ASR Manual Chapter 6: Science

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Starships

A starship is any interstellar, faster-than-light capable space vessels. This broad classification covers everything from small corporate ships to giant superfreighters and a wide variety of military vessels.

Smaller, auxilliary and in-system vessels which are not warp capable are referred to by the general classifications 'craft' and 'spaceships.' Craft are generally auxilliary craft, like the numerous types of shuttles, which are carried aboard starships. Spaceships are generally larger sublight vessels.

A comprehensive guide to the technologies employed on known starships from a variety of worlds throughout the explored portions of the galaxy is included in appendix M. This appendix contains a lot of detail. The technology section below includes a brief summary of the most common technology encountered.

Star Fleet Ship Types

Most vessels used in ASR are under Star Fleet registry and fall into the following classifications. These classifications, strictly speaking, can encompass all hull types in the Federation. However, many civilian vessels like corporate transports and the largest superfreighters are not in Star Fleet service and would not use the same classification system.

BB - Battleship/Dreadnought

The battleship is the ultimate combat vessel in service with Starfleet. No starship is more regal or more romanticized than the heavily armed and armored dreadnoughts. Boasting an impressive combination of speed, stability, and endurance, no other class of ship can endure longer when the situation goes bad.

CV - Shuttle Carrier

Shuttle carriers see limited use in the Starfleet. They are more generally used by Starfleet for local support and emergency rescue missions when the ability to land large numbers of shuttlecraft can be an asset. However, when a large area of space needs to be patrolled and less sophisticated marauders or pirates contained the large number of fighters or Runabouts that a CV can carry often prove invaluable.

CC - Command Battlecruiser (Also CBC)

Large tactical command ships are large cruisers which use their additional space to carry special advanced equipment that can be used to coordinate and track operations of a large number of starships, including shuttlecarrier flight groups if needed. They typically carry less armament than a battlecruiser, trading firepower for computer gear, sensor arrays, and other equipment needed to orchestrate large scale fleet operations or planetary landing missions.

BC - Battlecruiser

The battlecruisers are the steel fist within Starfleets velvet glove. When force is called for, these fast, well armored, and agile ships (for their size at least and definitely relative to BB's) are ready to answer the call.

CA - Heavy Cruiser (Cruiser, Armored)
CL - Light Cruiser

There are two main types of cruiser - heavy and light. This does not refer to weight (though most CA's are larger than CL's) but to the size and power of the weapons arrays. Light cruisers typically have a greater power to mass ratio that other cruisers and, hence, are genrally more maneuverable and faster on acceleration even if top speeds of the large, heavy, and light cruisers are generally similar.

DD - Destroyer

Destroyer are small, fast, and and highly maneuverable. They are flexible starships capable of carrying out multiple types of missions. While not having the range or endurance for extended solo missions of cruisers, they are nonetheless a invaluable part of the fleet. Many different types of ships, some with specific modifications for certain types of mission fall under the classification of DD. Long range destroyers are DD's which have been configured to carry additional provisions, supplies, and fuel stores for missions to distant regions.

DE - Escort Destroyer

Escort destroyer are small, fast, and and highly maneuverable. They are built for combat and do not have the flexibility of normal destroyers. They generally have better range than multi-mission destroyers because of their dedication to a single puropose, but do not having the range or endurance of cruisers, they are nonetheless a invaluable part of the fleet.

FF - Frigate

Frigates evolved from small destroyers modified for escort duty are specially designed and outfitted for convoy defence. They are, usually, smaller than destroyers.

FR - Radar Picket Ship

Radar picket ships are used extensively in patrols. Though they clearly no longer use the radar detection systems of their wet navy counterparts of old, the formal designation has remained. Picket ships substitute advanced high resolution long range sensor equipment for weaponry. These ships are intended to be the first early warning line in case of invasion. In peacetime their sensors can provide data to planetary or ship-based command centers that can be invaluable in coordinating ship traffic. They carry nominal defensive armament, but in a fight these ships are as good as a coffin.

FL - Corevette (Frigate, Light)

Corevettes are small, fast, lightly armed ships. They are often referred to as "light frigates." They are typically used for in-system defence and typically have only limited warp capability.

Other Vessels

LA - Assault Ship (Landing ship, assault)

Assault ships which carry troops, vehicles, equipment, supplies, attack shuttles, and dropships used in invasions or large-scale Marine actions. Their secondary role is in-atmosphere air supremacy with their attack shuttles.

LS - Assault Transport Ship (Landing ship)

Assault ships which do not carry attack shuttles for atmospheric combat are classified under this designartion.

