All vessels must have a means of controlling it's direction, but ships of different sizes also have different requirements to effect that motion.  The first component of Flight Control is the pilot or CONN Officer, how he/she directs the ship's course is determined by  the various components of the vessel.

The Flight Control console controls several instruments:
Navigational Sensors Act as the 'eyes' for the pilot.
Navigational Computer Assists in plotting courses, and acts as autopilot.
Reaction Control System (RCS)
The 'thrusters' provide directional control for short distances.

Inertial Damping Field (IDF)

Due to the rapid acceleration / deceleration that vessels often make, they must be equipped with Inertial Dampers (IDF) to counteract the forces involved.
Vessels have 1 main and 2 auxiliary for each size category.
The Artificial Gravity (AG) generators make up one part of the IDF.

Navigational Deflector

Space is not completely empty.  Countless debris float in the void which pose a major threat to any vessel traveling at high speed.  The purpose of the Navigational Deflector is to 'push' these objects away from the vessel's path.
The Nav. Deflector most often takes the form of a large dish-shaped structure in the forward section of a vessel's hull.  Through the use of subspace accelerators it projects low-power Graviphotons in an arc along the ship's path.  The deflector effect also passively encompasses the vessel in the low-power shield which is enough to protect it from projectiles and low-power beam weaponry (such as lasers).  The deflector can also be used to extend shields around other vessels.
All vessels have a main deflector and at least one Auxiliary as backup allowing the vessel to continue traveling at slower speed if the main deflector fails.
Main Range
Auxiliary Range
0.25 AU
.0125 AU
0.1 LY
0.05 LY
0.5 LY
0.25 LY
1 LY
0.5 LY
1.5 LY
0.75 LY
2 LY
1 LY
5 LY
2.5 LY
Vessels equipped with Transwarp Drives require a more advanced version of the Nav. Deflector due to the extreme velocities they are capable of achieving.  The Transwarp Deflector uses the same principles, but taps into the Transwarp Coils to project the Graviphotons within a Transwarp Sheath to allow it to deflect objects much further than a standard deflector.


When pilots cannot always pay constant attention to the ship's course, the Autopilot can take over.
What the Autopilot is capable of depends primarily on the type of Nav. Computer.

Hold steady on short range course (3 LY)
Sounds alert if problems detected.
CONN must make corrections.
Hold steady on medium range course (10 LY)
Sounds alert if problems detected.
CONN must make corrections.
Hold steady on long range course (20 LY)
Sounds alert if problems detected.
Suggests adjustments to course based on obstacles.
CONN must approve changes.
All Isolinear (above)
(10) Pre-programmed evasive maneuvers
Hold steady on ultra-long range course (40 LY)
Sounds alert if problems detected.
Suggests adjustments to course based on obstacles.
CONN must approve changes.
(35) Pre-programmed evasive maneuvers.
All ICE (above)
Automatically take evasive if fired upon (pilot override).

Separation System

Nearly all Starfleet vessels, and many known alien ships have the ability to separate some part of itself in the event of emergencies.
Some newer vessels have specialized systems which enable them to separate and re-attach either saucer or other areas of the vessel.  However the separated sections must have it's own computer, power and propulsion to be effective.
A large part of the vessel is able to break off and continue to safety if necessary.  May only be re-attached at a spacedock.
Pod / Module
Small section of the vessel can detach and function similar to a shuttlecraft.  May re-attach through specific docking procedure.
Primary saucer section of the vessel can detach and move independently.  May re-attach through specific docking procedure.
Multi-Vector Mode
Vessel is capable of dividing into multiple parts which function independently.  May re-attach through specific docking procedure.

Atmospheric Capability
Most ships are unable to enter very deep within planetary atmospheres.
To allow a ship to safely enter atmospheres a modified hull is required.
Some specific sections of a ship may be designated as Atmospheric Capable, (such as the Saucer) if needed for emergency purposes.

Planetfall Capability
Due to their overall size most vessels over size 6 are unable to make surface landings.
For Planetfall a vessel must first have Atmospheric Capability (above), it must also have Landing Struts, and a SIF rating equal to it's size class or above.

Ramming Hull

Some vessels are reinforced to enable them to ram another vessel to cause extra damage.
The entire hull must be reinforced rather than specific areas to evenly distribute the impact on the ramming ship, though specific areas (such as the forward saucer) may be armored to provide some structural protection as well.
Please see the Hulls page for more information.


Some vessels have unique optional controls that may be used instead of the traditional Navigation console.

Manual Steering Column / Stick
Used for some combat situations, precision flying or for recreational use.
NOT RECOMMENDED for standard use, pilot must have at least a grade 4 rating to use!

Neurogenic Interface
Works by directly interfacing (I.E. 'plugging in') to the Pilot's brain allowing him / her to fly by thought alone.
Reaction time for maneuvers is greatly enhanced, but in many cases the operator can suffer from side-effects.

Side Effects
Headaches (mild/severe depending on duration of use), hallucinations, addiction (to interface), neurological damage, death.