Planetary and Starport sensors

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
faethor
Cub
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:27 pm

Planetary and Starport sensors

Postby faethor » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:17 am

Hi,

If any ship is trying to land on a planet, in a not allowed point, should that planet (if a technological one) and the starport, always be able to detect that ship?

I would like to know if my players have any chance to land on a planet without being detected.

thanks.
mancerbear
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 414
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:34 am

Re: Planetary and Starport sensors

Postby mancerbear » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:16 am

I hate to say it depends, but it depends.

Depends on the TL of the planet, the class of the starport, and the size of the population, primarily.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3949
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Planetary and Starport sensors

Postby phavoc » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:27 pm

Is the ship stealthy? Is there orbital infrastructure in place to make a busy traffic pattern. But with cheap access to orbit even poor planets can afford passive sensor arrays to provide planetary coverage. Many planets will combine standard observation platforms that provide basic coverage of sensors with weather detection and even communication.

Once the cost to loft a payload to orbit is conquered by anti grav, even poor planets can afford cheap orbital arrays.
Rikki Tikki Traveller
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3299
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:20 pm
Location: Arlington, TX USA

Re: Planetary and Starport sensors

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:05 pm

A planet will have at least the best sensors possible at its Tech Level (including all the options possible liek extended array etc.)

BUT, unless you are at a Class B or A starport, there should always be a chance of being undetected. And for the larger ports, since there are likely so many ships, someone could get lost in the traffic.

Think of Air Traffic Control. Theoretically, every plane is tracked all the time; but there are so many planes in the air, that even if they are on the radar, it can be hard to track them all - especially the smaller ones (under a couple hundred tons... you know - PC sized ships...). Small Craft in particular would likely be much easier to slip through.

I use the planetary population as the base number to start with (higher population worlds are harder to sneak onto). All possible Sensor DMs are applied and a DM for the Starport size shoudl also be used, with a Class C starport being DM+0.

I can't give numbers for this one, since Trade Routes, Law Level etc. should also play into that roll.

Hope that helps!
My friends call me Richard.
You can call me Sir.
Rikki Tikki Traveller
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3299
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:20 pm
Location: Arlington, TX USA

Re: Planetary and Starport sensors

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:06 pm

Thinking about this more, I would use the LAW LEVEL as the primary consideration with modifications for Population, Sensors (TL) and Starport Class.
My friends call me Richard.
You can call me Sir.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3949
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Planetary and Starport sensors

Postby phavoc » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:23 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:05 pm
A planet will have at least the best sensors possible at its Tech Level (including all the options possible liek extended array etc.)
This is a tricky question to answer, but if we use Earth as an example, any planet with a Class C or above starport should have TL-12 (imperial standard) sensors for it's primary starport. This would reflect that there is a minimum standard for equipment at an Imperial starport. And those letter codes for a system denote the primary starport. Today you have secondary airports that have basic air traffic control and other sensors and equipment to allow for instrument only landings when visibility is poor. Busier airports have better gear and such, but even secondary and tertiary airports can have this. Small private airfields operate under visual flight rules only. This rule covers most 1st world nations.

Now outside say the G20 nations, you will find a wild variety of capabilities. But most of the world's capitals have at least the same airport gear that a secondary/tertiary airport in the US. This gear is nearly always imported, but it allows the major airlines to fly their aircraft into these airports.
Condottiere
Chief Mongoose
Posts: 5296
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Planetary and Starport sensors

Postby Condottiere » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:59 pm

Starport and planetary authorities may cooperate, but they are separate entities, possibly quite a number, if they suffer balkanization.

At least in the Imperium.

Planetary authorities might not care, so the sensors are one, possibly two, technological levels below stated; they're paranoid, so they could be one, possibly two, technological levels higher than stated, with matching weapon systems and platforms.

I think Imperium starports would default to technological level twelve, higher for more important facilities, unless for some reason they've had to make due with a lower technological level one, as the budget was busted for the year, and they had the technical department jerry build one from available parts.
ochd
Stoat
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:33 am
Location: Wantage, Oxfordshire, UK

Re: Planetary and Starport sensors

Postby ochd » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:00 pm

Advanced sensors include densitometers and NAS. CRB says that, when close enough to provide full details, these sensors give (for densitometers) "fine details" and (for NAS) "individual brain activity".

For densitometers: What does "fine detail" mean? every nook and cranny in a ship will be seen? you can see how many individual people there are on a ship and where they are? you can verify how much and the type of cargo that's being carried? hidden pop-up turrets?
For NAS: does "individual brain activity" identify and locate anything that has any size brain (e.g. some sleeping chamax)? would it identify psionic capability?

Thanks,

Dan.

Edit: moved this to a thread about sensors generally, where it's more on-topic.
Last edited by ochd on Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
Rikki Tikki Traveller
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3299
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:20 pm
Location: Arlington, TX USA

Re: Planetary and Starport sensors

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:17 pm

Another way to do it is to say that there is a Planetary Sensor Grid, not defined by the starhip rules, since it is way to big to ever be installed on a single ship. Give it more than the best possible sensor range of a ship sensor (extended arrays everything). BUT, still have it have enough holes to be fun to play.
My friends call me Richard.
You can call me Sir.
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2906
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Planetary and Starport sensors

Postby Reynard » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:32 pm

Population would be important. Planetary based arrays will tend to cluster around important population centers and maybe facilities. That leaves a LOT of gaps at lower population levels or planets that concentrate populations. After that, a more extensive sensor array will be orbital, if the planet has the technology, looking both down and up. This is highly influenced on the planet's extra system interaction. Earth today does not have a sensor net to track spacecraft and starships extensively. Explains why the UFOs get by so often.

In 3I, any system with knowledge of other inhabited systems will have the best sensor grid possible. Better yet, the Imperium will build a port and, depending on the port's level, will supply the necessary sensor grid for traffic control and security. A D port might have a civilian grade (or less) ground sensor dome and E you're lucky someone was in the air traffic shed when you radioed your position. The best stations will feature a suite of Sensor Stations as well as the various sensor suites by tech level on pages 41 and 42.
Linwood
Weasel
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:41 am

Re: Planetary and Starport sensors

Postby Linwood » Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:30 pm

If the local Starport Authority is responsible for handling orbital traffic it will have a planet-wide sensor network (or access to one). If not, it will likely be analogous to a modern-day airport with sensor systems covering just their area. For Type E starports that may mean a pair of binoculars on the windowsill and someone shouting "Look! A ship!"

Then again - nothing announces an arrival quite like a sonic boom. Assuming a starship entering atmosphere would generate one.

Planetary governments would have more interest in full-planet coverage but that could mean anything from simply tracking transponder codes up to deep-hull penetration systems at key points. Depends on perceived risk, available TL, budget, and possibly culture.
faethor
Cub
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:27 pm

Re: Planetary and Starport sensors

Postby faethor » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:39 pm

Thanks a lot, very useful :)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AndrewW, Juums and 17 guests