The Federation is composed of many worlds, each with one or more indigenous sophont species. Since each species evolved independently of one another, all use different traditional measurement systems. But because of the widespread interaction and dispersal of knowledge, a standard measurement system had to be devised to eliminate the time-consuming (and often difficult) task of converting units.
The prime candidate for standard measurement was, like many other galactic standards, of Arcairionite origin. The original Arcairion Caudometric system was based on the average tail-length of the Aehr (one caudon, often colloquially shortened to "caud" coincidentally, about one Terran meter, making Caudometric unusually similar to Terran metric. The modern caudon's length remains the same, but is justified as 1010
times the diameter of a helium atom (called an elex or nanocaudon). The caudon is exponentially increased or decreased by factors of ten, producing a wide and useful range of units to use. Also, thanks to the factors of ten, conversions are fairly easy for most numeric systems and can be done in very little time.
|Unit||Abbrev.||Short Name||Terran Equivalent|
Space is incomprehensibly huge. Describing interstellar distances in kilocaudons is like describing the circumference of the Earth in centimeters: the effort is exponetially more trouble than it's worth. Even lightcycs become somewhat obsolete when describing, for example, the distance from Earth to Krion. Merely the distance from the Sol system to the Kinnad system is enough for most sophonts to simply shake their head and walk away when they attempt to comprehend it. Cartographers and scientists attempted to make the vastness of spatial distances slightly more bearable by creating a series of distance measurements, based on the old Arcairion FTL measure system, that is somewhat more comprehensible than describing distances in meaningless kilocauds. Interstellar distances are instead measured in units that represent large quantities of kilocaudons (kk) or lightcycs (lc):
*A lightcycle is defined as the distance covered by an unobstructed, nonpulsating beam of coherent light in one standard cycle (approx. 2.068 × 1017 periods of radiation oscillation of the quinpentaprotium atom's ground state).
Interstellar Distance Units
|kel||kl||1 million kk|
|herc||hc||100 million kk|
|exol||xl||1 billion kk|
|mec||mc||100 billion kk|
|lightcyc*||lc||6.79278 × 1012 kk|