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Early discussion

I've always thought it was similar to the US Navy's Aegis Mk VII system. Panther 20:54, 17 August 2006 (CDT)

There's a definite RDM blog answer that's about a sentence long and says it's a different word for radar.
Something else is very similar to Aegis, though... I think it's in a battlestar article, probably a point-defense item for obvious reasons. --CalculatinAvatar(C-T) 01:06, 18 August 2006 (CDT)

It is stated that DRADIS stands for 'Direction RAnge and DIStance'.

Should it not be 'Direction RAnge Detection and Identification System' This still has the acronym DRADIS?

I'd be happy to see a source for this term; I'd rather not make it up if RDM has the acronym down. He's normally not into this inane level of techno-fanboy detail, so we'll have to see. Better to keep this one to what we know. Spencerian 15:54, 23 Aug 2005 (EDT)0
Agreed, FWIW. --Peter Farago 17:43, 23 Aug 2005 (EDT):
We need a definite and official source for what this term means. Personally, I don't believe that it is well defined, if at all. -- Joe Beaudoin 20:30, 23 Aug 2005 (EDT)

It adds nothing to the debate :), but when i heard the anacronym DRADIS, i instantly though "oh cool, thats Direction, Range AnD Identification System ...good to see someone is thinking hard about all the little stuff"

To me it makes sense for it to mean this...remember the first few eps of ST didnt have Starfleet, but the United Earth Space Probe Agency or some such....ID it is! Hooray! :) And i'd write it as Radar..the caps dissapear after a while :) --Simmons 07:36, 1 February 2006 (EST)Simmons

"Range" and "Distance" are indeed redundant in their most common sense, but in space, a system like this would be pretty much pointless if it didn't provide directional information in two axes, as well as the distance. Even without a useful expansion of the acronym, it should be abundantly clear that these would be the three values present in the reading for a single DRADIS contact. -- Cmr

Indeed, Gaeta has given three-value coordinates when it's been relevant — in Act of Contrition and Resistance.
Just an interesting note - Bearing and Carom are clearly not measured in degrees. We've seen bearings up to 881 (Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down) and caroms up 552 (Flight of the Phoenix). --Peter Farago 14:38, 5 January 2006 (EST)
Another interesting note - The Army in its land navigation uses a method of measurement called the mil [[1]] which breaks a circle up into 6400 parts rather than 360. That may explain the higher numbers quoted. Joemc72 15:01, 19 January 2006 (EST)
"Range" and "distance" are still synonyms in 3 dimensions. Yes, there are 3 numbers for spherical coordinates, but 2 of them are direction; the other one is range (and distance, since they're the same thing). --CalculatinAvatar 23:29, 5 January 2006 (EST)
I understood your point the first time, and wasn't trying to contradict it. --Peter Farago 23:39, 5 January 2006 (EST)
If you're addressing me, I'm somewhat confused. I don't recall saying that before, and I was responding to Cmr. --CalculatinAvatar 00:07, 6 January 2006 (EST)
my point is just that this article can describe what DRADIS measures, and how, without expanding the acronym. is the early teleplay manuscript the only source for Direction, RAnge, and DIStance? if so, it seems like this is, at best, something less than canonical. Cmr 17:35, 15 January 2006 (EST)
Another (possibly unhelpful) speculation. DRADIS might be expanded usefully to 'Direction RAdius and DIStance.' This would provide the bearing to target (in three-space), the distance to target, and the radius (radians?) of the target at that distance - either the equivalent of the radar cross-section or signal strength, or perhaps some other actual size measurement which could be used to determine the target's identity? --sierran 12:35, 21 February 2006 (EST)
I think that sierran is closest: I believe it's either (Direction, RAdial, DIStance) or (Direction, RAdian, DIStance). I'm not sure of the origin of the original interpretation, but if it's not from quotable dialog, it's probably incorrect. Spherical coordinate systems require three values, but different names are used in various contexts: (radial, azimuth, polar), (radial, azimuth, zenith), (range, azimuth, elevation). In the first two sets, "radial" is the distance from the point of origin, but a radial pattern is a one that appears to originate at a point, like spokes in a wheel. A scriptwriter could easily substitute RAdial into an acronym, without realizing it is technically incorrect. Substitute DIrection for azimuth and DIStance for range, and it yields what I think is the intended derivation. Alternatively, RAdian is a unit of plane angle. Although both azimuth and elevation can be expressed in radians, perhaps a scriptwriter chose it for elevation because it created an acronym that sounded cool. --ptb 11:49, 12 March 2006 (CST)
I have a WAY WAY WAY better definition for the DRADIS acronym. Get this. Get this, it's awesome. You ready? Check this out: Direction RAnge DISplacement. "Displacement" is commonly used in Naval terms to describe the amount of water mass "displaced" by a ship. Displacement could easilly be co-opted for this sort of "Space Navy" mentality to be used to define the size of ships on DRADIS. Notice that DRADIS does make a distinction between the small vessels and the capital ships. Obviously it's more than a direction/distance calculation. So what do you think? Direction RAnge DISplacement? Eh? Eh? I think it's high quality. --Trajan 21:47, 26 October 2006 (CST)
Range and Distance could refer to different measures in curved space-time or at relativistic speeds. So perhaps it locates targets in three out of four space-time dimensions, but not the three space dimensions at the same time. The display is clearly two-dimensional, with a sweeping arc to show the locus it is scanning at a given moment. It may not be able to differentiate positions within this arc. Perhaps it requires more than one DRADIS dish to accurately locate a target in three dimensions? This is equivalent to Earth radar, which can build a picture in two dimensions by scanning in one dimension. There's no reason to assume that the Colonials are not working around their own technical limitations. -- Mauve 05:26, 16 November 2006 (CST)
It's better to keep this simple, folks. An episode already shows the abbreviations that confirm the acronym's source; anything else is fan-generated content and over-speculation. Don't get me wrong; both thoughts have technical merit that makes some sense. However, neither are backed up by aired content and, in fact, seem to contradict what little we know. --Spencerian 08:21, 16 November 2006 (CST)
I read somewhere that it was Direction and RAdial Distance. That makes far more sense than what is in the article right now. The graphic that we see in the series shows a revolving arc, which would indicate that Radial Distance is more likely, not Direction, RAnge, DIStance. By the way, the "transcript" that is cited in the footnote is merely a fan-compiled transcript. It is not an official transcript so it should not be used as the source for the acronym's meaning. --123home123 08:34, 20 November 2006 (CST)

