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View Full Version : Floating Vehicles...Squash?!!!



stillakid
12-04-2003, 10:35 AM
For no reason at all, the thought popped into my head about Speeder bikes and Landspeeders and what makes them float. I'm sure that answer sits in one of those technical journals. Something about a "repulsor field" or something.

Anyhow, the real question is, what happens if you stick your hand under there? Would the "field" shove it to the ground and squish it? :eek:

To carry the question even further, if they have this "anti gravity" technology that "pushes" objects away, then why don't they use it as a military weapon or sorts? The Battle Droids came in on floating tanks that hovered a few feet off the ground. Take that same ship and turn it on it's side so that the repulsor field is facing the enemy. You could literally back the enemy into a corner that way. No?

plo koon 200
12-04-2003, 11:00 AM
It does not seem to make the grass flat-maybe for some other reason it floats. I don't think they really have any science behind it.

Anakin2121
12-04-2003, 11:35 AM
I think it just repels gravity. If you stuck your hand under the repulsor, your hand wouldn't get shoved to the ground, because it's not like normal gravity is always shoving your hand up into the air. ;)

Exhaust Port
12-04-2003, 11:40 AM
Here's my take on these 2 questions:

squish?

A Repulsor Field would create lift not by forcing the vehicle into the air rather by levitating it with a repulsing action. I see it being similar to a magnetic field. Align two similar magnetic poles near each other and they push each other away. Place a piece of paper between those magnets and it won't be pushed with a force, only the magnets. It's the action/reaction of the opposing magnetic fields that do the repulsing and there for only move the magnetic field generators, the magnets themselves.

A repulor field generator would create a field that, similar to a magnet, would repulse against the field created by the land below the vehicle. Obviously the science behind this is purely fiction so we have to assume that the ground has a "frequency" or something that a RF generator can interact with.

Now what would happen if you stuck your hand under a vehicle? If the vehicle was already floating I would guess that you couldn't get your hand under it as the repulsive action would be to great. It would be like trying to push a much weaker magnet between 2 strong magnetic fields. The closer you would get the tougher it would be to move your hand closer until you couldn't push any closer.

What would happen if a vehicle using a RF were to fly over you? It would depend on how close it was to you and how heavy the vehicle was. Since the RF generator would be putting out a force equal to the weight of the vehicle a heavy vehicle like a Federation Tank would be crushing. The RF generator would be generating a field to repulse any matter below it (ie YOU) so it can support it's weight. So a 50 ton tank would have to push off your body with a percentage of that 50 tons depending on your surface area.

If the tank was 20'x30' than it would have to spread it's 50 ton weight over 86,400 square inches. That would put about 1 pound per square inch. That's not really a lot if you think about it. If your whole body was under the tank that could really add up and probably kill you but your hand would probably do alright, maybe with some slight bruising.

A Land Speeder or Speeder Bike would have even less weight and even with it being spread over a smaller area wouldn't kill you but it could knock you down.

Repulsor Weapon?

The highest we saw a vehicle using a RF float was only a matter of a few feet for the Speeder Bike or a few inches for the Federation Tank. It makes me think that similar to the magnetic force, it's a weak force, meaning it quickly loses it's force over distance. Hold a magnet a few inches from the surface of the refrigerator and you can't feel anything. Bring that magnet down to a fraction of an inch from the surface and it can become tough to hold off.

For that reason a Repulsor Weapon would be useless as the range would be as close, if not closer, than hand to hand combat and would only push an attacker back a foot or 2 before the RW effects were null.

Jargo
12-04-2003, 01:14 PM
Ask Qui-Gon Jinn who went under the MTT with JarJar. No ill effects there were there? I would imagine that repulsorlift vehicles recreate the lift of an air hovercraft by using strong magnetic coils to create field like a large air cushion but in a cyclic way. Imagine if you will a large invisible quoit under the vehicle consisting of a contained magnetic force. It's contained by opposing magnetic buffers at the rim of the vehicle which rather than let the magnetism spread force it downwards. All things have some level of magnetic field and planets with gravitational pulls have the largest so basically by controlling a magnetic field below the vehicle and having that field be polarised against the planets natural magnetism a buffer is formed whereby the two fields glide against each other and the vehicle floats.

I dunno i aint no scientistical boffin. Jus' sounds good. :D

plasticfetish
12-05-2003, 12:38 AM
I knew I'd read this (http://www.starwars.com/databank/technology/repulsorlift/) before.

The idea of using a planet's magnetic field to propel a vehicle is something that science has been playing around with for a while. I remember reading, a long time ago, that one basic use would be for launching vehicles into space. No more rockets, just magnets ... then up and away.

Exhaust Port
12-05-2003, 07:05 AM
What you're talking about is Maglev which the Japanese have been researching for years for propulsion for a train. I think the last I had heard they had hit the 300+ mph mark using it.

