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Re: Sensor knowledge and suggestions

#16
light487 wrote:Just saw the topic title and instantly thought of a suggestion.

Wouldn't be awesome if you could collect signal fragments from different systems that when collected together (and maybe, just maybe, use some kind of signal analysis minigame/tool), you could find hard to find anomalies, ancient civilisations on planets that can't be found other than scouring space.. stuff like that. Sort of like triangulation I suppose.. so you'd go to all adjacent systems and potentially find a signal fragment.. and by finding them in those systems, it would also allow you to know which system (or a better guess) the anomaly is in (the system that doesn't have the signal fragment.. a bit like the old minefield game).. then once you think you know which system it is in and you've collected enough fragments, you can plug it into some kind of signal filtering device that limits all background signals an only allows for the signal you found to show through.

Something like that anyway.. that would be very cool.

so basically a scavenger hunt for pieces of data for hidden things?
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Re: Sensor knowledge and suggestions

#17
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
light487 wrote:Just saw the topic title and instantly thought of a suggestion.

Wouldn't be awesome if you could collect signal fragments from different systems that when collected together (and maybe, just maybe, use some kind of signal analysis minigame/tool), you could find hard to find anomalies, ancient civilisations on planets that can't be found other than scouring space.. stuff like that. Sort of like triangulation I suppose.. so you'd go to all adjacent systems and potentially find a signal fragment.. and by finding them in those systems, it would also allow you to know which system (or a better guess) the anomaly is in (the system that doesn't have the signal fragment.. a bit like the old minefield game).. then once you think you know which system it is in and you've collected enough fragments, you can plug it into some kind of signal filtering device that limits all background signals an only allows for the signal you found to show through.

Something like that anyway.. that would be very cool.

so basically a scavenger hunt for pieces of data for hidden things?
When you say it like that, it doesn't sound nearly as exciting! :)
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Re: Sensor knowledge and suggestions

#18
Sounds great! Wouldn't make it an arbitrary 'scan', but a bit more like how you triangulate a stronghold with only three tosses of an Eye of Ender in Minecraft (one of the few occasions I use high school maths in real life!). Go to a system, find a spot free of interference and strong signals (like an uninhabited white dwarf system), scale up sensitivity of the plate, and scan away. It should then display a wide cone (narrower if better equipment or quieter system) on the map, pointing in a direction. Do that with two other systems or more, and display the overlap. The closer system you scan, the better the cones point out the target as their area is smaller. More, and more varied scans point out the area better because better encompassing angles wrap it tighter.

I love it already :D

I'd also add that there could be more fluff for making a sensor tech level better - oversizing and tandem operation. A three-dish sensor linked together is going to provide diminishing results, but still an improvement that doesn't require new tech. A huge sensor may be ugly and cumbersome, but is naturally more sensitive, just like how 50 mm lens give you better pictures than 5 mm ones. And conversely, miniaurized versions with better tech might not be ever as good as the minimal efficient size, but they are light and still are as good as a more primitive, huge device.

Self-hype over this again >.>
panic
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Re: Sensor knowledge and suggestions

#19
so... now im going overkill...


i'd split the "signature" of an object into 2(3) parts.

at first an emissive signature

and a reflective/absorbtive signature.


the emissive signature is what the object sends out on its own
a reactor produces radiation and heat, an engine produces heat, radioactive ores produce radiation (duh)

it is descriptive of the function of the object, telling you what it does aboard a ship or station.
(or in case of the ore, its descriptive of the material)


the reflective signature is the spectrum of radiation that would come back if you shine at the object with a "white" (flat spectrum) beam.

it describes out of what the object is built, which materials it contains.
it is a weighted sum of all its constituent materials reflective spectra


the implicit absorbtion spectrum is the inverse of the reflective spectrum, a "white" spectrum substracted by the reflective spectrum equates to it.

this defines how good a material absorbs radiations that impact on it.

for example a hull made of highly absorbtive materials would swallow active sensor signals and the emissions of equipment aboard the ship.
effectively creating a stealthy hull, as active and passive scans are harder when the target consists out of highly absorbtive materials.



this also causes a couple of things for miners.

first they'd have to use active sensors to analyse the ores within an area, as most inert objects wont create any radiation by themself
so you have to shine on them with your active sensors to be able to properly see and analyse the asteroids.

also this would make mining scanners a bit distinct from general purpose scanners.
a mineral scanner has to have a wide spectrum, to be able to differentiate as many materials as possible.
whereas a ship scanner would likely be tuned to the commonly used hull materials and has to account less for wideband usage which causes other stats to rise, as resolution or sensitivity.





so, if i add more to that mechanic i make an own game out of it :wtf:
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Re: Sensor knowledge and suggestions

#22
Interestingly, you just described the three basic types of nebula: emission, reflection, and absorption.

Coincidence?

One note: I liked the way that Traveller distinguished between "sources" (energy radiators) and "objects" (physical things). Sources can be observed from potentially very great distances using passive sensors but tend to return only simple information, while objects require active scans at relatively very close range but potentially reveal considerable information.

