EM, IR Ratings

ColdDog

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ColdDog
#1
So... It has been a very long time since I logged in to play SC. I thought I'd play around and get to know the controls and ships again. My question is how do you know if your EM and IR signature is good. For example, the terrapin - engines off EM @ 2050 and IR @ 2828, engines on EM @ 4344 and IR @ 5169. So I got in the Hornet Ghost - engines off EM @ 1894 and IR @ 2682, engines on EM @ 4323 and IR @ 5171. Then i put the Ghost into stealth EM dropped to 1157 with everything suppressed and IR stayed around 4100 with the engines on.

So what does this mean... seems like the terrapin and ghost are very similar. How close is too close to be found? I know a lower rating is better, but I do not understand the distance. Could my terrapin example with the engines on be detected all the way across a solar system?

My final test was the reclaimer. Engines off EM @ 18000 and IR @ 24000, Engines on EM @ 22000 and IR @ 27000.

Seems to me, if I am hunting I'd be looking for IR as opposed to EM... can some one explain how this is going to work?

Infrared Signature – Powered components on a ship generate heat. Most of this heat is collected by the cooling system (depending on efficiency) and ejected from the craft via heat exchangers. This ejected heat, coupled with any uncooled heat from thrusters and other components, can be detected by infrared cameras. Players will be able to use standard heat seeking missiles and other infrared tracking devices to locate and track objects by their heat output.

Electromagnetic Signature – Anything that is consuming power will generate an EM signature, though, in normal circumstances, the primary contributors will be the ship’s energy weapons, shield generator and power plants. Power management will be critical adjusting a ship’s EM signature. For example, captains may choose to lower their signature with less protective shields or be better shielded but highly visible. EM signature is specifically used by certain missile tracking systems and advanced EMF Detectors.
 
May 21, 2017
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Takeiteasy
#3
I can't wait to see how this gameplay comes in. Imagine a barrage of missiles flying past you as you shut off everything and escape.

I doubt it'll be that easy but simple missiles will be easy to avoid. I may eventually buyback my Ghost if the gameplay is worth it.
 

Shadow Reaper

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Shadow Reaper
#4
. . . how do you know if your EM and IR signature is good.
The sensing ability is all relative. Best you can do for now is lower the sigs as much as possible in any given situation. I think it is going to take a real stealth expert to know make good appraisals of when you can be seen and when you can't, and performing the calculations for a real prediction are probably part of an arcane skill one can sell. I would not give that way.


Imagine a barrage of missiles flying past you as you shut off everything and escape.
Just remember some missiles track IR, and though they are probably shorter range and narrower field of view, they will see things like hot engines. Also remember some missiles track RCS. These are easier to thwart with flack, but they'll likely have good range on anything that was not designed around stealth.

Don't think of stealth as a way to thwart missiles so much as a way to get in range, fire and fly away. That's how real stealth craft work. Be first to get a lock, and use it, and get away before you get locked on.
 
Oct 8, 2016
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Radegast74
#5
FYI, as you know, everything is subject to change...and, until Item 2.0 is fully implemented, stuff like EM and IR signature aren't going to be fully implemented or realized in game, as individual ship components will also affect EM & IR signature.

And then after Item 2.0 is implemented, expect a full re-balancing (probably more than once). For example, the Hornet Ghost is supposed to be stealthy, but the regular Sabre beats the pants off it in terms of being able to get close to ships undetected (or, at least it used to in 2.6).

In 2.6, before Item 2.0, the EM and IR signatures were pretty neat to follow in opposing ships. You could see when people were using their afterburners and targeting, etc. You could then launch whichever missile was best...however, with the re-work, we have a ways to go until then.
 

ColdDog

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ColdDog
#6
And then after Item 2.0 is implemented, expect a full re-balancing (probably more than once). For example, the Hornet Ghost is supposed to be stealthy, but the regular Sabre beats the pants off it in terms of being able to get close to ships undetected (or, at least it used to in 2.6).
I tested the Sabre last night and the EM and IR fell in the middle... meaning the readings were 10k to 15k. Much higher than the Ghost/Terrapin and lower than the Reclaimer. That said, I would think the reclaimer would be one of the noisiest ships in the verse... its function is to mince and chop, melt, reprocess metal.

I know this is all alpha, but I think it is fun trying to understand the settings.
 

Sanzennin

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Nov 22, 2016
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FZD
#8
Okey, this is just a wild guess, and I'm probably wrong in several things, but:
Longer waves tend to penetrate better and travel further, if my wlan router is any indication at least.
IR is generally pretty short waves, 700-1000 nm.
EM, I think, would refer to 1mm and above.

