In order for a group to function smoothly
there must be a means of communication. The vastness of space
complicates this communication due the the time it takes for messages
to reach distant ships, bases or other locations.
"The speed of propagation of a subspace
signal continues to be the limiting factor in any long-range
communications. Subspace radio signals, even those tightly focused and
radially polarized, will decay over time, as the energies forced across
the subspace threshold will tend to 'surface' to become normal slower
EM. As this decay occurs, enormous amounts of information are lost,
since the modulated signal does not decay evenly. The propagation speed
under ideal galactic conditions is equivalent to Warp Factor 9.9997.
This places subspace radio about sixty times faster than the fastest
starship, either existing or predicted. The phenomenon, which occurs at
distances proportional to the peak radiated power of the outgoing beam
with an upper distance limit of 22.65 light years, has necessitated the
placement of untended relay booster beacons and small numbers of
crew-tended communications bases at intervals of twenty light years,
forming irregular strings of cells along major trade lanes and areas of
ongoing exploration." -- (TNG Tech Manual pg 99).
Communications in localized areas, such as
onboard a Starship, Starbase or other installation, as well as planets;
are not hampered by these distance problems. The only lag that
may be experienced is waiting for the person contacted to reply.
In the late 2370's Transwarp technology began testing to
increase the propogation speed of
long-range communications between relay stations. Once an initial
transwarp corridor was established propagation speeds were able to hold
consistent at 500,000 times light speed. By 2382 Transwarp
Communication conversion for all Relay stations, Bases, outposts,
planets and other facilities started. Relay stations remained at
20 LY, and data transmission times between stations using the new
system dropped from 55 minutes to only 21 minutes. At present
there is no Transwarp Communication upgrade for Starships since they
are not 'fixed' locations.
Early Communicators were patterned after 20th Century Terran 'cellular phones'. They were usually only assigned to members of away teams so the landing party could remain in contact with each other.
To activate the device the cover is
raised. The dials may be used to fine-tune the transmission to
overcome any interference. The buttons are used when verbal
communications aren't possible, they consist of a green button for "all
clear", a yellow button for "stand by", and a red button for
As technology improved the Communicator
shrunk in size. For members of Starfleet or other military it
became a 'badge' or other insignia worn upon their clothing.
Originally to activate the device it had to be 'tapped', later it was
Desktop and Wall mounted Communication panels are used in much the same purpose. Generally a button must be pressed to activate the device.
||~22 LY|| 1
| Class 3
||75,000 KM||~23 LY||3
||80,000 KM||~23 LY
||85,000 KM||~23 LY
||90,000 KM||~24 LY
||95,000 KM||~24 LY
||100,000 KM||~24 LY