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    Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

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    Can a Air Defense system be designed to destroy incoming meteorites ?

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    GarryB
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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  GarryB on Tue May 28, 2013 10:34 am

    Something hit the damn thing - thats for sure

    I am not so sure... such objects often have other objects with them... bits that have broken off, or come from the same original source the main rock came from. Once they hit the atmosphere the bigger bits slow down faster, so smaller... possibly objects of different densities can appear to "catch up" and perhaps even overtake the larger objects.

    The problem with these rocks is that if we are to use conventional explosives - since the rock is very strong, dense and heavy, we would need to probably place a charge inside the rock (using a electromagnetic coil gun) and then detonate it.

    Nearly impossible. The thing is moving at 20km per second... you can't build something that will withstand that sort of impact and still retain its shape to penetrate deep enough into the object and still be intact enough to have a working detonator and explosive charge.

    The impacter would be vapourised and no explosive charge would work in such a condition.

    Directed energy weapons would be probably more effective due to the ability to heat the object much sooner - so that it can disintegrate sooner in the atmosphere.

    Most objects in space spin so the chance of heating one spot on the object is simply not going to happen... besides directed energy weapons lose effect over distance... natural sunlight would generate more heat energy on the surface of the object than a directed energy weapon from earth and it has been shining on inner planet orbit rocks for billions of years and not destroyed them.

    But we went away from the first and foremost thing: You have to detect it first!

    As I have said many times... this is critical. Having your ABM radars looking for meteoroids is a total waste of time... they have another job to do as their ability to give any sort of useful warning is slim to none.

    Having telescopes looking for these things makes rather more sense and is much more practical... but gets very little funding or attention till something like this happens.

    Note a rock in space is a meteoroid. When it is falling through the atmosphere it becomes a meteor, and when it hits the ground it becomes a meteorite.

    Ok people im waiting for somebody to start bullsh*tting like "Aliens don't exist, UFOs are hoax"...
    C'mon

    There is no concrete evidence to prove aliens exist, but just based on the numbers of known stars and galaxies and likely planets if there are no aliens then something is seriously wrong with this universe. A UFO is an unidentified flying object... there are plenty of objects that are not identified that are flying.


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    Flanky
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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  Flanky on Tue May 28, 2013 1:26 pm

    Garry B wrote:
    Nearly impossible. The thing is moving at 20km per second... you can't build something that will withstand that sort of impact and still retain its shape to penetrate deep enough into the object and still be intact enough to have a working detonator and explosive charge.

    The impacter would be vapourised and no explosive charge would work in such a condition.
    Diamant of Graphene are one of the materials that are so strong that even speeds like this wont make the projectile disintegrate. And there are some highly stable explosives like Pentaerythritol tetranitrate which is extremely powerfull and at the same time have relatively high autoexplosive temperature of 190 degrees Celsius. I know 190 Degrees is nothing compared to the plasma of the incomming meteor, but if the projectile would ever be made - it would surely have some thermoinsulation layers, that would protect the explosive inside from extreme heat of the plasma. Todays processes enables electronics being inserted and then being suffused (once the circuit is proved and tested) so that the entire block will receive better mechanical properties, like temperature distribution, vibration robustness etc.

    Garry B wrote:
    Most objects in space spin so the chance of heating one spot on the object is simply not going to happen... besides directed energy weapons lose effect over distance... natural sunlight would generate more heat energy on the surface of the object than a directed energy weapon from earth and it has been shining on inner planet orbit rocks for billions of years and not destroyed them.
    Well that is fine if the object spins - its not beneficial to heat only single spot of the meteor. That would have no impact at all - perhaps some small piece of the meteor would rip off, but the goal is to heat the entire object. Easier said than done i know. Space based system would be probably closer to the incomming meteor, so the energy dissipation of the weapon would be much smaller - but it will be more expensive to construct and deploy. Perhaps the energy dissipation is not an issue. US have National Ignition Facility with peak laser output of 500 TERAWATT (yes you read correctly). Russians are currently building one with even more power. Can you imagine that power? I believe you can't because if this system would be aimed at the rock - it would be the perfect weapon to heat the rock in the early stage of reentry so that the ratio of disintegration would be much higher and the consequences of impact would be negligible.

    Garry B wrote:
    As I have said many times... this is critical. Having your ABM radars looking for meteoroids is a total waste of time... they have another job to do as their ability to give any sort of useful warning is slim to none.

    Having telescopes looking for these things makes rather more sense and is much more practical... but gets very little funding or attention till something like this happens.
    Well now i don't understand your logic here.
    If you have a tool that have to some degree a second ability beside its indented main one - why would you not use it?

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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  GarryB on Wed May 29, 2013 1:44 pm

    Diamant of Graphene are one of the materials that are so strong that even speeds like this wont make the projectile disintegrate.

    The target is moving at 20km per second. Anything you hit with it will only add to that speed, so a penetrator travelling at say 10km/s will result in a collision speed of 30km/s.

    No material known to man can retain structural integrity at such impact speeds... at such speeds a solid object will be vapourised... even solid DU or Tungsten... any HE charge would just reduce the mass of the penetrator and make the effect worse... we are talking about a shallow surface crater and lots of energy released as heat and light.

    Todays processes enables electronics being inserted and then being suffused (once the circuit is proved and tested) so that the entire block will receive better mechanical properties, like temperature distribution, vibration robustness etc.

    Even the most effective explosive charge will not destroy the mountain... the bigger and more powerful you make it the larger the penetrator becomes and the less penetration you would get.
    Even a perfect penetration might just split the object in two... so we get hit by two large masses instead of one.

    If we get a few years warning it makes sense to land on it and gradually change its course, but blowing it up... without knowing its structure and the materials it is made of would be an enormous gamble.

    A rock pile would be even harder to stop.

    Well that is fine if the object spins - its not beneficial to heat only single spot of the meteor.

