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Chapter 05: Page 24
Originally posted on:12/14/2007
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Chapter 05: Page 24

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At least he's honest.
All ships are required by law to broadcast a transponder signal which includes basic information such as the ship's name, class and current registration. Theoretically these signals need to be hard-coded by a registered authority, but there is a black market in cracking transponder codes. Any ship found to be using a false or misleading signal runs the risk of being impounded by the authorities. Any ship running without a transponder signal is immediately assumed to be a hostile and is treated as a clear and present danger.

When a ship jumps into a system it produces a significant burst of energy, essentially an EMP. The exact nature of this burst depends on a variety of factors, such as the ship's size and mass and the configuration of its jump stabilisers. The burst is therefore distinct to each ship class, and has become known as a jump signature since it is possible to quickly identify an incoming ship's class if you have remote sensors rigged to scan for the right data. Ships which have undergone extensive modification, such as Niobe, will have a unique signature. This can be a pro and a con. It means that Niobe won't register as a Tantalus class corvette, allowing for a degree of anonymity, but if someone knows Niobe's unique signature then they will be able to identify her immediately.

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