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I've built a device, it's capable of turning matter to energy and energy to matter with perfect efficiency, I've got the resources to build a space station in secrecy, and I want to get off the planet in case things start to go badly.

Naturally, I can't go too far, or the signal lag will start interfering with my business (the business of moving the world into a post-scarcity society), so I need to stay within 1,500,000 km of the earth to keep the interference minimal. Luckily for me: My device is capable of quite a lot.

Using my Massive Intellect I have discovered that Noether's theorem doesn't hold true. Specifically in the case of momentum (both angular and normal), I can manipulate things such that my device essentially becomes a reactionless drive. As long as conservation of energy still holds I can speed anything up without having to lose any reaction medium. This frees me from the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation, gives me (nigh on unlimited) delta-V and lets me use any thrust profile I want at any time I want. It's also really cool.

My question is this: Given that I have unlimited delta-V, can launch from anywhere on the globe and develop any orbital pattern I desire, is there any way to hide from the combined sensing capabilities of the world and not cause a thermonuclear war?

Please note: Although I can in theory use a large version of my device to hide the bulk of my station (an active cloak of sorts) there must always be some physical components outside of the energy-matter field, specifically at the intersections of the vertices that make up whatever polygon the field is shaped as. These components are ~1 m in diameter, made of metal and radiate in a variety of EM spectra (though I can tune them to hide certain frequencies if it's advantageous). These components radiate as much energy as they would if they were 300 Kelvin each, so if it's easier to hide a few 'warm' spots than one large (potentially insulated) one, then this tactic is worth it.

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This question asks for hard science. All answers to this question should be backed up by equations, empirical evidence, scientific papers, other citations, etc. Answers that do not satisfy this requirement might be removed. See the tag description for more information.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm trying to understand how your presence would CAUSE this war? $\endgroup$ – bowlturner Nov 25 '15 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ If Russia, China and the USA all see an unknown object hurtling straight up from Earth, what will their assumptions be? (Says my Paranoid Massive Intellect) $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Nov 25 '15 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ It does not work that way... when an "incident" is detected, first they try to find its target and assess its intentions before triggering global thermonuclear war. Your launch would at most you would get an increase of the defense condition of a few countries. In fact, there have been unexplained atomic explossions on Earth surface and it did not trigger such a war (search for the Vela incident). $\endgroup$ – SJuan76 Nov 26 '15 at 1:18
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    $\begingroup$ @HDE226868: See Here. I specifically asked that with regards to this question, then tailored the question to make sure it was still answerable. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Nov 26 '15 at 8:07
  • $\begingroup$ @SJuan: Whether the world would or wouldn't go to war is immaterial. The organisation using the device thought/thinks the world would. Although feel free to add 'it wouldn't cause a war' as an answer if you've got citations to back it up. Thats a nice little possibility. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Nov 26 '15 at 8:17
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See: Stealth in Space

Your mass-energy device may be sufficient to produce a perfect invisibility field, although it may still consume more energy (via computational processing) than you have available. i.e. the hull of your station absorbs all energy that touches it, relays it to the opposite hull in whichever direction that photon was moving, and re-emitting it with 0% loss or delay. Thus, any power would need to be generated internally, as any solar energy consumed will leave a corresponding "dark spot" on the back side. Likewise, any maneuvering thrust would cause bright spots you might not be able to counter. Similar problems for any waste mass-energy that cannot be utilized (e.g. if you have a buildup of waste heat, even converting it to mass will eventually result in your station's mass increasing unless you dump it, and that would be detectable).

Your best bet might be to send small packages to Earth-Sun L3 and build whatever you want there. If your payload is small enough you might escape notice although you may not escape detection. Earth-Moon L3 may be in sufficient observational-shadow, if Earth-Sun L3 is outside your desired range.

Once you have materials at L3 you can build whatever you'd like away from prying eyes for the most part, using your cloaking field as a secondary means of hiding. L3 is pretty hard[citation needed] to look at, so if no one knows they need to look, they won't. And in all likelyhood you'd know they were coming in advance and be able to shut down anything that causes imperfections in the cloaking and wait until they're gone again.

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  • $\begingroup$ I've given pretty strict parameters for the energy outputs of the cloaking field. Given that the cloak must have heat spots at the corners at 300K, how does your answer change? The hard science tag also looks for answers to contain equations, so if you've got anything on computational energy losses/energy flux the cloak might have to deal with/energies needed to get out to the L3 point it would be appreciated. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Nov 26 '15 at 0:03
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, if they must radiate at 300K, then you're just screwed. See: Stealth in Space. $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Nov 26 '15 at 5:25

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