If there is an area of the game that I am hoping for some complexity and depth, it’s sensing the situation across the star system. How much info should be automatically available to everyone instantly? Hopefully very little.
Here is how I see it possibly working:
Facilities would have long distance broadcasting abilities (that could perhaps be partially disabled) that can broadcast some basic info about detected enemies and allies instantly across the whole system. Perhaps it would require line of sight, but satellites around a planet would allow broadcasts to be relayed in all directions. These satellites could be disabled, creating blind spots, (but disabled satellites would automatically set off a warning to all).
Sensors work by picking up EM/heat/light with line-of-sight and distance/intensity limitations. By switching off ship systems you can reduce the intensity of your EM signature. Using thrusters and much more so using warp increases the EM intensity greatly while they are active.
Ships would broadcast it’s own sensor data to nearby allies.
A module could be installed on a ship that rebroadcasts sensor data it receives to other ships at a greater range, creating a local sensor network.
Edit: Limited data would be broadcast system wide from player sensors (or just from rebroadcast equipment) so that basic data about the sizes of detected forces in the area is available to all.
Broadcasts can be intercepted by the enemy (allowing them to see what you see) using some kind of hacking/electronic warfare system. Enemies can then create false data (to a limited capacity) and broadcast that to you (or just eject decoys that would look like ships until close range).
Anyway these are my current ideas and thinking, what does everyone else think?