The scanner (not to be confused with either the Compass or the View Screen) picks up everything within 25km (except the surfaces of planets, suns, etc.). It is a sophisticated instrument that displays a 3D view of space in the immediate vicinity of your ship as seen from a point above it, and all other objects within.
The IFF (Identification, friend or foe) system, comes fitted to every flight-grid scanner in craft deemed space-worthy as it is integral to both navigation and combat, and overlays the scanner blips with colours identifying what is what.
Note that planet (and moon) surfaces do not show up on the scanner. Neither does the sun! If this proves to be an issue, some oxp HUDs provide warning on close approaches (eg Vimana HUD).
Facing Quadrant Lines
These change depending on the view (F1/F2/F3/F4) and help indicate which way direction the viewscreen is showing.
The distance lines change as you zoom in and out (see Zoom mode below).
If a ship within the scan range should broadcast a message, the IFF system will translate this as a ripple effect that will surround the flag of the communicating ship.
Cascade Explosion Display
The Q bomb's detonation (and cascade explosions) are also shown as translucent blue spheres with a magenta edge where they intersect the horizontal plane.
Zoom mode and Range Display
The IFF scanner can be zoomed up to 5x to allow precise navigation for intercepting smaller items (use of z & Z buttons). At each magnification (x1/x2/x3/x4/x5) the markings (distance lines) on the scanner automatically adjust to give a representation of target ranges.
- Unpowered objects unable to mass-lock the in-system jump drive.
- Powered craft.
- Powered craft identified as hostile.
- Space stations.
- Police on intercept.
- Navigation buoys.
- Active Q bomb (about to detonate).
- Tired of being jumped by pirates because your scanner was zoomed in and you didn't see them? Want to zoom in on a close adversary in a dogfight without losing track of more distant ships? Then you need the new nonlinear scanner!
- Based on captured Thargon technology, and extensively re-engineered by Faulcon de Lacy skunkworks division so you don't need compound eyes to use it, the nonlinear scanner is the answer to every pilot's scanning problems.
- Need closer zooming? Then you need ultra-zoom scanning (x1, x2, x4, x8, x16 instead of x1, x2, x3, x4, x5)
- Need a larger scanner? Then you need a new HUD.
All available through use of .oxp HUDs - read HUDSelector (downloadable through the in-game Expansions Manager) - and look at HUD images here.
Famously, back in 1983/4, Ian Bell & David Braben had just a smidgen of memory left when they were writing the code for Classic Elite - and invented the scanner and bunged it into the game at the last minute! The IFF was first introduced in Elite A in 1997.
All ships deemed space-worthy must have the IFF system installed
- Scanner Alerting Enhancement: alerts you to what is waiting on the other side of the witchspace tunnel you are in
- Mining IFF Scanner Upgrade: distinguishes between asteroids, boulders & splinters
- Police IFF Scanner Upgrade: distinguishes between the "innocent", offenders & fugitives
- Breakable HUD/IFF Scanner allows your Scanner to be disabled by a direct hit in combat
- Telescope: enhances the scanner (and the View Screen), displaying the star, distant beacons etc
- The (IFF) Scanner (2006)
- Cim on coding the scanner (2013)
- more "realistic" Long Range Scanner (2013)
- Ident system, how does it work? (2013)
- Why are escape pods and rock hermits white? Both are manned (2011)
- Ship Types and Lollipops (2018)
- Changing the scanner range (2020) - part of Redspear's [Rescaling experiment] for Windows computers