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Nanites in Mission of Honor

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Nanites in Mission of Honor
Post by SciFiMike   » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:19 pm

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I question the assertion that any nanite configuration could make the MAN vessels invisible to Manticorean sensors. In order to truly reflect what is behind something, and considering one would need to adjust for ALL viewing angles in at least a 180-degree sweep in the "front" part of the object as it moves in one direction, those nanites would have to be 3-D to get the proper shape of the objects behind them based upon the source of the light being reflected from them or blocked by them, from the perspective of each angle that could be scanning in its direction. Any such 3-D object/entity would need energy for the projection and that energy would be detectable by scanners.

Feel there could be other scenarios that could allow terrible damage to the Manticorean system and defenders, though not as catastrophic as depicted in this novel using the concept of total stealth from the advanced and intricate Manticorean sensors and observers.
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Re: Nanites in Mission of Honor
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:58 pm

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SciFiMike wrote:I question the assertion that any nanite configuration could make the MAN vessels invisible to Manticorean sensors. In order to truly reflect what is behind something, and considering one would need to adjust for ALL viewing angles in at least a 180-degree sweep in the "front" part of the object as it moves in one direction, those nanites would have to be 3-D to get the proper shape of the objects behind them based upon the source of the light being reflected from them or blocked by them, from the perspective of each angle that could be scanning in its direction. Any such 3-D object/entity would need energy for the projection and that energy would be detectable by scanners.

Feel there could be other scenarios that could allow terrible damage to the Manticorean system and defenders, though not as catastrophic as depicted in this novel using the concept of total stealth from the advanced and intricate Manticorean sensors and observers.
Flashbacks to 9 years ago and all the arguments back after the Advanced Reader Copies of MoH became available.

I'm sure it helps that the MAlign ships do their best to keep from moving between any known observer and interesting objects. If you only have to fake it enough to prevent occlusion of point-source background stars the whole process seems like it'd be a lot easier that if you were,say, trying to slip between a warship and a nearby gas giant.

Still there's a fair bit of the power of plot around all Honorverse stealth - not just the MAlign super-stealth; since any ship having the kind of power described in the books should be unmissable to even a fairly broad angle IR sensor.
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Re: Nanites in Mission of Honor
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:20 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:I'm sure it helps that the MAlign ships do their best to keep from moving between any known observer and interesting objects. If you only have to fake it enough to prevent occlusion of point-source background stars the whole process seems like it'd be a lot easier that if you were,say, trying to slip between a warship and a nearby gas giant.

Still there's a fair bit of the power of plot around all Honorverse stealth - not just the MAlign super-stealth; since any ship having the kind of power described in the books should be unmissable to even a fairly broad angle IR sensor.


And any interesting nebulae as well, of which there are many in the background. Plotting a course out of the ecliptic probably helps.

Note how your stealth system requires emission to remain undetectable. That means if your enemy can detect faint variations from what would be expected from what is received, you're actually telegraphing your direction, possibly the distance too.

As for power, you can do a lot by directing your heat exchangers way from where the enemy sensors are. Again the ecliptic: usually all the traffic and all the ships are on it, so if you direct your exchangers up and down, the chance of it being detected is small. You also want to have an internal heat sink and only dump heat at random intervals, so a scanner has a bigger chance of missing you or your drones.
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Re: Nanites in Mission of Honor
Post by SciFiMike   » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:43 am

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Thanks all for the quick replies.

I was irked about this years ago when I first read the book, but it resurfaced a couple days ago when I began rereading the book.

Funny (or just being a human) how with all the great schemes/plots/scenarios in Weber's many novels, how just one admittedly subjective "issue" can stick in one's craw. Can't help it and I wish I could remove it from my craw.

Of course, hasn't stopped me from reading all the Weber books I can get my hands on.
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Re: Nanites in Mission of Honor
Post by tlb   » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:48 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:I'm sure it helps that the MAlign ships do their best to keep from moving between any known observer and interesting objects. If you only have to fake it enough to prevent occlusion of point-source background stars the whole process seems like it'd be a lot easier that if you were,say, trying to slip between a warship and a nearby gas giant.

Still there's a fair bit of the power of plot around all Honorverse stealth - not just the MAlign super-stealth; since any ship having the kind of power described in the books should be unmissable to even a fairly broad angle IR sensor.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:And any interesting nebulae as well, of which there are many in the background. Plotting a course out of the ecliptic probably helps.

Note how your stealth system requires emission to remain undetectable. That means if your enemy can detect faint variations from what would be expected from what is received, you're actually telegraphing your direction, possibly the distance too.

One important point made back then is about what happens if there is at least two observers with some separation. The stealth system can be optimized for a single observer, but cannot do as well for multiple observers.
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Re: Nanites in Mission of Honor
Post by Theemile   » Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:39 pm

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SciFiMike wrote:Thanks all for the quick replies.

I was irked about this years ago when I first read the book, but it resurfaced a couple days ago when I began rereading the book.

Funny (or just being a human) how with all the great schemes/plots/scenarios in Weber's many novels, how just one admittedly subjective "issue" can stick in one's craw. Can't help it and I wish I could remove it from my craw.

