HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Another level of protection for the troops
Beth Stackpole   5/22/2012 9:15:35 AM
NO RATINGS
This technology seems like it could really save a lot of lives. Heartening to hear that initial tests show it hits its mark. What's the time gap between subsequent rounds of testing and when it can actually hit the battlefield?

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Going to the next level
naperlou   5/22/2012 9:21:44 AM
NO RATINGS
Elizabeth, this is an amazing feat.  I worked on SDI many years ago and we were developing technology like this to intercept ICBMs.  The fact that such small and extensive systems can be developed to protect from things like artillery shells is truly taking that technology to the next level. 

Come to think of it, if we can do this, maybe SDI is not such a stretch after all.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Going to the next level
Charles Murray   5/22/2012 8:12:57 PM
NO RATINGS
SDI was the first thing that I thought of, too, Naperlou. Obviously, there are differences in the types and altitudes of the targets, but the basic concept seems to be there.

gsmith120
User Rank
Platinum
Rockets Systems Technology
gsmith120   5/22/2012 7:45:36 PM
NO RATINGS
Elizabeth I really enjoyed this story.  I designed parts of the fuze portion of the Patriot missile.  This is some good technology and so many advancements are continuing to be made and discovered.

Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Yesterday's Dreams...Today's Reality
Greg M. Jung   5/22/2012 9:46:52 PM
NO RATINGS
I also remember how people scoffed at SDI when it was first proposed.  Amazing how small the rockets are (like a Patriot missle in the palm of your hand).

On a side note, I wonder if the radar tracking system could be fooled by any chafe ejected by the incoming object.

Watashi
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Yesterday's Dreams...Today's Reality
Watashi   5/23/2012 9:48:25 AM
NO RATINGS
Artillery ammunition isn't currently that sophisticated.  It is unlikely that an adversary would waste time trying on-projectile counter measures as any additional payload would require a reduction in warhead size. Ultimately an arms race in this niche would result in expensive artillery rounds that were less effective than they were originally - a win-win for us!

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
What do these three things have in common?
TJ McDermott   5/23/2012 3:18:19 AM
NO RATINGS
 

1999 - Mars Climate Orbiter lost because of a metric / US units mixup.

2003 - NOAA N-Prime weathe satellite dropped because one team borrowed retaining bolts without telling the other.

2011 - F22 Raptor pilots losing consciousness due to an as yet repaired oxygen generator problem.

What do these three things have in common?

Lockheed Martin and its culture of lack of procedural discipline.  The first two incidents should NEVER have occurred.  It will be interesting to learn what is really wrong with the F22 oxygen generators.

The company has a history that they can't seem to shake, and it costs taxpayers.  I want this rocket intercept system to work; it's a bloody good concept.  But I don't want design bugs fixed when the Army purchases the next upgrade.

"Bloody typical. They've gone back to metric without telling us."  I think of this quote from Bob Hoskins' character from the 1985 movie Brazil every time I see Lockeed Martin in a headline now.  They've earned it.

robatnorcross
User Rank
Gold
Re: What do these three things have in common?
robatnorcross   5/23/2012 3:48:37 PM
NO RATINGS
What they HAVE in common is exhibited precisely in the movie "BRAZIL".  Any one who reads Design News should be required to see the movie. I'm betting that most of the readers of this column don't know about "Brazil" the world's most accurate (and entertaining) predicition of the future.

It should be required viewing for all high school and college students.

BRedmond
User Rank
Silver
Hitting Targets
BRedmond   5/23/2012 9:25:13 AM
NO RATINGS
The headline and lead paragraph are somewhat misleading.  The rest of the article explains that the targets hit so far are theoretical and programmatic.  They haven't actually launched any ordnance yet.  SDI is pretty old school by now but I'm sure that looked good in simulation too.  The proof comes when you have an actual missile in the air and the system shoots it down.  Somebody else said that we're talking smaller distances but we're also talking about smaller targets and maybe higher speeds.

GlennA
User Rank
Gold
Re: Hitting Targets = wishful thinking ?
GlennA   5/23/2012 9:57:50 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, if you read the article it has only been successful as a simulation.  Until real-life targets and real-life countermeasures work it is still pie-in-the-sky.  And collateral damage has to be zero = no non-targets destroyed.  It's too early for the posted enthusiasm.

