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FTL interstellar comunication

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FTL interstellar comunication
Post by vovchara   » Thu May 28, 2020 6:15 pm

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What is it with instantaneous FTL com in space opera that everyone seems to love putting in their books?

Size is a major attribute of space, why does everyone try and completely negate it?

I just loaded an ebook from Amazon, thankfully kindle unlimited. And on the first 10 pages author managed to completely destroy any kind of suspense. There is an alien invasion, but everyone already knows about it, there is no fog of war what so ever. It is probably harder to coordinate modern "wet" Navy in the Pacific, then the fleets across hundreds of light-years in this book.
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Re: FTL interstellar comunication
Post by Daryl   » Thu May 28, 2020 7:48 pm

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The ansible, a plot ploy used both well and badly. Enders Game was excellent, some others less so.
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Re: FTL interstellar comunication
Post by Dilandu   » Thu May 28, 2020 11:09 pm

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vovchara wrote:It is probably harder to coordinate modern "wet" Navy in the Pacific, then the fleets across hundreds of light-years in this book.


Generally, the one extremely important aspect in space warfare is that it is really "transparent". The space is empty; there is no horizon, no medium capable of distorting or absorbing light beams, and almost nothing to hide behind. The space is "cold"; the background radiation of space is very low. Spaceships by definition are mighty sources of heat, emitting it in every direction. And spaceships firing their jets to change course or maneuver are incredibly bright heat sources on a very contrast background.

In short, it's enormously hard to hide in space. Not impossible, but it would require a highly specific designs of ships, and low-efficiency rockets on them. The traditional "fog of war" is not applicable, because every single ship in system is constantly tracked.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: FTL interstellar comunication
Post by vovchara   » Fri May 29, 2020 4:02 am

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Dilandu wrote:
vovchara wrote:It is probably harder to coordinate modern "wet" Navy in the Pacific, then the fleets across hundreds of light-years in this book.


Generally, the one extremely important aspect in space warfare is that it is really "transparent". The space is empty; there is no horizon, no medium capable of distorting or absorbing light beams, and almost nothing to hide behind. The space is "cold"; the background radiation of space is very low. Spaceships by definition are mighty sources of heat, emitting it in every direction. And spaceships firing their jets to change course or maneuver are incredibly bright heat sources on a very contrast background.

In short, it's enormously hard to hide in space. Not impossible, but it would require a highly specific designs of ships, and low-efficiency rockets on them. The traditional "fog of war" is not applicable, because every single ship in system is constantly tracked.


key point was: across hundreds of light-years.
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Re: FTL interstellar comunication
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Sun May 31, 2020 2:56 pm

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This is one reason why I am a fan of THE MOTE IN GODS EYE. Niven and Pournelle enabled FTL travel, but not FTL communications. Messages traveled only as fast as ships. Weber did much the same in the Honorverse. One nit for Niven and Pournelle is they ignored the possibility of communication relays stationed at the Alderson points.
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Re: FTL interstellar comunication
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:20 am

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:This is one reason why I am a fan of THE MOTE IN GODS EYE. Niven and Pournelle enabled FTL travel, but not FTL communications. Messages traveled only as fast as ships. Weber did much the same in the Honorverse. One nit for Niven and Pournelle is they ignored the possibility of communication relays stationed at the Alderson points.


Actually, it is perfectly possible to create a string of FTL relay stations in Honorverse to link systems nearby of each other. If the FTL range is, say, 1 light hour, you would need about 9000 of them to cover the lightyear. A lot, but not impossible for Honorverse-scale of engineering.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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Re: FTL interstellar comunication
Post by Michael Everett   » Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:21 am

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Dilandu wrote:
TFLYTSNBN wrote:Actually, it is perfectly possible to create a string of FTL relay stations in Honorverse to link systems nearby of each other. If the FTL range is, say, 1 light hour, you would need about 9000 of them to cover the lightyear. A lot, but not impossible for Honorverse-scale of engineering.

