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Full Version: [Concept: using a laser firing piece as anti-missile laser
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After some brief testing with this, I've found that a decently precise laser (so a long lens) can shut down missiles way more effectively as a small lam-node, making it more efficient at doing so since it only fires one laser, whereas my node fired 4, especially if the craft its protecting has the size, but lacks the engine power for an equally powerful lam system.
It, however, did not shoot at cram shells in my testing, making it a weird middle-groud best used for weak laser systems.
Antimissile cannon controllers fire only at missiles, not at CRAM shells, yes. I believe LAMS nodes have an inaccuracy of 0.5 degrees, which leads to an effective range of about 114 meters. (The effective one-block range of a weapon is 1 divided by the tangent of the weapon's inaccuracy.) Using a laser combiner with any more accuracy than that - at least 8 Laser Optics segments - instead of a LAMS node will allow for a missile defense system with a greater effective range, but it takes up a lot more deck space than a normal LAMS, has a more limited field of fire, and has to be on a subobject to boot. Probably would work best for a dual-purpose laser system, to screen out missiles at a greater range and let the nodes take care of CRAM shells.

Most of this is theory, mind. I haven't done much with these myself.
completely true, it is NOT effective if you have the room for larger internal lasers and engines, but if a craft has a big amount of deck space and a low-power generator (something like RTG's), it may well be the best option for anti-missile shielding.
I like this. I'd thought of it long ago but never tried it. The thought of using it as a long-range anti missile system is interesting, because that would allow a single ship to defend a fleet. I currently have a pretty good standard system that uses about 10k power and fires at full strength with up to 6 combiners/nodes, and it would be pretty interesting to see what would happen if I put this on a ship with 6 individual ~12 block long laser ball turrets. What sort of effective ranges have you been getting? Are we talking over a kilometer here or more like 500m?
I tested a Lua system doing this in 2015--at least back then, my conclusion was that given the diminishing returns to accuracy, for practical combiner lengths the accuracy is only slightly better than LAMS nodes, and that at close launch ranges the increase in accuracy was not worthwhile. The big advantage I found was not superior precision, but being able to fire inaccurately at longer ranges--you can still inflict useful damage on large volleys at long range.

That said, if the wiki is up to date laser accuracy has changed since then, but it still shows a laser with 1 steering and 11 focusing optics as having an inaccuracy of 0.43--a rather scant improvement. (The steering optic is mostly mandatory, even with a light 2-axis turret--the turret will point at the missile's location from the previous tick, so you need some additional flexibility to get an exact hit. Then again, a 100m/s missile will only travel 2.5m per tick if exactly broadside, so the previous aim point may be good enough.)
Yeah, you'll definitely want a very long set of optics - longer than 12 meters, for sure - but that's just a cost of using lasers in all cases. I often make my laser systems hull-mounted, for the simple reason that it's usually possible to cram a huge length of optics inside a ship's hull, but alas, you can only control antimissile cannons through their turret block (and as I have just tested, not through a spinblock).

In theory you could use a turret physically blocked from rotating to achieve a similar effect, but it seems like the AMC will not exploit the full field of fire of the laser weapon system in such a case. I do believe that the answer is that AMC controllers need an overhaul.
(2017-03-03, 08:50 PM)Skullsploder Wrote: [ -> ]I like this. I'd thought of it long ago but never tried it. The thought of using it as a long-range anti missile system is interesting, because that would allow a single ship to defend a fleet. I currently have a pretty good standard system that uses about 10k power and fires at full strength with up to 6 combiners/nodes, and it would be pretty interesting to see what would happen if I put this on a ship with 6 individual ~12 block long laser ball turrets. What sort of effective ranges have you been getting? Are we talking over a kilometer here or more like 500m?


That is actually a good idea. A ship that is dedicated to destroying all the enemy missiles in the battle area.
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(2018-07-09, 08:10 PM)KuramaFox Wrote: [ -> ]That is actually a good idea. A ship that is dedicated to destroying all the enemy missiles in the battle area.
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Yeah, I did that not long after prototyping it here.
It's still possible to overwhelm with missiles and it would probably benefit from having smaller engines and a few heavy flak cannons for swarming missiles. But there it is.