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[P]
Build your own cruise missile

By StormShadow in Technology
Mon May 05, 2003 at 12:39:21 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

Apparently this fellow is proposing to demonstrate that it would be a relatively simple thing to build your own primitive (yet functional and deadly) cruise missile using off-the-shelf parts and for about $5,000.


The fellow proposing to carry out this attempt previously built a pulse jet engine for about $80,000. His proposed cruise missile will be built around this pulse jet and it will be designed to have a velocity of approximately 500 Km/h, a range of approximately 160 Km and carry a 10 Kg explosive warhead. Therefore, he is not suggesting you can build a sophisticated, long range, and high explosive yield cruise missile with sub-meter accuracy but a more primitive version that would still be a very useful terror weapon.

One thing I noted while looking through his site is that he is not counting the cost of the engine when he states one can build a functioning cruise missile for $5,000. Since he already had done the necessary R&D to create the engine, it is fair not to count that as part of the cost. However, even if you include that cost, you only raise the price to $90,000. This is still well within the reach of terrorist organizations and even resourceful individuals. And, personally, I believe he is correct that it could be done for approximately the price he suggests.

More ominously, the items necessary to build this cruise missile are relatively common and would arouse no suspicion even if purchased all together. Once you have the engine, all you need are suitable GPS receivers, an inertial back-up guidance system (could be as simple as a gyroscope), some microcontrollers to tie the system together and, of course, the software to run the entire system. He is proposing a few more capabilities such as real-time video but one can ignore this as it is not crucial for the performance of the system. Furthermore, although not discussed in his page, it might be possible to build a guidance system that would function by using the cell phone towers common in developed nations to triangulate its position and augment its inertial guidance system (useful in a situation where the GPS system might be selectively denied by the military).

This article is not interesting to me solely based on technical merit (although that is a major part of it for me) but also because of the ethical (if there is such a thing) dilemma presented by the wide-spread publication of a DIY CRUISE MISSILE-HOWTO that will undoubtably be interesting to certain unsavory characters. I do not know what the laws are in New Zealand, but in the United States he could publish detailed schematics, software and pretty much anything else he wants about the project without much fear of prosecution due to 1st Amendment protections. This does not mean the government or even most US citizens would be happy, but it does mean there is little they could legally do about it.

My personal stance on this question is simple: An individual should have the inalienable right to say or publish anything he wants short of fraud or slander. This does not mean an individual should have the right to build and own a stack of cruise missiles but that he should be allowed to know and pass on the knowledge of how to build one. Therefore, I am a very strong supporter of very wide 1st Amendment protection and against European-style censorship of information or unpopular opinions (for example, it is my understanding Mein Kampf is illegal in Germany).

Where does this leave the public and the question of public safety? I honestly do not have an answer to that question. But I do offer that criminalizing or trying to restrict knowledge to the general public rarely achieves the protection one desires and often leaves the public at a distinct disadvantage. Any student who attends graduate school in aerospace engineering would have the capabilities to build such a system if he desired and it would not be much of a problem for terrorist organizations to send members to the United States to take the necessary classes. Therefore, public publication of knowldege (such as the possibility that home-made cruise missiles may be possible) serves the public interest by pressuring the government to do something about it (although, perhaps, there may be no remedy). Finally, I would like to mention that this tension between dangerous knowledge and the 1st Amendment is even more acute in the biological sciences where the equipment necessary to build dangerous pathogens continues to become more common, cheaper, and easier to use with little training.

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Poll
DIY Cruise missile?
o Where can I get me one of these! 49%
o This is crazy censor this stuff! 3%
o 1st Amendment should protect this stuff 47%

Votes: 123
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o this fellow
o The fellow
o built a pulse jet engine
o a sophisticated, long range, and high explosive yield cruise missile with sub-meter accuracy
o more primitive
o a gyroscope
o Mein Kampf is illegal in Germany
o more common, cheaper, and easier
o Also by StormShadow


Display: Sort:
Build your own cruise missile | 113 comments (83 topical, 30 editorial, 0 hidden)
sigh (3.85 / 7) (#7)
by adiffer on Sun May 04, 2003 at 04:33:42 AM EST

Whether this particular person does it or not, it isn't as hard as some people think.  Other engines, other techniques for accuracy, and so on are all available off the shelf.  I'm not rooting for anyone to demonstrate this technology any time soon, though, unless they put enough umpf into it to put the payload into space on a suborbital or orbital ride.

Think on this folks and you will understand why some of us are desparate concering ABM's.
--BE The Alien!

So. (none / 0) (#9)
by i on Sun May 04, 2003 at 07:43:18 AM EST

What kind of engine would you use for such a vehicle? I reviewed several commercially available alternatives, and not even one comes close. Whether it's a good thing or not is for you to decide :)

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
inclination (none / 0) (#81)
by adiffer on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:51:38 AM EST

I would be inclined to use a hydrogen peroxide monopropellant engine.  I wouldn't buy the engine commercially, though, as that might put my name and face on some camera somewhere.  The specs for making one with a modest garage machine shop aren't hard to find.

