History Main / StealthInSpace

2nd Feb '17 5:27:48 PM Game_Fan
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* Hiding a starship in ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' is essentially impossible without [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien superscience]], instead you have to rely on being so far away that sensor locks are nearly impossible.
** But making a spaceship harder to find is quite possible without [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien superscience]].
*** But making a starship requires superscience anyway so what are we complaining about?

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* Hiding Really hiding a starship in ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' is essentially impossible without [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien superscience]], instead you have to rely on being so far away that sensor locks are nearly impossible.
** But making a spaceship harder to find
impossible. While some degree of stealth is quite possible without [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien superscience]].
*** But making
the heat generated by engines is a starship requires superscience anyway so what are we complaining about?serious problem. Closer in electronic counter measures can prevent a ship that has been spotted from being easily hit.
7th Dec '16 8:45:39 PM KeithM
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** Various back-of-the-envelope calculations by people knowledgeable with the technology involved have suggested that for a relatively modest sum (a few billion dollars, well within a modern military procurement program for richer nations) and with proven off-the-shelf technology available now, you could sensor platforms in solar orbit that would provide continuous full coverage of the sphere of space surrounding the solar system sufficiently detailed and fast to provide an alert of potential targets that could then be examined more closely. Two such platforms in orbits on opposite sides of the sun would almost guarantee no one (barring ridiculously sci-fi tech) could sneak up on Earth.

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** Various back-of-the-envelope calculations by people knowledgeable with the technology involved have suggested that for a relatively modest sum (a few billion dollars, well within a modern military procurement program for richer nations) and with proven off-the-shelf technology available now, you could place sensor platforms in solar orbit that would provide continuous full coverage of the sphere of space surrounding the solar system sufficiently detailed and fast to provide an alert of potential targets that could then be examined more closely. Two such platforms in orbits on opposite sides of the sun would almost guarantee no one (barring ridiculously sci-fi tech) could sneak up on Earth. The reason why this hasn't been done, as mentioned above, is that there's currently no evidence of a need for such a thing.
7th Dec '16 8:42:28 PM KeithM
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7th Dec '16 8:40:02 PM KeithM
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Added DiffLines:

An obvious problem to approaches like this is that it only works if the ship, the natural object, and the observer you are trying to hide from all are in a straight line, so a defense against it is trivial: have ''two'' observers separated by a significant difference so that it's impossible to hide from both simply by using alignment. For trying to use a star as background, it would be difficult to maintain the illusion for a significant period of time even with a single observer because things move: something nearer to Earth than a star must move laterally in order to take into account Earth's orbit around the sun, or the planet or moon it's hiding behind, which means having to fire engines in order to adjust its position as those movements take place, which immediately gives up the game.\\
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A final issue is asymmetry of resources: it is far easier and cheaper to deploy passive sensors far and wide in order to detect someone trying to sneak in than it is to be the one trying to sneak in, and if there's any technological parity then you must assume that the methods used to hide the ship can also be used to hide the sensors looking for the ship, and it's a lot easier to hide something sitting there passively looking into space and doesn't have to generate a lot of power to do so than it someone trying to actively sneak in, and so you can never be sure where all the sensors might be and therefore it's impossible to design a flight path to ensure you're obscured from view. Infrared isn't the only deal-breaker for stealth in space, so is basic geometry.\\
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Added DiffLines:

** Various back-of-the-envelope calculations by people knowledgeable with the technology involved have suggested that for a relatively modest sum (a few billion dollars, well within a modern military procurement program for richer nations) and with proven off-the-shelf technology available now, you could sensor platforms in solar orbit that would provide continuous full coverage of the sphere of space surrounding the solar system sufficiently detailed and fast to provide an alert of potential targets that could then be examined more closely. Two such platforms in orbits on opposite sides of the sun would almost guarantee no one (barring ridiculously sci-fi tech) could sneak up on Earth.
15th Oct '16 6:28:32 AM Lightice
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Added DiffLines:

* ''TheQuantumThief''-trilogy features Metacloaks used to hide objects in outer space. It's implied that they only work in 180 degree radius, directed at the target their users wish to hide from, and consume immense amounts of energy. Still, it's rather impressive that they apparently even hide the gravitational effects of planet-sized Gubernyas that collapse unstable miniature black holes as their method of propulsion until they're right on top of the enemy, astronomically speaking.
10th Aug '16 12:20:52 PM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* In ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'', the UNSC has "Prowler" stealth craft which are designed to have minimal emissions, radar signature, and visibility. While earlier models had to rely on crude photoreactive panels for active camouflage, later models utilize reverse-engineered [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Covenant]] (and on rare occasions, [[{{Precursors}} Forerunner]]) stealth systems. However, any Prowler that makes a jump into slipspace is required to dump their nukes before returning to realspace, in order to avoid any Cerenkov radiation giving their reentry away.

