Access to a transit gate

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Access to a transit gate

Postby peglegpete » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:18 am

a random thought popped into my head this afternoon.

if you control a transit gate, how easy is it to "turn it off" or otherwise block it so no one can use it?

seems like a force that controls one could keep people away indefinitely, or the SU could just close off the gate near a troublesom colony and starve them out...
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby Soren » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:17 am

About as easy as it is to cold-shutdown a first-generation nuclear reactor (NB; I'm not a nuclear power tech - this may not be hard at all, depending on the design), but it's not recommended. And remember, colonies are founded by throwing things through a gate without a receiving gate: they can send, but not receive, so it's safe in proportion to how likely it is to be worth expending all the extra energy to send a force that can take your gate back.

Think of transit gates like the Suez or Panama Canals (complete with sketchy imperial history: The Big Ditch, by Noel Maurer and Carlos Yu, is a great book to mine for inspiration); you can travel all the same places without one, but it's less efficient.
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:46 pm

Yeah, turning it off is easy. Turning it on takes a lot of time. If there's no functioning transit gate, no one can get out and sending stuff in is extremely risky.
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby Thaddeus » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:10 pm

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:...sending stuff in is extremely risky.


What happens if matter is sent into space already occupied by other matter? Is it destroyed?
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby Kaiser1917 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:27 pm

Thaddeus wrote:
Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:...sending stuff in is extremely risky.


What happens if matter is sent into space already occupied by other matter? Is it destroyed?


I'm pretty sure matter is replaced by the matter occupying that space. We talked a little about it on this thread: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=744


Re: Interplanetary Travel.

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:28 pm
Yeah, transit gates make a wormhole across space, which is an infinite-but-brief perturbance in the fabric of spacetime*. By putting it in freefall, it minimizes the effects on the nearby mass. Conversely, when you put it within a gravity well, it affects the gravity well and vice versa — Probably something you don't want.

I'd guess that, at a minimum, it would affect tides and cause earthquakes, not to mention throwing your precious cargo all over the place. Incoming ships don't come out in the exact formation in which they went in. Depending on unpredictable circumstances, they come out with attitudes and locations slightly different from those in which they went in. In space, there are rarely accidents because the transit gate is big enough to compensate for any fleet of normal density — say, a dozen ships or so. They more tightly they're packed, the more likely they'll crunch into each other. If you were to do this on a planet, some of the stuff would wind up underground and some would wind up way up in the air. I'm pretty sure that dropping an entire spacecraft a meter would cause some serious damage.

Oh, and unless the incoming space was completely evacuated of air (a volume that can hold a dozen ships in loose formation), all of the air will crash out of that space into the vacuum on the other side. Even if you had the gate at the other side on a planet with the atmosphere, the entire volume would suddenly equalize pressure.

So, the answer is, it presents huge, perhaps insurmountable engineering challenges.

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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:00 pm

The short story is: a sphere of there is now here and an identical volume of here is now there.
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby spacemonkey » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:52 am

So does that mean each time a gate (or pair of gates) activates there is simultaneous two-way transit? For whatever reason, I had always assumed it was one-way.
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:27 am

Yeah, but the transit is for a given amount of mass, total.
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby Thaddeus » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:13 pm

Come to think of it, you could use a transit gate as a weapon to suck out machinery and engines from inside a starcraft. Just imagine the havoc that could cause!
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby Zero Revenge » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:27 pm

Thaddeus wrote:Come to think of it, you could use a transit gate as a weapon to suck out machinery and engines from inside a starcraft. Just imagine the havoc that could cause!

Would that be worth the expense and time-consumption to weaponize a transit gate? :\
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby gusindor » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:21 pm

Not really, but since when has that stopped people from trying? I'm sure there are scientists trying to do all sorts of fun stuff with transit gates. If you could remove the engines intact, think of the potential! You could steal enemy tech, salvage working systems from wrecks, load/unload cargo more easily, gain access to any vault or cell, warp medicine directly into a patient, or even *GASP* warp the peaches right off the trees!

You could go anywhere, take anything, beat anyone! But first you need to outwit physics. Good luck!
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby gusindor » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:27 pm

You could also try to weaponize the one-way gates for sending projectiles. Again, impressive but not really practical. Although a gun that 'warped' bullets into the target, rather than firing them through the air, does have a certain appeal... armor penetration, harder to track, don't have to deal with gravity or wind... but I doubt you could fit a warp gate inside a gun, even a frame-sized gun.
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:25 pm

Remember, when you transit fleets of ships, they come out in approximately the same formation in which they went in. Off by 20 meters and 10 degrees is OK for a spaceship 500 meters long. Not that great for mechanics, and certainly not good enough for surgery. And that assumes that both are within transit gates, otherwise those parts could end up AUs away.
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby gusindor » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:56 pm

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:Remember, when you transit fleets of ships, they come out in approximately the same formation in which they went in. Off by 20 meters and 10 degrees is OK for a spaceship 500 meters long. Not that great for mechanics, and certainly not good enough for surgery.

Not with that attitude, anyway. :P Personally, I like the way the warp gates are, big, expensive, not exactly precise, and needing a lot of prep time to use. But I'm certain that with that kind of technology, there will be people (I mean in-fiction) who want to do more with it. All they'd currently be doing is theorizing, of course.
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby Soren » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:03 am

Well before you get to that point, though, you get things like MIRVed interstellar ballistic missiles being sent through transit gates. In fact, I expect someone to figure that out right quick if-and-when the Protracted Struggle heats up to a shooting war.
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby gusindor » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:08 am

Soren wrote:Well before you get to that point, though, you get things like MIRVed interstellar ballistic missiles being sent through transit gates. In fact, I expect someone to figure that out right quick if-and-when the Protracted Struggle heats up to a shooting war.

That would be good for terrorist attacks, or if the gate is being blockaded. But with the accuracy limitations, the only wary to be sure is with really big explosions and a lot of collateral damage. It would be better to send through a ship armed with a single huge missile, that might look something like this:Image
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby Zero Revenge » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:09 pm

Soren wrote:In fact, I expect someone to figure that out right quick if-and-when the Protracted Struggle heats up to a shooting war.

How is the setting not at a shooting war already?
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby spacemonkey » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:01 am

Zero Revenge wrote:
Soren wrote:In fact, I expect someone to figure that out right quick if-and-when the Protracted Struggle heats up to a shooting war.

How is the setting not at a shooting war already?

I would guess its because right now in the setting there is a lot of fighting but it tends to be on very independent fronts. The Free Colonies while loosely united by ideals are still focused on their own individual ground wars and the Ijad by their cultural nature tend to keep things at a local level; basically the other two "factions" would each have to become a lot more united and start looking beyond their own systems for things to kick off a proper galactic war.
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby Soren » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:08 am

Yeah, right now it's all crises and police actions and the full dickweedish gamut of awful-things-that-are-not-quite-war. It's effectively a war, and certainly people are choosing sides and treating it like a war. But it's not at the level where sending barrages of long-range missiles through gates to obliterate planets is on the table.

Yet.
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Re: Access to a transit gate

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:21 am

Arguably, the reason SC0245 looks the way it does is because people are trying very hard to keep that from happening. There's still something to be gained in each case.
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