Happy Third Birthday, Signal Cartel!

Signal Cartel turns three years old in a few days. To my delight and amazement, we are not just surviving but thriving despite playing EVE in a very different way from most everyone else.

A Brief History. Johnny Splunk and G8keeper, who co-founded the EvE-Scout corp when Thera was introduced to the game, approached me about serving as CEO for an exploration corp based on the principles of peaceful exploration and what is now our Credo. Looking for something different to do in New Eden and knowing them from having worked as a Thera scout for a short time, I said yes. After a lot of intense preliminary work to get our ducks in a row, Signal Cartel was founded on 2015.01.20 and officially open for business on 2015.01.31. Our alliance, EvE-Scout Enclave, was formed on 2015.01.23 to house the two corps and our logistics corp, EvE-Scout Logistics. In the interest of administrative simplicity, we are a closed alliance which does not accept other corps.

This past weekend, we enjoyed our Third Birthday Fleet, planned and FC’d by the remarkable Johnny Splunk (watch his Twitch channel for exploration adventures, quirky humor, and a great community) on his well known alt Carrie Frog. About 50 of us formed up in Thera, then departed in our signature swarm of Griffins, fitted with hugs (festival launchers and fireworks/snowballs) and ECM (for self defense). Destination: Lanngisi, with the FC expertly guiding our new players about fleet protocols and mechanics along the way.

Photo by Lucas Ballard

Of course, we announced ourselves and our birthday messages in Local at every jump, and when we could, “hugged” folks on the gate with our fireworks and snowballs. I was kept busy during the entire fleet doing random draws of fleet member names to give away many excellent items donated by our members. Among the items were Asteros, implants, Geckos, ISK, Stratioses, Spectral Shift and other SKINs, exploration modules, a fitted Tengu, and even a fully fitted Chimera!!!

Once in Lanngisi, we were instructed to entosis the new Project Discovery monument there. This yielded various items and our FC assisted folks as they puzzled out what the information we gleaned from these items could mean. (Some of us already knew what this was about, but no spoilers ruined it for those who didn’t.)

Photo by Lucas Ballard

Eventually the puzzle revealed our next destination. Being in low sec and requiring a route of several low sec systems, scouts were deployed and travel was much more tightly managed by our FC to ensure that everyone arrived safely. As  often happens to our fleets, it appeared we were being tailed by someone, presumably to inform a gate camp further along our route. We did encounter a few gate camps, but our FC provided calm guidance to our nervous newer players. We arrived at our destination relatively intact (I think we lost one or two people to campers but those folks soon reshipped and caught back up with us).

Upon our arrival, the FC warped us to a landmark and directed us to entosis the structure there. As we landed on grid, we were delighted to see an Astrahus bearing our alliance logo, which factored into a strategy for entosising relatively safely in this low sec system. Those who could not entosis spent the time regaling us with fireworks and snowballs,  checking out our Astrahus, and taking pictures.

Photo by Razorien

But our FC had something even more exciting planned. When our entosising tasks were done, he hinted at next steps in solving the puzzle we were working on. Then everyone’s attention was directed to our freeported Astrahus, where Johnny Splunk himself undocked in an Erebus, a Titan class ship. There was shock and awe on comms, especially among our many new players who’d never seen such a thing in game before. The Erebus had been donated by our long-time member Dinic, who amazingly revealed later that he had earned the entire cost of the ship from exploration activities! Such beautiful synergy!

Photo by Aamish MacTavish

Our FC informed us we would be bridged to another system, then explained how bridging works and instructed everyone in what to do when the bridge went up. The bridging went fairly smoothly, with most of the fleet getting through on the first go. One or two people had glitches but finally made it through subsequent bridges. Once we were all in the destination system — at yet another EvE-Scout Enclave Astrahus! — our FC provided more hints and guidance for solving the next step in the puzzle. At that point the fleet had been going for about three hours so it was decided to call it and leave everyone to finish up the rest of the puzzle on their own. If they manage to do so, they will be have everything they need to build their own Neural Lace ‘Blackglass’ Net Intrusion 920-40 implant (spoiler alert; don’t click the link if you want to solve the puzzle for yourself!), which offers substantial buffs when used in conjunction with a ‘Zeugma’ Integrated Analyzer.

We celebrated with a mass display of hugs on the Astrahus, while several of us shared on comms their feelings about the day’s fleet experience and their experience in Signal Cartel. For myself and Johnny as leaders of Signal Cartel, these comments were so heart-warming. It is extremely fulfilling to make an idea real in EVE and to grow a community of like-minded pilots who have both a sustaining mission and a cultural focus. As I tell my members, though: we are all torchbearers for the Signal Cartel way of life. Our light is burning brighter than ever and I am humbled and honored every day by the good work and solidarity of our dedicated pilots. So, to them I say thank you and here’s to another three years!

Enjoy more fabulous fleet pictures captured by Aamish MacTavish,  Lucas Ballard, Razorien, and Tamayo.

 

 

Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

Initial Report Into Signal Cartel’s Survey of the Anoikis Cluster and the ‘Shattered Systems’ – report by A Dead Parrot (authorised for public release 9/24/119)

Ever since the Seyllin Incident and its related ‘Main Sequence Events’ that triggered the opening of the first wormholes in YC 111, New Eden scientists have been debating the physical location of the Anoikis Cluster relative to New Eden. As a result, several serious attempts to accurately map Anoikis have paved the way for what we know today.

