Ranges of X-ray, T-ray, Lidar, and Radar?

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Ael Wyn Ael Wyn's picture
Ranges of X-ray, T-ray, Lidar, and Radar?

Crowdsource question: The only thing I could find in the first edition core book on ranges of various sensing equipment was the Radio and Sensor Range Table on p. 299. It pegs sensor range to the size of the sensor. Does that apply to X-ray emitters, T-ray emitters, lidar, and radar? I would think the more energetic parts of the electromagnetic range (X-rays rather than radar) would have a much shorter range, but that is a very uneducated guess.

If I get an X-ray emitter embedded in my synth, is it going to have a range of 20 km? Am I going to be able to see and interpret the backscatter at that range, even with Enhanced Vision? Or is that just how far a gun can broadcast what it's showing through the gunsight?

I'm also curious about the overlap between different types of sensors. It seems like if you had an X-ray emitter and Enhanced Vision (which includes the ability to see down into X-rays, and up into infrared), you would be mostly covered. Would there be a reason to include radar, ladar, or a t-ray emitter? Do they have advantages over X-rays, which are higher resolution and can see through more stuff?

Current radar appears to be better than lidar at seeing through fog and precipitation. Resolution increases as you go down the electromagnetic spectrum toward gamma rays.

The T-ray emitter says it works for 20 meters in atmosphere/100 meters in vacuum. This contradicts the Sensor Range table, but I couldn't find info for any of the other parts of the spectrum.

Thanks in advance for thoughts.

Benny89 Benny89's picture
I would also want to know

I would also want to know what is the range of X-Ray, Lidar and Radar in open space and in close envoirment

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Benny89 wrote:I would also

Benny89 wrote:
I would also want to know what is the range of X-Ray, Lidar and Radar in open space and in close envoirment

Weeeeeeell... Sonar in space does not work at all (it is all about sound, and sound is a transmission of vibration through some physical medium, and space is, well, empty...), inside of habitats, however, it could give a great sphere of perception if the receptors are good enough (and the software and filtering are, too), heck even totally silent people would be registered since it's impossible to move fast and not generate any kind of soundwave...

In short: the best way is to place small receptors in the walls and let them transmit the vibrations they receive to each other in a chain that reaches you... even if their range is about 10 meters, the tacnet would be near omniscient in that area, at least regarding enemy movement and the layout (what they carry can be disguised, of course).
As for the counter, noise generators that would remove the people but would make the layout even clearer, delivered by drones in an expanding pattern.

X-Ray and Lidar I think that if you go active the limit is the come and go lag. There has been a mention somewhere that the Voyager probe needs 17 hours or so for the transmitted signals to travel to Earth (double that for a response!) and her emission system is akin to that of a modern refrigerator! Of course, the reception systems on Earth are impressively big, but the signal was like 1/10 to the 23rd or so potence.

Benny89 Benny89's picture
Um, I am not physist or

Um, I am not physist or anything so I still don't know what that should tell me? I meant like meters, kilometers etc. Like you have X-Ray and Lidar on as implants in your morph, and Radar too. What is probably their effective range on ground in open area and in urban areas. Like in meters or something.

I am grateful for help but I don't know what to do with that Voyager thing :D

Ael Wyn Ael Wyn's picture
More Guesses and Questions

Electromagnetic radiation tends to break up and lose signal quality over distance, especially if it's going through an atmosphere or dust particles, which may be one reason SETI has not found any evidence of intelligent life. But it has a huge range, which is why we can actually see starlight.

Maybe the limitations have more to do with processing speed and the dangers of active scanning. Could you orbit Mars and X-ray a building on Earth, down to hand-sized objects? Maybe, for 6-12 hours a day, while it was on the right side of the planet. But if the people in the building had an X-ray detector, they would know your location 14 minutes before you got any information on them.

Would the equipment to do this be able to fit inside a morph? Would the signal get so much interference that the data wouldn't be useful? How long would it take to zoom in on the building you wanted? How would you keep your scanner still enough to focus in on that one building?

The size of antennae tend to get larger as wavelength increases and frequency decreases. There are enormous radio telescopes (long wavelength end of spectrum) and nano-X-ray detectors (short wavelength end of spectrum). My guess is that size would tend to limit radar detectors and the need to bombard something with lots of high-energy radiation would tend to limit X-ray detectors.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Benny89 wrote:Um, I am not

Benny89 wrote:
Um, I am not physist or anything so I still don't know what that should tell me? I meant like meters, kilometers etc. Like you have X-Ray and Lidar on as implants in your morph, and Radar too. What is probably their effective range on ground in open area and in urban areas. Like in meters or something.

I am grateful for help but I don't know what to do with that Voyager thing :D

Ok, in short and practical gameplay, morph-sized scale (Fenrir and other biggies aside): assume range is enough for the weapons effective range, and instantaneous. Beyond that, assume penalties to initiative of -10 for the active character and +10 to the receiving one (if both have the needed sensors) per range increment.

And remember that is Active, giving away your emitter's location. You would do well to use a basic remote you are ready to loss to act as "lantern" (and no matter if you place the emitter closer to the target than you are, the penalties are because you give advance warning to the target that something is pinging it).

Passive ranges would work only for sonar, I think, and range would be hearing, ten times that on water and three times that if you have specialized receptors plugged to the floor. Sonar does not work in vacuum.

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
As far as the eye can see...

X-ray emitters aren't particularly useful, because x-rays tend to be absorbed rather than refracted, and almost never reflected.
You'll usually be using background radiation as a light source instead, which isn't as bad as it sounds due to it's near omnipresence (except where deliberately blocked).
This is because X-Rays can penetrate pretty much anything - everything is translucent to some level.
As a rule of thumb, the higher the material's atomic number, the more it absorbs.

Functionally, the range of x-rays (afaik) essentially runs on the same line's as visible light - it's how good your eyes are and how good you are at distinguishing objects.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

Benny89 Benny89's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:

Functionally, the range of x-rays (afaik) essentially runs on the same line's as visible light - it's how good your eyes are and how good you are at distinguishing objects.

So with nanoscopic + enchanced vision that pretty much means huge range :)

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Benny89 wrote

Benny89 wrote:
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:

Functionally, the range of x-rays (afaik) essentially runs on the same line's as visible light - it's how good your eyes are and how good you are at distinguishing objects.

So with nanoscopic + enchanced vision that pretty much means huge range :)

Huge range and small sized parts of that, however, so not very practical for detection uses... Imagine like when playing an FPS game with long, open maps, with a sniper rifle (that has magnification optics)... you use your normal sight to find targets, and the gun's magnification to check on what you saw.