Friday, January 11, 2008

Incoming!

I have just implemented decoys as a defensive measure against all types of incoming missiles. Modern day fighter jets use two types of decoys against missiles, "chaff" and flares. Flares are intended to confuse missiles guided by infrared detection and chaff is little foil strips intended to confuse radar guided missiles.

In space combat, the guidance systems probably won't use IR or radar, but rather an EM Signature. The missile will look across the entire electromagnetic spectrum -- ultraviolet, visible, infrared, microwave, radar, etc. Everything that the target is emitting will be recorded and memorized by the missile.

So that means that the decoys will have to be very sophisticated. At the time the decoy is launched, it will itself look at the EM emissions from the ship that launched it. It will then use various emitters to reproduce that emission signature. So the decoy will "look" the same as the ship no matter what band of the EM signature the missile is using at any given moment.

Here is a sequence of screenshots showing the decoys in action. In the first frame, the enemy has launched three missiles at the target. We have responded by deploying a decoy and altering course:

You can see the missiles going toward the target. They have spread out a bit as they each make up their mind between which of the two targets to follow. In the next frame, you can see one missile has clearly "bought" the decoy. The other two are not distracted though:The final frame shows the results. Two missiles impact the target, the other heads uselessly off into space:

2 comments:

jinntann said...

sweet job so far.

any date as to when this would be ready? I'd like to try it out ASAP.

Fleet Combat Online said...

Well, I am only saying that there will be an "official" release by the end of the first quarter of 2008. But I am actually quite close to needing beta testers to see what other people think of it and make sure it is playable.
So I think by the end of January I will start beta testing with users. So stand by.