Shields Technology / Science in Milky Way | World Anvil


Shields (sometimes referred to as deflectors, barriers, or screens) are a defensive mechanism employed to protect a target from incoming projectiles. The technology functions by creating an energised barrier that can absorb fast-moving or high-energy projectiles, as well as directed energy weapons. However, shields can only absorb so much incoming energy before they overload and must recharge. Generally, shields tend to be more effective against energy weapons like lasers or plasma launchers, and less effective against kinetic weapons like coil guns. Another weakness of shields is that they can be bypassed by objects employing the shield modulation technology found on missiles and strike craft.

Early developments in shield technology came in the form of deflectors, which were generally developed before FTL travel. However, they were very bulky, heavy, and drew significant amounts of power from ship reactors. Early developments in deflector technology primarily focused on increasing the shield's strength and durability. It was not until the second generation of energy screens, called shields, that major improvements were made in power efficiency. Modern shields often employ small amounts of exotic gases to create dampening fields, lowering the amount of energy that needs to be absorbed by the shield generator.

Aside from starships and vehicles, structures often employ shield generators. Anti-ship batteries, bunkers, habitats, mining stations, and any other type of stationary emplacement can use large reactors to power substantial amounts of shielding. By devoting a sizable portion of a planet's energy grid to shield generators, a shield can be projected over an entire planet to protect it from asteroids or orbital bombardment. Due to the power drain, these planetary shield generators are usually kept off until needed.

Recent developments in the field of shield technology revolve around a technique called 'hardening'. This technique allows a shield to partially deflect fire that would usually penetrate it - such as missiles or disruptors. However, the additional generators required to harden a shield are often very bulky, and modifications to existing generators are expensive and time-consuming. Zro particles in a high-energy state have been noted to further improve shield hardening, but due to the rarity of the dust, this technique is rare.

Although the ability of psionically-gifted individuals to project a barrier of psychic energy has long been known and utilised in planetary warfare, the ability to protect an entire ship with psionics is a very recent development. Experiments within the Kingdom of Yondarim have determined that a series of psionic emitters can amplify a crew's psionic potential, allowing them to successfully shield the ship more efficiently than even the latest-generation hyper shields. The main drawbacks to this are the emitters draw even more power than regular shield technology, and the concetration demanded by maintaining such a large barrier under fire requires a dedicated cadre of specialists to maintain the shield.


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