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Author Topic: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?  (Read 834 times)

Tangoforone

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Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« on: 21 February 2020, 00:52:54 »
In thinking of designs like the Battlemaster where there are 4 lasers mounted next to the cockpit or the Archangel where a PPC is mounted in the head, I wouldn't be all too encouraged to utilize them if my retinas are going to get incinerated every time I pull the trigger.  So do neuro-helmets mitigate this?  Or does the cockpit glass address this?  Or would light adjusting glass be considered Lostech lol. 

Just deep philosophical thinking in the late hours of the night.

hf22

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #1 on: 21 February 2020, 01:21:25 »
I think Decision at Thunder Rift talked about viewports being polarized, to protect from flash damage, though it was both 1) early and 2) more worried about this kind of stuff than later lore (there is talk of some 'Mechs having viewscreens, rather than the transparent ferroglass etc armor windows more commonly referred to later).

Another reference is in the novel Black Dragon, where it refers to "laser glare ... taxing the filters of his transpex viewscreen".

And there is this Line Developer Answer here - https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=7695.0

So overall, the cockpit ferroglass / transpex etc windows can likely be assumed to provide some filtering from laser / PPC flashes.
« Last Edit: 21 February 2020, 01:33:47 by hf22 »

grimlock1

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #2 on: 21 February 2020, 10:01:38 »
Eye injuries from lasers and PPCs aren't so much a function of "brightness," but of wavelength and ultimately energy.  Ultra violet light from the sun is damaging to our eyes but a chemical coating applied to glasses absorbs, rather than transmits light with a wavelength from ~100nm to ~380-400nm. Wavelengths below that start getting into ionizing radiation.  Nasty stuff.   But I saw a segment on the local news many years ago where they purchased a varity of sun glasses from high end, to $2-3, all claiming various levels of UV blocking and sent them to a lab for testing.  Of the 6 or so, only one didn't match the UV blocking on the label.  That one was actually better than it claimed!  The danger in welding or looking at a solar eclipse isn't the "brightness," and the UV is nothing to sneeze at, but it's the IR component. The stuff that's 750nm through 1nm.  So if the canopy has filters that block stuff below 380nm and above 750nm, then there's little to no danger of eye injury from the lasers or PPCs.  Okay that's not entirely accurate. If you are looking down the bore of a heavy large laser when it fires, you will see a very bright light and then about 8x10^-11 seconds later, you will no longer have the ability to see.  Or think. Or feel.  Or exist.... 

The auto darkening just protects your eyes from being over loaded and giving you floating spots.   And while unpleasant, are not dangers, except for the whole "getting shot to pieces while waiting for your rods and cones to reset themselves," issue.

Fair warning, his humor is very "job site" but AVE has a good video talking about some this.
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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #3 on: 21 February 2020, 11:19:15 »
grimlock covered it pretty well, I was going to bring up snowblindness as issues with the actual light and blocking what can be seen.  While the designs you mentioned might have lasers near the cockpit, they are not going to be directly observable from that position (lens points away after all) and will be invisible (trots out line about colors being targeting guides).  The danger comes from being HIT by lasers, which we do get having problems occasionally when the cockpit glass gets damaged- typically the mechwarrior also feels flashburn on the exposed skin too.
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grimlock1

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #4 on: 21 February 2020, 14:11:23 »
grimlock covered it pretty well, I was going to bring up snowblindness as issues with the actual light and blocking what can be seen.  While the designs you mentioned might have lasers near the cockpit, they are not going to be directly observable from that position (lens points away after all) and will be invisible (trots out line about colors being targeting guides).  The danger comes from being HIT by lasers, which we do get having problems occasionally when the cockpit glass gets damaged- typically the mechwarrior also feels flashburn on the exposed skin too.
Given the energies involved, I would not want to look at the point of impact without protective eyewear. They art really missed an opportunity to be both 80's cool and right at the same time because once lasers become common weapons, everybody on the battlefield is going to be rocking cool wraparound shades.  8)

But its not totally inconceivable that these lasers are so powerful that they ionize the air column and create a short lived plasma that glows. 
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abou

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #5 on: 21 February 2020, 15:17:24 »

Fair warning, his humor is very "job site" but AVE has a good video talking about some this.
Also has one of the best catchphrases to end a video with ever.

grimlock1

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #6 on: 21 February 2020, 15:52:57 »
I really wonder how much of this is an act for the camera, very entertaining mind you and how much of it comes through day to day.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #7 on: 21 February 2020, 16:07:29 »
Lasers and particle cannons to me were always what made the battlefield dangerous to me- what generated that bit about foot infantry surviving mere seconds on the battlefield during combat.  Which always led me to a bit of doubt considering I know the stat trotted out about FOs on a WWIII battlefield- 15 second life expectancy.  A human in normal kit- basic civilian clothing might have that problem surviving but uniforms are designed to give advantages in tactical environments.

