Shields are specialized energy fields designed to protect their user from enemy weapons fire and other hazards.


Emitted from a localized antenna (such as the Deflector Dish) or from a network of emitters, shields operate by creating layers of spatial distortion, containing a high concentration of gravitons, around the user. Should a dangerous situation be encountered shields are activated to provide additional defense. It takes only seconds for shields to engage; however, capacity varies based upon environmental conditions and energy discharges encountered will diminish shield integrity. While shields are engaged items coming into contact with the shields are normally deflected away or absorbed; keeping damage to the hull at a minimum. Any impact releases a quick burst of radiation that momentarily colors a shield. Without the protection of shields any damage would immediately impact the user and potentially destroy the craft. Broken into six quadrants different sections of the shield grid could take more damage than others; because of this, in the event that a shield was facing failure, it is possible for a shield to be reinforced with additional power reserves as needed. Almost all Starfleet vessels have secondary shield systems available to provide this defense in the event of failure of the primary system. In the event that a shield system begins to fail it is possible to recharge the grid; however, the shields need to be temporarily deactivated to accomplish this leaving the user vulnerable.

Shields operate on a frequency modulation system and can, if needed, be continually modulated or keep objects out or allow them to enter the shield defense grid. This remodulation makes it extremely difficult for enemy defenses to overcome shields without inside help; however, some species have been able to overcome this advantage in recent years by reverse engineering Borg technology. This has led many governments, including the United Federation of Planets, to employ technologies to randomize shield harmonics to keep shield frequencies in flux. This remodulation has the ability to allow weapons to be used, sensors to operate, and the source vessel can use transporters with extreme risk.

Shields can be projected in multiple formats with the most common in use being an ellipsoid bubble that is extended outward from the ship; however, hull-conformal shields are growing in popularity in recent decades. More advanced deflectors can also be set to leave certain areas of the user unshielded if needed. In the event that a starship comes along another structure that needs protecting the option to extend shields around the afflicted vessel. While this can be useful to provide support to the stricken ship, it puts a severe strain on the primary vessel and risks degradation of the entire system.

Current Starfleet Shield Types

Containment Field

More commonly known as Force Fields, Starfleet Containment Fields are designed to isolate objects from the crew as a safety precaution. Nonlethal by design, Containment Fields are commonly used by security personnel to isolate potential threats (for example an intruder) from the crew. They also have medical applications to provide sterilization fields for surgery or to quarantine an area from outsiders. Containment fields can also be used to maintain atmospheric integrity in the event of a hull breach or, in some situations, to protect personnel from the dangers associated with a damaged area of the installation.


Deflectors, also known as shields, are the primary defensive screen for a starbase or a starship and is a highly energizes electromagnetic force field. Deflectors absorb enemy energy discharges in order to protect the hull of the station or vessel from harm. Shields are automatically brought online during Yellow or Red Alert and can be reinforced as they take additional damage; however, this takes energy from the other quadrants of shielding. Shields can be deployed in a variety of settings depending on tactical considerations from a large bubble to a hull conformal shape. Shields, due to their nature, naturally block transporter use and, potentially, Warp Drive.

Inertial Dampening Field

The Inertial Dampening Field is a system of force fields designed to absorb the inertial forces involved in space flight. A critical system, in the event of failure of the Inertial Dampening System any person serving aboard the Starbase or Starship would feel the effect of traveling through space, putting incredible force upon the inhabitant and risking certain death. A proactive system, the Main Computer monitors these forces to maintain the safety of the crew and can anticipate routine changes for protection. Unexpected changes in the motion of the structure while undergoing an unexpected manuever or when under attack, can cause the computer to require additional time to compensate due to being unable to anticipate the acceleration. Typically two generators are available during normal flight mode; however, more may be brought online in higher alert levels.

Navigational Deflector Field

The Navigational Deflector Field is a shielding system designed to deflect space debris - such as asteroids, microscopic particles, and other similar objects - from the path of a starship. The system operates by generating a force beam of gravitons, similar to a tractor beam, to deflect these objects from the path of a ship as even a minor impact could cause irreparable damage when traveling at high speeds. This beam originates typically from the Starship's Main Deflector Dish on the Starship's Engineering Hull; however, as of the late 24th Century, Starfleet has begun installing secondary emitters onboard a starship in the event of the failure of the primary unit. In addition to this powerful force beam, additional layered parabolic beams serve to further deflect subatomic particles that the vessel encounters. Because of its nature the Navigational Deflector Array causes a great deal of interference, to compensate for this sensor systems are built directly into the Deflector Dish itself in a circular pattern along the emitter dish. This is also due to the necessity of the vessel's long range sensors to monitor the threat of these particles.


