StarDestroyer.Net BBS

Get your fill of sci-fi, science, and mockery of stupid people
Login   Register FAQ    Search

View unanswered posts | View active topics


It is currently 2014-08-01 03:49am (All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ])

Board index » Fiction » Science Fiction » Pure Star Wars


Quote of the Week: "A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled." - Barnett Cocks, British political writer (1907-)

Why aren't personal shields more common?

Moderator: Vympel

Post new topic Post a reply  Page 1 of 2
 [ 34 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
  Print view Previous topic | Next topic 
Author Message

Rossum
PostPosted: 2010-07-08 05:29pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2010-04-07 04:21pm
Posts: 420
One thing that's been bugging me: In The Phantom Menace, the Gungans have their personal shields, and the Trade Federation has the Droideka with their own fully enclosed force field. Both of these shields have the demonstrated ability to deflect Blaster fire and protect the user. Stormtrooper Armor may provide excellent protection against shrapnel from explosions and such but naturally can't protect against a direct hit.

Blaster fire however bounces harmlessly off of Gungan personal shields and is reflected back at the sender. There could be some technical issues with it... but surely there must be a pretty decent demand for 100% protection from blaster fire? Use in warfare could be limited by logistics or expense... or because the Clone Wars were being manipulated by Palpatine and the overall oppressive atmosphere of the Empire.

But... have there been any examples of anyone picking up on Blaster-proof personal shield technology? Something big like a riot shield would make sense. Possibly make the shield more rectangular and have either troops or riot police set up shield walls to protect against blaster fire (basically what the Gungans did during the start of the battle) while still letting the troops return fire (helped by the shields own reflective properties). Something like a Pavise or other free-standing blaster shield would make sense as well.

But anyway, I haven't seen much outside the movies and the Clone Wars cartoon so I'm not sure if there are examples of personal shield being in common use... but I would think that armor or shield technology that can reflect blaster fire would be more commonplace due to the damage blasters can cause.
   Profile |  

Srelex
PostPosted: 2010-07-08 05:33pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2010-01-20 09:33pm
Posts: 1445
I think it was mentioned somewhere that droideka-style personal shields at least can be detrimental to an organic user, through radiation and whatnot.
   Profile |  

Coalition
PostPosted: 2010-07-08 05:52pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2002-09-13 11:46am
Posts: 1237
If the shields are taking the kinetic impact as well, then wherever you put the shield will take the same kinetic impact (plus some rotation depending on where the impact vs the generator is). Hope that location can handle the impact safely, otherwise the generator will be punching through the wearer.

You also get into the desire of smaller cross section vs more complex generator. Making a skin hugger shield will reduce your cross section, but be more complex (avoiding the shields interfering with each other as the wearer runs, for example). A single shield (lke the Droidekas) is easier to project (fixed radius from single point no matter what), but it also means that shots that would not hit it normally (passing between the legs, or over the shoulder) would hit the shields.

So you might have individual shields on armor (that is padded to spread out the impact), or a rough outline to cover you (but making it easier for others to hit you). The expensive upgrade allows for full coverage, with proper padding.
   Profile |  

Aaron
PostPosted: 2010-07-08 05:55pm 

Blackpowder Man


Joined: 2004-01-29 12:02am
Posts: 12033
Location: British Columbian ExPat
Shouldn't the Gungan troops have broken wrists and arms then?
   Profile |  

Serafina
PostPosted: 2010-07-08 05:57pm 

Sith Acolyte


Joined: 2009-01-07 06:37pm
Posts: 5216
Location: Germany
Aaron wrote:
Shouldn't the Gungan troops have broken wrists and arms then?

Since the shield was projected from two sides, it seems likely that the KE was transferred into the shield frame as a whole, hence reducing the severity of the impact.
   Profile |  

Anguirus
PostPosted: 2010-07-08 07:38pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2005-09-11 02:36pm
Posts: 3702
^ Probably also helps that Gungans are a lot stronger than humans.