    Actually causing a single small jet might effect its trajectory over time... landing a rocket onto the object and then using gyros and angled rockets to stabilise the object and then fire a very powerful engine (ion) for a very long period to change the course is most likely the safest and most effective option we can think of.

    but it needs time.

    I believe you can't because if this system would be aimed at the rock - it would be the perfect weapon to heat the rock in the early stage of reentry so that the ratio of disintegration would be much higher and the consequences of impact would be negligible.

    You are not listening... at the masses we are talking about it doesn't matter what the target is made of... whether it is solid Uranium or Chocolate Blancmange, it is the mass of the object that is going to do the damage and 200 tera tons of whatever hitting the earths atmosphere at 20km/s will spend less than 1 second in a thick atmosphere that has any effect on it... an air burst can be just as devastating as a ground impact.

    Well now i don't understand your logic here.
    If you have a tool that have to some degree a second ability beside its indented main one - why would you not use it?

    Use the right tools for the job. Just because I can tap a tack in with the handle of a screwdriver doesn't mean I can not bother buying a hammer. Having screwdrivers with broken handles because I have tried to use them as hammers becomes a problem when I have to screw some screws in... the hammer just wont do that job.

    The AEW network that Russia has spent lots of money and time rebuilding would be a very poor and inefficient anti meteorite component. The job of the VKKO is to defend Russian space and air space so it is their job, and they have a range of tools... satellite and air and ground based radar that are fine for air space, but not so good for space detection. They have a lot of space tracking equipment too that includes the ideal tools... optical telescopes and they can use them in future to do a much much better job than over the horizon radars.


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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  Flanky on Wed May 29, 2013 4:01 pm


    The target is moving at 20km per second. Anything you hit with it will only add to that speed, so a penetrator travelling at say 10km/s will result in a collision speed of 30km/s.
    Not true. If you hit the object from the sphere of opposite side to its movement - you'll actually slow it down.
    So if the weapon is ground based shooting at the object in atmosphere with a projectile - it will slow it down.


    Even the most effective explosive charge will not destroy the mountain... the bigger and more powerful you make it the larger the penetrator becomes and the less penetration you would get.
    Provided you will use conventional means to try to shoot the penetrator. Constructing a coil gun powerful enough to pierce a penetrator trhough that meteor is "just" a matter of couple of years. As said - today the scientists were able to simulate the meteor impact on earth - although in much smaller size and speed, it means we have the technology able to shoot projectiles fast enough. Its just matter of designing a system big enough to have an impact on a rock of that size.
    Please have a look on this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbk0imVAa1g


    Actually causing a single small jet might effect its trajectory over time... landing a rocket onto the object and then using gyros and angled rockets to stabilise the object and then fire a very powerful engine (ion) for a very long period to change the course is most likely the safest and most effective option we can think of.
    Well you don't believe in land based systems - we would have to design a very big system to deploy another big and heavy system onto the object - provided you have the capability of early detection - which we dont have now. It is possible but in my opinion: if we are not able to manufacture systems that will have an impact on this object from our earth orbit on... what makes you think we are able to make that Ion system? Because to me it looks like this: Both of the solutions are just a matter of size (having enough power). And its allways much more difficult to make and deploy space systems of great size than it is to make such systems ground based - that is i hope non-disputable.


    You are not listening... at the masses we are talking about it doesn't matter what the target is made of... whether it is solid Uranium or Chocolate Blancmange, it is the mass of the object that is going to do the damage and 200 tera tons of whatever hitting the earths atmosphere at 20km/s will spend less than 1 second in a thick atmosphere that has any effect on it... an air burst can be just as devastating as a ground impact.
    Again a game of sizes. If you make detection system and laser big and powerful enough than even a object wish such speed and sheer size would not be a problem. But reffering to the original size and power of the Chelyabinsk meteor - this meter had this energy and power 440 kilotons of TNT (about 1.8 PJ). Atleast that were the reports of calculation results.
    The energy of the meteor was 1.8 Peta Joule compared that to a 550 Tera WATT system (National Ignition Facility) being able to deliver it in piko seconds = 10^-12 sec where 1J = 1 Watt/Sec to put it on equal footing (550 * 10^12) W = 1 * 10^-12 S /*(10^12) => (550 * 10^24) W / 1 S => 550 Yotta Joule!!!!!!!! However this is provided that the system is able to sustain 550 Tera Watt peak for the duration of entire second instead of Pico Second. Garry you cannot imagine such a powerfull system - it would literally vaporize the meteor out of the sky - that said Russians are building even more powerful laser. However the problem of the laser in NIF is that it is designed to work very shortly (pico seconds). The data and values are out there - you can do your own calculations (i hope you will) to see that we DO have the technology powerfull enough. Its just a matter to build it specifically suited to its purpose.


    Use the right tools for the job. Just because I can tap a tack in with the handle of a screwdriver doesn't mean I can not bother buying a hammer. Having screwdrivers with broken handles because I have tried to use them as hammers becomes a problem when I have to screw some screws in... the hammer just wont do that job.
    Ok wrong example used - your logic is ok but only if the tools are cheap.
    If i have a personal car sedan that costed me 20 000 $ - its mainly used for taking me to office and back home, why would i not use it for buying and transporting a desk? Do i have to buy another even more expensive car (van) that is the "right tool for it"? C'mon. We are talking here about billions of dollars projects. In a situation like this you WILL think of how you can better utilize the systems you already have, before deciding to build a new and better ones. Im not saying that the radars existing today are sufficient - all i am saying that they can be used as space surveilance radars and they ARE being used - especially that Voronezh VP with high elevation scan - i believe it was built to observe China space program launches. Radars like this one are scanning the entire detection area all the time - even the upper zones.


    They have a lot of space tracking equipment too that includes the ideal tools... optical telescopes and they can use them in future to do a much much better job than over the horizon radars.
    The only Russian specialised systems for tracking space objects (others than Rockets -being domestic or foreign- and big cosmic bodies like Planets, Moons, Stars and Asteroids) are ABM system arround Moscow, Okno in Tajikistan, Okno-S in the Far east and Krona.
    Those are 5 systems / facilities in total.
    Not much.
    Space telescopes are not good enough today to detect relatively small objects early like the Chelyabinsk meteor.