LC - Landing Craft

Landing craft include a number of modified shuttles including Marine troop and vehicle dropships. When transporter use is not appropraite, LC's carry troops and vehicles from ships to planet.

PT - Patrol vessel

Light system patrol craft, smaller than FL, capable of being docked in ships of DD-size or larger (and possibly in FF series).

Auxilliaries

AD - Destroyer tender

Warp-capable repair ships outfitted to provide survice and supply to destroyers and smaller ships.

AT - Warp tug

Warp tugs are used to take damaged starships under low warp tow to repair facilities. These vessels are constructed to allow high warp velocity towing than would be possible using other starships.

AK - Cargo ship

Cargo ships are used for general purpose cargo transport and resupply.

APF - Personnel transport ship

Fast personnel transport ships are used for long-haul transport of large groups of personnel. They have high warp capabilities and generally carry more than 100 passengers and their equipment. They are frequently used by military transport command for moving large new personnel drafts to new bases or colony areas. Many older transports have been sold to civilian use and refit as more luxrious ships with smaller passenger complements.

AH - Hospital ship

Hospital ships provide mobile, highly advanced, sickbay facilities comparable to many starbases and exceeding those of all other ship types.

Support

FD - Free-floating spacedock
IX - Unclassified Miscellaneous
YC - Cargo Space Barge
YR - Repair Space Barge
YT - Sublight Tug
YU - Utility Craft

Barges are not self-propelled, requiring a YT or other means of propulsion. They are commonly used in-system as less expensive means of transporting equipment and cargo than full-fledged ships, while providing significantly more carrying capacity than various smaller craft.

Technology

Starships moving faster than the speeds of light, transporters that can move matter over large distances, artificial gravity on starships, super-powerful computer systems, and anti-matter reactors are all a part of the Star Trek universe. However, as with most science fiction writing, it is the characters that live in this advanced technological universe that are important, not the technology itself. But, when one does use technology in their writing, it is nice to have some references which help one to stay consistent. Below is a summary of some of the more common technologies in use in ASR.

Personal Equipment

Some of the most widely used devices in Star Fleet are the ones that we can carry with us. These devices are readily available.

Vacuum suits

Vacuum suits have largely replaced the bulkier environmental suits. Most ships till carry at least a few environmental suits for passengers without vacuum suits. All personnel, including civilians, remaining onboard for an extended stay are required to have a fitted vacuum suit constructed.

During combat operations it is normal for all members of a starship's complement to wear light duty vacuum suits in case of decompression and atmosphere loss. While forcefields and emergency doors can usually seal off sections of a ship and prevent the loss of large ammounts of atmosphere, failures in these systems can result in substantial depressurization that would kill unprotected personnel. Since such failures are not uncommon when a ship has been substantially damaged in combat, all personnel on starships, military and civilian alike, are expected to wear vacuum suits whenever combat is likely. Suits are normally kept with a crew member at their duty station.

Vacuum suits are custom fitted to an individual. This allows them to fit precisely and to have sensors imbedded in the suit which conveys sensation through the suit to allow the wearer the tactical sensation necessary to perform any task needed while still wearing the suit. The tactical sensation is so accute that a medical officer can perform surgery on an injured crewman in a bubble-pack operating pod in zero atmosphere while wearing a vaccum suit.

Vacuum suits consist of a ruberized fabric suit with a built in oxygen scrubber which allows the user to survive for 36 hours without other life support. The suit has a large, clear helmet. Naval issue light duty suits are black. Naval issue heavy duty suits have a 72 hour life-support capacity and are more resistant to damage. However, they have reduced tactal senation. They are used in operations where a more resistant suit is needed and the reduced tactal sensation is acceptable. Either type of suit can be patched with special quick seal patches that are always stored in pockets on the suit.

Medical kits

Medical kits are the basic first aid kit carried by medical officers on away missions. They are able to provide much greater services than a modern first aid kit, but are still no replacement for a fully equipped hospital or sickbay. A medical kit contains an utosutures, dermal regenerator, hypospray, and a neural stimulator. This equipment will function on most known carbon-based life forms, though certain drugs for the hypospray needed for more exotic life forms may not be part of a standard kit.

Autosutures

Autosutures are used to seal ruptured blood vessels, mend broken bones, and close wounds. An autosuture is a general-use portable version of a series of more specialized instruments use in sickbays and hospitals, the vascular regenerator and bone knitter. As such, it is principally used to stabilize a patient for transport.

Dermal regenrators

Dermal regenerators are a simpler version of the autosuture that is useful for healing small wounds and removing scars.

