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Anti-Armor/spacecraft Teleportation weapon

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SpaceMarine93
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 01:49pm 

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Suppose that in some Sci-Fi future, somebody develop a practical and cheap form of teleportation, with a satisfactory range, and manage to make the device be able to fit be fitted in some kind of man portable system. If weaponized, could this be the ultimate combat tool against armored vehicles and spacecraft? Teleportation after all could technically bypass any form of defenses as it makes an object disappear in one place and appear out of thin air in another place, transmitting it across a distance without actually moving.

A weapon like this could bypass any armor, hull or shields regardless of what they are make of, delivering say a bomb or warhead right inside an enemy vessel. And nothing would be able to stop it.

Of course, in fiction, the usual way to prevent using teleportation as an effective weapon by saying that energy shields interferes with the process and what not, ala Star Trek and WH40K. But what I am referring is true teleportation, not a Star Trek style transporter. One spot to another, with no means of interfere with the process itself.

If such a weapon is created, is it really unstoppable? Or is there an alternative method to counter it?
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 01:53pm 

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Wouldn't it depend on knowing the details of how the teleporter works, what processes can block or neutralize it, whether you can anticipate an incoming teleport and for how long, the energy requirements of teleporting objects, and so forth? You seem to be implying that if I knew all the details of the teleporter idea in your mind, I'd go "nope, there are no exploitable limitations."

If I take your post at its word, you're basically saying "Imagine a teleportation device that can't be interfered with. Could it be interfered with?"
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Imperial528
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 02:16pm 

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Unless there is some sort of way that it actually functions (Does it bend space and time to make the object suddenly move, does it move the information to reconfigure matter inside the target into a bomb?) I would say that you can block it pretty easily using the same (Or a similar varient of) elf magic you used to make it work in the first place.
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Sea Skimmer
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 02:27pm 

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If people had a weapon that could beam anything through anything you'd quickly get total war as each side attempts to destroy the other's ability to produce teleporters in the first place and destroy all existing ones. Secrecy would be the only defense, the enemy cannot attack what he doesn’t suspect exists, and wiping out the enemies leadership would be a top priority so he cannot coordinate his attacks or collect intelligence. Attacking spacecraft and armored vehicles would be a complete waste of time compared to striking directly at the core of enemy society and industry unless we've got a real serious range limit on this thing. I'd also expect human shields to be quickly gathered by both sides to try to protect key infrastructure, since kidnapping people ought to be easy and this will drive the situation deeper and deeper into total war. Teleporting nukes follows... assuming anyone did anything else in the first place.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 03:44pm 

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Spacecraft might well be targeted if they have WMD- having bomb-teleporters doesn't make ICBMs or orbiting nuke platforms less dangerous, so they're still a threat if the enemy has them.

Armored divisions, hell no. Just teleport-bomb all the bridges carrying supplies to support their advance; they'll stop being a problem within a day or two.

And again, this is a really silly question if we know nothing about how this teleporter works except that it works "very well, thank you."
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Ford Prefect
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 04:08pm 

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Simon_Jester wrote:
Just teleport-bomb all the bridges carrying supplies to support their advance; they'll stop being a problem within a day or two.


Fundamentally there's no reason why you can't teleport the tanks, or the supplies.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 04:22pm 

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There's more of them, it's more work. What you really want is to neutralize that armored division, then move on to the next target; teleporting every single tank into a volcano takes longer than teleporting one bomb to one place. And that's assuming you have third-party teleportation, not transmitter-to-anywhere.

Or do you mean from the viewpoint of the guy who owns the armored division? From his point of view, he has the same problem- teleporting tanks around one at a time (or in mass) takes more time and effort than teleporting a bomb.

Really, the ability to teleport arbitrary-sized bombs wherever you want means you really only need three classes of military hardware: bomb teleporters, surveillance drones, and occupation troops. Occupation troops are optional, for those who don't choose to rule purely by fear.

In a major war, where both sides know where the important targets are, both sides teleport bombs into tender spots in the other side's land until one side gives up. In a smaller war, or a clever war where some important targets are concealed, you do the same thing, only now using the surveillance drones to find tender spots and teleport bombs to them. The occupation troops are used after the surrender, so that you have a way to enforce compliance with eyes on the ground.

It's sort of like modern warfare, or where modern warfare is headed- it's just an exaggerated version thereof because teleporters make better delivery vehicles than cruise missiles or jets.
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SpaceMarine93
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 05:12pm 

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Actually, now that I think about it, regardless of how powerful and efficient the teleportation weapon is, even if there isn't a way to interrupt the process directly, would jamming the targeting system of the teleporter and therefore make it unable to deliver their ordinance anywhere they want work as an alternative?
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S.L.Acker
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 05:17pm 

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SpaceMarine93 wrote:
Actually, now that I think about it, regardless of how powerful and efficient the teleportation weapon is, even if there isn't a way to interrupt the process directly, would jamming the targeting system of the teleporter and therefore make it unable to deliver their ordinance anywhere they want work as an alternative?