    Last edited by Flanky on Wed May 29, 2013 4:45 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  medo on Wed May 29, 2013 4:33 pm

    It is interesting, that the object, which hit the meteorite, is smokeless. Every object, which come from space in atmosphere have a trail because of high temperature and is burning. That object was invisible until light from meteorite enlighten it.

    In my opinion, if any complex could be able to do this, it is S-300V. This complex have 3 radars. One rotating search radar to cover 360°, one sector search radar to detect ballistic targets and engagement/tracking radar to guide missile to the target. So there is an option, that sector radar track meteorite and its computers count the path of meteorite in its ballistic curve. The whole complex than count a point, where missile and meteorite could meet and tracking radar then guide missile to that point, not looking in meteorite, which could be out of its angle to the last seconds.

    Explosion of warhead could be enough to change the course of meteorite, that it didn't fall in the city, but in less populated area.

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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  GarryB on Thu May 30, 2013 4:47 am

    Not true. If you hit the object from the sphere of opposite side to its movement - you'll actually slow it down.
    So if the weapon is ground based shooting at the object in atmosphere with a projectile - it will slow it down.

    In the same way that driving on a motorway at 100km/h and hitting a fly slows down your car...

    Provided you will use conventional means to try to shoot the penetrator. Constructing a coil gun powerful enough to pierce a penetrator trhough that meteor is "just" a matter of couple of years. As said - today the scientists were able to simulate the meteor impact on earth - although in much smaller size and speed, it means we have the technology able to shoot projectiles fast enough. Its just matter of designing a system big enough to have an impact on a rock of that size.

    We also have to place this coil gun in space because the effect on the projectile of the atmosphere will be similar to the effect on the target by the atmosphere.

    To get the speed you need lighter smaller masses... which is the opposite of what we need to engage targets.

    what makes you think we are able to make that Ion system?

    To be effective it needs to work for a very long time even at very low power. We already have ion powered space craft and such engines have been tested in labs for operating for years at a time.

    nd its allways much more difficult to make and deploy space systems of great size than it is to make such systems ground based - that is i hope non-disputable.

    Very true, but also problematic... firing a solid projectile from the ground at a target in deep space is a problem from Earth... it would make rather more sense to fire it from the moon where there is no atmosphere to immediately tear it to bits.

    The problem remains that the targets worth intercepting are always going to be bigger with the biggest objects being the most necessary to deal with.

    Let me put it this way... if the problem was to stop the Earth from hitting itself it would make rather more sense to try to change the trajectory of the impacting Earth very early on than it would to try to fire a laser or particle beam to try to destroy it. Because of the mass involved the amount of energy needed is enormous, but applied over a very long period of time is doable. To apply it in a few seconds will not destroy matter... just temporarily melt it.

    Even in molten form an object the size of a country would still hit us with devastating effect.

    Garry you cannot imagine such a powerfull system - it would literally vaporize the meteor out of the sky - that said Russians are building even more powerful laser.

    Too much star wars for you. Even if you do direct an enormously powerful laser beam at it... all that will do is heat it up and melt it a bit... in space the gravity of the object will hold any bits that break off in orbit around the object and any trajectory change will be negligible. We will just get hit by a hotter melted rock instead of a cold hard rock.

    Keep in mind that in space this rock is 200 degrees plus on the side facing the sun anyway, and minus 200 degrees on the side not facing the sun. If it is spinning then it will rapidly be changing from hot to cold like the moon does.

    The data and values are out there - you can do your own calculations (i hope you will) to see that we DO have the technology powerfull enough. Its just a matter to build it specifically suited to its purpose.

    Even if it could operate for days all it would do is turn a solid rock into a melted mass of rock... likely still with a solid core.

    It wont blow it into smithereens... and it wont stop it.

    Ok wrong example used - your logic is ok but only if the tools are cheap.
    If i have a personal car sedan that costed me 20 000 $ - its mainly used for taking me to office and back home, why would i not use it for buying and transporting a desk? Do i have to buy another even more expensive car (van) that is the "right tool for it"? C'mon. We are talking here about billions of dollars projects. In a situation like this you WILL think of how you can better utilize the systems you already have, before deciding to build a new and better ones. Im not saying that the radars existing today are sufficient - all i am saying that they can be used as space surveilance radars and they ARE being used - especially that Voronezh VP with high elevation scan - i believe it was built to observe China space program launches. Radars like this one are scanning the entire detection area all the time - even the upper zones.

    You are not getting it... these radars see thousands of kms into space... to be effective we need to see objects billions of kms away.

    To take your car example... you have a $20,000 dollar car to take you to work... if you need to plough a field do you drive your two wheel drive car into a field and attach it to the plough because it is available?

    It is totally unsuitable for the job... it is ideal for the job it was designed for however... radar is no good for long range space observation... radio telescopes are also useless for detecting meteoriods because meteoriods do not emit radio waves... the only tool worth using is optical telescopes and very simply you photograph an area of space and then photograph the same area 3 hours later... everything that moves needs to be investigated and their flight path analysed to determine if they will hit us... and if not this time, then in how many years time in the future.

    By the time EW radar pick up the target it is already too late.

    The only Russian specialised systems for tracking space objects (others than Rockets -being domestic or foreign- and big cosmic bodies like Planets, Moons, Stars and Asteroids) are ABM system arround Moscow, Okno in Tajikistan, Okno-S in the Far east and Krona.

    They were focussed on tracking targets in earth orbit... not deep space objects. They were used so satellites can be moved and space stations can be moved to avoid collisions. Their role is important and they should not be distracted.

    Space telescopes are not good enough today to detect relatively small objects early like the Chelyabinsk meteor.

    Optical telescopes are the only option for long range deep space observation and detection of meteoroids and comets.

