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=^= 0.2.1 - Instrumented Probes

Created by Captain Lirha Saalm on 16 Jun 2012 @ 12:40pm

Instrumented Probes



A Class 5 probe deployed from its casing.




Introduction to Probes

A probe is a device launched by a starship, shuttle, starbase or colony that gathers and transmits data. They act as sight beyond sight as well as offering closer scans of areas that are too dangerous or inconvenient for a starship to visit. They vary in size from thirty centimetres to ten meters and tend to be pill-shaped with their own propulsion and in some cases shields and miniature warp drives. The main function is achieved by sensor units and computers that take up most of the units bulk and range in complexity and acuity.

Most Federation probes are classified by their standardised design though each can be further adapted with modules for specific purposes. Generally, the higher the class the larger and more advanced the probes design with additional modules available for them.




Scanner Probe

The most basic of probes still in service a scanner probe is rarely used, disposable and similar to an advanced tricorder. Thirty centimetres in length it contains just a basic sensor array and computer with a small amount of compressed air for limited manoeuvring. It maintains the speed it is launched at and direction indefinitely. Since it has a limited range of communication to around 100,000km and no shielding it is normally used for brief reconnaissance when ships are at low speed. They have no modules though can be adapted for use as a tricorder. Due to giving off very little heat and their small size, they can be quite stealthy.




Microprobe

Small probes that are one-eighth of the size of their larger counterparts. They have weaker or non-existent shields, no deflectors and are incapable of warp speed or any sort of movement other than thruster adjustments. They are small enough to be used by shuttlecraft and even planet-based scouting parties. They tend to be fire and forget devices as their simple nature with less sensitive sensors makes them rather easier to produce.




Class I Probe (Sensor Probe)

The basic probe used in most general duties. The Class 1 probe has a range of around 200,000 km range and can travel at half the speed of light. It has light shielding, deflectors and is powered by a vectored deuterium micro fusion propulsion system similar to a shuttle craft. This means, unlike a scanner probe it can change course after being launched. A meter in length and thirty centimetres wide it is a grey lozenge similar to a torpedo. The standard sensor array is capable of receiving all normal stellar sensor telemetry, capable of scanning the full EM spectrum, as well subspace and interstellar chemistry. It does not contain imaging sensors so can not transmit images. Since it can transmit through subspace it communicates in real time to its mothership.




Class II Probe (Sensor Probe)

A longer range, more advanced build of the Class I probe, the Class II has a range of around 400,000km. Its top speed is at four-fifths the speed of light or warp 0.8. A meter and a half in length and forty centimeters wide it is almost exactly the same as the Class I. It does, however, have a larger and more powerful computer and basic sensor module. It contains an imaging system and enhanced long-range particle and field detectors.




Class III Probe (Planetary Probe)

The Class III Probe is used for planetary surveys. With a much shorter range of 250,000km and a speed of half the speed of light. With a structural integrity fields and re-entry shields along with anti-gravity repulsors, it is capable of atmospheric flight and prolonged ground operations by floating. Either from orbit or the surface it can take detailed scans of almost any planet over a two year period. It has an onboard chemical analysis submodule with an inbuilt micro-transporter. The probe is able to operate on its own once a mission is set cataloguing its findings until a friendly ship re-enters communication range. It can operate on any planet up to 450 bar pressure. It can not reach escape velocity once landed on a planet.

The standard sensor suit is for reading biological matter as well as general chemistry and other planetary mapping tools. They also have the abilities of a class 1 probe.

The Class III has the following modules for specific missions:

  • Geological Module: The front of the probe is fitted with a subsurface penetrator for underground operations. When it lands on a planet it burns through the ground to investigate deep underground features and provide information on them. It has a range of sensors for this purpose and is openly used for mining operations.

  • Aquatic Module: Adapting the gravity repulsors to work under water along with an enhanced structural ingenuity field the front of the probe is replaced with aquatic scanners for underwater operations. Able to investigate almost any ocean to any depth it allows for full sensor readings.

  • Matter Converter Module: Expanding on the micro-transporter the matter converter converts nonbiological matter into energy that allows for a longer operational time. Normally this is dismantling rocks that are scattered around the probe.

  • Hazard Module: Using the extra space inside the probe it is provided with stronger shields for hostile environments such as H, N, Y class planets. To match this the sensor system is also upgraded to better cut through radiation and sources of static.




Class IV Probe (Stellar Encounter Probe)

Blending the Class II and III probes the Class IV is a long range stellar encounter probe. Replacing the repulsers with extra fuel capacity that allows for a 3,500,000km range and has a driver coil to reduce the effects of the probes mass. With powerful shields and several redundant systems in a compact and advanced design, it is the most advanced standard probe. Capable warp 1.2 it doesn't have a warp core. Its sensors can take extremely detailed readings of almost any stellar object in its stellar atmosphere analysis suite as well as along with being equipped with six microprobes.