Of course, hasn't stopped me from reading all the Weber books I can get my hands on.


Hey SciFiMike, welcome to the Forums - the first virtual Old Tillman is on us, after that you're on you own (but if you find a supplier, let me know - my stock is getting low). We don't bite (much), but some topics have been argued to death, resurrected, reflogged, zombied, chased around the forum, buried under 6' of peat, brought back via a Ouiji board, exorcised, reborn... well, you get the point - Peruse the last year or 2 of the forums and you may find many of your questions have already been chased to death. Just never mention "The Weapon That Must Not Be NAMED".

Now that that is out of the way....

The Heat dissipation via smart skin issue has rankled feathers for >20 years. Every warship can do it, though not all stealth techs are built the same. And as everybody points out, the whole system falls apart with multiple observers - and especially inward looking system platforms.

But it is essential to the plot for stealth to work, so after awhile you just have to come to the conclusion that it works via the "HandWavium" principle and move on (or let it sit and fester like so many of us here :) )
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RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Nanites in Mission of Honor
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:01 pm

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Theemile wrote:Just never mention "The Weapon That Must Not Be NAMED".


But can we mount it on the definitely for sure resurging Frigate type?

*runs*

SciFiMike wrote:I was irked about this years ago when I first read the book, but it resurfaced a couple days ago when I began rereading the book.

Funny (or just being a human) how with all the great schemes/plots/scenarios in Weber's many novels, how just one admittedly subjective "issue" can stick in one's craw. Can't help it and I wish I could remove it from my craw.


Yeah, same here. See the thread I started about "MDMs should last a little longer than they do" last month for another. Mine is that in 2 millenia, population and technology should be quite different, but they seem to have stagnated (sometimes regressed).

But David mostly gets things right. He's way above the average compared with other authors, probably top 5%. Even some of the things I originally thought as inconsistencies can be explained with enough creativity. See the same thread on the topic of speed and translating up and down the bands of hyperspace.
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Re: Nanites in Mission of Honor
Post by ZVar   » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:24 pm

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Remember the axiom of (paraphrasing) "A surprise is something you knew about, but thought it was something different."

Basically stealth isn't invisible, or "radar adsorbing and scattering" like our current stealth aircraft. it's making any emissions simply look like something natural.
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Re: Nanites in Mission of Honor
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:25 am

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ZVar wrote:Remember the axiom of (paraphrasing) "A surprise is something you knew about, but thought it was something different."

Basically stealth isn't invisible, or "radar adsorbing and scattering" like our current stealth aircraft. it's making any emissions simply look like something natural.


Good point. You don't need perfect spectral and omnidirectional emission. You just need good enough to fool the receiver. There probably are algorithms that discard data fluctuations due to sensor glitches, interference, and dust in the way. So long as you're under the threshold of reporting, the sensor operator will be none the wiser.

In one of the Revelation Space novels, Alastair Reynolds has a passage where the AI responsible for aggregating sensor data detects the disappearance of a gas giant for a significant fraction of a second, but it decides not to report because, well, who's gonna believe it? :-)
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Re: Nanites in Mission of Honor
Post by Theemile   » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:37 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
ZVar wrote:Remember the axiom of (paraphrasing) "A surprise is something you knew about, but thought it was something different."

Basically stealth isn't invisible, or "radar adsorbing and scattering" like our current stealth aircraft. it's making any emissions simply look like something natural.


Good point. You don't need perfect spectral and omnidirectional emission. You just need good enough to fool the receiver. There probably are algorithms that discard data fluctuations due to sensor glitches, interference, and dust in the way. So long as you're under the threshold of reporting, the sensor operator will be none the wiser.

In one of the Revelation Space novels, Alastair Reynolds has a passage where the AI responsible for aggregating sensor data detects the disappearance of a gas giant for a significant fraction of a second, but it decides not to report because, well, who's gonna believe it? :-)


And we also have to realize that the relative size of ship at a distance is going to be very, very small, so it is not going to occlude much - only massive computer support (which of course does exist) is going to be able to perceive any of it.

I mentioned this point of reference a year or 2 ago. One day I looked up and saw a Plane overhead and the math quickly ran through my head, and I came up with the following:

In the Honorverse, when ships are traveling in a loose travel (not battle) formation, they usually travel 5000 kilometers from each other. So a 1 Kilometer long Dreadnought looking at another would see something like this: Imagine seeing a jetliner flying overhead as it crosses the continent - it is flying ~30,000 ft (~10,000 m) high. Now imagine the plane's skin and seats are invisible, and you can see the passengers inside. I'm the 6'3" (~2m) person walking to the bathroom - that is roughly what 1 DN would look like to another at 5K. The iPad I'm carrying to the plane's bathroom is roughly the size of a hammerhead.

And this is just an analogy for ships in travel formation - Max energy range is 200x this distance! Single drive missile range is ~8x that - MDM range ~10x more still. At that distance, we're discussing viewing a small ant crawling around on my hypothetical invisible jetliner.

(And before anyone asks, Yes Wonder Woman was pilot that day...)
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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