STATIONS

INTRODUCTION TO STATIONS

Nearly every space faring government supports a large variety of space born, and orbital platforms used to support both planetary and space operations throughout their respective space. Stations include a wide variety of support facilities tied directly to deep space exploration, transport and defense, including administration, recreation, repair and military defense. Stations and outposts can range from small 2 man listening outposts, through large scale automated science platforms to the massive space docks and fleet support bases. Most stations have the ability to act as a space born city, with medical facilities, communication facilities and storage centers. Stations often act as political power bases along most frontiers. Single stations can monitor and direct operation across dozens of parsecs. Most military stations have and extensive sensor net that allows a single orbital platform to monitor several enemy strong points, while acting as a strong point themselves. Other stations have the ability to re-supply entire fleets, or act as a medical station, taking on hundreds of refugees and wounded. Most larger station are extremely well armed and well defended. Military outposts can often drive off several opposing battleships, and with support from other starships, can extend their strength well beyond their local area. Even the smallest station has a surprising advantage over mobile starships. Unlike a starship, who must mount massive warp coils and power systems to allow FTL speeds, stations and outposts mount only a power generating system that can be fed directly into the station sub-systems. Practically speaking, this allows for much stronger shield systems, weapons, sensors and other onboard systems that must share power with a starships warp drive. Stations can link to satellite and probe systems throughout space, allowing for communication with distant units and other sections of a government. Most stations act as amplification systems for communications passing near their location, and are also, the hub for extensive commerce and trade. Most larger stations are considered as valuable as a ground base or city, often able to perform the same functions. This has given the support facility as a whole, a unique, much loved and practical position in popular culture.

 

 

ADMINISTRATION STATION

These unique stations are designed to provide both military and civilian authorities with detailed administrative support facilities, including communication, record keeping, monetary record, library facilities, massive data storage and transfer, as well as other information storage and retrieval capabilities. Most Administration Stations have the ability to dock with capital ships and freighters, but more commonly use shuttles and light transport craft for personnel transportation. Most stations are extremely  comfortable, with meeting rooms and research bays that allow for lengthy duty shifts. Most Admin Stations are used to coordinate shipping operations, mining operations, construction dry docks and banking transactions. Admin Stations are not equipped for re-supply missions or extensive combat operations, but do have surprisingly effective security facilities. Admin Stations are owned by both government and private corporations. On-board spaces are often rented to local businesses aboard larger Admin Stations. Most Admin Stations are found in orbit, near ship yards or production facilities, or located with other station facilities in deep space along established trade routes.

 

COMMUNICATION ARRAY

Unlike a Communication Satellite, Communication Arrays are larger and have extensive computer systems that can store and amplify transmissions throughout space. Communication Arrays are used to boost signals and messages from a wide variety of sources. Communication Arrays are often manned with short term crews that monitor the activity through the area, as well as conduct repairs. Communication Arrays are not luxurious, and crews are rarely assigned for more that a few months. Regular stops and check-ins with patrolling ships help break the monotony of Array Duty. Many arrays have large scale antennas that allow them to pick up and amplify signals that are often too faint even for starships. Communication Arrays are an exclusively deep space facility, and are much less expensive than full Communication Stations.

 

 

 

COMMUNICATION STATION

Communication Stations are designed to provide an analysis of communication from both known and unknown sources. Communication Stations can monitor dozens of satellites and other specialized systems to provide both intelligence and first contact data concerning local and even distant subjects. Most Communication Stations double as probe manufacturing facilities as well as repair station for damaged communication equipment. Communication Stations also provide a hub location for communication networks. Communication Stations are manned by both civilians and government workers, including intelligence personnel from various organizations.

 

 

 

DEEP SPACE OBSERVATION STATION

Often referred to as Spy Stations, DSOS’s are used to gather and analyze data on enemy ship movements and activity beyond the traditional capabilities of Communication Stations. Most DSOS’s work in conjunction with other Intelligence gathering facilities to provide up to date material. DSOS’s also provide decryption facilities, military operation facilities and some fleet command capabilities, making them highly valuable resources. Despite their military nature, many DSOS’s have only a limited military escort capability, relying on stealth to function. None the less, the hazardous nature of Intelligence operations warrants surprising armament aboard these stations.

