they have.


and guided weapons come with their own set of problems, namely targeting and tracking a target, which has better sensors and better EW capability to try and defeat a incoming missiles terminal guidance. so, another set of swings and roundabouts.

ultimately, its all down to the fictional rules of the setting which options work and which dont, which is part of the problem with comparing different sci fi settings.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "
But it's " Thin red line of 'eroes " when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes, " when the drums begin to roll.
"Tommy", Rudyard Kipling
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