Suits are various kinds of environmental protective clothing, used to help sophonts survive in extreme environments, where unprotected lifeforms would otherwise perish, outside of the comfortable norms of climate, atmosphere, and other factors for which their bodies evolved.
Note: This is one of the three common forms of hazardous-duty dress used by the military and paramilitaries of most worlds. These three types of dress are:
- Environmental Suits (Hazardous Environment Non-Combat Armor) (PROFOR)
- Combat Armor (Non-powered Combat Armor)
- Battle Dress (Powered Combat Armor)
- In a military context, soldiers equipped with "suits" are usually called PROFOR, which is short for "protected forces."
- Most starship equipment lockers, or "Ship's lockers", come with vacuum suits, at a minimum. Many ships have a range of additional equipment designed to aid sophonts in survival under various trying conditions.
Atmospheric Survival Suits (TL: 1 to 15)
Atmospheric Survival Suits: These suits allow for longer survival in hostile environments, on worlds that are otherwise habitable.
Atmospheric Survival Suits (TL: 1 to 15) Suit Name TL Environment Notes Desert Survival Suit TL: 7-15 Desert Cover-all garment with shiny outer surface which prevents major water loss in the desert. The wearer is cooled through evaporation of perspiration, but a series of traps and chemical filters condenses and purifies lost body liquid and stores it as pure water in pouches within the suit A hood, goggles, and breathing mask (which traps moisture exhaled through the nose and mouth) are included. The chemical filters must be changed once a month, at a cost of Cr50.
Besides keeping the wearer comfortable in sweltering conditions, the suit supplies one liter of water every three daytime hours, and one liter every night.
The suit has certain disadvantages: At Tech level 11 and lower, the bulkiness of the suit causes a loss to Dexterity. Also, the suit is extremely shiny, which makes it almost impossible for the wearer to sneak up on anyone, even in rocky terrain. (This last disadvantage could be an advantage for characters lost in the desert who are hoping to be spotted by aircraft)
Note that vacc suits and combat armor will also, by their very nature, provide complete protection for desert travellers, at least as long as their air supply holds out.
Cold-weather Clothing TL: 1-15 Cold This is the most primitive of gear to protect against the elements. It is made of organic, locally available materials - usually cloth, leather, and fur - with the sophistication and degree of tailoring depending on culture and tech level. A full set of cold weather gear includes boots, mittens, two layers of leggings, an outer and inner coat, and head protection. Heat Suit TL: 4-15 Cold A skin-tight, head-to-toe covering which provides protection against extreme cold. A power source drives a network of heating filaments in the fabric. An internal thermostat allows any apparent temperature, negating the effects of low temperatures and wind chill.
Water Survival Suits (TL: 4 to 15)
Water Survival Suits: These suits allow for longer activity in cold water, or water contining contaminates.
Water Survival Suits (TL: 4 to 15) Suit Name TL Environment Notes Dry Suit TL: 4-15 Water The dry suit, unlike the wet suit, is a completely watertight garment. Because of this, the dry suit is considerably warmer since cold water is not circulating through the suit. Wearing clothing under the dry suit is possible and will improve the insulation value, but doing so will also further reduce movement. If the suit is ever torn, the insulation value is reduced to that of a poor wet suit within minutes. The dry suit has one additional advantage in that a buoyancy control device is not needed since the entire suit can be used as one. Wet Suit TL: 7-15 Water A nylon-lined, foam-insulated neoprene outfit designed to reduce the effects of cold water. Water is permitted to soak into the suit, but the insulation is designed to keep heat loss from becoming a problem. Several types are available, which are listed here in decreasing order of protection against extreme cold conditions See also Dry Suit Heated Dry Suit TL: 7-15 Water An advanced-exposure diving suit, the heated dry suit utilizes heating coils built into the suit proper to heat the diver in extremely cold temperatures. (If it's warm enough not to be frozen, it's warm enough to swim in wearing a heated dry suit.)
Disadvantages of the suit include the extreme infrared signature, which makes detection of a diver extremely easy, and the possibility of a short circuit if the suit is damaged. Batteries, worn in a belt pouch, provide six hours of operation before recharge or replacement becomes necessary. Available at Tech Level 8, the suit is of negligible weight. An improved model, available at Tech Level 10, does not short circuit when penetrated, and the batteries last 12 hours.
Protective Suits (TL: 7 to 15)
Protective Suits: Protects against Corrosive or Insidious Atmospheres. The protective suit is sealed, air-conditioned, and has its own air supply (good for six hours). The suit has no water supply of its own, nor will it protect the wearer once the air supply gives out, but so long as it works, the wearer will not suffer the ill effects of the outside environment.