There are solid motors that could be bought today, but I won't name names.  Those folks try hard to sell only to respectable buyers who won't get anyone into trouble with the federal authorities.
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]

Hm. (none / 0) (#86)
by i on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:11:38 AM EST

AFAICT you can't buy hydrogen peroxide in reasonable quantity. Plus, I tried to find the specs, and failed.

The air is full of high-quality oxygen. It's wasteful not to use it and carry your own. Remember, you're building essentially an aircraft, not a ballistic missile.

I would be inclined to use a turbine, like in the real thing. Model aircraft turbines are not cheap, but not prohibitively expensive either (plan to spend a few grand). You can buy them second-hand, or build your own (cheaper).

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]

distillation (none / 0) (#97)
by adiffer on Wed May 07, 2003 at 01:35:09 AM EST

You can cook down peroxide from lower to higher percentages.  It works.  I've seen it done with cheap, simple equipment.  If you can't find engine specs, though, I guess I'm glad about that.  I'm not a big fan of everyone giving this a try since even an experiment to show it would work could get people hurt.
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]
I wonder if we'll try and redact history (3.90 / 11) (#22)
by Ripe Peach on Sun May 04, 2003 at 07:10:06 PM EST

Considering that comparable weapons were being used in 1942 , I think the cat is well out of the bag on this one.

PLEASE no more comments about the V1 (2.57 / 7) (#23)
by StormShadow on Sun May 04, 2003 at 08:13:43 PM EST

Christ Almighty! There is a big difference between the V1 and a cruise missile -- the V1 is an unguided missile while a cruise missile guides itself to a pre-determined target. In the case of the V1, it was not a very effective military weapon because it was impossible to guarantee it would actually even land near its target. Comparing a V1 to a cruise missile is like saying the Union ironclads of the Civil War are the same thing as a modern battleship because both are made of metal and have turret guns!

What this article discusses is that it may be possible for an individual to build a simple, cheap and reasonably accurate cruise missile from material you could purchase at your local Home Depot. The idea being that instead of hijacking a small plane and guiding it into something a terrorist could easily build a cruise missile and be pretty sure it will hit whatever he wants. If this fellow succeeds, than it will show that cruise missiles are no longer a government monopoly.

Is anyone here an engineer or scientist? I am starting to wonder if anyone appreciates the difference between the V1 and a cruise missile. Or if anyone here understands the amount of research that had to be done over decades to arrive at a decent cruise missile.


-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
Another comment about the V1 (4.90 / 11) (#34)
by ktakki on Sun May 04, 2003 at 10:43:01 PM EST

By today's standards, the V1 might seem crude, an "unguided" sub-sonic air-breathing missile that had to be pointed in the general direction of its target. But it's a misconception to state that the V1 was unguided. It had control surfaces that were actuated by a gyrocompass and analog computer; these kept the aircraft level and maintained its course and altitude on the way to the target. Mounted on the nosecone was an anemometer, a free-spinning propeller that would cut off the fuel supply after a pre-programmed number of revolutions. This would cause the V1 to fall to earth and go boom.

No, it wasn't a terrain-following or GPS guidance system, but the V1 wasn't expected to have the same CEP as a Tomahawk. The V1's target was the size of a large city -- London to be precise -- and the Tomahawk's accuracy (a CEP of a few meters) was neither necessary nor possible at that time. But it was guided, albeit roughly. It held a course and its time of arrival and that's all it needed to reach its objective. And go boom.

It's a difference in degree, not kind, unlike the difference between a monitor (blockade and coastal defense) and a battleship (force projection and sea control). V1s and Tomahawks share the same mission profile: unmanned non-ballistic missiles intended to destroy fixed targets on land. Comparing a V1 with a modern cruise missile is a valid comparison, considering how this home-built buzz bomb would tend to resemble the Doodlebug.


k.
--
"In spite of everything, I still believe that people
are really good at heart." - Anne Frank

[ Parent ]

If you wanted to forestall comparisons (4.00 / 4) (#52)
by Ripe Peach on Mon May 05, 2003 at 11:44:40 AM EST

You should have done that in your article, rather than 1 rating an informative and relevant comment.  That's very... I won't say childish, but it's silly.

You do realise that this is a discussion site, and not just a publication medium, right?

[ Parent ]

Cruise missile minus V1 = not much (none / 0) (#67)
by smithmc on Mon May 05, 2003 at 05:50:57 PM EST

Is anyone here an engineer or scientist? I am starting to wonder if anyone appreciates the difference between the V1 and a cruise missile.

The difference is a guidance package. This would be some nose fins actuated by a microcontroller with GPS input. IIRC Lockheed sells packages that turn dumb bombs into smart bombs for something like $20K.

[ Parent ]

Are You Aware (none / 0) (#92)
by Lagged2Death on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:14:45 PM EST

That Bruce Simpson himself says says:
...the German V1 "flying bomb", perhaps the first practical implementation of the cruise missile concept...
So some people, at least, don't think it's that different.

Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!
[ Parent ]
Missing a few key parts... (4.20 / 5) (#24)
by dipierro on Sun May 04, 2003 at 09:06:15 PM EST

Like, umm, some explosives. Not to mention a pickup truck and a garage.

Sure, it's a cruise missle, but hardly a "functional and deadly" one. You could just as easily (and cheaply) throw hand grenades from a hang glider.

The explosives are the parts that are expensive.



explosives aren't expensive (5.00 / 3) (#29)
by Polverone on Sun May 04, 2003 at 09:48:55 PM EST

I can guarantee you that the raw cost of the high explosive in the warhead is but a tiny fraction of the total expense of a cruise missile. Even for this much cheaper do-it-yourself missile, explosives will still be but a fraction of the cost for its hypothetical manufacturer. 10 kg of a moderately powerful and easy to synthesize explosive, like urea nitrate (the main charge used in the 1993 WTC bombing) can be made in an afternoon with less than $50 worth of materials from over the counter sources.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
Explosives are heavy (3.00 / 1) (#32)
by wumpus on Sun May 04, 2003 at 10:23:20 PM EST

Relative to the cruise missle. You could argue that chemical or biological weapons are much lighter, but that defeats the point of the <10m accuracy requirememt.<P> This whole thing is a solution in search of a problem, I suspect this will have a similar effect as the fake "build an atom bomb" found in an Al Queda bunker. Who knows, there may be a teenage chem-geek who will be alive because of a pointless attempt to build a pulse-jet instead of a pipebomb.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]

agreed (3.00 / 1) (#33)
by Polverone on Sun May 04, 2003 at 10:41:49 PM EST

Re: the "solution in search of a problem." I have a hard time envisioning what sort of stationary target can be effectively threatened with a 10 kg warhead, yet can't be reached by a truck/guy with a backpack. Now if this guy had also come up with some sort of infrared-tracking guidance system, then I might worry...
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
Not 10 metre (2.00 / 1) (#38)
by ShadowNode on Mon May 05, 2003 at 02:28:23 AM EST

The DIY one is said to have an accuracy withing 100 metres, which sounds perfect for a dirty bomb.

This article sounds like a justification for the missle defence system the Usians keep wanting to build. Though, presumably, something like this would be launched from within a country.



[ Parent ]
Missile defence (4.00 / 1) (#39)
by BeeDee on Mon May 05, 2003 at 02:48:40 AM EST

The missile defence system being proposed is intended for shooting down ballistic missiles, which would be travelling at extreme altitudes and velocities. It would be useless against something like this. Instead, you'd probably just do what the British did to stop V-1s; shoot them down with ordinary antiaircraft defences.

[ Parent ]
What was the patriot system for then? (1.00 / 1) (#44)
by ShadowNode on Mon May 05, 2003 at 07:38:22 AM EST

Not that it worked, but why try to develop a scud intercept system if you can just shoot them down with AA guns?

[ Parent ]
Scuds _are_ ballistic (5.00 / 2) (#57)
by michaelp on Mon May 05, 2003 at 12:12:09 PM EST

"ballistic" describes the flight pattern: way up and then way down, not the size nor range of the missle.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
Scuds vs. V1s (none / 0) (#107)
by Kadin2048 on Mon May 26, 2003 at 07:53:17 PM EST

Scuds, although primitive when compared to Minuteman IIIs or any of the other big ICBMs, are quite a step up from a V1. A Scud is a variety of missle called a SRBM, or Short Range Ballistic Missile. A direct descendent of the German V2, it follows (you guessed it) a ballistic path--goes way up, to apogee, and then back down. You can't shoot down a Scud with an AA gun, at least not of the WWII variety, you need another missile. Read this article for info on how the Patriot system worked in the most recent conflict.

The V1 flew more like an aircraft, at a pretty much fixed altitude, making it possible to shoot down on approach. It only became 'ballistic' in the very final stage of its flight, when the fuel to the pulsejet cut out and it would nose down and fall to the target.

Really what this guy is doing is building a homemade, miniature V1, with an improved guidence system. It's impressive and a bit scary as a terror weapon, especially when you consider the possibility of a dirty bomb, but militarily it's 50-odd years out of date. In fact, it was obsolete in 1944, when the V2 was introduced.

[ Parent ]

Freedom back guarantee (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by dipierro on Sun May 04, 2003 at 11:28:55 PM EST

I can guarantee you that the raw cost of the high explosive in the warhead is but a tiny fraction of the total expense of a cruise missile.

You can guarantee it? Will I get my money back if you're wrong?

10 kg of a moderately powerful and easy to synthesize explosive, like urea nitrate (the main charge used in the 1993 WTC bombing) can be made in an afternoon with less than $50 worth of materials from over the counter sources.

What kind of damage is a little urea nitrate in a do-it-yourself missle going to do? Will 10 kg even fit in one of these missles? Will it even explode upon impact? And why can't you just drop it out of a hang glider?

I'm sorry, but the threat from this type of weapon seems miniscule compared to thousands of cheaper more effective methods.