So, I'm guessing that IR number, whilst higher, drops off quicker.
 
Sep 19, 2017
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Vavrik
#9
Okey, this is just a wild guess, and I'm probably wrong in several things, but:
Longer waves tend to penetrate better and travel further, if my wlan router is any indication at least.
IR is generally pretty short waves, 700-1000 nm.
EM, I think, would refer to 1mm and above.
It's a pretty safe bet that CIG is going to implement this for game play mechanic, and not for reality - so whether they treat IR and EM that way is anyone's guess. My bet is they treat them as different things altogether.

Just to explain. In the game they want a "stealth mode", and make ships out of nice stealthy composites. But then they stick a cool looking but gigantic plasma thruster on the end of the ship. If it's in space, that should look like a roman candle over almost all of the EM spectrum, from anywhere inside the star system. You could do it, but you'd have to shutdown the engine completely, reactor and all. While the engine and reactor is cooling, you'd switch from being a roman candle, to a lighthouse. Once you reach ambient radiation levels, you're stealthy. And frozen.
 
Sep 19, 2017
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Vavrik
#11
IR = heat, how hot things are running in your ships

EM = how many electronics are running and how much electrical "noise" you are making
I get what you're saying here, but actually though, IR and EM are simply bandwidths of the same EM Spectrum. IR is just high frequency EM. There is no difference between them other than the frequency of the emission. You can have all the electronics you want, and light a camp fire. Both have EM emissions. the camp fire has a lot more IR than radio frequency, the electronics will have both. Heat is the result of absorbing EM emissions. (or any form of energy).

yeah I get it, in modern aircraft they have heat seeking missiles, and radar guided missiles. In a thick atmosphere, IR causes more heat than EM, but in space that is not so - so a radar guided missile, could home in on your electronic signature, or your IR signature. No difference to it, because there's no air.

[Edit] If you're familiar with heat seeking missiles, they have what looks like a camera lens on the front that detects IR frequencies. Now look at a radar detector from a radar guided missile. It's made of a metallic composite. yep. but look at it's shape. It's the same shape a lens, isn't it? That's because at high frequencies, glass is transparent to EM. At low frequencies, metals are.
 
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Oct 8, 2016
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Radegast74
#13
FYI, this was the video I was thinking of...it turns out it wasn't a Sabre, it was a Penguin...memory is a funny thing. But you can see that, yeah, even back in 2.0 the game hadn't been rebalanced...there is no way an Avenger should be harder to detect than a Hornet Ghost (if you believe all the Anvil marketing, that is).
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK8Oo2CCjnw


so checked... in SC, they measure EM, IR and HEAT. Not entirely sure what the separation between IR and Heat is. Like I said, they'll implement for the game mechanic they want, not the definitions.
What they always measured before was, IR, EM, and CS --> Cross-Section, I guess for a more "traditional" radar guided missile. In the past, those were the hardest to fool/shake off once they got a lock. Great for big targets!
 

Talonsbane

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Jul 29, 2017
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Talonsbane
#14
So what does this mean... seems like the terrapin and ghost are very similar. How close is too close to be found? I know a lower rating is better, but I do not understand the distance. Could my terrapin example with the engines on be detected all the way across a solar system? ... Seems to me, if I am hunting I'd be looking for IR as opposed to EM... can some one explain how this is going to work?
I could easily be wrong, but I get the feeling that each TEST member suddenly needs a drink refresh atm.
 

marcsand2

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marcsand2
#15
so checked... in SC, they measure EM, IR and HEAT
well, EM and IR are how other people see you, HEAT is what builds up in your ship and you must get rid of it. Coolers have capacity and efficiency. A wild guess: capacity is the amount of heat which can be dissipated per time unit, efficiency is IR pool multiplier.

What they always measured before was, IR, EM, and CS --> Cross-Section,
IR and EM are emitted by the target, you need a passive radar to see that, you can measure the amount of. CS is what you see, you need an active radar to detect / see that, it isn't an amount, it just is the shape of something from a certain direction???
 
Oct 8, 2016
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Radegast74
#16
IR and EM are emitted by the target, you need a passive radar to see that, you can measure the amount of. CS is what you see, you need an active radar to detect / see that, it isn't an amount, it just is the shape of something from a certain direction???
That would be my guess, you would only need passive sensors to detect the IR and EM emitted by a target, but the cross-section of the target (the shape from a certain direction) would have to be actively detected by something like a radar.