Protective Suits (TL: 7 to 15) Suit Name TL Environment Notes Filter Suit TL: 10-15 Corrosive Atmosphere The filter suit is a lightweight, permable overall worn over other clothing and cinched down with disposable adhesive straps. Its sole purpose it to protect the wearer from toxic airborne chemicals (usually military incapactiation agents that could be absorbed through the skin) for a limited time. Normally worn in combination with a compaible respirator, the suit porus enough to prevent excessive body heat build up, elminiating the need for cumbersome life support system. The limitations are less-than-100% effectiveness and short useful lifespan. Hazard Suit TL: 10-15 Corrosive to Insidious Atmosphere Designed to provide temporary protection from Insidious Atmospheres or chemicals. A small battery and chemical cartrige combination provides atmosphere filtering and a slight positive pressure within the suit to prevent entry of harmful chemical compounts. The suit is rated to provide 24 hours of protection in the filtering mode and 6 hours in a full recirculation mode, and additional filter packs can be used for longer duration. Body Pressure Suit TL: 7-15 Thin Atmospheres The body pressure suit is light and comfortable to work in for short periods of time under mildly hostile atmospheric conditions. It can be worn under clothes but is of no benefit in pressures less than 0.43 atm (thin atmosphere) without the vacuum belt. The suit protects against temperatures +250° C to -240° C and pressures up to 2.5 atm. Heavy Protective Suit TL: 10-15 Insidious Atmosphere Protects against Insidious Atmospheres. In other respects, it is similar to the protective suit.
Low-Tech Vacc Suits (TL: 4 to 9)
Vacuum Suits: Although the great majority of EVA suits in use within the Imperium are of lnterstellar-level manufacture, more primitive versions are still in use.
TL7 Bask PLSS: The basic personal life support system (PLSS) is introduced at TL7, making extended vacuum operations feasible. Although designed for use with TL7 and TL8 vacc suits, it can be integrated with more advanced gear. Although heavy, the basic PLSS is solid and reliable. It is powered by internal batteries.
Vacuum Soft Suit TL: 8 Vacuum The TL8 vacc suit is a refined, less-bulky version of theTL7 model. Increased manual dexterity and radiation shielding are two important features. It is commonly used with a basic PLSS. Personal maneuver capabilities can be provided by the maneuver pack (also introduced at TL8 and fully integratable with the TL8 suit and basic PLSS combination). Vacuum Hybrid Suit TL: 9 Vacuum The hybrid suit combines technologies from TL-7 and Tl-7 suits to provide superior protection to either of the earlier models.
Mid to High-Tech Vacuum Suits (TL: 10 to 15)
Vacuum Suits: The rigors of alien environments contrast with shipboard conditions. When people face extremes of temperature, pressure, and atmospheric composition, a vacc suit is the principal survival tool. At lower Tech Levels, these are unwieldy and uncomfortable, but they become lighter and more flexible with each technological advance. At the higher Tech Levels, the suits provide improved armor protection. At an additional cost, suits may be made self-sealing at Tech Level 13. At Tech Level 15, all suits are self-sealing. Vacc suits consist of suit, gloves, boot, and standard helmet; they protect against temperatures from +100 C to -110 C and pressures of up to 5 atm.
Mid to High-Tech Vacuum Suits (TL: 10 to 15) Suit Name TL Environment Notes Advanced Display Vaccum Suit TL: 10-15 Vacuum At Tech Level 10, holographic heads-up displays become common in hard-helmet suits. The display shows the condition of the suit and the current battery level and air supply. Low-encumbrance Vacuum Suit TL: 13-15 Vacuum At Tech Level 13, Vacc suits have no felt weight for the wearer. Tailored Vacuum Suit TL: 13-15 Vacuum At Tech Level 13, the tailored vacc suits becomes available although the technology does not become as capable until Tech Level 14. These include a soft helmet which is more comfortable but is wasteful of air supply: PLSS air supply duration is divided by two Other advantages of a tailored suit are style and status.
Vacuum Suit Accessories (TL: 4 to 15)
Portable life support systems (PLSS) are a necessity; they can be purchased with different supplies of air. Batteries power the air supply recycler achieve capacity; a recharge lasts as long as the PLSS oxygen supply. Lighter tanks with greater pressure are available at higher Tech Levels.
Vacuum Suit Accessories (TL: 4 to 15) Accessory TL Environment Notes Magnetic Grippers TL: 4-15 Vacuum Magnetic grips, handheld or fastened on boots, can make movement easier in low-gravity situations. Maneuver Pack TL: 4-15 Vacuum This is a man-sized framework of 24 small, highly advanced, water Resistojets. The entire thrust potential of the unit is 60 seconds of 0.04 tons of thrust. It is powered by internal batteries and is refueled by adding 2.5 liters of water. Suit Patches TL: 7-15 Vacuum Suit patches come in handy in the event of a vacc suit breach. They are unnecessary for small holes on self-sealing suits. Thermal-Meteoroid Garment TL: 7-15 Vacuum The thermal-meteoroid garment is a hooded, coverall-like garment added over the top of a regular vacc suit. It lessens the risk from micrometeoroids, and can be used to temporarily “harden” a soft suit It protects from + 1300 to -160% LRTP TL: 7-15 Vacuum The long range thruster pack (LRTP) is heavy, but it provides 2G acceleration for up to 48 hours, using standard starship fuel.
History & Background (Dossier)
Ever since the first sophont ventured out of its native environment to explore and settle less-comfortable environments, technologies have been developed to mitigate these trying conditions. The earliest suits were simply thermal insulation to protect against the cold to shaded, airy clothing to try and mitigate some of the effects of extreme heat. As technology develops so do these protective suits culiminating in suits designed to allow the average humanoid sophont to venture out into the vacuum, into liquid environments, into corrosive or insidious atmospheres, and beyond.