There is sometimes a bit of confusion when it comes to understanding Shields. Some have used the term rather loosely to describe anything that is designed to hold incoming danger from passing a certain point. This definition is colloquially used in some sectors, but the Council for Proper Nomenclature (COPRONO, part of Confed) has declared that the older terms "passive shields" and "active shields" be replaced with the terms "armour" and "shields". Their reasoning for this declaration, is that armour fits more closely while shields are usually held further out. Because of the natural situation that passive protection is merely the hull of the ship and there are no confirmed reports of hulls being made out of energy manipulation technologies, the Council proclaimed this distinction.
Shield construction has changed much over the millenia since the time of wood and iron. Now, because of the type of weapons that are common in space combat (energy weapons, and explosive tipped missiles) it has been discovered that both can be deflected with energy manipulation.
Combining heavy local space warping via gravitic effects with magnetic deflection for lighter charged particles, a vessel is protected from external sources of injury by what are colloquially known as "shields"
You may now ask
- "If the shield protects me from external damage, how can i still fire through it?"
- "You know how space has been locally warped - an adversary will not.
You can time the creation of holes and thin points in your own shields."
- This problem first presented itself during World War I, when dutch aircraft designer Anthony D. Fokker devised an interruptor that allowed bullets to be fired through the open spaces between propeller blades.
- In modern, space-faring times, control of a volume of warped space depends on more complex mechanisms. There are two basic methods for allowing fire-through:
- You see, your adversary doesn't: Vectored Spatial Distortion. Basically, the projected field of a shield can be assembled as a 'one-way door', allowing selective passage of energy/matter depending on its vector.
- Timed creation of 'holes': Shields are very complex to produce and cannot be controlled manually, requiring vast computational power to coax the emitters into assembling volumetric fields. Using additional algorithms, the field can be shaped to not to compress/expand space in the trajectory of the energy, projectile or missile.
Available shield systems
Different ships need different shield configurations, and modern defense systems design offers two approaches: Double and Quadruple generators. In both schemes, the emitters are radially distributed around the horizontal plane of the ship and protect the correspondent spheric section ('slice'.) Preference for either lies on key factors such as energy output (which is often considerable) and mass/space (since emitters are comparably massive devices.)
Standard double shields
Double- or 2 Emitter-shields
In this scheme, shield generators are normally located at the front and the back of the ship. They each cover up an hemispheric section of the ship.
- Reduced energy consumption
- Reduced total ship mass (resulting in greater maneuverability and acceleration rates)
- Greater availability of cargo/vital spaces.
- Half the damage resistance of quad-emitters of equal rating
Standard quad shields
Quad- or 4 Emitter-shields
Bigger ships have more space available and therefore they can have the quad shild system build in.
They normally are located on the left,right front and back of the ship.
They each cover up approximately a quarter of the shield-'sphere' around the ship.