Conveniently for the brand as a whole, the danger represented by personal shields to organic life forms was established years before Episode I by The Courtship of Princess Leia. They get dangerously hot and can't be made to move with you easily.
   Profile |  

Balrog
PostPosted: 2010-07-08 08:30pm 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2002-12-29 10:29pm
Posts: 1970
Location: Fortress of Angband
Plus, at least for the old KotOR personal shields, they could only protect for a few shots before they burn out and become useless. That might be handy if you're a smuggler getting into a shoot-out at the bar every now and then, but not if you're out on an extended campaign in the middle of a battlefield.
   Profile |  

g_core18
PostPosted: 2010-07-09 01:40am 

Redshirt


Joined: 2008-12-31 11:53pm
Posts: 6
They're probably really expensive.
   Profile |  

CaptainChewbacca
PostPosted: 2010-07-09 03:50am 

Browncoat Wookiee


Joined: 2003-05-06 02:36am
Posts: 15728
Location: Deep beneath Boatmurdered.
Expensive, don't last very long, and hazardous to use. Basically they're MOST effective when the bodyguard wears them to allow them a few extra seconds to protect their principle.
   Profile |  

Night_stalker
PostPosted: 2010-07-09 12:28pm 

Retarded Spambot


Joined: 2009-11-28 04:51pm
Posts: 995
Location: Bedford, NH
However, they do mention some versions that can be powered by a dedicated gnerator, but that requires putting on a backpack, ocntaining the generator. I also believe that they were specifically desigend to compliment armor, not replace it entirely.

Hell, they mention that Creshaldyne Industries makes a armor that basically has small colonies of microorganisms that feed off energy and radiation, growing stronger after each shot. That armor sounds preferable to a portable shield generator!
   Profile |  

Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2010-07-09 03:27pm 

Sith Apprentice


Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm
Posts: 14053
What kind of personal shield are we talking about? they can vary from handheld models of differing types and sizes to things that need to be mounted on vests/backpacks/whatever.
   Profile |  

Rossum
PostPosted: 2010-07-09 03:40pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2010-04-07 04:21pm
Posts: 420
Connor MacLeod wrote:
What kind of personal shield are we talking about? they can vary from handheld models of differing types and sizes to things that need to be mounted on vests/backpacks/whatever.


The only ones I know about are the Gungan shields used in the Phantom Menace which reflected blaster bolts back at the battle droids, and the Droideka shields used by the Trade Federation.

I'd assumed that the Droideka shields had some technical reason why they couldn't be worn by an armored human, but it looked like the Gungan shields could just be picked up by anyone. Blaster bolts can blow holes in walls but bounce right off of the shields the Gungans were holding. I'm just curious why the Gungans aren't selling those things by the shipful to everyone else in the galaxy and why bodyguards and soldiers aren't walking around with shields that bounce the enemies fire right back at them.
   Profile |  

Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2010-07-09 03:54pm 

Sith Apprentice


Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm
Posts: 14053
One reason shielding isn't used more often could very well be limits in heat sink or radiator technology. We dont know how small neutrino radiators can be engineered, much less whether they can be engineered smaller for cost effective means. This means that shields that rely on absorbing the energy will either be stuck with some other form of radiator (like thermal) and/or rely on internal heat sinks. In the case of the former, then, enviromental concerns and detectability will limit the rate of dissipation (you dont want to burn or cook nearby troops, and having an army of guys radiatinf off even a few kw of power is going to heat up the local enviroment dramatically over prolonged periods) - which probably means that absorption rates will greatly outstrip dissipation rates in personal shielding. In the latter case, heat sinks will soak up energy and for a shield to function you'd have to have those sinks interchangable (sort of like a battery, or more accuratley the trauam plates in modern body armor.) We dont know how many shots a heat sink could take either, but in both cases the conclusion becomes that shields are useful for limited times before they burn out. Whihc is pretty much what we see from alot of them.

Gungan shield seem to be an exception, since they are rather large/bulky, and they reflect most of the energy away from the shield (very little absorbed.) It also protects from a given direction. Overall it's a rather specialized use and it may have other drawbacks we don't know of.

Another reason not to use shields is that by nature they're highly detectable. Not just visually, but on sensors (passive/active.) so they'd suck in cases where you don't want to be spotted or located. It would usck if your shield gave you away to say, the forward spotter of an artillery barrage.

Complexity may be another reason. I imagine getting them to work on something like a humanoid cna be a bit complicated, never mind dealing with the effects of impacts, so reliaiblity could be a huge issue (especially in the field, where repairs or such may not be practical or possible). Complexity and reliability are liekly big reasons why you don't see power armored combat troops more commonplace even though the tech exists.

There's also weight. Again we dont know what would be needed for an effective shielding system, but if its large or bulky, it may not be practical "in field" in all cases. Most soldiers I know about would bitch a great deal about weight.

Cost as I hinted above may very well be another issue. Is personal grade shielding cost effective? We know the GE doesnt neccesarily put human life totally ahead of cost or other values (they don't always shield ties) after all.

