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The evil professor Mr. GLOOPbar has built a base IN SPACE 2 years ago in 2016 with the best contemporary technology.

His base is ran by a Artificial super intelligence of unfathomable intelligence that controls everything, including the weapon system.

How accurate are his guns?


The AI has nearly unlimited calculation speed. Obviously, he knows where he wants to aim to hit something. His main limit is how fast he can turn and move his gun into the required position. For this, he has the best contemporary weapon control hardware.

The question is divided into two parts.

1) How accurate can he be ignoring the barrel accuracy problems? (The fact that bullets tend to go slightly off from where they are aimed at.)

2) How accurate can he be taking into account barrel accuracy problems?


Clarifications:

  • Contemporary settings and technology; state of the art 2018 technology unless otherwise mentioned.
  • All detection/calculation speed/sensor accuracy/AI intelligence problem are irrelevant. The AI has near unlimited calculation speed. The AI knows the exact angle/speed function he wants to shoot at, taking into account of gravitational distortion of large objects, general/special relativity, time delay effects, etc. Even if the Cosmic Microwave Background anisotropies somehow affected the trajectory of the bullet, the AI can account for that.
  • The most relevant details are the mechanism of control, and in the second question, barrel accuracy. How limited are these with contemporary technology?
  • Kinetic projectiles only. A discussion of the difference between small mounted assault rifle guns, and large guns would be appreciated.
  • The space station is large. Let's say it is 100m by 100m by 100m.
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    $\begingroup$ What kind of weapon and what size and shape is the station? These would have a lot of influence on your question. $\endgroup$ – Demigan Aug 5 '18 at 6:07
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    $\begingroup$ Also, where "in space" is his base? If it's on the Moon, or in deep space, he can spend a lot more time getting his math right than if it's in low Earth orbit. $\endgroup$ – Cadence Aug 5 '18 at 6:30
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    $\begingroup$ How fast are his targets going? Relative velocity starts to be a major limiting factor at surprisingly low values. $\endgroup$ – Ash Aug 5 '18 at 11:45
  • $\begingroup$ What are his targets? Human infiltrators running along the base's corridors? A NASA shuttle coming from Earth, matching velocities for docking? A re-purposed nuclear missile shot from Earth? Any of these will have drastically different answers... $\endgroup$ – G0BLiN Aug 5 '18 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ What kinds of sensors does the AI have? $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Aug 5 '18 at 13:57
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A lot of sci fi books take into account light speed delay during interstellar fights. Basically, if you are approaching Mr. GLOOPbar's base at a significant percent of the speed of light (c), the station experiences time at a different rate than you aboard the ship. I'm not exactly sure on the math, but it means you're targeting software is gonna be wrong. It might get lucky and land a couple shots, but that is the simple probability of something the size of whatever you are shooting hitting something the size of the approaching ship. This is why the scene in TLJ was so interesting. Launching a ship to the speed of light while passing through another vessel is potentially the most deadly weapon imaginable.

Also, computers can be tricked. You mention that the weapons are controlled by an "Artificial super intelligence with unfathomable intelligence". Does that mean it can predict any enemy strategies? If it sees something on its radar, the AI can predict the attack pattern and have those weapons already in position? Again, that's assuming it even has time to react. Even a super AI can't react to something as fast as half the speed of light. Maybe not even a 0.25c.

You also mentioned that your base is using guns. I'm assuming you mean traditional firearms like those used here on earth. A much more effective weapon would be either self-guiding missiles, which the AI could control remotely, or lasers. The biggest real-world challenge to spacecraft design is getting rid of excess heat. That is why the International Space Station has such long radiators, and so many. If you were to shine a laser at an enemy's radiators, reducing their effectiveness, they would eventually overheat inside their own ship. Lasers travel at the speed of light, so you pretty much just point them at the ship. Note: this does not mean that lasers are the answer to relativistic attack runs. It does not counter the time dilation issue.

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