- Sandcasters project a granular agent which obstructs light; when they are fired, the agent interferes with incoming laser or energy weapon fire. 
- Ablative sand works against plasma guns, fusion guns, particle accelerators, as well as lasers. They also interfere with missiles. 
- Sandcasters may also be used as a sort of giant shotgun. They attack all targets within their danger space. 
- Sand can be extremely dangerous at extremely close ranges, and the launchers can be used with grapeshot-like projectiles. 
- A sandcaster is a KEW classed defensive weapon. 
Defensive starship weapon that dispenses small particles of a granular agent which obstructs light; when fired it interferes with incoming laser or energy weapon fire and protects the ship. The specific particles used by sandcasters are similar to ablat personal armor. 
- Sandcasters are the only active defense usable against lasers. Launching a sand canister effectively targets an area where it will affect incoming laser fire.
- Sandcaster Batteries fire canisters which burst or spray out ablative sand to form a cloud which degrades any missile, laser, or energy weapon beam which passes through it (...the cloud's protective capability is also degraded at the same time). The cloud has the same vector as the ship which launched it, and so will drift away if the ship changes its vector. Sandcasters differ from other defenses in that they protect an area of space rather than a specific ship.
- Sandcasters fire canisters which activate a given distance from the launching ship and disperse a cloud of particles (nicknamed 'sand') which absorbs and disperses beam weapon energy, thus reducing its accuracy and effective damage. The sand cloud may also interfere with sensor signals, reducing their targeting accuracy.
- It should be noted that the sand itself is a physical cloud when activated that disperses, its effectiveness against missiles is dependent upon the kinetic energy of the closing velocity of the missile and the sand cloud which is also effected by the amount of dispersal the cloud has experienced. It can be imagined as a shield which travels in a straight line away from the ship that loses its effectiveness over a very short time. 
Library Data Short Articles
Sandcasters: Sandcasters fire canisters of ablative crystals, commonly known as "sand." Each sandcaster contains a generator of fields that manipulates the collective location and shape of the crystals. At early tech levels, these fields are electromagnetic in nature, and require the use of magnetic sand. More advanced systems are able to supplement or supplant the magnetic manipulation with gravitic manipulation, allowing the use of more effective non-magnetic crystals. These clouds of crystals are placed in the path of incoming beam weapons, causing them to expend energy burning through the cloud. The sandcaster operator uses laser warning sensors installed in the sandcaster to detect fire control locks and anticipate incoming beam fire. Sandcasters may be used against laser, missiles, and particle accelerator hits. 
- It fires in AB Mode (Anti-Beam Mode) defending against beams.
- It may also fire in AM Mode (Anti-Missile Mode) defending against missiles or projectiles. 
- It may also fire in an AP Mode (Anti-Personnel Mode) against soft targets including soldiers and softskins, typically while grounded. 
By the TL:7-9 epoch, lasers and other energy weapons (DEW) have become an important part of the battlefield, with lasers widespread and effective by TL:10-12. Early reflective and ablative armors reduced the effectiveness of energy weapons to a degree, but not nearly as much as reflective aerosols and ablative particulate clouds, which led to the rise of sandcasters. They are still one of the most potent defenses against energy weapons. 
Typical Sandcaster Projector Cost
Typical Sandcaster Turret
- Sandcasters can fire up to six times a minute (ROF or Rate of Fire). 
- Sandcasters can be operated from a standard ship turret station, from more powerful bridge computers, or a defensive coordination station on larger ships. Additionally some ship’s computers can run computer software or programs capable of firing sandcasters. 
Sandcaster Turrets  TL Type Power Weight Price TL-7 Sand Turret-7 1 EP 4.0 tons Cr250,000 TL-8 Sand Turret-8 1 EP 3.0 tons Cr250,000 TL-10 Sand Turret-10 1 EP 2.0 tons Cr250,000 TL-16 Sand Turret-16 1 EP 1.0 ton Cr250,000
Typical Sandcaster Ammunition Cost
- Specialist canisters with non-sand payloads are also available. There are a great variety of alternate loads available from specialized countermeasures, to decoys, to guided munitions, and more. 
Reloading: Each launcher (sand canister or missile) has an inherent capacity for three canisters. This means that a triple turret with three missile launchers has a total of nine missiles (...or nine sand canisters) in ready position.
When a launcher's missiles or canisters are exhausted, it can be quickly reloaded by the turret's gunner. Reloading three launchers takes slightly longer. A gunner engaged in reloading is unable to fire other weaponry in the turret.