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Question re Ambiguous Contacts

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Question re Ambiguous Contacts - 1/31/2020 2:01:04 PM   

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Is there a resource somewhere that explains the game's symbology for ambiguous contacts? Particularly for surface and subsurface contacts. Sometimes it's a wedge; sometimes it's a circle; sometimes it's a trapezoid; sometimes it's a line; sometimes it's a diamond and so forth. I have 100 hours into this game now, so I'm starting to graduate from noob-ness. I'm trying to pick it up intuitively, but I'm finding that I'm still misinterpreting these symbols, often to my great frustration. (I.e., "the contact must be within this it's not. ) Thought there might be a guide somewhere. Thanks.

< Message edited by redboot -- 1/31/2020 2:09:33 PM >
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RE: Question re Ambiguous Contacts - 1/31/2020 4:07:00 PM   


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My understanding is there is no "standard" shape. The shape is defined by detecting sensor, distance, altitude, speed, course, number of detecting platforms, interference, ECM, etc. And it should constantly be shifting as the contact ages or detection is updated.

I should mention that some detection methods will show similar shapes. For example, some radars can only detect bearing. So the shape tends to be long and thin on the detected bearing.

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 1/31/2020 4:09:13 PM >

(in reply to redboot)
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RE: Question re Ambiguous Contacts - 1/31/2020 11:22:22 PM   

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As mentioned above, a lot of factors go into determining the possible loci of the 'uncertainty zone'. One factor that can have a big affect on this is time - over time the zone will tend to grow if the contact detection is not being updated.
Once I persecute a contact in the zone, if I feel that the contact may have evaded me and/or the 'last contact time' was awhile ago (like 5+ minutes), I will often drop the contact and see if my units can re-acquire it. If they do, my patrol units may be closer to it now and have a better chance to chase it down.

< Message edited by michaelm75au -- 1/31/2020 11:23:10 PM >



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RE: Question re Ambiguous Contacts - 2/1/2020 7:59:29 AM   


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One of the key bits of the game is to reduce/eliminate this uncertainty as efficiently as possible. To do that you need to understand your sensors as well or better than you understand your weapons. For example, if all you have is bearing only 2D sensors, try and get two of them at right angles to each other to reduce the variance, or fly an airborne senor of some type to the flank to narrow it down a bit. If you're working with sonars the Sub tutorials go into depth on the subject. If the bad guy has jamming you are into another layer of ugly.


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(in reply to michaelm75au)
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RE: Question re Ambiguous Contacts - 2/1/2020 4:23:15 PM   


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I'm a newbie too, so take what I say with a few grains of salt.
I wouldn't think of the ambiguity zone as "symbols", rather think of them as areas where your sensors haven't ruled the contact out as being in (doesn't know for sure they're within the area, but based on the data the odds are they are in that area and not in the unmarked area around it). The shape can be influenced by where the totality of sensors you have access to that are detecting that contact. If it's only one sonar on your unit and if you are moving in roughly the same direction as the contact, the sonar will likely be able to give you a pretty solid bearing since it's not changing much and all the signal is coming from one direction. BUT it will likely have a BIG range ambiguity since it has no angles to triangulate to determine the distance. This would likely result in a "line" as you've described. If you do a run perpendicular to the course or get data from another unit that has a different angle on it (another ship or sub with a sonar that you have communications with for example) you should cut down your range ambiguity since the 2nd contact will limit the range possibilities by triangulation so it might be a diamond at that point.
If it's a trapezoid or wedge it could be more than one sensor has a weak contact with it and some overlap that allows it to rule out some areas as known area where the contact is NOT there, but other areas where it might or might not be.
For a circle it could be that you just have limited amount of contact data or a weak contact that might be moving at an angle to you, so you're not getting a consistent range or bearing (bearing changing constantly due to your movement and target movement).
And yes, it's not unusual that "the contact must be within this it's not." -- that's why it's ambiguous, but you're not sure if it's within the zone, but that's where the odds say it should be based on current contact information. When it turns out a swirling current caused 1 of your first 4 bearings to be wrong, that zone can change drastically when you get to 10 bearing fixes and throw out the bad data point. No guarantees it's in that zone, that's the educated guess based on current contact information.

(in reply to Gunner98)
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RE: Question re Ambiguous Contacts - 2/2/2020 10:27:54 AM   

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Thanks all for the responses. That helps me understand how the sim works a bit better and hopefully will mitigate the frustration I feel when the sim acts differently than my expectations. I may post an example or two as times goes on.

(in reply to robtoaw)
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