Hyposprays

Hyposprays are the basic drug delivery system used in Star Fleet. They are capably of injecting drugs directly into the blood stream through the skin and light clothing. A hypospray may carry up to 5 different drug ampules. A touch pad selects the type of medication and dosage to be delivered. A hypospray normally carries one ampule each of a broad spectrum stimulant, tranquilizer, pain killer, tri-ox compound (used to oxegenate blood for high altitudes, thin atmosphere, or for patients with breathing difficulty), and an anti-toxin. Other drugs are often carried in the medical kit including antiradiation and antibiotic medicines. Drug that better target certain species may also be carried when conditions warrant.

Neural stimulators

Neural stimulators are used to stabilize a patient's nervous system for transport. They are capable of increasing or decreasing nervous system activity in order to supress pain or seizures, to awaken an unconscious or comatose patient, or to temporarily support brain function in cases of severe head trauma.

The PADD

The PADD, Personal Access Data Device, is one of the most common tools in the Federation. It is widely used by both Star Fleet personnel and civilians. Although often looked at as little more than a note pad, a PADD is actually a small, portable computer with a touch-screen interface and isolinear data storage modules. It is able to perform virtually all of the tasks of a modern personal computer; however, its small size and lack of verbal interface does somewhat limit its utility. It is cabable of interfacing with a variety of computer data networks or even act as a combadge. The communication range of a PADD is approximately 500 km without the support of an external network or up to 40,000 km transmission distance with the help of a signal booster such as an orbitting starship.

The personal communicator

The personal communicator in current use by Star Fleet takes the form of a communications badge (combadge) in the shape of the Star Fleet emblem. On away missions it functions as a line-of-sight communications device with a range of up to 500 km. With the assistance of a monitoring starship, it has a range of 40,000 km. Strong planetary magnetic fields or radiation may interfere with the function of the combadge or any other communications device not specially calibrated for existing conditions. Aboard starships and starbases, communicators are keyed to individual crew members and also serve to monitor the location and vital signs of the crew members.

Tricorders

Tricorders are compact sensor ing, computing, and data communications devices. They incorporate a variety of minature sensors which have been found to be most useful aboard ship and on away missions. Additionally, tricorders may be specifically configured for particular missions as needed. A standard tricorder is 8.5 x 12 x 3 cm and has a mass of 353 grams and mounts 235 mechanical, electromagnetic, and subspace devices. Many of the sensors, 115, are clustered in the front of the device and are direction sensitive. The other 120 sensors are omnidirectional. A tricorder may be activated with either the touch-sensitive control panel or by voice.

Medical tricorder

The medical tricorder consists of a standard tricorder with a specialized medical peripheral added. The peripherial is one of a number of dedicated auxilliary components which may be used with the standard tricorder to add special sensors and analysis routines.

The most common personal weapons used in Star Fleet are phasers of type I and II. These are detailed in the marine equipment guide, appendix G. A number of species use phaser weapons or distuptor weapons. While disruptors are not able to be tuned as precisely as phasers, they offer the same general range of use and may be set to stun as well as thermal and kill settings.

Twenty Fifth Century Federation Medicine

In 2369, the United Fedeation of Planets made a landmark decision with remarkable implications for the field of medicing. It admitted the planet Gefion to the Federation. Gefion, a Terran colony, had refused to give up the study of genetic engineering as Earth herself had virtually abandoned in the wake of the Eugenics Wars. In so doing, the Federation made a quantum leap in certain areas of medical technology overnight. While Gefion staunchly opposed the use of genetic engineering to create the "perfect human," they accepted use of genetic engineering to eliminate genetically-influenced diseases and to extend the natural life-span of humans. The true impact of this revolutionary change in previous Federation policy has just begun to be felt as those who received the first generational anti-aging treatments are not entering the last decades of their life, but rather the sixth and seventh decades of a two or three century life span.

Now, modern medical science has greatly extended life spans and improved quality of life. Most diseases, including such things as cancer, have long been cured. Broken bones may be healed in a matter of seconds. Regenerative therapies, also inspired by the research of Gefion, have even been developed. While these techniques are still imperfect and do not work on parts of the population, they have allowed the human body to regenerate damaged organs and even nerves cells. For those that do not respond to regenerative therapies or for organs too badly damaged, biogenetic organ replacements allow remarkable recoveries from injury and make transplant rejection extremely rare. Electronic nerve replacements are also possible. Within the last 45 year, anti-aging treatments have been developed for a number of races, including humans, that slow the aging process. Average human life expectancy is approximately 250 years. Ultimate human life-span has been increased to nearly 300 years. All of these technologies have resulted in an a greatly improved quality of life.