[ Parent ]
Yes, I can guarantee it (none / 0) (#36)
by Polverone on Sun May 04, 2003 at 11:59:59 PM EST

And if you can show me to be wrong, I will refund every cent that you have paid me. No, urea nitrate will not explode on impact (unless it's one hell of an impact). Most explosives won't. They need a primary explosive, in turn triggered by a mechanical or electrical system, to detonate the larger, less sensitive secondary charge. This doesn't change my cost estimate, though.

I made no claims about the effectiveness or threat of this weapon. I just wanted to point out that the mechanical and electronic systems are a lot more expensive than the warhead, if the warhead is conventional high explosive.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

It would be very bad... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by StormShadow on Mon May 05, 2003 at 12:09:51 AM EST

...if explosives exploded very easily. They'd be as dangerous to the user as the target. In any case, you are write about needed a mechanical or electric charge. Some will not even explode if you simply light them with a match -- instead they burn slowly. For example, TNT and RDX poured on a table and lit with a match will slowly burn but won't explode.


-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
OK, I'll buy it... (none / 0) (#49)
by dipierro on Mon May 05, 2003 at 10:35:48 AM EST

I just wanted to point out that the mechanical and electronic systems are a lot more expensive than the warhead, if the warhead is conventional high explosive.

Urea nitrate isn't exactly conventional, is it?

I don't know, maybe it could be done. But it still seems to me like a big waste of money, even for a terrorist.



[ Parent ]
Good explosives (5.00 / 2) (#42)
by Quila on Mon May 05, 2003 at 06:48:11 AM EST

The problem is getting good, light explosives. Nitrate-based explosives make a bang, but they also weight a lot.  For example, you'd probably want to use tritonal, which is in many of our bombs and is 80% TNT and 20% aluminum.

The problem is that making TNT even in small quantities is extremely dangerous, and you'd need to make a whole lot of it for a missile. Then making it into tritonal has its own hazards since it's not just a straight dump-it-in mix of TNT powder and aluminum powder, it's a silver-colored solid that you have to manufacture.

And after 9/11 I'm sure it's quite hard for someone to get any.

[ Parent ]

Good explosives (none / 0) (#58)
by ucblockhead on Mon May 05, 2003 at 12:19:52 PM EST

It all depends on your motives, now doesn't it? A hand grenade uses a better class of explosives than a Molotov Cocktail. That doesn't mean that the latter is pointless.

A kook could presumably do damage just by filling the thing up with the appropriate fuel oil and fertilizer mix.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Naughty explosives (5.00 / 2) (#63)
by Polverone on Mon May 05, 2003 at 02:54:15 PM EST

The main problem with this hypothetical missile is a combination of limited accuracy and limited payload. Sure, a 10 kg warhead could be used to take out an airliner, but this thing can't hit an airliner. And while this thing could hit (say) the Pentagon, it wouldn't be able to do a significant amount of damage without some sort of unconventional (radiological/biological/chemical) warhead.

Tritonal is actually well within the means of a basement chemist to make, though it probably wouldn't be his first choice, simply because toluene is more of a pain to nitrate than other easily accessible materials.

Blasting gelatin (nitroglycerin made into a jelly with dissolved nitrocellulose) with added aluminum powder would probably be my first choice. The needed materials are easy to obtain and the explosive itself offers excellent performance (not excellent shelf life, but who cares if you're going to use it immediately anyhow?)

Second choice would probably urea nitrate, and ammonium nitrate mixtures come in last. Ammonium nitrate is cheap and readily available, but if my delivery system has only a small warhead capacity I'd want to make the most of it, and ammonium nitrate doesn't fit the bill.

There are other possibilities too, but I'm trying to limit my consideration to moderately safe explosives that can be synthesized in quantity (a few kilograms) without too much work, unusual chemicals, or special apparatus.

In any case, even if Mr. Hypothetical Terrorist were able to use 10 kg of the finest military explosive in his warhead, that still doesn't give him that much destructive capacity. He certainly can't destroy a whole building and its occupants, or otherwise cause extreme destruction and death (unless he gets really lucky).
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

True... BUT! (none / 0) (#76)
by gnovos on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:50:53 AM EST

Sure, a 10 kg warhead could be used to take out an airliner, but this thing can't hit an airliner. And while this thing could hit (say) the Pentagon, it wouldn't be able to do a significant amount of damage without some sort of unconventional (radiological/biological/chemical) warhead.

This is true, but at $5,000 a pop, you can sure make an awful lot of them...  For the cost of one real cruise missle, you could have 200 of these little guys.  Set them all on thier buzzing little way and you could turn a small town into a firestorm pretty quickly.


A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

Build a couple (none / 0) (#84)
by Quila on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:23:23 AM EST

Keep them in your garage or barn, don't get caught.

Build 200, and someone's going to notice.

These days, anyone buying enough nitrates to make 2000 kg worth of explosive is also going to get noticed. Other purchases like "Uh, I'd like 200 gyroscopes capable of functioning in an inertial guidance system" might also raise some questions.

