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Thread: 2D radar

  1. #11
    I would first like to clear this one. Let me get this straight, forget about 3D or 2D radars. You are going to be more worried about contacts 100km above you then contacts lets say 20,000km in other position? How is range less important? Could you explain that please?

  2. #12
    First : To be clear, even if nothing mattered beyond 200km you would still need a proper 3D positioning.
    Second : Of course I care ! In a realistic spaceship simulation that's the scale where stuff happen, even if you aren't watching at all scale every second.
    In case you didn't knew either there's a scale button on the sensor display, it allow you to choose at which scale you want to see stuff. You can see between 0 to 1km, 0 to 600km or beyond (the radar scale go up to around 300 000km)

    From simple Navigation to Combat, Rescue, Scavenging, Exploration or I don't know what else, your speed is usually counted in km/s and stations in orbit can easily be spread beyond 1000km, even if you were be following a step by step mission plan.
    I wouldn't expect "small ship" sensor to give much detail at 20000km but detection range in space are truly stupendous, it is only limited by the resolution of your sensor and light-lag for IR.

    For practical purpose I consider the range you need sensor-display for is planet, orbit, Lagrange point, that's easily 20 000km

    Civilian speaking : I need to know where my destination is, plot an intercept, if there's several signal (around a planet) I need to go I want to plan maneuver to use less fuel, I need to see how much "traffic" there is (around point of interest, the rest is void), whether or not there forbidden area or orbit, wether or not there's a craft needing assistance, maybe even if there a ship that is suspiciously pinging me since civilian are apparently supposed to carry weapon. There's a lot of opportunity as well, is there a wrecked ship, how many ? Trace of orbital debris around ? What caused it to be a wreck ?

    Military speaking : You are expected to see target and plot intercept, you are expected to detect incoming threat and intercept them, you can't plan anything in space if you can't detect anything beyond 1000km and more. Even if HQ were to give you all the data you need and supposing nothing requiring decision happen on the way.

    Where did you read me saying "range is less important" ? The 3D-display HAVE THE RANGE WRITTEN BY DEFAULT, that's how important it is !!! Did you believe a pilot is expected to calculate range using the Radar concentric line ? The grey-circle are only there to show the scale of the display and help estimation. Computer do the math, human make decision.

    As I told you above, if you start only caring about the distance at which your weapons can reach it mean you want a handy "effective-range" display on the HUD, you can even get rid of the 2nd dimension and draw it on a single line.

    Your turn, what did you expect to use your 2D display for ?

  3. #13
    Again, instead of viewing things in ways to add ideas, you have a notation of thinking one system fits all. You believe 3D radars are flawless without fault and it is all you need, nothing else. Here I am trying to discuss having different features to aid the short coming of whatever feature that is implemented, hence the reason asking what kind of "radar" system RS will be using. If using some sort of 2D one, I wanted to know how it was designed, if 3D then there needs to be options to have different situational awareness. Through out my experience in the Air Force as an Airfield Defense guard, I may not have experience with realistic space battles, nor full air combat scenarios (although flight sims are one of my hobbies), but one thing I am sure is having one system in which you solely rely on viewing in perspectives is not a good idea. Just to be clear, again, I am not saying 3D radar is useless! This is why I was talking about the F-35 customisable displays, to be able to use/view different systems for different situations! Nothing else.

    I have already explained what my 2D radar is for. I guess to simplify for you in terms for you to undersatnd, it's a glorified rangefinder. Throughout my careers experience, range is one of the most important situational awareness needed when searching or engaging contacts, the KISS principle is just as important. Oh but I forgot, your 3D radar is good enough because it displays range too... That is true but you have to take your time assessing the target/s. Oh but because it has everything, that means there is no need for anything else! right? 3D radar FTW! My way or the high way! This is why I said there is a bias opinion here. Also about the perceptual reading, yes I want to eliminate the need to perceptually ( read (, but as you said, that won't be possible without augmented situational awareness. Instead I am here discussing, adding suggestion to lesson the need. I understand using the word eliminate was over the top.

    "Where did you read me saying "range is less important" ?"
    -"The way you put more importance in the immediate range of the target rather than its actual position in space is part of why I think you use "aircraft logic""
    When I am searching for targets, I put range as primary, nothing to do with aircraft, but the art of war. On the other hand, you put range having less importance from your statements, or that is how I interpenetrated, hence why I wanted to understand your logic since you are a master space fighter pilot. I am also trying to avoid talking about civilians terms because that is a whole different ball game, but you keep pushing it. To simply put it, my 2D radar is not to replace anything! It is to add a type of immediate situational awareness... At least I know my 2D radar is not a one size fit all feature.

    If I had offended you in anyway, I am sorry. There are a lot of misunderstandings in this heated debate and I am no exception.

  4. #14
    Don't worry for that, there's a lot of misunderstanding going on both way and I think that's more exasperation than hostility.

    I do hope I'm finally close to get your perspective.
    "glorified rangefinder" is in fact the word I refrained from saying, supposing you really saw more in it than that.

    Throughout this discussion we've kept refining the context/situation for which you want this "radar" for, if you confirm that it is only meant for battle (and below the tactical level) my guess make it mostly a visual-help to stay at range of a target, it would then have no need of most of the feature a sensor-display need. In practice a completely different use (rather than a "customization").

    I'm insisting on that because it could be something I support ("easy" to make, byproduct of another screen).
    However we are probably still going to be arguing over the form and the scope this "glorified rangefinder" would take if you expect "tactical consideration" to be achieved without a 3D radar (to me you can't), I only have "game" experience with 3D space battle, various level of realism and sarcasm but I still think you are confusing the context & limitation that led to 2D-radar display being used for Ground-base defense and Air-fighter with what would be created for a spaceship with different consideration.

    My suggestion is below the tactical-scale, last step of a combat : targeting-help. (Akin to the right screen of : https://childrenofadeadearth.files.w...caps.png?w=700 )
    Displaying the range of a target for range-effectiveness purpose is simple enough to fit on a transparent rectangle withing the HUD. "How" will be dependent on the type, the number of weapon, if turret mount, and how many target you expect to engage at once. For this job, I even see no need to display a full quadrant since you have the sensor for situational-awareness.

    #I'll try an example :
    A combat is going to happen,
    You switch the HUD to "combat" (or so), all other system give more combat-related data, what appear is at "combat range", things your have highlighted on your sensor-display, weapons...etc
    The sensor-display, when the HUD is in combat-mode highlight "friendly, hostile, neutral" based on IFF, it show different information, focusing for tactical concern, if you had the time, that's what you use it to plan trajectory/tactics, put yourself in formation with allies, fire missiles, whatever... (we can discuss to improve what is needed or not)
    Now, you could display a mini-sensor on your HUD, this display is limited to "combat range" but show the actual position at 360° so you don't need to read any angle or search them manually (the HUD will of course show out-of-screen target direction), that way you can know if a target is in clear sight of your less armored radiator, or if it's right above you (thus only needing you to pivot instinctively so no enemy dot is in sight of your rear), optionally it allow you to translate so the dot are aligned, risking to hit each-other...etc
    You are also not forced to keep the Sensor-screen open, you can switch to weapon or system as needed. The duration of a fight will depend of how realistic this game/simulator is.
    Final phase : you have locked a target and will shoot (at) it, the "effective-range" display appear, it is just a vertical rectangle, have no bearing, no up/down, it only display your target range compared to your weapon effective-range.
    The HUD might always display the range above the enemy, but as you aren't going to manually remember the range of your weapon you use the above.

    #Fleet-combat variation :
    The sensor-display is still what you use to plan, get into formation, select a plane of reference. In combat it also share your allies moving vector.
    The mini-sensor-display is displaying your allies and show the where your formation is, so you can see if you have to move backward AND "up" without having to calculate the angle : is there a colored vertical-line ? then you also have to move up/down until it shrink.

    About my quote :
    -"The way you put more importance in the immediate range of the target rather than its actual position in space is part of why I think you use "aircraft logic""
    I understand why it could be misleading, but in that context "actual position" also mean range. I value both as equal, for a sensor-display job there's no point having the range without the position, space is 3D. If your goal was "missile intercept", that would be something else entirely.

    About "one size fit all" that's not my philosophy. That's why I had started the discussion with a list of features, so we could discuss their need or make it contextual.
    "the right tools for the right job" and "system synergy" are my philosophy. A sensor-display can have multiple setting and communicate with other screens, be it Navigation or Combat.
    Aside, the KISS principle relate to how complex the use of a system is, not how complex it is (itself), nor necessarily how complex it look. Getting rid of a perspective don't necessarily make thing easier if it's for a job where it help.

    Anyway, it's not like the devs, Michael Juliano, didn't planned how he intend to cover most aspect into a working game.

