Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

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paltrysum
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby paltrysum » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:29 pm

Maybe phavoc can shed more light on this since he was in the military but I've always heard that hitting a moving target is what separates the pros from the posers when it comes to sniping. We're probably talking about Vietnam-era weaponry, though. High tech weapons, such as a TL9+ laser rifle — tech we don't even have yet in the forms described in Traveller — surely use advanced computing techniques to help hit targets and would make it possible to hit a fast moving vehicle.
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby phavoc » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:16 pm

Aye, that's kind of the point of the exercise. What fun is there if you say "I am aiming my sniper rifle at the maneuvering G-bike. I hit, right?".

Then again, what's good for PC is also good for the NPC... And one never really runs out of NPC's.
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby phavoc » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:40 pm

Here's the scope - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJwjGCQ21ME

The scope costs $27,500. And there's also some secondary sighting using an iPAD. The video isn't really clear on how much a single person could do, the scope still is limited to looking down the barrel and not very wide field of vision. I'm sure that you must also use a relatively decent rifle that already has accurate rifling and such.
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:16 am

I always thought laser weapon systems had an inherent tracking capability, as low power lightspeed feedback would tell you if the barrel was lined up, and all you needed to do was increase output at that point.
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby Moppy » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:21 am

Condottiere wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:16 am
I always thought laser weapon systems had an inherent tracking capability, as low power lightspeed feedback would tell you if the barrel was lined up, and all you needed to do was increase output at that point.
Qute possibly possible, but may also trigger countermeasures from the target.
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby Linwood » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:10 am

Things like prismatic aerosols would take a period of time to activate. Tracking with a low-power beam before firing the high-power pulse would give a defense like that time to deploy. Maybe that puts the shot back into the hands of the PC.

Or maybe they just use passive optical tracking - no active signature.
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby phavoc » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:09 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:16 am
I always thought laser weapon systems had an inherent tracking capability, as low power lightspeed feedback would tell you if the barrel was lined up, and all you needed to do was increase output at that point.
Yes. A laser rangefinder is a laser, just with lower output. It also will trigger, as moppy said, any passive laser detectors that a target may be deploying. It also allows your laser to be tracked back to the source or origin.

Which is why passive optical scopes will never go out of style. There is no warning before you get hit. If you are using a laser it's all lightspeed, both detection and the hit. If you are using a bullet then it's typically traveling faster than the speed of sound.

To the question above, yeah, hitting a moving target is hard, though with modern (and very expensive) equipment automation can do a good job of leading and painting the target with the bore of your weapon. But it's never 100% because of how ballistics works and the various atmospheric things that can cause your round to drift. However one can compensate by using more explosives. :)
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby Linwood » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:59 pm

I thought close only counted with horseshoes and hand grenades?

And nukes of course....
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby Moppy » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:24 am

It's theoretically possible to passively detect a passive scope by its reflection of sunlight. Whether it works depends on their computer vision (image recognition) technology, and if anyone's countered it (maybe by building non-reflective "glass"?)
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby phavoc » Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:44 pm

Moppy wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:24 am
It's theoretically possible to passively detect a passive scope by its reflection of sunlight. Whether it works depends on their computer vision (image recognition) technology, and if anyone's countered it (maybe by building non-reflective "glass"?)
That's true. Hunting scopes and their ilk have very short barrells over the optics, thus you can sometimes get a glint off the optics. Military sniper scopes have longer barrels on them that make it near impossible to get a sunlight reflection off them. In theory it's possible, but practically it's not going to happen.
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby Moppy » Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:37 am

phavoc wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:44 pm
Moppy wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:24 am
It's theoretically possible to passively detect a passive scope by its reflection of sunlight. Whether it works depends on their computer vision (image recognition) technology, and if anyone's countered it (maybe by building non-reflective "glass"?)
That's true. Hunting scopes and their ilk have very short barrells over the optics, thus you can sometimes get a glint off the optics. Military sniper scopes have longer barrels on them that make it near impossible to get a sunlight reflection off them. In theory it's possible, but practically it's not going to happen.
Thermal scopes have a large lens and short end barrel.
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby phavoc » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:52 pm