For example, IIRC the old BDU, more recent ACU, and whatever they are calling the stuff now were all made out of fabric that was supposed to be fire resistant to help protect the soldier from burns.  Tactical environment deployment kept the sleeves down and depending on environment troops would typically wear gloves in the field which would mean most of the torso and extremities were covered.  Eyepro became a standard thing, to the point I was issued a special Oakley set in . . . 05? or '08.  UV protection for your eyes to be worn most times.  Really the only skin left exposed was the neck and face, and once again depending on environment you would have a baclava or some sort of covering.

So the average troop is going to be a lot better protected than the average casually dressed civilian.  Lasers and the resultant thermal bloom/bleed would be less likely to flashburn the troop than the civie- to the point the civie's clothing could be set on fire!  or being a polymer, melt to the skin.  I would imagine there would be some sort of protection to electrical discharge- when a PPC hits it's target it can cause a fluctuation in the electrical systems . . . what does a near strike do to a nervous sytem?  Would a combat uniform ground the charge or siphon any residual charge into batteries?
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grimlock1

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #8 on: 21 February 2020, 16:57:32 »
Lasers and particle cannons to me were always what made the battlefield dangerous to me- what generated that bit about foot infantry surviving mere seconds on the battlefield during combat.  Which always led me to a bit of doubt considering I know the stat trotted out about FOs on a WWIII battlefield- 15 second life expectancy.  A human in normal kit- basic civilian clothing might have that problem surviving but uniforms are designed to give advantages in tactical environments.

For example, IIRC the old BDU, more recent ACU, and whatever they are calling the stuff now were all made out of fabric that was supposed to be fire resistant to help protect the soldier from burns.  Tactical environment deployment kept the sleeves down and depending on environment troops would typically wear gloves in the field which would mean most of the torso and extremities were covered.  Eyepro became a standard thing, to the point I was issued a special Oakley set in . . . 05? or '08.  UV protection for your eyes to be worn most times.  Really the only skin left exposed was the neck and face, and once again depending on environment you would have a baclava or some sort of covering.

So the average troop is going to be a lot better protected than the average casually dressed civilian.  Lasers and the resultant thermal bloom/bleed would be less likely to flashburn the troop than the civie- to the point the civie's clothing could be set on fire!  or being a polymer, melt to the skin.  I would imagine there would be some sort of protection to electrical discharge- when a PPC hits it's target it can cause a fluctuation in the electrical systems . . . what does a near strike do to a nervous sytem?  Would a combat uniform ground the charge or siphon any residual charge into batteries?
The electrical discharge from a PPC hit is probably not much concern to a trooper.  99% of that will treat the mech as a path to ground.
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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #9 on: 21 February 2020, 17:00:22 »
The electrical discharge from a PPC hit is probably not much concern to a trooper.  99% of that will treat the mech as a path to ground.
I've got a feeling if you get hit with a focused particle beam, getting electrocuted is the least of the target's worries  >:D

grimlock1

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #10 on: 21 February 2020, 17:04:01 »
I've got a feeling if you get hit with a focused particle beam, getting electrocuted is the least of the target's worries  >:D
Although I took Warhawk Prime into a match in the old VWE Podbays.  I spent the entire game chasing my brother around and just plinking with the PPCs.  Only killed him once or twice but his entire display was a solid blob of static.  >:D
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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #11 on: 21 February 2020, 17:18:12 »
Which is why I was talking about the trooper and not the mechwarrior . . . I also talked about a miss, and causing a discharge to a nervous system.  Ever touch a hot switch or box?  You can get just a bit of a charge and its enough to numb out a extremity as it overloads the nervous system- consider muscle tissue that gets current run through it to cause contraction.  Basically, would the human body be enough to attract some of a PPC blast's electrical discharge, sort of tazed without needing a wire connection.
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Charistoph

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #12 on: 21 February 2020, 19:57:58 »
Which is why I was talking about the trooper and not the mechwarrior . . . I also talked about a miss, and causing a discharge to a nervous system.  Ever touch a hot switch or box?  You can get just a bit of a charge and its enough to numb out a extremity as it overloads the nervous system- consider muscle tissue that gets current run through it to cause contraction.  Basically, would the human body be enough to attract some of a PPC blast's electrical discharge, sort of tazed without needing a wire connection.

