Ion cannon

Ion cannon

In science fiction an ion cannon is a beam weapon that fires beams of ions (particles, i.e. atoms that have been affected in some way as to cause them to gain an electrical charge). Due to its power it is usually classified as a superweapon. An Ion Cannon is actually a type of Particle Cannon; only the particles used are ionized. Due to their electrical charges, they also have the potential to disable electronic devices, vehicles, and anything else that has an electrical or similar power source. The science fiction inspiration for this effect arises from the particle cannon developed by Nikola Tesla which fired ions into the ionosphere which charged them further, when repeated the energy generated would have been great enough to cause significant electrical damage. Because of their classification as super-weapons, ion cannons have found their way into movies and television shows that have a science-fiction based setting. Ion cannons are also present in several games: "Homeworld", "Homeworld 2", "Command & Conquer Series", "Unreal Tournament 2004", "Ogame", and "Starcraft", for example.

Cultural references

*In the Star Wars universe Ion or DEMP (Destructive Electro-Magnetic Pulse) weapons are quite common, ranging from handheld pistols to ship cannons. Ion weapons are primarily used for disabling electronic systems such as vehicles, droids and starships. The turrets on the cockpit of Y-wing fighter/bombers are ion weapons. In "" the Rebel Alliance uses an ion cannon on the planet Hoth to temporarily disable Imperial Star Destroyers in the vicinity of the planet and prevent them from firing on escaping Rebel ships. Ssi-ruuk ion cannons were used to disable Rebel Alliance craft in the novel "The Truce at Bakura". The Jawas used ionization blasters to disable R2-D2.
*In the television series Stargate SG-1, ion cannons were used as surface to space weapons to protect the Tollan from Goa'uld attack. In this case, the intent was not merely to disable craft: one ion cannon could easily destroy a Ha'tak vessel with only two shots; however, Anubis discovered a way to render his ships invulnerable to the ion cannon.
*In Homeworld, the ion cannon is a devastatingly powerful artillery weapon primarily used against frigate class vessels. When fired, it produces a glowing particle beam (in one of three colours, depending on which faction the weapon belongs to) that makes contact with the target instantaneously, but the gun can only be fired for a few seconds before it must shut down, presumably to prevent overheating. The gun itself is so large that in order to make it spaceworthy, an entire frigate chassis is required to carry it, and such a craft can only carry one. Larger ships can carry multiple cannons, with the Heavy Cruiser packing four in dual turret mounts. Again, though, the usual fire-time limits apply.
*In the "Command & Conquer Series", the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) uses a satellite-based Ion Cannon device to attack Brotherhood of Nod installations and forces; it is used at the end of the to destroy the Brotherhood's command centre, the Temple of Nod. In the canonically unrelated "" series, the United States has a variant of the weapon called the Particle Cannon, which uses an orbital mirror system to reflect a beam fired from the surface back down onto a target anywhere on Earth.
*Ion Cannons are also employed by the Eurasian Dynasty in the game Earth 2150 as a means of disabling enemy units in preparation to capturing them.
*In "Unreal Tournament 2004", the Ion Cannon's official name is VAPOR WeP (Variable Altitude Phased Output Remote Weapons Platform), and is rated at two terawatts. The system is activated by designating coordinates with an appropriate laser-targeting rifle. Once locked on, it fires and annihilates everything within 50 meters of the target. Ion tanks and ion turrets are also seen in the game, which have the same effect as the Ion Cannon but is rechargeable and can be controlled by the player.
*In "G-Nome", an ion strike is used when the player leaves the boundaries of the battlefield or when a target is "painted" for 10 seconds.
*In "StarCraft", Raynor's faction is withheld from withdrawing because of Tarsonis' ion cannon, a large telescope-like weapon which resembles the Ion Cannon from "" (see above). The weapon is destroyed as a mission objective and was never fired, leading to speculation that it may have been designed for long range bombardment. Some screenshots of the beta version of the game, however, show the cannon actually firing a beam of light-blue.
*In the computer game , huge Ion Cannon space stations can be built and are often used as deterrents against enemy incursions. Although when the opportunity arises, they are built close to enemy territory as powerful assault weapons.
*In the "Warhammer 40,000" fictional universe, the Tau use smaller versions of ion cannons on their Hammerhead Gunships as an alternate main weapon. The Tau fleet - the Kor'vattra - use larger Ion Cannon as anti-ship weapons in "Battlefleet Gothic". Also, Tau war engines use Ion Cannon as part of their armament in "".
*In the online sci-fi game [ Ferion] , The Ion Canon is one of many ship mounted weapons that can be researched. Its requirements are 'Type III Laser' and 'Time'.
*In the game "StarLancer", the Coalition uses Ion cannons, on board an experimental fortress station and then later on board their central command for the outer solar system. Each system is a large energy weapon capable of destroying a capital ship in 1 hit.
* In Ogame an Ion Cannon is the most heavily shielded defensive unit in the game. Although its overall weapon strength is low for its cost, it has the advantage of being able to take considerable damage prior to being destroyed.
* In Master of Orion 2 Ion cannons are used to damage ship's internal systems, bypassing armor and structure.
*In StarCraft II, Protoss Phoenix starfighters are armed with twin ion blasters
*The Particle projection cannon is a powerful ion cannon that is commonly seen in the Battletech universe.
*In (Ratchet and Clank 3) an Ion Cannon is a giant cannon capable of taking down ships with a single shot. Clank takes control of it and destroys the otherwise invulnerable Biobliterator.
*In Machines (video game), the ion cannon is a devastating satellite-based superweapon that can be summoned to project an ion beam after being researched.
* Destroy all humans! and its sequel contain a weapon called the ion detonator, which lobs a bomb that detonates within 10 seconds or can be remotly detonated.

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External links

[ Watch the C&C Ion Cannon in action.] (Created by Tiberian Dawn Mod team)

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