Phaser

The Phaser (short for PHASed Energy Rectification) is the standard primary weapon and sidearm in use by the Federation Starfleet.

Phaser History

Phaser weaponry was introduced by Starfleet during the 23rd century as a replacement for Phase and Laser technologies used for the previous century. The initial plans for the Phaser actually dated back to the 22nd Century during the earliest period of space travel in the Federation when it was discovered that directed energy devices could be used to assist in clearing gas, dust, and other microscopic materials from the flight paths of vehicles. This led the Starfleet Corps of Engineers to realize that this technology could also be utilized for the purposes of offensive action against enemy forces.

Starfleet began outfitting vessels with this technology during the aftermath of the Klingon conflicts in the 2250s. Initially each vessel was outfitted with a Phaser Capacitor designed to generate energy for the weapon. In the 2270s, phaser power systems of Federation starships were redesigned to channel power directly from the warp core, thereby increasing the power output of phaser banks; however, this made usage of Phasers unavailable during Faster Than Light travel. The 24th century saw many new advanced forms of phaser weaponry for the Federation, such as the ever more powerful phaser arrays that made use of multiple phaser emitter segments, the rapid-fire phaser cannons and new compression phaser rifles. While further technologies have been developed in recent years; the development of new Phaser technologies has stagnated.

Phaser Purpose

Phaser weaponry uses a rapid nadion effect to discharge energy generated within the superconducting crystal network. Rapid nadions are short lived subatomic particles which can liberate and transfer strong nuclear forces within a class of crystals called fushigi-no-umi. The process operates via a three component emitter system consisting of an EPS flow regulator, a plasma distribution manifold, and the actual superconducting crystal. In this process plasma is discharged from the Phaser Power Cell which then flows through the EPS Flow Regulator (which controls the power level) which is then routed through the prefire chambers via the plasma distribution manifold then regulated by the emitter crystal. The disruptive effects of nadion discharges were moderated to produce varying effects which allow for a phaser beam to stun, heat, kill, or disintegrate living creatures. Phasers could damage shields or other systems or even cut through a hull as needed. While primarily used for offensive purposes, Phasers could also make effective tools when needed. While powerful, Phasers do have limitations. Some creatures have shown a natural immunity to Phaser discharge and some metals, such as neutronium, have proven impervious to them. Additionally, some times of radiation - such as hyperonic radiation - can disable Phasers. Phasers could also be made to overload if necessary, creating an extremely dangerous explosive.

Normally Phasers are set to fire a single steady stream of nadion particles; however, this beam could be widened to perform a phaser sweep, to fire a concentrated bolt of energy, or even multiple beams at one time. Space based Phasers could also be set to emit phaser energy designed to detonate as proximity blasts or to discharge energy beams for power transfer. With the emergence of the Borg Collective, Phaser technology has been modified to feature an adjustable resonance frequency and automatically rotate their modulation after each discharge to overcome regenerative shielding. Unfortunately the Borg would adapt to all frequently modulations in a short period - sometimes in as few as 12 shots. In 2376 Seven of Nine of the USS Voyager designed the infinity modulator which prevented the Borg from adapting to the frequency of the Phaser. While Phasers had previously been ineffective at Warp Speeds, Starfleet Tactical has devised a means of merging a Phaser beam with an annular confinement beam to strengthen the pulse during faster than light travel to make it effective.

Phaser Types

Handheld Phaser Devices

Type 1 Phaser

A Type-1 Phaser is the smallest, most basic weapon carried by Starfleet and other Federation personnel while on assignments. This version of Phaser is considered appropriate for missions in which the usage of a weapon may not be necessary or appropriate. Most commonly Security personnel assigned to diplomatic detachments will be assigned to use a Type 1 Phaser for the duration of these guardian responsibilities. The Type 1 Phaser has five adjustable settings, ranging from stun to heat through disruption to disintegration, and is not a commonly utilized weapon at present time.
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Type 2 Phaser Version 1

More powerful and generally larger in size than the Type 1 Phaser, a Type 2 Phaser is the standard issue sidearm aboard Starfleet vessels. Utilized primarily in defensive situations, the Phaser Type-2 has several applications including the ability to be used as a cutting tool, explosive device, or as an energy source. The frequency of the beam may also be adjusted to make it more effective against certain types of shields or to cause burns. In addition to variable power settings, this version of Phaser can be set to generate a narrow or wide beam depending on need and area of effect. Starfleet currently employs two versions of the Phaser Type 2. Version 1 is a sleek, silver-colored device with a handle flowing into the form of a muzzle cowling and emitter.
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Type 2 Phaser Version 2

