Of course, there are a lot of different kinds of ITV's (Interstellar Transport Vehicles). Some only fly at 0.05c and some quiet a lot faster. Today, I would like to ask what kind of Protection against Radiation and Debris would be in use if we had to protect an ITV flying at 0.8c. So around 239833 km/s. I don't want to assume any flat out impossible ideas, it is suppose to be somewhat realistic.
A few of my own thoughts: At 0.8c we travel such a long distance in a single second, that any sort of meaningful Point Defense System just doesn't work. A Laser is barely faster than the ITV itself (Which is kind of insane to think about). Not to mention that by the time a Computer sees, locks on and shoots at a Target this said target is probably behind you. So my thought is that we need a passive protection. In other words, why avoid debris when you can fly through them ?
The first idea was to use a Normal Layered Shield. So you don't stop anything coming at you with the first layer, but like 20 maybe do the trick. This has the problem though that your shield wears down. And if it is hit twice at the same spot, well that ain't too good.
So the next idea was some sort of Plasma shield. Which is great, in theory. This Plasma shield would have to be a few Million degrees hot at best, just to be able to Vaporize big chunks of debris. I could easily see such a shield being as hot as the core of the sun or a Fusion reactor, which sort of raises 3 problems.
- Where is all the heat going ?
- Where is all the matter coming from ?
- Where is all the energy coming from ?
To the first, into space ? I would assume you need a stupid long ship to have this sun more or less be far enough away from the main body. And you could not run it at 100% all the time as your ship would just sort of melt.
I thought that maybe you could try to recycle most of the Shield´s Plasma and then fill the rest up with the debris your run over.
Since we need Fusion for such a shield anyways, I would guess Fusion would provide the Energy. Maybe the Shield itself is just some kind of Fusion reactor where the Fusion product is propelled outwards and shaped into a cone that protects the ship.
So yeah, this is how far I got. I would guess a Plasma shield is the only really option you have at this speed but I could very well be wrong.
Anyways, thank you for reading !