Sensor Systems Overview

Sensor systems are used to provide analysis of the ship's operating environment. Effectively the the vessel's eyes and ears, sensory systems are vital to core operations.

Sensor systems are used across a range of key vessel systems including:


Sensor systems are used to fix the vessel's position in space in order to ensure effective navigation


Near-range sensory systems are used to determine the location and range of tactically-significant objects around the vessel and to assist the targeting and deployment of weapons and countermeasures

Exploration and Analysis

A range of sensory systems are used to provide detailed analysis of spatial and planetary phenomenon encountered to further scientific discovery and assist operations 

Long-Range Sensors

Primarily radio telescope equipment used to analyse distant stellar phenomenon and to support navigation.

Near-Range Sensors

Equipment used to analyse planetary phenomenon and the vessel's immediate operating environment.

Passive Systems

Passive sensor systems detect EM radiation emitted by other vessels, Astronomical Objects (AOs) or spatial phenomenon.

Analysis of the detected EM can provide insights into its origin or purpose (for example whether the EM is for communications, scanning or tactical purposes).

Passive sensors have the advantage of not requiring the emission of any EM (as is required for active scans) which minimises the chances of detection or mistaking a scan for hostile action by another vessel.

Passive systems also typically operate at much longer ranges than active systems.


EMDAR is used for the initial detection of objects in space. EMDAR is primarily a tactical system although once an object is tracked by the system analysis of its EM emissions can provide additional insights well before other sensors systems can be effective.

Frequency Proximity Analysis (FPA)

Frequency Proximity Analysis (FPA) provides a more detailed analysis of an EM detection focussed on the EM frequencies within a specified vicinity of the main detection.

The analysis typically includes only a relatively small sample of the EM spectrum band. The frequency distribution and amplitude within the sample can provide insights into the nature of the EM, for example whether it is for communications (and the type of communications), scanning or tactical purposes.

Active Systems

Active sensor systems emit EM (as a scan) and analyse its reflection, diffraction or absorption to form conclusions about the configuration and composition of the object being scanned.

A number of active sensor types provide different levels of information and are typically grouped into two major categories, depending on the frequency and/or intensity of the scans required.

Low Power Active Systems

Low power systems use lower frequency EM (typically within the radio and infrared spectrum bands).

Simple Location/Identification Scans

A Simple Location/Identification (SLI or 'sly') active scan is used to identify the location of non-AO objects within range of the scanning vessel (up to 3000 GUs). A list of objects of interest is displayed which can then be targeted by the operator for further scanning and/or tracking.

Depending on the length and intensity of the scan additional data can be provided by the system such as the approximate size of the object and a simple 3D visualisation of the object's configuration.

Spectral Composition Analysis (SCA)

Spectral Composition Analysis (SCA) uses low frequency EM scans and analyses the reflection, diffraction and absorption of the scan to assess the composition of the scanned object.

The system can typically determine the material type (metallic, mineral, organic, gaseous, liquid) and density of the scanned object's external composition.

High Power Active Systems

High power systems use higher frequency EM (typically within the ultraviolet and ionising spectrum bands). The frequency of higher power systems makes it more likely that a scan might be mistaken for hostile activity such as weapons fire.

Spectroscopic Structural Analysis (SSA)

Spectroscopic Structural Analysis (SSA) utilises higher frequency scans to penetrate the exterior of the scanned object and provide insights into the object's interior.

The relative density of materials encountered by the scan as it penetrates through the object can indicate whether the object has interior spaces, wether those spaces have an atmosphere of some kind and whether organic objects of any significant size (such as lifeforms) are present. AI-assisted analysis is used to provide insights to the operator on the interior composition of the scanned object.

Due to the need to minimise exposure to the scan's EM (which at extended levels can be harmful to organic lifeforms or reactive to certain materials) SSA scans do not provide particularly high resolution data. Scans cannot provide a deck plan of a scanned vessel, for example, nor can they identify the type or number of lifeforms aboard a vessel.