Portable Remote Sensor
A Portable Remote Sensor is a type of Remote Sensor which is small enough to be handled by an individual and allow them to detect targets through various means. They are typically used to monitor a defensive perimeter or augment the abilities of a reconnaissance unit to gather intelligence. Most sensors can detect only one form of target signature and must be used with a matching monitoring station. These sensors can only detect targets, not identify them as well. For example a motion detector might be able to register motion but it requires a skilled operator to differentiate that motion between a small animal and an enemy infiltrator. Most sensors will work equally well above and below water, however an underwater sensor cannot detect targets on dry ground, while a landbound sensor can detect targets on the surface of water but not beneath it.
Remote Sensor Types
Portable heat sensors will detect any source of heat hotter than a lit match, within its line-of-sight, up to a distance of one kilometer. Although they do not give a picture of the heat source they will indicate its direction and distance from the sensor. They also cannot detect flying objects including VTOLs and will not work in a vacuum. A single monitoring station can keep track of up to ten heat sensors so long as they are within fifteen kilometers of the station.
Portable motion sensors can detect the movement of any object larger than ten square centimeters within a ten-meter radius. Ten motion sensors can be tied to a single monitoring station, so long as they are within ten kilometers of the station. A motion sensor can only detect the existence of motion, not its cause, requiring the operator to interpret the data and identify the source.
Portable radar sensors can detect the movement of anything larger than half a cubic meter within a ten kilometer radius, including aircraft operating at low altitudes. While they do not provide a picture of the target they can indicate its position relative to the sensor, its range and direction of movement. A single radar sensor is tied to a monitoring station, which can receive information from up to fifty kilometers away. While radar sensors are the most effective available their reliance on emitting radar waves to detect targets makes themselves equally detectable, nor can they detect targets outside their line-of-sight. For this reason they are used where their discovery will not compromise the mission.
Portable seismic sensors detect the presence of motion on the ground similar to a Vibrabomb. These passive sensors can detect the presence of a walking man or anything larger within a five kilometer radius, without requiring line-of-sight to the target, and transmit its distance, direction and approximate size to a monitoring station up to twenty kilometers away. The station in turn can monitor up to five seismic sensors at a time. Seismic sensors allow for superior target identification compared to motion sensors, although not as good as heat or radar sensors. While able to operate underwater they are useless at detecting targets operating in the atmosphere above them.
Portable trip-line sensors are among the most primitive of field sensors, consisting of pre-set strings or beams of light such as laser or infrared. When a target "trips" the string or beam the sensor transmits a signal to a monitoring station. Trip-line sensors can only operate over short distances of about ten meters and only in straight lines. If an intruder notices the string or beam in time they can also simply step over it and avoid setting the sensor off. However it is common for a trip-line sensor to be attached to mines buried directly under the line.
- Lostech, pp. 107-109, "Remote Sensors"