I recently replied to a thread regarding sensor mechanics over on the main forum with some of my own research. So I thought I would re-post here where its more appropriate and where it won't get bumped off by all the fleet carrier/vr/Odyssey threads.

Here you go:

So what I've come up with is that every ship has an intrinsic property related to how "stealthy" it is. This is the "Average Emissions" referred to in the Sensor module's description blurb. As far as I can tell this value cannot be changed in any way; I've tried with different ratings and sizes of power plants, different bulkheads, different power distributors, different thrusters, etc and nothing appears to modify this value.

The range at which another ship will detect you (as a resolved contact) is

That's all there is to it.

Some of the Average Emissions that I know of are:

In order to use that formula you also need to know a ship's heat capacity, which you can find by doing the following:

1.) Calculate the Thermal Load of the ship you are in by adding up its power usage and multiplying by the powerplant efficiency

2.) Go into silent running and pop a heat sink.

3.) Once the thermal drain from the heat sink expires, start a stopwatch and stay in silent running

4.) Time how long it takes it get various temperatures.

5.) Calculate the ship's thermal content based on the Thermal Load and the elapsed time

6.) Calculate the ship's heat capacity based on the thermal content from Step 5 and the corresponding Thermal Gauge.

Since silent running traps all heat inside the ship, and you know how much heat the ship is generating, you know how much heat is in the ship at any given time.

For example, let's say I'm in a Keelback and its Thermal Load is 5.67. After doing the heat sink test I get the following results (this is just a sample of the results):

From this I concluded that 37.422 is 12% of the ship's heat capacity, 70.308 is 22% of the ship's heat capacity, and 101.493 is 32% of the ship's heat capacity. That corresponds to Heat Capacities of 311.85, 319.582, and 317.17; taking the average of those to smooth out rounding and UI errors, and I get a value of

You also need to know the cooling rate formula for the ship you are interested in. The cooling rate is something that Frenotx clued us all in to a few years ago in this thread. As noted in the first post, the cooling rate is proportional to the heat content of your ships, which you can estimate by looking at the heat gauge in your cockpit. Frenotx's post says the constant of proportionality is

As for what this coefficient refers to, its the "A" in the following formula:

This formula refers to the rate at which your ship dissipates heat, and is how you figure out what to put in for the "Heat Dissipation" term in the ship detection formula from above. As an aside, you can use this formula to figure out what your resting thermal gauge would be; your resting thermal gauge is where the thermal load from your ship balances out against the cooling rate of your ship

Solving for the above, you get:

So let's look at a few examples to see how all of this fits together. First we need some information:

Let's say that all 3 ships are sitting at 20% thermal gauge, and a ship with a (unengineered) 4C Sensor with a TER of 5,600 m is trying to target them. Each ship's heat dissipation would be:

and the sensor lock range would be:

So those are the major points for how I think it all works. Other things I think you should be aware of are the different sources of heat in the game (beyond just powering modules). These include:

1.) Recharging/Regenerating shields through SYS capacitor. Thermal Load for that is:

2.) Thruster thermal load, which depends on

There is also some evidence to suggest that angular acceleration generates thruster thermal load. But this is hard to test, so I just assume it works the same way as the thermal load from linear acceleration.

Boosting generates heat, as everyone knows. The amount of heat generated is 3x PD Draw. This is in addition to the Thruster thermal load due to acceleration noted above. As an example, the Krait Phantom uses 13.33 MJ of ENG Capacitor for its boost; so it generates 40 units of heat every time you boost.

3.) Being near hot objects, like stars, increases thermal load. ~~I worked out a pair of formulas to describe this thermal load but I don't have it handy at the moment. ~~(see below for formulas). One thing to note about them, is that the thermal load from star heat doesn't actually depend on the temperature of the star; only its radius and your distance from it. The formulas are also only valid for main sequence stars and only when you are in supercruise; you get much lower values once you drop down into normal space, I've noticed.

For the data I used to generate this equation, see below:

For this test I used a Krait Phantom with a Thermal Load (due to power consumption) of 6.108. I was using an unengineered A-rated power plant at the time

Note, thermal gauge and heat has no effect on your detectability in supercruise. While in supercruise you can see and target any ship that is 40x your speed (in c) away from you, and vice versa. So if you are traveling at 10c, for example, you can see any ship that is 40 x 10 c= 400 ls away from you. They, in turn, can see you even if they are traveling at minimum speed.

