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Active Radar using sensor blocks and rotors

Discussion in 'General' started by Nickvr68, Jan 3, 2015.

Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Nickvr68 Junior Engineer

    So apparently you can set up a rotating radar dish using rotors and sensor blocks to make a directional sensor system. This is useful as a proof of concept because you can tell which direction something is even if you cannot see them and if their antennas are turned off. I use it in my pitch black skybox survival map where you cannot see a meter in front of you without lights, so it lets me get the drop on enemies.


    it is basically a rotating sensor that sounds an alarm while it "sees" somethings and then turns off the sound when it can't. This is similar to hearing a ping on radar or sonar. You only have to see what direction the "dish" is facing to figure out where the other ship is.

    The downside is huge though, the max range on the sensor block is 50 meters, so it does not work over long range. If anyone can direct me to a mod for a longer range directional sensor or how to mod one myself, please speak up. It is EXTREMELY useful for finding ships, asteroids, etc in exploration mode on the pitch black skybox.
  2. qbot3000 Trainee Engineer

    Interesting. I had a similar idea for sending out unmanned drones in the new infinite world to check out asteroids. The thought was: create a small platform with the basics, thrusters, reactor, gyro, sensor, remote control, ore detector, antenna, camera. Then aim it at an asteroid while remote controlling it with the camera. Turn off the inertial dampeners and let it go at maximum speed (104M/S). Leave and let the sensor block engage the inertial dampeners when the probe gets close to an asteroid. Then maneuver the drone closer and broadcast the ores back to base via antenna.

    Then I discovered the 50M sensor range, and that ruined the plan. Also, the antenna only has a range of 5,000M. So I couldn't even reach the nearest asteroid, and if I did, my drone would detect the asteroid too late to stop on it's own.

    I'm definitely in favor of both increasing the sensor range and the antenna range.
  3. MegaMiner Junior Engineer

    A block that could at least export a List[] of grids in range would be useful, although I would like to see it useful to the non-programmer crowd too. e.g. if in the cockpit it would show the radar map. I think it should show all the ships and roids, friend and foe, with different colors for friendly neutral and hostile. Of course the List[] should have that info as well. To really be useful it should have a range of at least 5km. I also think it should have both active and passive modes, where if it is in active mode it has a much greater range, but can also be picked up by both active and passive radar at maximum range, and in passive it has a shorter range but doesnt show up as easily.
    Im thinking 5km in passive and 50km in active mode.
  4. DDP-158 Master Engineer

    I guess there are some mods that extend out 1 Km but I cannot find them in the workshop. I was looking because this very idea had a topic made on the day the sound block came out. It took a little while to find that thread because my search-fu is really sucking it up today but Latsabb has a quote concerning this:

    Essentially the sensor is constantly performing a scan out the area it's defined to scan. Increase the range and you increase the workload it has to perform. I will note that your system is more streamlined than the user of the other post who simply wanted to take a sensor and spread it out in all directions up to 10K, but even with the narrowed beam I could still see issues arising with performance, especially if you get multiple radars going over time.
  5. Leadfootslim Senior Engineer

    The 50m range on brakes works fine if you use a lower max speed and/or more reverse thrusters.
  6. Adam Boyd Trainee Engineer

    Use small ship rotor trick to put a smaller sensor on your big ship.
    Then set up another rotor inside in front of your cockpit.
    Set them both for a 270 degree arc with the same speed and a timer block to reverse direction every 5 seconds or so.
    Put the sensors on the one outside of your ship.(prefferably on the nose)
    And interior lights on the one by your cockpit.
    Use 3 sensors set to 50 - 30 - 10 meters and wire them up to the lights.

    As the arm sweeps left and right you will get a bit of an idea of the shape of the object infront of you aswell as its range.
    Also is looks AMAZING!
  7. Bad_Idea Apprentice Engineer

    Depending on how the engine handles it one could just use a Raytrace. They're light on the computation and fills exactly the role many want them for.
  8. HollowVoices Trainee Engineer

    You could stick a large ship antenna on the drone if you use the rotor swap trick to get 50,000 range.