Watashi
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Hitting Targets = wishful thinking ?
Watashi   5/23/2012 10:17:06 AM
NO RATINGS
Not all applications require no collateral damage.  It can be handled operationally by implementing in an AO with clear fire zones.  As I staed in a previous post, CM is very unlikely for this class of target. 

More than likely adversaries would try to overwhelm the system to regain effectiveness.  This would require more of them to break cover and become targets themselves, which incidentally, is the biggest problem we have in low intensity conflict; identifying bad guys well enough to fit the ROEs.  When they finally meet criteria under the ROEs, they don't last very long.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Hitting Targets = wishful thinking ?
Charles Murray   5/23/2012 9:29:23 PM
NO RATINGS
good point, GlennA. I didn't notice the simulation reference at first glance.

Watashi
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Hitting Targets
Watashi   5/23/2012 10:06:21 AM
NO RATINGS
Closing speed in this application is an order of magnitude less than BMD (the current progeny of SDI), and BMD has proven fairly successful.

Current systems like the CIWS can detect, track, and intercept artillery rounds with unguided 20mm DU or tungsten rounds.  Although it shoots 3000 rnds/min to accomplish the task, this new system uses a guided interceptor to reduce the amount of ammo expended for defense.

Lock Mart has had some issues in other areas in the past, but also a long line of successes in the missile realm (PAC-3, THAAD, ATACMS, GMLRS, Hellfire...).  Although it is ballistically launched, a guided weapon is a guided weapon.

ChasChas
User Rank
Platinum
is tracking enough?
ChasChas   5/23/2012 11:01:04 AM
NO RATINGS
 

Intercept by tracking works best if the launch takes place from the target area. If these rockets are fired from a "safe" area, they will lose effectiveness. This means intercept can easily change to pursuit and that's whole new ballgame - and may add to enemy fire.

Of course, launching from the target area will surely increase the incentive to make a hit.

bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
HITTING A MISSLE WITH A MISSILE
bobjengr   5/23/2012 4:41:51 PM
NO RATINGS

I hate to be skeptical but hitting a missile with a missile is a daunting task----seeing is believing.  I worked in ballistic systems during my years in the Air Force and deployment speeds lead me to believe the reliability relative to "hits" would be considerably lower than would be tolerated.  Basically, show me a system and give me the hard data on the number of strikes.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Army's rocket intercept system
William K.   5/23/2012 6:10:02 PM
NO RATINGS
One interesting unmentioned fact is that if the system can track incoming well enough to hit them, it can also track well enough to locate the launch site and target it with "suitable response". The result is that an attempt to overwload the intercept system would certainly provide lots of return fire targeting information. One other detail is that the same intercepting system could also target incoming with directed energy weapons, which have a very good "hit" score Also, directed energy travels very fast.

GlennA
User Rank
Gold
Re: Army's rocket intercept system
GlennA   5/24/2012 8:35:25 AM
NO RATINGS
Wiliam K;  That is a very good point.  Optimization of that feature might even be a better route to go.  If one shot from a position was enough to have that position identified and destroyed by return fire (in less than a minute ?), who would dare to shoot first ?



Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
This Gadget Freak Review looks at a keyless Bluetooth padlock that works with your smartphone, along with a system that tracks your sleep behavior and wakes you at the perfect time in your sleep cycle to avoid morning grogginess.
Siemens released Intosite, a cloud-based, location-aware SaaS app that lets users navigate a virtual production facility in much of the same fashion as traversing through Google Earth. Users can access PLM, IT, and other pertinent information for specific points on a factory floor or at an outdoor location.
Since 1987, teams of engineers around the world have built solar cars to participate in a road race around Australia called the World Solar Challenge, being tested on the race time, kilometers traveled, practicality, and energy used by the vehicles they invent.
An Israeli design student has created a series of unique pieces of jewelry that can harvest energy from default movements of the body and even use human blood as a way to conduct energy.
Made By Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Aug 18 - 22, Embedded Software Development With Python & the Raspberry Pi
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service