Communication Technologies of Charted Space

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Communications Technologies are one of the fundamental cornerstones of advanced societies. Being to communicate more effectively, more quickly, and over longer distances will revolutionize any society and civilization.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

One of the Three Prime Technologies of a civilization is communications. Being able to coordinate and collaborate societies and peoples can be incredibly powerful. More efficient communicators hold distinct advantages over their lessers.

Data Transfer Protocols[edit]

Due to the vast differences in technological capability amongst the many worlds of Charted Space, the IISS long ago set up input/output (I/O) data transfer protocols by TL for Imperium wide usage. It is often a point of great pride for a world to upgrade its communication net to a higher technology level.

There are three common kinds of messages that communications vessels bring and/or transmit:

  1. X-Mail: Messages are electronic, low-bandwidth, and extremely low cost, which means practically free.
  2. Parcel Lots: Collective lots of small parcels are what tramp freighters, free traders, and other vessels with mail vaults get paid to deliver.
  3. Packet Data: Transmitted data that is received, stored, and transmitted across the entire body of Imperial Space or oyher zones. It relays public Imperial knowledge as of one week ago and a jump away (, public records, etc.). It integrates such data into the mainworld's records and involves such a vast amount of data that specialized hardware becomes necessary. This is normally the domain of X-boats, Relay Boats, or similar communications vessels.

Media Formats[edit]

Nearly every System contains media specific to its locality with local news prevailing as the primary news content. But while there are literally thousands of various news sources, a very few, perhaps a hundred or so across Charted Space dominate the newsways and they are actively sought out by discerning sophonts everywhere.

Media Formats
Name Sense/s Author/s Remarks
Holovid Datanet Multiple Various Holovid is the preferred media technology of the more advanced worlds of the Third Imperium. Advanced high definition TL-15 Holovid programming and services are only available on the most advanced worlds.
Periodicals Multiple Various Even in an age of extremely advanced communications technologies, periodicals have managed to survive. Most exist in several media fornats, but they survive as semi-regular sources of information.
Hard Copy Publications Visual Various One might think that in a world capable of TL-15 technology, physical data formats might have been declared obsolete long ago, but the lasting value of these classic formats never has.
Audio-data Audio Various While many of Charted Space's youth expect cutting edge Holovid and Tri-D, some sophonts still prefer venerable audio recordings available on cheap readily available data crystals or on other media formats.

Epochal Communications Technology Periods[edit]

Imperial society often categorizes communication technologies by chronological epochs and periods.

Epochal Technological Periods Overview: Communications
Period Name Period's (TLs) Technology Scope Period Remarks


TL-0 Proto-Tech Very early societies with basic language. (Alpha Period) Physiological Age: sophonts communicate using the apparati with which they were born as evolved by their species: typically voice and body language.
Low Sophontic


TL-1-9 Ur-Tech Foundational technologies with planetary-systemic (intrastellar) scope such as radio, telegraphs, etc.. (Ur Period) Radio Age


TL-10-18 Stell-Tech Interstellar technologies with an polystellar (intragalactic) scope such as tachyon, meson, and pre-FTL communications devices. (Stellar Period) Meson Age
High Sophontic


TL-19-27 Ultra-Tech Galactic technologies with a polygalactic scope. Distances now require pseudoreality avatars and ways to effectively communicate across vast distances despite the lack of FTL commo devices. (Galactic Period) Pseudoreality Age


TL-28-30 Dei-Tech Astrodeific technologies with a universal scope. The first Ansibles hypothetically come of age. (Transgalactic Period) FTL Ansible?
  • Charted Space thirsts for an instantaneous FTL communications device, popularly known to Anglic speakers as the Ansible. Such a device would revolutionize interstellar society. However, even after millennia of research, the tried and trustworthy Meson Communicator is still the most capable communications device to be had. And its capabilities still fall considerably short of instantaneous and FTL.


TL-31-33 Omni-Tech Bhodhisattivan technologies with a polytemporal, trans-dimensional scope. (Omega Period) Unimaginable.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Most sophontologists agree that one of the keys to a species achieving sophonce is language. And one of the biggest aspects of sophonce is the use of technology. All sophont species to date, use various technologies to enhance their natural language abilities from the most basic smoke signals to the most advanced meson communicators. And yet the holy grail of communications, the Ansible, a faster than light communications system, still eludes TL-15 science.

Media Technologies of the Second Millenium[edit]

Some of the more common media technologies available to the inhabitants of Charted Space include the following. Reckoning by Imperial calendar of the Third Imperium:

Future Communications Technologies[edit]

Research is currently being conducted to discover a FTL communications device that might become the Ansible. Many of these research laboratories are probing the depths of jumpspace hoping for a breakthrough. Other research directions have also been pursued, but many of these studies remain under the strictest security and are classified highly secret.

See also[edit]


Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information:

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.