Glossary of the High Guard
SCRUBBER: A filter that removes particles and contaminants from the air. Primitive scrubbers to remove CO2 from a vessel's air supply have been in existence since the days of ancient submarine warfare. Modern scrubbers use biological agents to turn CO2 into oxygen and defensive nanobots to repel enemy nanobot attacks (see Technology, Nanotechnology).
SPEED OF COMMAND: The rate at which an operational cycle is completed. Highly dependent on the C4I architecture, datalink latency and the experience of each individual commander and an AIE. The goal of battlegroup operations is to maintain combat initiative by maximizing the speed of command.
SELF-SYNCHRONIZATION: The natural integration of individual starship operational cycles into the operational cycle of a battlegroup. This is achieved primarily through interaction between AIEs.
SENSOR CROSS-SECTION: The apparent size and geometry of a target on a sensor scope.
SMART BULLETS: Bullets, which act like tiny guided missiles, using sensors to home in on targets.
SMART MISSILES: Extended-range, high-endurance missiles that rely on a combination of ship, drone and organic active/passive sensor systems to find targets and destroy them. At kill speed, smart missiles can achieve upwards of 90 PSL. Smart missiles are most effective at less than one AU, but special variants can extend that range to 3 AU when combat operations permit missile control "handoff" from platform to platform. Smart missiles can be called back or neutralized in flight.
SENSOR SWATH: The area of space covered by an active or passive sensor system.
SUICIDE SWITCH: Device used by smaller ships in a battlegroup to masquerade as a high value asset, usually a Heavy Cruiser. The suicide switch mimics the sensor cross-section of the high-value asset, making the user a more attractive target for incoming offensive missiles.
SYNTHETIC APERTURE: A virtual sensor aperture that is created by the motion of the sensor platform through space. As the platform changes position, the sensor system builds detailed imagery over a wider scanning area. Highly effective for charting the location and composition of stationary targets.
X-RAY LASER: An extremely powerful (200-500 megawatt), but short range (4 light seconds maximum) type of laser.