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Curvature of the Earth


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Just a quick question really. Do the maps model the curvature of the Earth? I'm wondering as a way of avoiding radar detection by long-range radar systems. I'm sure it is likely to, but I've never been up high enough to look!


Thanks in advance,



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Mind you, keyword - "Visible" - in Nevada map (and Normandy, perhaps?), while it was NOT in old Caucasus so I don't think it's in revamped either (haven't flown high enough to notice yet).


That being said, not sure if it's "modelled" in a context you think about. Map grid and navaids on all terrains still work like projected on flat surface and I don't think more sophisticated stuff like radio wave propagation (apart from mountains vs flat) is affected.

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From memory the map technology can create spherical (or part thereof) worlds, but all the existing maps were started before that became possible and so are 'flat' with 'sphericism' applied after the fact as part of the simulation.


The effects are there, the cause isn't :)


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A long time ago I did a polar circumnavigation of the world on the old Caucasus map to prove it was flat. The Poles in DCS were actually single points on the map you could fly circles around, so if you try circumnavigating along a line of constant latitude, you would most likely end up traveling in a large circle around the pole and if you left the West side of the detailed portion of the map, you would come back on the East side even if the world is flat. Even in real life, staying on a line of constant latitude (other than the equator) requires you to perform a slow continuous turn. For this reason, all such tests should be performed along longitude lines.


During my polar circumnavigation, I started flying my A-10C from Georgia towards the South pole. Some of the navigation equipment stopped functioning properly after passing the south pole, but enough remained operational for me to complete the full circumnavigation and return to the same grid coordinate of the map that I had started my journey at. The map there was completely blank, proving that the DCS world was flat. (I think this was in 1.2.X.)


Now that there are a few new maps available, (especially since the mentioned possibility of EDGE supporting spherical maps) it may be interesting to try tests like this again for each new map.


As to your question about the radar horizon. I remember seeing in the patch notes at one point that DCS does in fact simulate the radar horizon, whether or not the world is flat. See here: https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=147601

Edited by VincentLaw


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F/A-18, F-16, F-14, M-2000C, A-10C, AV-8B, AJS-37 Viggen, F-5E-3, F-86F, MiG-21bis, MiG-15bis, L-39 Albatros, C-101 Aviojet, P-51D, Spitfire LF Mk. IX, Bf 109 4-K, UH-1H, Mi-8, Ka-50, NTTR, Normandy, Persian Gulf... and not enough time to fully enjoy it all

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  • 3 weeks later...
and what's the conclusion of the thread you put the link in?




Good question, I followed the dumped link into that thread and only found the same person saying "Curvature of the earth is visible in DCS World".

But then other people disagree about the nature of curvature in the maps.



No-one from ED actually answers the question there.



RADAR Horizon was apparently modelled in 1.5 (very first patch notes) but the answer to the specific question posed by the OP has not been answered.


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Exactly...that's why i started it again


@ED can you pls reply to it?




There is no reason to start another thread if there already is an existing one regarding that topic, hence the threads have already been merged together.


The easiest way to get an answer to your question is to get up to 25000m and take a look yourself.



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Quick math I researched to see how relevant this is on our current map size


A. The Earth has a radius of approximately 3965 miles. Using the Pythagorean theorem, that calculates to an average curvature of 7.98 inches per mile (squared)


B. For a six-foot tall person, the horizon is a little more than 3 miles away


C. The formula for distance (miles) is 1.22 multiplied by the square root of the height (feet) of the aircraft. So, at 10,000 feet you can see 122 miles, at 30,000 feet you can see 211 miles, and at 40,000 feet you can see 244 miles




None of the maps here are more than a few hundred miles across, as a result, from even low altitude if you're near the center of the map you'll see most/all of the map. From the ground perspective, terrain variance is likely to put an obstacle of some sort in your line-of-sight within the first mile or two (a hill or some such). Even if it's a radar on a hilltop, there's apt to be something within the first few dozen miles likely to be interfering with LOS.



The only place this really becomes relevant, for practical purposes, is on the ocean where the "terrain" is uniformly flat for hundreds of miles, but we have only a sliver of water in Normandy, a portion of a sea isolated to the western third of the map in Georgia, and eventually part of the Persian Gulf, which is apt to likewise make up a relatively small portion of the environment.

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Де вороги, знайдуться козаки їх перемогти.

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  • 10 months later...

I also went up to very high altitude in DCS world with the F/A-18 just after sunset when the sun is about a couple of degrees below the horizon, when I get up to around 55,000 to 60,000 feet I see the sun which is about a couple of degrees below the horizon when on the ground!!!!!




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