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Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far Future

Sensors detect the presence of target objects either by detecting energy emitted by the target or by reflecting energy off them and detecting the reflection. The first type of sensor is known as a passive sensor, since it does not emit energy of its own. The second type is known as an active sensor, since it projects energy and bounces it off the target object.

Refs: TNE-FFS, 1201

Passive Sensors

Passive EMS uses large antenna arrays to detect any radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) from the target object, such as heat or radio waves, or naturally reflected light waves. It is an extremely sophisticated and precise passive sensor.

Neutrino Sensors are passive sensors used when surveying a star system . They enable a ship to measure the intensity of fusion taking place within a star as well as determine if any of the gas giants are failed stars.

Neural Activity Sensors (NAS) are extremely short-range passive sensors which detect and classify life forms according to their level of brain activity.

Densitometers are passive survey instruments which allow determination of celestial object mass and mapping of mineral deposits and gravitic anomalies.

High-Resolution Thermal (HRT) are sophisticated visual sensors, sensitive to infrared radiation.

Refs: TNE-FFS, 1201

Active Sensors

Radar is an active sensor which bounces radio waves off target objects and then detects the returning echoes. Distance is determined by the time it takes for the echo to return. Doppler radar is used to determine if an object is moving.

Ladar is a tight beam active sensor that bounces laser light off the target object and detects the reflection. As the laser can scan a very small area, it is used exclusively to lock onto a target after some other search sensor has located it.

Active EMS is an active sensor incorporating a variety of active emitters and passive detectors covering most of the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS), making it a much more sophisticated version of radar.

Refs: TNE-FFS, 1201