Stardisc class Probe Drone
|Stardisc class Probe Drone|
A little gray machine, that probes.
|Type: UDL Probe Drone|
|Hull Configuration||Saucer Hull|
|Streamlining||Lifting Body Hull|
|Fuel tank||0 Tons|
|Origin||United States Space Force|
|End of Service||Long Night|
|Cost||MCr10.8075. MCr9.72675 in quantity.|
|Quick Ship Profile||UDL-1L30|
|Canon||Published, fan design|
|Designed with Mongoose Traveller High Guard rules, but portable to other versions.|
- It is a paramilitary ship and a drone.
- It is most often encountered in service aboard Motherscout class Probe Drone Carriers.
Developed with intentional reference to the metallic grey flying saucers that had been popular in local science fiction for over a century, the Stardisc was an automated marvel when it first came out. 20 years later, by the start of the Second Interstellar War, it was already showing its age, and was considered positively obsolete by the formation of the Second Imperium.
It was the very model of a robotic scout at the time, able to survey an asteroid or a portion of a world. Working together in large swarms, it could gather basic data - in some cases enough to support a colonization effort, in most cases enough to suggest what follow-up surveys were needed for such - for an entire system in less than a month.
The Stardisc was, it must be noted, built by a civilization still not certain what typical conditions in other systems were, having only performed their first jump drive voyage 9 years prior. As such, the defensive capabilities were largely informed by speculation about what might be out there:
- Armor capable of resisting small arms fire (which Stardiscs almost never encountered: when hostile forces were encountered, the Stardiscs were usually still docked to a Motherscout that had just jumped in and had enough fuel to simply jump back out).
- Extendable and reconfigurable wings to give superior atmospheric performance to dodge incoming fire (ditto), and handle severe weather conditions (more readily handled by simply not being where weather was picking up).
- A holographic hull, to hide from animals and low-technology sophonts (though without infrared masking, despite some animals seeing in infrared).
- Twin low-strength grappling arms (which, in practice, were almost never used save for sample collection).
- A turret-mounted laser drill more suited to mining, theoretically entirely capable of slaying megafauna should any be encountered (ditto).
- No pressure hull or what any Imperium (First or later) has generally considered "hostile environment" protection.
That said, it was a finer example of an automated probe drone than many subsequent efforts, especially for TL-10. Automated swarms of smallcraft dispatched from and controlled by a single base rarely get near the 88 units typical of Stardiscs. Stardiscs did their survey job efficiently and well, obtaining data to direct early Terran colonization efforts, and more importantly laying a baseline to guide Solomani understanding of the nature of worlds and system, experimentally verifying or refuting previously-untestable theories that had been building up for centuries. Some historians partially credit this for Terra's rapid technological rise during the early Interstellar Wars, making the Stardisc design a victim of its own success.
Not available at this time.
General Description & Deck Plans
- Deck Plans for this vessel.
This also shows the Motherscout class Probe Drone Carrier.
Basic Ship Characteristics
|Basic Ship Characteristics |
|1.||Tonnage / Hull||Tonnage: 10 tons (standard). 140 cubic meters. Saucer Hull.
|2.||Crew||Crew: no sophonts. Software provides virtual Pilot, virtual Gunner, and virtual Sensor Operator, with extra classification and inductive ability amounting to a virtual Planetologist.|
|3.||Performance||Acceleration: 3-G maneuver drive installed.
|5.||Hardpoints||1 firmpoint, no hardpoints.|
|6.||Armament||1 firmpoint turret-mounted laser drill.|
|7.||Defenses||None, aside from their speed and agility, and holographic disguises (only useful against visual sensors).|
|8.||Craft||None (not counting itself). No living crew, so Vacc Suits and Rescue Balls not normally carried.|
|9.||Fuel Treatment||It is not equipped with a fuel purification plant, but has fuel scoops.|
|10.||Cost||MCr10.8075 (no architect's fees, those having been subsidized by the polity that commissioned the design). MCr9.72675 in quantity (on average, known from a production run in the thousands).|
|11.||Construction Time||11 days standard, 8 in quantity.|
|12.||Remarks||A large automated probe drone.|
See Motherscout class Probe Drone Carrier, which Stardiscs were developed for and as part of.
When the Rim Province collapsed and turned some of its assets over to the Terran Mercantile Community in -1690, records include one Motherscout class Probe Drone Carrier being gutted and converted into a liner, with its Stardiscs shipped off to a few systems for use in belt prospecting; this is likely not the only time this happened. However, Stardiscs were considered obsolete just like Motherscouts by the end of the Interstellar Wars, so these were doubtless centuries-old smallcraft. None were listed among the assets when the Terran Mercantile Community became the Old Earth Union in -1110, so it is generally believed the last Stardisc was removed from operational service during this portion of the Long Night.
Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities
Being drones intended to operate in large clusters, Stardiscs were typically referred to by their production number, or assigned a designator by the crew they were based from (likely themed within the base, but not with any Stardiscs at other bases). Since they were designed to operate in batches of 88, a few were known to have been named for Terran historical groups of 108 with 20 missing. Several other themes were used; for instance, one group is known to have been named for science fiction time travel machines.
Selected Variant Types & Classes
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|The featured ship was originally designed using New Traveller ship design rules.|
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