4.) Firing weapons generates heat as well. I'm not sure where I first read the information for this, but I saw a post that said the thermal load from weapons is:

This heat is added on a per-shot basis. If you fire two (or more) weapons at the same time: the game will calculate the heat for one weapon with whatever state your WEP capacitor is in; then deduct the first weapon's PD draw before calculating the next weapon's heat addition; and so on.

As an example, let's look at a Medium Railgun (unengineered). This weapon has a Thermal Load of

If your WEP capacitor were only

Or 2.66 times as much in this example.

For the Thermal Vent experimental effect, cooling is 3x the listed value in the weapon's information page. Note that this effect is combined with the heat addition as calculated from the formula above. So if the heat added is greater than the heat removed by the cooling effect, you will end up gaining heat instead of losing it.

That's all I've got for now

Here you go:

So what I've come up with is that every ship has an intrinsic property related to how "stealthy" it is. This is the "Average Emissions" referred to in the Sensor module's description blurb. As far as I can tell this value cannot be changed in any way; I've tried with different ratings and sizes of power plants, different bulkheads, different power distributors, different thrusters, etc and nothing appears to modify this value.

The range at which another ship will detect you (as a resolved contact) is

Code:

` (Heat Dissipation/Average Emissions)^2 * Typical Emissions Range`

Some of the Average Emissions that I know of are:

Ship | Average Emissions |

Federal Corvette | 9.1 |

Imperial Cutter | 8.1 |

Krait Mk2 | 8 |

Alliance Crusader | 7.5 |

Type 9 | 7.8 |

Keelback | 6.3 |

Any Human SLF | 3.4 |

Vulture | 7 (I think I have to redo this one) |

1.) Calculate the Thermal Load of the ship you are in by adding up its power usage and multiplying by the powerplant efficiency

2.) Go into silent running and pop a heat sink.

3.) Once the thermal drain from the heat sink expires, start a stopwatch and stay in silent running

4.) Time how long it takes it get various temperatures.

5.) Calculate the ship's thermal content based on the Thermal Load and the elapsed time

6.) Calculate the ship's heat capacity based on the thermal content from Step 5 and the corresponding Thermal Gauge.

Since silent running traps all heat inside the ship, and you know how much heat the ship is generating, you know how much heat is in the ship at any given time.

For example, let's say I'm in a Keelback and its Thermal Load is 5.67. After doing the heat sink test I get the following results (this is just a sample of the results):

Elapsed Time (seconds) | Thermal Content (elapsed time x thermal load) | Thermal Gauge (%) |

6.6 | 37.422 | 12% |

12.4 | 70.308 | 22% |

17.9 | 101.493 | 32% |

**316.2.**Almost exactly 1.5x as much as the 215 shown on EDSY.You also need to know the cooling rate formula for the ship you are interested in. The cooling rate is something that Frenotx clued us all in to a few years ago in this thread. As noted in the first post, the cooling rate is proportional to the heat content of your ships, which you can estimate by looking at the heat gauge in your cockpit. Frenotx's post says the constant of proportionality is

**0.2**; however, during testing, I've found that this constant could be as low as 0.2 or as high as 0.3 (I haven't tested every ship, though). Like Average Emissions, this coefficient is an intrinsic property of the ship in questions and nothing seems to modify this value.As for what this coefficient refers to, its the "A" in the following formula:

Code:

`A * (Thermal Gauge)^2 * Heat Capacity`

Code:

```
PWR * Eff - A * (Thermal Gauge)^2 * Heat Capacity = 0
Where:
PWR = Ship Power Consumption
Eff = Power Plant Efficiency
```

Code:

`Thermal Gauge = Sqrt(PWR * Eff/Heat Capacity/A)`

Ship | Heat Capacity | Cooling Coefficient | Average Emissions |

Federal Corvette | 498 | 0.3 | 9.1 |

Krait Phantom | 450 | 0.25 | 8 |

Keelback | 316 | 0.2 | 6.3 |

Code:

`Cooling Coefficient * 20%^2 * Heat Capacity`

Ship | Heat Dissipation | Sensor Lock Range (TER of 5600 m) |

Federal Corvette | 5.976 | 2415.05 |

Krait Phantom | 4.5 | 1771.875 |

Keelback | 2.528 | 901.70 |

Code:

`PD Draw * Regen Rate`

**Acceleration**, NOT Speed. If your speed is constant, or more accurately your velocity vector is not changing in any way, thermal load from thrusters is zero. Thermal Load for when you are accelerating is the ship's thrust percentage (which you can control in FA Off) multiplied by the listed thermal load on your ship's thruster module information page. If you are changing speed with FA On, your thrust percent is 100%. If you are using more than one directional thruster (forward and lateral, for example) Thermal Load is proportional to whichever thrust percent is greatest.