Moppy wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:37 am
phavoc wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:44 pm
Moppy wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:24 am
It's theoretically possible to passively detect a passive scope by its reflection of sunlight. Whether it works depends on their computer vision (image recognition) technology, and if anyone's countered it (maybe by building non-reflective "glass"?)
That's true. Hunting scopes and their ilk have very short barrells over the optics, thus you can sometimes get a glint off the optics. Military sniper scopes have longer barrels on them that make it near impossible to get a sunlight reflection off them. In theory it's possible, but practically it's not going to happen.
Thermal scopes have a large lens and short end barrel.
Thermal scopes are used at night, when sunlight reflection is not that big of a deal... :)
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby Moppy » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:07 am

phavoc wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:52 pm
Moppy wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 4:37 am
phavoc wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:44 pm


That's true. Hunting scopes and their ilk have very short barrells over the optics, thus you can sometimes get a glint off the optics. Military sniper scopes have longer barrels on them that make it near impossible to get a sunlight reflection off them. In theory it's possible, but practically it's not going to happen.
Thermal scopes have a large lens and short end barrel.
Thermal scopes are used at night, when sunlight reflection is not that big of a deal... :)
Thermal also used for dust and smoke; smoke might not be in line of sight for everyone.

I agree that it's difficult, which is why I said it might not work in Traveller though it was theoretically possible.

However, it will certainly work today for the big cameras on the remote controlled MGs the vehicles have been retrofitted with (e.g. CROWS turret).
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby phavoc » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:16 am

Those MGs are generally attached to very large, very loud vehicles. Unless they are silent and camouflaged you already know it's there. If it's hidden well enough, if you can't spot the vehicle I think the odds of getting a reflection off a lens is minimal.
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:02 am

It's a question of reaction time, which is why I would suppose one reason snipers tend to go for prepared positions inside cover with narrow fields of view, reminiscent of concrete bunkers with narrow slits.

Also, pretty sure they pop the telescope cover just before they are ready to shoot.
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby Moppy » Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:11 am

Today there are pre-shot sniper detection systems that detect optics by reflection, but they aren't purely passive. They all have to emit something to detect the reflection. Because of this it's the sort of thing that's more useful for a base than an infantry squad.
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby phavoc » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:19 pm

Moppy wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:11 am
Today there are pre-shot sniper detection systems that detect optics by reflection, but they aren't purely passive. They all have to emit something to detect the reflection. Because of this it's the sort of thing that's more useful for a base than an infantry squad.
Huh. I was aware of the post-fire detection systems, but until you mentioned this I hadn't been aware of the newer tech being deployed. I did some digging and see that laser detection systems are out there to help identify optics and such that may be associated with snipers. Some claim to even be able to detect behind windows.

Below is one example of the description of the capabilities of the system. However when I was doing my digging I found LOTS of gobbledygook describing the potential systems, and LOTS of flowery words with semi-technical jargon. For the most part they all seem to say the same thing - and all seem to have large gaps of possible failures to detect. I'm betting that the casual sniper would probably be picked up. However if the snipers are using mil-spec equipment with some military training then these detection systems are probably relatively easy to defeat. Which makes sense, as nearly all military advantages are quickly offset by an (potential) enemy.


Detection range of the optical device like sniper scope up to 1500 m
Automatic scan mode
Providing fully automatic mode of search and detection camouflaged snipers and optical surveillance
Detection optical reconnaissance and aiming with anti-reflective coating on the surface of unauthorized optical elements
New algorithms of detection glare optics on a background of active and passive obstacles.
New methods of detection optics in the conditions of use anti-reflective coating
Weight of the system up to 5 kg
Wired or wireless communication link with external devices
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby phavoc » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:23 pm

Ha! Just as I thought. An excerpt from a RAND corporation article on sniper-detection:

Laser systems that illuminate potential hiding places, or “hides,” and detect retro-reflections from the sniper’s scope are referred to as optical augmentation systems. These systems have the advantage of possibly detecting the sniper before he fires his weapon. The down-side is that the sniper can employ antireflection filters that selectively block the wavelength of the laser. Tunable lasers may reduce the effectiveness of blocking filters in the future.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/p ... 7.appc.pdf
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby Old School » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:48 pm

In other words, they can possibly detect a lower tech or poorly equipped threat. Which is something, because a TL 5 .308 round hurts just as much as a TL 8 .308. But they won’t stop an equal adversary.
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Re: Rules Question: Laser Rifle vs G/Bike

Postby Moppy » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:29 pm

One caveat is that computer vision is a very fast developing field and it's very hard to predict how this field will look in 5 years. A few years ago, real time facial recognition on a handheld device was impossible. At some point the growth will plateau out but who know when?

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