Deflector Screens are not only defensive, they also protect a crew from solar and cosmic radiation. A ship does not typically raise their deflectors without reason.
The exact technology behind the deflectors is unknown but believed to be gravitational waves created by graviton generators housed in a ship's deflector core.[n 1] The gravitational waves are then projected through emitters.
Deflector screens are modulated so as to allow the ship's own weapons to pass effortlessly through the deflectors.[n 2] Further, modulation allows the crew to evade capture by an enemy's tractor beam. Deflectors cannot be modulated to allow matter to enter, and must be turned off - however briefly - to allow things such as shuttlecraft to enter.[n 3]
A ship powers its deflectors, which is also a measure of the deflector's ability to deflect weapons or natural hazards, and is commonly measured by a percentage of power remaining.[n 4] Additional power can be routed through the quantum engine's auxiliary power.
Graviton generators and deflector core Edit
Until either December 2420 or January 2421, an Exploratory-class A ship was permitted a maximum of only four graviton generators under Planetary Union regulations. However, novel breakthroughs advanced by the prodigious engineer Locar enabled ships to reconfigure their deflector cores to accomodate a fifth generator.
Emitter array Edit
Gravitational waves produced by graviton generators are projected from the ship through emitters installed along emitter arrays located in different sections, such as the starboard emitter array. Pre-2420, emitter arrays buckled and collapsed under stress, such as Plasma Torpedo bombardment, leading to a shield failure. After Locar's reconfigurations, emitter arrays reset automatically, allowing the deflector shields to last longer.
USS Orville Edit
The USS Orville upgrades its deflector screens with the help of Locar in December 2420 or January 2421. A month later, the Kaylon (who commandeer the ship) incorporate their own upgrades to its screens.
In September, 2419, during the course of a difficult fight with a Krill destroyer, the USS Orville loses its deflectors. In order to win the engagement, Captain Ed Mercer and Commander Kelly Grayson trick the enemy into activating a compromised quantum accelerator, which destroys the enemy's ships.
Several months later, the Orville finds itself in the midst of a dark matter storm. The dark matter severely wipes out the deflector screens and the ship is nearly destroyed until Pria Lavesque navigates them to safety. In truth, Pria is a time traveler from the 29th century. She reveals that in the original timeline, the Orville did not survive the storm without her help. Days later, a Benzian antiques purchaser attempts to seize the Orville by tractor beam. However, Helmsman Gordon Malloy successfully modulates their deflector screens so that the beam cannot lock on, and the Orville escapes.
In December, during a battle with the Krill ship Kakov, Ed directs the Orville to fly through the atmosphere of Kastra 4. The friction of the deflector screens against Kastra 4's atmosphere generates enormous friction and smoke that serves as a screen in which the Orville hides. After Ed and Gordon capture the Yakar and fly it into Union space, Kelly Grayson, serving as acting captain, directs the Orville's Bridge crew to raise deflectors, until they realize that the pilots of the Yakar are none other than their own officers.
In the winter of 2420, the Navarian-Bruidian conflict threatens to draw the Orville into battle (The Orville houses ambassadors from both the Navarians and Bruidians.) As acting commander, Bortus raises deflector screens. Navigator John LaMarr hatches an idea to stop the warring species by projecting their deflector screens into space, creating a barrier between them. The plan is not carried out. The only Engineer capable of modifying their conduits quickly enough is Lieutenant Yaphit and he is held captive at the time by Doctor Claire Finn whom is under the influence of Retepsian pheromones.
Later, the Orville enters two-dimensional space by generating a quantum bubble that allows the ship to preserve three-dimensional space inside the bubble. However, the quantum field begins to fail. Yaphit figures out that by coupling the quantum phase inducers to the deflector grid, Engineering can match the "deflector amplitude to the quantum wave function" and compensate for field instability. The Orville is able to maintain the bubble inside two-dimensional space.
Simulated Deflector Screens Edit
In March, 2420, Chief of Security Alara Kitan runs a program in the Environmental Simulator re-creating the Orville after a damaging plasma storm. When the crew decides to re-enter the storm, Engineering prepares to modulate their deflector screens to match the frequencies of the storm and provide a better buffer for the ship. The preparations were never carried out, and the simulated Orville is destroyed by the storm.
- Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
- Episode 1x05: Pria
- Episode 1x06: Krill
- Episode 1x09: Cupid's Dagger
- Episode 1x10: Firestorm (simulated)
- Episode 1x11: New Dimensions
- Episode 1.5x02: New Beginnings, Pt. 2
- Episode 2x07: Deflectors
- ↑ This is based on the fact that the Orville is able to elude a Benzian's tractor beam, which uses beams of gravity, by modulating their deflectors. Episode 5: Pria.
- ↑ The Orville frequently fires weapons while weapons are charged. In Old Wounds, shuttle ECV-197-1 enters the Orville while deflectors are still up.
- ↑ Ed Mercer asks if Bortus can cut power to the deflectors long enough for their shuttle to dock in the Shuttle Bay. Episode 1: Old Wounds
- ↑ For example, deflector shields are stated at "two-thirds power" in Old Wounds.
- ↑ Old Wounds
- ↑ Kaylon Primary: "Isaac, you will go to the bridge and assist with the shield upgrade." Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt. 2
- ↑ Bortus' screen of the BCV Burton lists the ship's "shields." Episode 1.5x02: New Beginnings, Pt. 2
- ↑ Episode 2x02: Primal Urges
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Episode 2x07: Deflectors
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Episode 1x05: Pria
- ↑ Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt 2
- ↑ Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Episode 1x06: Krill
- ↑ Episode 1x09: Cupid's Dagger
- ↑ Episode 1x11: New Dimensions
- ↑ Episode 1x10: Firestorm