Rocket Science: THAAD Missile System

Thaad1The capability of a missile system is determined by its “umbrella”.
This means that if an incoming missile enters the umbrella, the protective missile system will shoot down the incoming missile. This is the basic premise of a Missile Defense System, that you will use a defensive missile to shoot down an enemy missile before it hits.
There are basically three different umbrellas defined by the three basic Missile Defense Systems: Patriot, THAAD, and GMD.
The Patriot Missile hits an incoming missile just before it hits you. This is great, because it minimizes the amount of damage done to you, your neighbors, and the surrounding countryside. The explosion occurs overhead, instead of hitting your house. You can watch the explosion overhead, and then see the resulting space junk that falls out of the sky. Your house may have some stuff fall on top of it, or you might find some missile fragments in a field nearby. But the idea is that the damage to you and your family is minimal, and it shows that you are making an effort to protect yourself.
The GMD Groundbased Missile Defense System uses missiles that can go thousands of miles. The GMD Interceptor is designed to hit an incoming Nuclear Ballistic Missile when it is way far out into space. The resulting Nuclear explosion occurs outside of the Atmosphere, rather than on the ground somewhere, where the results would be devastating. The GMD Missiles are located at Vandenberg and Alaska, and are obviously larger because they have to travel great distances. From the time that the GMD Radar acquires and identifies an incoming Missile, we have about 5 minutes to react, so the GMD Missile must be ready at all times, night and day, for 30 years or more. The GMD Missileers are always ready.
So, whereas the Patriot Missile umbrella has a diameter of say 20 miles, the umbrella for the GMD System can be more like 1,000 miles. So we basically have a system to protect us from a distance of a thousand miles, and another system which protects us just before the missile hits. What about the other areas?
That is where THAAD fits in. The THAAD umbrella is much larger than Patriot, and much smaller than GMD.


About tim2v

Systems Engineer who has worked on National Missile Defense at Boeing and Lockheed. Patenting and Licensing, Orange County Inventors Forum. Current emphasis is Product Development and financing. Solidworks, Rapid Prototyping Irvine CA. Designing new products and innovations.
This entry was posted in 2016, Airplanes, cars, energy, gun, history, Inventing, Launch, legal, Linked In, president, Product Development, reliability engineer, Resume, Rockets, safety, solar, Sustainability, touve, trucks, vote, zero waste, zika virus and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s