Courier Drone Vehicle in Domain | World Anvil
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Courier Drone

"STRATCOM, this is OBC Tango-Nine, over."   "Confirmed, this is STRATCOM. Go ahead."   "We have positive visual on CRD-972 at warp exit 12:19, Declination 12 degrees. Recovery beacon is active, over."   "Confirmed, out."
— Recording of standard IFF procedure, telescope orbiting 54 Hydrae C
  From the dawn of interstellar travel humanity has struggled with one thing: communication. Even with the advent of FTL travel with the Warp Drive, all known methods of communication are limited to luminal and subluminal speeds. This means that simply sending messages between planets is out of the question: they would take years to arrive at their destinations. The solution; the Courier drone. These vehicles are small, warp-optimized vessels designed to carry massive packets of data through warp across the vast reaches of space. While they are not instantaneous, they generally manage to cut down communication times from a few decades to a few weeks, contributing vitally to the war effort and helping people keep their heads up in this trying time.  

Interplanetary Messenger

Courier drones are usually carried in storage configuration (with the Warp ring folded around the spine of the vehicle) on orbital communication hubs and onboard larger starships (particularly military vessels). These vehicles are launched from specialized tubes designed to transfer data between the ship and drone in preparation for its journey. Once this data is stored, with priority placed on military data and the remaining space allocated for civilian messages, it deployed via a simple electromagnetic catapult that launches it into deep space. From there the vehicle will unfold its warp ring, which is significantly larger than the rest of the vessel, and calculate its jump between planets. Upon exiting warp at the destination the Drone will deploy a recovery beacon and wait for a pickup (or new orders)   This procedure is fairly simple and occurs dozens of times throughout the galaxy every single day. However, its importance is often overlooked. More than just how much coordination and communication can affect the war effort, these messages between worlds are a valuable link between people who would otherwise be isolated. From families sharing video messages to their loved ones, to friends sending jokes to their friends, to academic work being transferred between professors, this data helps to keep humanity together and bring joy in a universe that grows increasingly grim by the day.  

Technical Specifications


Courier drones are propelled by a single engine block, which has approximately 9 hours of fuel at full thrust. It is also equipped with rcs thrusters to assist in a safe capture once it arrives at its destination.

Weapons & Armament


Armor and defense


Communication Tools & Systems

The Courier drone is equipped with a powerful communications array that allows it to send/receive data at a rate of nearly 12 Gb/s at distances of almost 3 light minutes (Almost half of the average distance between the earth and the sun). It also has a hardpoint connection that can be attached to the fiber optic systems aboard starships, allowing significantly faster data transfer times.
Owning Organization
326 Million NAD
252 ft
126,000 pounds (dry mass)
Warpless: 0.37 c (Achieved) ; 0.99 (Theoretical) Warp Average: 1.3 ly/day
Complement / Crew
none (no life support)
Cargo & Passenger Capacity
16,000 pounds cargo, no passenger capacity

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Cover image: by jmcninja


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