Union shield systems:
Union shields were developed many many years ago. The origin of shields came from the Unification wars, many experiments into the realm of shielding were undertaken before then but none really yielded any results. However during the Unification wars the rouge AI AC110 developed a basic electromagnetic shielded which was able to give some sort of defence against fire to its mainline units. After this was reverse engineered by the Coalition the precursor to the Union it had its first shields. The first units were bulky and required a lot of energy and could only offer limited protection however over the years the shield systems have seriously upgraded.
The basic electromagnetic shielding evolved into proper energy barrier shielding and has continued to evolve into the multi phasic shielding you find today. Of course the evolution of shields has been sped by war, new allies, new technology and of course new weapons. Every time a new weapon system was encountered that rendered Union shields useless a new type was introduced. In the Draken war and also in the previous Shadow war both enemies used Phase weapons to literally bypass all shields and armour, it was only in the Draken war with the help of the Skia themselves that phase engines were engineered and incorporated into Union energy shields. This allowed them to stop the phasic attacks by the Draken and also against the Unions own weapon the Phase missile in case of rebel attacks.
Again the shields have been upgraded again so that they can stop all kinds of shield stopping attacks. However its only a matter of time before a new weapon arises and then the Union will once again make a brilliant defence against it.
How it works:
Union shields are an incredibly complex affair, able to turn aside any sort of physical or energy attacks that might try to break through it and in turn allow friendly fire to get through. The new shields of the Union of Worlds is the Mark VII 'Crenelation' class multi phasic shields. These shields use a combination of advanced QAI, Union Energy shielding and an advanced phase engine.
The QAI in the crenelation system is designed to designate what is an incoming hostile and what is a friendly trying to get out. This has to be a QAI for the amount of processes a millisecond would require a quantum computer. Generally the QAI designates all targets coming from outside the shield as a hostile and so the shield will block it out however the QAI can allow fighters and bombers or shuttles that are returning back through the shield by modulating the shield to make a perfect sized hole the moment they impact as to not damage the structural integrity of the shield. By the opposite way the QAI normally designates all things leaving the shield as friendly and so can open tiny holes for shells and missiles or modulate the frequency to allow plasma and lasers through. In this way the shield is very smart, and any sort of weapon that mimics somehow a Union IFF signal or friendly can be scanned and analysed by the main ship AI and even the crew themselves to confirm its an enemy, this coupled with the fact Union IFFs are constantly changing codes makes it nearly impossible to outsmart a Union Shield AI into thinking your a friendly.
The next part of the Crenelation system is the basic Union energy shield. Without this the shield wouldnt exist at all. If we use a Union Dart class base as an example the shields are powered by 4 Shield generators 2 aft and 2 towards the prow of the ship. These are linked directly to the ZPM modules of the ship however they also have their own smaller fusion reactors in case the main generators go offline. Other than this the generators are mainly cut off from other systems and so energy backlash cannot damage other systems and only the generators, however the energy backlash must go somewhere and so its redirected to the outer hull which will then arc and dissipate the enemy though this method is far from 100% effective. The generators themselves produce the shield around the ship in a spherical shape however the shield projectors that are studded under the hull all around the ship shape the shield and bring it in to hug a 3m distance around the hull to help stop shield skipping weapons and allow SENTINEL CIWS to have more time to shoot incoming before impact. The shield itself is a energy sheathe that covers the ship, this sheathe is mostly solid energy and so can absorb energy weapon fire as well as impacting kinetics. Though it is more effective against the latter. The current energy shields can easily withstand gigajoules worth of fire however will collapse like any other shield under continuous fire. Unlike other shields though the Union energy shield dosent patch, the shield will protect all areas before collapsing fully rather than opening holes in areas which are particularly under heavy fire.
The last part of the Crenelation system is the Skia derived phase engine. Using a contained piece of Skia phase skin which is linked to the engine the phase skin seems to intelligently identify what its attached to and phases. Somehow this can be linked to the shields and allows the shields to enter a state of semi phase. The shield still exists in real space and works normally however also exists in billions of other phase states, these states constantly shift or can be locked in if an enemy is known to use one particular state. This allows the shield to defend against shield skipping or ignoring weapons just like it would a normal weapon. With the Union seeing new shield skipping weapons on all fronts this part of the system is becoming ever more important.
Effectiveness and Use
Crenelation class shields are used all over the Union, from the mighty warships of the Union Navy to the civilian defensive structures to defend from bombardments. They are there to protect the peoples of the Union from enemy attack and can be very small generators creating window shields to the huge complex planetary defence shields. All Union ships use the new shield system and in fact use multiple shields for a layered defence, a Dart class for example has 4 generators, each one creates the Crenelation shield going however only one is on at any time, if one goes down another can take over making its defence even better. On the Union Nova class carriers there are generators so large they can project a shield that can cover an entire Union fleet for support. Union shields are generally found everywhere and so are a very common sight. These shields are very effective against all kinds of weapons but are particularly effective against kinetic weapons like railguns etc which complements Union armour which is typically very good against energy weapons. This dosent mean Union shields are ineffective against energy weapons, far from it however kinetic weapons are very much better defended against. Against phasic weapons tests conducted using Phase missiles, Skia weapons, Draken weapons and a few other exotics showed a 78% defence rate against phase missiles, the 78% showed the shields ability to negate the bypassing effect and stop the weapon like it would a normal projectile. However no matter what there was always a 22% fail rate due to the fact that there are so many different phases to cover. Against these weapons the shield was calibrated to 'broad defence' in this mode the shield cycled between as many phases as it could, this 78% defence on broad defence was a stunning success and on 'point mode' against a particular phase it proved 100% effective against that particular part of the phase weapon. These tests proved the Mark VII Crenelation multi phasic shield will be used well into the future.
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