Last Update: 07/24/2005
Due to the primary system testing/combatant nature of this vessel, the science facilities are limited compared to most vessels of the Vor'Cha and other design classes of this size. The Science area incorporates the latest in multipurpose automated systems to help offset some of the deficiencies.
Built into the dorsal sensor module are two launch tubes for microprobes used for scientific and other purposes. These are no more than half the size of a standard photon/quantum torpedo. These tubes are aimed forward 45 degrees in relation to the ship's forward direction. All probes contain some degree of synthetic intelligence programming to control their functions as well as input received from the launching vessel. The dorsal module launching system normally stores up to six general-purpose probes at any one time. Additional probes (and all special-purpose devices) are stored within the Science area and moved to the launcher through corridors and turbolifts. The Science staff (and Engineering personnel attached to the Science department) maintain, prepare and refurbish the probes.
The two main types of microprobes in use today are the Type Four and Type Six. The Type Four is a standard probe for monitoring spatial and planetary phenomena. These are generally carried by Imperial vessels operating at the borders of Klingon space. A standard fitting of sensor equipment includes subspace and EM monitors as well as chemical and biological sensors for planetary analysis. A small onboard computer is capable of conducting a preliminary study of sensor findings before transmitted the collected data back to the launch platform. With the advent of the war with the Dominion, it is more common to program probes to return to the vessel that launched them so that signal broadcasting is not necessary. If not programmed to return to report findings, or it is in jeopardy of being captured by hostile forces, it can transmit its findings before activating a self-contained autodestruction system.
The Type Six probe expands on the capabilities of the Type Four by increased sensor capability and range. Because they are slightly larger in size than the Type Four, they are often equipped with additional sensor capability for detecting more varieties of subspace activity, null realm void energy, and temporal distortion activity. Type Six probes being used in the war effort with the Dominion are generally fitted with reconaissance equipment for monitoring enemy activity and reporting back to the launching vessel its findings. These are also equipped with an automatic destruction system that will activate after a burst-transmittion of its findings.
Larger probes are constructed from the same casings used for photon/quantum torpedoes. They are almost identical in internal configuration except for replacing the warhead assembly with scientific equipment. Some of the casing outer hull surface has been cut away to install sensor equipment to take readings for analysis by the probe and/or relay to the station. These probes are also stored in the Sciences area. When required for use, probes will be moved by corridor and turbolift to a torpedo launcher for loading.
For all types of torpedoes, resupply of probes is done either by deliveries of new devices by supply ships or by manufacturing aboard ship. Encrypted replicator patterns are received by the station and programmed into the computer system for usage. Updates to probe systems are sent by various means when developed and approved for use by Imperial forces.
Proceeding downward from the dorsal module, a number of science and research labs are installed in the outer areas of the vessel. These labs are all equipped with three layers of containment fields to prevent foreign substances brought aboard from contaminating the ship.
A new concept was incorporated into the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS variant regarding the science labs. Like other portions of the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS variant, the science labs are designed as modular units that can be removed from the rest of the vessel and relocated where needed (a planetary surface or Starfortress for example) to make the lab facilities easily accessed by the field personnel. Movement of these labs is done with shuttles and tractor beams. Placement of labs on planetary surfaces would usually be done in cases where the Vor'Cha is able to enter the atmosphere, saving the lab facility structure from the stresses of atmospheric entry.
Each lab can be fitted with its own power generators for remote operation. Each lab is built with an airlock system to allow them to be used in environments other than class-M areas while maintaining an acceptable environmental condition within the lab. All models of lab modules have a small alcove built into them that are equipped with low-bandwidth transporter systems to allow items and/or one person (at a time) to be transported to and from the lab. When the built-in transporter system is conducting a transport operation, all other systems except life support must be shut down to allow the transporter to operate properly. Damage control doors would be closed over areas occupied by the detached labs. This has the additional benefit of being able to upgrade science facilities by replacing entire labs with newer ones.
