Emissions Signature - always detectable?



I've been looking at the Field Catalogue book and am just wondering if the emissions signature of a weapon with a power source would always be detectable, or just when it fires? On the one hand it does mean people will be more inclined to use standard slug throwers, but on the other hand it might make anyone using those weapons extremely vulnerable to ambush / detection.

What do you think? I am leaning towards them only being detectable when they actually fire.



Cosmic Mongoose
Agreed. Emissions signature comes from the weapon emitting something. Until it does, there is no signature.


Emperor Mongoose
Neutrons, as I recall.

Seriously, unless there was substantial shielding in my backpack, would not want that particular monkey anywhere near me.


There are a few types of signature you could be getting from a Fusion reactor
Neutron or other radiation products-- For the reactor to be useable at all certainly as a backpack this has to be pretty much zero or the user would die.
Heat-- again this has to be pretty low compared to the energy generated or it would melt the device and user, so I suspect a signature on the order of a vehicle
Magnetic field-- Current Fusion generators would use a powerful magnetic field to contain the plasma, I cannot see this being practical in a backpack device so probably not much of a magnetic field although moving plasma probably creates one. If this is some sort of mythical cold fusion device then no magnetic field as far as I understand how such a thing would work.
Gravitics-- To get something this miniaturised I would expect gravitic technology to be used for the containment so a signature similar to that created by a grav vehicle
Other EM radiation--- Has to be pretty low or you would also get dangerous radiation and heat emissions

So a backpack fusion generator has to have a fairly small signature or it would kill it's user


Banded Mongoose
neutrinos. If the setting has useful neutrino detectors at a relevant scale those could be a problem too.


Cosmic Mongoose
Fusion produces neutrinos. Neutrinos pass through matter, so can't be shielded against.

Detecting them is not trivial...

Edit: Sorry, feld, I didn't see your post.


Thank you all for your super helpful comments - I think I will use the rule in general that weapons are only detectable when they are activated so I don't have to overthink it.


Cosmic Mongoose
In my opinion, it depends on the world conditions.
- On a molten-cored world, most man-carried power packs will blend into the white noise of background radiation.
- On a dead rock world, they'll probably detectable.
- If either world is being bombarded by large amounts of solar radiation, then detection will be that much harder.


Banded Mongoose
Actually wait…does the current Traveller setting have practical portable tactical neutrino detection? I think a previous edition did…