There were three versions of the Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer. The first was designed by EG&G.
“EG&G, formally known as Edgerton, Münchhausen, and Grier, Inc., was a United States national defense contractor and provider of management and technical services. The company was involved in contracting services to the United States government during World War II and conducted weapons research and development after the war.” Wikipedia.
The calculator was based on test data published in the first edition of the ‘The Effects of Nuclear Weapons’. The calculator is made of plastic and is 4″ in diameter. A complete set consists of the calculator, a red and white sleeve and an instruction pamphlet. This cold war calculator is very rare.
Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer V1
Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer V2
A revised version of the calculator was designed by the Lovelace Foundation. See this post for more information. Like V1 this calculator is very rare.
Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer V3
The third version of the calculator was also designed by the Lovelace Foundation. Its design is much improved over the earlier versions and is based on a revised test data set which was published in the second edition of the ‘The Effects of Nuclear Weapons’. The calculator is 5″ in diameter and is made of plastic. This version is not rare. Copies of the calculator were on public sale for $1 along with the revised edition of the ‘The Effects of Nuclear Weapons’ for $3. The calculator was used as a prop in the Dr Strangelove film and copies were given away to promote the film. See this post for more information.
Cold War Weapon Effects Rule designed by Horizons Technology for the US Defense Nuclear Agency and manufactured by Perrygraf.
Defense Nuclear Agency Cratering Prediction calculator
This Cratering Prediction Rule [CRG – 1] was designed for the Defense Nuclear Agency by Horizons Technology Inc. of San Diego in 1984. The 8″ diameter rule is made of plastic and was produced by Perrygraf. The rule was used to calculate what craters would be produced by nuclear weapons.
The inputs to the rule are weapon yield, height or depth of burst and target geology. One side of the rule was used to estimate crater radius, volume and depth [and debris thickness] in dry soil. The other side was used for wet soil, soft dry rock, soft wet rock and hard rock. The weapon yield could be in the range 1 kiloton to 100 megaton.
I assume the rule was used to calculate the results of using nuclear weapons on rail and road transport bottlenecks and airfields. For such targets cratering could have a significantly disruptive effect.
During the Cold War potential targets were given vulnerability numbers [see this post]. Most targets were given QVN or PVN numbers depending on whether the target should be best attacked using overpressure [crushing pressure] or dynamic pressure [horizontal pressure]. PVN targets are best destroyed by crushing, QVN targets are destroyed by being knocked over. Both RAND and the DNA produced rules to assist in planning attacks on such targets and these are covered in separate posts..
It was hard to cause difficult to repair damage to targets such as rail track, roads or runways with either overpressure or dynamic pressure. Cratering was the most effective form of attack. Such targets were given ZVN numbers. For example, roadbed and rail tracks were given a VN of 45Z0. The Cratering Prediction Rule could be used to plan attacks on such targets. A cratering prediction computer program was also available.
By 1984 desktop computers and hand held programmable calculators were available and a newsletter that was distributed with the rule mentioned that the DNA was currently supporting the HP-41/HP-71, IBM PC, IBM PC/XT and Zenith Z-100. The IBM PC had been introduced in 1981 and was rapidly becoming the standard for personal computing. Before then each computer manufacturer has their own hardware, operating system and storage. There was a great deal of incompatibility and it was hard for software developers to know what system to support.
The newsletter mentioned that the DNA had supported the Texas Instruments TI-59 programmable calculator. but that device was no longer produced. The DNA had produced programs on Fallout, X-Ray Effects and Aircraft Vulnerability for the TI-59. At the time air to air and ground to air nuclear missiles were used to attack incoming bombers and it may be that the Aircraft Vulnerability program was used to estimate the vulnerability of NATO and Warsaw Pact bombers to such weapons.
Cold War Blast Prediction Rule designed by Horizons Technology for the US Defense Nuclear Agency and manufactured by Perrygraf.
The Space Vehicle Pocket Designer was produced in 1959 by the Denver Division of the Martin Company. The Martin Company was founded in 1912. During WW2 it produced military aircraft. After the war it moved into aerospace.
In 1961 the Martin Company merged with the American-Marietta Corporation, a chemical products and construction materials manufacturer, to form the Martin Marietta Corporation. In 1995, Martin Marietta, then the nation’s 3rd-largest defence contractor, merged with the Lockheed Corporation, then the nation’s second largest defence contractor, to form the Lockheed Martin Corporation, the largest such company in the world.
The Pocket Designer consists of four items. Continue reading
Before each Apollo mission, the press and others were given these mission analyzers. These indicated each activity that was planned at any given “Mission Elapsed Time” [the time since launch].
This calculator and an associated 33 page report was prepared for NASA in 1967. It is concerned with the mathematical problems associated with aligning orbiting satellites with earth stations.
The Earth’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, had been launched in 1957. There then followed a period of successful launches by the USSR and humiliating failures by the USA.
Things improved and in 1960 TIROS 1 became the first satellite to transmit television images from space. In 1962 TELSTAR 1 started relaying television, telephone and high-speed data communications. In 1964 SYNCOM 3 became the first communications satellite in geostationary orbit. By 1967 there were a considerable number of commercial satellites either in orbit or planned and it was clear that satellites were going to have a big effect on all kinds of communications.
The Sync-Sat Calculator was designed to solve problems concerning the geometric relations between synchronous, near equatorial, satellites and ground stations. These problems were important to the operators of commercial, military and other satellites.
The calculator has four parts, each requiring independent settings. Continue reading
The Cost-Quantity Calculator was produced by the RAND think tank in 1962. I think it was probably intended to replace the 1959 RAND Progress Curve Computer [see earlier post]. It was produced for the United States Air Force to assist them in determining how much they should be paying for large orders of military equipment.
The Space Production Calculator was designed by the Flight Propulsion Laboratory Department of the General Electric Company. The manufacturer and year of production are unknown. The calculator is 7.125 inches in diameter and consists of three plastic disks. It is described as a valuable engineering tool for swiftly computing a number of engineering characteristics of propulsion systems for space vehicles.
Note the reference to chemical rockets, nuclear rockets, plasma jets, and ion and magnetronhydrodynamic propulsion.
The Rocket Performance Computer was produced by E H Sharkey of the RAND Corporation in December 1958. The package consists of an eighteen page booklet and a 100mm [4″] diameter plastic calculator. The calculator is described as being intended for rapidly calculating approximate solutions for single stage rockets [though it can also be used for multi stage rockets by adding solutions to single stage calculations].
Though Moon Escape, Mercury and Pluto are printed on the calculator the references in the booklet are to calculating payloads and ranges for IRBMs [Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles] and ICBMs [Intercontinental Ballistic Missile].
The Cold War was in progress when the computer was produced. In 1957 the Strategic Air Command had started a 24/7 nuclear alert in anticipation of a Soviet ICBM surprise attack capability and the Soviets had launched the Sputnik satellite. The Soviets had produced the first ICBM and put the first satellite in orbit.
The computer appears to have been intended for use by engineers working on both military and space programs.