Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Flying Crowbars  
  Kinetic energy weapons deployed from space.  

I think human beings have always known that you have a special ally when you are fighting people who are below you.

"Project Thor was recommended by a strategy analysis group back in the eighties," Curtis said. "Flying crowbars." He sketched rapidly. "You take a big iron bar. Give it a rudimentary sensor, and a steerable vane for guidance. Put bundles of them in orbit. To use it, call it down from orbit, aimed at the area you're working on. It has a simple brain, just smart enough to recognize what a tank looks like from overhead. When it sees a tank silhouette, it steers toward it."
From Footfall, by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle).
Published by Ballantine in 1985
Additional resources -

Pournelle described a weapons system like this in 1964; he published a more complete description in 1975. He describes it this way:

The basic weapon system consists of an orbiting element some 20 to 40 feet long. It requires a GPS receiver to locate itself; a means of taking it out of orbit; an atmospheric guidance system, such as a means of changing its center of gravity (moving weights, small fins, etc.), and a communication system to give it a target and activate the system. No warhead is wanted or needed. Thor will impact a target area at about 12,000 feet per second; that is sufficient kinetic energy to destroy most hard targets, with minimum collateral damage and of course no fall-out. Achievable accuracy has been estimated at ten to twenty feet CEP (circular error of probability).

Read more at JerryPournelle.com.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Footfall
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle)
  Tech news articles related to Footfall
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle)

Flying Crowbars-related news articles:
  - 'ETs Attacked Me With Meteorites' - Bosnian Man
  - Joint Precision Airdrop System (JPADS)

Articles related to Weapon
Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
Railguns For Surface Ships
DIY Armed UAV (Toy)
Taser Drones Now Legal In North Dakota

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

PassivDom 3D Printed House - What If You Could Live Anywhere?
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

Caihong Solar-Powered Drone 'Atmospheric Satellite'
'... placed in the wings of a plane to generate power from the light falling on that surface.'

NASA Wants Low Earth Orbit Wifi
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

Is Genetic Testing At Businesses A Bad Idea?
It's not a topic that fares well in science fiction movies-

Wearable Smart Jacket
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped: 'Action stations!'

Store One Bit On One Atom
'...each individual molecule has a meaning.'

Fluorescent Bacteria Fashion
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.