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In my universe there are more than just one FTL method: Wormholes, Warp, Hyperspace and more. The thing is I need to predict the destination of an enemy fleet.

I only can think about spies and hacked systems, or maybe some sensors on asteroids which send a signal to the empire so they know something is coming.

Scanning or something like that would not work because of the size of the universe and the size of the attacking empire.

It is a very far away future and they have a lot of technologies which they could use, but are there more ways to track the enemy down?

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you also postulating some form of FTL signaling as well, or do FTL messages require a courier/torpedo that uses one of your FTL methods? Also, can you detect fleets in FTL, or only see them when they leave normal space when going to FTL? Any reporting method is limited not only by the limits of detecting fleet movements, but also by the speed that information can reach someone who might respond to that movement. $\endgroup$ – Mark Ripley Sep 22 '16 at 12:05
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkRipley Wormholes need to be generates so it cost time and energy but then you can travel throw huge distances. Hyperspace? I dont really know it is like a street for me, how would you track somebody, travel on a street and other pilots use warp or travel with light speed or use gravity and maybe also bend the room, this universe have a lot of different creatures, it is hard to mention all. And yeah you are right i didnt thought about the time the information will need to arrive in the empire. $\endgroup$ – Xxy Sep 22 '16 at 12:14
  • $\begingroup$ Some universes postulate using gravity waves to detect ships traveling in hyperspace, but you can't know anything other then their presence. So detecting might let you know a few hours before a ship arrives in a system, but you don't know if it is a single scout or a battle fleet, so prepare for the worst. Your wormholes might be like the star trek wormholes; not generated as needed by spaceships but rather fixed links between two points that any spaceship can enter at will. You might detect the wormhole is being used, but not what ships are using it unless you enter it to find out. $\endgroup$ – Mark Ripley Sep 22 '16 at 12:32
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkRipley so or so i will need some drones which will fly in the direction of the enemy. Or a special kind of method to detect a whole fleet in the right time. $\endgroup$ – Xxy Sep 22 '16 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ If your drones need to use hyperspace to get close to the ships they are tracking, then you need to say if you can detect hyperspace ships while in hyperspace for them to track. And if your drones go into the wormhole, maybe your FTL signaling doesn't work from inside to outside the wormhole, so they might return with your data only a few minutes before the ships show up. Lots of possibilities since it is your universe and you can set the rules. The fun in tactics is to have a set of rules that interact in ways that make tactical decisions interesting, and so helping your story. $\endgroup$ – Mark Ripley Sep 22 '16 at 12:45
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Ripples

If you think about FTL travel warping space-time, then it could be reasonable to assume that some warping will happen in front of the travelling craft, much like the bow-wave of a boat.

You could also reason that the tear in space-time needs to be created some distance in front of the craft in order for it to be sucked into the tear at over light speed, maybe even most of the entire route would need to be "torn" (falling into a moving event horizon perhaps).

So, if there's something happening/ripping in front of a craft, it can technically be detected.

Or you could just have spies in the enemy that could tell you the movement plans up ahead, in the old fashioned way.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yeah like i said spies would be the most easy way, but wanted to hear other suggestions, there are a lot of factions which use wormhole generators it is like a stargate, but different. $\endgroup$ – Xxy Sep 22 '16 at 12:37
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You can always add a detection method based on the travel mechanics since no FTL travel is not hard science, so you can add whatever signature you want for each FTL method.

For example: wormholes could be tracked by analysing his signature left after each jump.

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  • $\begingroup$ You are right but this is to simple, i hope to find some creativ ways to track down fleets and also some more reasons how to track ftl not just say it works. More how it works. $\endgroup$ – Xxy Sep 22 '16 at 12:11
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This could be basically a matter of how your fictional universe is constructed. There are wormholes, warp, hyperspace, and other unspecified FTL drives. As the author of this fictional universe you can assume it is structured in such a way that all the forms of FTL travel are connected through hyperspace. If this so, then hyperspace sensors can detect faster-than-light motion, irrespective of whether it is wormholes or warp and hyperspace itself or whatever other FTL drives are part of your universe.

Espionage on the part of empire is always an option. This can cover the full range of spycraft. Everything from spies in enemy military services, government departments, port authorities, starship shipyards, and paid agents. This espionage can complement hyperspace detectors.

Remember it's your universe, you can organize it to suit your story. Always have fun doing so.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes it is fun and i love to construct, i want to make it realistic and also not to simple/boring. $\endgroup$ – Xxy Sep 22 '16 at 13:24
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If you want to predict their arrival, by observer at the arrival point:

Maybe wormholes allow instant travel between two points, but they take a while to form. This formation could be visible at the destination. So if your ship creates a wormhole to jump 5 light years, the destination wormhole starts forming days or weeks in advance of your arrival. The further you jump maybe the earlier it can be detected. You might even be able to work in some ideas that the endpoint formation begins earlier and earlier in time proportional to how far you jump. Since time seems to slow down as youapproach lightspeed, maybe something starts going back in time wheneyou exceed lightspeed. Perhaps the endpoint of the jump could start forming prior to your departure time, in a conservation of laws of physics way. Maybe :p

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