Memoir: Hammerfall Results


FM: CPT Mark Makinen
TO: LTJG Marko Scaurus
SB: Hammerfall Test Results
DT: 04 Feb 2042

LTJG Scaurus:

I was able to review the flight logs this morning from our simulated missile test last night - much earlier than expected. The designated flightpath was to take the missile from a launch point from a fleet comms array in Gemenon's high orbit and was required to navigate a series of waypoints before flying into a point on the surface of Gemenon. The waypoints required a series of turns and even provided for a small figure-8 pattern for doubling-back on waypoints. The target location on Gemenon was random and incidental. The results were surprising. Or, perhaps they were not. The missile launched successfully and burned to its maximum velocity in the estimated time. But the Hammerfall missile successfully navigated only four of the twenty-five waypoints en route to Gemenon, including the tidally locked location on the relative surface. While this may appear to be a massive failure and prove theories about Crewman Coll, it proves nothing.

Coll's second missile log indicates that this missile system has a maximum velocity of eleven-thousand meters per second. I thought this sounded slow for the burn time of four minutes given the enthalpy of Tylium. My intuition was correct. Her math was not - which is puzzling for such an elementary error given the rest of her work. The final missile velocity was approximately 200,000 m/s which equates to roughly 447,000 mph or .066% the speed of light (C). A flight distance covering roughly 296,000 miles, which should have taken twelve hours, took, from time of ignition to impact, 14.6 minutes. At this velocity it should have taken 42.4 minutes but the elimination of waypoints cut the distance by nearly two-thirds.

The missile's guidance system recognized that there was not enough maneuvering fuel in the tanks to complete the course. As far as I can tell there is no warning to the guidance system about the absolute physical inability for the missile to hold together at those G-loadings. It would simply not be possible at those velocities given the missile's mass. The missile hit the first waypoint and flew towards the second. During guidance checks before the second turn, the missile recognized the inability to perform the required task and flew on to the target location without an attempt to strike the other waypoints except by accident. After review, it is my conclusion that the attempt to hit the target and not try to hit the waypoints is a result of a page fault in the programming. At this time I do not believe that Crewman Coll is responsible for the intelligence of the system to discard waypoints that cannot be reached.

The test has been restarted and adjusted to fit a potential flight profile for the missile. It was launched from Tauron's Wreath-of-Roses and has a target location of Caprica City's town hall. This flight path will follow a simple arc and avoid complex turns. The warhead is still simulated to be disarmed for this baseline performance evaluation.

Captain Mark Makinen
Chief Engineer, BS-132

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