Galaxy

The Milky Way Galaxy is a spiral galaxy 100,000 light-years in diameter and 6,000 light-years thick. In the more than two and a half centuries since its founding, the United Federation of Planets has grown to cover a sphere of influence stretching more than 10,000 light-years along its longest axis. Formally known as the Treaty Expansion Teritory, this region of space has been negotiated with the neighbors of the Federation. This vast region of space is dotted with member worlds, colonies, starbases, and scientific outposts. It also contains non-aligned worlds and many systems which have not been fully explored.

The galaxy is divided into four quadrants. The bulk of the Federation is in the Alpha Quadrant. The Cardassian Union and Klingon Empire are both within the Alpha Quadrant. The Ferengi Alliance operated primarily within the Alpha Quadrant as does the Orion Syndicate which originated in the Alpha Quadrant near the border of Federation and Klingon space. The far coreward reaches of the Alpha Quadrant, along the most distant Federation frontier, are home to the Dalridan Alliance and the Sidhe Imperium.

The Beta Quadrant is home to a relatively small part of the Federation. However, the Federation borders a number of interstellar powers in that quadrant including the Romulan Star Empire, Gorn Confederacy, Gorn Hegemony, Tholian Holdfast, and Echen F'Don. It is also theorized that Sidhe Imperium space extends into the coreward reaches of the Beta Quadrant.

Relatively little is know about the Gamma Quadrant. Any direct exploration of the quadrant would need to take a lengthy detour around Dalriadan and Sidhe space. Limited exploration of the quadrant has been made through the Bajoran and Herod II wormholes. The Bajoran wormhole is and aritificial wormhole created by an advanced race known to and revered by the Bajorn people as the "Prophets." One terminus of this wormhole is in the Bajor system on the border of Federation and Cardassian space. The other end of the wormhole is within the borders of the Dominion in the Gamma Quadrant. The Herod II wormhole also appears to be both artificial in origin and stable, though its origins are not known. It connects a point in the Herod System along the border of Romulan and Federation space with a point in the Gamma Quadrant just outside the border of Dominion Space. The Gamma-quadrant terminus of the Herod II wormhole is just over 200 light-years from the Gamma-quadrant terminus of the Bajoran wormhole, or a harrowing 39-day trip, largely through Dominion controlled space, at warp 9.6.

The last quadrant of the Milky Way Galaxy is the Delta Quadrant, original home to the Borg. Relatively little is known about the Delta Quadrant. The Barzan wormhole opens erratically into the Delta Quadrant, but this natural wormhole is too unpredicatable for manned exploration of the quadrant.

An astropolitical map of the Milky way can be found in appendix N. A zoomed in view which focuses on the most explored portions of the Federation can be found in appendix O.

Stellar Classes

A selection of star types. Sol, around which Terra orbits, is a class G star as are many stars in systems with class M planets.

This following information is courtesy of Starfleet Sciences.

  • Binary- A Binary star sytem is two stars formed at the same time and orbiting around a point mid-way between them. Many star systems are binary systems.
  • Dwarf- There are four types of 'dwarf' stars:
    • Black Dwarf is a star that has burnt out and collapsed. It emits no radiation and can be smaller than a planet.
    • Brown Dwarf is a star that hasn't quite initiated nuclear reactions within it. Can also be classed as a planet: A, T or S class.
    • Red Dwarf is a star that is small, dim and long lived. Most stars in a typical galaxy are Red Dwarfs.
    • White Dwarf is a star that is similar in size to a gas super/ultra-giant size planet and occasionally initiates nuclear reactions within it. Sometimes these stars 'regenerate' in to more normal stars.
  • Lazurus- A lazurus is a star that has gone supernova, then forms another star and goes supernova again.
  • Neutron- A star that has completed burning and then often explodes leaving the remnants of the core. Typically spectral type B or O.
  • Nova- A star quickly becomes extremely bright, thousands of times its normal brightness. For additional information see Supernova below.
  • Population- Population stars can be classed as follows:
    • Population I are the bright blue stars, mainly young stars, in the disk or spiral arm of a galaxy.
    • Population II stars are red older stars than are found in the central bulge of galaxies.
    • Other Population types described various much more specific types of stars.
  • Red Giant- When the main hydrogen in the star is exhausted the star can collapse in and then the very central core hydrogen is rapidly burnt. The star then expands large amounts, sometimes engulfing orbiting planets.
  • Run Away- Star with significantly different velocities to nearby stars.
  • Spectral- Normal stars, classed as either O, B, A, F, G, K or M. Each class has different properties. (Place Table Here)
  • Supernova- When a star effectively explodes, often forming an expanding nebula. There is little trace of the star left over. For additional information see Nova above.
  • T Tauri- T Tauri are undeveloped stars and will become stars. They are the beginnings of stars.
  • Variables- A variable star's brightness, or luminosity, changes over long periods of time due to the star expanding and contracting.
    • Blue Variables are large unstable stars with short life spans.
    • Cepheid Variables are variables with a more rapid variation in luminosity, often used to calculate distances.

