The Rat is a very long endurance ship that places great emphasis on gathering data through passive sensor operation. It fulfills several missions: initial survey, system astrography, planetary mapping, deep space observatory, as well as some "peacetime" military missions including signal intelligence collection, ship observation, picket duty, and planetary image reconnaissance.
The ship is equipped with a sensor turret, and is unarmed. The sensor turret contains a telescopic array with a variety of cameras for high resolution imagery of planetary surfaces as well as ships in both narrow and wide field views. Whether used for mapping planetary surfaces, determining ephemerides for a new system, or for imaging a new enemy vessel, these telescopes utilize a variety of wavelengths, technologies, and fields of view in order to produce useful imagery.
The two-ton cargo space is nominally filled with the passive signal intercept equipment. Key features include integrated communication and electromagnetic emission reporting, enhanced signal classification and recognition, fast Direction Finding (DF), and precision emitter location. Additional capabilities include frequency extension, computer assisted on-line sensor management, and the capability to exploit a wide range and numerous types of signals. The sensors provide near real-time signal intelligence and targeting information to Naval Commanders. It collects selected low, mid, and high band radio signals, identifies/classifies them, determines locations of their sources, and provides near-real-time reporting to tactical commanders. Ladar and radar of all types and frequency bands are tracked, identified, and their signatures recorded for later use by naval forces. This surveillance during peacetime greatly assists the Imperial Navy during wartime, as the data is later collated, allowing naval forces to quickly identify and classify targets of interest. Since the data is not collated or processed on board, but merely stored for later use, the ship's computer does not need to be nearly as sophisticated as one meant for processing an immediate targeting solution.
For normal Scout survey duty, armament and other defenses are not usually necessary, and the ship has no provision for armament. For other quasi-military surveillance duties, the ship relies on political considerations, its small size, and sheer numbers for protection. As an additional consideration, the ship usually has enough reserve fuel in its tanks to jump away - even if the ship came three parsecs to its current position, if an escape route lies within two parsecs, it can jump away at the first sign of trouble. Normal crew for the Rat is two - but only the pilot is really necessary as minimum crew. The second crew person is usually a sensor specialist. Accommodations aboard the Rat are not cramped. Each crew person has a full stateroom, as the ship may be on duty for extended periods of time. There are also automatic low berths aboard to allow the crew to spend extended periods of time asleep, such as during jump. The ship has an extended jump range of five parsecs, but only through fuel - the jump drive itself is only capable of Jump-1. While this may be slow, in combination with a fuel endurance of 84 days, it is ideal for both scout survey and military surveillance missions.
The ship is equipped with fuel scoops and a refiner. It is a cone configuration, and lands on the base of the cone, with small extensible landing legs allowing for touchdown on most unimproved surfaces.
U-1211111-000000-00000-0 MCr 35.082 100 Tons Bat Bear Crew: 2 Bat TL: 12
Cargo: 2.0 (effectively zero if the passive signal sensors are installed)
Fuel Treatment: Fuel Scoops and On Board Fuel Purification
Architects Fee: MCr 0.351
Cost in Quantity: MCr 28.066
- 100.000 tons standard,
1,400.000 cubic meters,
- Pilot, 1 Other Crew
Power plant-1, 1.000 EP,
- Bridge, Model/1 Computer
- One two-ton dual turret installed
- 53.000 Tons Fuel (5 parsecs jump and 84 days endurance), On Board Fuel Scoops, On Board Fuel Purification Plant
- 2.0 Staterooms, 2 Low Berths, 2.00 Tons Cargo (cargo is taken up by sensors)
- USER DEFINED COMPONENTS
- The turret contains special passive surveillance equipment as noted in the comments section.
- MCr 35.433 Singly (incl. Architects fees of MCr 0.351), MCr 28.066 in Quantity
- CONSTRUCTION TIME
- 38 Weeks Singly, 30 Weeks in Quantity