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Plasma Stealth

This is a discussion on Plasma Stealth within the Space & Defense Technology forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by gf0012-aust spectrum analysers detect and report anomalies within micro seconds - its one of the issues that ...


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Old March 4th, 2012   #31
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spectrum analysers detect and report anomalies within micro seconds - its one of the issues that My2Cents and I have been trying to allude to.

a plasma shield is a reflector across a range of different wave forms, its an anomaly in itself

we know this from real world testing across various institutions including DARPA, NAVSEA, ex DERA, DSTO etc....

in fact plasma generation will be picked up by a range of current organisational (not public domain) cyber management tools
Yep. It's not going to make one invisible. It's a technology with lots of problems, but perhaps it could find use against targeting radars, a range where it works well.
On the generators signature. This varies depending on the kind of plasma in question. For instance, RF-generated plasma may be less susceptible to detection. In a so-called down-stream plasma configuration, the generator is located in a separate compartment, with the plasma delivered into the target chamber through a connecting tube or a cavity. That way the generator, with all of its emissions, can be completely hidden inside the plane body.
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Old March 4th, 2012   #32
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I don't see any practical way of using plasma "stealth" in a conventional air plane.

Even if you were invisible to radar its going to stand out like dogs balls (IR and other).It may also result in a much greater retaliation. If you flew over the usa/russia/china in your stealth plasma spy plane, Im sure at quick first glance its going to look somewhat like an ICBM re-entry (or something weird) and I wouldn't be surprised to see MAD style launch and scrambling everything to take it down.

Its interesting, perhaps in space there might be a more functional use for it where you don't need to worry about lifting surfaces etc.
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Old March 5th, 2012   #33
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Even if you were invisible to radar its going to stand out like dogs balls (IR and other).It may also result in a much greater retaliation. If you flew over the usa/russia/china in your stealth plasma spy plane, Im sure at quick first glance its going to look somewhat like an ICBM re-entry (or something weird) and I wouldn't be surprised to see MAD style launch and scrambling everything to take it down.
I can see the watchkeeper now... "wtf is a martin logan electrostat doing flying at mach 1 at ground level, let's send someone up for a look....?"
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Old March 5th, 2012   #34
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Well if its not being tracked by radar it might be difficult or slow to get a speed or heading at least an accurate one. Various systems would be looking for some key identifiers, it would be detectable, just not by radar.

If someone was to deploy (or look likely to deploy) ICBM with sub Mach terminal guidance (to improve accuracy? to evade terminal ballistic interception? Acquire moving targets? Can't say Im an expert but then again who would talk about what anyone is doing at that end of the business). Then looking like something coming out of hypersonic speeds would be bad.

However space can be a huge volume and using radar is a great way to search large volumes where as visual or Ir etc would not be nearly as quick. A small satellite stealthed by layer of plasma would be one tricky object to pick out.
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Old March 5th, 2012   #35
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However space can be a huge volume and using radar is a great way to search large volumes where as visual or Ir etc would not be nearly as quick. A small satellite stealthed by layer of plasma would be one tricky object to pick out.
anything that moves is in brutal terms a transducer. energy management/usage triggers detection. without going into greater detail, the algorithms pick up anomalies in a known backdrop. as in "wtf is causing that cyclic anomaly" - and then pattern matching kicks in, and then the signals forensics kick in etc.....

anything that has energy in an orbit (ie something that track management comes to grips with on a regular basis) will be identified because it creates a vacuum in its own right. not a vacuum in the literal sense but a vacuum in the sense that it becomes a traceable anomaly.

I've seen some spectacular catches by watchkeepers - it's a craft for some.
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Old March 5th, 2012   #36
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Depends how you want to operate it, if you have an object that you want to keep difficult to track and can change it orbit. I'm sure the tier 1 space players wouldn't be fooled but would make it harder for others who are just using radar to know when to hide or move. It would give a nice big return, then lose contact, orbit changed, then pops up again, then gone. Have a network of these buggers popping in and out giving multiple options and some one a headache. The concept would not to be untraceable, just a complete pain to trace and unpredictable.

I don't know if its practical but seems a whole lot more plausible than a stealth fighter made out of plastic or glass with a unblemished outer cavity acting like a big fluorescent light.
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Old March 5th, 2012   #37
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Depends how you want to operate it, if you have an object that you want to keep difficult to track and can change it orbit. I'm sure the tier 1 space players wouldn't be fooled but would make it harder for others who are just using radar to know when to hide or move. It would give a nice big return, then lose contact, orbit changed, then pops up again, then gone. Have a network of these buggers popping in and out giving multiple options and some one a headache. The concept would not to be untraceable, just a complete pain to trace and unpredictable.