More powerful and generally larger in size than the Type 1 Phaser, a Type 2 Phaser is the standard issue sidearm aboard Starfleet vessels. Utilized primarily in defensive situations, the Phaser Type-2 has several applications including the ability to be used as a cutting tool, explosive device, or as an energy source. The frequency of the beam may also be adjusted to make it more effective against certain types of shields or to cause burns. In addition to variable power settings, this version of Phaser can be set to generate a narrow or wide beam depending on need and area of effect. Starfleet currently employs two versions of the Phaser Type 2. Version 2 is in a pistol configuration and features the ability to fire in pulses only.
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Type 3 Phaser

The Type 3 Phaser is a powerful rifle variant of the standard Starfleet handheld Phaser weapon that is employed only when the risk of attack is high during an away mission or to repel enemy boarders during an assault. They feature the same settings as a Phaser Pistol and have internal expansion bays to enhance their abilities. Starfleet Type 3 Phasers are well known for their fully-autonomous recharge capability, multiple-target acquisition, and gyro-stabilization capabilities.
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Phaser Power Settings

While previous generations of Handheld Phasers have been outfitted with 16 power settings, in the early 25th Century Starfleet Security revised guidelines for Phaser weaponry and reset the criteria for each power setting. A chart of current power settings is located elsewhere in this document.

Setting Level Setting Type Setting Effect
01. Light Stun Causes unconsciousness from five to fifteen minutes.
02. Heavy Stun Causes unconsciousness from fifteen to sixty minutes and heats metal.
03. Thermal Effects Causes neural damage and outer layer skin burns.
04. Thermal Effects Causes severe skin burns and penetrates simple forcefields.
05. Disruption Effects Causes widespread disruption effects and kills humanoids.
06. Disruption Effects Vaporizes humanoids.
07. Disruption Effects Causes heavy alloys and structural materials to absorb or rebound energy.
08. Explosive/Disruption Effects Causes ultra-dense alloys and structural materials to absorb or rebound energy before vaporization and can disintegrate fifty cubic meters of rock per shot.
09. Explosive/Disruption Effects Causes shielded matter to exhibit vibrational heating effects and can disintegrate up to 160 cubic meters of rock per shot.
10. Explosive/Disruption Effects Causes shielded matter to exhibit fracturing damage and disintegrates up to 650 cubic meters of rock per shot.

Mounted Phaser Devices

Phaser Emitters

Phaser Array

Phaser Beam Arrays are directed energy weapons available for starships that fire a series of Phaser beams across a wider range than any other Phaser type. Phaser Beam Arrays are equally effective against starship shields and hull, but their damage will fall off with distance to the target.
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Phaser Bank

A Phaser Beam Bank is a directed energy weapon that can come in a single or dual emitter configuration. While highly capable weapons, their usage diminished after the 23rd Century due to their coverage area only being within a 90° line of sight of the emitter component.
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Phaser Cannon

Phaser Cannons are pulse energy weapons available for use on starships. Similar to Phaser Turrets, a Phaser Cannon is designed to fire Phaser pulses that cause more damage than a Turret, but are limited to the 90° arc directly ahead of them. Phaser Cannons are unique in that they can be mounted with two or four units.
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Heavy Phaser Cannon
The Heavy Phaser Cannon fires a single massive phaser beam so destructive that it can pierce multiple targets. The Heavy Phaser Cannon can only fire in a very narrow arc in front of the ship has a very long cooldown time.
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Phaser Turret

A Phaser Turrets is a specially designed Phaser weapon that can fire concentrated weapons pulses only. Phaser Turrets are well known for their arc of fire, offering a 360° line of sight, but the inflict the lowest damage output.
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Point Defense Phaser
An outgrowth of the Dominion War, the Point Defense Phaser is an advanced Phaser turret designed to target and destroy incoming projectiles before they can impact a station or vessel and cause damage. While a recent development in the Federation, the initial concept for this weapon originated in the twentieth century on Earth as part of the Strategic Defense Initiative.
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Phaser Types

Type XVIII

The lightest Phaser weapon currently in use by Starfleet, the Type XVIII phaser is primarily used for defensive purposes and is better suited for combat against smaller opponents with lighter defenses. These Phasers are commonly found on Class 0 and Class 1 Vessels.

Type XIX

Almost identical to the Type XX Phaser, the Phaser Type XIX has a similar energy output; however, it does not have as fast a recharge rate. These Phasers are typically found on Class 2 and Class 3 Vessels.

Type XX

An advanced Phaser system, the Type XX Phaser is one of the strongest Phasers available and has a quick recharge rate. These Phasers are commonly found on Class 4 and Class 5 Vessels.

Type XXI

The Type XXI Phaser is the strongest spaceborne Phaser weapon currently in use by Starfleet and has an energy discharge equivalent to that of a Heavy Phaser Cannon. Previous generations of this unit required the usage of positional stabilizers for fire control meaning that this weapon was attached to Starbases or Planetary Colonies; however, recent advancements have made this weapon available on Battleship platforms.

Real World

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