Space Traffic Control: intercepting signals in space

  • Thread starter Dr Wu
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  • #26
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A single ship in the Pacific was certainly not a threat, but 100 ships moving towards the coast? You probably want as much warning time as possible to prepare (e.g. get other ships/troops to come as support).
 
  • #27
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How efficient is interplanetary space in actually converting power into detectable radiations at a specific location?

Suppose that you have an engine which is capable of producing a large thrust by issuing a high speed jet of low random velocity, ground state neutral helium atoms.

How often do they collide with the protons of solar wind? How widely would the emission be spread?
A jet which spans a large part of sky may be hard to detect above background, and even once you detect it, finding the source may take some effort (though probably less than detecting the jet).
 
  • #28
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You would try to detect the infrared emission of the spacecraft, unless something like a highly efficient direct fusion exhaust thruster is available the efficiency of the power source cannot be that good.
 
  • #29
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You would try to detect the infrared emission of the spacecraft, unless something like a highly efficient direct fusion exhaust thruster is available the efficiency of the power source cannot be that good.

What if heat is radiated only outward the elliptic pane, with big radiator wings? And exhaust is only pure protons, with really big speed, if electrons dont change orbit, no radiation is emitted, as far as i know.
(Of course the ship also need to get rid of the electrons after a time.)
 
  • #30
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Directing the radiation means you have to radiate even more, because you need some cooled radiation shields. Not impossible, but not really practical either. Just put a few telescopes out of the ecliptic to find those spacecrafts.
And exhaust is only pure protons, with really big speed, if electrons dont change orbit, no radiation is emitted, as far as i know.
That doesn't work. Also, the discussion was not even about the exhaust, but about the heat.
 
  • #31
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Otherwise, do i know right, that laser (or well directed radio) signals in space cant be detected unless a probe gets between the emitter and receiver?
So i can write, that a captain can calmly negotiate about backstabbing his ally?
 
  • #32
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Otherwise, do i know right, that laser (or well directed radio) signals in space cant be detected unless a probe gets between the emitter and receiver?
Right.
 
  • #33
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Although i still wonder. Due to limited telescope accuracy, from big distance, even a long boost phase appears to be a single point.
And after thrusters stop and ship cools down, IR emission drops by many magnitudes.
Could they determine, where exactly the ships are going?
 
  • #34
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Spectroscopy from different directions could give 3D velocity data. Tracking the exhaust direction, if possible, can help as well.
 

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