Technology.   Posted by The Archives.Group: public
The Archives
 GM, 12 posts
Thu 16 Oct 2014
at 18:51
Technology
Weapons
Man-Portable Weapons
Most man-portable weapons still use projectiles to do their damage.  These weapons use magnetic fields to accelerate the projectile to high speeds, which means they do not require chemical propellant or casings.  Because of this, they are much safer for the user, but still just as deadly to the target.

The use of a weapon like this is usually undetectable by sensor devices.  The weapons often make a high pitched whine after firing and the sound of the bullet breaking the sound barrier can still be heard as well.

There are two primary types of magnetic weapons.  The first is the coilgun.  A coilgun accelerates a projectile down a series of coils via rapidly changing magnetic fields.  This allows a weapon to have a high rate of fire.  Pistols and machine guns often use the coilgun design.  The second type, the railgun, uses two conductive rails to accelerate a projectile between them.  Railguns are typically more powerful and longer ranged than coilguns, but have a slower rate of fire and are less compact, more suited to rifles and and grenade launchers.

Some laser rifles are also produced and these come in two types.  The standard "beam" lasers fire a coherent beam of light that causes burning and penetration.  Most of them use a red or infrared laser.  "Pulse" lasers fire a pulse of higher-energy, short duration light that causes explosions and concussions.  These can be recognized by their blue or purple flashes of light.  Neither can be found in anything smaller than a rifle.

Hand grenades are also a favorite of many mercenaries and infantry.  They range in size from the size of a softball to the size of a marble.  Grenades come in all types, lethal and non-lethal.  A partial list of grenade types includes high explosive, flare, concussion, EMP, strobe, and tangler.

Melee weapons remain largely unchanged.  Stronger materials are used and the edges of blades are finer.

Many other weapons flood the market.  Mercenaries are always looking for an edge in battle.

Heavy Weapons
Many heavy weapons -- those mounted on ground and air vehicles, fighter spacecraft, and ground defenses -- use scaled-up versions of magnetic and laser weapons.  In large scale magnetic weapons, a variety of different warheads can be used.  The projectiles can also be accelerated to faster speeds given longer coils or rails.  Laser weapons have a bigger power source to draw from, so they can create higher-energy beams and pulses.

Space-based Weapons
Laser weapons are the weapon of choice for large starships because of their accuracy.  A laser built for a starship will draw directly from the main reactors, whatever those may be.  Though they present a significant threat to other spacecraft, they are not effective for orbital bombardment.

Ballistic weapons are also used in space, and the projectiles can sometimes penetrate the energy shielding of other ships, something lasers have trouble with.  It is in space where magnetic weaponry reaches its true potential.  Projectiles can be accelerated to reach incredible speeds, reaching up to 0.04% of light speed.  Although these projectiles still cannot reach the surface of a planet, a ship can be outfitted with weapons that do, though these are tightly regulated by the Ascendancy.

Defensive stations can build larger installations to house more destructive weapons capable of defending a planet or other strategic point.  X-Ray lasers have a greater destructive capability than visible lasers, but they require large particle accelerators and the beam scatters considerably more in atmosphere.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:24, Sat 18 Oct 2014.

The Archives
 GM, 13 posts
Fri 17 Oct 2014
at 02:37
Defenses
Personal Armor
In response to the two main types of weapons systems available, magnetic and laser, the two most common types of wearable armor are ballistic armor and laser-resistant armor.

Ballistic armor comes in all types, but some of the most common is made up of woven carbon nanotubes.  During normal use, the material is very flexible, but when struck by a projectile, it becomes rigid and absorbs the impact.  Armor made of this kind of material can take multiple hits in a firefight, but it is recommended that the piece is replaced after taking damage.

In addition to some form of ballistic armor, many soldiers and mercenaries also choose to wear a layer of laser-resistant armor.  This armor, while thin and light, offers superior protection against high-energy beams.  Microscopic fibers made of a silver-aluminum-titanium alloy scatter the light before it has a chance to penetrate the target.  This type of armor provides no protection against anything other than laser and microwave weapons.  Often, armories with a large budget will purchase pieces of armor that combine ballistic and laser protection in one piece.

Rigid pieces of armor are also available for some parts of the body, such as the feet, head, or eyes.  These usually use the same materials as other armors with a bioplastic shell.

Powered Armor
Battlesuits are a popular item among mercenary groups.  They provide superior protection and firepower when compared to normal armor and weapons, but are still more mobile than a tank and less expensive.