Issues with radiation have been mentioned for droideka shields I know. How that applies for others I dont know. an all enclossing shield could also present some sort of danger in terms of the enviroment inside the shield. If it doesn't let thermal energy out (Say, the heat radiated by the body) the person could very well get either highly uncomfortable if not die inside the shield. And if it DOEs let it out.. well.. then its going to be an imperfect defense. (you already have to let in visual frequencies.) Shields probably would also interfere with ight vision gear or IR gear or other sensors you build into the helmet or whatnot. All of this could be gotten around by building the "shield" into the armor (we know a sort of "powered" armor defense works for vehicles at least) but it could be that it relies on the armor medium for its protective properties, and that medium could be still prone to damage. and there's still detectability and reliability issues.
   Profile |  

Lord Revan
PostPosted: 2010-07-09 03:59pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Posts: 7258
Location: Zone:classified
IIRC the gungan shields use exotic materials only found on Naboo (as far as we know) which would make large scale offworld use unpratical as for droidekas they're droids so radiation and heat problems wouldn't as big a problem for them (notice that they still rarely move when the shield is deployed).
   Profile |  

hunter5
PostPosted: 2010-07-09 08:08pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2010-01-25 10:34pm
Posts: 280
Also if we look at the most effective personal shields like Kyle Katarn's we see they take a lot of power and only can take a few shots at the most.
   Profile |  

Night_stalker
PostPosted: 2010-07-10 12:56pm 

Retarded Spambot


Joined: 2009-11-28 04:51pm
Posts: 995
Location: Bedford, NH
Exactly, hence why armor is still more common than portable shield generators. Like I stated, there are some that are personal and very powerful, BUT they have to have a backpack with the requiste generator attached to the wearer. Bulky and awkward to use, but very powerful.
   Profile |  

Thanas
PostPosted: 2010-07-10 05:22pm 

Magister


Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm
Posts: 24911
Kyle Katarn used personal shields as well. The Chiss also used personal shields, the trouble with those are however that the user might suffocate if he keeps the shield up for too long.

So the use of those is extremely limited - after all, the main thread to a commander is not getting shot at, but assassinations etc. Protection against gas - limited, see above. Protection against melee attacks? Armor might do the trick as well and does not need activation. Protection against blaster shots? Only work if you can activate the shield before the shot. Etc.
   Profile |  

jollyreaper
PostPosted: 2010-07-10 06:12pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2010-06-28 10:19pm
Posts: 1050
Rossum wrote:
One thing that's been bugging me: In The Phantom Menace, the Gungans have their personal shields


I'm impressed that you're able to pare that list down so just one thing. My short list for what bothers me about that movie is contained in a dozen spiral-bound notebooks filled with scrawled rage.
   Profile |  

Rossum
PostPosted: 2010-07-12 04:55pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2010-04-07 04:21pm
Posts: 420
jollyreaper wrote:
Rossum wrote:
One thing that's been bugging me: In The Phantom Menace, the Gungans have their personal shields


I'm impressed that you're able to pare that list down so just one thing. My short list for what bothers me about that movie is contained in a dozen spiral-bound notebooks filled with scrawled rage.


Well to be fair, there are other things I find wrong. Its just this complaint sound like it could be explained in a manner that isn't "People are idiots, both the people in the story and those writing it."
   Profile |  

Stofsk
PostPosted: 2010-07-22 01:50pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2003-11-10 01:36am
Posts: 12924
Location: Melbourne, Australia
hunter5 wrote:
Also if we look at the most effective personal shields like Kyle Katarn's we see they take a lot of power and only can take a few shots at the most.

I've been told RL armour doesn't really stand up past a few shots either, so I'm not sure why this would be seen as an issue. All it might do is protect you from one shot, but if so, that's fine - all it takes is one shot to kill someone.

The bigger issue might be that a shield would bounce the blaster bolt off you and ricochet into someone else or something else. Or armour is cheaper than fielding personal shields.
   Profile |  

Night_stalker
PostPosted: 2010-07-22 10:06pm 

Retarded Spambot


Joined: 2009-11-28 04:51pm
Posts: 995
Location: Bedford, NH
Consider this: A good set of armor costs about 2,500 credits.

A portable shield generator costs about 5,749 credits PLUS having to buy new powercells fairly regularly and repair it occasionally.

Hmmm... I wonder which is more economical to use?

