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Old 11-18-2011, 12:49 PM   #31
Bruno
 
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Default Re: How visible would a flying super be on radar?

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Originally Posted by Proteus View Post
Do the U.S. and China really scan the entire Pacific Ocean surface for cruise missiles, or would you only have a problem on a ballistic trajectory?

(Obviously, we don't really *know* -- or those who do can't *say* -- but I suspect the effort and expense is impractical.)
I have no idea what they do IRL. In movies (snicker) we always get these neat little diagrams starting at the launch location. Certainly if I were a large nation slightly suspicious of other large nations, I'd do my best to get satellites into orbit that can watch their land mass and any place where they have known foreign military installations for launches. That way I'd have the maximum warning time. I'd also survey anything nearby for that last minute warning of course.
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:49 PM   #32
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Default Re: How visible would a flying super be on radar?

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On the other hand, if you're mis-identified by the Chinese as a missile launch - especially one that seems to be headed roughly China-ward - you may have caused a significant problem. So.
Temporarily. Once the smoke clears, whatever country that misidentified the flier as an ICBM will get into waaay more trouble than the one that almost mistook a bunch of geese for missiles.

(I'm assuming the super will survive whatever's thrown at her as a countermeasure, this being supers.)
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:02 PM   #33
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Default Re: How visible would a flying super be on radar?

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Originally Posted by Proteus View Post
Do the U.S. and China really scan the entire Pacific Ocean surface for cruise missiles, or would you only have a problem on a ballistic trajectory?

(Obviously, we don't really *know* -- or those who do can't *say* -- but I suspect the effort and expense is impractical.)
I don't see why they would. That being said, if there is a naval battle group moving from one location to another, they may happen to be in the area when the super flies near.
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:41 PM   #34
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Default Re: How visible would a flying super be on radar?

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The consensus seems to be that low, bird-like speeds (in the tens of mph) will be filtered out from most radar systems, but more useful, airplane-like, traveling speeds (in the hundreds of mph) will show up as odd, potentially even like an unauthorized missile launch.
Consider there to be a strong view that "no, they won't show up well enough for airplane or missile-like ranges of engagement.".

Flesh does not refect EM radiation well at all in the frequencies being discussed.

Non-RADAR has issues too. You may be able to launch IR-guided missiles at airplanes at 10 miles or more but that's tracking on engine exhaust in excess of 10,000 lbs and/or skin temperatures of 600 degrees F or more. Again, not very human-like. The Gurps range of 1800 yards for a IR-guided Gyroc is probably excessive.

It's theoretically possible to do several sorts of "somethings" but I don't think those soemthings will actualy work very weel at the speeds andand ranges beign contemplated.
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:44 PM   #35
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Default Re: How visible would a flying super be on radar?

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I should have specified: the super in question is in a campaign where the general public doesn't know superpowers exist, so the heroes usually try to avoid attracting unnecessary attention.
It's not the general public, it's the people who own and operate the RADAR. If the military or spooks know about Supers, their RADARs, at least, will be designed to not filter them out.
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:00 PM   #36
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Default Re: How visible would a flying super be on radar?

A super, unless he's got fire powers and runs at a quite high power level, isn't going to look much like a missile.
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:11 PM   #37
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Default Re: How visible would a flying super be on radar?

The people most likely to spot him first will be the operator of meteo radar or bird watching radar, if he fly at 'slow' speed.
Once someone notice the weird move pattern, odds are some official agency will start to investigate.

If he go at plane speed, or faster, he will probably ping military radar sooner rather than later.

I think most modern targeting sensor would have an hard time getting a lock good enough for missile attack. (no hope for IR, little chance for radar).

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Last edited by Celjabba; 11-18-2011 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:20 PM   #38
Ludo
 
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Default Re: How visible would a flying super be on radar?

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Just how visible would a flying human being be on typical radar systems, in a campaign that mixes cinematic supers with reasonable realism?
Before or after it splashed on the screen? ...

Sorry.
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:37 PM   #39
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Default Re: How visible would a flying super be on radar?

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Originally Posted by Celjabba View Post
The people most likely to spot him first will be the operator of meteo radar or bird watching radar, if he fly at 'slow' speed.
Once someone notice the weird signal, odds are some official agency will start to investigate.

If he go at plane speed, or faster, he will probably ping military radar sooner rather than later.

a
Note that there isn't much military radar coverage of the interior of a nation. Even a nation as paranoid as Soviet Russia could have an unidentified small plane fly all the way from the border to Moscow without scrambling fighters.
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:52 PM   #40
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Default Re: How visible would a flying super be on radar?

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I have no idea what they do IRL. In movies (snicker) we always get these neat little diagrams starting at the launch location. Certainly if I were a large nation slightly suspicious of other large nations, I'd do my best to get satellites into orbit that can watch their land mass and any place where they have known foreign military installations for launches. That way I'd have the maximum warning time. I'd also survey anything nearby for that last minute warning of course.
From what I know, the general way to detect an ICBM launch is to watch for it via satellites. I'm pretty sure they're primarily looking for the IR signature of a massive rocket launch rather than using RADAR. Thus, they can spot where a missile came from and then plot where it's going, but they quite possibly won't have full coverage of it from launch until landing, and it's not all RADAR based.
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