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History Main / StealthInSpace

17th May '16 6:49:37 AM Kalaong
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* While Stealth in the sense of cloaking has not come up in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', this trope has been touched upon when the company wanted make its warship look like a freighter. Given the vast difference in the size (and thus power output) of a warship and a freighter's power plants this only worked when the warship was more or less totally shut down inside a freighter several times its size.

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* While Stealth in the sense of cloaking has not come up in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', this trope has been touched upon when the company wanted to [[AWolfInSheepsClothing make its warship look like a freighter. freighter]]. Given the [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2006-09-10 vast difference difference]] in the size (and thus power output) of a warship and a freighter's power plants this only worked when the warship was more or less totally shut down inside a freighter several times its size.size. As in, "Hot Wheels toy in a sports bottle."
7th May '16 5:05:44 AM ScorpiusOB1
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** The third game features the Heralds, whose ship is an {{Expy}} of the Ilwrath Avenger in terms of speed and maneuverability that replaces its short-range flame weapon with a long-range (unguided) missile.
22nd Apr '16 1:29:23 AM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* ''Anime/RoboTech'' features Shadow Devices, which prevent long range detection by protoculture emissions, but do nothing in visual range.

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* ''Anime/RoboTech'' ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'' features Shadow Devices, which prevent long range detection by protoculture emissions, but do nothing in visual range.
22nd Apr '16 1:28:49 AM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* The ''[[Anime/{{Macross}}]]'' universe features passive stealth systems (design shape and materials to absorb and scatter sensors away from the enemy) in the VF-17S Nightmare from ''Anime/MacrossPlus'' and ''Anime/Macross7''. However, in ''Macross Plus'', the YF-19 and the YF-21 both feature an "Active Stealth System", which bends electromagnetic waves around the fighter, effectively making it invisible to all but optical targeting systems. The VF-25 in ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'' does not appear to have this system, but ''Macross Frontier'' is a little tight-lipped on the technical details of its mecha.

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* The ''[[Anime/{{Macross}}]]'' ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' universe features passive stealth systems (design shape and materials to absorb and scatter sensors away from the enemy) in the VF-17S Nightmare from ''Anime/MacrossPlus'' and ''Anime/Macross7''. However, in ''Macross Plus'', the YF-19 and the YF-21 both feature an "Active Stealth System", which bends electromagnetic waves around the fighter, effectively making it invisible to all but optical targeting systems. The VF-25 in ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'' does not appear to have this system, but ''Macross Frontier'' is a little tight-lipped on the technical details of its mecha.
22nd Apr '16 1:28:30 AM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* The ''[[Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross Macross]]'' universe features passive stealth systems (design shape and materials to absorb and scatter sensors away from the enemy) in the VF-17S Nightmare from ''Macross Plus'' and ''Macross 7''. However, in ''Macross Plus'', the YF-19 and the YF-21 both feature an "Active Stealth System", which bends electromagnetic waves around the fighter, effectively making it invisible to all but optical targeting systems. The VF-25 in ''Macross Frontier'' does not appear to have this system, but ''Macross Frontier'' is a little tight-lipped on the technical details of its mecha.
** Keeping in mind that Valkyries are Transatmospheric Superiority Fighters, meaning they're designed for combat in atmospheric conditions as well as in space. In fact, the one time the Active Stealth system is specifically demonstrated in ''Macross Plus'', the YF-21 is well within Eden's atmosphere.

to:

* The ''[[Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross Macross]]'' ''[[Anime/{{Macross}}]]'' universe features passive stealth systems (design shape and materials to absorb and scatter sensors away from the enemy) in the VF-17S Nightmare from ''Macross Plus'' ''Anime/MacrossPlus'' and ''Macross 7''.''Anime/Macross7''. However, in ''Macross Plus'', the YF-19 and the YF-21 both feature an "Active Stealth System", which bends electromagnetic waves around the fighter, effectively making it invisible to all but optical targeting systems. The VF-25 in ''Macross Frontier'' ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'' does not appear to have this system, but ''Macross Frontier'' is a little tight-lipped on the technical details of its mecha.
** Keeping Keep in mind that Valkyries are Transatmospheric Superiority Fighters, meaning they're designed for combat in atmospheric conditions as well as in space. In fact, the one time the Active Stealth system is specifically demonstrated in ''Macross Plus'', the YF-21 is well within Eden's atmosphere.
3rd Mar '16 3:42:38 PM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* In ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'', the UNSC has "Prowler" stealth craft 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.
** Both the Covenant and Forerunners have even more advanced stealth capabilities, being capable of cloaking entire capital ships.

to:

* 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.
** Both the Covenant and Forerunners have even more advanced stealth capabilities, being as they're capable of cloaking entire capital ships.
3rd Mar '16 3:41:18 PM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* In the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' ExpandedUniverse novels, there are "Prowler" stealth craft that minimize their emissions and dump their nukes before returning to realspace, so as to avoid the Cerenkov radiation giving their reentry away. They're not so much cloaked as just hard to detect.


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* In ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'', the UNSC has "Prowler" stealth craft 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.
** Both the Covenant and Forerunners have even more advanced stealth capabilities, being capable of cloaking entire capital ships.
17th Dec '15 5:04:48 PM poi99
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In reality, stealth in space is [[SpaceDoesNotWorkThatWay a lot harder than people think]]. There are several problems, of which the biggest is heat. A ship's systems generate heat steadily, especially if it has human passengers who need life support. To keep from cooking, you have to get rid of the excess heat, and the only way to do that in a vacuum is via radiation. This makes your ship glow like a beacon to any infrared telescope. Worse still, most plausible space drive technology relies on spouting hot propellant into the void. That gives your location away instantly, and once you're spotted, you can't just turn off your engines to "go dark"--per Newton's First Law, your ship will keep going in the same direction at the same speed, which means it's easy to predict where you'll be. The only way to change direction and speed is to fire your engines again. Oops.

You can temporarily solve the first problem with a heat sink--a big block of ice or other cold material, into which you dump your excess heat. That can keep your ship at a livable temperature without external radiation. Unfortunately, the ice will eventually melt, and then you're back where you started. Moreover, you're still left with the second problem. Any attempt to maneuver will instantly reveal your presence unless you can find a way to keep your propellant cold while firing it out the back of a rocket.

On top of all that, there are various other issues. If you use any kind of active sensors (e.g., radar), you're sending out pulses of radiation that can be detected, so you have to rely on passive sensors only. And you can be detected by simple visual means, too. It's possible to see very small things at very great distances in space. Even if you paint your ship dead black, you can be spotted by the stars you occlude as you pass in front of them. You need an InvisibilityCloak of some kind (and you also need to be able to stick a sensor outside the cloak, or else you're flying blind).

How do you deal with all this? Most writers prefer not to bother. They 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.

If you really want StealthInSpace while staying true to science as we understand it, you need the following:

* A way to contain heat without giving off IR emissions. (Thermodynamics being what it is, this means your stealth mode has a time limit. Eventually you ''must'' offload your excess heat, or you'll fry.)
* A way to get your ship moving without generating hot exhaust, or at least generating it in a place where it won't be seen (behind a planet or something). Once you get moving, you can allow momentum to carry you to your destination--but any time you change course, you must eliminate or conceal those emissions, too.
* Some kind of cloaking technology to keep you from being seen directly.
* A willingness to operate with only passive sensors. If your cloaking technology does not allow you to stick a sensor through it, then you have to be willing to fly totally blind.

It should be noted that you can achieve "pseudo-stealth" much more easily. Detecting IR emissions and visible light reflections does not necessarily equate to any form of useful data. For example, if you approach with a star directly behind you, relative to your enemy (which is Rule #1 of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicta_Boelcke the Dicta Boelcke,]] [[OldSchoolDogfighting the rules for World War I fighter pilots]]), the enemy will have a hard time picking your radiation out from the radiation coming from the star. Stealth can also mean ''disguise'', camouflaging your warship as a mining scow or [[{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}} delivery ship]] in a populated star system. It's also possible to play terrain games: you can always hide behind something big, if you have the proper velocity to hold that relative position. Or for a big enough object one could land on or even inside it.