Reply to Spencerian: If you have a source for the un-abbreviated form given in the article, maybe that source should be in footnote #1 instead of that nonsense about "redundant with each other" (which phrase is redundant itself, of course). --username just now...

Consider real spherical geometry for just a moment and a possibility that requires far less stretching becomes apparent. If using a radial coordinate system, you need exactly three values to define a point in space relative to your position: declination, right ascension, and distance. This has the following advantages: (1) no terms are invented or forced to represent values not traditional to their definition, (2) it is a simple and effective system that is used in reality, and (3) is consistent with the philosophy of "natural science fiction" that the show follows. Quod erat demonstrandum... I'm rather surprised no one else has posited this.

Furthermore, please stop this silly "carom" and "karam" misspelling. The word is charagm from charagma, the Greek word for "mark," which is used in speech where a decimal would be written. You will find this consistent with dialogue. Merlin 10:06, 14 April 2007 (CDT)

Interesting, but we would need official confirmation before running with this in the article—it does make sense, however. Also, as for carom, the spelling comes from the DVD subtitles for Season 1, unless you have another source of information we haven't happened upon yet. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 16:43, 14 April 2007 (CDT)
From experience, we know never to trust the subs ("54" vs. "Viper", "12:09" vs. "Cloud Nine", etc.), but we could ask Brad how it's spelled. --Catrope(Talk to me or e-mail me) 16:08, 15 April 2007 (CDT)
Those instances are different than the others. Consistently, the subs have provided the spelling "carom". Of course, asking Brad would also be a wonderful idea. I say go for it. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 19:15, 15 April 2007 (CDT)
I asked him, so now we wait. --Catrope(Talk to me or e-mail me) 02:33, 16 April 2007 (CDT)
Consider CBDR (Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range) meaning detection of something not moving in the field of view (horiz/vert) but getting closer (aka collision course). In this context, Range is the distance away from the DRADIS scanner. So Distance and Direction must be something else. Take into consideration the two-dimensional display on the DRADIS readout, and consider whether the height in the field of view matters - or perhaps objects on all heights are shown and this requires the user to read the numbers (or icon size) to judge height. As for Direction/Range/Distance, Direction would be circular direction (eg 90-degrees, 3 o' clock or "right"), Range would be distance away from the ship, and Distance could be vertical height from the horizontal plane. Notice how all the ships are horizontal, so there is always a common up and down? Something on the same level as you would record a distance of zero, below you would be negative, above positive etc. Xenon 18:50, 28 April 2007 (CDT)

Just a comment - Astronomy uses a coordinate system that uses Declination and Right Ascension to pinpoint astral bodies. If you include distance, you now have a system that you can use to determine another objects position in space *relative to you* (if I call my "up" north, then I can place everything by how many degrees "north" (or by using negative numbers how far "south") it is, how many degrees "right" (or "left") it is, and how far away from me it is)


Spencerian, why did you revert Wingsandsword's note about the "radar" reference in "The Hand of God"? The dialogue in question goes like this:

Thrace: The decoy ships will jump into the enemy star system at extreme radar range from the Cylon asteroid. Galactica will jump here, close enough to launch its Vipers at the base.

