[Working draft, unfinished, University of Saikamon Journal of Applied Physics, 1,1, YC 116]
I begin by stating this is far outside my area of expertise. I was recently subjected to a first-hand experience regarding the applications of a personal cloaking device, largely developed at a bar at the Cerra Manor Terrace. My colleagues in the applied physics and engineering communities may find my statement as ludicrous. To waylay such concerns, I have included footage.
[Video footage, most likely from a helmet, shows a number of individuals approaching Vlad Cetes. After being told to hand over his weapon, he disappears from view by fading from visible light]
What do we know about the user? Vlad Cetes is a synthetic organism with very little organic matter present. Though we do not have a full understanding of Vlad’s physiology, his synthetic skin potentially serves a similar function as a metamaterial “invisibility cloak,” manipulating the interaction of objects with the electromagnetic spectrum. This would be the absolute lower bound of his capabilities. However, the appearance of his form phasing from view is troubling.
The other extreme possibility of Vlad’s cloaking capabilities are whether or not he has miniaturized a cloaking device as would be found on a vessel. For many of the common-use cloaking devices, his abilities are limited, though a look at the specific case covert ops cloaking device leads to startling challenges.
There are four major sensor types in New Eden: Radar, Ladar, Magnetometric, and Gravimetric. A cloaking device, therefore, necessitates that it counteract or subvert the detection parameters of these sensor types. The Amarr Radar, the Minmatar Ladar, and even the Gallente Magnetometric, involve detection utilizing electromagnetic fields. The Amarr Radar (RAdio Detection And Ranging) focuses on the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, in contrast to the Minmatar Ladar (LAser Detection And Ranging), which focuses on or around the visible portions of the spectrum–infrared, visible, and ultraviolet. The Gallente Magnetometric systems measure magnetic fields, though are nonetheless dependent on both electromagnetic power and electromagnetic fields. In other words, three of the four systems, in a properly developed cloaking device, can be thwarted through the manipulation of the electromagnetic spectrum and electromagnetic power.
The final system–and the major hurdle for cloaking devices–is the Caldari system: Gravimetric. Gravimetry is the measurement of the strength of a gravitational field. The majority of modern space-faring vessels utilize an FTL (Faster-than-Light) form of transportation, necessitating on-board navigational computers that are able to lock onto gravity wells. A cloaking device extends the anomalies stemming from those navigational devices around itself to better blend in with the environmental gravitational fields–planets, stars, asteroids, moons, stations, what have you.
As such, a miniaturized cloaking device–if that is indeed what Vlad has developed–would be capable of remaining undetected against these sensor types.
The final problem in terms of countermeasures, however, lies with the covert ops cloaking device. Based on information released publicly when such a device is purchased, we understand that the covert ops cloaking device produces a spatial distortion that functionally removes a ship from space.
The countermeasures required for a standard metamaterials cloaking device are simplistic–Alexa de’Crux, apparently possessing experience on the matter, suggested we use dirt and water to indicate where he was stepping. A more sophisticated approach along those lines would utilize pressure sensors at strategic areas around the Manor…
Further notes and questions:
– Discuss personal spatial distortion capabilities.
– How does Vlad possess the processing power necessary to run a miniaturized ship-borne cloaking device?
– The detonation of EMP devices in relation to the cloaking device.
– The possibility of using minute contact surfaces to break the light deflection aspects of the cloaking device.
– Positioning an artificial gravity well signature somewhere on the Manor to overwhelm Vlad’s processing power. Assuming that Vlad is using on-board processing power, of course. He could be running the computations through an up-link to a ship in orbit… so a jamming field would also be necessary.