[ Parent ]

It's nice to see (none / 0) (#82)
by Quila on Tue May 06, 2003 at 05:07:48 AM EST

That others here have played with explosives. Fun, isn't it? I started with reading books, then making gunpowder, thermite and nitrocellulose. Then I joined the Army and got to play with the really good stuff: C4, TNT, detcord, shaped charges, etc.

How did you guys learn?

[ Parent ]

As the 31st vote in the poll (1.60 / 10) (#27)
by watercrazy on Sun May 04, 2003 at 09:40:38 PM EST

I was the only one to suggest that we censor this stuff. down with evil!

"Greatness recognizes greatness, and is shadowed by it." --Harold Bloom
I was surprised that had zero votes [nt] (none / 0) (#28)
by StormShadow on Sun May 04, 2003 at 09:41:58 PM EST



-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
Open Source Avionics (3.33 / 6) (#40)
by nomoreh1b on Mon May 05, 2003 at 03:08:19 AM EST

I guess the next step now is producing an Open Source Avionics system so the $5K cruise missile will still be effective even if stuff like GPS is shut off.

Still, there is a lot you can do with a $30K suicide bomber that can't be done with a $5K cruise missile. The main thing that I would expect these cruise missiles to be useful for is groups that have a fair degree of technical capability compared to their ability to produce martyrs. That means they'd be more useful to folks like Tim McVeigh or the Unabomber than the Islamic terrorists.



The next step? (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by NFW on Mon May 05, 2003 at 08:08:57 PM EST

Actually, that was the previous step.

I have a hunch that the cruise missile guy could safe himself a couple grand by approaching this project from the perspective of a radio controlled airplane hobbyist rather than that of a pulse jet hobbyist.


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

That is a cool site-thanks for sharing it (none / 0) (#78)
by nomoreh1b on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:55:57 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Glad to be of service. [nt] (none / 0) (#79)
by NFW on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:29:14 AM EST




--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

"European Style" (4.45 / 11) (#41)
by fhotg on Mon May 05, 2003 at 05:00:32 AM EST

censorship is often overinterpreted. For example, "Mein Kampf" is not illegal per se in Germany. You can legally buy, sell and own copies. You are not allowed to display them for sale and advertise them, particularly in a propagandistic context. But in an antiquaric context you can get away with it.

The problem amazon ran into was that they were selling pirated material. The copyright of this book is owned by the state of Bavaria which tries to inhibit new editions by just not granting the rights.

Thank you for explaining this [nt] (5.00 / 1) (#43)
by StormShadow on Mon May 05, 2003 at 07:14:49 AM EST



-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
Ohh, I see. (2.60 / 5) (#59)
by A Spineless Liberal Commie on Mon May 05, 2003 at 12:21:47 PM EST

Just put "European style" in front of a negative law, and it immediately becomes a more enlightened law worthy of the entire world to adopt.

Dumbass.

[ Parent ]

mee too (5.00 / 3) (#64)
by fhotg on Mon May 05, 2003 at 03:19:58 PM EST

Just read value judgements into an obviously totally neutral statement of facts to show to the world that you are a patriotic teenager who really should visit a brothel very soon now but can't afford it.

[ Parent ]
also note that the laws differ inside Europe a lot (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by boxed on Tue May 06, 2003 at 04:06:27 AM EST

Freedom of speech, press etc is, for example, much stronger in Sweden than in Germany. But Germany in turn has much stronger protection for comedians/satirists.

[ Parent ]
Germany has strong protection for comedians? (none / 0) (#83)
by Gully Foyle on Tue May 06, 2003 at 06:50:18 AM EST

Herr Ober! Ich habe einen fliege in meinen suppe!

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Why does Bavaria own the copyright? (none / 0) (#95)
by LilDebbie on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:50:29 PM EST

If Hitler originally had them own the copyright or the original copyright owner sold it to them, this is all well and good, but if this is not the case, then it's just a convaluted form of censorship.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Ask the allies (none / 0) (#98)
by fhotg on Wed May 07, 2003 at 04:26:24 AM EST

Well, it is common practice to totally dispossess evil dictators and their regime once they are beaten by the good democratic forces. AFAIK, Bavaria got the rights to "Mein Kampf" from or in accordance with the allied powers.

The stated goal of the state of Bavaria, and all other authorities is indeed to inhibit the disemmination of NS - propaganda, to censor if you will.

That they have to use the copyright to do so, only shows that the legal prerequisites for censorship aren't as available as some like to portray it. According to the German contitution, there is no censorship. In reality, the man wants to control what you read and there is an ongoing struggle where citizens constantly have to fight for their constitutional right to freedom of speech to keep the powers in check. Just like in the US, I suppose.

[ Parent ]

It is illegal... (none / 0) (#101)
by kiff on Wed May 07, 2003 at 03:44:48 PM EST

It is illegal! And it is illegal because it contains national-socialist propaganda against jews etc. Germany doesn´t censor anything, only things that infrgings against the constitution, like things with "Hakenkreuze" on it. But a lot of old people still have it somewhere (It was f.e. a standard gift when people married that time)on the roof or somewhere in old boxes down ín the cellar.

