History Main / StealthInSpace

26th Jul '17 5:33:28 AM JackG
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* ''Series/BlakesSeven''. In "Stardrive", Avon decides to sneak past the detection grid of a planet by hugging close to an asteroid. RealityEnsues and the ''Scorpio'' side-swipes the asteroid, severely damaging the ship.
14th May '17 2:48:55 PM nombretomado
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* ''Franchise/StarCraft'' has cloaking that renders units invisible to the naked eye and to non-specialized sensors. The Terran Wraith and Ghost can cloak temporarily, while the Protoss Observer and Dark Templar are permanently cloaked (they can cloak indefinitely, so they don't bother to put an off-switch into the game). The Protoss Arbiter can cloak other units, but not itself; this tends to strain WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief - who the heck would make a unit that can't cloak itself? Yeah, yeah, gameplay mechanics, we know - but still (supposedly, it involves creating a reality-warping field that requires itself to remain anchored in reality to generate it). Also, almost all Zerg ground units can burrow underground (even if that ground is the hull of a space station), which has the effect of immobile cloaking. The Protoss explain cloaking with psionics and reality warping. The specifics of Wraith and Ghost cloaking are never fully explained (PsychicPowers for the latter). The one staple is that all of these are easily overthrown if sensors are put into play.

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* ''Franchise/StarCraft'' ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' has cloaking that renders units invisible to the naked eye and to non-specialized sensors. The Terran Wraith and Ghost can cloak temporarily, while the Protoss Observer and Dark Templar are permanently cloaked (they can cloak indefinitely, so they don't bother to put an off-switch into the game). The Protoss Arbiter can cloak other units, but not itself; this tends to strain WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief - who the heck would make a unit that can't cloak itself? Yeah, yeah, gameplay mechanics, we know - but still (supposedly, it involves creating a reality-warping field that requires itself to remain anchored in reality to generate it). Also, almost all Zerg ground units can burrow underground (even if that ground is the hull of a space station), which has the effect of immobile cloaking. The Protoss explain cloaking with psionics and reality warping. The specifics of Wraith and Ghost cloaking are never fully explained (PsychicPowers for the latter). The one staple is that all of these are easily overthrown if sensors are put into play.
27th Apr '17 10:09:35 AM FuzzyBoots
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* In ''VideoGame/{{Stars}}'', the FogOfWar prevents detecting ships until they are within range of a ship or planet scanner. Applying cloaking fields, or playing as a Hyper Stealth race, reduces the effective range of enemy scanners for detecting your ships.
16th Apr '17 8:32:01 PM nombretomado
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*** One of the Imperial officers notes that it should be impossible for them to have just disappeared, as "no ship that small has a cloaking device". While not technically true as later ExpandedUniverse and ''StarWarsTheCloneWars'' material would show, cloaking field generators that ''could'' be mounted on a Millennium Falcon-sized ship were extremely rare and highly classified. And most of the AppliedPhlebotinum needed to power such small cloaking devices had already been used up.

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*** One of the Imperial officers notes that it should be impossible for them to have just disappeared, as "no ship that small has a cloaking device". While not technically true as later ExpandedUniverse and ''StarWarsTheCloneWars'' ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' material would show, cloaking field generators that ''could'' be mounted on a Millennium Falcon-sized ship were extremely rare and highly classified. And most of the AppliedPhlebotinum needed to power such small cloaking devices had already been used up.
30th Mar '17 8:03:55 PM Zaptech
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* In ''Literature/TheExpanse'', it is ''possible'' for ships to hide, but they can only do so by shutting off most of their systems and hiding behind asteroids, or by taking innocuous orbits and paths and hoping that anyone looking for them won't be able to pick them out from thousands of other ships moving around the vast, empty void. There's also the dedicated Martian stealth ships, which among other things are designed to hide their emissions and have a radiation-absorbing hull coating that makes them impossible to detect unless they activate their engines. This radiation-absorbent coating becomes very important later on, as it ends up being used by a group of terrorists to [[spoiler: sneak several asteroids past Earth's fleets to impact the planet and cause immense destruction]].
13th Mar '17 11:26:48 AM nalbers
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* ''VideoGame/{{EliteDangerous}}'' has sensor technology based on heat, and it is possible to mask your heat signature in 2 ways: 1. By shutting down all heat generating systems and allowing the ship to cool down to the surrounding temperature of space, and 2. By closing off the ship's radiators in "Silent running" mode. This will make your ship very hard to target, but has the downside of causing your ship to overheat, with eventual catastrophic consequences. You can stave off this possibility for a time by launching a heat sink unit into space, which will use a coolant purge to dump all your waste heat into a launchable block.
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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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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** 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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