Dark matter storm

Scanners can detect dark matter once it is flooded with neutralized axion particles.

Scanner is a generic term that refers to any device that surveys and records information about a target, including an object or environment. On spaceships, scanners may be external devices to relay data about outside space to the crew and internal devices to record data about the ship itself and its occupants. Scanners can also be handheld devices called comscanners.

Civilizations with scanning technology include the Planetary Union, the Kaylon, the Krill, the Calivon, the Horbalak, and the Benzians. Within the Union, scanning is an older technology that dates at least to the early 24th century.[1]

Ship scanners Edit

On a spaceship, the entire network of scanning equipment is called the scanner array.[2] In Cupid's Dagger, ship scanners are distinguished between external and internal scans.[n 1] In the Planetary Union, external scanners are monitored by the ship's second officer while internal scanning technology seems to be overseen by security officers.

External scanners Edit

Bortus scanner

Bortus operates the Orville's scanner.

External scanners detect foreign objects or the external environment around the ship, including signs of life,[2] a breathable atmosphere,[3] and even the progression of time.[n 2] A Computer can track a precise target, such as for a Particle Beam Cannon, with a ship's targeting scanners, which can be manually operated or set to automatic targeting.[1] However, scanners seem not to be able to detect spatial distortions such as quantum wakes[n 3] or, prior to 2419, dark matter.[4] Data obtained from external scanners is recorded in scanner logs.[5]

Union ship scanners have gradients of probity. For example, Captain Ed Mercer orders scanners set at "maximum."[4] However, scanning may be frustrated by the hull of a ship[6] or a dense debris field,[1] and scanning may be slow to process due to a planet's proximity to a photosphere.[7]

External scanners have a finite detection distance. On the USS Orville, scanners could detect an object only once the ship came within range. The ship's range is roughly 500 billion light years.[n 4] Additionally, power may be diverted to the scanners for a "long-range search."[2]

Scanners may be subdivided by location, such as forward scanners.[4]

Specified scans Edit

There are different kinds of external scanning.

  • Multispectral scans - Captain Mercer orders Second Officer Bortus to conduct one when he wants "to know everything" about a mysterious multiphasic planet.[8]
    • Chief of Security Talla Keyali requests a multispectral scan on the entire region of the Giliac constellation. Such a "massive scan," according to Chief Engineer, "would be a Hell of a power drain. Unless you knew what you're looking for, it would take weeks."[9]
    • However, a multispectral scan of the region for a specific object, in this case black holes, narrows the spectral scan and makes the search extremely simple.[9]
  • Full-range scan - Ed orders Isaac to perform to map the spatial dimensions of a quantum wake.[10]
  • Bioscan (see below) - Surveys organic objects for data and signs of life. This is one of the most common types of external scanning.
  • Internal scan - Not to be confused with internal scanners. An internal scan looks below the surface of an object, such as a planet. More probative than a typical scan, an internal scan can detect deposits of dysonium ore or even the ruins of an advanced subterranean civilization.[11]

Internal scanners Edit

Internal scanners track objects and environments, such as the location of persons within the ship. On the Orville, scanners record security logs containing video and audio recordings of the ship, which are indexed by time.[5]

One type of internal scanner is a communications scanner, which tracks the communications on the ship. Isaac suggests to Alara checking the communications scanners to determine the fate of the Orville's crew.[5]

Another type of an internal scanner is a computer diagnostic to detect the presence of a virus.[11]

Other scanning devices Edit

Bioscanners Edit

Kaylon scanner

Scanners of Kaylon 1 sweep the Orville.

Both the Planetary Union and Krill possess a type of external scanners known simply as bioscanners that detect lifeforms and identify their species.

All that is known of Union bioscanners is that according to Teleya, the only way for the Krill to bypass the technology is by transcellular micrografting a person to change.[12]

Krill bioscanners are ranged scanning devices capable of scanning entire vessels from afar. Krill bioscanners are hardly perfect and can be fooled by a holographic generator.[13]

Calivon scanners Edit

Calivon scanning technology is particularly advanced. Computers can scan a ships' entire database in mere seconds and manufacture fictitious holographic displays. For example, after a Calivon buoy scans the Orville's library and generates a holographic version of Ed's father, he remarks: "[The buoy's computer] even knew to make my dad talk about his colon. That's an advanced technology."[2]

Comscanners Edit

Comscanners may be used to scan a ship for information, such as information retrieval after a spatial anomaly damages the ship. Data retrieved through comscanners can be processed through the ship's central Computer for analysis.[10]

Shuttle scanners Edit

Shuttlecraft possess scanning technology that can detect deposits of dysonium on a planet's surface.[14]

Historical scanners Edit

Scanning is a technology over 100 years old and, unsurprisingly, older ships such as the BCV Burton came equipped with a less advanced targeting scanner. The Burton's scanner had a short range of 1,000 kilometers. It could be set to manual or automatic targeting.[1]

Trivia Edit

Notes Edit

  1. Identified as "internal scans" in Episode 1x09: Cupid's Dagger
  2. An officer reports the detection of a "temporal inconsistency" by scanner. Episode 1x12: Mad Idolatry
  3. The Orville could not detect a quantum wake, and Ed directed Isaac to map the wake for other ships. Episode 11: New Dimensions
  4. In the episode Krill, The Orville travels to Kastra 4 at maximum speed, which was established as 10 light years per hour in the episode Pria. When the Orville comes within two minutes distance of Kastra 4, scanners detect the enemy Kakov. Given the distance of a light year, the relative velocity of the Orville, and the remaining time of approach, the Orville was 500 billion miles from Kastra 4. Episode 1x05: Pria; Episode 1x06: Krill

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Episode 1.5x02: New Beginnings, Pt. 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Episode: Command Performance
  3. Episode: If the Stars Should Appear
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Episode: Pria
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Episode: Firestorm
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named :0
  7. Episode: Primal Urges
  8. Episode 1x12: Mad Idolatry
  9. 9.0 9.1 Episode 2x05: All the World is Birthday Cake
  10. 10.0 10.1 Episode: New Dimensions
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named :5
  12. Episode 2x04: Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes
  13. Episode 1x06: Krill
  14. Episode 1x08: Into the Fold
  15. Calivon scanners are fooled in Episode 1x02: Command Performance; Krill bioscanners are fooled in Episode 1x06: Krill.
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