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* In ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'', the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** The
UNSC has "Prowler" stealth craft which are designed to have minimal emissions, radar signature, and visibility. While earlier models had to rely on crude photoreactive panels for active camouflage, later models utilize reverse-engineered [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Covenant]] (and on rare occasions, [[{{Precursors}} Forerunner]]) stealth systems. However, any Prowler that makes a jump into slipspace is required to dump their nukes before returning to realspace, in order to avoid any Cerenkov radiation giving their reentry away.
8th Jun '16 6:43:17 AM Willbyr
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[[caption-width-right:350:"Only way they'll detect us is if [[Film/TheHuntForRedOctober you all start singing the Russian national anthem]]."

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[[caption-width-right:350:"Only way they'll detect us is if [[Film/TheHuntForRedOctober you all start singing the Russian national anthem]]." ]]
8th Jun '16 6:42:59 AM Willbyr
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[[caption-width-right:350:"Only way they'll detect us is if [[Film/TheHuntForRedOctober you all start singing the Russian national anthem]]."
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* In ''Film/StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry'', the ''Enterprise'' rigs a torpedo to follow a Klingon Bird-of-Prey's exhaust trail, seeking it out despite its being cloaked.
** In the novelization at least, this is explained as that particular ship's schtick (firing while cloaked) requiring a massive power plant, which exceeded the cloak's ability to hide/contain the exhaust.

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* In ''Film/StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry'', the ''Enterprise'' rigs a torpedo to follow a Klingon Bird-of-Prey's exhaust trail, seeking it out despite its being cloaked.
**
cloaked. In the novelization at least, this is explained as that particular ship's schtick (firing while cloaked) requiring a massive power plant, which exceeded the cloak's ability to hide/contain the exhaust.
3rd Jun '16 6:25:16 PM Willbyr
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[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/EveOnline http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stealth_in_space_1.jpg]]]]



Stealth, be it camouflage or outright [[InvisibilityCloak invisibility]], is often a deciding factor in many forms of combat. In fiction, [[SeeTheWhitesOfTheirEyes this should apply to spaceship combat, too]].

In reality, stealth in space is [[SpaceDoesNotWorkThatWay a lot harder than people think]]. (More on that in the Real Life section below.) As such, most writers either HandWave the whole business, pretending that ships in space are [[SpaceIsAnOcean like submarines in the ocean]] and thus naturally stealthy, or rely on some heavy-duty AppliedPhlebotinum to make thermodynamics go away. These problems can be circumvented to a certain extent by manipulating your setting's TechnologyLevels, which don't need to conform to modern technology; for example, a period-accurate RaygunGothic story set in the [[{{Zeerust}} retro-future]] would have rocketry and even [[strike:nuclear]] atomic power, [[SchizoTech but not]] the sort of high-resolution thermographic cameras and high-capacity visual processing computer power necessary to detect and analyze a cloaked ship the way we could today. It's not common for a show that is high on the MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness to have vaguely plausible stealth, but there are some.

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Stealth, be it camouflage or outright [[InvisibilityCloak invisibility]], {{invisibility|Cloak}}, is often a deciding factor in many forms of combat. In fiction, [[SeeTheWhitesOfTheirEyes this should apply to spaceship combat, too]].

In reality, stealth in space is [[SpaceDoesNotWorkThatWay a lot harder than people think]]. (More on that in the Real Life section below.) As such, most writers either HandWave the whole business, pretending that ships in space are [[SpaceIsAnOcean like submarines in the ocean]] and thus naturally stealthy, or rely on some heavy-duty AppliedPhlebotinum to make thermodynamics go away. These problems can be circumvented to a certain extent by manipulating your setting's TechnologyLevels, which don't need to conform to modern technology; for example, a period-accurate RaygunGothic story set in the [[{{Zeerust}} retro-future]] would have rocketry and even [[strike:nuclear]] atomic power, [[SchizoTech but not]] the sort of high-resolution thermographic cameras and high-capacity visual processing computer power necessary to detect and analyze a cloaked ship the way we could today. It's not common for a show that is high on the MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness to have vaguely plausible stealth, but there are some.



[[folder:{{Anime}} & {{Manga}}]]

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[[folder:{{Anime}} & {{Manga}}]][[folder:Anime and Manga]]
29th May '16 12:38:36 PM Willbyr
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* Oldina's ship in ''Figure17: Tsubasa & Hikaru'', which orbits Earth for the better part of a year, avoids detection with some sort of cloaking device despite at one point firing a gigantic ''laser cannon'' at Hokkaido while trying to blow up an alien.

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* Oldina's ship in ''Figure17: Tsubasa & Hikaru'', ''Anime/Figure17TsubasaAndHikaru'', which orbits Earth for the better part of a year, avoids detection with some sort of cloaking device despite at one point firing a gigantic ''laser cannon'' at Hokkaido while trying to blow up an alien.
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