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Linna's hardsuit required special consideration to design. As the designated close-combat specialist of the team, her suit requires both protection equal to the armor on Priss' suit as well as the flexibility needed to fully utilize her dance-based martial arts. In addition, more conventional weapons systems would not achieve full optimization under her style of use, necessitating the development of more personalized offensive units.
The chassis was derived from the baseline Mk. VII Hardsuit as developed by my father, with conversions to fit a female operator and further modified for Linna's specific body contours and motion dynamics. See ergonomic study LI-15 for further details.
The first compromise made was that of flexibility and speed over higher levels of armoring. I have decided that the benefits of smoother movements and greater range of motion outweigh the need for greater levels of protection. Linna has assured me that an increased ability in avoiding damaging contact will serve her better in combat than any amount of armoring could ever do, but I still have reservations.
The polymer-resin armor was reduced from 10 layers to 8 with a 20% decrease in both weight and dissipation/reflection of heat energy as produced by an energy weapon. The suit's overall resistance to kinetic/ablative attacks remains unchanged, with only a minor decrease in penetration resistance in the joints. An additional layer of reflective coating was added to aid laser resistance with a minimal weight increase.
The reduced weight has also resulted in a substantial performance gain in both suit mobility and speed. Linna's suited reaction time far exceeds that of any other Hardsuit, defeating the best record by .8 seconds. Her range of motion does not seem to be limited in any way, and she is able to perform complex gymnastic maneuvers unachievable in any other suit configuration thus far. This is aided by a related increase of perfomance from the Pegasus jump unit; greater range and fuel economy are achieved by the reduction of mass.
Linna's jump unit is a modified third-generation Rolls-Royce Pegasus 380 heat-driven turbine, scaled down from Genom Buma specs. Started and controlled by an electric motor, 90% of the heat energy used as thrust is waste heat from the nearby powerplant, with the remaining 10% a mercury- based reaction mass. Its operating principle is similar to that of a jet engine, redirecting heat outward through exhaust vents rather than burning fuel in a combustion area. An added bonus is its immunity to flame-out in low-oxygen environments. No fuel is needed, making it less vulnerable to fire than comparable conventional units.
As always the power/space requirement of the suit posed quite a challenge. Linna's power requirements are not the same as those of the other three suits. Nene's suit requires great amounts of constant electrical power to operate her Electronic Counter-Measures (ECM) and communications gear (see log entry N-61.3), while Priss' makes use of large amounts of the flex-polymer driver required for enhanced strength (see log entry P-54.6 and also entry ST-PR533 for discussion of nested myomer musculature). Linna, however, requires great bursts of speed and power to fully utilize her basic fighting style. The normal actuators are used with a slight modification, with two separate systems now used for all gross motor movement systems.
The first is the standard (baseline) design, which allows for a high-strength, low-weight, low-volume flex-polymer myomer fiber system. The second operates in conjunction with the first, until the suit computer detects fast motion/response curves. It then engages a ``predictor'' circut which constantly processes and observes Linna's movements and makes a ``best guess'' for what she will do next, based on a neural-net layout in computer subsection G-655. This system will pre-actuate the first system in the direction expected, increasing suit response time 9.7%, bringing the total response curve of the suit to 95.3% of Linna's free-body performance.
The main power unit is located approximately in the same place as the other suits, with the modification of its collector plate being streamlined to keep the center of gravity as close to Linna's natural center of motion as possible (see ergonomic study LI-15). It consists of the forced-emitter collector scheme used in all the suits. A small electric field is set up on the polymer disk, which then emits high-energy tachyons, breaking down its physical structure at a rate of approximately 1 gram per 67.2 megajoules. The tachyon collector (as invented by my father) converts this energy directly into electricity which is used to run the polymer muscle-drivers and the main computer, as well as any other systems that require power.
While Linna does posess some truly remarkable fighting abilities, she simply cannot inflict any real damage to a Buma-type frame without the use of weapons systems.
The standard 108 Joule/second laser was downgraded to 106 J/s to allow for the installation of an experimental weapons system I call the ``Knuckle Bomber.'' The smaller laser was built using three barrels which can waldo out when in non-combat mode to act as fingers for manipulation.
The ``Knuckle Bombers'' are a contact energy weapon; that is, they discharge energy at point-blank range after physical contact is made with the target. The emitter units are kept recessed until arming to prevent any accidental discharge. When armed, the units protrude from their casings on Linna's right gauntlet where the knuckles would be on a human hand. The knuckle bomber stores energy from the main power unit in the form of an electrical concussion field. This system takes approximately 2.43 seconds to charge fully, and can remain charged for up to 5 seconds before emergency discharge takes place. When it contacts another solid surface it detonates in an inverse cone based at the surface of the object (see appended CAD file for sketch). This system creates an entry point approximately 0.6 microns in diameter, with the equivilent energy of a 3.7 kiloton explosion, becoming a ten-inch diameter magnetically shaped cone 12 inches into the target surface. I know of no substance which can withstand this type of forced-entry attack, although my father did propose an energy field compensator that could theoretically nullify this effect (see log entry 7833.4).
Linna's most exotic weapons are her chemically-enhanced ``Whips''. While not truly monomolecular (current technology has only created monomolecular wires in a laboratory, and then for only a brief period before oxidation), the use of nested macroscopic-scale bucky tubes with a flourine-based coating provides the same effect with adequate tensile strength. Though not as impressive as monomolecular technology, it is quite effective at cutting through most types of armor, as well as any other weaker material.
This coating is used over the entire surface of the ribbon, giving it less friction than Junek-7. Under this coating is a layer of smartmetal whose cross section is elliptical; the major axis averages 4 cm while the minor axis can be adjusted from 20 to 200 microns. The smartmetal itself is only 5 microns thick, with a 5 micron backing of Kevlar to give it tensile strength. The remaining internal space is left open; microscopic vents in the flat area of the ribbon allow the internal and external air pressure to match at all times.
The use of smartmetal allows the whips to be handled safely when not in combat. The ``rest mode'' of the smartmetal keeps the cutting edge of the bucky tubes recessed within the remainder of the ribbon, allowing them to be manipulated with no danger. When armed, though, an electric current shapes the metal into a razor form, with the nested tubes on the leading edges. The current also steers the whips, allowing for effective aiming at a designated target. As a safety measure, the current repels the whips from the Hardsuit during combat mode.
Further information and schematics are appended to relevant files.
Journal entry closed.
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Brian Edmonds <email@example.com> April 26, 1998