Staged recovery is a type of signal-processing circuit where the initial reaction between catalysts an incoming signal results in an imperfect recovery. A catalyst is damaged, destroyed completely as in a bait reaction, or one or more objects are left behind that must be cleaned up before the circuit can be reused. In any of these three cases, output signals from the circuit must be used to complete the cleanup. In theory the cleanup process might itself be dirty, requiring additional cleanup stages. In rare cases this might theoretically allow the construction of special-purpose circuits with a lower recovery time than would otherwise be possible, but in practice this kind of situation does not commonly arise.
An example is the record-breaking (at the time) 487-tick reflector constructed by Adam P. Goucher on 12 April 2009. 487 ticks was a slight improvement over the repeat time of Silver's reflector. This reflector features a standard Herschel receiver, with the extra beehive deleted by an internal block-consuming glider reflector found by Dieter Leithner many years before. Finally, the internal reflector is repaired by the usual ungainly Herschel plumbing attached to the G-to-H's output to deliver a glider to a glider to block converter.
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RLE: here Plaintext: here
The dirty glider reflector is not actually fully recovered before a second signal enters the full reflector 487 ticks later. However, it has been repaired by the time the internal reflector is actually needed again, so the cycle can be successfully repeated at p487 instead of p497.