Imagine there is an advanced spaceship. It's huge, and it's equipped with cannons operated by some kind of advanced energy source (atomic and upwards). This source is located in the same room as the cannon or in the cannon itself.

A normal shot would be triggered through a command to the central ship computer. So from the point of view of the cannon, there will be some sort of wired or WiFi signal that will activate the shooting sequence.

Now two characters get access to the cannon itself (physically) and want to produce a single shot. They have no equipment with them aside for one lazer pistol. One of them has advanced knowledge of technology, including ship construction data.

How could they force this cannon to shoot?

  • It's okay if the cannon is damaged after this, since only one shot is needed.
  • It's even okay if one character needs to die to accomplish this.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Mołot, chasly from UK, Frostfyre, bilbo_pingouin, Gryphon Jan 29 at 14:51

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    $\begingroup$ Imagine there is an unspecified ship, and it is equipped with unspecified machinery, working according an unspecified principle, operated in an unspecified way by an unspecified type of energy (mechanical, electrical, magnetic, elastic, etc.) All you know is that the unspecified kind of energy is produced by an unspecified generator using atomic power. Your task is to describe how to operate the unspecified machinery to obtain an unspecified result, which, for convenience, we will call firing a round. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jan 29 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ You need to be more specific. Also signal, not sygnal. $\endgroup$ – PecaWolf Jan 29 at 13:40
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    $\begingroup$ Have R2-D2 plug into the data socket and override the canon's controls. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jan 29 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ > Calls out misspelling of sygnal > nothing said about canon > spells it canon in a comment > writes an answer with canon > future senators, admirals and business leaders $\endgroup$ – Harper Jan 29 at 18:23

I'd have gone with "fiddle with the wires" as pojo-guy said.

Solution B: do you care for the sake of the ship and/or the cannon?

Put the alimentation source into overdrive. The quickest way to vent the excess of energy would be to shoot. One could accept that the last security measure is a "discharge" shot to avoid the reactor to go boom. Plus it makes a nice firework show afterwards.

Solution D: Social hacking

(You can find solution C as a comment) You can not force the cannon to shoot? Trick the person operating the cannon into pressing the button. When security call, say it was blaster accident and fly away casually.

On a more serious note, security is most often circumvented not by technical means, but by tricking the human part of the equation (or alien or whatever).

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    $\begingroup$ My solution C involve asking politely your lasergun to discuss with the cannon and talk it into firing a round. After all, they're kind of relatives, only on different scales. But it's more to make use of said laser pistol than to provide a "realistic" answer. $\endgroup$ – Nyakouai Jan 29 at 13:47

You hotwire it.

If the control circuit is actually in the same room as the weapon, you use jumper cables to route the electricity around the control circuit.

If the control circuit is in another room, or the weapon requires careful modulation of a signal (like a rail gun), or a voltage boost (like an old fashioned xenon camera flash), your hero is out of luck.


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