Glossary of the High Guard
E - J
EFFECTOR: Tiny attack drones launched by an F-Lance or similar weapon (see below) that can both target opponents and intercept incoming bullets and missiles.
ELECTROMAGNETIC LAUNCH SYSTEM (ELS): High-powered electro-magnetic missile tubes, which accelerate offensive and defensive loads into space. The ELS is necessary to allow for a safe distance between a missile and the originating starship when the missile activates its organic acceleration capability.
ENERGY WEAPON: A broad term used when referring to all types of guns and lasers used in space combat (see below).
FORCE-LANCE: A primary tool and weapon of every High Guardsman, the Force-Lance (commonly called the F-Lance) looks like a harmless metallic tube approximately 1/3 meter in length. But when deployed for battle, it can be extended into a quarterstaff almost two meters long, and when used in melee, the F-Lance can be charged with an electrical current, shocking anyone it hits into unconsciousness. But the F-Lance is more than just a melee weapon. It can also fire a plasma beam, in both the extended and retracted position, which can be used in ranged combat, or as a cutting tool or light source. Finally, the F-Lance can launch a number of self-guided effectors (see effector).
FIGHTER: A ship manned by one sentient being or artificial intelligence or remotely piloted at distances where latency is not an issue. Fighters move very fast, dodging enemy missiles and energy weapons and maneuvering in close to execute quick slashing attacks before fleeing out of range. Fighters are also used to fly combat patrol in defense of Heavy Cruisers or other high-value assets.
FREQUENCY SWITCHING: An example of CCM -- to switch the frequency of the sensor (active or passive). Of course, nothing prevents the jammer from switching frequencies along with its opponent, and in fact jammers and sensors may switch frequencies thousands of times a second in their continuing cat and mouse games.
FALSE TARGET GENERATOR (FTG): A countermeasure against active sensors generates a false target to the enemy sensors, which appears to be a duplicate of the real ship being targeted. Many false targets can be generated. In the future this may become an extremely effective countermeasure, but for now the false targets have difficulty fooling a well-trained operator.
GAUSS GUN: The most common type of personal handgun. A gauss gun accelerates a smart bullet at supersonic speeds using electromagnetic forces.
GRAVITY FIELD GENERATOR (GFG): Used on ships and missiles to create artificial gravity (when powered) to reduce effective mass for thrust, prevent the items inside from being squashed by the ships acceleration and to create an artificial gravity for the crew to operate in (see Technology, artificial gravity).
HARPOON: Harpoons are missiles that trail a superstrong molecular cable (commonly known as a bucky cable) back to the launching ship. The bucky cable is then used to attach itself to other ships and pull them in. Harpoons are slower than missiles, and are commonly used to tow disabled ships or to grapple with them for a boarding action.
HYPER-SPECTRAL IMAGER: A combined electro-optical/active sensor array that measures the spectral signature of targets of interest against the expected spectral signature of the background area. Useful for detecting camouflaged or otherwise obscured targets.
INERTIAL MEASUREMENT UNIT (IMU): About the size of a small coin, this device detects changes in inertia. It does it by having patterns of light reflected back on themselves inside the unit and watching the phase change in the light as the IMU is moved from one location to another (i.e. its inertia changes). This device is an improvement on ring-laser-gyros (RLG).
INVERSE SYNTHETIC APERTURE (ISA): Active sensor systems that create virtual swaths based on the pitch or yaw of the target. Since the size of the aperture is dictated by the motion of the target, ISAS detection capability is not limited by range. Useful in detecting relatively stationary small targets in high-noise environments.
JAMMING: The all-encompassing term for active countermeasures that use an emitter to put out a lot of electronic noise aimed at foiling enemy sensors.