- A Sensor Operator is a member of a ship's crew
- An individual should be qualified (skilled) to perform the role.
The role of Sensor Operator is titled to understate the role. Not only does the person use the ships sensors to keep watch on the vessel's surroundings - a vital task particularly in close quarters - but they are also required to understand how the activities of the more unscrupulous might make undertaking that task more difficult, and understand how to counter such actions. In effect the Sensor Operator is also an Electronic Warfare systems operator for the ship.
Typical sensors include:
- Passive EMS systems
- Active EMS systems
- SONAR systems
- Radiation Detectors
- Inertial Locator
- Navigation Aids
- Ship Transponders
The role of ships Sensor Operator has been one that has been around since the days of Maritime Naval and Aerospace Battles - and since the days of the first spaceflight.
The role is an integral part of the bridge crew's activities. The Pilot needs to understand the environment in which they are operating; the Astrogator/Navigator needs to understand that the expected points of reference have been identified.
Survey Vessels have a plethora of additional sensors that measure almost any kind of phenomena and it is the onboard team of Sensor Operators that will be running those sensors and gathering that information for the Scientists.
An individual's skill as a Sensor Operator is rated by their Certificate:
- Level 1 (Qualified)
- Level 2 (Competent)
- Level 3 (Experienced / Expert)
- Level 4 or more (Master)