 

 

 

DEFENSE OUTPOST

Defense Outposts are smaller, lighter versions of Defense Stations, designer as the “links” in a chain between larger Military Outposts and Defense Stations. Defense Outposts often have sufficient firepower to engage a single large squadron or small fleet, and can quickly call in support in less than an hour should the need arise. With a cost nearly 1/10th that of a Military Outpost or Defense Station, Defense Outposts have the ability to give aid and conduct basic repair and construction to damaged starships. Defense Outposts also act as listening posts with a more active posture, using active sensors to scan their local surroundings. Most Defense Outposts have either assigned Military Squadrons or cutter and gunboat patrols. Both Deep Space and In-System station are know to operate along hostile boarders and in defendable systems requiring moderate firepower. Defense Outposts have the unique advantage of being small enough to be moved, often by a single vessel.

 

 

DEFENSE STATION

Defense Stations are designed to be anchors for sectors and boarders that require heavy firepower to support other operations in their sector. Defense Stations are considered the most powerful single military station, and are often incorrectly referred to as Star Bases. Defense Stations are able to fend off entire fleets with little support, and are used as secondary command posts for entire fleets. Defense Stations are very busy locations, with assigned cutters and gunboats, as well as local Dreadnought patrols all passing near Defense Stations. Most Defense Stations are part of a larger network of stations designed to fend off enemy attacks and protect vulnerable locations, including star bases, production facilities and home worlds. Defense Stations also serve as repair yards, intelligence operation centers, recreation facilities, medical bases and a plethora of other capabilities. In most fleet, Defense Station commanders can make wide swept decision for ships operating near their location, with most Defense Stations considered fall back points for Star Bases that may fall due to military operations. Attacking Defense Stations is considered nearly as foolhardy as attacking a Star Base itself. None the less, Defense Stations are often forced to defend them selves, with their static nature making them vulnerable.

 

 

DRY-DOCK

Unlike a standard station, a Dry-dock is used to secure starships, construction equipment and construction materials in a single location to facilitate the creation of space facilities and starships. Most Dry-docks can moor a single large hull or several small hulls and allow for movement of both personnel and material around the construction area. Most Dry-docks are found in larger  groups near established production facilities. Each dock is equipped with a rudimentary computer systems and basic orbital control system as well as extensive tractor beam emplacements. Dry-docks provide tool storage, lighting, personnel monitoring and in some cases, minor production capability. Most have no crew compartments, keeping the docking facility simple and effective. Large naval yards often have dozens of Dry-docks controlled from one or more central office or administration facilities. Some Dry-docks do have on-board facilities, with design meeting rooms and other on-board facilities for crew comfort. Several Romulan designs are known to have entire crew quarters on-board, allowing engineers and other workers to live and work right at the ship construction location. Most Dry-docks can moor several other facilities to their main hull structure, including factory facilities, administration modules, crew support modules and even defensive systems when necessary. Most Dry-docks are dedicated to the construction of a single hull during the year, with fitting out and other internal systems completed during shake down cruises.

 

 

LISTENING POST

Another of the Intelligence stations, Listening Posts are used to gather data on opposing ship activity, military communication and other activities that would be deemed “covert”. Within the Federation, Listening Posts are also used to record activity on planets that will soon be candidates for first contact. For most other governments, Listening Posts constitute an intelligence gathering position that gathers covert data from distant ships and probes. Most Listening Posts have extremely sophisticated sensor and communication equipment that allow them to gather data that is not normally sent directly to the post due to security concerns. Listening Posts are able to conduct initial analysis of incoming transmissions and activities, with the post commander having the discretionary authority to reveal the posts location should it be deemed necessary. Unlike other intelligence stations, Listening Posts do not have the extensive ability for long term data analysis and correlations. Most  Listening Posts gather the data, evaluate its military significance and secret it off to other locations. Listening posts can be found in system, usually built on a small planetoid or in an asteroid belt. Listening Posts are resupplied very rarely, often by covert means. Post duty is often monotonous, as the listening posts cannot actively transmit communications to other vessels or star bases. None the less, Listening Post duty is a sought after posting across known space.

