He has carried out his own work on the technique, and was even approached by the music industry about using microwave audio to enhance sound systems, he told New Scientist. Previous microwave audio tests involved very "quiet" sounds that were hard to hear, a high-power system would mean much more powerful - and potentially hazardous - shockwaves.
I see a hierarchy of decision-making levels, roughly as follows from "lowest" to "highest: Moreover, the higher functions aren't necessarily confined to high ranks. In a counterinsurgency war, for example, the individual grunt often has to make rules-of-engagement decisions that are essentially political: Presuming that space yachts won't often blunder into the middle of a battle.
Level 1 seems almost certain to be automated. I just can't see guys spinning wheels to slew a laser cannon around, let alone shoving photons into the breech. I can easily see all human decision making confined to the bridge and CIC, with turrets operated by some mix of automation and remote control.
And — depending on range, light lag, and other comms factors — the turrets might well detach from the ship and maneuver in formation, still controlled from bridge and CIC. In other words, combat drones at least partly controlled national science writers 2012 jeep a mother ship. Levels 4 and 5 are a much taller order.
I have speculated, though, on what I call the "legate" concept, in which the only human decision-makers are essentially policy representatives of the government. The only military orders a legate gives are, in effect "authorized to fire" and "cease firing. Level 6 can only be automated if you have fully sentient AI that not only can vote, but be elected or functional equivalent.
We do not know how human judgment and intuition — "the Force" — work, so we haven't the first clue of how to replicate it.
I don't rule it out in the future i. Level 3 is also pretty dicey — however, depending on your specific tech assumptions, remote control may well be viable at this level.
For example, in my setting combat is at ranges on order ofkm, but unfolds as a slow pavane, with maneuver and firing taking place on a scale of hours. In that environment, it's quite plausible to have uncrewed weapon platforms whose Level 1 and 2 functions are automated, while their Level 3 functions are performed by operators in safer positions a few light seconds away.
Now, how does all this relate to "space fighters" in the usual sense? Whether space fighters are viable depends on two things: First, are vest-pocket space warcraft of any value at all, and if so, do they benefit substantially from having humans on board, rather than being either automated or controlled by remote operators or some combination.
I'll further note that "fighter" is — at least in the WW II naval analogy — a misleading term; fighters and all aircraft operated in an entirely separate environment from ships, and had radically different performance characters: They could go ten times faster than any ship, though they could not heave-to even for a moment.
If beam weapons are dominant, miniature space warcraft seem pretty useless whether crewed or uncrewed — their small size must limit their weapon installations to peashooters, useless against large ships.
If kinetics are dominant, small warcraft may be viable if useful missiles are even smaller so that they can carry a few — and especially if one hit one kill is the rule, so that a bigger ship is merely a richer target.
However, then the question is whether these small platforms need an onboard crew, or can be handled by a combination of remote control and onboard expert-system AI. My own take is that for most Plausible [TM] tech and tactical scenarios, there's little reason for putting humans aboard small platforms, especially since putting the human-in-the-loop elsewhere allows them to be cheaper and semi-expendable.
Majority of arguments below are based on a realistic hard scifi setting. In softer settings you can probably invent any Applied Phlebotinum or Minovsky Physics needed to support or refute the plausibility of starfighters.
There is no need to wrangle over the differences between bombers, fighters and other subtypes. While an inductive argument is not foolproof, there is some evidence in military history that defense will often lag behind offense.
Armor Is Uselessin other words. Look at, say, how infantry armor was abandoned for quite a while due to the impracticality of the thickness needed to protect against advanced guns, or how modern carriers need to use active defenses to intercept incoming missiles rather than being able to just weather them.
Extending from this, future space combat scenarios may involve spacecraft firing at each other with weapons they cannot survive. If relatively small starfighter weapons can continue to lay the hurt on capital craft, it may be more practical to let relatively expendable strikecraft sortie than risk capital spacecraft whose loss will cost heavily in money and manpower.
There have been times throughout history when defense did outpace offense, however, at least for a while. Arguments B4 and B6, below, address potential problems with this idea. The Tech Level is low, and orbital combat is a top priority.
Quite simply, space fighters are easier and cheaper to build than large ships.The article you have been looking for has expired and is not longer available on our system. This is due to newswire licensing terms.
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