Many of us build spacecraft with shield systems as part of the design, but have you given thought to what a shield is exactly? Is it majic? a barrier made out of energy? a warping of space which neutralizes kinetic energy? cloud of particles? magnetic field? I'm interested to know your thoughts on how a shield would work. Permalink
My guess is a high intensity magnetetic field. But Colonial Battlestars like the Galactica have heavy armor plating that can withstand multiple direct nuclear detonations. This is in addition to smashing into and even through enemy ships. Armor vs shields? Hmmm... Permalink
I think microwaves or some sort of radio energy feild could be generated to counter energy weapons. But I don't believe that there would be a way of "shielding" any physical projectiles other than good ole' iron plating.
The dune books describe a shield that robs kinetic energy from an object in motion. The faster the object, the better the shield repels it. However, if a laser is fired on a shield, it starts feedback between the shield and laser weapon, destroying both in a massive explosion.
Another possibility i have though of is a particle shield, where a magnetic field holds various particles in a sphere around the object. This would mimic the van allen radiation shield around the earth. An artificial van allen field may be the best bet for a shield system using existing technology. It would be limited by the amount of ozone available to use as fuel, but it would grow in strength in response to increases in radiation. Add some iron shavings to the mix, and you may be able to detonate enemy missiles at the field boundary rather than let them hit your spaceship.
As for armor, metal sponge is beginning to be used in commercial satellites. It is designed to shred projectiles into progressively smaller pieces. Smaller pieces have less inertia and do less damage. Permalink
I with him^
I always figured a "Shield" would be an incredibly strong magnetic field that carries super charged plasma around the outside.
I figured it'd vapourise missiles, or cause them to detonate and it would, on impact, completely disintegrate any sort of projectile weapon, or disperse energy weapons fire. Permalink
One of my favorite concepts when it comes to shields is the Atmosphere Armor concept. An electric current flows through an area of air, ionizing it and solidifying it into a charged wall. Excellent for stopping projectiles, but it's a system that has to remain stationary. The idea is grounded in the work of Nicola Tesla. Permalink
I don't typically "use" shields in my space ships. I always found shields cheap, but I imagine my ships have a weak shield that redirects general small space debris away from the hull of the ship. Rarely militarized because it consumes so much energy. Permalink
I've thought about multiple ways to do this. Number one: have plasma encase the ship. Incoming ballistic projectiles would melt or soften, reducing impact. Lasers could still get through. Plasma projectiles would probably add to the strength. Number two: magic. Most obvious. And number three: encase the ship in a non-Newtonian fluid. A non-Newtonian fluid has the properties of a liquid, but when force is applied, it behaves more like a solid. Permalink
I like classic shielding like in Star Trek, but it has always bothered me that you can't see the shield emitters on the hulls.
So when I build a space craft, i make it a point to show where the shield emitters are (I see them as a kind of lens or something. I mostly use dots or dishes.
I use domes when I need to show off a very powerful shield generator. Permalink
The ship projects a bubble of inert gas that is contained within a electromagnetic field, electricity is passed through the gas and it becomes super heated within the magnetic field, the gas reaches a temperature of 300,000,000 degrees which vaporizes any solid that passes through it and the electromagnetic bubble stops any radiation or other form of energy such as a energy weapon from hitting the Hull of the vessel Permalink
Quoting Empire of Rumination
The ship projects a bubble of inert gas that is contained within a electromagnetic field, electricity is passed through the gas and it becomes super heated within the magnetic field, the gas reaches a temperature of 300,000,000 degrees which vaporizes any solid that passes through it and the electromagnetic bubble stops any radiation or other form of energy such as a energy weapon from hitting the Hull of the vessel
How do you keep it from melting the ship? is the bubble filled with gas or is the gas in a thin membrane like the soap of a soap bubble? Permalink
Shields on my ships are generally Electromagnetic field generators, or EMF shields. These generators create a field that can cause most metallic ballistic rounds to be deflected, if not largely decelerated. They are good against any weapons that have an ionic charge, such as plasma weapons.
Shields come in civilian grades, and military grades. Civilian grades go upto 5, while military can go upto 10. Civilian grade 5 is roughly equivalent in power to military grade 1.
Armour-wise, most ships nowadays in my fleet have titanium-aluminum alloy plating with a thin layer of tungsten coating the outside of the hull in combination with an insulative material to avoid most thermal damage. Permalink