There is also some evidence to suggest that angular acceleration generates thruster thermal load. But this is hard to test, so I just assume it works the same way as the thermal load from linear acceleration.

Boosting generates heat, as everyone knows. The amount of heat generated is 3x PD Draw. This is in addition to the Thruster thermal load due to acceleration noted above. As an example, the Krait Phantom uses 13.33 MJ of ENG Capacitor for its boost; so it generates 40 units of heat every time you boost.

Code:

```
Star Heat = M x D + 100
Where:
D= Distance (ls)
M=18.7/(R^0.9)
R=Star Radius
```

Star | Radius | Gauge Peak | Distance (ls) | Heat Added |

Ninsun | 0.828 | 0.52 | 3.34 | 24.312 |

Ninsun | 0.828 | 0.59 | 3 | 33.05325 |

Ninsun | 0.828 | 0.64 | 2.76 | 39.972 |

LP 448-41 A | 0.5263 | 0.5 | 2.3 | 22.017 |

LP 448-41 A | 0.5263 | 0.33 | 2.75 | 6.14325 |

LP 448-41 A | 0.5263 | 0.57 | 2.03 | 30.44325 |

LP 448-41 A | 0.5263 | 0.62 | 1.78 | 37.137 |

Alrai Sector GR-V b2-3 A | ||||

Alrai Sector GR-V b2-3 A | 0.3562 | 0.54 | 1.5 | 26.697 |

Alrai Sector GR-V b2-3 A | 0.3562 | 0.57 | 1.4 | 30.44325 |

Alrai Sector GR-V b2-3 A | 0.3562 | 0.61 | 1.3 | 35.75325 |

LTT 14478 | 0.4282 | 0.57 | 1.69 | 30.44325 |

LTT 14478 | 0.4282 | 0.6 | 1.59 | 34.392 |

LTT 14478 | 0.4282 | 0.62 | 1.45 | 37.137 |

LHS 3602 | 0.555 | 0.51 | 2.37 | 23.15325 |

LHS 3602 | 0.555 | 0.56 | 2.15 | 29.172 |

LHS 3602 | 0.555 | 0.58 | 2 | 31.737 |

LHS 3602 | 0.555 | 0.63 | 1.87 | 38.54325 |

Gyvatiges | 0.7289 | 0.48 | 3.24 | 19.812 |

Gyvatiges | 0.7289 | 0.53 | 2.93 | 25.49325 |

Gyvatiges | 0.7289 | 0.57 | 2.75 | 30.44325 |

Gyvatiges | 0.7289 | 0.64 | 2.36 | 39.972 |

Note, thermal gauge and heat has no effect on your detectability in supercruise. While in supercruise you can see and target any ship that is 40x your speed (in c) away from you, and vice versa. So if you are traveling at 10c, for example, you can see any ship that is 40 x 10 c= 400 ls away from you. They, in turn, can see you even if they are traveling at minimum speed.

Code:

```
Heat Added = Thermal Load (1 * (4*(Wep Cap - Wep Current + PD Draw)/Wep Cap))
Where:
Thermal Load = Listed on the weapon's information page
Wep Cap = Power Distributor maximum WEP Capacitor
Wep Current = Power Distributor current WEP Capacitor
PD Draw = Power Distributor Draw of the weapon being fired
```

As an example, let's look at a Medium Railgun (unengineered). This weapon has a Thermal Load of

**20**and a PD Draw of

**5.11 MJ.**If your ship has a weapon capacitor of

**100 MJ, and it is currently full**, firing that railgun will add this much heat to your ship:

Code:

```
Heat Added = 20*(1+4*(100-100+5.11)/100)
Heat Added = 24.088
```

**half full**, heat added would be:

Code:

```
Heat Added = 20*(1+4*(100-50+5.11)/100)
Heat Added = 64.088
```

For the Thermal Vent experimental effect, cooling is 3x the listed value in the weapon's information page. Note that this effect is combined with the heat addition as calculated from the formula above. So if the heat added is greater than the heat removed by the cooling effect, you will end up gaining heat instead of losing it.

That's all I've got for now

Last edited: