Glossary of the High Guard
K - O
KILL VEHICLE: The component of a missile that contains the actual explosive.
KILO G: A unit of ship acceleration in space. 1 Kilo G is 98,100 meters per second squared, or approximately 1000 times Earth gravity. Cargo ships accelerate at 3-30 Kilo G; Warships accelerate at 45-170 Kilo G, fighters at 100-700 Kilo G, defensive missiles at 6000-9000 Kilo G and offensive missiles at 2600-4200 Kilo G.
LANCER: The all-purpose term for High Guard ground troops. Affectionately nicknamed "rock hoppers" by their ship-based comrades, Lancers typically form the spearhead of any Commonwealth ground action, with mobilized Home Guard units providing support as needed.
LATENCY (AKA "time delay"): Latency is a measure of the lag-time between transmission and receipt of data. Partially a function of distance at long range, also driven by processing speed, bandwidth availability, message priority and transmission power.
LIGHT MINUTE: A unit of distance, approximately 18 million kilometers (11 million miles). The distance light travels in a minute. The range at which ships can engage in combat (i.e. exchange missiles) is typically 1 to 1.5 light minutes. The Earth to the Sun is 8 light minutes.
LIGHT SECOND: A unit of distance, approximately 300,000 kilometers (190,000 miles). The distance light travels in a second. This is considered very close range in ship-to-ship combat. The range at which ships can engage in direct energy weapons (and shoot down incoming missiles) is about 4 light seconds. The Earth to the Moon is about 1.3 light seconds.
LOW OBSERVABILITY(LO): A passive countermeasure (also known in some cultures as STEALTH). In achieving LO, warships attempt to make their skins as non- reflective as possible across the EM spectrum, and to prevent any excess heat from being radiated from the ship.
MOVING TARGET INDICATOR: A pulsed sensor signal that detects moving targets by measuring changes in the return signal doppler effect over time. Useless against stationary targets or targets that are moving in parallel to the sensor.
MULTIPLE INDEPENDENT KILL VEHICLE: A special warhead that contains several independently targetable kill vehicles.
OFFENSIVE MISSILE: The main offensive weapon in ship to ship combat. This device is about the size of an adult Human's fist and weighs about 1 kilogram. They move at 85 to 95 PSL and do atomic blast levels of damage when they hit, due to the kinetic energy of impact. Most have a range of 1 to 1.5 light minutes.
OODA LOOP: Orient, Observe, Decide, Act. The standard operational cycle for any starship activity.