In an environment with FasterThanLightTravel (which automatically disqualifies it from realism), you can exploit the lightspeed limit. Since it takes time for the light your ship radiates to reach the enemy, if you can go faster than light, you can get there before you can be spotted. This is the basis of the "[[DoppelgangerSpin Picard Maneuver]]" seen in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', one of the few places it was exploited. Likewise in softer settings where FasterThanLightTravel exists via the usage of SubspaceOrHyperspace, stealth technology could be created by producing a means of remaining in the aforementioned alternate dimension while being able to see outside of it, against adversaries in normal space who cannot see you in return.

to:

In reality, stealth in space is [[SpaceDoesNotWorkThatWay a lot harder than people think]]. There are several problems, of which the biggest is heat. A ship's systems generate heat steadily, especially if it has human passengers who need life support. To keep from cooking, you have to get rid of the excess heat, and the only way to do (More on that in a vacuum is via radiation. This makes your ship glow like a beacon to any infrared telescope. Worse still, the Real Life section below.) As such, most plausible space drive technology relies on spouting hot propellant into the void. That gives your location away instantly, and once you're spotted, you can't just turn off your engines to "go dark"--per Newton's First Law, your ship will keep going in the same direction at the same speed, which means it's easy to predict where you'll be. The only way to change direction and speed is to fire your engines again. Oops.

You can temporarily solve the first problem with a heat sink--a big block of ice or other cold material, into which you dump your excess heat. That can keep your ship at a livable temperature without external radiation. Unfortunately, the ice will eventually melt, and then you're back where you started. Moreover, you're still left with the second problem. Any attempt to maneuver will instantly reveal your presence unless you can find a way to keep your propellant cold while firing it out the back of a rocket.

On top of all that, there are various other issues. If you use any kind of active sensors (e.g., radar), you're sending out pulses of radiation that can be detected, so you have to rely on passive sensors only. And you can be detected by simple visual means, too. It's possible to see very small things at very great distances in space. Even if you paint your ship dead black, you can be spotted by the stars you occlude as you pass in front of them. You need an InvisibilityCloak of some kind (and you also need to be able to stick a sensor outside the cloak, or else you're flying blind).

How do you deal with all this? Most
writers prefer not to bother. They 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.

If you really want StealthInSpace while staying true to science as we understand it, you need the following:

* A way to contain heat without giving off IR emissions. (Thermodynamics being what it is, this means your stealth mode has a time limit. Eventually you ''must'' offload your excess heat, or you'll fry.)
* A way to get your ship moving without generating hot exhaust, or at least generating it in a place where it won't be seen (behind a planet or something). Once you get moving, you can allow momentum to carry you to your destination--but any time you change course, you must eliminate or conceal those emissions, too.
* Some kind of cloaking technology to keep you from being seen directly.
* A willingness to operate with only passive sensors. If your cloaking technology does not allow you to stick a sensor through it, then you have to be willing to fly totally blind.

It should be noted that you can achieve "pseudo-stealth" much more easily. Detecting IR emissions and visible light reflections does not necessarily equate to any form of useful data. For example, if you approach with a star directly behind you, relative to your enemy (which is Rule #1 of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicta_Boelcke the Dicta Boelcke,]] [[OldSchoolDogfighting the rules for World War I fighter pilots]]), the enemy will have a hard time picking your radiation out from the radiation coming from the star. Stealth can also mean ''disguise'', camouflaging your warship as a mining scow or [[{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}} delivery ship]] in a populated star system. It's also possible to play terrain games: you can always hide behind something big, if you have the proper velocity to hold that relative position. Or for a big enough object one could land on or even inside it.

In an environment with FasterThanLightTravel (which automatically disqualifies it from realism), you can exploit the lightspeed limit. Since it takes time for the light your ship radiates to reach the enemy, if you can go faster than light, you can get there before you can be spotted. This is the basis of the "[[DoppelgangerSpin Picard Maneuver]]" seen in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', one of the few places it was exploited. Likewise in softer settings where FasterThanLightTravel exists via the usage of SubspaceOrHyperspace, stealth technology could be created by producing a means of remaining in the aforementioned alternate dimension while being able to see outside of it, against adversaries in normal space who cannot see you in return.
some.


