Holograms

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Holograms

Postby gusindor » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:45 pm

Holograms. Do they exist? How effective/accessible/etc. are they? Is active camouflage a viable defense system?
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Re: Holograms

Postby Foghammer » Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:08 pm

I don't know what type of active camo you're talking about (like Halo?), but there are a lot of practical use camouflage systems that have been in development for a long time and could theoretically be in widespread use. I would suspect the best applications for them would be in hot desert settings for these reasons (of my own devising): 1) being electronic, they probably have a heat signature, so in order to be most effective, they need to be somewhere where thermal imaging isn't as useful, 2) the sheets that make up the camouflage system could theoretically be reinforced and serve as shelter from desert weather, 3) imperfections in the system can be further masked by heat distortion.

But I can't speak for Mr. Newman and co.
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Re: Holograms

Postby Soren » Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:39 pm

'Holographic camo' (active camouflage without some sort of projection surface) has always struck me as a kind of silly technomagic - you might as well say it's an invisibility spell. It's got wide-ranging implications and few of them are nice (technology that enables perfect surprise also enables perfect thievery, for example).

That said, firms like BAE are working on active camouflage using e-ink systems, which seem promising. You're never going to achieve complete surprise against all types of sensor, but you could get very close. If you can figure out how to represent it as a system without breaking the bank, be my guest.
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Re: Holograms

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:15 pm

Perfect camo also means that it's the dominant military technology. Which means we don't get to fight robots.
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Re: Holograms

Postby foe_hawk » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:16 am

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:Perfect camo also means that it's the dominant military technology. Which means we don't get to fight robots.


Not necessarily. Its use could be limited due to reliance on rare/exotic materials. It could be a "power hungry" system that uses more power than what any frame could produce on-board. And/or it could be so prohibitively expensive to deploy on the scale of a mobile frame that use is limited to a handful of spec ops units within SU military or the richest of the rich Jovian corporations. It could just be theoretically possible in the MF0 lore, but wildly impractical.

Or, consider the tactical advantage. That sort of technology could be used sparingly to avoid letting the enemy know about it. They will never suspect invisible robots if they don't even think that that is possible. But once they do, all they have to do is set up some mother-hutching trip wires, and all of the camo in the world counts for nothing. Remember when the Ewoks crushed the head of an AT-ST in Return of the Jedi? Yeah, just like that.

And, on a practical note, sure, you might not be able to see the giant hutching robot coming toward you, but I assume that you could probably hear the frakking thing clanking along. Or feel the vibrations of many tons of metal thumping along. Or pick up the heat signature from reactor exhaust. Or get a radar hit. Or sonar. Or passively detect its EM signature.

Bottom line, unless you come up with a method that masks ALL OF THE THINGS, any sort of active camouflage is pretty much useless for a frame engaging in an active combat role. It could be great for snipers or surveillance drones, just like in real life.

gusindor wrote:Holograms. Do they exist? How effective/accessible/etc. are they? Is active camouflage a viable defense system?

tl;dr
1. maybe
2. not very
3. probably not
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Re: Holograms

Postby Foghammer » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:54 pm

foe_hawk wrote:It could be a "power hungry" system that uses more power than what any frame could produce on-board.

I think this would be your primary problem. Even if you could muster up the energy, without extensive cooling systems you're going to be a sore thumb. That can add up to a tremendous amount of weight, which requires more energy to move and takes up "space" for other systems.

Such a unit represented in a mobile frame would likely be very slow and heavy, have little to no weaponry, and have limited sensory range (to avoid being picked up via sensors that read other sensory equipment). In fact, I'm now thinking that the best application for this kind of technology would be a semi- or mostly-stationary structure, likely a forward command post that happens to be situated near enemy lines.
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