    More money and more observation time plotting the orbits of inner solar system objects is what is needed.

    Explosion of warhead could be enough to change the course of meteorite, that it didn't fall in the city, but in less populated area.

    Explosion of the warhead would not shift the trajectory of a B-52 let alone a meteor. The explosion of the warhead would simply take away the lift of the B-52 by breaking it. A Meteor is already falling and the explosion of the warhead would not effect its lift drag aerodynamics... it would be very much like Patriot vs Scud except we are talking about a mite on a cows butt with teeth that can't even penetrate the skin of the cow.


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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  Flanky on Thu May 30, 2013 10:59 am


    We also have to place this coil gun in space because the effect on the projectile of the atmosphere will be similar to the effect on the target by the atmosphere.

    To get the speed you need lighter smaller masses... which is the opposite of what we need to engage targets.
    Or you need more powerful source.



    To be effective it needs to work for a very long time even at very low power. We already have ion powered space craft and such engines have been tested in labs for operating for years at a time.
    To be able to work for a very long time it needs a big tank of fuel. Big tank of fuel means being heavy and that in turns mean difficult to deploy in space.


    Even in molten form an object the size of a country would still hit us with devastating effect.
    If a object of bigger size would be comming our way then the only solution would be to change its path.
    That object will be too big for anything else - but we do have the means to detect such objects early in order to have time to decide what to do with it.
    What we don't have today is the means to detect much smaller ones like the one this topic is about - which when detected, you have a timewindow like 5 minutes to decide what to do.
    And such objects if they would change its state to molten will have an impact similar to throwing a play dough on the ground.


    Too much star wars for you. Even if you do direct an enormously powerful laser beam at it... all that will do is heat it up and melt it a bit... in space the gravity of the object will hold any bits that break off in orbit around the object and any trajectory change will be negligible. We will just get hit by a hotter melted rock instead of a cold hard rock.
    It will heat it a lot - and then upon entering earth atmosphere a much bigger forces will start to take an effect on the object and it will disintegrate just like the one in Chelyabinsk have partialy disintegrated.
    And even if the object will hit the ground in much more molten state it will have less of an impact than in its rock sturdy state.


    Even if it could operate for days all it would do is turn a solid rock into a melted mass of rock... likely still with a solid core.
    Well that would be still an achievement, because you practically decrease the sturdyness of the object that is potentially dangerous.


    You are not getting it... these radars see thousands of kms into space... to be effective we need to see objects billions of kms away.

    To take your car example... you have a $20,000 dollar car to take you to work... if you need to plough a field do you drive your two wheel drive car into a field and attach it to the plough because it is available?

    It is totally unsuitable for the job... it is ideal for the job it was designed for however... radar is no good for long range space observation... radio telescopes are also useless for detecting meteoriods because meteoriods do not emit radio waves... the only tool worth using is optical telescopes and very simply you photograph an area of space and then photograph the same area 3 hours later... everything that moves needs to be investigated and their flight path analysed to determine if they will hit us... and if not this time, then in how many years time in the future.

    By the time EW radar pick up the target it is already too late.
    I fear its you that do not understand.
    We do have the capability to detect bigger asteroids optically today - thats not a problem.
    Objects of such sizes like the Chelybinsk meteorite will not be detected too far away from earth like billions of kilometers.
    Thats just nonsense. We were not able to detect it today and likely we will not be able to do so for another decade.
    So you have to prepare a battle plan for another situation similar to the one that occured in february, and build a solution for a threat that will occur in a timeframe of maybe 10 minutes.
    The long range observation you speak of is "Ultra long range" observation and that is technologically not possible using radars.
    However these radars are still a better solution because they do offer a early detection possibility before the object of smaller size enters atmosphere.
    What is more important once the object enters the detection range it will be detected - unlike a telescope where it could styll be overlooked despite being in detection range.
    In situations like this you are gratefull to every second such a detection system offers you in reaction time due to early detection.
    And regarding the car example: If it would meant my familly will have something to eat and will not have to wait till i buy expensive specialised agriculture machine then yes i would and many are doing so today -> Tractors are not the most efficient and are using plough very often.



    Optical telescopes are the only option for long range deep space observation and detection of meteoroids and comets.

    More money and more observation time plotting the orbits of inner solar system objects is what is needed.
    Then one day we will face the same situation again.
    Telescope is able to detect only objects which radiate some energy.
    Be it light, gamma rays, ultraviolet rays, infrared etc.
    Small objects like the rock that fallen near Chelyabinsk won't radiate too much of anything unless they will enter atmosphere.
    Detecting such an object in a night sky using optical telescope is like trying to find a needle in a stack.
    Unefficient, time and money consuming. Even if you would be able to detect such a object that would give you no more than a several weeks.
    What will you do?
    Send ICBM to divert its trajectory - and then face the possibility of nuclear fallout to reach earth?
    Or try to make a mission to place a Ion thruster to divert its trajectory.
    That is still too little of a time to react with the thruster solution.
    First we must develop and build a tailor suited solution and then we must have time to deploy it - in a case like that we would have no time for neither of thoose.

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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  GarryB on Thu May 30, 2013 1:35 pm

    Or you need more powerful source.

    Pumping more energy into the launch of the projectile will just result in it hitting the atmosphere harder and disintegrating quicker.

    To be able to work for a very long time it needs a big tank of fuel. Big tank of fuel means being heavy and that in turns mean difficult to deploy in space.

    That is why I suggested an ion engine... a big tank of fuel for an ion engine is a couple of litres. It gets its power from the very high velocity of the ionised particles it directs.

    And such objects if they would change its state to molten will have an impact similar to throwing a play dough on the ground.

    You aren't getting it... what is an explosion? An expansion of gas at supersonic speed. Supersonic speed being 1/3rd of 1km/s. We are talking about play dough hitting the ground at 60 times the speed of a fragment from an explosion... there is not explosive involved but the energy is actually the same.