I don't know if its practical but seems a whole lot more plausible than a stealth fighter made out of plastic or glass with a unblemished outer cavity acting like a big fluorescent light.
I am not an expert on plasma emission spectra, but I believe many plasmas emit in the UV/visible range, not getting into the longer wavelengths. If that is the case, than blocking such emissions is not a difficult task. I don't think it's correct to think of plasma as a source of huge amount of detectable radiation. At least, I don't think it is necessarily the case, with some engineering.
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Old March 5th, 2012   #38
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Depends how you want to operate it, if you have an object that you want to keep difficult to track and can change it orbit.
thats the theory.

however, anything that moves is using energy, and within that energy spectrum is a transducer.

as a transducer it's energy management system or its shielding causes an effect which track managers and watchkeepers identify or detect.

the same problem's have occurred with spectral cloaking. sure you can fool a given sensor, but track managers are not single solution systems

sensor 1,2,3 check co-ordinates a-b and all come back with variances, and if that variance demonstrates a degree of controlled behaviour, then its mapped against known objects in that space.

generating "wtf is that?"

can it be done - eventually, maybe - but NOT as portrayed in here.

GIS and INT track management capability would quite literally blow the socks off the general publics perceptions if they knew how capable it actually was. I've come across quite a few ex-civilian scientists who were left wide eyed when they were introduced into military sccience sandpits and ops areas.

the majority of stuff written about plasma stealth in a variety of forums is just abject nonsense sprinkled with technical mumbo jumbo to bluff an audience. populist science it may be, but its 99% of the time not science and more opinion based on a desire to have a silver bullet solution and thereby ignoring all the things that are done to track and manage objects identified as non friendly and/or unknown

plasma "stealth" looked at in isolation without involving how GIS/INT is done in hi-level militaries (less than 3), how spectrum analysis is done, materials science issues, materials science capabilities, behavioural science issues on how human factors impacts on how people perceive events and can be managed in an illusory fashion, etc... will always portray it in a seductive manner

the reality is different.
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Old March 6th, 2012   #39
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I would imagine they have some impressive capabilities. I know NASA has been keeping track of every object in space that's larger than I think 25mm in size since the late 80's using mostly radar. Paint flakes, nuts, debris etc So manned flight can avoid messy or dirty patches.

I would imagine the military would have an even better idea of what's up there using a variety of earth and space based sensors. Covering most wavelengths. I have limited exposure to what astronomers can do and I find that mind blowing. I would imagine with the far greater budget to work with and neat toys the capability would be even more so.
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Old March 6th, 2012   #40
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I would imagine they have some impressive capabilities. I know NASA has been keeping track of every object in space that's larger than I think 25mm in size since the late 80's using mostly radar. Paint flakes, nuts, debris etc So manned flight can avoid messy or dirty patches.

I would imagine the military would have an even better idea of what's up there using a variety of earth and space based sensors. Covering most wavelengths. I have limited exposure to what astronomers can do and I find that mind blowing. I would imagine with the far greater budget to work with and neat toys the capability would be even more so.
What astronomers do has very little to do with military's goals and methods/equipment. Military is just looking at orbital stuff mostly, using entirely different techniques from those used for space analysis.
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Old March 6th, 2012   #41
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What astronomers do has very little to do with military's goals and methods/equipment. Military is just looking at orbital stuff mostly, using entirely different techniques from those used for space analysis.
The AI used in track management is closely related to the AI used to track distant space based objects

the sensor technology for some deep space track management is legacy to military systems
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Old March 6th, 2012   #42
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The AI used in track management is closely related to the AI used to track distant space based objects

the sensor technology for some deep space track management is legacy to military systems
What you're referring to is a very small part of astrophysics studies. Vast majority of space exploration has nothing to do with object tracking as you know it. Mostly, its a study of hydrodynamics, tracking very high energy radiation patterns. Many space objects being discovered and studied are actually never imaged or directly seen and don't produce any measurable signal at all.
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Old March 7th, 2012   #43
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There are similar aspects. Definitely not the same thing.

Eg SETI is a project where they are mostly looking for signal patterns across the entire spectrum continuously. Vaguely similar to some sigint done in the military. Tracking space debris is similar to tracking space to log all spy sats, etc. Probe sensors used for everything where ever they are. Being able to find, clear up, identify and locate a signal is shared among numerous projects civilian and military.

There are some common problems between some aspects of science and the military. No they aren't the same, but sometime they require the same or similar tools. Given what is known that can be done with small research budget for civilian projects one can only imagine what is possible with a much larger military budget often working on simpler problems (ie earth based) and part of an on going development.
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Old March 7th, 2012   #44
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What you're referring to is a very small part of astrophysics studies. Vast majority of space exploration has nothing to do with object tracking as you know it. Mostly, its a study of hydrodynamics, tracking very high energy radiation patterns. Many space objects being discovered and studied are actually never imaged or directly seen and don't produce any measurable signal at all.
No. you're making some assumptions here. I've actually worked in a track management environment. Including OTHR and space based detection capabilities.

tracking radiation emissions is only a very very small subset of the capability
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Old March 7th, 2012   #45
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No. you're making some assumptions here. I've actually worked in a track management environment. Including OTHR and space based detection capabilities.

tracking radiation emissions is only a very very small subset of the capability
I think that's what I was trying to say as well. That the military capabilities/goals are more centered on tracking objects within Earth's orbital space and, to a lesser degree, within Solar system. Whereas the general astrophysics studies go well beyond that for the most part, and that's where the science is mostly based on radiation studies. Yes, there are people studying Solar system, of course, but that is also not so much a study of "tracking things" (it's hard nowadays to generate "wtf is that?" within Solar system of significant scientific interest).
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