Monday, March 9, 2009

Performance Tradeoffs

Word got in about some new tech that was coming out soon--upgraded probe launchers. It seems that the boffins at Yulai had changed some of the pertinent regulations regarding scanner probes; the probes seemed to be leaking some sort of background radiation that was harmful to something. I don't know, and I honestly don't care why. What does matter is that the retooled probes are a lot different than they had been. I was curious, so I looked through the difference in specifications myself.

First, the probes' single-point quad-angulation system was scrapped in favor of a much simpler mechanism that simply reports distance from a target to the probe itself. The system had always been a bit dodgy anyway (which turned looking for something in space to be more of a matter of luck than actual skill), so this new adjustment seemed like a good tradeoff. Of course, I'd need to throw more probes out into space at specific points in order to figure out what is what. This leads me to the next major change: the designers had enough room to fit a warp drive and sophisticated control circuitry to the probes in question, which takes care of the placement problem.

I was able to run some simulations with the setup, and while it took some learning, I believe it to be a superior setup to the old hardware.

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