DCX-24 Positron Projector Cannon

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The DRX-24 Positron Projector Cannon (PPC) was a flexible-mount, crew-served support weapon originally conceived as a follow-on to the lighter DRX-23 Compressed Positron Beam Cannon. Instead of firing a solid beam like its lighter cousin, it fires a steady stream of pulses, allowing for better sustained fire during prolonged engagements. After a brief testing period in which Tal Ravis took it through the rounds, it was deemed unnecessary for infantry use and discontinued from further production, although development to turn it into a feasible aircraft-mounted weapon is currently underway.

Design

To ensure maximum efficiency in terms of use of space, the main internals are placed into a large, rectangular assembly. A pistol grip is attached to rear, and the trigger is actuated by pulling it upwards instead of rearwards. This has since been rectified to a normal trigger action. Sights are relatively elaborate for a weapon of this type, consisting of a folding ladder sight and front bladed leaf sight, although most operators forgo the iron sights in favor of a red-dot holographic scope. A mount is located underneath the weapon’s center of gravity for mounting on a lightweight tripod, which can rotate and elevate at will with incredible stability. The latest modifications include the addition of a swiveling carry handle, which loops over the barrel jacket, and a fixed metal bipod which clips on over the barrel for more operational flexibility.

There is a dust cover on the main receiver for the collider’s own heatsink system, as well as a large extra double heat sink unit fitted below the main receiver complex. When weapon heat levels are too high, the dust cover and heatsink grill covers automatically pop open to vent and dissipate waste heat. Mounted above the receiver is a coolant plug for accepting a specialized coolant tube, which can be attached to small box packs as well as large backpack units. Coolant then uses gravity, or, in a low-grav environment, a pressurized argon gas container, to feed the coolant downwards into the heatsink, first cooling the unit directly adjacent to the collider before trickling down to the secondary heatsink.

The barrel is surrounded by a large cooling jacket, which is vented at the muzzle end so operators can dip it in water to cool the barrel. Hot vapor is then vented out through the heatsink complexes towards the other end of the weapon.

The first aftermarket modification to the weapon was the addition of a crude, yet effective carrying handle made from some thick wires and high-strength polymer, which is wrapped around the middle of the barrel. This allows the operator to handle the barrel jacket when the weapon is hot, as exposed flesh never comes into direct contact with it. Additionally, this has the effect of allowing the operator to fire while on the move, be it when attacking, retreating, or repositioning, although with a lower degree of accuracy.

Power Source

The DRX-24 uses a larger, heavier high energy particle collider derived from the DRX-23’s that is fueled by ionized hydrogen atoms that use the stripped electrons as fuel. The particle collider then smashes protons together at high speeds to decompose them into several successive cohesive positron streams, thus giving the impression that it is firing “pulses”. The DRX-24’s collider has two settings: beam, which fires a continuous beam, and pulse, which fires about 650 smaller compressed positron bursts per second. While it is possible to use the weapon to fire beams, it is incredibly inefficient and produces severe excesses of waste heat.

Effects

The DRX-24 fires an antimatter barrage of positrons, which reacts with any and all matter on the way to its target. While individually less powerful than a stream fired by the DRX-24, the positron bolts still push an ever increasing cloud of hyper-ionized plasma in front of it and in its wake. This cloud expands rapidly at the head of the bolt. Upon impact the plasma front super-heats the materials impacted to temperatures capable of melting even the hardest materials into slag within seconds. Once the plasma front impacts a target, the rest of the bolt soon follows, creating a cascade decomposition effect. This rips matter apart and releases that energy as an expanding hyper-ionized plasma cloud at the point of impact. The subsequent chain reaction causes the target surface to decompose into plasma rapidly and explosively.