--Peter Farago 12:07, 10 January 2006 (EST)

There has been some healthy discussion of this point on my talk page, and for the record it is at 11:53 into the episode, and her exact line is what Peter Farago said it was. It's also on the closed captioning. It's likely to be a goof, but it could be interpreted that "radar" is a slang or mostly-disused term for the more technically accurate Dradis. --Wingsandsword 14:37, 10 January 2006 (EST)
Her "exact line" is still subject to debate: DVD subtitles aren't always reliable, and when I saw it again on my DVD it sounded like she said "Raider", not radar. "Radar" probably isn't a slang term because I think they're more careful about these things and that it is not, indeed a goof. Others please rewatch this scene. I'm not exact on how all DVD subtitles are made, but on many I've had in the past they were really just made by people that watched the episode writing down dialog, rather than on a script of some form. They aren't really reliable. --Ricimer 21:06, 10 January 2006 (EST)
It doesn't make sense for her to say "Raider range". Raiders have FTL and therefore have a massively larger range than Vipers. -- Mauve 05:26, 16 November 2006 (CST)
What if RADAR is one component of DRADIS? Suppose that DRADIS comprises a host of detection systems (RADAR, IR, UV, MAD, etc.) all linked into one system and accessed from one console?--Axeman
As I have stated numerous times, in context, she could have been saying "Raider range". There's a burden of proof there, a shaodw of a doubt if you will, and she kind of slurrs it; doesn't sound quite like she's saying "Radar". I think our current thing is fine: making a note that we think she said Radar, but that she could have said "Raider". This is, of course, distinct from the horrible "Black Market" in which amongst other failures they call fumarellos "cigars". --Ricimer 14:19, 29 January 2006 (EST)
That wasn't an error. Cigars have never been called Fumarellos in RDM. --Peter Farago 15:03, 29 January 2006 (EST)
There seems to be a lot of contention over this point. Can someone find a specific reference where they were or weren't called cigars or fumarellos? --BMS 15:09, 29 January 2006 (EST)
Actually I was just using that as an example; Peter and I are actually leaning towards the position that they were ALWAYS called "Cigars" but "tobacco" is "fumarello leaf" here.--Ricimer 15:32, 29 January 2006 (EST)


Should the name of this article be all caps, or is there a naming convention in place that restrits all caps in an article title? Joemc72 16:41, 20 January 2006 (EST)

Possible, but generally it looks a bit garrish and we don't know the acronym fully. Besides, do you always write out radio as "RADIO"? It's a portmaneau, not a full acronym. --Ricimer 16:49, 20 January 2006 (EST)
I agree, but throughout the article and other articles, DRADIS is capitalized. I was only suggesting it in order to make it more uniform. I'll defer to the majority though. Joemc72 16:52, 20 January 2006 (EST)
The capitalization is because DRADIS is an acronym, like RADAR or LASER or NASA. Usage for these terms have dropped the capitalization down to where the acronym becomes a word except for NASA. DRADIS isn't there yet in my mind. On the other hand, if I see it without capitalization, I don't change it unless it looks aesthetically wrong. Acronyms should be capitalized unless there is a wiki convention that says otherwise. For wiki's sake, keeping it not capitalized (particularly as the article name) prevents weirdness. --Spencerian 17:34, 20 January 2006 (EST)
To bring this subject back up, the first thing I thought of when seeing this article was that it wasnt in capitals. You are right in that people casually dont say RADAR in capitals when writing because it one of the exceptions to the rule. The word "Radar" is now officially in the English language as a standard word, theorfor losing the capitalisation in the process. Laser is also another example of an acronym adopted as an official word. Radio as far as i know was never an acronym? It seems to me that an acronym only loses its capitalisation when it becomes an official word (radar, laser, scuba etc) and when its not all letters are in capitals (ICBM, LCD, AIDS etc) --Mercifull 06:01, 3 April 2006 (CDT)


In the last frame before the opening credits in "Pegasus" the Dradis icon for the Pegasus is shown with two stars next to it. I assume these denote the rank of the flag officer (Admiral Cain) aboard. Is this worth including? Jagaroth 05:08, 13 September 2006 (CDT)

