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  1. LionofPerth
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    LionofPerth Senior Member

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    Follow the logic.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by LionofPerth, Jul 30, 2007.

    Okay, I'd like some feedback on this idea of mine.

    To try and understand what I am getting at I'll give an example before I ask the question. I should note, I have greatly simplified the situation.

    In the ocean a submarine is detected by SONAR by the air/water boundary. Sound waves are reflected off of this so you can hear a vessel over 500 nautical miles. The air inside directs sounds waves to hull, which in turns, acts like a microhone, reflecting it into the water. (This is why reactors etc are mounted on 'rafts')

    In a void, which is a space void of anything, except maybe light, you would want to reduce your energy emisions to reduce your radar signature. While the hull will not act like a microphone in the same way the hull on a submarine would, the absence of anything else would be just as significant in trying to track a ship. In order to reduce energy emissions, some type of 'shielding' or an Electronic Counter Measure (please say ECM, much easier) system may try to pump out an inverted form of radiation, nullifying what the ship produces.

    Is the second statement a logical extension of the principle of the first?

    When you reply, could you please explain your answer.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    shouldn't you be asking this on a site frequented by astrophysicists, not writers? ;-)
     
  3. LionofPerth
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    LionofPerth Senior Member

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    Not really, the logic is quite simple, to reduce the enemies ability to sense you, you use a device to reduce your detectable emissions, be it energy or sounds.
     
  4. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    I would assume that in space a signal of light instead of sound would be used, if it hits back within a reasonable amount of time from a reasonable area (lets say the eight minutes from here to the sun), then all the area around the light that comes back is empty, and the actual area of the light that comes back is a spaceship or giant rock.

    Of course, without some kind of field or something that can distort the light, and perhaps send it back at a different rate of speed then it would have under the normal conditions of a ship being there, you'd just be floating along when your enemy sees a big spot on their screens and comes charging after you with lasers and lightsabers and vibro blades and missles and guass riffles and all that other good stuff that would kill a person.

    But that's the opinion of someone who doesn't know about either boats or spaceships. Though really, why does space always end up navel? It should be more analogous to what planes do with and against radar. but I don't know about those either, so...
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It all depends on your propulsion system. If you are emitting any form of superheated gas (i.e. a typical action/reaction propulsion system, like all of today's propulsion systems) you will produce an incandescant plume that would be next to impossible to mask. However, the speed fo light being finite, the observer would see where the vessel was, not where it is.

    But reaction propulsion systems are not effective for interstellar flight. The distances are too vast, you really need some sort of faster than light motor. It may not produce a visible signature that could be tracked by an enemy.

    The vastness of space also means that normal energy emissions from a ship would be difficult to detect against the background noise of the universe. Emissions from communications devices and emmitive scanning systems would be more of a detection risk, but directional emissions would only ve detectable in the line of emission. directional emissions are more efficient in terms of energy utilization anyway.

    I hope this helps.
     
  6. LionofPerth
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    LionofPerth Senior Member

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    One, both types of systems are used, an active action/reaction, and a 'hyperdrive' of sorts. Let's say, for some reason, the plume of said action/reaction engine, is anti-matter or something else that you would need a more specialised system to detect and is not in the visible spectrum.

    I would presume, that a ship, with all of those life support systems and other primary systems, would actually produce a level on energy above the background radiation of space. Think about the requirements of a submarine, air filters, refridgeration, air conditins to move the air, and so on, now all of that has to be present and so will water purification plants etc for the crew. Even if each system is hyper efficient, that is still an active drain on the power grid, and so a possible emitter of some form of radiation, especially things like microwaves, if some form of microwave even exists.

    Cogito, directional scanning would be the best way to sense a ship for sure, however in a full three dimensional (even more if you could scan hyperspace) makes that method almost dangerous (very time consuming, and you may not be able to keep an eye on blind spots as well) to use, a more general 'passive' suite would I think give you an approximate bearing, on which you would then transfer to a directional scan to pin point, or you would shift your position relative to the enemy and attempt to triangulate the location of the enemy vessel.

    Edward, it is naval due to the ship sizes in question, the fact is the environment is closer to what an air force would deal with, except for a couple of things. First thing being the lack of the most important part, air, and the next thing, as above, the size of the vessels.

    A ship carries a boat, so since most of the vessels fighting would be warships, you have to go with the naval terminology.

    Oh, I mean any type of radiation, from the standard radio waves up to the pumping X and Gamma Rays.
     
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