    It will heat it a lot - and then upon entering earth atmosphere a much bigger forces will start to take an effect on the object and it will disintegrate just like the one in Chelyabinsk have partialy disintegrated.

    The very shallow angle of the object was luck... it could just as easily have come in near vertically... which would mean less than 2 seconds in anything dense enough to have an effect.

    And even if the object will hit the ground in much more molten state it will have less of an impact than in its rock sturdy state.

    You just arent getting it... if I drop a ton of water on top of you you will be crushed... it doesn't matter that it is water... If I hit you with a shirt button at 20km/s you would be killed by the highly supersonic shockwave.

    Well that would be still an achievement, because you practically decrease the sturdyness of the object that is potentially dangerous.

    No it wouldn't... you would be using all the worlds power generation capacity for a year to slightly warm the incoming object... there are far more efficient ways to deal with such a problem.

    We do have the capability to detect bigger asteroids optically today - thats not a problem.

    Yes, it is a problem because were are committing far too little resources in this very important endeavour. In the 1990s there were more people working in one McDonalds restaurant than looking for earth impacting objects. That has since changed, but the numbers looking are not that impressive.

    This impact should greatly increase funding in Russia however.

    Objects of such sizes like the Chelybinsk meteorite will not be detected too far away from earth like billions of kilometers.

    Of course they can. Russian telescopes track paint chip sized objects in earth orbit watching larger objects further away is not that hard.... trying to do it with radar would be hard.

    We were not able to detect it today and likely we will not be able to do so for another decade.

    It was not detected because not enough people and not enough telescopes are looking... there has been no funding for it.

    The long range observation you speak of is "Ultra long range" observation and that is technologically not possible using radars.

    Glad we agree.

    However these radars are still a better solution because they do offer a early detection possibility before the object of smaller size enters atmosphere.

    To do so you would need a lot more radars and they would need to be oriented up... and even then they will only search the northern hemisphere... a direction the threat might not come from...

    In situations like this you are gratefull to every second such a detection system offers you in reaction time due to early detection.

    Even with 2 hours warning there is not much that could be done. The precise location of the damage could not be calculated as you really can't tell where exactly it will hit, or where it will break up.

    And regarding the car example: If it would meant my familly will have something to eat and will not have to wait till i buy expensive specialised agriculture machine then yes i would and many are doing so today -> Tractors are not the most efficient and are using plough very often.

    A two wheel drive motor car would be pathetic at pulling a plough... it would sink in the mud and get no traction to pull. It is not an accident a tractor has two very large rear wheels...

    Telescope is able to detect only objects which radiate some energy.
    Be it light, gamma rays, ultraviolet rays, infrared etc.

    In the Solar System there is a large object called the sun, though technically it is called Sol... hense the name Solar system.

    This large object spews out something called the solar wind and enormous amounts of light energy, both of which reflect off all sorts of objects and makes them visible. Modern telescopes use computers to compensate for the effect the atmosphere has on light as it passes through... which appears to make the stars twinkle and gives a much better image from the ground.

    Detecting such an object in a night sky using optical telescope is like trying to find a needle in a stack.

    It is the only effective method.

    Unefficient, time and money consuming. Even if you would be able to detect such a object that would give you no more than a several weeks.

    Actually with wide field telescopes it is not that hard or expensive.

    Send ICBM to divert its trajectory - and then face the possibility of nuclear fallout to reach earth?

    An ICBM would be pointless... too slow and would lack the precision for a useful hit... designed to hit targets on the ground, not in space.

    Or try to make a mission to place a Ion thruster to divert its trajectory.
    That is still too little of a time to react with the thruster solution.

    For the foreseeable future an object spotted with 5 minutes to impact there is nothing at all we can do about it.

    First we must develop and build a tailor suited solution and then we must have time to deploy it - in a case like that we would have no time for neither of thoose.

    First we need to see what is out there and what is likely to become a problem and when. Then we can start making decisions about what needs to be done.

    The irony is that the US ABM missile shield is likely a three trillion dollar waste of time. The Russians asked the US about developing a meteor shield and the US wasn't interested... clearly the US wants its sheild to protect it from a theoretical Russian
    missile threat, but not a very real threat from space... perhaps another large rock landing in the US might make them get their priorities in order...


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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  Flanky on Thu May 30, 2013 4:03 pm


    Pumping more energy into the launch of the projectile will just result in it hitting the atmosphere harder and disintegrating quicker.
    Provided you have bad aerodynamic design of a projectile and small thermal resistance - which i dont think will be if a system based on this technology will ever be implemented.


    That is why I suggested an ion engine... a big tank of fuel for an ion engine is a couple of litres. It gets its power from the very high velocity of the ionised particles it directs.
    Yes but you forgot to mention that is a fuel tank for engine that is supposed to propel a object with couple of tons.
    In our case we need to move 10k or 20k of Tons - a "little" difference Wink


    You aren't getting it... what is an explosion? An expansion of gas at supersonic speed. Supersonic speed being 1/3rd of 1km/s. We are talking about play dough hitting the ground at 60 times the speed of a fragment from an explosion... there is not explosive involved but the energy is actually the same.
    If im not getting it then let me ask you a guestion.
    If you throw a rock and that play gouhg on your wooden laminate flooring - which one is potential to have more damaging impact?
    The aerodynamic drag have better impact on object that is in its molten state and it will form it such a way that it will cause much less atmospheric compression and expansion (explosion) than an object that has fallen in a solid state.
    Aditionally to that - it will not eject back to the amoshpere as much of dirt and ground to cause a polution and prevention of sun thermal energy to enter the atmosphere and maintain its current climate.
    And if not enough - lets not forget the earthquake vibrations - objects that are in solid state upon impact send much more powerful earth vibrations than objects that are molten.
    Its elementar physics.


    The very shallow angle of the object was luck... it could just as easily have come in near vertically... which would mean less than 2 seconds in anything dense enough to have an effect.
    It easily could - more scenarios to think of when designing a proper defense.


