So those of us that deal with science fiction have all seen space ships that can't be detected until you bump into them or physically see them. The project RHO website is commonly referenced when this topic is suggested.

Now before I explain, let me go over what has to be hidden for stealth in space to work.

  • The heat from everything inside and outside the ship
  • Mass and the resulting gravity
  • All emissions, engine, weapons, life and life support, everything

Many many writers and other individuals have tried to figure out ways to hide something of a star ships magnitude.

Black paint doesn't work, Diverting the heat doesn't work, Bending light doesn't work, pretty much everything doesn't work, as such you can't have stealth in space.

Then don't be in space. If you're not there, you can't be detected. You have nothing to diffuse, no mass to hide, no heat to divert. But you have to be somewhere, preferably close to space. How?

Just shift out of realspace.

For the purposes of this idea, assume that this is possible on a purely technological level.

I've been working with the idea of multiple dimensions and movement between them. It occurred to me that there has to be some kind of space between dimensions. It's probably right next door to where you're sitting, but you can't interact with it. Lets call it the "Nullspace"

This region is always just a step away, if you can take that step. A high level of technology, related to FTL and possibly inter-dimensional travel is required.

It's not a perfect system however:

  • You're blind while doing so. You can't see back into realspace as if you were looking through a window. Even with windows, you see nothing useful.
  • Sensor devices don't work in Nullspace. You can still move around as if you were back in realspace, but it helps to see where you are going. Thus usage of a extremely small probe that pokes back out into realspace allows for this.
  • You can just plot a course and hope nothing is in your way when you exit, but you can't stay in Nullspace forever.
  • Your probe can still be detected, but that's a lot easier to hide than an entire craft.
  • Your position is only just outside realspace. You're only hiding by "stepping outside" so to speak. Powerful enough effects can still bleed through and cause problems, such as intense gravity.

Think of it as holding an object that has buoyancy under water. Except that the buoyancy increases the longer you stay under. Basically this is Nullspace rejecting your craft and trying to push it out.

So with all that said, I am seeking those with more experience on dimensional theroy.

I'm not trying to break science, I don't want to if possible

Does any theory postulate empty space between dimensions?

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting idea but I'm not sure what you're asking. $\endgroup$ – Green Aug 25 '15 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Nonafel, are you asking this same question? $\endgroup$ – Samuel Aug 25 '15 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Samuel, I don't think it's a duplicate. This question talks about a way to get around the limitations of physics but I can't tell exactly what the OP is asking. $\endgroup$ – Green Aug 25 '15 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Green I'm basing my assumption on the line: "wondering if such a method, or a similar method could be used for better than "it just works" stealth in space". Seems like the same question (without the hard-science requirement) that simply includes a possible solution in the preamble. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Aug 25 '15 at 17:58
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, but as far as we know, there is no subspace thingee. $\endgroup$ – PyRulez Aug 25 '15 at 18:35

Let's try a few things. The essence of your question is "could removal from normal dimensions be a stealth method?". If possible, then sure but it would be far more important than just a stationary hiding position.

First off, what do you want to call it or what assumptions do you want to avoid? Star Trek and Stargate both have "subspace" and have used it for faster-than-light applications. Frequently, this has been a communication link. It has been discussed as means for travel. If you are wanting to avoid these associations with the term 'subspace' then I suggest making one?

Because you are not talking about using a higher or altered dimension to shorten the length between two points in our normal dimensions, but are rather talking about an empty area part way towards another dimension, maybe you can use words with an "empty" root meaning for the name? Nullspace? Voidspace?

Scott Card's books Xenocide and Children of the Mind have an "outside the universe" area that sounds closer to what you are describing, but again it lets them step "out" from here and "in" to there. They use a ship that is just a box with seats; no life support, no engine, no windows.

One more. The protagonist in Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert A. Heinlein) has an ability to send things things perpendicular to all 3 known dimensions at once, sending it out of existence as we know it. This is similar to your idea, only it is simply a 4th dimension thing and there is no returning from it.

Now, your described system requires an "anchor" in real space to get back. This is different than the systems mentioned above, and can be what makes yours unique. What you don't mention is whether the technological ability to make this shift is in the ship or in the anchor, or any limitations on the anchor. As soon as this anchor requirement is discovered by the enemy, then finding your ship is as easy as finding space debris. Granted, that is harder, but not impossible. Destroying your ship is even easier, because the anchor is not going to have any shields, since those would be an energy signature capable of detecting.

To rehash my comments from before, the real advantage in this capability is the benefits to logistics. Since we do not have a "space drive" (Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke, really good read), we are still using Newtonian propulsion. If you can launch the anchor with a rail gun on a pre-calculated ballistic trajectory, it would be a far cheaper freight method than actually sending full sized ships. Even if the anchor was a ship with normal propulsion and navigation, it could be carrying the anchor to a disproportionately large object in this nullspace. Water is a huge logistics issue deterring our colonization of space. This method would allow a solar-powered launch system to transport huge amounts of water from the water mining fields on frozen planets to the colonies that need them. One cargo ship could carry a dozen anchors, like shipping containers in present day earth. Even if the system to shift stuff requires a massive space station for the packaging or unpacking, this would still be a world-changing discovery.

Now for stealth, the advantage of this anchor system would be in disguising your anchored ship as a meteor in the middle of many real ones. Decoy anchors would be cheap and very important. Plan the invasion, give all the ships synchronized timers, shrink them, launch the anchors... then when the timers go off the ships pop back in, on the other side of enemy lines or in orbit of the enemy planet. Like Gundam Wing's "project meteor" but with a massive expansion ratio. If they are looking for you, the anchor is small but vulnerable. Destroy it and what happens to the ship?

End transmission.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the lengthy reply. I'll take your advice and use "Nullspace" for the term. I will also get the question narrowed down. $\endgroup$ – Nonafel Aug 27 '15 at 1:09

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