That only works if the point you want to hit is moving in an unpredictable way. For most targets of a teleported bomb that won't be the case.
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Batman
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 05:38pm 

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Depends entirely on the (unstated) working details of the teleporter. You're presupposing that it just needs the targets coordinates and is good to go. For all we know it needs to 'paint' the target (or not, as the case may be) to make sure the payload actually lands where it's supposed to, needs something like Trek's ACB to ensure that it arrives in any useful shape, or any other number of possible complications depending on the workings of the teleporter.
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Dwelf
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 08:10pm 

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Depending on how fast the teleport is, the defence might simply be to teleport anything they teleport in straight back out.
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Batman
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 08:23pm 

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Doesn't work. Whether or not the teleportation process takes a microsecond, a day, a week, a millenium, if the bomb arrives with a nanosecond left on the timer, you have a nanosecond to get rid of it. The relevant issue is the time you have before the bomb goes off. How long it took to somehow get here is completely irrelevant.
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S.L.Acker
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 08:34pm 

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Batman wrote:
Doesn't work. Whether or not the teleportation process takes a microsecond, a day, a week, a millenium, if the bomb arrives with a nanosecond left on the timer, you have a nanosecond to get rid of it. The relevant issue is the time you have before the bomb goes off. How long it took to somehow get here is completely irrelevant.


Depends, if you set up a constant bank of teleporter guns then anything attempting to teleport in would get caught and sent back. Possibly making for a very tense game of bomb teleport volleyball.
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Shadow6
PostPosted: 2012-01-17 11:42pm 

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Derp. Posted in the wrong thread... This is what I deserve for having so many tabs open at once.

I do have a relevant comment though - the teleportation/counter-teleportation tactics are very similar to the Culture's Displacers (teleporter) and Trapdoor (which is just a displacer that automatically teleports anything potentially harmful inside Culture ships). Indeed, if the teleporter and other relevant systems can react quickly enough, it doesn't matter what the timer set on the bomb is, you can always just teleport the explosion itself away. Again, it comes down to the unspecified capabilities in the OP.
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Darth Tanner
PostPosted: 2012-01-18 04:41am 

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It would require premonition like reflexes to be able to teleport an already exploding bomb away before it actually had an impact on you, and it would preclude any human interaction in deciding to teleport something so you’d more or less cripple your own ability to teleport supplies around out of fear of someone dumping a bomb on you. This also assumes unlimited range on whatever teleport devices you have as otherwise you’re not going to have complete defensive teleport coverage.

Also if your enemy can simply teleport your bombs away then simply teleport random chunks of their interiors out, that would beat that countermeasure unless you want them to be able to teleport a head back onto its body before it’s missed. Or better yet teleport their teleporters away.
All teleport strategies however will rely on the actual limitations of the process. If it costs £10 billion per teleport and requires a CERN size facility you’re not going to be using it to knock off individual tanks but to deliver WMD in which case you have a MAD like situation as Sea Skimmer describes.

As the OP gives us no details on the limitations of the device it’s pretty hard to state what the strategies to counter it would be.
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SpaceMarine93
PostPosted: 2012-01-18 08:35am 

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Since you guys ask, here's the specifics:

- The range of the hypothetical teleportation technology is theoratically limitless, depending on how much power you supply to it. In the case of the portable weaponized version, it has access to an energy source that allows it to have the range of a standard US stinger missile per teleport.

- It could fire any ordinance the size of a stinger missile.

- It could bypass energy shields, unlike Star Trek transporters.

- The process cannot be interfered in any way. If the co-ordinates are within a solid object it will displace the atoms within the target and replace it with that of the ordinance. The ordinance could be damaged in process, however.

- It is nearly instantaneous - microseconds between transit.

- Compatible with any targeting systems, ANY TARGETING SYSTEMS.

- Could also be mounted on naval ships, armored vehicles and spacecrafts for usage. Range then could extend up to tens of kilometers (no more than a hundred - not enough energy)

- Transmitter to anywhere within range
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2012-01-18 12:32pm 

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Have you stopped to work out the effect of fixed installations? Can I sit in a bunker in North Dakota and teleport nuclear warheads to Siberia, if I'm willing to build the teleporter big enough and set up a big enough power plant?
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Beowulf
PostPosted: 2012-01-18 01:14pm 

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If the object being teleported needs to be at the transmitter, then the counter transport method of defense will not work, simply because odds are, the ordnance won't be at the transmitter.
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SpaceMarine93
PostPosted: 2012-01-18 04:27pm 

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Simon_Jester wrote:
Have you stopped to work out the effect of fixed installations? Can I sit in a bunker in North Dakota and teleport nuclear warheads to Siberia, if I'm willing to build the teleporter big enough and set up a big enough power plant?


Ah, good point, and the biggest advantage is that no one could react to that unlike ICBMs!
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2012-01-18 08:46pm 

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There are a lot of other advantages- near-perfect accuracy and reliability if the system's as good as you imply, no need to worry about ballistics or terrain (there are targets an ICBM can't hit from certain directions, on account of there being a mountain in the way), ability to hit an underground bunker hardened against attack and know you'll blow it up with the first shot...

Basically, if you can build bomb-teleporters and hide them in bunkers, then those bunkers will totally dominate warfare. Conventional combat between troops and tanks and ships and planes will be largely irrelevant- if a nation maintains those forces at all, it's only if it isn't really too expensive. All you really need to fight and win wars are bomb-teleporters, surveillance drones, and occupation troops.

"Tanks" that fight by teleporting bombs inside each other's armor are just ridiculously superfluous.
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lordofchange13
PostPosted: 2012-01-18 09:31pm 

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With the Teleporters of the level you are describing any little war could easily escalate to a conflict were both sides population die out. Infinite range and laser point accuracy through anything are not a good combination. What exactly stops earth side from nuking the others capital from the other side of the world?
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S.L.Acker
PostPosted: 2012-01-18 10:13pm 

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lordofchange13 wrote:
With the Teleporters of the level you are describing any little war could easily escalate to a conflict were both sides population die out. Infinite range and laser point accuracy through anything are not a good combination. What exactly stops earth side from nuking the others capital from the other side of the world?


Power requirements most likely, though any serious nation would build reactors as needed for global range.
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SpaceMarine93
PostPosted: 2012-01-18 10:14pm 

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Simon_Jester wrote:
There are a lot of other advantages- near-perfect accuracy and reliability if the system's as good as you imply, no need to worry about ballistics or terrain (there are targets an ICBM can't hit from certain directions, on account of there being a mountain in the way), ability to hit an underground bunker hardened against attack and know you'll blow it up with the first shot...

Basically, if you can build bomb-teleporters and hide them in bunkers, then those bunkers will totally dominate warfare. Conventional combat between troops and tanks and ships and planes will be largely irrelevant- if a nation maintains those forces at all, it's only if it isn't really too expensive. All you really need to fight and win wars are bomb-teleporters, surveillance drones, and occupation troops.

"Tanks" that fight by teleporting bombs inside each other's armor are just ridiculously superfluous.


Possible. It will affect warfare greatly but it wouldn't completely change the way wars are fought, at least permanently. Technologies like teleporters are inevitably going to be incredibly expensive, so if anything a nation could deploy it on a strategic scale but its not going to work well on a tactical scale. A bunker with a bomb-teleporter would not be very powerful if all it takes to take down one is intel on its location and a special forces team deployed behind enemy lines which would neutralize it, or even better, turn it against its original users and hit them hard before they realize what's going on.

And you are going to need standard armies to destroy forces that can't easily be removed via conventional armies. How do you use teleporters to effectively counter airforce, which is constantly on the move at high velocity? The targeting system isn't going to be perfect. On that note, a teleporter targeting system could be jammed or reduced in effectiveness via long range jamming, decoy, knocking satellites out of orbit, etc.
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S.L.Acker
PostPosted: 2012-01-18 10:24pm 

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SpaceMarine93 wrote:
Possible. It will affect warfare greatly but it wouldn't completely change the way wars are fought, at least permanently. Technologies like teleporters are inevitably going to be incredibly expensive, so if anything a nation could deploy it on a strategic scale but its not going to work well on a tactical scale. A bunker with a bomb-teleporter would not be very powerful if all it takes to take down one is intel on its location and a special forces team deployed behind enemy lines which would neutralize it, or even better, turn it against its original users and hit them hard before they realize what's going on.

And you are going to need standard armies to destroy forces that can't easily be removed via conventional armies. How do you use teleporters to effectively counter airforce, which is constantly on the move at high velocity? The targeting system isn't going to be perfect. On that note, a teleporter targeting system could be jammed or reduced in effectiveness via long range jamming, decoy, knocking satellites out of orbit, etc.


For air defense over the home nation they would be great. You could teleport an air bursting charge pretty close to a modern jet with those transmission times and modern tracking methods.

I think any war between two powers armed with these will involve a lot of denying and gathering of info. Knowledge is very much so power in that sort of a war.
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lordofchange13
PostPosted: 2012-01-18 10:24pm 

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S.L.Acker wrote:
SpaceMarine93 wrote:
Actually, now that I think about it, regardless of how powerful and efficient the teleportation weapon is, even if there isn't a way to interrupt the process directly, would jamming the targeting system of the teleporter and therefore make it unable to deliver their ordinance anywhere they want work as an alternative?


That only works if the point you want to hit is moving in an unpredictable way. For most targets of a teleported bomb that won't be the case.

When he said "cheap" in the OP I assumed that he had factored in power requirements.
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