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Active Sensors/Fire Control
Active Sensors and Missile Fire Controls are player-designed components.
- Active search sensors are a necessity for any fleet. They are needed to target hostiles, and to detect incoming missiles.
- Missile Fire Controls can only operate in conjunction with an active search sensor. The active sensor does not have to be on the same ship.
An Active Search Sensor is a radar-like instrument that provides 360° coverage and gathers target data by bouncing gravitational pulses off an object and is necessary to provide a Fire Control sensor with target positions.
Increasing a sensor's size increases its power. Active Sensor Strength is the strength per HS of the gravitational pulses sent out by the sensor while EM Sensitivity represents the ability of the sensor to detect the returning pulses. Hardening reduce the chance of destruction by electronic damage from microwave weapons. All these can be increased through research.
Resolution determine the range versus different target sizes. An active sensor is able to detect any ship of a size that is equal to or greater than its resolution at its maximum range. If the target is smaller than the resolution, the maximum detection range is considerably reduced.
Max Sensor Range = Strength x Size x Sqrt(Resolution) x EM Sensitivity/10 x 10,000km Detection range = Max Sensor Range x (Target Size / Resolution) ^2
So you need to design active sensors based on the role intended for that sensor. An area search sensor might be designed with a large resolution to find large enemy ships while a sensor designed to detect fast attack craft, which weigh 1000 tons or less, would need a resolution of approximately 20. Missile detection sensors are usually resolution one, which is the lowest possible.
It is not possible to hide behind another object (a planet or a wreck, for example) from sensors, but Cloaking technology can reduce the range at which a sensor can spot your ship.
Missile Fire Controls
By changing the sensor type to Fire Control, you build a Missile Fire Control (MFC). It is designed like active sensors, but is unable to detect targets. It emits a concentrated beam of radiation to "illuminate" a target and direct missiles to them. Because of this concentrated beam it has triple the range of a similar-sized search sensor.
Design considerations are discussed in-depth here: Active Sensor Design.
- Active Sensor Strength
- EM Sensor Sensitivity
- Total Sensor Size
Total Sensor Size ranges between 0.1-50 HS.
- Minimum Resolution
Minimum Resolution ranges between 1-500 HS.
- Electronic Hardening
|Chance of Destruction (%)||100||70||50||40||30||25||20||15||10|
- Active Sensor Type
|Type||Search Sensor||Missile Fire Control|