  5. #15
    I guess we are finally getting somewhere. Yes the 2D radar is meant to compliment other systems, like how TEWS Display unit is different in function from Vertical Situation display (This is just an example).

    However with your quote "I even see no need to display a full quadrant since you have the sensor for situational-awareness.", if you can have full 360 coverage, why limit it? I would understand if you can further costomise it to smaller quadrant by pilot choice, however if you can see the "full battlefield" why limit yourself to one quadrant? You can take a quick glance to any targets range from all sectors and bearings, which as I said will become important with multiple contacts. Yes 3D radar gives you a type of situational awareness, but as I said before, finding the immediate range for multiple targets would take longer with 3D.

    #"tactical consideration" to be achieved without a 3D radar.

    This is one of those topics that has no proper answer in the real world. The general rule with standard operating procedures of systems ranging from military to civilian, having to perceptually read systems are kind of frowned upon. I would nether agree or disagree on this topic though, as I know space is a lot different from traditional warfare. Following to that point, I understand it is not easy to not use a systems such as the 3D radars we currently know. SOP's can change, new acceptance could be implanted, new technology can also play a roll too. So if 3D radar is used, there needs to be other systems to compliment it such as the current radar I have suggested and or other system/s.

    Other then that, the rest of your quote I agree/don't have any problems with.

  6. #16
    To be honest I feel like you are getting backward on stuff we seemed to agree...

    I demonstrated you can't use a 2D-radar to do what you expected to do.
    I give you something that could be vaguely similar but will necessarily be optimized in a different way (limited angle).
    You insist to modify it in the hope you can still use it like you believe you can.

    So you may experience an unusually high amount of sarcasm in this post. I won't take it badly if you consider we should stop here.

    if you can have full 360 coverage, why limit it?
    To avoid cluttering the HUD, since this "glorified rangefinder" is useful only in the limited-angle (and range) a weapon will be able to fire.
    If we have no use for a full-quadrant 2D-display, why insist ?

    You can't get a good sight of the "full battlefield" with a 2D-display, I keep demonstrating it. You only get a distorted (flattened) vision missing critical information, and its main feature "flattened true range" is only useful if you don't care about position or direction (a bearing is useless without the vertical angle).
    The only use I could find for something similar is as a display for effective-range comparison versus targets. But since itt is pointless to show target you aren't aiming at : limited angle. Plus, if I also take curved-shot (due to orbit) in mind it's better to completely disconnect that "effective-range display" from the direction the ship is looking at.
    - Cannon ? It must face the enemy (or rather the computer-calculated firing solution), as any recoil will create thrust those gun are better lined up with the ship's center of mass.
    - Laser ? turret are easier, no recoil, you may lose in accuracy but at least this one can hit a target in straight line.
    - Missile ? short range difference of 200km are "meaningless" for those, they'll have more problem with orbital parameter, you'll want 3D to check for that.
    - Anti-missile ? You'll need to point them at missile using 3D coordinate so 3D-display is faster.
    Again, like the picture from "Children of a Dead Earth".

    To have a good sight of the battlefield you'll want a 3D-display, even a miniaturized one : it will show everything you need and not be cluttered or distorted. This is no Elite:Dangerous.

    finding the immediate range for multiple targets would take longer with 3D.
    Technically true.
    ...then you'll lose 10 minutes processing their angles to get an idea of what to do (because you aren't playing a smartphone game of finger-clicking the closest one)
    Getting the range fast is meaningless if it make you lose all that time in getting the angle and planning your maneuver, same if you are trying to imagining the relative position of SEVERAL targets and it give you an headache.

    AGAIN : Following your logic to the letter we should get rid of the "perceptual" 2D display to use an Excel table filtered with "closest target first", with beari...wait, let's get rid of that too and program the ship to automatically turn to the closest enemy, you are just an automated-turret with a finger on the trigg... And what if the SHIP FIGHT AUTOMATICALLY ? I wouldn't need to even LOOK at a radar !

    You are still using that "perceptually read" arguments so wrong it's getting annoying, so even if it's out-of-topic, lesson :
    (For you I reduced its perceptual readability)
    "Perceptually" -> Perception, you are criticizing display for needing to use your frigging eyes ! Do you want to make the radar in braille ? How wait, that's using your tactile sense now ! (get why I said "brain transfer into your memory" ?)
    AGAIN : Even if you took away all "Geometric Dimension" leaving only a table with Range, Bearing, Angle, you would still use your perception to READ the numbers, and emphasis on the READ

    "reading" -> "complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning"... since as said above you won't get rid of the "cognitive process" part, the only way to make it "simpler" is to get rid of the "symbols" part, meaning using stuff humans do intuitively without thinking at all for example imagining our position and others people position in a space that obey euclidean geometry and distance as we instinctively understand them, using 3 direction... like a forest, people understand forest so let's put the Echo on tree-like vertical line, I think we could call it a Euclidean-Forest-display but that's longs to say. Since it represent stuff in 3 dimensions could shorten it to 3D, that's it ! 3D-Display !

    having to perceptually read systems are kind of frowned upon
    It's unnecessary cluttering or confusing display that are frowned upon, that's why we started using geometric representation in the first place, don't confuse the reasons we still use 2D for atmospheric aircraft :

    (1) We "couldn't do better" for long, reliable thin-screen is recent, it take years to certify new hardware/software, and plane usually only had radar (and IRST) in their nose, facing forward.
    (2) Airliner don't need to dogfight up&down, they fly in a pattern so predictable we created Flight-level and Airway. Some modern airliner do actually show the ground in 3D now.
    (3) Fighter-jet use radar for detection and BVR fight in the 150-300km range which is "flat" as atmosphere goes. 2D radar are less relevant at short range, still "flat".
    (4) The F-35 did in fact jump to 3D using its AR-Helmet, it was the whole point of its 3D (360°) IRST, plus it's 'supposed' to be an attack plane/deep strike bomber.

    In a spaceship setting the reasons above don't stand :
    (1) We can do better, we won't use 2D for task that require 3D.
    (2) For Spaceliner, you can barely delimitate Orbit and Inclination, any other trajectory will depend of orbital parameters that change, no "airway" and you'll always, always been crossing other orbit.
    (3) Spaceship mean radar-all-the-way, targeting is done by computer. What human do is choose the target and move as the tactical situation change.
    (4) You can wonder if spaceship wouldn't come naturally with VR-helmet mode since everything is camera.

    This is one of those topics that has no proper answer in the real world.
    It do have a proper answer in the real world :
    - Define the needs & context
    - Get rid of bias due to experience with systems built for totally different need&context
    - Design a system that answer those need efficiently, even if it's totally different from how you used to do stuff
    - Learn to use this more efficient system

    What we don't have is a real world analogous example to copy/paste or at least prevent falling back on bad analogy. At least you didn't started with WWII dogfight analogy...

  7. #17
    I guess I'm going to have to go back to these pictures: and

    Look at target 2 and 4. Which one could you figure out the distance on a glance? Which one is easier to quickly see a targets relative bearing without the need to trace up and down lines? Do you really not see this as having different kind of situational awareness? Now imagine if you can have both radar displayed at the same time. Instead of having to take the time to read up close the range for the 3D and read the angle from the 2D, you can take a quick look at both go get the picture of the situation a lot faster, giving you more time to plan. Also any targets blocked by view (Eg, target 6 & 7) can be exposed with the other system and vice versa. It would also be a lot faster and easier to see which target/s are within your effective firing range. So this is why I am asking, why limit it?

    "To avoid cluttering the HUD" is pretty poor excuse, as I said, if we have customisable display like the F-35, you can limit it to one quadrant by your own choice. Or at most, you would can switch back and forward of each system/s.

    Also have a look at this
    Do you see a 3D square or 2D shape? If 3D square, are you look at it from the bottom or from the top? Your perception relies on your perspective. Having 3D radar on a 2D screen requires perception with needed perspective. Unless we have VR headsets with holographic type 3D radar for the game, the same issue will be there. The 3D radar is still a two dimensional radar projection representing the positions of objects in three dimensional space. The definition of the word has two meanings and ways to look at it, the scientific version of using your eyes/senses to process data to your brain, or the psychological version in which how you interpret such data. Even though English is my second language, I understood that much... This is what I mean by having to perceptually read systems are kind of frowned upon, never did I say banned, not accepted, never used, etc. Your "unnecessary cluttering" paragraph is another topic in itself which is another red herring that you bring up.

    "It do have a proper answer in the real world", so I'm guessing you can predict the future now? You are 100% sure the standard operating procedures of warfare/civil operations will solely rely on the system/s you or I know/come up with? Hence "This is one of those topics that has no proper answer in the real world", also the reason why I nether agree or disagree. All the dot points you listed are just commonsense when designing a system. We can predict all we want with the best ideas, but in the end, it's still just theories and no proof like gravity.

    On a side note, who knows how the future will be. There really might be an augmented type technology where you hook up all on-board ship systems to electrodes to your head without the need for sight. However that is pretty sci-fi stuff.

  8. #18
    ...this is leading nowhere and we clearly entered the personal attack phase of the common Internet debate.

    Every answers to your question have already been debated and are running in a loop :
    - First I mention that your picture is missing range-text which would suffice as an answer (and the color-code for line below)
    - Next you pretend it's a waste of time reading them, I remind the angle-text needed to use your 2D-radar.
    - Then you tell me that's because you care first about range, I remind you that range is pointless if you need another display to make sense of it with position and all...
    Until we come back to where you claim that position is easier to read on a 2D-radar (despite me pointing out all 2D limitations)

    You have constantly eluded (language-barrier maybe ?) every points I made about "closest range" not being the only thing that matter and about positions, vector display, orbit-display...etc being confusing or even impossible on your personal 2D display.

    For curiosity : your first post mentioned another forum and other displaying "strong bias and stubbornness in rearguards to their own personal taste" where they defending 3D as well ?

    Again : The F-35 interface is purpose built, every display have the forms they have because professional know what they will be used for and why that form was easier to understand in the context and usage of the plane, they won't add an redundant odd-display unless it provide a quantifiable/qualifiable advantage. Something I have yet to see for your 2D-radar or a least the way you expect to use it.
    I have provided you a Variation that was useful precisely for "closest target" but did not (by necessity) looked the same and was only a secondary-screen. You kept on making it back into a "main combat radar". If you believe in secondary-customisable screen, you'll have better luck making a SET of several smallish display that achieve what you want.

    Next : on "perception" you could simply admit you should have said "perspective", rather than weaseling around. Because "perceptually read" still mean nothing, sorry.

    "Perspective display is frowned upon" would actually be something you hear in the context of 40years old military design for a ground-base defense display where 3D would pass off as a pointless luxury (due to context and feasibility). What was daunting UI designers of the past was wether or not the technology used would be capable or (military speaking) reliable enough to display visual clue like trait along visibly-thinner trait or just being able to put color at all.
    Add bureaucratic inertia, Failsafe procedure, AESA-FAA certification and you end up 20 years behind what can be done today. Some military equipments are more than 40 years old (working on Windows 3.1), same for rocket.
    But we do have the technology, a spaceshipin the future will have it (you can even pretend that's incredible bureaucratic inertia that left this futuristic-spacecraft without neural-link and Strong-AI), space is a void that make 3D easier and that's good because it REQUIRE it.

    Your logic about "3D display is bad unless you use a hologram / VR-Helmet" is so wrong I feel like you are grasping at straw.

    Even putting aside that this is a game simulating on screen being inside a spacecraft using a screen -screenception-. Using a flat-screen to display a 3D situation do not (in itself) cause any problem, quite the contrary it remove the uncertainty of your own position compared to the display you are looking at.
    Remember all those common-life situation where you close an eye and try to line up to get a proper reading ? You get that naturally with screen, in fact it give you an understanding so clear and devoid of error that VR-Helmet like the VIVE give player incredible sensation (despite looking average on screen) because they do the reverse : they lessen the ability of player to be aware of their situation.

    How would you use a in-game Helmet to pilot ? Make yourself the spacecraft. You are not remote-controlling the spacecraft you are seeing exactly what it see, the only reason to detach your focus would be to plan somewhere ahead and even then you would not add user's "biological uncontrolled move" to the mix.

    So you can quit your attempt at making 3D-radar the devil. This is not Elite:Dangerous where the radar is more of an eye candy than really needed.

    "It do have a proper answer in the real world", so I'm guessing you can predict the future now
    Actually I can, I can imagine why your "2D-display" is a dead-end for the usage you described, it just ask some imagination and methodology. It's a shame you seem to lack both.

    Considering how the discussion is looping, I think we can simply stop there. It will take a really new point of view to make me keep on.


  9. #19
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2015
    Maine, USA
    Gentlemen. I've been following your debate, probably along with everyone else.
    Personally, I'm happy to let Michael decide on what gets implemented, I'm sure he has thought about it.
    Anyway, you both have my respect for being RogSys forum members, we are a rare bunch indeed.
    Group hug anyone.

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Quote Originally Posted by Ironwolf View Post
    Group hug anyone.
    Group hug!

    Trying to project 3D space onto a 2D sensor whilst maintaining both clarify and the depth information is... not a trivial task, that's for sure!
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