Note: all prices are merely made up, I'm just estimating what they would cost.
   Profile |  

adam_grif
PostPosted: 2010-07-23 07:30am 

Sith Devotee


Joined: 2009-12-19 09:27am
Posts: 2755
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Night_stalker wrote:
Consider this: A good set of armor costs about 2,500 credits.

A portable shield generator costs about 5,749 credits PLUS having to buy new powercells fairly regularly and repair it occasionally.

Hmmm... I wonder which is more economical to use?

Note: all prices are merely made up, I'm just estimating what they would cost.



Maybe the empire could afford to use them on its armies if it would stop building wunderwaffens for five goddamn minutes.
   Profile |  

Stofsk
PostPosted: 2010-07-23 07:53am 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2003-11-10 01:36am
Posts: 12924
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Night_stalker wrote:
Note: all prices are merely made up, I'm just estimating what they would cost.

...based on what? if by your own admission the prices are made up, then why the hell are you putting shield generators above armour in terms of cost?

Hell, I bet I can pull out my copy of KotOR and provide a canon price comparison. The KotOR sourcebook for Saga Edition gives a wide range of prices, from the lowest shield rating costing 500cr to the highest costing 18,000cr. The cheapest set of armour, fibre armour, costs 3,000cr and the most expensive, Heavy Battle armour, powered, costs 19,000.

(of course I bet those prices will contradict the ones in the actual computer game - so much for star wars canon)
   Profile |  

Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2010-07-27 03:10pm 

Sith Apprentice


Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm
Posts: 14053
Stofsk wrote:
I've been told RL armour doesn't really stand up past a few shots either, so I'm not sure why this would be seen as an issue. All it might do is protect you from one shot, but if so, that's fine - all it takes is one shot to kill someone.

The bigger issue might be that a shield would bounce the blaster bolt off you and ricochet into someone else or something else. Or armour is cheaper than fielding personal shields.


forgot about this one.. I meant to address it.. sorry for the tl;dr nature.. but its kinda complicated :P (the explanation isnt wholly directed at you either Stofsk, I just didnt feel like making separate posts to cover the whole 'armor vs shield' bit lol)

RL body armor as I understand it isn't "perfect" - that is it doesnt guarantee lack of injury, it is meant to minimize the lethality as much as possible (which could mean alive with bruises or broken bones due to blunt force trauma, or meaning you're alive with the wind knocked out of you.) I still believe it is possible (although a rmote chance) for even a fully intact vest to be penetrated, and certain kinds of weapons (even with plates covreing vitals) could still do serious injury even if they don't penetrate. Penetration/resistance to penetration in bullet/vest impacts also depends on alot of factors (angle, how close to earlier shots other shots land - from what I recall if two bullets landed on nearly the same point penetration could/would occur even in modern body armor), enviromental conditions, bullet type (vests are rated against different kinds of bullets and velocities both, which is partly the reason of ambiguity) Someone in the military (or Sea Skimmer) probably could clarify this betteR (and correct me on any mistakes I made above, I may have made some lol)

When it comes to storm trooper/clone trooper armor, things can get alot more complicated. For example: You have to worry about multiple kinds of attacks now, both of a projectile and energy/beam weapon varety (not just bullets.). This can even subdivide (energy weapons could be lasers or particle beams or heat rays or something omre exotic, and the same can be said for projectile weapons.) and there are few reliable ways of easily, effectively protecting against all kinds of attacks. (EX: lasers can be continous heat rays, cutting beams, and/or simulate explosive/mechanical damage effects, may be a single pulse or series of pulses, etc and may exhibit variable penetration depending on frequency. Particle beams can be harder to stop than lasers - eg more penetrative - and may also do thermal and/or mechanical damage and so on.) It is possible some of this will overlap to an extent (EG mechanical and thermal damage for both lasers and particle beams could be somewhat combined, but the penetrative qualities of particle beams is still a problem.)

Since mass and volume are going to be considerable constraints on what you can do, this means you have to compromise protection in some way. Or do something exotic like adopt power armor and really really thick plates of high tech armor. Or spend money and use high tech materials (They exist, but assuming they aren't too heavy for personal use, are likely to be quite expensive, which could cause problems with deployment.)