    Can't help you with the sensor range though.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2015
  9. soat7ch Junior Engineer

    You can save this contraption as Blueprint, then edit the .sbc file to increase the sensor range.
    After rebuilding it with a projector you will keep those settings and have your long range sensor array. (i never noticed any performance drops with this technique, although the power consumption of a sensor increases linear. Meaning if you want a 10x10x10 km sensor you'll need about three reactors to keep it running)
  10. Nickvr68 Junior Engineer

    No, this is actually a module I put on a ship, I just made the drone for a picture. This is mounted to a ship that I use in my pitch black skybox where you cannot see other ships infront of you and collisions happen a lot with asteroids, other bases, etc.

    An image so you can understand how dark it is.

    When it is this dark it is impossible to see an enemy approaching if they have no antenna or beacon. An active sonar system is the only way to detect people coming, and I have one mounted on all my ships (two on my big one, top and bottom) so I can see asteroids and such.

    On this world big mega ships don't matter because fight don't happen often. This map is all about stealth. There are barely any antennas, and no beacons at all. You have your one ship, and you don't leave it EVER. If you do you might not find it again.

    But the amazing thing about this radar system is that you can find an enemy that does not want to be found! Currently if someone's ship has no beacons or antennas you can only find them visually. If I could get a long range directional sensor (>5km) you have a very powerful weapon. In basic testing I was able to fire missiles and hit just using the radar data on one of my fighters which has a rotating dish and a frontal sensor.

    I think I will make a copy of the sensor block in the files that has a long front range, but a very short back and top range, with a normal left/right range. This should make a good radar block. I will test this and post it back to you!
  11. Arid Trainee Engineer

    HEy, I found this in the workshop, maybe it helps you ?
  12. DDP-158 Master Engineer

    Meh, I thought that was a in game script that the programming block calls for. Just wasted 5 minutes setting everything up.
  13. Floki Apprentice Engineer

    Wait, are you telling me if I create a sensor in single player, save it as a blueprint, edit the file to extend it's range, it will keep that range when built from a projector?
    Does this extend to multiplayer? Can I take long range sensors with me to mulitplayer?
  14. soat7ch Junior Engineer

    Yes, exactly that. (at least when i did it in the last version it did)

    I expect this to be changed some day and it is maybe a tiny bit cheaty, but since we don't have any other means of doing that...
    I mean, it's space Engineers. And Engineers solve problems they face.
  15. Nickvr68 Junior Engineer

    Atta boy!
  16. Floki Apprentice Engineer

    Can you point me in the direction of the blueprints sbc files? I cant find them for the life of me.
    This is totally awesome hahaha
  17. soat7ch Junior Engineer


    there are your blueprints, there you should find a file called "bp" which you can open with any editing program
                <MyObjectBuilder_CubeBlock xsi:type="MyObjectBuilder_SensorBlock">
                  <Min x="0" y="3" z="-1" />
                  <BlockOrientation Forward="Up" Up="Forward" />
                  <ColorMaskHSV x="0" y="-1" z="0" />
    [COLOR= #ff0000]              <FieldMin x="-3.864013" y="-10.1024389" z="-3.864013" />[/COLOR]
    [COLOR= #ff0000]              <FieldMax x="3.864013" y="3.864013" z="1" />[/COLOR]
    <FieldMin x="-3.864013" y="-10.1024389" z="-3.864013" />
    <FieldMax x="3.864013" y="3.864013" z="1" />
    the value before the dot is the range in meters in-game. I can honestly not tell which one is up/down or any direction. If you alter a certain range in game then the range restriction for that value (not all, only the one you edited) will kick in again.
  18. Floki Apprentice Engineer

    Ah okay, so I should pick a value and stick with it.
    I can see this being patched, so I may make blueprints of sensors of like 10, 20, 30, 40 & 50k ranges, just for good future proofing :p
Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.