So I’m guessing, going off a recent post here, that the future of space travel is going to be one largely without windows. This may end up not being true, but I’ll get to that in a minute. I doubt this will be a long post,
The mesh in your microwave is designed so that the holes you peer through are actually smaller than the width of the Microwave, which is pretty crazy remarkable if you think about it. I’d have never guessed a wave of light would be so darn big I could see its width or anything close to that.
When designing a space ship something you need to take into consideration is radiation from stars, both young and old. This stuff jumbles up your internals like a pinball machine and you will die a horrible nasty, terrible, death if you take too much of multiple kinds of radiation. It is my understanding that you don’t need all that much Gamma Radiation to be in a bad way, but perhaps I misunderstand.
Regardless the waves must actually hit you first (obviously). The most obvious fix would be magnetic shielding around ships to pass the waves around the vessel, but alternatively you could build a system that requires no power (something I find superior). You create a series of layers of material that reflects the radiation it is built for and you have each layer be set to the specific size of the wave. I presume on the right side of the electromagnetic spectrum you’d be dealing with some very small holes.
With that in mind I don’t see there being physical viewports in a perfectly shielded ship. If you could design a material that is translucent to visible light yet still reflects radiation that perhaps would work, I can’t rule anything out since I’m effectively an idiot when it comes to radiation and how it interacts with plenty of kinds of matter (something I try often to alleviate). If you could not create this material though, you could still have a pole sticking out of your ship that has a 360 degree viewing capacity, or have one on every side of your ship to give you a constant (and likely crystal clear) view of the world around you.
What’s even cooler is that if your ship had a form of shielding for visible light you could use this to make your ship completely invisible AND get around not being able to see yourself. You’d “cloak” and then your effectively invisible camera spikes would allow you to see your enemy. Obviously there are still issues such as heat signatures and such but I would suspect you could shield against heat output and other issues.
For true invisibility you could retract even the vision arms and go “dark” till the assailant passed your ship by. I imagine a submarine nervously going dark at the depths of the ocean, but the ocean in this situation is the vast cold reaches of space.
Pretty neat to me, something I someday hope to write about.