More likely, designers will try to customize. You can for example optimize against certain kinds of attacks (stormtrooper armor being highly resistant to kinetic impacts, at least in some cases, or clone commando Katarn armor being both more sophisticated and optimized against energy attacks to the point that it can stop light laser cannon hits but not grenades easily.) Or you may sacrifice protection for lower weight and greater mobility/comfort (scout armor) or possibly whatever other reasons (extra equipment like cold weather gear or desert situations, although what compromises those entail in ST armor we don't know). You may even choose to increase weight for varying reasons (Rad trooper and other hostile enviroment troopers, as well as the fact Clone armor is heavier than stormterooper armor.) But optimizing means that you'll be weaker against other kinds of attacks of course (which may very well explain cases when spears penetrate armor, and such.) And increasing the weight, while offsetting that, can have nasty consequences for your troopers if they have to engage in long term duty over prolonged periods (a problem faced in Iraq by troops, for example, cuz their gear is so damn heavy.) Optimizing is more of a "specialist" option - its likely to be used when/if you know or are sure the enemy may or may not have certain kinds of weapons (EG you know your enemies dont' have high energy blaster rifles you might optimize for projectile weapons, which seems to be standard stormtrooper configuration. The Empire seemed to compensate here by trying to greatly restrict blaster technology to reduce how available more lethal kinds are.)

If you don't know for sure or have little intel, then your armor is goign to have to be more "generalized" - cover as broad an area of weaponry as possible to maximize protection against all possible threats. The compromise here is that you aren't able to defend as effectively against a certain kind of attack.

There are certain caveats above, though. For one thing, unless you have some sort of easy access to rapid, automated fabrication from existing mateirals (which is possible) there is bound to be a limit on the variety of armor plate one can stock (pre made, pre optimized, in other words.) While in theroy Star wars could "custom fabricate" any sort of defense plating thy wanted for their body armor onboard ship (or at least should be capable given edemonstrated capabilities) this is not neccesarily something the Empire (or others) automatically use, at least on ship (ISDS dont seem to recycle, at least.) Which means that the armor plate has to be fabricated elsewhere, and cannot be easily "customized" on the fly. Since you cannot carry an infinite number of plates, and you have to balance diversity vs stock quantity onboard, certain concessions have to be made and optimization of armor may be limited (or nonexistent) The other point is that alot of the "kinds" of protection that may be required can also depend on "current" technology. While SW has a largely stagnant tech base in the sense nothing is innovated, what they do have does get refined and upgraded sometimes (EG the Death Stars). Along with that is that there are technological "trends" that can shift - some weapons may fall out of use (projectile weapons, lasers) in favor of others (particle beams, exotic, etc.) so protection may choose to sacrifice certain "outdated" forms of defense to optimize more currently known and liklier ones.

It gets even better. Let's say that the above doesn't apply and you only have to worry about one kind of blaster. Doesnt matter much if its laser or particle or exotic or whatever. Let's go by what we know from the movies alone.

We know blasters from the movies can range from having extensive thermal effects, to explosive effects (burning/boiling/cremating people on the thermal end, to exploding big holes from the wall on the 'simulating explosive effects" end.) Any armor you see, in theory, has to be able to block against both sorts of attacks. Explosive effects are going to be messier and more efficient and more likely to be rapidly fatal. So armor should do its utmost, first and foremost, to mitigate those effects. Simulating an explosive via energy weapon involves three main (to simplify) critera - sufficient energy to vaporize a given quantity of material (which can include body and armor via rapid heating) the ability to deliver that energy very rapidly (microseconds or nanoseconds ideally), and concentrating that energy on a very small area (centimeters to millimeters or less. He smaller the area the less energy you might require and the higher the pressure that probably will build.) It's a bit more complicated than that, but those three qualities will suffice to illustrate my point.

Now, armor can affect any of those qualities. One way is to rapidly spread the energy over a wider surface area, making it harder for the shot to penetrate or simulate the explosive. It might (handwave) some way to play around with the time factor at the same time (the longer it takes to simulate the explosive, the less force will result. Think of the difference between dynamite and gunpowder.) Armor may even try to ablate away to prevent this happening. Lots of options and any may apply (the vapor or sparks we sometimes see could be ablation in some cases, for example.)

If there is "explosive" effects of any kind, you'll want to again try to cushion and spread the effects evenly (similar to what real life body armor does with bullets) which may still result in injuries over a larger scale
This could be merely incapacitating instead of fatal, or the person may survive it. Again there could be some overlap here between this and other kinds of protection (EG high explosives).

Canonically, we never see blaster bolts that actually blow large, gory holes in people. They may be badly burnt or cooked (EG Greedo) or have nasty holes burned through them (Jedi, occasional stormtrooper), but they are still more or less intact. This leads me to think body armor is primarily optimized against the mechanical/explosive effects of blasters first and foremost, and is VERY effective at stopping that. (which I think would also make some sense from the projectile weapon and explosives resistance angle too.)

