Re: emmisive black paint

Message posted by JB737 on October 30, 2007 at 11:53:55 PST:

Good point about not being sure whether this particular paint variant was original or a later version.

There are some good reasons for making incremental improvements and other changes to the technology used, even when it is not needed whatsoever.

1. There is not much wrong with making something better than it has to be, except if it increases the cost a lot or turns out to have some unanticipated problems in this different application.

2. It helps iron the bugs out of using a new technology, which might be useful when it actually becomes needed on a future project. And if the bugs have already been ironed out on another project's funding, so much the better.

3. If the enemy tries duplicating it, for instance by trying to clone technology found in wreckage or captured hardware, it slows down their progress. In this case, they have to figure out whether the crystalline additive is needed, what we were thinking when we went to all the trouble, etc.

4. And hey, the defense contractors did buy lunch, and the product is really great, right?

So the enemy visits a wreck site, then devotes engineering and manufacturing resources to making the additive, performing comparative testing on A vs B vs C vs D (Where A is their own technology, B is their attempt at cloning ours without the additive, C is theirs with the additive, D is ours with the additive), etc. If they assign 10 guys for a year to do all that for nothing, then their own technology in that specialty lags 10 man-years behind where it could have been. The rich get richer, and catch-up ball gets tougher and tougher.

Let's say we have some cool paint technology needed only on a Mars rover. Why not slap it on 75 different pieces of military hardware, creating additional confusion/cost for any country that doesn't have a Mars rover program? Their heads will spin just from figuring out whey we used it on one thing and not on another.

Crazy example, admittedly, but if you have 1000 different already-paid-for technologies that help a little or at least do no harm, then an ememy may throw their hands up in the air and not even try to clone captured hardware, rather than develop all these exotic little parts/technologies and/or play a guessing game as to which ones are actually needed.

And if you can control the actual supply of key ingredients or operations that your enemy becomes dependent upon, you're in a great spot when push comes to shove. GPS is a great example of that. Don't think for a second that we wouldn't mess with adding back SA (or even turning the entire system on/off completely at times of our choosing) if our national security were truly at stake, and an enemy had relied upon our GPS sats to tell them where they are. Long live the laser ring gyro, and woe unto any country without it in every vehicle, who tangles with us.


In Reply to: Re: emmisive black paint posted by habu-e6 on October 26, 2007 at 21:52:59 PST:


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