[ Parent ]
It's not (none / 0) (#103)
by fhotg on Thu May 08, 2003 at 03:27:25 AM EST

There was a BGH ruling that said book doesn't constitute propaganda to abolish the constitution (which is one reason to censor in G.), because it was written before said constitution existed. Straight logic, eh ?

[ Parent ]
US law enforcement (4.00 / 4) (#46)
by SamBC on Mon May 05, 2003 at 08:16:11 AM EST

This does not mean the government or even most US citizens would be happy, but it does mean there is little they could legally do about it.

Of course, this always stopped them in the past, and they never equivocated to eliminate all human rights to people they suspected of aiding terrorists in some way - and I'm sure they could see this as aiding terrorism.



Hmm... (3.50 / 6) (#51)
by Run4YourLives on Mon May 05, 2003 at 11:28:55 AM EST

Ok, so it's easy to build a cruise missle. Big deal. I mean really, aside from science for science itself, who the hell needs a cruise missle?

I don't buy into the whole, "Shit, terrorists might buy a cheap missle" crap.

Besides, there are much more effective means of delivering an attack of their purposes without resorting to building weapons at all. See 9/11 for more details.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown

Uh, pal.. (4.16 / 6) (#56)
by A Spineless Liberal Commie on Mon May 05, 2003 at 12:10:50 PM EST

A cruise missile would be a much better way of destroying a structure. First, you don't have to smuggle people past security to get them onto a plane. You don't need to send those people to flight school to teach them how to fly a plane.

With a cruise missile, you can destroy something from over a hundred miles away, and quite possibly keep your identity anonymous to anyone trying to find you.

Understand now, or do you need further clarification? Please let me know if you do.

[ Parent ]

Ummm I need some explaining (4.00 / 1) (#104)
by JonesBoy on Thu May 08, 2003 at 08:03:14 AM EST

>A cruise missile would be a much better way of destroying a structure

I doubt this.   It takes a pretty big boom to level a building.   Take a look at the pictures of the current gulf war.   Several 500lb bombs hit a building, and although tattered, it is still structurally sound.   Even a 50lb warhead on a small, homemade missile will probably do little damage, and induce little injury.   Other examples are the domestic terrorism cases (here in the US).   The oaklahoma city bomb was huge, and it didn't level the structure.   The first WTC bomb did very little damage the the building as a whole.

> First, you don't have to smuggle people past security to get them onto a plane.

If you are reffering to the WTC attack, well, the people were not smuggled aboard.   They used their real ID, and real, purchased tickets.

>You don't need to send those people to flight school to teach them how to fly a plane.

No, but you will need a lot of training, simulations, and models to make sure your vehicle a) will fly  b) is stable c) steering inputs are properly damped.

Aside from an academic/hobby point of view, this project is useless.   Even from a hobby standpoint, it will be a pain to get FAA approval to launch it.

Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.
[ Parent ]

Jef Raskin points out how you could do it even (4.20 / 5) (#53)
by michaelp on Mon May 05, 2003 at 11:55:04 AM EST

more cheaply and perhaps more effectively:

Even jet-powered cruise missiles are less of a threat than the overgrown model planes terrorists might use. Cruise missiles have large infrared and radar signatures and a limited range. To get close enough to the USA to launch a cruise missile, an enemy would have to use Cuba, Mexico, Canada, or a large and visible ship or a vastly expensive submarine. By contrast, Laima-sized missiles are so small and fly so slowly (the Laima droned along at 75 mph) that a modern jet interceptor would find it hard to see them. Interceptors fly too fast and go by a tiny target too quickly to see them - even in the daytime.



"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

Source of attack (none / 0) (#69)
by Eater on Mon May 05, 2003 at 07:02:46 PM EST

A cruise missile can be launched from right here in the US of A, assembled and built from materials right here. And besides, I doubt that thing is much easier to smuggle in than a cruise missile.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
Range of the Laima: 2000+ miles. (none / 0) (#73)
by michaelp on Mon May 05, 2003 at 09:43:46 PM EST

Notice that Raskin was discussing the potential he realized as he witnessed the first unmanned translantic flight.

Low power/low speed autopiloted craft can be launched from very far away from the target, that (along with the low radar sig. & low cost) is what makes them so dangerous.



"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
Wow, this made section? (1.42 / 7) (#60)
by Ripe Peach on Mon May 05, 2003 at 12:58:14 PM EST

I'd heard that the standard of technicle articles here was going downhill, but even so, this seems to be scraping the bottom of the barrel.

How interesting (none / 0) (#68)
by Ripe Peach on Mon May 05, 2003 at 06:27:23 PM EST

At the time of writing, none of the people who voted 1 to this comment have felt inspired enough to actually discuss this article.

I think my point is made.