Based upon years of study of the results of combat with the Borg Collective, the Dominion, and the Klingon Empire Starfleet was able to determine that a combination of shielding would be best depending on the various situations that a Starbase or Starship may encounter. From this work began on developing the Starfleet High Intensity Energy Level Deflection System, aka S.H.I.E.L.D.S. S.H.I.E.L.D.S. operates by generating a tier based series of energy fields to defend the user from harm. These include:

Outer Tier
The Outer S.H.I.E.L.D.S. tier is a Multiphasic shield intended to protect the user from threat caused by space itself such as subspace radiation, energy emissions, and the equivalent of a Level 8 subspace shockwave. This tier takes the form of a bubble projected outward from the ship.
Middle Tier
The Middle S.H.I.E.L.D.S. tier is a more compressed, regenerative shield bubble designed to absorb enemy energy discharge and redirect it back to powering the shield itself.
Inner Tier
The Inner S.H.I.E.L.D.S. tier is a hull conformal covariant shield that is incredibly difficult to penetrate by conventional weapons. This also has the effect of distorting sensors.

Depending on need a user can choose which tiers are needed at a given time, enhancing the viability of the system. While highly advantageous a S.H.I.E.L.D.S. based defense system is not currently widely distributed throughout the Federation and is still considered a prototype defense system.

Structural Integrity Field

The Structural Integrity Field is an advanced series of forcefields generated throughout a station or vessel to increase the overall stability of the hull during spaceflight. The forward momentum of a vessel puts significant strain onto the spaceframe of the vessel, the SIF generators negate this risk through reinforcement of the hull. Due to the significance of this system most Starfleet vessels feature at least two generators per section.

Other Shield Types

Adaptive shield

Used by species such as the Borg Collective, Adaptive shielding requires extensive computer power to analyze incoming weapons fire to determine its frequency then remodulate to prevent the weapon from penetrating the shield.

Corbomite shield

Designed by Starfleet engineer Montgomery Scott, the Corbomite shield when activated will deflect a portion of any projectile weapons back at the opponent or harmlessly into space itself. While effective against projectiles, it cannot deflect energy based attacks.

Covariant shield

Similar to standard shields, Covariant shields are a tetryon based shield system that serve as a natural counter measure for most weapons and are very difficult to penetrate by conventional means. Due to the tetryon plasma that constitutes the shields makeup it can be significantly difficult to penetrate these shields with sensors as well, similar in effect to a sensor reflective hull.

Immersive shielding

Immersive shielding is an experimental shielding technology for use in entering environments with particularly dense atmospheres, such as gas giants, or can allow a vessel to transit underwater.

Metaphasic shield

Metaphasic shielding is a form shielding based upon technology developed by Dr. Reyga, a Ferengi scientist. Through the usage of metaphasic fields a user of this technology was capable of withstanding the pressure, radiation, and energy of a star's corona with little to no damage. While powerful the shield was not invulnerable. An enemy employing a phased ionic pulse could cause a temporary system malfunction that would disrupt the shield and cause a tetryon field to form inside the ship, risking the safety of the user.

Multiphasic shield

Multiphasic shields were a natural outgrowth of the research of Doctor Reyga. Incredibly powerful, Multiphasic shields are capable of protecting a vessel from subspace radiation and the dangerous energy emissions generated by stars themselves. In simulations a shield of this type was able to successfully withstand a Level 8 shockwave before taking critical damage to the hull.

Multi-adaptive shield

Multi-adaptive shielding is a form of stealth technology based on the research of Erin and Magnus Hansen during their investigation in to the Borg Collective. While the initial system was designed to counter Borg sensors, the system has since been modified to also interfere with the sensors of other races and can make the user invisible to sensors, but not the naked eye. While effective with stealth needs, this form of shield is typically weaker than other forms of defense.

Refractive shield

Refractive shields are a form of stealth technology that make a user invisible to conventional sensors.

Regenerative shield

Regenerative shields are a specialized shield that divert a portion of the kinetic or energy impacts upon the shield grid through the shield generator to reinforce the shield itself. Through this process the amount of damage that a weapon impact does is thus greatly reduced, thus increasing the survivability of the user. In the event that the regenerative shielding fails the ability to regenerate the shield is also lost until the shields are successfully recharged.

Temporal shield

Temporal shields are an advanced form of technology designed to protect a user from changes to the timeline. While not common in Starfleet or other space faring races, Temporal shielding has grown in usage by the Department of Temporal Investigations aboard their vessels and installations.

Real World


Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use. No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License