Isn't that one of the reasons why Grayson Carlyle had to give up his spurs and was limited to just Battle Armor near the end of the career?  I seem to remember that story during the Civil War, but it has been a while.
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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #13 on: 21 February 2020, 23:26:39 »
I thought he had feedback problems, scrambled his brain- and that was in '56 or '57 . . . he died from cancer due- it was suggested- too much exposure to badly shielded PPCs, sitting on damaged reactors, and other military-derived radiation sources.  But that was in the FCCW, '65 right before the Legion gets sent to Hesperus as a meat shield.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #14 on: 23 February 2020, 02:09:55 »
Isn't that one of the reasons why Grayson Carlyle had to give up his spurs and was limited to just Battle Armor near the end of the career?  I seem to remember that story during the Civil War, but it has been a while.

Grayson had to retire from being a mechwarrior due to inner ear damage he sustained when his Victor took a PPC to the head from a traitor's Zeus.

His later death was caused by cancer attributed to years of radiation exposure from PPC shots (especially when he stole the Red Duke's Marauder and started blasting away with the PPCs with the cockpit open in Mercenary's Star), reactor damage, and space travel.
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guardiandashi

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #15 on: 23 February 2020, 02:39:47 »
I thought he had feedback problems, scrambled his brain- and that was in '56 or '57 . . . he died from cancer due- it was suggested- too much exposure to badly shielded PPCs, sitting on damaged reactors, and other military-derived radiation sources.  But that was in the FCCW, '65 right before the Legion gets sent to Hesperus as a meat shield.
the way I remember it, Grayson had a number of issues.
neural feedback, damaged inner ears due to ammo explosions and similar.  as mentioned Cancer due to radiation from a variety of sources.  (damaged engine shielding, near misses from ppc's damaged ppc's being fired, etc. )
health issues from toxic environments, and battlefields Etc.

grimlock1

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #16 on: 24 February 2020, 11:44:46 »
Which is why I was talking about the trooper and not the mechwarrior . . . I also talked about a miss, and causing a discharge to a nervous system.  Ever touch a hot switch or box?  You can get just a bit of a charge and its enough to numb out a extremity as it overloads the nervous system- consider muscle tissue that gets current run through it to cause contraction.  Basically, would the human body be enough to attract some of a PPC blast's electrical discharge, sort of tazed without needing a wire connection.

Sorry.

Another hazard to PBIs would be your own team's reflective armor. 50% of the energy that would normally go into the armor is going elsewhere.
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Retry

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #17 on: 24 February 2020, 12:58:23 »
Sorry.

Another hazard to PBIs would be your own team's reflective armor. 50% of the energy that would normally go into the armor is going elsewhere.
That really depends on how that energy's getting reflected.  If it's a specular (mirror-like) reflection, it's going to create a dazzling and deadly light show for the PBIs.  If it's a diffuse reflection, all the energy's going to be spread out in all directions instead of one beam of doom, the PBIs should be relatively safe unless they happen to be standing right next to the laser's impact point.

grimlock1

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #18 on: 24 February 2020, 14:43:52 »
That really depends on how that energy's getting reflected.  If it's a specular (mirror-like) reflection, it's going to create a dazzling and deadly light show for the PBIs.  If it's a diffuse reflection, all the energy's going to be spread out in all directions instead of one beam of doom, the PBIs should be relatively safe unless they happen to be standing right next to the laser's impact point.
Going by the fluff, I would expect specular reflection.  Even then I wouldn't expect a single reflected beam. It would be the disco of death you described.  Although if I'm the GM, I would not be averse to an attempt to reflect that beam towards a hostile target.  You'd need a +9 PSR to do it but I'd let you try.
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ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #19 on: 24 February 2020, 22:15:55 »
Specular reflection but on a heavily faceted moving object; you'll basically act like a 65 ton funk party laser beam splitter.

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Retry

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #20 on: 25 February 2020, 13:54:50 »
Going by the fluff, I would expect specular reflection.  Even then I wouldn't expect a single reflected beam. It would be the disco of death you described.  Although if I'm the GM, I would not be averse to an attempt to reflect that beam towards a hostile target.  You'd need a +9 PSR to do it but I'd let you try.
I can't find any fluff that would hint at either way in Tac Ops.  Maybe a different book?

