[OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Batman » 2008-12-07 07:49pm

Kythnos wrote: I love this paradox you would think that with the number of times that personal where abducted from the Enterprise their computer would keep a running count on the personal if nothing else.
It does-if anybody ever bothers to explicitly ASK for one. :D
I recently watched "Balance of Terror" on TV.com, and the romulan sensors where truly terrible as they could not find the Enterprise, after it turned off "most" of its systems.
It's been a while since I've seen 'Balance of Terror' but them not detecting a ship that was doing the closest a starship can get to 'running silent' (as this is Star Trek, the largest part of this would likely be shutting down everything that involves subspace) I'm not sure this says anything one way OR the other about romulan sensors.
And all the power is not off Gravity is still working, as are sensors.
There is obviously power available, but power generation may well have been off. There's several examples of the big E operating, including moving and fighting, on batteries. TWOK comes to mind.
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Post by Patrick Degan » 2008-12-07 11:28pm

Kythnos wrote:I recently watched "Balance of Terror" on TV.com, and the romulan sensors where truly terrible as they could not find the Enterprise, after it turned off "most" of its systems. Very funny episode, as there are several "whispering" scenes which make you wonder why they are being very quite "sound does not travel in a vacuum. And all the power is not off Gravity is still working, as are sensors. (sadly I am not sure if this topic has a real answer, the writers make them as good or bad as they "need" them to be.)
The first bit about the Romulan sensors would actually be logical, since it would be a consequence of the cloaking field in operation (a factor which is ignored in all subsequent depictions of the cloaking device in Star Trek). The second bit, however, was ridiculous and a simple case of carrying the "destroyer v. submarine" metaphor a bit too far.
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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Junghalli » 2008-12-09 03:02pm

Kythnos wrote:I love this paradox you would think that with the number of times that personal where abducted from the Enterprise their computer would keep a running count on the personal if nothing else.
I was going to bring up the massive retardedness of how the computer can instantly tell whether somebody's in the ship or not but isn't programmed to automatically alert the crew if people just mysteriously appear, but that seems more an issue of general design stupidity than the capabilities of the sensors themselves.

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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Swindle1984 » 2008-12-27 03:03am

The Enterprise-D computer takes hours to do what Google can do in seconds, and couldn't come up with the link between Darmok, Jilad, and Tenagra.

Starfleet is staffed by retards and communist party members. With a large degree of overlap between the two groups. There's just no other explanation.
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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Bounty » 2008-12-27 04:17am

The Enterprise-D computer takes hours to do what Google can do in seconds, and couldn't come up with the link between Darmok, Jilad, and Tenagra.
And what episode would you have been watching when this supposedly happens?

Troi and Data search the database for "Darmok" (the entirely linguistic database compiled on that sector of space, containing god knows how many hundreds of cultures) and get 40-odd results. they then ask about Tanagra (just about Tanagra) and get another batch of results. Troi asks to cross-reference the databases... and gets the data on Shantil 3. Where, in all of this, did the computer fail? Was it supposed to magically know it needed to cross-reference two independent search terms? How would you have it come up with the link when the words existed independently on nearly fifty planets?

...and what does this have to do with sensors? Moreover, what does you little stock "ZOMG RED SCARE" rant have to do with anything?

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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Xon » 2009-05-10 11:54am

New startrek movie demonstartes the Federation can't see the physical ejection of a supernova (a planet was blown apart by a shockwave!) even when knowing the damn thing is going to occur!
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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Jon » 2009-05-10 12:05pm

Given the nova apparently happened in another system and was not Romulus's star one can only assume it wasn't your average nova, otherwise I would expect them to have plenty of time to evacuate, at least.
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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Bounty » 2009-05-10 03:17pm

In the prequel comic, the Romulans are aware of the problem but refuse to evacuate until it's too late. It also wasn't a supernova-by-the-book, since the star gave off those blasts multiple times.

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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Jon » 2009-05-10 05:45pm

^Then I wonder why Nero didn't ask his wife to go off planet then?
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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Bounty » 2009-05-10 05:47pm

Jon wrote:^Then I wonder why Nero didn't ask his wife to go off planet then?
IIRC by the time everyone realises that Romulus is in immediate danger it's too late. Nero initially sincerely believes Spock and the Vulcans can stop the blasts before it's too late; when the Vulcans refuse to offer the material he races back to Romulus but he's too late.