I wouldn't mind having sensors that are able to operate in both active and passive modes, as well as a game universe that is designed to distinguish between sources and objects, as well as one that encodes material properties into objects (which would support your reflective/absorptive distinction). (I had some very detailed thoughts on this sort of gameplay here a while back.)

No idea if Josh is considering any of that, though.
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Re: Sensor knowledge and suggestions

#23
another thing that i missed including in this thread:

missle sensors, chaffs, flares and ECM
that stuff was discussed in fragmented pieces in this thread
and i'll just place my viewpoints here now.


Missle Sensors

sensors aboard missles work the same way ship bound sensors work
with angular resolution, frequency resolution, sensitivity and bandwith
but with worse stats.

missles may have very narrow bandwith and can only see a very limited spectrum and thus must be taylored to the targets they are designed to attack.
an universal missle that can engage a wide range of targets would have low sensitivity and angular resolution, it would be a short range missle
(trading bandwith vs sensitivity and algular resolution)

or low angular resolution, may your ship can differentiate between the targets at long range, but your missle cant, and as such attacks the wrong target when it gets close enough to differentiate between them
etc. (trading sensitivity for long range vs angular resolution)

an addition to missle sensor mechanics could be a "view cone".
a cone in front of the missle in which it can use its sensors.

countermeasures would be much more effective when such a mechanic gets implemented, as you can move out of the missles field of view after dropping your flare.
that when the missle sees through the countermeasure before it explodes on it, it doesnt return back on target.

missles should in general be "dumb" and as such follow the strongest signal that has roughly the correct position and signature to be their target.
because if we start to introduce realistic smart missles, no countermeasures would be of use :mrgreen:


target painting comes basically for free, illuminate a target with your sensors (keep it locked with your sensors on active) and it gets more visible for all missles which use the same bands.


Chaffs and Flares.

chaffs and flares are active countermeasures that create a fake signature for missles (and sensors in general) to think your ship is somewhere else.

they are consumable objects (like missles) and have to be used to have their effect.


flares create an emissive signature, they send out radiation to confuse passive sensors.
they come in all sizes, frequency bands and strenghts

they also must be taylored to the sensors you want to spoof
if you know the enemy missles lock on your engine signature you have to create flares which match that signature
etc.


chaffs create a reflective signature to confuse active sensors.
again in many sizes, frequency bands and reflective strenghts.

they create a material signature that should match your ship as close as possible
and are made out of the materials that your ship is built of (or maybe not and include some "metamaterial" technobabble)

they have no effect on passive sensors, as they only create a reflective signature.



ECM

ecm is a ship mounted system which uses powerful emitters and high computing power to create flare and chaff effects without having to expend consumables.


a basic ECM creates emissive sensor signals (flares) with a selectable spectrum, it is not limited to a single signature like material flares.
but they are limited in their specrum too, like normal sensors, and cannot create fake signatures outside of their bands.

advanced ECM can create reflective signatures in addition to emissive ones (technobabble: they measure the incident fields and emit signals according to their settings, thus appearing like reflective sensor returns)
they have an additional limitation on them, their sensor stats (according to the technobabble) but that should in general match their emissive spectra.
(no sense in having more sensor capability than you can fake)



holographic "ghosts"

any sensor spoof that is near to fool your ships sensors creates a "ghost ship" that the player can see
but this ghost has flaws in it to make it visible that its not a perfect signature.

flaws could include flickering (not sure about this)
missing parts (no turrets on the ghost ship)
no engine flares

and lower LOD
on bigger distance it looks like the other ships next to it, but on closer inspection it doesnt get into full detail, thus it becoming obvious to the player (and hopefully to the NPC's flying ships nearby)
that this is not a full blown ship but only sensor spoofing.

very high quality spoofing should not be visible as such, as your sensors cant differentiate it from the real thing.

the only possibility to see through the spoofing then would be
shooting it (its not there, thus you cannot hit it)
it does not shoot at you (it has no turrets, duh)
you can fly through it


Decoys

decoys are advanced ECM devices you have to drop and which combine the effects of chaffs and flares in them.
they are much bigger and heavier than flares or chaff, but they are much more effective.
basically droppable ECM generators with limited lifetime.

they would tend to create the "ghost ship" effect frequently, due to their powerful ECM nature.
but due to their size and weight they'd be in the realm of countermeasures for capital ships.


phew, so many new things at once :)
Last edited by Cornflakes_91 on Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sensor knowledge and suggestions

#25
Cha0zz wrote:
Lord Breakfast wrote:stuff
:thumbup:

Ghost ships could have some nice strategical uses,
  • letting an enemy think he is going to be attacked form side A while actually you are approaching him from side B.
  • Luring an enemy away
  • Letting an enemy think that you have a much bigger fleet than you actually have, causing him to flee.
  • ...

another thing that "ghost ships" could do.

disguise.

get a good dampener field to hide the parts of your signature that dont fit into the disguise and then get some ECM to project a different ship around you and get yourself disguised

:ghost:
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Re: Sensor knowledge and suggestions