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #21 on: 25 February 2020, 14:40:18 »
Might be fiction using the couple of times reflective armor units appear- with that said, would they even get camo painted?  Or would you want a metallic silver or bronze?
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grimlock1

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #22 on: 25 February 2020, 21:02:48 »
Might be fiction using the couple of times reflective armor units appear- with that said, would they even get camo painted?  Or would you want a metallic silver or bronze?
I imagine that point would boil off in milliseconds, at most.  The question is will it boil off cleanly or leave a residue that absorbs heat, thus defeating the reflective armor.  Its plausible that you could screw with reflective armor using a paint sprayer.  Mix in a healthy dollop of carbon black and it will just sit there, absorbing and conducting heat.

I can't find any fluff that would hint at either way in Tac Ops.  Maybe a different book?
  We were going off on tangent.  Sorry. 
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marauder648

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #23 on: 27 February 2020, 07:40:49 »
A 'realistic' neurohelmet and Mechwarrior gear would be a very different thing from.



I'd think it, and all the associated gear with it would be this strange hybrid between a modern jet pilot/F-1 racer and super-bikers get up. A visor would sure as hell be polarizing, they'd probably have a faceplate with eye peices with polarise as needed and also act as the HUD, a breath mask would probably be included and they would be strapped in tight to their seats, with clips and restraints as well as a version of the HANS device - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HANS_device that racing car folks wear.

Add onto this on the cooling suit you'd have probably armour plating on the front and back of the chest (kevlar or space kevlar or something) to protect against spalling, as well as on the insides of the thighs to protect arteries. Mobility would be restricted because the Mechwarrior's strapped in tight and the HANS systems holding them too. But this is better than having a Mechwarrior snap their neck the first time they fall over or get knocked over because of the huge whiplash forces involved.
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grimlock1

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #24 on: 27 February 2020, 09:49:11 »
A 'realistic' neurohelmet and Mechwarrior gear would be a very different thing from.



I'd think it, and all the associated gear with it would be this strange hybrid between a modern jet pilot/F-1 racer and super-bikers get up. A visor would sure as hell be polarizing, they'd probably have a faceplate with eye peices with polarise as needed and also act as the HUD, a breath mask would probably be included and they would be strapped in tight to their seats, with clips and restraints as well as a version of the HANS device - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HANS_device that racing car folks wear.
  I'm not sure I see the need for a closed face in this case.  While mechs can operate in a variety of hostile environments, unless the rest of the pilot suit doubles protection, having an air supply may not be worth it.  On the other hand, just having a cool breeze over the pilots face would probably be a welcome comfort. And just to throw this out there, if the canopy polarizes, why bother with polarized lenses on the helmet?  Why add the weight?  "What if the canopy blows out?"  Is the limited functionality in a relatively small set of circumstances worth the discomfort an extra 6 ounces will cause the wearer the other 99% of the time?  I don't know.

I agree 100% on the need for a HANS!

Add onto this on the cooling suit you'd have probably armour plating on the front and back of the chest (kevlar or space kevlar or something) to protect against spalling, as well as on the insides of the thighs to protect arteries.
Well, first you need to move beyond gym shorts as a piloting uniform. :-)  As long as you can regulate the body's core temperature, the limbs will take care of themselves, so in a sense, a cooling suit may not be a significant improvement over a good vest. That said, if cockpit fires are enough of a threat to wear fire proof boots, then why aren't you wearing a nomex flightsuit over your cooling vest?
FedCom cooling vests were described as being "ballistic nylon," and Kai survived a couple gunshots on Alyina. A few other lines suggest that it's a fairly flexible armor, compared to modern "soft" Kevlar vests. So added protection to the legs and groin is certainly a good idea. You could bias the protection to  the front and sides if you take a cue from modern combat helicopter design and make the entire seat out of protective armor. There's an inch or more of Kevlar plate along the sides, back, and bottom of the seats on US attack helicopters.   How much protection to give the arms is another question.  You don't want to encumber them too much.  You probably don't want anything much beyond nomex gloves on the hands because they have to manipulate controls.



Mobility would be restricted because the Mechwarrior's strapped in tight and the HANS systems holding them too. But this is better than having a Mechwarrior snap their neck the first time they fall over or get knocked over because of the huge whiplash forces involved.
The old school neurohelmets do offer some head/neck protection.


I think it was Assumption of Risk but when Kai and Galen had a 2v2 match in Solaris.  In addition to spiffy, form fitting cooling suits, wasn't there something about the neurohelmet's sensors being built into the suit's balaclava?  And they wore regular helmets for impact protection.   