From 2.6 (so, everything I say could be wrong now or in the near future), all missile sizes had IR, EM, and CS options that you could buy in the REC store. So, it was kind of up to your play style what you wanted to choose. For bigger ships, that output a lot of IR or EM (or have a huge cross-section), stealth really isn't going to be much of an option. I'm not saying that when you jump into a system, you immediately start actively scanning everything (since active scanners can be passively detected from a farther distance), but once you get within 200km of your target or other ships, the likelihood is that a larger ship (a Reclaimer, Starfarer, etc.) will have already been detected.
 

Shadow Reaper

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Shadow Reaper
#17
Longer waves tend to penetrate better and travel further, if my wlan router is any indication at least.

So, I'm guessing that IR number, whilst higher, drops off quicker.
That's close. The power necessary for any given amplitude wave, is a linear function of frequency. Or put another way, for any given range and amplitude signal, the higher the frequency, the more power needed.

So yeah, in general you can get longer range with a lower frequency. The trouble is that when you go to receive the signal, the gain of the receiving antenna is a function of the physical size over wavelength. So basically even though higher frequencies require more power, they give back more power in that in the same area, you can collect more waves.

Dunno if that makes sense.

This is the issue of power transmission formulation. You can find simple online rf transmission calculators here, see the third "RF Link Range"

https://www.immersionrc.com/rf-calculators/

Note this is not the issues of penetration, reflection and absorption. True stealth craft use those mechanisms and they are also a function of frequency, but we won't know what is with that until CIG puts RCS in game for real. In the meantime, there are real lessons to be learned from playing with rf link range calculators.
 
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May 21, 2017
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Takeiteasy
#18
The sensing ability is all relative. Best you can do for now is lower the sigs as much as possible in any given situation. I think it is going to take a real stealth expert to know make good appraisals of when you can be seen and when you can't, and performing the calculations for a real prediction are probably part of an arcane skill one can sell. I would not give that way.


Just remember some missiles track IR, and though they are probably shorter range and narrower field of view, they will see things like hot engines. Also remember some missiles track RCS. These are easier to thwart with flack, but they'll likely have good range on anything that was not designed around stealth.

Don't think of stealth as a way to thwart missiles so much as a way to get in range, fire and fly away. That's how real stealth craft work. Be first to get a lock, and use it, and get away before you get locked on.
Yeah I guess that makes more sense, will be fun never the less finding ways to avoid missiles.

Stealth gameplay sounds like it will be easy to pick up and use but hard to master. I just want to smuggle and pirate my way through the game so stealth sounds very useful.
 
May 25, 2017
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FradinRyth
#19
so checked... in SC, they measure EM, IR and HEAT. Not entirely sure what the separation between IR and Heat is. Like I said, they'll implement for the game mechanic they want, not the definitions.
IIRC, heat will be built up over time vs cooler functionality. If you can't shed the heat it begins to cook and damage your components.

So EM and IR are detection methods (along with CS) and component heat is a cause of your IR (along with thrusters) signature but that heat at too high of levels can break your ship.

The Terrapin has massive heat sinks to "go silent" and start pooling that component heat and reduce it's IR signature but once those heat sinks hit capacity you need to "surface" and vent that extra heat (as IR) or face catastrophic problems.

So while most ships IR would be more akin to a gentle curve.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Terrapin running silent would be closer to
_____^______^_____^

So most ships IR (let's make up some numbers) is detectable from 30km away the Terrapin would be 5km until it vents and then it would be 120km while venting.
 

Shadow Reaper

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Shadow Reaper
#20
So most ships IR (let's make up some numbers) is detectable from 30km away the Terrapin would be 5km until it vents and then it would be 120km while venting.
I think that is supposed to be what the whole game mechanic is supposed to be like in basic design, but then quickly gets much more complex. A couple years ago and last I checked, there was and perhaps is still a huge difference between how Vanduul reactors work and UEE components work. It appeared to me last I looked that the Vanduul reactors are much cooler, but larger and apparently include the chillers, so even granted you could put one into a UEE vessel, it would take up more space, but if then you could put an external chiller on it, you'd then have a super-cool reactor. That is the kind of special fix that might fit into a Turtle and nothing else and could make the thing go black as night.

And this is supposed to be a huge part of the game, where we each build very individual combinations for our craft that make them somehow personal. I sure hope CIG delivers here. I think they are already backing off by saying you can't put S1-4 guns in S5 slots, etc. That is a big suck-time decision that pisses me off, done primarily out of laziness.