History Main / StealthInSpace

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.
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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Added DiffLines:

** 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.

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* 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.

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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.
** Both the Covenant and Forerunners have even more advanced stealth capabilities, being as they're capable of cloaking entire capital ships.
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