Sarna mentions that neurohelmets are designed to pick up inputs from specific areas of the brain. While you can do this with an EEG, sensor placement is finicky, and that may not read the targeted part of the brain with enough specificity.  I suppose the bulk of a neurohelmet might come from multiple arrays of sensors.  The aggregate data is fed into an algorithm that builds a map of neural activity versus 3D position.   If you are trying to detect small EM signals, you need coils, lots of coils. Star League and Clan systems can get by with a mix smaller, less sensitive, sensors, but use more of them, and rely on better signal processing.  When I say "less sensitive," I mean compared to a Star League grade sensor the same size as a SW model. The camera in my phone has much higher resolution than my brother's 15 year old DSLR, but way less than a modern DSLR.  So the bulky, heavy, Succession Wars neurohelmets do make a certain amount of sense.   That said, the art fro the old neurohelmets is just plain fugly.
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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #25 on: 27 February 2020, 11:55:54 »
Or . . . its a difference in perception of technology from the late 70s & early 80s to nearly 40 years into the future?  The depiction of neurohelmets has not aged well, especially as some of the science to them has changed.  Which is how we went from what was above to . . .


Twenty years ago (MW4) . . . and a recycled VCH or helo pilot helmet to . . .


Which now look a LOT more like modern pilot helmets . . .

Cooling vest to cooling bodysuit should really have been a easy leap . . . or even some sort of leg coverings to also protect from spalling like the vest protects the torso.

Never noticed before, but is the woman in the front wearing chaps?
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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #26 on: 27 February 2020, 13:12:27 »

Which now look a LOT more like modern pilot helmets . . .

Cooling vest to cooling bodysuit should really have been a easy leap . . . or even some sort of leg coverings to also protect from spalling like the vest protects the torso.

Never noticed before, but is the woman in the front wearing chaps?
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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #27 on: 27 February 2020, 13:56:23 »
That's probably because they didn't even acknowledge the need for neuro-helmets in the games.  Part of the reason why something like this:
was presented was so that the pilot's head would not move and mess up its connections to specific points of the brain which was required to maintain balance.

Those more "classic" style of helmets seen in the Mechwarrior 4, MechCommander, and Battletech VG cinematics tend to move on the head, to say nothing about allowing the head to move.  Either set of movement would eliminate the entire concept or need of the neurohelmet.  Movement on the head would disrupt the connection.  Movement of the head would destabilize the Mech as it corrects a change in the pilot's balance which may not be reflected in a change of the Mech's center of gravity (shake your head like Tom Hanks in Turner & Hooch and see how well you'd be able to balance a Mech).

Basicly what I'm saying is, those "classic" helmets aren't proper neurohelmets, of which I'm fine doing away with if the computer is going solely off the gyro and not the pilot's balance any more, but some books are gonna need some editing.
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Colt Ward

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #28 on: 27 February 2020, 14:26:01 »
Keeping the head immobile is not where the balance comes from . . . look at how/what they used to scan brainwaves.  Heck, in the MRI or CT scan they tell you not to move.  People balance themselves on bikes while turning their heads or riding over rough terrain, the sense of equilibrium makes autonomous changes in the body's position to balance the load.

Now days brain scans give you a little skull cap of sensors and you can do what you want . . . my sister when she was being tested had a nest of wires on her head and a bundled cable going over her shoulder while she sat in her hospital bed, knitted and talked to people.

The type of helmet depicted in that art is also part of the period expectations for sci fi.

I grabbed the video game images b/c they were the ones most likely to be present.  Here are a few more from actual BT art-



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marauder648

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Re: Do neuro-helmets adapt to sudden light changes?
« Reply #29 on: 27 February 2020, 14:30:02 »
my reasoning behind the neurohelmet having a faceplate/breath mask is that a faceplate that would interface with the cockpit would act as the HUD, with eye movement activated controls etc and it protects the wearers face. Why risk getting possibly blinded by a bit of spalling material when you're beaned in the head by an errant SRM.

The breath mask would give cool air, and act as a filtration system in case of breaches. You're fighting on a moon and you get a small breech, bye bye any oxygen, but you've got the helmet and mask with any gear acting like a space suit to stop you getting killed. I know its the mindset 'mech's are expensive, people are not' but you've still spent a LOT of C-bills over the years training MechWarrior Stanley and these guys and gals are an investment worth protecting.

Of course such a fully integrated system would be like SLDF Royal units and super-elite commands in the IS and lower status warriors would have to make do with what they've got, cruder helmets, perhaps ones without the associated body suit meaning wearing some shorts and combat chaps etc.
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