The first major attempt to do so was conducted during YC113 as an Arek’Jaalan project led by the Intaki capsuleer-scientist Mark726, using the designation Project Compass. The Distant Stellar Object Data Capture (DSODC), using images captured in wormhole space from camera drones, relied on the principles of parallax and spectroscopy to determine just where in space each image was located. It attempted to “ascertain whether the same distant stellar or extra-galactic point sources could be identified in both Anoikis and New Eden” through space photography.

However, this early attempt incorrectly determined that New Eden was located in the center of the known universe and that the Anoikis Cluster surrounded it, like an outer shell.

Excerpt from the original Project Compass report

Following this attempt, with the discovery of the locator functionality of starbase control towers placed in space, Mark726 and Faulx launched Project Compass 2.0 which would again attempt to locate and map the Anoikis Cluster. This time, project researchers would use the triangulation of distance measurements collected from a small constellation of five control towers placed as far apart as possible in New Eden. Their conclusions were quite different (and contradictory) to those of Project Compass 1.0.

Project Compass 2.0 concluded that New Eden was in fact not at the center of the known universe surrounded by Anoikis, but instead, Anoikis was located in an entirely distinct area of space separated by a distance of almost 1,300 light years from New Eden.

Visual representation of the relative positions of the New Eden and Anoikis clusters, as determined by Project Compass 2.0

In addition, Project Compass 2.0 was actually able to determine a rough map of Anoikis itself, using a relatively small sampling of less than 300 systems located by painstakingly triangulating their distances from each control tower in the measurement array. As of 3/13/YC114, those control towers ceased providing distances to systems in Anoikis.

Disposition and distribution of star systems in the Anoikis Cluster as postulated during Project Compass 2.0

Some years later, during YC117, an independent researcher by the name of Alyxportur was able to put together a detailed static map of the Anoikis Cluster which appeared to confirm the findings of Project Compass 2.0. You can see, in his images below, the roughly hexagonal shape of the Anoikis Cluster, similar to the conclusions reached by Project Compass 2.0.

Alyxporter’s published map generated from independent research (prior to the discovery of the Thera system)

However, at that time, Alyxportur’s findings were criticized by the scientific community and he was in fact belittled by many who said he was merely repeating research that had already been done years earlier through Project Compass 2.0. But few actually comprehended the computational methods he used to produce his results. The Anoikis Cluster had not yet been mapped with that level of detail.

Unfortunately, Alyxportur may have been discouraged by the community’s unwillingness to appreciate his work and his research was abandoned, at least in the public eye.

It is important to note at this point that both Alyxportur and the researchers involved with the earlier Project Compass 2.0 completed their work using data obtained prior to the discovery of the Thera system, and were likely to be unaware at the time that they were only mapping what we now refer to as the Anoikis ‘main cluster’, as they had no maps, data, or even knowledge of the existence of Thera and the so-called ‘shattered systems’ that were discovered later.

Fast-forward to today. Through the work of Signal Cartel researchers including myself and hundreds of other Signal pilots engaged in ongoing deployments throughout the Anoikis Cluster, aided in no small part by discoveries made possible by the creation of Signal Cartel’s ALLISON navigational AI [1], a modern picture of the relative positions of the Anoikis Cluster, Thera, the shattered systems, and their combined spatial relationship to the New Eden Cluster are becoming clearer than they ever were. Who knows what future discoveries will unveil.

Based on the dataset gathered by Signal Cartel as described above, I therefore present below a preliminary hypothesis concerning the true, accurate spatial relationship between the Anoikis Cluster and the ‘shattered systems’. See the notes embedded in each document for further details on the measurement methods involved, together with expanded text on the overall hypothesis.

First: the Anoikis Cluster and its position relative to the ‘shattered systems’. The dataset indicates that the two clusters are not co-located at all, and are in fact separated by a considerable distance:

click for enlargement

Second: the positions of the ‘shattered systems’, the Thera system and the five ‘Drifter Hives’ relative to each other. Again, these star systems are separated from each other by a great distance, but appear to be co-located along a specific ‘flat plane’ with respect to the galactic centre [note: this is also true of the main Anoikis Cluster: neither can be considered a globular cluster]. There is also a tantalising pattern within the dataset that suggests a high degree of line-of-sight alignment between the ‘shattered systems’ and certain stars in the main Anoikis Cluster (see document text for further explanation).

click for enlargement

Further research and refinement of this dataset is ongoing, and more results will be published as and when reliable conclusions can be formed.

[ENDS]

Notes:

[1] The ALLISON construct is a prototype artificial intelligence that I designed, and it is installed on all Signal Cartel spacecraft as a matter of standard operating procedure. Its principal purpose is to enhance the capsuleer’s navigational situational awareness to unprecedented levels and has proved extremely successful. Its use during the project described above was crucial as it was effectively a form of parallel processing capability combined with ultra-long-baseline interferometry, as if several hundred Project Compasses were operating simultaneously.

The above paper is © A Dead Parrot. Attribution to external sources is given in the text. All opinions stated are those of the author. All rights reserved. The Project: ALLISON Phase 3 reports are © Cassandra Habalu.

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