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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by andrewgpaul » 2009-05-10 05:53pm

Perhaps Romulus wasn't issuing exit visas.
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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Jon » 2009-05-10 06:06pm

I do wish they would have given Spock's mind meld flashback just one additional scene showing that the Vulcan's refused to offer the material and Nero rushing back, I think that would have vastly underscored his motivations for the audience.
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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Darth Wong » 2009-05-27 05:08pm

I agree. "You tried to save my world but didn't quite succeed, while we apparently had no plan of our own and I couldn't even be arsed to bother transporting my own wife off the planet" is not the greatest justification for an arch-nemesis.
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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Joe Momma » 2009-06-11 04:53pm

Bounty wrote:Troi and Data search the database for "Darmok" (the entirely linguistic database compiled on that sector of space, containing god knows how many hundreds of cultures) and get 40-odd results. they then ask about Tanagra (just about Tanagra) and get another batch of results. Troi asks to cross-reference the databases... and gets the data on Shantil 3. Where, in all of this, did the computer fail? Was it supposed to magically know it needed to cross-reference two independent search terms? How would you have it come up with the link when the words existed independently on nearly fifty planets?
At the risk of nitpicking, the computer doesn't cross-reference the two until Data notices the common Shantril 3 reference between the two searches and then asks for the computer to cross-reference that with the previous search. Why Troi and Data didn't ask the computer to simply run a search with both terms in the first place (since they were part of a single phrase for which the two were trying to determine the origin), I have no idea. Either it was a failure on the characters' parts in phrasing a simple boolean search (darmok + tanagra) or they didn't think the computer could handle it without them breaking it into baby-steps.

This is getting off-topic though, except for raising once again the general point that it's sometimes open to question whether faults lie with the equipment or the people using them...
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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by NettiWelho » 2009-11-16 02:25pm

Memory-Alpha.org: about the Voth wrote:Technologically advanced, they possessed transwarp capabilities, as well as being able to scan from a distance of over ninety light years with significant accuracy, even down to the individual lifeform readings.
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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by And_Atom_JT » 2011-02-19 06:57pm

[OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?
Whatever the plot requires them to be capable of, same with Star Wars sensors and any other sensors in scifi.

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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Alyeska » 2011-02-20 12:22am

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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Swindle1984 » 2011-04-13 12:24am

TNG, Who Watches The Watchers

When the Enterprise's sensors can't find a human lost on the planet, Picard orders the ship into a lower orbit. This is noted as giving them a 4% increase in sensor efficiency.

Searching for the lost human, Data notes that the terrain is full of sinkholes and caverns and he may have fallen into one. He also notes a high concentration of thallium in the soil/rock and says that they may interfere with the ship's sensors.
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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Multiverse » 2011-08-12 11:11pm

From what I've seen of posts so far people tend to bring up specific instances, many of which are contradictory, without proposing a means of resolving the contradictions. This has been confusing for me as a reader. I offer the following hypotheses in hopes of clearing up some of the contradictions/confusion:

1. Internal sensors and tricorders work about the same way that analogous current technology does.

2. Sensors for detecting people on a planet or for detecting other starships work about the same way that applicable current technology does.

3. Variation from the above two hypotheses is explainable as a failing by the writers, a failing by the characters, or by differences in technology between the present and the technology level when the episode/movie was written.

I am still somewhat uncertain about the detection of objects in situations where the speed of light would be a factor such as in the Argus Array or in the detection of ships several light years away. Is there a plausible way for faster than light sensors to work aside from relying on subspace or some other technobabble explanation?

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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Patrick Degan » 2011-08-22 07:40pm

Multiverse wrote:I am still somewhat uncertain about the detection of objects in situations where the speed of light would be a factor such as in the Argus Array or in the detection of ships several light years away. Is there a plausible way for faster than light sensors to work aside from relying on subspace or some other technobabble explanation?
In a word, no. The explanations for FTL anything are pure handwavium. The only hope a writer has is to simply show the sensor working in a consistent manner each time it's used so that the audience swallows it, like a magic trick.

Since Star Trek has based so much of its technology on the existence of the fictional subspace plane, including communications, any explanation of FTL sensors used in the Trekverse must include material on subspace to be consistent with their other technologies.
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Re:

Post by General Brock » 2012-02-20 09:30pm

Ted C wrote: ...
Basically, locating the platinum in "Angel One" was like using a metal detector to find a needle in a haystack. Similarly, a metal detector would not necessarily be as useful for finding a needle in a city park ["Survivors"] unless you already had a good idea where to look.
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So, if this example is ever used, it might be interesting trivia to include a little on how Lagrange points are located and size determined.

Lagrange points are also gravity wells, so if 'Trek sensors are gravity dependent beyond line-of-sight, maybe that could help hide a ship, as might space debris collected there.

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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Batman » 2012-02-20 09:46pm

I don't even know where to start. Not only is this threadomancy, not only are LaGrange points not gravity wells (quite the opposite in fact) but you don't have to actively detect them given they're nothing more than positions in space where the gravitational forces of the surrounding massive bodies cancel each other out which is something we can calculate today.
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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by General Brock » 2012-02-20 09:48pm

Conceded then. NVM. Forgot to check the date on the OP, among other things.

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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by SCRawl » 2012-02-20 09:51pm

It's a sticky. There's nothing to get upset about, caped crusader.
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Re: [OFFICIAL] What are Star Trek sensors really capable of?

Post by Batman » 2012-02-20 10:28pm

Not. You obviously don't know what a gravity well is. Hint: the absence of gravity is something of a giveaway.
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