    You just arent getting it... if I drop a ton of water on top of you you will be crushed... it doesn't matter that it is water... If I hit you with a shirt button at 20km/s you would be killed by the highly supersonic shockwave.
    Garry seriously - you are comparing my size with a ton of water while im describing a differrence between ton of water and a ton of solid dense rock.
    I never ever said that the water wont have any impact - all i said was that it wont have as much of an impact as the solid rock.


    No it wouldn't... you would be using all the worlds power generation capacity for a year to slightly warm the incoming object... there are far more efficient ways to deal with such a problem.
    Why do you think i would use all the world power?
    Isn't that a "bit" overshot?
    Do amplifiers ring a bell?


    Yes, it is a problem because were are committing far too little resources in this very important endeavour. In the 1990s there were more people working in one McDonalds restaurant than looking for earth impacting objects. That has since changed, but the numbers looking are not that impressive.

    This impact should greatly increase funding in Russia however.
    We are monitoring all the major objects threatening to collide with Earth.
    What we are not doing is monitoring the lesser threats which are still very dangerous as we could have seen.
    And this is an area for huge improvement.


    Of course they can. Russian telescopes track paint chip sized objects in earth orbit watching larger objects further away is not that hard.... trying to do it with radar would be hard.
    Yes but again you forgot to mention that they first need a decimetric wave band RADAR to find the object, LASER to mark it, and then a telescope to find it and classify it/track it.
    Telescope alone is very ineficient and unreliable.
    Check out the Okno-S and Krona facilities that are designed to detect Satelites on Geostationary orbits.
    Okno is able to detect only satelites much closer to earth.


    It was not detected because not enough people and not enough telescopes are looking... there has been no funding for it.
    The funding needs to be provided - but telescopes are not a reliable solution and especially when its performance is dependent on current local weather.
    Finding a suitable (cloud free) place for optical telescope to build is hard and it is even harder to built it.
    And then there are clouds that can go as high as 18 000 m above the sea level - i believe the highest ground is Mt.Everest above 8000m
    So having a detection system based on weather is gently speaking: utterly unacceptable - even if weather modification technologies exist today, but are not widespread.
    If we would to deploy these telescopes on earth orbit that would be a more logical solution but it would be considerably more expensive, timeconsuming and still not yeald the desired results.


    To do so you would need a lot more radars and they would need to be oriented up... and even then they will only search the northern hemisphere... a direction the threat might not come from...
    If you'll get other countries to jump on the bandwagon - why only north hemisphere?
    It was stressed out several times that this has to be a international project.
    I agree that we need a lot more radars but that only needs time and financing.



    In the Solar System there is a large object called the sun, though technically it is called Sol... hense the name Solar system.

    This large object spews out something called the solar wind and enormous amounts of light energy, both of which reflect off all sorts of objects and makes them visible. Modern telescopes use computers to compensate for the effect the atmosphere has on light as it passes through... which appears to make the stars twinkle and gives a much better image from the ground.
    Thats perfectly fine - the problem here is that the object needs to have sufficiently big surface to reflect enough of this energy for the telescope computer to recognize it as a valid space object and not as a calculation error or not to detect the object at all.
    In other words right now we dont have optical telescopes with sufficient resolution to spot "small" flying rocks as the one in february.
    It might be spotted close to earth but thats according to your words:

    already too late
    Check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid_Terrestrial-impact_Last_Alert_System


    It is the only effective method.
    That is very disputable as i stated before.


    Actually with wide field telescopes it is not that hard or expensive.
    Wide field telescopes are not expensive? Well if you compare that to US military budget then nope they are not expensive.
    Other than that they are quite expensive. But again - its not just about what you see, its also about what you can recognize out of what you can see.
    So the field of view is as much important as its the resolution.



    The irony is that the US ABM missile shield is likely a three trillion dollar waste of time. The Russians asked the US about developing a meteor shield and the US wasn't interested... clearly the US wants its sheild to protect it from a theoretical Russian
    missile threat, but not a very real threat from space... perhaps another large rock landing in the US might make them get their priorities in order...
    Sad but true.


    If we didn't had any way to get prepared for such an event or possibly defend ourselves - im amazed that some of us are still alive.
    What truly drives me mad is this kind of stupidity that not humanity as a whole, but those idiots out there that decide where to put money - they will learn only when a catastrophe happens.
    And that usually is too late for thoose that took part in it.
    Luckily nobody died in february - this scenario might repeat itself very soon. So its time to start looking upstairs - or ar they afraid that we will find out that we are not alone?




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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  GarryB on Fri May 31, 2013 4:01 am

    Provided you have bad aerodynamic design of a projectile and small thermal resistance - which i dont think will be if a system based on this technology will ever be implemented.

    The projectile would need mass, or it would lose velocity too rapidly like trying to throw an inflated balloon. To give it mass you are increasing the energy required to accelerate it to high speed. As with any projectile it gets all its velocity in the barrel so once it leaves it immediately starts to slow down. If you move your hand through the air the faster you move it the more you feel the air resistence. Stick your hand out the window of a car on the motorway (carefully of course) and you will find rather more force on your hand than you could manage by swinging your hand yourself.

    It only gets worse... at supersonic speed you lose your hand... at a speed needed to punch through the earths atmosphere and leave earth orbit you would need to be moving at 11km/s in space, which means you will have to leave the barrel of the gun at rather faster than that because even building this gun high up on a mountain range you will still have 20km of atmosphere to deal with before it reaches the much thinner upper atmosphere... remember the space shuttle uses that same atmosphere to slow 100 tons of shuttle from orbital speed to landing speed.

    A similar gun on the moon would not be super hard to construct because there is gravity, but it would be expensive getting everything there.

    The Moon has a dark side... meaning the Moon pretty much spins at a similar rate that it orbits the Earth so the same side of the Moon always faces the earth... so a gun mounted on the face of the Moon would always face the earth, while listening antenna on the far side of the moon would be blocked from Em interference from the earth by the moon... two ideal uses for the moon... earth observation and space observation in radio waves.