A Repulsor Lift is different in that only the vehicle has the RL device. In Maglev, both the vehicle has magnets and the track has special magnets in it as well.

jeddah
12-05-2003, 09:23 AM
...The highest we saw a vehicle using a RF float was only a matter of a few feet for the Speeder Bike or a few inches for the Federation Tank...

Hi :)

The Coruscant Taxis and snowspeeders also use Repulsorlifts to move so I guess it is safe to get under them. Also, as Jargo says, the MTT had no ill effects on Jar Jar or Qui Gon.

jeddah

Exhaust Port
12-05-2003, 10:34 AM
Most if not all vehicles have repulsorlift generators/engines. The Snowspeeder has them:

http://www.starwars.com/databank/vehicle/snowspeeder/?id=eu

..but, they also have "conventional" engines that are used for flying. We see both the X-Wing and Naboo Starfighter use a repulsorlift engine to float themselves across the hangar floors before they launch into the atmosphere. Same with the airspeeders used by Anakin and Zam:

http://www.starwars.com/databank/vehicle/anakinsspeeder/index.html

They probably have repulsorlift engines but those aren't used for flight. Anakin's airspeeder has twin turbine engines (ie jet engines) to propel it through the air.


As I stated before, it's wouldn't be dangerous to be under most, if not all, vehicles using repulsorlift engines. The MTT was dangerous to JJ or QG as we saw. It's a big vehicle which allows for it's weight to be distributed over a large area which wouldn't do much harm to a creature with a small surface area.

plasticfetish
12-05-2003, 11:32 AM
What you're talking about is Maglev...
Yeah there's that, which they're thinking about using as a kind of high speed launch track ... but there's also the idea of developing something genuinely similar to a "repulsorlift." Again, like Jargo mentioned before, using a planet's magnetic field as a point of resistance, but it's all just science fiction at this point.

Exhaust Port
12-05-2003, 12:10 PM
Here's a blurb about NASA and their goal of a maglev launch system for space craft.

http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/01/03/maglev.launches/

Even though that might be a long way away I think I read some where else that an electromagnetic launch system is to be used on aircraft carriers to launch airplanes in the near future.

jeddah
12-05-2003, 12:12 PM
Thanks E.Port, that was interesting reading. :)

What about the sand skiff that hover over R2 and 3po in ROTJ? I guess they didn't get squished. However, we never see how they get them on board the skiff before they zip off.

Happy weekend to all

jeddah

JediTricks
12-07-2003, 11:27 PM
The Chinese have a working maglev train doing mass-transit from downtown Shanghai to Pudong airport, a 19-mile trip that takes only 8 minutes. The train goes 267mph.

stillakid
12-09-2003, 10:29 AM
The Chinese have a working maglev train doing mass-transit from downtown Shanghai to Pudong airport, a 19-mile trip that takes only 8 minutes. The train goes 267mph.


Wow! That's barely enough time to heat up a Hot Pocket and eat it. :eek:

Exhaust Port
12-09-2003, 11:24 AM
The length of the trip isn't really worth the effort. Being that short, they probably at their peak spead for only a few minutes as they spend most of their time accelerating and decelerating.

JediTricks
12-09-2003, 11:31 PM
The length of the trip isn't really worth the effort. Being that short, they probably at their peak spead for only a few minutes as they spend most of their time accelerating and decelerating.
It gets to 200mph in about 2 minutes, so I guess they spend about half their time speeding up and slowing down. Basically, they did it to be "first", since both the US and Japan have been talking about it endlessly but not actually doing anything practical. First this and then they become the 3rd country to send a man into space on their own? Watch out world, China may be the new up-and-comer! ;)


Stilla, 8 minutes is enough time to heat and eat a hot pocket, unless you want to avoid burning your mouth, then it's nowhere near enough time. :D

Exhaust Port
12-09-2003, 11:56 PM
I'll mark this up on the list of "just because you can, doesn't mean you should." :)

stillakid
12-10-2003, 09:04 AM
Stilla, 8 minutes is enough time to heat and eat a hot pocket, unless you want to avoid burning your mouth, then it's nowhere near enough time. :D


I included that safety period in my calculation. :) I can think of no worse punishment than being forced to eat a hot Hot Pocket then having to eat a fresh bowl of Captain Crunch followed by a good swig of Listerine to clean it out.

JediTricks
12-11-2003, 10:11 PM
I almost never get the Capt's Cuts from the beloved cereal, but I almost never eat my cereal in milk either. ;) Hot Pockets are SO damn hot for so long, nuclear waste has a shorter half-life. :D Yet Lean Pockets cool down too quickly after a few minutes because they have less fat to retain the energy... then they become room temperature and gross. :p