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Old 09-18-2020, 01:41 PM   #11
Sam Baughn
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Query: Can dirt shielding reduce an IR Signature?

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Thus, the aim of IR shielding, to the degree it's realistic at all, is to make the heat go somewhere where it can't easily be detected. This generally involves one of four strategies:
Another possible strategy is disguise. You could join the heat sink for a covert element to a larger legitimate one and hope that the overall difference isn't noticed, you can make your signature look like something else (for example, a tank with a heat signature which mimics a truck's), or try to make it look 'noisy' by blocking patches (in the same way that conventional camouflage can break up a solid shape into a confusing mess). None of those seem like great strategies for hiding an industrial operation in your basement though.
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Query: Can dirt shielding reduce an IR Signature?

Thank you everybody! I had no idea the issue was so complicated. (Silly me, looking for a simple answer.) Still, a lot of good advice here that I will take into account if I design an underground base that really needs to stay hidden. The surface features of my Martian “Gas” Station would make it pretty obvious. Now though you've got me worried about heat management. Mars is pretty cold so you sink a lot heat there but do I need any special provisions for a long term base with an underground reactor? (Please reply through the above thread.)
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Old 09-18-2020, 08:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Query: Can dirt shielding reduce an IR Signature?

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ut do I need any special provisions for a long term base with an underground reactor? (Please reply through the above thread.)
Dalton “a largely satisfied inquirer” Spence
The heat will find its' own way out. Your only issues are it doing it too slowly or having too much go through the hman-inhabited areas. Several usable suggestions have been made.

You might not need an. Subteranean tunnels could be too cold and if you pump in any outside atmosphere that's going to need a lot of warming. There's even a fair bit of temprature range between "melted ice" and "human friendly environment".

I think it extremely likely that any problems are solvable without excessive difficulty.
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Old 09-18-2020, 08:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Query: Can dirt shielding reduce an IR Signature?

A thermal satellite image is going to look something like this:

https://thermal.kk7.ch/

Unfortunately, it doesn't list a scale showing what temperature the colour grades indicate, but it's probably a sensitivity of a couple of degrees C between red and blue.

As you can see, there's a lot of variation, so one trick you might get away with is to disguise your thermal plume as a natural feature.
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Old 09-18-2020, 08:51 PM   #15
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Query: Can dirt shielding reduce an IR Signature?

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Originally Posted by DaltonS View Post
Thank you everybody! I had no idea the issue was so complicated. (Silly me, looking for a simple answer.) Still, a lot of good advice here that I will take into account if I design an underground base that really needs to stay hidden. The surface features of my Martian “Gas” Station would make it pretty obvious. Now though you've got me worried about heat management. Mars is pretty cold so you sink a lot heat there but do I need any special provisions for a long term base with an underground reactor? (]
Not especially. The rock around will soak up the heat. It's just going to be obvious on Mars where the epicenter of the heat bloom is.
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Old 09-18-2020, 11:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Query: Can dirt shielding reduce an IR Signature?

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Not especially. The rock around will soak up the heat. It's just going to be obvious on Mars where the epicenter of the heat bloom is.
Of course, with good heat pumps and enough heat pipes spreading out in the right direction it is be possible to move the center of the heat away from where the base is actually located. The farther away you move it the more it'll cost in time, resources, and thus money, but you can certainly move it away from the base.

What you won't be able to do is cover up the heat signature; you can move it, you can spread it out, but you can't hide it. And, of course, what do you do with all your excess heat if they find your underground heatpipe network and disable it?
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Old 09-19-2020, 01:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Query: Can dirt shielding reduce an IR Signature?

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And, of course, what do you do with all your excess heat if they find your underground heatpipe network and disable it?
You have exactly the same problem as you would with any other type of radiator system being disabled?
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Old 09-19-2020, 02:14 AM   #18
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Query: Can dirt shielding reduce an IR Signature?

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You have exactly the same problem as you would with any other type of radiator system being disabled?
More or less my point, with the added problem that the excess heat is going to build up at your actual base negating the stealth advantage you were trying to create.
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