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Old September 22nd, 2013, 07:11 AM
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OK, sensors......

My Cr0.02, plus questions.

How does drive sensing work? Not the physics, but the idea? My thought is that if we can manipulate it, we have to have a way to sense it. Basically, you would sense how large (volume) and how powerful (the G being employed) the distortion of the local field is (or what is expected from the local field). You could conceivably take this information in through observing distortion of incoming e-mag from the universe, or you could throw out your own calibrated e-mag and watch it distort in the grav field. (And, that's plenty specific for me in-game.) This would tell you, btw, only what they were outputting, not what their capability is - unless you use it like a sonar reading of a ship's propeller, allowing the nuances to tell you "oh, yes, that's likely a P&W500s 3G with turbo and a glass pac."

Checking things like volume of another ship should be done fairly easily via visual sensors. Obviously any of it hidden behind the face you can see won't be detectable that way, nor any of it that is hidden as a "black body" - background radiation cold and dark - at least easily. You could also ping it with ladar or radar. I would think that would be a more active way to do it, obtaining more detail and overcoming simple attempts at stealth.

Passive sensors would pick up e-mag emissions that include: heat output, light output, radiation of any other kind that isn't contained, "holes" in the sky where a ship blocks radiation, radio transmissions (omni-directional, or side lobes of directed, but not laser comm), and sound (in atmosphere).

I don't recall just how much info Jump Flash gives you, other than "oh look, a ship just came out of jump."

I would assume that normal etiquette would be - in a place where pirates are more commonplace - to "ping" a ship once with directed radar/ladar, then to not continue doing so. Anything else might be considered aggressive. (I fully expect some of the defense forces around here to do that; it's still aggressive, but they have their job to do.) I would think that any active grav-drive detection would fall in that category, as well.

I also would think that one active emission would not be considered aggressive, even though constant: general radar. It would seem to be a normal sensor to have running (especially in uncontrolled areas) - much like a TCAS on airliners or the collision avoidance stuff on a sea-going vessel. It's dark out here, and you wouldn't want us to run into you because your headlights are off.

Thoughts? (And, I apologize in advance for any of it we've already hashed out but I don't recall.)

All of which leads to the question, "is the Fargo captain an insufferable tool, or do I owe the man an apology?"
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