Air to Air Missiles

Vaeltaja

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
3,692
#2
Just noting that homing system based on proportional navigation are probably some of the easiest to create. The reason is rather simple - you don't need to know anything of the target (like range, speed, or distance) apart from the relative angle. All the homing system needs to do is to keep the target's sensor return in a steady (constant) relative angle. When that is achieved the weapon is on a collision course - the basis of the CBDR (Constant Bearing Decreasing Range) principle - and will collide (i.e. hit) unless the target is outrunning it or the weapon runs out of energy otherwise. In the ideal world this is the most efficient way.

There are however many reasons why 'optimized' methods exist. Main thing is that the missiles usually get their energy from rocket engines, these tend to run out of fuel real fast (in manner of seconds) leaving the missile to coast towards the target or relying on a sustainer engine (less powerful but slower burning rocket engine). Which means that in order to preserve energy the missile has to convert kinetic energy into potential energy (by climbing) for it to be able to retain more energy for the final approach. More modern missiles like MBDA Meteor, which do not use rocket engines and hence do not lose energy, however can avoid this but still gain additional range from using such methods.
 
Jul 2018
302
London
#3
Just noting that homing system based on proportional navigation are probably some of the easiest to create. The reason is rather simple - you don't need to know anything of the target (like range, speed, or distance) apart from the relative angle. All the homing system needs to do is to keep the target's sensor return in a steady (constant) relative angle. When that is achieved the weapon is on a collision course - the basis of the CBDR (Constant Bearing Decreasing Range) principle - and will collide (i.e. hit) unless the target is outrunning it or the weapon runs out of energy otherwise. In the ideal world this is the most efficient way.

There are however many reasons why 'optimized' methods exist. Main thing is that the missiles usually get their energy from rocket engines, these tend to run out of fuel real fast (in manner of seconds) leaving the missile to coast towards the target or relying on a sustainer engine (less powerful but slower burning rocket engine). Which means that in order to preserve energy the missile has to convert kinetic energy into potential energy (by climbing) for it to be able to retain more energy for the final approach. More modern missiles like MBDA Meteor, which do not use rocket engines and hence do not lose energy, however can avoid this but still gain additional range from using such methods.
Perfect summary! Thank you! I am still deciding if I can make some specific episodes on the guidance laws, adding some mathematics... what do you think?
 

Vaeltaja

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
3,692
#4
It is very difficult to say - after all it is quite easy to end up making such information too complicated for a layman to readily understand. Of course you can go with that option and then explain it all in detail but I'm not sure if there is much audience for it.
 
Oct 2013
14,533
Europix
#5
Perfect summary! Thank you! I am still deciding if I can make some specific episodes on the guidance laws, adding some mathematics... what do you think?
You could do it, and I think that You could have audience for it.

Mathematics, physics are interesting, and people are very easily interested in it ... as long as it's not mathematics or physics!

The trick is how You present it.

Make it descriptive, use images, go for the imagination of Your audience. Make it sound simple. Most people are interested in how things work, it's just that we're lazy, so when we hear about formulae, science, we run away.

When it's a colourful, entertaining story, it's amazing how much science we can actually ingurgitate ;)

IDK if helps.

Anyway, keep up the good work!
 

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