 

 

MEDICAL FACILITY

Although traditional Star Base facilities do provide for extensive medical care and even research, specially designed Medical Stations can often be found through space, providing a unique capability to most space faring races. Medical Facilities are designed for both long and short term care, with an array or both standard and exotic surgery suites, rehab facilities and other medical capabilities that often dwarf even the largest star base. Medical Facilities also function as research station for unique and on-going medical studies, with isolation wards, research labs and specialized research equipment that is not normally found aboard other stations. And finally, Medical Station function as production facilities for zero-g medicines and other exotic treatments needed through out space. Many Medical Facilities have very large stores of rare medicines that require specialized storage or can only be produced in small quantities under normal conditions. Most Medical Facilities are associated with other Star Bases or established home worlds where defense is rarely an issue. Medical Facilities are never armed, but can support an extensive array of shuttles, including military fighters if necessary. Most Medical Facilities also serve as teaching hospitals for their respective worlds, with medical teams often brought in from local ground medical facilities during times of extreme need or military conflict. Although most Medical Facilities are designed to service a limited number of wounded personnel, many and quickly expand their capability by a factor of as much as 10 or more when necessary. Like Outposts and other specialized facilities, most Medical Facilities rely on other facilities to keep stocks of supplies as current as possible. Because of their unique capabilities, most Medical Facilities are often more expensive than bases twice their size, but their capabilities can often not be duplicated under other conditions.

 

 

MILITARY OPERATION COMMAND POST

As with Defense Stations, Military Command Posts are large Star Base sized stations used as both Defense Outpost and Administration station for dozens of squadrons and ships. Most MOCP’s are commanded by an Admiral, with wide sweeping Military decision-making ability. Most MOCP’s are more powerful that standard Defense Outposts, with dozens of subsystems dedicated to military operations, including starship production, medical and intelligence operations as well as re-supply and recreation activities. MOCP’s are most often used along Neutral Zones and politically active boarders where standard Star Bases and Outposts would be considered vulnerable. As with most station, MOCP’s also serve as communication posts and many do allow civilian traffic near their area of operation.

 

 

OBSERVATORY

Observatories are specially designed deep space station used to gather and interpret data concerning stars, nebulas, black holes and other space phenomenon. Both manned and unmanned Observatories are in use by many governments. Observatories are most often used while investigating unusual phenomenon, recording data from a lengthy list of specialized sensors and install able special equipment bays. Observatories are almost never armed, and are rarely targets for any type of military  target. Observatories are surprisingly expensive for their size due to the high number of specialized equipment found on board.

 

 

OUTPOST

Outposts are often located on planetoids or asteroids, or near space phenomenon that might require observation. Most Outposts are small, with transient crews and regular check-ins with patrolling starships. Most Outposts are established to monitor enemy activity, conduct specific research or as a base of operation for colony development. Outposts are known for their barren appearance, with few luxury afforded to crew and visitors. Most Outposts do have all the necessary facilities to support Starships and other in-system activities, but must rely on supply runs and visits from other vessels to keep the outpost fully functioning. Outposts are often less expensive than other facilities to build and maintain.

 

 

PENAL INSTILLATION

These specialized stations are used to house criminals and other prisoners. Most Penal Installations are well armed for short range battle, with patrol cutters and armed shuttles used for protections. Penal Facilities also house treatment facilities for psychological conditions. Conditions vary widely through-out the various governments concerning Penal Installations. Penal Installations have the ability for both long and short term incarcerations, and are also used to house prisonersof military conflicts. Penal Installations are expensive to build and maintain due to the high number of specialized security features found on board. Escapes are extremely rare, and those that do occur are almost always costly for the group of government involved in helping the escapee.

 

 

 

PRODUCTION STATION

Production Stations are used by several large corporations and governments near planets or other sources of raw material that would jeopardize or cause difficulty in processing. Production stations are also used near fragile ecosystems that would be damaged by the physical presence of the industry. Production stations vary widely in their functions and capabilities, including ore processing, food stuff processing and even toy manufacture. Production Stations have facilities to support a small administration department, full production crew and some engineering staff. Stations that produce rare or military items are known to be defended, but most Production Stations have little combat capability. Production station are common near mining planets and starship production facilities where they are used to produce both hull material and components needed forstarship construction.