[ Parent ]

You should have posted it as an editorial comment- (none / 0) (#96)
by bsimon on Tue May 06, 2003 at 11:44:25 PM EST

- because you didn't say what was wrong with the original story, for example: factual errors, implausible conclusions, grammatical/spelling errors...

And you spelt 'technical' wrong in your subject line.

I'd normally give it a one as well, but you've probably got enough.

you have read my sig
[ Parent ]

So what? (4.57 / 7) (#61)
by trhurler on Mon May 05, 2003 at 01:50:42 PM EST

For $5000, I could build a remote control kit for a real airplane too, as long as it doesn't have to land, and then I could just sneak into a rural airport one night, hook it up, load the thing FULL of a lot more than 10kg of payload, and off it goes by remote control. This isn't even interesting. The notion that you can provide real safety in the face of an enemy who doesn't care for his own safety and wants you dead is stupidity. Life is fragile, and any system has cracks that can be exploited. Learn to cope with risk, because it is there anyway.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

all you need is love (1.00 / 1) (#88)
by simul on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:13:20 PM EST

dum dee dada daaa....

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]
Concept (4.00 / 6) (#62)
by Maurkov on Mon May 05, 2003 at 02:10:37 PM EST

This is not a terrorist weapon. As others have noted there are less expensive, less fallible methods of delivering a 10Kg payload.

What is interesting and inevitable is that the progress of technology is going to deliver more and more efficient weapons to terrorists. How do you deal with that without banishing either privacy or freedom?

Protecting weapons 'secrets' is not a fix. At best it will work temporarily, and it has consequences. In order to be recognized as dangerous, the science will have already been done. The genie cliche is accurate: You can't put it back in the bottle. Attempting to contain knowledge hobbles the good guys who are working on positive applications of technology. You get the negative applications regardless.

Maurkov

Shut up al qaeda, the site will be down in a week (none / 0) (#87)
by yosef on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:56:47 AM EST

And laughing boy will be at camp xray, as will you.

[ Parent ]
true, there should be open-source weapons... (none / 0) (#89)
by simul on Tue May 06, 2003 at 02:16:27 PM EST

that way defenses could be easier to implement.... kindof like building virus defenses on linux (easy) as opposed to windows (hard)...

and what we'll find is that the best defense is trying hard to make sure as many people as possible are well fed, clothed and housed....

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]

commoditiesation (none / 0) (#100)
by MartinS on Wed May 07, 2003 at 01:35:40 PM EST

I always considered this commoditiesation of technology to the hole in drakes equation, and not the threat of confliction super powers which are at least rational enough to understand their own self interests.

[ Parent ]
If You Liked This Article... (2.45 / 11) (#66)
by ricky james on Mon May 05, 2003 at 05:30:31 PM EST

You'll like the considerably more detailed article I wrote on this exact same topic about four months ago over on Sci-Fi Today, another Scoop site that focuses on cutting edge science stories. Not a single person posted a comment on that version (sigh), and we've written over 500 equally good science oriented stories waiting for word of this new Scoop community to get out. PLEASE drop by for a visit frequently - join, comment, contribute, help us grow the SFT site!!! If you like science, SFT could be the community site for you. If one of our stories gives you an idea for a K5 version you want to write up under your own name, that's fine, but we'd sure appreciate at least a mention or tip 'o the hat. If nothing else, sign up to get SFT headlines on your kuro5hin homepage. Thanks, and hope to see you over on SFT!!!

Cool site I am signing up [nt] (none / 0) (#70)
by StormShadow on Mon May 05, 2003 at 07:05:14 PM EST



-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
0; no fucking soliciting (none / 0) (#94)
by LilDebbie on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:41:04 PM EST

We have ads you can buy for that, fucker.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Why Build? (3.00 / 4) (#71)
by Man of 1000 cups on Mon May 05, 2003 at 07:34:52 PM EST

Why would a terrorist build a relatively whimpy cruise missile, when for a slightly better investment they could buy a much more powerful weapon from Russia, North Korea, or from numerous other places on the black market? Hell, maybe they should just drive over to Iraq since it is full of WMD toting Scuds... :-) Or even if they couldn't buy one I'm sure they could kidnap someone who can build a better one than some guy in a garage....

yeah (none / 0) (#91)
by Verdeboy on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:37:20 PM EST

Why would anyone want to spend $90,000 on a missile to deliver a 10kg payload? A radio controlled airplane could do the job.
--Verde

DETECTING WINDOWS USE DOWNlOAD SLACKWARE LINUX
[ Parent ]
Defenses. (none / 0) (#111)
by Haelo on Thu Jun 12, 2003 at 05:04:38 PM EST

Because there is a reasonably effective defense system in place against ballistic missiles. Cruise missiles are very difficult to defend against. They come in underneath the radar, and fly too low for anti-missile missiles to intercept them after visual spotting. That is how that Silkworm missile snuck in to Kuwait at the beginning of the Iraq war.
A.
[ Parent ]
Yes, but... (3.66 / 3) (#74)
by nxor on Mon May 05, 2003 at 11:48:02 PM EST

What's the investment/return ratio?

