h a l f b a k e r y
On the one hand, true. On the other hand, bollocks.
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Electro Magnetic Momentum Exchange (acroynm pronounced "Emmy").
It seems that a quick search on google reveals that the only really effective anti-sat weapon is also very messy rendering huge swaths of orbital space effectively useless for potentially hundreds of years (in some scenarios). this is totally unaceptable.
I propose a new system which is a guaranteed
kill (same as other projectile anti-sat weapons) but with way less debris left over.
The idea is based on a phenomena in magnetism in which a current carrying conductor will produce a magnetic field which opposes any expansion or contraction of its existing magnetic field. That is probably a rather crude statement of that phenomena but I think it conveys the idea of what I am reffering to.
Ok, so now onto the meat of the idea. The anti-sat is a small projectile from which a radial array of fine wires extend, the wires are of alternating polarity connected to a condenser which is charged by a simple flashbulb type circuit.
On impact with the wires the target satellite completes the circuit with the condenser which then discharges through the wires turning them into plasma (or at least conductive metal vapor) and also creating a current loop which includes both the target satellite and anti-satellite.
This current loop now established will generate a magnetic field which will tend to impede the huge relative velocities of the two causing them to lose orbital velocity and shortly burn up in the atmosphere. Once initiated the effect is self sustaining untill the current loop is broken or the relative velocity becomes zero which causes momentum to be exchanged much more gradually than a direct hit or equally bad shotgun type kill and has the added bonus of actually removing the offending satellite and its nemesis from space while leaving a minimal quantity of debris in space.
The only real problem that I see with this idea is the EMP which is produced. I don't know enough about EMP effects to know if the generated EMP will be extremely damaging or not at all, however I do belive that EMP is much more preferable to rendering space inaccesible with bits of destroyed satellites.
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||Why do the fine wires of opposite polarity not attract each other?
Why is there a plasma created by the wires, and not simply metal vapor?
why is the current loop self-sustaining?
||You are going to need more electrical power than
is currently technically available.
||If you think about the directions the vectors in this scenario, I think you'll find this proposal unlikely to work.