 

 

RECREATIONAL FACILITY

Recreational Facilities are most often found in the Federation and Romulan sphere of influence, providing extensive entertainment and rest facilities that are not normally found in other areas of space. Unlike other large bases, Recreational Facilities orient themselves towards pure entertainment, providing gaming establishments, entertainment venues and other unique recreational activities. Most recreational facilities mix private and government controlled activities, from shopping to tour of local attractions. Recreational Facilities provide exorbitant luxury and relaxation and are often the destination of cruise ships and luxury liners. Within the Federation, several recreational facilities are dedicated exclusively to starship on patrol near military boarders.

 

 

RESEARCH PLATFORM

Research Platforms are used for long term scientific research and study of phenomenon. Research Platforms have extensive library systems, research labs and other facilities that allow for the examination of one or more subjects or research objectives. Most Research Platforms are owned by private companies or individuals conducting research on lengthy projects. Research Platforms are often visited by patrolling vessels, who exchange sensor data, luxury goods and repair items that may be needed. Like most stations, Research Platforms come in a variety of sizes and capabilities.

 

 

SPACE OFFICE COMPLEX 

Unlike Administration Stations, Space Office Complexes are used exclusively by contracted companies and private offices. Almost always a part of a space born complex, SOC’s are used by shipbuilders, transport companies and mining operations as the primary location of record keeping and transfer. SOC’s have a lesser ability to issue orders and transfer materials, and have fewer meeting rooms and onboard crew quarters. SOC’s have a much larger record keeping and analysis ability that even star bases twice their size. SOC’s are also less expensive to build and maintain that Administration Stations.

 

 

SPACEDOCK FACILITY

Spacedock is a Federation term used for the largest space station currently used by Star Fleet.

Spacedock is used as both a full independent star base, trading station, communication station and fitting center used after the completion of starship construction. Space dock provides full construction capability as well as research and medical capabilities. Space dock facilities are now being constructed at all major starship construction centers and in orbit around many star bases. Spacedocks also have a large civilian area used for trade, entertainment and other public operations.

 

 

STAR BASE

The technical term Star Base refers to the collection of stations and ground facilities that facilitate the operation of starships and space activity. Star Bases are very large, often employing over 10,000 fleet personnel and three times as many civilian dependents and merchants. Star Bases are some of the best-defended  positions in known space, with orbital defenses, cutter and gunboat patrols, satellite defenses and ground weapons. Star Bases are well known for their research centers and large medical facilities, often capable of having hundreds of patients. Star Bases have dozens of independent labs as well as full production facilities and processing centers capable of creating foodstuffs for deep space ships and other facilities. Star Bases often have several stations in orbit, including defense outposts, research stations and starship repair yards. Star Base Commanders are part of a unique group of personnel with broad policy decision making capability, and are in charge of all assignments for their respective area. Star Bases are the central command position for Fleet Operations and are tasked with upholding the various political charters. Star Base Command Personnel are also tasked with everything from assignment changes to military action. Within the Federation, Star Base Command personnel handle everything concerning local activity concerning research missions, exploration mission, military activity, civilian activity and patrol requirements. In more militant governments, such as the Klingon and Romulan Empires, Star Base Commanders are often in charge of any covert operations undertaken by their governments, as well as full planning and detailing of invasion and defense plans.  Star Bases are well known for their comfort as well, with most ground bases analogous to small cities and towns. Star Bases are the furthest most extension of direct command for the various star fleets, with most answerable directly to their respective governments. Star Bases continue to be built at strategic locations as well as locations convent to exploration and outbound operations.

 

 

TRADING STATION/TRADING POST

Trading stations provide a large environment for the exchange and storage of transient goods throughout a sector. Most Trading Stations provide a modicum of administration ability, recreation facilities, medical capability and repair as well as storage and security of cargo’s. Most Trading Stations are co-owned by private and government agencies, and are known to many freight captains as safe havens. Trading Stations keep open door policies, sometime in conflict with local laws, that allow anyone to conduct business.

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