#26
Cornflakes_91 wrote:and why shouldnt it be applicable to mount more stealthy materials on stations?
(or to build stations out of stealthy materials)
I never said it shouldn't. Simply not as easy to apply to stations. Hiding a large object is a lot harder to hide than a small object, regardless of the techniques used to hide. Not impossible, just harder. Or to be more appropriate for the medium, more expensive. Say you have a building material that provides +50% stealth or reduction to your "signature" and thus makes the range at which you are detected 50% less. Normally you'd be detected at 10 km for x ship. Now you are detected at 5 km. Etc. Now simply covering your station in that same material shouldn't have the exact same effect as that effect should be weighed against the mass of the object at the very least. I wouldn't necessarily wish to make that too realistic as in the shape and design of the object impacts the stealthiness. Making it too complicated would detract from the ease with which to apply it as well as the fun to be had from utilizing it. Back to the topic at hand, stealth with regards to stations should be a lot less functional due to numerous factors. Signature output from the energy it produces (Cough scanner cough) as well as the sheer mass of it which could create enough of a gravitational distortion to be picked up on realistically advanced sensors. So again, not saying it is impossible. Just much more difficult. Perhaps prohibitively expensive even. Personally the idea of a "stealth" station just seems silly. Not to say that investing significantly money into a station capable of this shouldn't be possible, but it should be outrageously expensive and difficult to maintain.

Makes me think of I think... Star Wars Rogue Squadron 2 where at the end you came up against a cloaked imperial research station where they were building Tie Phantoms. Ah... good times.

To put into context a scenario. Building a forward fire base on enemy front lines... you have to sneak in... burn to an area well out of their sensor range both for your ship AND your station. Then start hauling the materials there to build it. Now we'll assume for the sake of sensibility that stealth material is significantly more expensive and valuable than non-stealthed material. And your haulers are not necessarily going to be fast or stealthy themselves, unless again you have a significant amount of funds. It's a risky proposition moving those materials into the position without them getting destroyed. The AI if it is smart enough should take notice of the increased activity and send ships to investigate which would foil your plan pretty quickly. But should you succeed, it would be an insanely valuable tactic for valuable systems. Assuming it can be pulled off. How AI handles and responds to stuff like this makes me very very curious.
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Re: Sensor knowledge and suggestions

#27
TGS wrote: I never said it shouldn't. Simply not as easy to apply to stations. Hiding a large object is a lot harder to hide than a small object, regardless of the techniques used to hide. Not impossible, just harder. Or to be more appropriate for the medium, more expensive. Say you have a building material that provides +50% stealth or reduction to your "signature" and thus makes the range at which you are detected 50% less. Normally you'd be detected at 10 km for x ship. Now you are detected at 5 km. Etc. Now simply covering your station in that same material shouldn't have the exact same effect as that effect should be weighed against the mass of the object at the very least. I wouldn't necessarily wish to make that too realistic as in the shape and design of the object impacts the stealthiness. Making it too complicated would detract from the ease with which to apply it as well as the fun to be had from utilizing it. Back to the topic at hand, stealth with regards to stations should be a lot less functional due to numerous factors. Signature output from the energy it produces (Cough scanner cough) as well as the sheer mass of it which could create enough of a gravitational distortion to be picked up on realistically advanced sensors. So again, not saying it is impossible. Just much more difficult. Perhaps prohibitively expensive even. Personally the idea of a "stealth" station just seems silly. Not to say that investing significantly money into a station capable of this shouldn't be possible, but it should be outrageously expensive and difficult to maintain.
well, why whould stealthy material be inherently more expensive?

what if your stealthiest material is your primary building material?

"small" and "large" object is also a pretty relative term in space :P

i still dont see why you are limiting it to stations, if at all it should apply to every big object.

a big object produces a ton of radiation, and your hull plating shaves off a bit from that.

so a big thing with lots of energy production has generally a harder time to hide.
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Re: Sensor knowledge and suggestions

#28
Another thought that popped up in my head:

Would it be interesting to enable a ship to be "lost"? in the sense of that it doesnt have positional data for itself, aka doesnt know where in the system it is.

:think:

For example nebulas where you can really get lost, and not just pop up the map and fly straight out, but you have to have navigation buoys in the nebula.

Or a similar situation, you find something interesting in the nebula, but you cant just pop up your map to find it again at any time, but have to drop a buoy to mark its position for longer range detection.

Etc...

:think:
Last edited by Cornflakes_91 on Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sensor knowledge and suggestions

#29
I could get behind a chance of being lost in a star system... as long as there's reasonable warning it might be about to happen.

Would it be OK to be able to map such places manually? That is, you have to actually fly within a certain (relatively close) distance from a stationary object to cause it to be added to your internal map -- you can't just "see" everything from a great distance with your ship's scanner -- but it is possible to build a map of a star system in this way.
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Re: Sensor knowledge and suggestions

#30
Flatfingers wrote: Would it be OK to be able to map such places manually? That is, you have to actually fly within a certain (relatively close) distance from a stationary object to cause it to be added to your internal map -- you can't just "see" everything from a great distance with your ship's scanner -- but it is possible to build a map of a star system in this way.
I think that would be great.
Also, if selling maps 'n stuff is going to be a thing, a map of such place would be a lot more valuable than a map from an easy map-able place.
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