Maybe. Is there a DRADIS shot of what Galactica looked like on Pegasus DRADIS? If there isn't any special marking for Adama (of Commander rank then), we'll know that DRADIS can be configured to indicate battlestars with flag officers, as Cain was. --Spencerian 07:26, 13 September 2006 (CDT)
I think the second picture on the page is the view from Pegasus to Galactica because Galactica is in mid-field on the display rather than being the source (at the bottom). I'll check later. To confirm we'd need a shot of an external DRADIS after Adama gets promoted. Jagaroth 03:57, 14 September 2006 (CDT)
I attached the pics together, the other one is Galactica from Pegasus and there is no stars next to the Big-G. --Talos 04:43, 14 September 2006 (CDT)
DRADIS symbology for various Colonial Fleet units are different.civilian ship symbols show min 5 type of civilian ship(except adriatic symbol) military ship symbols except battlestars. Circle (shield) in circle area points (weapons)outside of circle trace(engines or wings)

Adriatick only symbol two points in circle(weapon)--mustah


Why on earth hasn't this been renamed to DRADIS so that the silly hatnote at the top can be removed? SMcCandlish 17:52, 26 September 2007 (CDT)

If memory serves, the page name was used before newer versions of MediaWiki allowed full caps of article names. A redirect page of DRADIS does bring the user to the article. It's something to check with Shane and Joe B, who know more of the technicals of MediaWiki than I. --Spencerian 23:18, 26 September 2007 (CDT)
That's pretty much the reason... :-) Of course, it can be changed. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Sanctuary Wiki — New 23:25, 26 September 2007 (CDT)
Done. --Spencerian 23:40, 26 September 2007 (CDT)
Ah so! Boy, I bet Wikipedia was a real mess back then, what with thousands of acronym articles... Heh. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 05:09, 27 September 2007 (CDT)
It pays to be a wiki with a specific topic focus. :) --Spencerian 10:00, 27 September 2007 (CDT)

Synonyms D, Ra and Dis

These synonyms might be astronomical ones for 'D'eclination 'R'ight 'A'scension 'DIS'tance

(see Wikpedia: Declination) --Akagi 17:00, 2 January 2008 (CST)

Here we go again ... :) This might warrant a merge and rename with the above "Early discussion" section--Fredmdbud 17:21, 2 January 2008 (CST)
Well, we're going by what's said in the Miniseries script, so... that's what we're going with, unless we get clarification/corrections/word from official sources. :) -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Sanctuary Wiki — New 17:44, 2 January 2008 (CST)
Also worth noting might be the terms used for giving the commander information about a DRADIS contact. AS far as I can tell DRADIS contacts at least have "Bearing" and some value merely given as "Kerim". Anyone else have anything on this? -- Venge

DRADIS Layouts

Am I right in thinking that there is more than one layout for a DRADIS screen. We mostly see one with the numerous arcs spanning outward, and another with a more 3D view. I see them change back and forth throughout the series. What could the different purposes of these layouts be? --Isidis 18:05, 4 January 2008 (CST)

Sorry for the long delay, but the views seem to focus on areas where it detects contacts, and since the area of space is spherical, the layouts seem to change depending on the disposition of various contacts within said sphere. At least, that's my take on it... Someone with more technical know-how would obviously be able to explain the dynamics of it, but that's my interpretation/knowledge on that subject. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Battlestar Pegasus 01:13, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Dradis detection

This was something i noticed with the Osiris in Blood & Chrome. When the Basestar jumps in over Djerba, the Osiris isn't detected immediately, which is made explicit in dialog. The same scene is what is causing people to postulate stealth capabilities for the Osiris. What i found interesting is that while the crew of the Osiris is confidant they won't be picked up on the cylon Dradis for awhile, the Osiris itself had active Dradis and definitely had the basestar on its screens. Since with real life radar, which Dradis often seems to behave like, having an active transmitter will give away the position of a stealth craft, it makes me wonder if an active Dradis is actually detectable by the targets it's locating. Or if it is, whether maybe there are multiple frequencies that can be used with a Dradis's active sensors, allowing for the kinds of real world tricks being used with stealth craft, like frequency hopping to make detection more difficult, and non-standard frequency radar sets to try and avoid enemy radar detector systems. Mithril 18:47, 9 December 2012 (EST)

Important information lost in present revision

Frylock86, why was important info removed from this article (such as the sourcing of the term and the reference at the bottom, as seen in this revision: [2])? -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate 13:45, 25 October 2013 (EDT)

  • Oops. Sorry about that. That's my fault, I forgot to add them back in. I'll get it here in a sec. -- Frylock86 16:38, 25 October 2013 (EDT)