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Auctoritan Syndicate
Curatores Veritatis Alliance
Posted - 2006.05.15 19:40:00 - [1]

I recently got into using scan probes and had limited success with them.
From what I read here the area covered by scan probes is of a disc shape. If what I read is true, then said disc has a height of 1 AU.

I played around with 12AU probes. So this is how the disc would look like:

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Now the problem is, how do you find something that is more than 0.5 AU above you and by that out of range of the disc?
Surely there must be a way to rotate the disc so you can scan down- or upwards.

For this I positioned myself 1.6 AU straight below a station and conducted some tests.

1) Here I dropped 2 probes (12 AU) next to each other, on the same plane so to say. Then went straight up 20km towards the station and dropped the 3rd. Given those 3 points the disc *should* stand upwards and cover the area where the station is.
Analyze... nothing found. Bummer.
I figured, maybe the disc will be positioned level if all 3 probes had been launched in the same grid.

2) So I went and dropped 3 probes in 3 different grids (the grey lines indicate a new grid). 3 probes in a straight line towards the station, each in its own grid.
Analyze... nothing found. Bummer.

3) Now I dropped an additional probe behind the station, just a grid above.
Analyze... station found! Woot. Very Happy

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Now how can this be explained?
Can you not find an object if it is not *between* at least 2 probes?
How would you go about finding something that is in a direction where no warpable object is? (I found several of those.)

Any comments or better yet advice is welcome!

Posted - 2006.05.15 19:47:00 - [2]

As I understand it, this is a limitation of scan probes. IE, the vertical plane is easy to offset > 1au thus evade detection.

El Yatta
Posted - 2006.05.15 20:13:00 - [3]

We had an interesting experience busting a spot that was around 100au, almost vertical (around 340-350 degrees is straight up is 0/360). Now, dropping 192's anywhere in the system, even at something elevated, of course found nothing, because they were nowhere near a 1au pancake the probes made.

So, we observator'd and we started getting results. Now, because an observator deviation is RARELY within the 14au detection range of normal scanner, you have to keep analysing observators, until you get a deviation within that range. NOTE: the minimum deviation on observators is broken, unlike other probes, so you CAN get a deviation that small. This is a good bug.

Here's the interesting bit, ALMOST ALL of the deviations we got were vertical, when in theory it can deviate you in a 97au sphere, as the probes themselves are the only ones that work spherically instead of in 1au thick pancakes. So, if you keep analysing enough you can get one deviation within 14au of the spot, and then another one on the other side of them, in a line with the main part of the solar system:

(d for deviation)

D1 ---- more than 14au ----- d2 --- say, 10au ---- TARGET ----- some more au ---- d3 ----- some more deviations --- 100au ---- main part of solar system, stations, gates, planets.

So, you manually warp and narrow it down, until you are within 3au of them - but vertically. Now, we should be able to use the method described in the OP to drop probes either side of them, and bust. But no. So, we narrow down further and get to within half an au - now they almost horizontal to us, on the same plane, so if we drop 3au probes here, they are well within the 3au sideways, and within the 1au pancake vertically!


Now we are foiled by another property of scan probes - one that I have not personally tested, but appears to be true. If you drop 3 probes in thes ame place, the overlap area is too small (I know, I know, normally you wouldn't be concerned about this, but it does play a part!), and you scan MUCH LESS than the full "width" (horizontal) of the pancake. So, you need probes on either side of them in a horizontal factor, as well!

This was impossible in our case, as the targets weren't sitting on the line we had drawn between the sun (or the station), and the furthest observator deviation, even though all the other observator deviations were! They were sitting less than an au OFF TO THE SIDE, so at a SLIGHT different angle. You can't go sideways, as we only have points on a line to deal with, and the solar system was so far off we couln't get a diagonal line by going to someting on the edge of the system, it was all more-or-less vertical from that height.

SO: does changing the PLANE of probing, by dropping probes in a line, work? Yes! You can move them from a "horizontal plane". BUT, you still need to get either side of them to work, because of the effects of 'overlap area'.

Confederation of Red Moon
Red Moon Federation
Posted - 2006.05.15 21:12:00 - [4]

Edited by: Harlequinn on 15/05/2006 21:21:17
Edited by: Harlequinn on 15/05/2006 21:18:59
Edited by: Harlequinn on 15/05/2006 21:17:47
Edited by: Harlequinn on 15/05/2006 21:13:32

Think of it this way:

The Three probes you drop form the three points that define a triangle.

That triangle forms a plane.

The angle of the plane is formed by the placement of the probes in space; the plane of the probes scanning DOES NOT coincide with the X-Y plane in the solarsystem unless they are all dropped on the same X-Y plane. This means you can place probes along the Z-axis and get the scan plane to be slanted along all three axies of the 3d world, depending on where the probes are.

Anything within that triangle is scanned; plus .5 AU (actually more like 50 million KM than .5 AU) up, down, and around the peremiter OF THAT PLANE. The disc shaped scanning is kind of a misnomer as the scanning really ends up being a triangle shaped plane defined by the three probes.

In the example #3 above, if i understand the diagram correctly: the scan probes do surround the station as the main slant of the triangle they form goes along the z-axis. Which is why the probes gave a result.

To find safespots that are off the z axis from where you are you will either need:

A) Observators.
B) to find a way to manipulate your z-axis height by short-warping between planets, bookmarks,stargates and stations. Not all warpable objects are on the same plane and sometimes you can get to an odd spot by a combination of warps between them. Mission bookmarks often work great for this in empire. This does not always work without the help of observators though.

Short warping is done by deliberatly running yourself out of cap and then warping somewhere you can't make it too with the cap you have left.

Joerd Toastius
Octavian Vanguard
Posted - 2006.05.16 08:38:00 - [5]

Short answer to the OP's question:

No, you can't.

There's a special-case exception where all three probes are within ~50m km, but otherwise you need to at least bracket the target. Probes don't make a solid disc, they make a volume dependent on the position of other probes. If you connect all three probes you get a triangle; if you've dropped two in the same spot it's a very thin one, and with three in the same spot it's just very small, but it's a triangle. Fill in the area between the lines so you get a flat polygonal triangle. To create the volume, you then extend that shape up and down half an AU to create a prism, and then out ~50m km from all sides to create the extra stretch that allows three-probe drops to work. That I believe is the shape you end up scanning in. Moreover, for a decent scan you need the target to be both within that volume and within 1.5AU of all three probes. That's an approx model from my experience, anyway.

Posted - 2006.08.02 13:10:00 - [6]

Edited by: Voliticia on 02/08/2006 13:10:48

Jaidar RobixSkewed
Posted - 2006.08.02 13:10:00 - [7]

How do you travel 1.6 au's? I can only get up to 3299m/s with a single mwd setup and even in a multiple it would be a short burst and not enuf to get au's of distance traveled without lots and lots of time spent.


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