Rocket Balls - Pentagon's Kinetic Fireball Incendiaries
Rocket Balls are the latest Pentagon secret weapon to be splashed over the Internet. The idea is that you take a hollow sphere with a hole in it, made of rubberized rocket fuel. When lit, the rocket balls get very hot inside, and eject a high temperature exhaust through the hole. Then, they propel themselves every which way, bouncing off hardened walls and breaking through doors into whatever they can get into.
The key element is that they are not intended as explosives; it's the "rocket exhaust" that matters. The burning gas that propels the rocket balls will quickly heat the interior of a building or a bunker to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, destroying the contents.
The inventor, Kevin Mahaffy, worked as an engineer at Air Force Research Laboratory's Rocket Propulsion Division, and then spent three years as the Chief of the Motor Branch overseeing solid and hybrid rocket propulsion.
(Gas molecules in a chamber like rocket balls)
The random nature of the motion makes rocket balls ideal for destroying the interior of a structure. This might be your preference when taking out a chemical or biological warfare facility. Rather than blowing it up, and spreading deadly agents over the countryside, the building interior could be destroyed.
A similar idea - called a cracker - was used in Philip E. High's 1968 novel The Time Mercenaries:
The "bumblebees" are alien soldiers chasing the troops. The men retreated down the tunnel in good order, strewing pill-mines and the new human-Revain "crackers" as they went. Before they had gone a hundred yards, there was a livid flash and a brittle explosion. He caught a glimpse of three bumblebees being flung backward in gruesome pieces; behind them, however, the tunnel was packed with the things. A cracker started up, bouncing from roof to floor with each detonation and leaving wide gaps in the black, tightly packed ranks.
From Secret Rocket Balls Target WMD Bunkers; thanks to Winchell Chung for the tip and the sf reference for this article.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/14/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 5 )
Related News Stories -
What's Another Word For The Army's Handheld Ray Guns?
'I was holding my Blaster pointing ahead of me...'- Nictin, Dyalhis, 1925.
SoSITE: US Pilots To Command DARPA Drone Army
'With a click of his pinky he brought up a pop-up menu, then selected *Kill Everyone*'- Daniel Suarez, 2009.
XM82 Personal Flamethrower Now In Development
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'- Alfred Bester, 1974.
Squad X Core Technologies For Infantry
'You can flip through your several types of radar displays quicker than you can change channels to avoid a commercial...'- Robert Heinlein, 1959.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Self-Driving Truck Corridor From Manitoba To Mexico?
Maybe this would be safer...
Electronic Tongue Knows Beer Better Than You
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle.'
NASA's Robotic Mining Competition
''Dave,'[Powell] said. 'You're a stable, rock-bottom mining robot...'
Should Humanity Switch To Robotic Pets?
'What about an exact electric duplicate of your cat?'
L'Oreal To 3D Print Human Skin
'...She helped the doctor spray on surrogate skin.'
LG Display Creates OLED Wallpaper
'A television that unrolled like a poster...'
Cool Foldable Mini-Quadcopter
'Eddie pocketed the bee cam...'
NASA's Subvocal Speech System
'She took a subvocal input device from its rack...'
Cicada UAV Dropped In Swarms
'We... dropped roughly a thousand eyes on Beta Hydri IV.'
AI's Now Being Taught Anger
Actually the Prime Radiant was just a display device.
Cicret Interactive Skin Display Prototype
'A strip of readout skin on my wrist...'
Lily Camera Video Sport Selfie Drone
'He set his camera to follow him, and it hovered behind him like a large tame bee.'
Metal Composite Floats Your Boat
'A metal that was apparently as light as cork and stronger than steel...'
Six Terabyte Solid State Drive Just 2.5 Inches
'A man or woman could carry AIs or complete planetary dataspheres...'
Israeli 'Food Replicator' Inspired By Star Trek
What flavor would you like?
Robotic Trash Can Wants Your Garbage
'The can pivoted on broad rubber treads and rolled toward her...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories