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design by Kyle Platte
The MkIII is the standard Imperial space mine. Typically, three mines are loaded into a booster (see AMDADS) and fired as a normal space-missile. However, they can also be pushed out an airlock and activated.
The mine is a small cylinder holding a 500kt nuclear pumped x-ray laser surrounded by a compact PEMS system. A 0.5G HEPlaR thruster system is added to allow for station-keeping and the possibility of later adjustments to the minefield.
The mines are very durable, capable of lying in wait for years or even decades. There are many documented cases of mines surviving over 75 years, although the majority suffer some kind of system failure after 15-20 years. Standard Imperial strategy is to service a minefield every 10 years to insure effectiveness.
The mine is controlled by a model 13a high-autonomous robotic brain. In addition to its sensor and attack programming, each mine has an intuitive stealth system. After scanning the local area, the mine will attempt to cloak itself among nearby debris, satellites or asteroids. This, in combination with the mine's EMMS package, makes it exceedingly hard to detect.
The mines will fire on any ship in range that does not transmit the proper code. Codes are time-based so the same code will not work twice (preventing it from being copied and reused). The mines can be set to ignore or prioritize targets based on sensor data. A minefield may also be deactivated by radio/maser code and picked up for maintenance or later use.
The mine's systems operate off the battery, which is recharged from the fusion reactor. While not recharging, the reactor lies dormant or at minimal operating power to lower its EM signature. The HEPlaR thruster operates directly from the reactor. The thruster and rector fuel are in the same tank. Excessive thruster use will shorten the active life of the mine. There is enough fuel to provide 5 hours of continuous thrust in addition to powering the reactor for 24 years. Because of the start/stop nature of the reactor, fuel consumption (while active) has been doubled. Mines respond to a deactivation signal by opening access ports that negate their stealth ability. This allows them to be more easily spotted and retrieved, as well as informing the transmitting ship that the minefield is safe to enter. The mines cannot be reprogrammed by remote: they must be manually reconfigured. The exception to this is that they can be maneuvered remotely to different locations.
The mine's frame and systems are stressed to 2-G's to allow for the booster to put it into position. The thruster provides .5 G of thrust but the weight of the mine only allows for only .22 G.
MK III Space Mine
|Displacement: 0.1 tons||Hull Armor: 10|
|Length: 1 meters||Volume: 2 m3|
|Price: 1.97375 MCr||Target Size: SM|
|Configuration: SL Cylinder||Tech Level: 15|