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360-degree views in vehicle cockpits


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Is the advanatge of having a full 360-degree view of your surroundings in the cockpit of your spacecraft, mecha or plane enough of a combat advanatge to be worth points in the vehicle design process?

 

I was inspired by this anime I saw (which i mentioned in another topic) in which the pilot of the space fighter appeared to be sitting alone in infinite space. She could see everything that was going on around her in all directions, which is actually something you really need in 3-D combat environments, when something could come up from beneath you as easily as from in front or behind.

 

Of course that mecha also had a heads-up display and sensors that showed the relative position of the enemy.

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Cinematic, or Real Life?

 

In the latter, improved weaponry and targeting systems lead to longer and longer engagement ranges, which makes visual contact less important, from any angle/elevation.

 

In the cinematic world of TV's and Movies, however, dogfights become the order of the day in order to show who's fighting whom, and it's easier to do if they're both on the screen together. That environment makes visibility for the pilots a more important factor in threat assessment and target aquisition.

 

Now, if you're playing it all out on a battlemat, there's strong reasons to lean towards the latter. If you're winging it, or using the abstract dogfighting system, you can afford to go either way.

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I can't see much of a point to 360 degrees - no one can look behind them, and it seems a waste.

 

If you turn your head to look behind you, then you aren't paying attention to what's ahead. The best recourse is to have a 'rearview mirror' or some form of image in the corner of the screen to show what's behind, so your attention can still be on what is happening in the direct path of your vehicle.

 

That being said, being able to turn your head and look behind would be an advantage, just not much of one. And VR goggles/glasses or helmet are much easier (but less visually appealing) to use.

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I'd say yes.

 

I give a lot of the mecha I write up 360^ vision in their cockpits. It'd definately give a slight advantage over vehicles without such a cockpit. It'd be a HUGE advantage if fighting vehicles that interfere with sensors. Lose your Radar and you don't know that the enemy vehicle behind you has fired a missile...but the guy with 360^ vision cockpit just has to glance to his rear to find out...

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Originally posted by Space Cadet

Something similar has been described in the BattleTech novels,

where the 360-degree sensor feed is compressed into a smaller

viewing arc (160 degrees, IIRC) in the pilot's HUD.

 

Space Cadet :cool:

 

Read one of the early "Hammers Slammers" novels. His "tanks" used the compressed feed method, I think that is where BT got the idea.

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