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UFOpaedia Entry


TO: Base Commander, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command

FROM: Cdr. Paul Navarre, R&D: Engineering Division, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command

DATE: %02i %s %i

SUB: Proposal: Alien Detection

Commander, the alien sensor suite appears to be a very powerful set of passive and active scanning systems, including radar, lidar, magnetic and UV/infrared reception, and -- most interestingly -- a kind of detection unknown to us, but which seems to have far more success at detecting UFOs than anything we have.

If you'll let us take the suite apart, I believe we can find out what everything does and how to operate it, and how to replicate most if not all of the alien detection equipment. It would be an immense boost to our defence efforts on Earth if we can get this technology working for us, and its long-term potential for spacecraft development is vital. There's no way we could build a viable space-capable fighter with human sensors.

Along with Alien Propulsion and Alien Astrogation, Alien Detection is one of the three pillars of UFO design. Understanding it will bring us a big step closer to the ability to build an atmosphere-capable interplanetary defence craft.

--Cdr. Navarre


TO: Base Commander, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command

FROM: Cdr. Paul Navarre, R&D: Engineering Division, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command

DATE: %02i %s %i

SUB: Re: Alien Detection

The project on alien detection is complete, Commander. We now have a full understanding of the machinery, its controls, and the modifications needed for human use.

Our initial assessment looks to have been correct. The detection suite makes use mostly of standard, reliable detection methods that humanity either uses or knows about. The equipment is more advanced than ours and will be useful, but by and large the aliens apply the same concepts and use the same physics as we do. As I mentioned in my proposal, radar, lidar and other such old reliables are all well-represented in the suite.

And then there's the mystery sensor.

It had us confounded for a long time, because now that it's here on the Earth's surface, it spits out mostly overpowering background noise. Up in the air, however, the picture is quite different. We think we've now identified the detector and have figured out how it works.

In the simplest terms, it's a gravity sensor, scanning for minute changes in a background gravitational field. Everything travelling through a gravity field disturbs the field to some degree based on its size, mass and composition. The sensor can identify these changes as natural or artificial objects based on course, speed and acceleration with 95% accuracy. If there is any doubt about a contact, the system will report it anyway. It seems to be more effective in stronger fields like the one around Earth, but we surmise that it will work to some extent anywhere within the gravity range of a star.

All of this detection power is linked into an advanced computer system which automatically puts all results through a series of filters, which can be adjusted at any time to suit the needs of the pilot and crew. This helps alternately sifting out targets from a mess of background noise or increasing sensitivity to search for something stealthy.

Interestingly, the detection computer seems to have a direct link to fire control, assisting in anticipating target manoeuvres and point defence control if the craft has that capability.

Parts of this technology can be adapted to our existing ground-based installations and aircraft radar. It should extend their detection range and increase resolution across the board, making it a good deal harder for UFOs to hide. However, the biggest practical gains will come from using this tech in creating new aircraft instrumentation to increase the combat survivability of our interceptors.

Of course, it's not the immediate uses that are the most important. These detectors are vital for any future PHALANX spacecraft. In space, without the support of ground radar, we're going to need the extra power very badly.

--Cdr. Navarre