A situation has arisen.

A super-wizard class hacker has been located and targeted with a Tomahawk missile. Unfortunately our hacker doesn't have time to locate the origin of the missile and neutralise it and there is no local anti-missile defense system he can hijack.

However - a nearby solar power array on the roof he's on (take it as read that roofs are where main characters hang out in this continuity) gives him an idea. He hijacks every heliostat within (a required distance) and instructs them to target the missile which politely explodes at a safe distance and infuriates the antagonist.

Question: Is this feasible or are there more efficient ways to quickly use a city's resources to destroy an incoming missile?

Notes: Please assume that the type of heliostats is the non-concentrating type - they're flat mirrors and that the heliostats receive the average amount of sunlight per square meter on Earth.


2 Answers 2


I'd go with no.

Heliostats would only need a restricted range of very slow movement. A quick google shows they tend to be custom built for the situation and only have as much movement as they require for that particular installation.

I'll look up the heat resistance of missiles later. Modern high explosives tend to be very stable.

  • $\begingroup$ Supersonic missiles are very heat resistant, as their speed can create a certain amount of friction on the skin of the weapon. Also, present day 10KW lasers can, with difficulty and the help of some outstanding targeting systems, stop small rockets. I find it unlikely that any number of heliostats could damage a missile in any real capacity. $\endgroup$
    – Lord Dust
    Aug 31, 2016 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ @LordDust, a solar furnace can hit 3500C, steel melts around 1370C, it's not a subtle thing like a laser, you could burn the ships in the harbour, but hitting a missile is a speed and targeting game. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Sep 1, 2016 at 11:25
  • $\begingroup$ PS10 runs at 11MW, a little over the power of a 10KW laser. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Sep 1, 2016 at 11:27

To stop it your options are:

  1. Confuse it.
  2. Physically block it.
  3. Zap it.

As user16295 said zapping it would most likely not be effective.

You could try hacking the wireless signals and transmitters in town and use them to interfere with GPS and/or control signals to the missile. Basically make it de-activate or hit the wrong target.

You could try using remote drones and anything else similar you have to hand to go up and physically get in the missile's way.

If you know the missile is coming with enough time to do any of the above you could just run to a different building and hide there.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hacking the GPS satellite that the missle is using should also work. $\endgroup$
    – Jonathan
    Dec 31, 2015 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ Tomahawks use on board map and inertial guidance systems with GPS as a backup so they can be retargeted on the fly. Superhacker better get on the fastest means of transport out of there. Luckily Tomahawks are subsonic. $\endgroup$
    – Thucydides
    Jan 1, 2016 at 5:59

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