Battlesuits range in size from 7 to 9 feet tall.  The shell of most battlesuits is made of nanocomposites over a layer of liquid armor to absorb shock.  It provides a sealed environment for the user and has many other features such as an inertial compass, hearing protection, hyperspectral vision, biomedical sensors, radar stealth, and radio communications.  Weapons are usually mounted on one or both arms.  For units that need a lot of firepower, a couple small missles can be mounted to the back of a battlesuit.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:25, Sat 18 Oct 2014.

The Archives
 GM, 14 posts
Sat 18 Oct 2014
at 20:01
Medical and Biotech
Biomedical Equipment
Many new devices and technologies exist that improve first aid, diagnosis, surgery, and patient care.  Most of this new technology is reliant on the advanced computing power of the time.  New devices include a handheld medical scanner, bandage spray, biomonitors, neural inhibitors, brainscanners, surgical robots and nurses, nanobot regenitors (which are tightly controlled by the Ascendancy), and more.

Cybernetics
Cybernetic modifications are available to those who want them, but the chance of rejection is still relatively high and the medicine needed to treat it isn't always cheap.  When the option is present, most people will choose a biological replacement for a lost part, such as an eye or arm, but soldiers sometimes choose cybernetic replacements, which may boost their strength, vision, hearing, speed, etc.

Other implants are also available.  Favorites among soldiers and mercenaries are biomonitors, radios, subdermal armor, and air-filtration systems.  A fad among mercenaries is the smart tattoo, which can change in response to a program or changes in a person's skin, like sweat or temperature.
The Archives
 GM, 15 posts
Sat 18 Oct 2014
at 20:08
Computers
Computers come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiniest implanted computer to enormous megacomputers.  They are used to run nearly everything in the galaxy, from the viewscreen in your home to entire planetary defense systems and infrastructure.

Artificial Intelligence
There are two types of AI available for purchase and use within the Ascendancy.  These are dedicated programs and non-volitional programs.  Dedicated programs are little more than very intelligent tools.  They have the necessary skills to perform a certain task with the tools it is programmed to use.  These AI's can be found in things like heavy machinery or on board a starship to regulate warp drives and hyperdrives.  It will operate within known parameters and any other procedures must be accomplished by manual control.

A non-volitional AI is capable of learning skills other than what it was programmed with.  These AI's are more expensive and complex than dedicated programs, but can be used for a wider variety of purposes.  Both dedicated and non-volitional AI's lack initiative and creativity.

A volitional AI, one that does have initiative and creativity is very difficult to build and requires a quantum computer arranged into a neural net.  These types of AI's are not actually legal within the Ascendancy.  Volitional AI's do exist within the galaxy, however, and there are some interesting machine races out there (they prefer the term "synthetic life" to artificial intelligence or artificial life).  They may be remnants of a past civilization, but they are generally neutral toward biological life.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:32, Sat 18 Oct 2014.

The Archives
 GM, 16 posts
Sat 18 Oct 2014
at 21:00
Power
Power Cells
The modern power cell is one of the most important sources of energy in the galaxy.  Many weapons and other portable equipment rely on power cells for operation.  Without a functioning power cell, a mercenary will have a hard time shooting anything with his or her laser rifle.

Power cells are made in one of two ways.  The first is made of superconducting materials, which allows each cell to be charged with no loss of energy.  These types of cells can be recharged given the proper equipment.  The second is a fuel cell, which uses hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity.  A microcomputer is used to regulate the flow of fuel.  Small cells are not rechargeable, but larger cells are.  The advantage of hydrogen cells (hydrocells) is that they last twice as long as superconducting cells (supercells).  The disadvantage is that they may explode if they suffer damage.  Small cells don't do much damage at all, but medium-sized cells and larger, such as those in a rifle, can do some harm.  Both types of cells have an indefinite shelf life and won't lose power when not in use.

Generators
The foundation of almost all power generation in the galaxy lies in fusion.  Fusion reactors use deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen, to fuse two atoms together and harness the heat released from the reaction to turn a turbine and generate electricity.  From that point, the electricity can be put to all sorts of uses.  It can be used in the production of antimatter, which many starships use in their engines.  The electricity can also be put into power cells.

Solar power also plays a large role in power generation.  Most planets have solar collectors orbiting their stars closely.  The power is then beamed back to planetary collectors.  Some cities or starships use broadcasted power to provide electricity for their people, but superconducting wire is much cheaper.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:18, Sun 19 Oct 2014.