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Old 08-25-2015, 05:53 PM   #19
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Default Re: [Spaceships] Heat Signature, Cloaking Device, and Stealth Hull

A couple of thoughts here. First, in the "realistic" approach, we have just begun to tip our toes into metamaterials. The advances made in this field are taking us into GURPS TL^ territory. Everyone now screaming that "there is no stealth in space" assumes that everything works in the far future as we now understand it. Fine. But that's probably not very realistic.

Metamaterials, for instance, are proving that cloaking, fixed antennas which work like steerable ones, and a host of other applications will provide opportunities for things to work very different today than in the far future. Thus, there's very little "realistic" about trying to dispense with stealth or cloaking in space. This is like pointing to classic sci-fi with steel helmets and laser guns and saying that's the only realistic path forward.

And while others are going to jump on this and rail about my poor understanding of science, remember that warp drives are now no longer strictly a superscience consideration, and recent tests in fusion power and may make reactionless powered spacecraft possible in the near term. These are things real scientists are researching right now. However it all works, it's not unrealistic to propose that the idea of cloaking may be used in space. It may very optimistic, and it probably will look very strange to us, as the geometries involved may be very unusual compared to stock sci-fi swooshing spaceships.

Second, if you want a superscience TL^ cloak, make it so. Wipe out all range, background, and other factors. Simply apply the -10 solely to the operator's skill. The end. A highly skilled operator might detect your cloaked ship, but otherwise, you are cloaked. End of story. You don't need any more justification than that.
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