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Sensors and Scanners

Passive detection and analysis devices. Through various means, sensors pick up emitted energies. Sensors can be used to detect and analyze a variety of energies including light, electromagnetic and radioactive emissions, heat, sound, and vibration whether naturally emitted by the target or emitted in the course of communication, combat, or maneuvering. They can be designed to work in a variety of mediums including air, water, and vacuum. Sensors can be designed to detect the presence of specific molecules. They generally consist of a sensitive surface (the "sensor") which reacts predictably to the presence of the material or energy in question. The sensor is generally connected to a relatively complex biocomputer system that formats the sensor input and feeds it to a master sensing computer which combines sensor input from a series of sensor networks and presents it in a useable form. Scanners are completely passive, in that they do not themselves emit energy, and do not help or hinder the ability of others to detect or lock onto the sensing ship. There will be a time delay involved between the emission by the target and the reception of the sensor (light travels at the speed of light, sound travels at the speed of sound). In some cases this time delay  can actually be used to calculate information like distance and relative speed. In other cases, it is just an annoying time delay.

The Manifold Gravity Wave Net is a passive detection scheme which detects massive objects through the distortion waves and gravite decay their motion and interaction with other massive objects naturally causes in the Manifold dimension. The Wave Net consists of a huge, parabolic metal mesh net over which a quantum field is projected. A Collegial Encephalon of the SIN interprets the fluctuations in the quantum field. Wave nets are directional and often built in arrays with parabolic nets built back-to-back and in 90 degree rotations to cover 360 detection in all directions. The Wave Net Array is suspended physically or gravitically within a dedicated chamber in a starship and has been one of the chief passive sensors used in starships since mid-Archaic times.

Active detection and analysis devices. Scanners will generally consist of an emitter, which creates and directs some form of energy, and a sensor network designed to detect and analyze the emitted energy. Many of these scanners can also be used passively as sensors by not using the emitter portion of the network. A variety of emitters are in common use including, radiowave, laser, microwave, x-ray, tachyon, and neutrino emitters. Sensors may use a variety of means to detect the emitted particles, including the calculation of echo times, Doppler shift of reflected waves, and topographic displacement mapping. There is a time delay involving the broadcast and reception of the scanner signal based on the speed the signal travels and the distance to the target. This delay may be critical in the calculation of distance information or this delay may simply be part of the "fog of war".

The tachyon has been of chief importance in active scanning schemes since the inception of the first Contained Entangled Swarm sensors appeared in mid-Ancient times. The original Contained Entangled Tachyon Swarm, Geomatic Mapper (CETS-GM) systems began by generating pairs of tachyons which share a quantum entanglement. One tachyon from each pair is maintained in a complex quantum labyrinth which cycles the swarms of contained tachyons. The quantum labyrinth is monitored and interpreted by a dedicated Collegial Encephalon from the SIN. The matching tachyons of the tangled pair are emitted outward from the ship in spherical waves and the tachyons in the wave interact with the matter they encounter as the sphere expands. The Contained tachyon responds in kind and the Congenial Encephalon evaluates its quantum state to build a crude physical 3D map based on relative molecular densities.

In late Archaic times, Contained Entangled Tachryenne Swarm, Spectrum Analyzer (CETS-SPAN) systems began to augment and replace the older CETS-GM systems. The system used rotated tachyons, generating entangled pairs of tachryennes and super-saturating their Blind dimension with energy. One of each pair is maintained in a complex quantum labyrinth which cycles the swarms of contained tachyons. The tachryennes are monitored by a dedicated and very advanced Collegial Encephalon from the SIN. The uncontained tachryennes from the entangled pairs can be emitted loosely in spherical waves or densely directed in focused quantum beams. The tachryennes interact with the matter they encounter and can be physically observed like the old CETS-GM system but also emit energy from their super-saturated Blind dimension into the Tangible and Manifold dimensions. By observing the quantum states and energy discharges of the contained tachryennes, the SIN Encephalon is able to build a very complicated and detailed 3-dimensional map of the matter encountered by the emitted tachryennes including information on densities, compositions, states, and densities.

Contained entangled swarm systems are more detailed and accurate closer to the emitter. The tachyons are created at the emitter at the cost of a certain amount of energy. The more energy an emitter expends to create a tachyon, the slower and more long-lived it will be. The tachyons lose energy and speed up the farther they travel from the ship. At a critical distance, their energy drops near zero and their speed approaches infinity and both of the entangled tachyons blink out of existence.

Sensing Intelligence Network
The Intelligence Network is a sophisticated biocomputer or set of Congenial Encephalons which co-ordinates all the information coming from sensor and scanner sub-networks. It is responsible for translating the raw data into numbers, pictures, and representations which sentient lifeforms can interpret. The SIN also has extensive databasing capabilities, storing and manipulating data over time. It receives a variety of signals simultaneously which have been broadcast, received, and emitted from varying distances at varying times. It constantly runs probability scenarios which will attempt to pinpoint most-likely and all-possible locations for various sources. The data can be used to anticipate both combat and navigational scenarios. It will store everything it detects and filter out background noise and non-essential information in order to provide the user with the most topical information possible. It will, essentially, ignore the radio emissions of a distant star in order to focus on calculations regarding the radio transmissions of the enemy battleship. The sensor officer can control the filters used to maximize the availability of the most pertinent information at the most critical time. The SIN will feed the weapons officer and systems information on the most-likely and all-possible locations of all targets. At distance, where the propagation time of light and radio waves is significant, it is often necessary to fire weapons in spread patterns or sweeps since the precise location of a target will be unknown. The SIN helps predict the placement of potential targets but cannot replace an experienced gunner with good "gut feelings".


Because of the time delays involved in sensing and responding to enemies over vast distances, most ships that are "localized", that is not actively traveling by means of Skip Drive, String Drive, or Wormhole, will maintain a network of automated reconnaissance probes,  manned combat patrols, and localized UFog that perform localized sensor sweeps and beam back directly pertinent tactical information via tightly coupled tachyon beams. Both probes and combat patrols may carry appropriate armament to deal with smaller, localized threats.