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Old January 7 2013, 09:19 AM   #48
Re: Caseless Torpedoes

No, because the sensor stops working as soon as you fire it. It's hard to mount a sensor to a projectile that is subject to a huge amount of energy at launch.
No, that's trivial. Even vacuum tube electronics were routinely installed aboard high muzzle velocity anti-aircraft ammunition almost a century ago; today, a Copperhead-type round mounts the very type of sensor you specify while subjecting it to immense accelerations. And of course, Trek instrumentation would be immune to acceleration anyway, as Starfleet has mastered inertia control.

The ST6 torpedo corkscrewed through space under guidance from an onboard sensor. Proving the opposite requires something way heftier than what you have to offer so far.

Likewise, a propulsion system powerful enough to envelop an entire photon torpedo and completely mask its physical presence from all observers probably wouldn't be very good for an onboard sensor either.
That's merely a matter of spectral windows. Also, if a cloaked vessel can see but not be seen, problems of this sort pale in comparison.

Amusingly, infrared sensors would appear a poor idea for a weapon that is subjected to a lot of air friction, but have been among the most reliable sensors for such weapons for about as long as the weapons have existed.

Spock's torpedo casket did do a short initial glow before it glided into the Genesis atmosphere.
One wonders if the glow, with its atypical tail, wasn't purely for show...

Timo Saloniemi
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