When the labs are to be put back into place aboard ship, several decontaminations procedures are put into place to prevent the introduction of foreign substances and contaminants to the vessel.
Because of the more limited focus of the operational capabilities of this vessel, most of the sensor system is dedicated toward combat-oriented applications (navigation, detection, tracking, targeting, etc.) Much of the sensor input can also be utilized for scientific or other purposes.
The dorsal module, except for the Type Seven torpedo launcher and its associated systems, is dedicated almost entirely to sensor usage. The port/starboard/aft/dorsal surfaces consist of various types of sensor arrays incorporated into the outer hull armor plating.
The outer surfaces of the Bridge Module are lined with sensor arrays usually used for targeting and navigational purposes. These are tied directly into the Flight Control processor to maximize efficiency in operations. Should an object be detected than cannot be moved by the navigational shields, a course adjustment will be presented through the Helm console to the Flight officer. Unless the Helmsman makes a manual command entry, the proposed course adjustment will automatically be inserted in the command subprocessor and activated.
Directly under the Bridge on the ventral surface is an array built into the hull surface. This provides scanner coverage to areas "below" the vessel. Another collection of scanner arrays is incorporated into the area under Engineering.
Along the port and starboard sides of the fuselage between the pulse phasers and the side airlock hatches. These, along with those of the dorsal module, provide most of the scanning capability for the vessel.
Transmitter-only units have been installed adjacent to the navigational deflector emitters due to the distorting effects they can have on energy emissions. Other sensor units will collect the returning signal.
Each sensor array (of any type or application) are installed as a pallet into a dedicated mounting panel containing connections to the ship's power and data distribution grids.
Due to the nature of the deflector array operations and the distortion they can create, special sensor emitters have been installed adjacent to the navigational arrays for active-scanning operations. The returning signal, adjusted for the output of the deflector array, will be received by the various sensor arrays for processing.
Usefulness of the sensor pallets will fall off as the field strength of the deflector array increases, with those sensors nearest the emitters losing effectiveness first, then expanding outward as the resulting distortion increases. As warp velocities increase, the sensor control system will attempt to maximize the scanning usefulness of the sensors, balancing their use for navigational purposes with any other applications using them.
System monitoring protocols will alert the Helm and Commanding Officers when the signal input for navigation drops below set safety limits for avoiding collisions with stellar matter. Should the processing capacity of the control system fall below set limits (due to failure of the computer's subspace field generator for example), a warning will be issued to the Helm and Commanding Officer advising them of the condition and recommending a reduction in velocity to a safer limit within the capability of the system to operate in. The navigational sensor control system will adapt the subspace field surrounding it to allow it to keep up with the warp velocity of the vessel itself, allowing it to scan ahead and react to anything encountered in time to prevent collisions. At each sensor installation, approximately 20% of the individual arrays are dedicated solely to navigational purposes. Additional units will be redirected to navigational purposes beginning with a velocity of warp factor five (or lower depending on how many navigation-dedicated arrays are operating at the time), with the amount being redirected increasing as velocity increases. The subspace field strength is maintained at approximately 25% higher proportions of that required to propel the vessel to maintain an acceptable safety margin. Navigation-oriented sensor units are generally replaced when they reach 75% of their expected life span by Imperial Operating Procedure requirements. This allows them to utilized for additional amounts of time should operating conditions not permit a Starfortress layover when replacement time comes. Starfortresses generally try to maintain a small supply of replacement units at all times for use by visiting vessels as well as the station itself.
It is general procedure to keep approximately 2-3% of the sensor array installation capacity vacant to be made available for special-purpose sensor unit installation. During much of the time ghop qeylIs is operating, these spaces are being utilized for testing and development of new sensor pallets. Research operations in hostile areas will often result in these areas being fitted with dedicated science-oriented sensor pallets for doing planetary surveys and culture studies.