May 5th, 2019

Mr. Twister

Этот момент я не осознавал

Я думал, связь компьютеров с водородными бомбами исчерпывается тем, что взрывы моделируют на компьютерах ("scientific computing"). Оказывается, это только в СССР, а в Америке полупроводниковые компьютеры сразу делали, чтобы в реальном времени управлять ракетами. Почему так - потому что советские ракеты были в десять раз больше, и компьютеры в них не были нужны.

The last major advance [in Minuteman Guidance System] was to use a general purpose digital computer in place of the analog or custom designed digital computers. Previous missile designs normally used two single-purpose computers; one ran the autopilot that kept the missile flying along a programmed course, and the second compared the information from the inertial platform to the target coordinates and sent any needed corrections to the autopilot. To reduce the total number of parts used in Minuteman, a single faster computer was used, running separate routines for these functions.

Since the guidance computer would be inactive while the missile sat in the silo, the same computer was also used to run a program that monitored the various sensors and test equipment. With older designs this had been handled by external systems, requiring miles of extra wiring and many connectors. In order to store multiple programs, the computer, the D-17B, was built in the form of a drum machine but used a hard disk in place of the drum.

Building a computer with the required performance, size and weight demanded the use of transistors, which were at that time very expensive and not very reliable. Earlier efforts to use transistorized computers for guidance, BINAC and the system on the SM-64 Navaho, had failed and were abandoned. The Air Force and Autonetics spent millions on a program to improve transistor and component reliability 100 times, leading to the "Minuteman high-rel parts" specifications. The techniques developed during this program were equally useful for improving all transistor construction, and greatly reduced the failure rate of transistor production lines in general. This improved yield, which had the effect of greatly lowering production costs, and had enormous spin-off effects in the electronics industry.

The Soviets had much larger rockets and could use vacuum tubes (thermionic valves) in their guidance systems. (The weights of the Minuteman I and II remain classified, but the Minuteman III was 35,000 kg versus the Soviet R-7 missile (1959) of 280,000 kg.) The US planners had to choose either to develop solid state guidance systems (which weigh less) or consider the additional cost and time delay of developing larger rockets.

Поэтому неправильно говорить, что Пентагон просто создал интернет. Бери выше, он и компьютеры создал.