That leaves thermal. ST armor and clone trooper armor supposedly allows bodies to go through shield interfaces without injury, as well as adverse thermal conditions like mustafar, so we know that against large area, non localized thermal effects body armor is somewhat effective. Less localized can be another story. And this is where things get a bit messy.

As I said before, we know from the movies that armor seems mainly effective at stopping explosive blaster damage from occuring. But with a sufficiently energetic blaster bolt, it is still possible for damage to occur. In addition to the force/shock effects I alluded to above possibly, there is also considerable thermal danger. After all, waht I described above is that SW armor probably tries to spread the energy over a wider area. But that energy does not disappear, and it has to go somewhere. We know ST armor has heat sinks (as per the ICSes) but they don't seem to radiate very effecitvely (at least ST don't glow bright, and they don't cook any nearby visible flesh), so its likely that the body armor is meant to siphon off the absorbed thermal energy into the belt sinks. We dont know how quickly it can do that, but it does present some interesting thoughts. If the body armor does not rid itself of energy quickly enough, it could be heated to lethal levels by subsequent shots. And since it will try to spread the energy over a wider area, it will be heating a large area of the body... which is very much like what we see with Greedo, with Grievous, etc.

Thermal damage could manifest in various ways depending on the armor or strength of a shot. It doesn't take alot of energy to actually burn someone fatally if you do it right (flash burns int he 2nd/3rd degree can come from as little as 50 J applied per cubic centimeter of body, for example) but even that can come up to tens or hundreds of kilojoules easily (but more gradual burning could be more energetic, as with scald burns which often requires water at or above 120F, nevermind stuff like superheated steam.) Fatal temperature changes (EG heatstroke) could also be a danger (the intenral conditions of a "heated" piece of armor could overwhelm enviromental controls, for example and the body cooks alive in the armor) Eithre would not neccesarily be immediately fatal, but painful and certainly incapacitating. A sufficiently energetic shot might simply brute force burn its way through and cook internal organs, I suppose. Lightsabers appear to do that (TPM) for example.

This also means a sufficiently energetic "heavY" shot could also end up inflicting thermal damage through the armor. There's not alot of ways to get around this either since as i said energy doesn't disappear and venting it into the surroundings may either be impossible (radiators don't minimize that small, and radiating armor has other considerations like cost or complexity or civilian concerns) - penetration has to be factored in here as well. By the time the armor sufficiently diffuses the shot it may have penetrated partly, mostly or completely through the armor, even if it "saves" the person.

Also, as horrifying as it may sound, extenstive thermal effects COULD have desirable side effects, to some extent. If a blaster bolt did make a messy explosive wound that bled, it may be inefficient enough to make the wound smaller, but also cauterize the wound, which would save the person from bleeding to death. Of course a big enough wound could reuslt in nasty, large scale burning of the body which is lethal in its own way, but its better than nothing. In truth the extreme thermal effects would probably be the blaster analogue to the "blunt force trauma" of a bullet impact on modern body armor (eg its something that can't just disappear, you can only manipulate it so that it hopefully is less lethal).

There's also the possibility armor is designed to protect agains stun effects, since stun is never used on armored troops onscreen. It may even be that a damage component of "lethal" blaster bolts is a more powerful (and possibly more lethal) stun effect, as I have alluded to in the past, which has to be dealt with, which is going to provide further dilution of protection as I noted above.

Personal shielding would probably simplify the blaster angle at least s far as thermal effects go, but as I noted shields have their own drawbacks . In reality any "practical" personal shield probably won't do more than shield against thermal damage that hits the target, and largely only provide an effective "Heat sink" - radiation probably is still impossible (or unsafe) at that scale, and thus limit the shield to whatever capacity the heat sink provides. And cost will almost certainly limit the heat sink. The other problems (Optimization -while armor can be optimized too, I suspect the problem is far worse for shields givne the ray/particle shielding duality among other things - enviromental considerations, power usage, compelxity, and detectability.) still apply too.
   Profile |  

Star Wars 888
PostPosted: 2010-08-10 08:15pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2010-08-10 07:55pm
Posts: 322
It's been implied that, although common in the KOTOR era, personal shields became less effective as blaster technology advanced.
   Profile |  

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Post a reply  Page 1 of 2
 [ 34 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

It is currently 2014-08-01 03:49am (All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ])

Board index » Fiction » Science Fiction » Pure Star Wars

Who is online: Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum
Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group