The Class IV has the following modules for specific missions:

  • Black Hole Module: With the addition of temporal shielding, an enhanced structural ingenuity field and a shielding communication system to allow it to carry out a close examination of black holes and similar phenomenon. The even though there is a small chance it can escape, the probe is often lost on these missions.

  • Internal Star Module: The internal space on the probe is given over to a heat sink that converts heat to radiation that is ejected from the rear of the probe. Mixed with high strength shielding the probe is capable of traveling through the core of most stars and gather complete sensor sweep of them. It can also be used to collect samples.

  • Long Range Module: Outfitting the existing sensors with an expansion module the overall range of the probe is greatly increased though acuity still drops off at range. It provides an early warning of changes in surrounding space but is unable to accurately discern what they are until they reach normal range.

  • Matter Converter Module: Expanding on the micro-transporter the matter converter converts nonbiological matter into energy that allows for a longer operational time. Normally this is dismantling stray stellar matter that is scattered around the probe.

  • Hazard Module: Using the extra space inside the probe it is provided with stronger shields for hostile environments such as Metreon Nebulas. To match this the sensor system is also upgraded to better cut through radiation and sources of static.

  • Subspace Scanner Module: While it still processes standard sensors the extra space in the probe is used to scan subspace for warp signatures and communications. Generally, they are left as buoys to intercept communications as they travel through subspace.

  • Courier Module: A biological containment unit is placed in the probes spare space to carry anything that is a meter by meter size. In a crunch it is possible for a humanoid to be placed inside for a brief time, if outfitted with a cryogenic unit time could be extended to several weeks. Though this is not recommended.




Class V Probe (Medium-range Reconnaissance Probe)

Unlike the other probes the Class 5 is larger and a different shape. It has a main rounded body with two half circle rings acting as both wings and antenna, a stem to a cylindrical cone at its head. Powered by a small matter-antimatter engine, providing power for extended duration sub-light and a limited duration warp travel at a maximum of warp 2. It has a range of 43 billion kilometers and is designed with planetary atmosphere entry and soft landing capability. The main purpose of the probe is to gather intelligence without being spotted. Constructed with low observability hull materials and coating. Its sensors are designed for extended passive data-gathering and recording. The probe is designed to function as a fully autonomous craft in executing its mission and returning home.

The Class V has the following module for specific missions:

  • Intelligence Module: The probe is outfitted with a powerful computer that is able to examine sensor readings and act upon them. For example, if it reads that there is a hostile ship in the area it will adapt its power levels or its warp trail to attempt to evade detection. If the enemy is closer than it can engage evasive maneuvers. As well as this it has a range of other tricks up its sleeve to make sure it reaches it target and carries out its mission.




Class VI Probe (Comm Relay/Emergency Beacon)

Built out of the same casing as the Class IV the Class VI has a Microfusion engine with a high output power tap. That engine comes with an Extended deuterium supply for transceiver power generation and planetary orbit plane changes. It has had its sensor pallets replaced with communications relays that can be set to broadcast an emergency distress call in a loop or to relay communications through parts of space where normal communications are not possible.




Class VII Probe (Remote Culture Study Probe)

Built out of a modified class V, this probe is used to study civilizations on worlds that have not yet passed the industrial era. They have a passive data gathering system plus subspace transceiver. They are outfitted with low observability coatings and hull materials. It has a dual-mode matter/antimatter engine that gives it a maximum loiter/orbit time of 3.5 months

  • Anti-tamper: The class VII probe is installed with a low-impact molecular destruct package tied to anti-tamper detectors.




Class VIII Probe (Medium-range Multimission Warp Probe)

The Class VIII is built out of a modified photon torpedo casing. It contains a matter/antimatter warp field sustainer engine, capable of sustaining the speed of warp 9 for 6.5 hours. It has a power supply tap for sensors and a subspace transceiver as well as for its own shields. The general applications for this probe vary from galactic particles and fields research to early-warning reconnaissance missions.

The Class VIII has the following modules for specific missions:

  • Hazard Module: Using the extra space inside the probe it is provided with stronger shields for hostile environments such as Metreon Nebulas. To match this the sensor system is also upgraded to better cut through radiation and sources of static.




Class IX Probe (Long-range Multimission Warp Probe)

Housed in a modified photon torpedo casing. This probe is powered by a matter/antimatter warp field sustainer engine. It has a duration of twelve hours at warp 9. Or it can be set for an extended duration at warp 8 for a maximum flight time of fourteen days. Its length of travel is 7600 light years. Typical applications are emergency log/messaged capsule on homing trajectory to nearest starbase or known Starfleet vessel position, and heavy sensor reading/gathering where all other probes would fail or be destroyed.

It comes with the standard sensor and communications array, as well as mission-specific modules. It has a limited payload capacity for detonation on site should it be needed. It comes with the same shields as the class VIII, only at a stronger power.



(Created by Kiri Cho, USS Galileo)

(Updated by Rahl Tyton, USS Galileo)


Categories: Science Database