Yet due to the upper limit on FTL data propagation (about 64c), it would actually be faster to send a ship which could hit the higher bands of Hyperspace and thus reach effective speeds in excess 200c+ over inter-system ranges.
Plus, ships are cheaper to build and maintain than an inter-system string of FTL Data Buoys in addition to being far less vulnerable to attack (ships can roll/run/fight. Buoys are almost static targets).

The FTL Chain is a solution searching for a problem and a not-that-great solution given tech-levels.
~~~~~~

I can't write anywhere near as well as Weber
But I try nonetheless, And even do my own artwork.

(Now on Twitter)and mentioned by RFC!
ACNH Dreams at DA-6594-0940-7995
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Re: FTL interstellar comunication
Post by cthia   » Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:13 am

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I remember a conversation with certain colleagues. It is curious that they believe the possibility of FTL exists but that the possibility of time travel does not.

****** *

Wanna know what's even faster than faster-than-light?

The grapevine. When I was in school, shit got back to my mother faster than the light of day.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: FTL interstellar comunication
Post by vovchara   » Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:22 am

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Dilandu wrote:
TFLYTSNBN wrote:This is one reason why I am a fan of THE MOTE IN GODS EYE. Niven and Pournelle enabled FTL travel, but not FTL communications. Messages traveled only as fast as ships. Weber did much the same in the Honorverse. One nit for Niven and Pournelle is they ignored the possibility of communication relays stationed at the Alderson points.


Actually, it is perfectly possible to create a string of FTL relay stations in Honorverse to link systems nearby of each other. If the FTL range is, say, 1 light hour, you would need about 9000 of them to cover the lightyear. A lot, but not impossible for Honorverse-scale of engineering.


I am not arguing the impossibility of an FTL communication, it is a science-fiction, there is no reason why it shouldn't be possible.
I am arguing that it destroys drama. Just compare two scenarios:
1. a scout ship encounters an alien race in a new system and destroyed, some times late the "border" systems get overrun, but no one knows why, they have to react, always a too late. Some "heroic" freighter escapes to bring news and the story is an uphill battle.
2. a scout ship encounters an alien race in a new system and sends a message home before it destroyed. Everyone immediately knows, there is a new enemy. Evey overrun system plots progress with no time delay, fleets are gathering without need to slowly collect all the separate patrols. Just send a message. And the only source of drama possible is that the opposition has overwhelming numbers. Add jump drive, reaching a star system without the need to physically cross the space between. And all you get to read how one huge fleet meets another.
There is no hopeless resistance, no starships redlining their compensators to get away, just to get a message.
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Re: FTL interstellar comunication
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:29 am

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vovchara wrote:

I am not arguing the impossibility of an FTL communication, it is a science-fiction, there is no reason why it shouldn't be possible.
I am arguing that it destroys drama. Just compare two scenarios:
1. a scout ship encounters an alien race in a new system and destroyed, some times late the "border" systems get overrun, but no one knows why, they have to react, always a too late. Some "heroic" freighter escapes to bring news and the story is an uphill battle.
2. a scout ship encounters an alien race in a new system and sends a message home before it destroyed. Everyone immediately knows, there is a new enemy. Evey overrun system plots progress with no time delay, fleets are gathering without need to slowly collect all the separate patrols. Just send a message. And the only source of drama possible is that the opposition has overwhelming numbers. Add jump drive, reaching a star system without the need to physically cross the space between. And all you get to read how one huge fleet meets another.
There is no hopeless resistance, no starships redlining their compensators to get away, just to get a message.


This depend entirely on writer's ability to write things right. Ansibles by themselves are just the instrument; it's authors ability to make them into setting which matters.

P.S. In one of my early attempt to write a sci-fi story (unfinished), I envisioned the war between two interstellar states over what accout to interstellar SOSUS system; a detector array, capable of detecting FTL'ing ships at interstellar ranges. Technological developement led to unexpected jump in detector capabilities, so when one side upgraded its border detector stations, it essentially gained the the ability to track every ship of the other side in their own homespace. The other side didn't like that.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
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