Im just trying to build a link register to them and to build an overview of confirmed and suggested gameplay on it, to provide a single point of entry for new forum members and new suggestions (or at least a single index one can link to)
Confirmed features on sensors:
Everything has a "signature"
this signature is based on the type of object and its composition.
An asteroid with vitrium ore has a different signature than one with bexium ore.
Wormholes have a completely different signature than asteroids which is in turn different to a suns signature.
every data point in the signature has 2 parameters.
The frequency and the amplitude, the "strenght" of this single frequency.
The amplitude of a signal gets lower with increasing distance to the object generating the signal
This signature is displayed by the manual sensor display.
automatic mode scans the whole sphere around the ship for signatures and reports its finds the the player in form of sensor contacts "there is a ship/asteroid/wormhole etc"
In manual mode the player may finds things the computer would not note as objects, to prevent the automatic sensor from false positive reports.
this false positive prevention can also be used as stealth measure.
if one reduces his signature below the others false-positive-treshhold, he becomes effectively cloaked.
this cloaking effect is dependent on distance between the ships, as when the "cloaked" ship gets too close, its signature gets over the treshhold and the ship shows up on automatic sensor reports.
in manual sensor mode this stealth effect can be worked around, as one may sees signatures in manual mode that would not show up on the automatic reports
Things I (and others) extrapolated or would like to have without large changes to the known facts:
Different types of equipment will produce different signatures.
pretty self explaining, weapons produce different peaks in a ships signature than production modules.
what i'd like to have: every single type of weapon/module/etc has a unique signature.
so plasma weapons have a different signature than laser weapons.
or to bring it to its consequent end: every make of weapon has its unique signature, so a mk2 lavablade plasma cannon looks differently (in details) to a mk1 version.
those unique signatures should always fit into the general "weapon" sheme, but be different in the details.
another thing i'd like to have: zoomable sensor readout graph.
from what we have seen in the videos the manual readout always shows the whole range of spectra it can read.
so you always see from kHz to PHz frequencies.
i'd like to be able to zoom in to specific areas, to analyse them more closely.
when you are maximally zoomed out you see in the spectrum that there is something that emits a "weapon" signature (100kHz-1MHz eg.), but you cant see much more because the graph is to coarse.
now you can zoom in to the area you are interested in (100kHz-1MHz eg.) and see some characteristic peaks at 120kHz and 150kHz and see that it is a plasma cannon
i'd like to avoid a generic "sensor strenght" value, as the RF engineer in me is annoyed by such aggressive simplification xD
i'd split it into 3 general parameters
sensitivity is the factor that that defines how big the smallest signal must be that the sensor can still pick it up
- spatial resolution
the spatial resolution is how precise the sensor can locate a signal, or to say it different, how wide the smallest cone is in which the sensor sees a signal.
the higher this resolution is, the smaller is the cone, the more precise can the sensor locate signals.
this leads to sensors might not be able to tell ships apart if they are close to each other.
so instead of 3 fighter-sized blobs you only see a single corvette-sized blob linky
- frequency resolution
the frequency resolution defines how small of a frequency difference the sensor can still resolve.
a poor sensor might only resolve 1kHz, 5kHz, 10kHz as independent values. a good sensor might be able to resolve 1000Hz, 1010Hz, 1020Hz etc.
this enables you to perform more detailed analysis on objects, the poor sensor might only sees "weapon", the mediocre sensor sees "plasma weapon" and the good sensor sees "lavablade mk2 plasma cannon"
a high sensitivity (long range) sensor will neither have high spatial nor frequency resolution, giving you only general directions of "something".
while there might be a couple of ships, you only see a single blob.
a high spatial resolution sensor might be able to tell you that there are multiple ships, but you'd have to be much closer to the group to locate it.
(here is the danger in balancing that the high sensitivity sensor might be able to tell the independent ships apart, the high spatial resolution sensor should always provide an advantage in this area)
high frequency resolution sensors will provide you the most detailed information about the "igredients" of a ship, but only at low sensitivities and spatial resolutions.
so you can tell that a ship (or group of ships) has lavablade mk2 cannons, but you cant tell which ship (or hardpoint) has the cannon.
this leads to another "i'd like to have"
all information should be "real".
when you want to know which hardpoint on the battleship has te lavablade mk2 cannon you have to fly close with a frequency scanner and scan the whole ship for the position of the cannon.
this should of course be assisted by the board computer, but the computer is cautious to tell you data as guaranteed if it isnt sure itself, you should get better results if you do it manually.
another suggestion: ID's
talvieno provided a nice write up here, but i'll write it for short here.
ID's are reactive systems that share data about your ship if asked to.
so when your ID is active an another ship sees "something" at your position, it will send an ID request and your ship will identify itself.
this increases the effective sensor range of ships which scan for you and deals with the problem of "how does he know that im Asetniop from the free systems alliance?", as my ID tells him who you are.
if you have deactivated your ID, the request from the other ship stays unresolved and the computer of the ship will disregard you as sensor noise, asteroid, whatever.
this also deactivates all IFF systems, so you do not show up as "Asetniop from the free systems alliance" but at best "unknown Arrestor class ship".
this of course requires the other ship to know the Arrestor ship type, else you would only show up as unknown ship.
see the internet of LT for more on signature matching.
this opens up diegetic possibilities of deceiving people.
you may steal ships from the local pirate faction, deactivate your ID and raid a transport.
now everybody thinks that the pirates raided the transport and not their dear friend to whom they wanted to sell their cargo too.
any suggestion, noteworthy post, etc that is not covered in some way or another, feel free to post links, will add them to the OP ^^