Planetary Classes

Like stars, planets also come in many types, classified by size, location in relation to the star they orbit, water and elemental composition, etc.

This following information is courtesy of Starfleet Sciences.

  • A Class- Class A Planets are Gas Super Giants. 300 to 1000 times the size of Earth, and located in their Suns Cold Zone they are hot and have a high gravity. The high gravity means a dense, mainly Hydrogen, atmosphere is maintained.
  • B Class- This type of large planet is a Gas Giant. Class B Planets are located in the Suns Cold Zone and are about 10 to 100 times the size of Earth. Due to their high gravity, much of the Hyrdrogen hasn't excaped the planet, and consequently a thick Hydrogen atmosphere surrounds the planet.
  • C Class- Class C Planets are the same size as Earth. They are located in the Suns Habitable Zone, but have little water in vapour form, or no water at all. Class C Planets have high quantities of Carbon Dioxide gas as well. They were once Class F planets.
  • D Class- These planets are located in the Suns Habitable Zone, and are very newly formed planets. They have molten surfaces, and still have rich Hydrogen atmospheres. They are about the size of Earth, and they will eventually cool to become Class E Planets.
  • E Class- Class E Planets are the same size as Earth. They are recently formed, having been Class D, with a very thin crust. They will cool to Class F, and they still have Hydrogen left in the atmosphere.
  • F Class- Class F Planets are the same size as Earth, and are older than Class E, but slightly younger than Earth (Class M). Located in the Suns Habitable Zone, these planets can cool to Class C, M or N and still have small amounts of toxic gasses.
  • G Class- Located in the Suns Hot Zone, Class G Planets have a very hot surface and strong gravity. The hot surface means the atmosphere is composed of metal vapours, and can not escape due to the strong gravity.
  • H Class- Smaller than earth (about 1 to 1/10 the size of Earth), Class H Planets are newly formed, with Hydrogen atmospheres . They are located in the Suns Cold Zone, and will cool to Class L Planets.
  • I Class- Tiny planets, 1/100 the size of Earth or less, Class I Planets are generally lifeless. They have no atmosphere due to the low gravity, and consequently are very cratered.
  • J Class- These small (1/10 of Earth) size planets are located in the suns Hot Zone. Because of their low gravity, they have no atmosphere but they have very hot surfaces. They have few chemically active gasses.
  • K Class- Although small (1/10 Earth), Class K Planets, located in the Suns Habitable Zone, do have water despite their weak atmosphere.
  • L Class- Cooled from Class H, Class L Planets are slightly smaller than Earth at 1 to 1/10 the size of Earth and are located in the Suns Cold Zone. Because of this, they have cooled and have frozen atmospheres.
  • M Class (Terra)- M Class Planets, having cooled from Class F, are the size same as Earth with a stable crust. They have various gases in the atmosphere (Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide and others), as well large quantities of water. If the water level increases they become Class N. Class M Planets are located in the Suns Habitable Zone.
  • N Class- Class N Planets are very similar to M except more than 90% of the surface is covered in water. They have a range of gases in the atmosphere (Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide and others), having cooled from being Class F. Class N Planets are located in the Stars Habitable Zone.
  • S Class- Gas Ultra Giants, approximately 10,000 times the size of Earth and located in the Suns Cold Zone are extreamly hot and radiate light. They have thick atmoshpheres due to huge gravity, and if they become slightly larger may initiate Fusion inside and become a star. For additional information see: Star Classes, Star Structure
  • T Class- Class T Planets are Gas Super Giants, about 3,000 times the size of Earth. They are located in the Suns Cold Zone, and have a thick atmosphere. Water is present on Class T Planets.


Aliens

Alien races in ASR are cataloged by the United Federation of Planets Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UFPESCO). UFPESCO is a specialized agency of the United Federation of Planets. It aims to contribute to the peace and security of the Federation by promoting collaboration among the different Federation cultures and civilizations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the sentient rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples and races of the Federation, without distinction of species, race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Federation of Planets.

More information can be found through the UFPESCO homepage.