V1 = First Cruise Missile (3.66 / 3) (#75)
by plonk on Tue May 06, 2003 at 12:09:30 AM EST

Yeah, it was a poor cruise missile. But it was the first one used in combat. You could make it much more effective by replacing the primitive guidance system with a modern, GPS-based system, and increase the warload and/or fuel load by several hundred pounds at the same time.

No worry (5.00 / 1) (#77)
by auraslip on Tue May 06, 2003 at 01:15:18 AM EST

We have a VERY good missle defense system remeber?
124
Peaceful use (4.00 / 1) (#85)
by runlevel0 on Tue May 06, 2003 at 09:59:59 AM EST

I can see a lot of scientific/civl uses for such a bird.
It would make a real great atmosferic research vehicle covering the gap between rockets and airplanes.

I can imagine a C3 or thelike carrying a dozen of these things and launching them near a tornado or inside a hurricane. There, those missiles would be more manouverable as conventional rockets, survive better as propeller powered drones and be far more safe as human driven planes.

IMHO this guy could make a living selling those birds for civil purposes.

the only solution... (4.66 / 3) (#90)
by kaibutsu on Tue May 06, 2003 at 03:22:04 PM EST

As far as I can tell, the only solution is to keep anyone from having $8000.
-kaibutsu
So this begs the question: (4.00 / 1) (#93)
by LilDebbie on Tue May 06, 2003 at 10:38:53 PM EST

How many terrorist are also electrical engineers and computer scientists? My understanding of this project is that one would likely need one of both, or maybe just a computer savvy EE to build one of these suckers (an ME might be helpful too). From my own personal experience, EE majors are bitter and dejected individuals, but they seem too cynical and suspicious to join a terrorist organizations. At worst, I could see someone building one and then *selling* it to a terrorist group, but the various world police organizations are pretty good at preventing trafficking (in illegal weapons, not drugs).

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Aum Shinrykyo (none / 0) (#106)
by baron samedi on Fri May 09, 2003 at 07:46:50 PM EST

Was a cult in Japan, notorious for the Sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway. While they were a cult, they can also be classified as a terrorist organization, considering their activities (assassinations, other chemical attacks).

Aum Shinrykyo had some very impressive scientists recruited from Japan's top universities. Cellular biologists, chemists, electrical engineers were all recruited by them.

It actually makes me feel pretty good. Aum Shinrykyo, with all their bright minds and state-of-the-art equipment still couldn't get a chemical attack right. What can people like Al-Qaida do with facilities that don't even approach what Aum Shinrykyo had?
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

How on earth... (4.50 / 2) (#99)
by gordonjcp on Wed May 07, 2003 at 05:38:23 AM EST

... does it cost $80,000 dollars to make a pulsejet? All a pulsejet consists of is a length of pipe, a fuel injector, and a reed valve at one end. Have a look at this chap's site for more details, including a pulsejet go-kart.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


Same guy... (5.00 / 2) (#102)
by Dee Kaos on Wed May 07, 2003 at 07:12:05 PM EST

I do believe that's the same gent behind the above-mentioned cruise missile project.
Dee Kaos

[ Parent ]
Up next... (5.00 / 1) (#105)
by skyknight on Thu May 08, 2003 at 05:01:22 PM EST

Missile Defense HOWTO

Build your own anti-missile system* in your back yard from parts you can find around your home.

* Some assembly required



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
Hey! I want to help! (5.00 / 1) (#108)
by neraka on Tue May 27, 2003 at 04:46:39 AM EST

So who's going to start a sourceforge project for OpenCruiseMissile: the Open Source Cruise Missile Targetting and Tracking System?
-neraka-
Yeah but he's from new zealand (none / 0) (#109)
by livus on Fri Jun 06, 2003 at 11:35:58 PM EST

I dont buy the "terrorist" angle at all, what New Zealander really worries about terrorism? I bet he's really doing it as a continuation of his "kiwi ingenuity".

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

There is a time and a place for crucifixions (3.00 / 1) (#110)
by thio on Tue Jun 10, 2003 at 03:59:02 AM EST

Say one hundred innocents are killed with the cruise missile design of this 'gentleman'.I believe this gentleman is then properly crucified. Say one thousand innocents are killed via the cruise missile design of this 'gentleman' then I say crucify this 'gentleman and then entomb the gentleman while still alive. On the other hand free speech is extremely important. So publish and then perhaps perish.

Publish & perish? (none / 0) (#112)
by toychicken on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 12:50:00 PM EST

Er, why bother with the whole cruise missile bit? You could just walk to the centre of your target city, drop your 10kg payload, and walk off again... But in all seriousness kids, don't try this at home. It's more likely that you'll be killed, than your intended target. Has no-one read the darwin awards?

- - - - - - -8<- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Just how many is a Brazillian anyway?


[ Parent ]
Unfortunatley... (none / 0) (#113)
by nebbish on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 05:37:58 AM EST

... you'd lose your hands before you'd gone a few feet!

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Build your own cruise missile | 113 comments (83 topical, 30 editorial, 0 hidden)
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