    Yes but you forgot to mention that is a fuel tank for engine that is supposed to propel a object with couple of tons.
    In our case we need to move 10k or 20k of Tons - a "little" difference

    It doesn't need to carry the object away from the Earth... it just needs to change its speed by a few metres per second, or change its flight path by a few degrees to get a miss.

    If you throw a rock and that play gouhg on your wooden laminate flooring - which one is potential to have more damaging impact?

    If you throw it by hand the rock will likely leave a few dents and the play dough might leave a stain. If you could throw them at 20km/s both would make the same sized crater, which would be equivalent to about 3 times their mass in HE.

    The aerodynamic drag have better impact on object that is in its molten state and it will form it such a way that it will cause much less atmospheric compression and expansion (explosion) than an object that has fallen in a solid state.

    That is assuming you could even get it to a molten state and only the surface would be molten... and it will likely be spinning anyway.

    Aditionally to that - it will not eject back to the amoshpere as much of dirt and ground to cause a polution and prevention of sun thermal energy to enter the atmosphere and maintain its current climate.

    At the velocities involved liquids act like solids.

    Think about a HEAT charge... a copper or metal liner is temporarily reformed into a spear of molten metal travelling at about 4-5km/s and it will punch through armour... while being a plasma... which is a state similar to a gas rather than a liquid or solid.

    Now we are talking about material made of rock and metals in solid or semi solid form coming in at almost 4 times faster...

    And if not enough - lets not forget the earthquake vibrations - objects that are in solid state upon impact send much more powerful earth vibrations than objects that are molten.
    Its elementar physics.

    A solid would concentrate its energy better while a liquid would spread on impact, but both would have the same energy because the energy comes from mass and velocity.

    Garry seriously - you are comparing my size with a ton of water while im describing a differrence between ton of water and a ton of solid dense rock.

    What I am saying is the effect of 1 ton of anything will be the same in terms of energy... a ton of lead and a ton of feathers.

    Dropping a ton of rock on your head is one thing... dropping a ton of molten lava is not hugely different... both will make an impact crater at these speeds... and a large firey explosion.

    I never ever said that the water wont have any impact - all i said was that it wont have as much of an impact as the solid rock.

    So trillions of dollars, billions of kW of energy to make it softer... I don't think that will sell.

    Do amplifiers ring a bell?

    Quasimodo rings a bell... amplifiers make my stereo louder... and use power to do so.

    We are monitoring all the major objects threatening to collide with Earth.

    Are we? Then why do we keep spotting new ones?

    You see some of the objects that could hit earth are called comets and come from deep space and we really only find out about them when they swing through... which might be every 10 years, or every 10,000 years. We may never know about all the major or minor objects threatening to hit us.


    Yes but again you forgot to mention that they first need a decimetric wave band RADAR to find the object, LASER to mark it, and then a telescope to find it and classify it/track it.

    Why would they need a laser to "mark it"?

    Why couldn't they track it based on radar data?

    Objects the size of paint chips are of no importance in terms of earth threats.

    Telescope alone is very ineficient and unreliable.

    Really? You have said we already have data on major things that can hit the earth... where did that data come from?

    If telescopes alone are inefficient and unreliable what exactly is the alternative? ...there is none.

    Check out the Okno-S and Krona facilities that are designed to detect Satelites on Geostationary orbits.
    Okno is able to detect only satelites much closer to earth.

    Not only that they can't see anything in the southern night sky!

    The funding needs to be provided - but telescopes are not a reliable solution and especially when its performance is dependent on current local weather.

    Even assuming they were unreliable... they are far more reliable than the alternative... Tarot cards. Razz

    If they miss a few nights because of cloud it does not matter... during winter they can search for very long period during the long winter night.

    If you'll get other countries to jump on the bandwagon - why only north hemisphere?
    It was stressed out several times that this has to be a international project.
    I agree that we need a lot more radars but that only needs time and financing.

    Radars are pointless... they don't even have the range to see geostationary orbit satellites let alone deep space objects.

    Why only northern hemisphere? Because Russia offered to collaborate on meteorite defence and the US has rejected that offer... who else will join Russia for such a programme? Russia needs to deal with the problem on its own.

    Thats perfectly fine - the problem here is that the object needs to have sufficiently big surface to reflect enough of this energy for the telescope computer to recognize it as a valid space object and not as a calculation error or not to detect the object at all.
    In other words right now we dont have optical telescopes with sufficient resolution to spot "small" flying rocks as the one in february.
    It might be spotted close to earth but thats according to your words:

    The telescopes I am talking about are long range space telescopes for deep space... mirrors 10 metres across... there is no radar with equivalent performance...

    What truly drives me mad is this kind of stupidity that not humanity as a whole, but those idiots out there that decide where to put money - they will learn only when a catastrophe happens.

    When your bankers want 700 billion because of bad loans they issued they get it pretty easily... the money is there for certain things it seems.


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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  Sujoy on Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:48 pm

    How will Russia defend the Earth from asteroids? Andrei Kislyakov for Rossiya Gazzetta

    The latest news from space is depressing: The threat of space objects hitting the Earth is rising by the year. According to NASA, 16,602 man-made objects were orbiting the Earth as of July 3, 2013.
    Only 3,612 of those were active satellites. The rest were space junk of one kind or another. To make matters worse, the Earth has been increasingly under attack by aliens from remote corners of space — asteroids.
    “It used to be believed that fragments such as those from the Tunguska meteorite could hit the Earth once in 700–900 years, but now the theory is that such events might occur much more frequently — every 90–100 years,” says Yuri Zaitsev, an academic adviser at the Academy of Engineering Sciences.


    More asteroids have been discovered over the past decade than in the previous two centuries. “Impacts are all but inevitable — it’s just a matter of time,” the scientist says.

    Detect and destroy
    According to the general director of the Planetary Defense Center, Anatoly Zaitsev, the “Citadel” International Planetary Defense System — a project presented in March 2013 — should incorporate two or three observer spaceships, reconnaissance satellites to identify asteroid parameters and trajectories, and interceptor satellites capable of destroying an asteroid or changing its trajectory.

    The designers estimate it would take around five or six years to create the system, at a cost of around $2 billion.
    The leading Russian space corporations have come up with projects of their own. The Energiya Rocket & Space Corporation is prepared to develop a heavy-duty, nuclear-powered carrier to deploy anti-asteroid ammunition in space by 2020 or 2030.
    The Lavochkin NPO has developed a sketch of a module designed to land on an asteroid to install a radio transmitter, which would help calculate the space object’s trajectory with more precision.

    Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin has stated repeatedly that the choice of defenses should depend on the size, weight, composition and specifications of the dangerous object.
    Russian experts tend to believe that nuclear charges should be used to destroy dangerous asteroids and comets. It remains to be seen, however, which space threat neutralization method Russia will eventually chose.
    Meanwhile, putting nuclear ammunition in space to counter the asteroid threat might create some international military and political complications. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin stated as much in late February 2013. He believes that certain foreign countries might put nuclear weapons into space for military purposes, in the guise of anti-asteroid weapons.

    Reduce the chances of a catastrophe to zero
    Physical destruction of asteroids is a matter of the future. Currently, it is most important to gather information on the most dangerous space objects approaching the Earth, such as the asteroid called Apophis.
    Although NASA refined its observations in January 2013 and almost excluded the risk of Apophis impacting the Earth during the decades ahead, the risk will not disappear and preparations should start now, the director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Space Research Institute, Lev Zelyony, believes.
    “I think that the most effective way would be to soft-land a spacecraft on such a threatening object and try to change its trajectory over time, using electric thrusters,” says Zelyony.

    The technology could be perfected by a joint Russian-American project to capture a small asteroid and tug it closer to the moon’s orbit.
    “We are talking about pulling a 50- to 65-foot asteroid into the moon’s orbit using a space tractor, and starting to work with it—perhaps send a manned mission to it, or study it using automatic vehicles,” Vladimir Popovkin said in April. The total project cost could come to $2.65 billion.

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    Could Russian ADS or the S-500 intercept meteorites? Like the one in Chelyabinsk or cluster of them.

    Post  Manov on Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:57 pm

    I dont know if this is the right way to begin a thread, but how are your opinions about such hypotetical case. i dont mean Huge metorites that not even a nuke could destroy, but abut smaller and more common like the one that hit Chelyabinsk and other in Russiás history like the Tunguska one.

    If S-500 can intercept target at mach 22, and any ICM SLBM, could it destroy metorites?

    I believe they can, but i dont  have anything to prove it.

    Embarassed

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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  collegeboy16 on Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:26 am

    Manov wrote:I dont know if this is the right way to begin a thread, but how are your opinions about such hypotetical case. i dont mean Huge metorites that not even a nuke could destroy, but abut smaller and more common like the one that hit Chelyabinsk and other in Russiás history like the Tunguska one.

    If S-500 can intercept target at mach 22, and any ICM SLBM, could it destroy metorites?

    I believe they can, but i dont  have anything to prove it.

    Embarassed
    meteors and meteorites speed is 11 km/s to 72 km/s, and mach 22 is 7.5km/s so unless you are only looking at stopping meteorites at the lower velocity bracket even s-500 wont be of much use. and even then it will be with very low hit probabilities since you are going to have aim points that are way ahead of meteorite- and meteorites could have very unstable reentry paths what with all the disintegrating bits and all.

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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  GarryB on Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:40 am

    The key is warning. If they get enough warning then the problem is not so much intercepting as docking... at a closing speed of 40 km/s physics can do it most of the time, though for very large objects there would need to be an enormous amount of warning.

    Ideally the earlier you can detect it and the earlier you can intercept it the better, but it does depend on the structure of the incoming threat.

    If the target is a rock pile... ie lose gravel held together by gravity then there is very little even the most powerful nuke can do... hit it as hard as you like but it will just fall back into a rock pile under gravity... though now it might be radioactive...

    When we are talking about objects the size of mountains or small countries then we need to divert rather than attempt to destroy because destroy is simply not an option.

    (think of trying to destroy a mountain with a nuke... even detonating inside might cause fractures and a large ball of vapourised material but in space all the exploded material will eventually just fall back to itself so its mass wont change that much at all... and when moving at 20km/s or faster it is mass that counts.)

    Objects in space are called meteoroids... when they are in the Earths atmosphere they are called Meteors, and when they hit the ground they are meteorites.

    When they become meteors they slow down a bit, but it is best to try to intercept them when they are meteoroids as it becomes much harder when they are meteors.

    remember for air defence most S-500s will be placed near strategic targets to the incoming missiles will be heading on fairly well known trajectories and directions with known aim points.

    A meteor can be coming from anywhere and going anywhere... including nowhere... which is where the meteor scrapes the atmosphere but does not hit the ground and heads back out into space... or detonates in mid air.


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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  Manov on Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:44 am

    Really interesting. So even with a very big nuke its a difficult task, and yeah if it explodes, it will be packed up again, so. What kind of weapon do we need to divert or shrink the meteor?. I was thinking if it blows up in tiny bits the atmosphere could do the rest. But with a Huge Meteoroid, men thats big trouble. I think Russian air force will need their own Goku or Superman in that case or develop a weapon or device against that, but then all that money for protecting earth will be wasted in the process of containing uncle Sam LORDS, whos anyway what to destroy humanity lol!

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    Re: Can be designed an AD system to destroy meteorites?

    Post  GarryB on Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:23 am

    With a relatively small rock then destruction is an option, but for very large mountains then the amount of material you could blow off even with a huge nuke is not big enough... you have to start looking at things like landing something on the asteroid to change its course but digging up material and flinging it off in one direction over a period of weeks and months and years to change the course of the object so it misses earth... or better still hits something else like the sun.


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