Added DiffLines:

* There are several significant problems with trying this in reality, of which the biggest is heat. A ship's systems generate heat steadily, especially if it has human passengers who need life support. To keep from cooking, you have to get rid of the excess heat, and the only way to do that in a vacuum is via radiation. This makes your ship glow like a beacon to any infrared telescope. Worse still, most plausible space drive technology relies on spouting hot propellant into the void. That gives your location away instantly, and once you're spotted, you can't just turn off your engines to "go dark"--per Newton's First Law, your ship will keep going in the same direction at the same speed, which means it's easy to predict where you'll be. The only way to change direction and speed is to fire your engines again. Oops.\\
\\
You can temporarily solve the first problem with a heat sink--a big block of ice or other cold material, into which you dump your excess heat. That can keep your ship at a livable temperature without external radiation. Unfortunately, the ice will eventually melt, and then you're back where you started. Moreover, you're still left with the second problem. Any attempt to maneuver will instantly reveal your presence unless you can find a way to keep your propellant cold while firing it out the back of a rocket.\\
\\
On top of all that, there are various other issues. If you use any kind of active sensors (e.g., radar), you're sending out pulses of radiation that can be detected, so you have to rely on passive sensors only. And you can be detected by simple visual means, too. It's possible to see very small things at very great distances in space. Even if you paint your ship dead black, you can be spotted by the stars you occlude as you pass in front of them. You need an InvisibilityCloak of some kind (and you also need to be able to stick a sensor outside the cloak, or else you're flying blind).\\
\\
If you really want StealthInSpace while staying true to science as we understand it, you need the following: 1.) A way to contain heat without giving off IR emissions. (Thermodynamics being what it is, this means your stealth mode has a time limit. Eventually you ''must'' offload your excess heat, or you'll fry.) 2.) A way to get your ship moving without generating hot exhaust, or at least generating it in a place where it won't be seen (behind a planet or something). Once you get moving, you can allow momentum to carry you to your destination--but any time you change course, you must eliminate or conceal those emissions, too. 3.) Some kind of cloaking technology to keep you from being seen directly. 4.) A willingness to operate with only passive sensors. If your cloaking technology does not allow you to stick a sensor through it, then you have to be willing to fly totally blind.\\
\\
It should be noted that you can achieve "pseudo-stealth" much more easily. Detecting IR emissions and visible light reflections does not necessarily equate to any form of useful data. For example, if you approach with a star directly behind you, relative to your enemy (which is Rule #1 of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicta_Boelcke the Dicta Boelcke,]] [[OldSchoolDogfighting the rules for World War I fighter pilots]]), the enemy will have a hard time picking your radiation out from the radiation coming from the star. Stealth can also mean ''disguise'', camouflaging your warship as a mining scow or [[{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}} delivery ship]] in a populated star system. It's also possible to play terrain games: you can always hide behind something big, if you have the proper velocity to hold that relative position. Or for a big enough object one could land on or even inside it.\\
\\
In an environment with FasterThanLightTravel (which automatically disqualifies it from realism), you can exploit the lightspeed limit. Since it takes time for the light your ship radiates to reach the enemy, if you can go faster than light, you can get there before you can be spotted. This is the basis of the "[[DoppelgangerSpin Picard Maneuver]]" seen in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', one of the few places it was exploited. Likewise in softer settings where FasterThanLightTravel exists via the usage of SubspaceOrHyperspace, stealth technology could be created by producing a means of remaining in the aforementioned alternate dimension while being able to see outside of it, against adversaries in normal space who cannot see you in return.
29th Nov '15 5:41:18 AM EDP
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** The ExpandedUniverse give the Hyach a number of stealth ships, depending on advanced hull materials and a fully gravitic drive to not be detected. This has a few downsides: as their technology is not as advanced as the Minbari's, their stealth ships are rela

to:

** The ExpandedUniverse give the Hyach a number of stealth ships, depending on advanced hull materials and a fully gravitic drive to not be detected. This has a few downsides: as their technology is not as advanced as the Minbari's, their stealth ships need to turn off their active sensors to not be detected, and WILL get detected anyway the moment they open fire; also, the stealth hull is more fragile than the standard, and a stealth ship is far easier to destroy when it gets detected.
** Again from the ExpandedUniverse, the Rutarian strike fighter: developed by the Centauri, it uses an unspecified form of stealth to sneak upon unsuspecting targets before opening fire.
** The Shadows have their own variant: thanks to their superior technology, they can easily detect ships in normal space while staying in hyperspace, allowing them to sneak on an unsuspecting target from hyperspace, phase in (as opposed to opening a jump point) and annihilate the victim with their superior firepower. As the Younger Races cannot detect ships in hyperspace from normal space, it's as effective as actual stealth.
** Pretty much everyone can use the camouflage variant, producing merchant ships that
are relafar more well armed than they have any right to be.
29th Nov '15 5:28:31 AM EDP
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* ''Anime/SpaceBattleshipYamato'' and [[Anime/SpaceBattleshipYamato2199 its remake]] have subspace submarines, that achieve stealth by [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin diving into subspace]] (both versions are big on the SpaceIsAnOcean trope), with the added advantage of making the boat effectively invulnerable. They do, however, have their problems: for starters, they are effectively blind when 'submerged', depending on a ''periscope'' to see the target, a periscope that, differently from the rest of the boat, can be detected (not easily) and destroyed; another problem is that they depend on particular torpedoes capable of emerging from subspace to attack, torpedoes that come in a limited supply; then there's the problem that when on 'surface' they are markedly inferior in weapons and armour to conventional ships, meaning they need to stay submerged to survive; finally, it ''is'' possible to develop a 'subspace sonar' to detect them, at which point a ship in normal space could theoretically counterattack with 'subspace depth charges' based on the same technology of the sub's own torpedoes. For all these reasons, they're only used for ambushes.



* In ''Series/BabylonFive'', the Minbari have their own take on this trope by having advanced jamming technology that allows them to play havoc with enemy sensors, making it impossible for them to get effective lock-ons on their ships. Although this makes it easy to know that there are Minbari ''present'' in the area, this technology is treated as effective stealth since locating the exact positions of ships -- to say nothing about aiming weapons at them in a combat scenario -- is literally impossible without sensor data, compounded by their antigrav propulsion giving them maneuverability to make manual targeting difficult.
** At least some ships have a variant of this technology: a Ranger fighter managed to sneak on a Centauri warship, ''breach its hull and siphon away atmosphere'' without being detected.

to:

* In ''Series/BabylonFive'', the ''Series/BabylonFive'' has a few examples:
** The
Minbari have their own take on this trope by having are the best known for this, with two variants:
*** The first one is an
advanced jamming technology that allows them to play havoc with enemy sensors, making it impossible for them to get effective lock-ons on their ships. Although this makes it easy to know that there are Minbari ''present'' in the area, this technology is treated as effective stealth since locating the exact positions of ships -- to say nothing about aiming weapons at them in a combat scenario -- is literally impossible without sensor data, compounded data. This is compoundeded by their antigrav propulsion mastery of ArtificialGravity giving them maneuverability to make their ships enormous manouverability, making manual targeting difficult.
** At least some ships have a variant of this technology:
difficult even when they're close enough to see.
*** The other is an actual stealth technology, that makes the ship effectively invisible to sensors, as demonstrated when
a Ranger fighter managed to sneak on a Centauri warship, ''breach its hull and siphon away atmosphere'' without being detected.detected. The problem of a detectable exhaust is easily avoided by Minbari ships having fully gravitic drives that allow to move without firing thrusters (that they don't appear to have anyway).
** The ExpandedUniverse give the Hyach a number of stealth ships, depending on advanced hull materials and a fully gravitic drive to not be detected. This has a few downsides: as their technology is not as advanced as the Minbari's, their stealth ships are rela
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