Advanced Communications Jammer
Model: MerenData EX-1b experimental communications jammer
Type: communications jammer
Cost: not available for sale
Availability: 4 X
Capsule: This communications jammer has been called "countermeasures with style" by Admiral Doluk, the man who came up with the original idea for it. The basic idea is to have a jammer so powerful that it completely disrupts all known communication frequencies within a radius of 1,000 space units. This means that no ship within that area can use any communications gear that isn't hardwired. As an example, a ship's internal comm system, which is hardwired rather than sending any sort of radio or subspace waves, would be unaffected, but standard comlinks and inter-ship communications arrays wouls be useless. This technology has no effect on holonet communications. Where the style comes in is the fact that this jammer, rather than simply flooding the aether with static, floods all communications frequencies with whatever the transmitting vessel chooses to broadcast. Only 3 prototypes have been made so far. One was installed aboard the Imperial II Star Destroyer Balefire, which was at the time Doluk's flagship. Doluk had sophisticated coding/decoding computers installed on all of the ships in his fleet. He then programmed these computers to detect miniscule changes in tempo, pitch and volume, changes that are undetectable to the human ear. Randomized codes were then set up using these changes. Doluk then connected the code computer on the Balefire to the jammer, and used the jammer to broadcast music, with the coding computer modifying the music slightly according to the commands that Doluk punched into it. This could then be decoded by the other ships in his fleet. This method was only tested once, during a battle with a hostile alien fleet from beyond known space. During the test the aliens were completely unable to coordinate their efforts, while Doluk's fleet worked in near-perfect concert. Of course it was impossible for any of Doluk's fleet to transmit messages to his command ship, but this was considered a minor difficulty. When this system has been used, both in testing and in the field, every long range communications array, such as those found on board even the smallest starships, within 45 light years was able to detect the disturbance caused by the jammer, and pinpoint the general area of it's source. This system requires a huge power source, and cannot be mounted on any ship smaller than a Strike cruiser. Any ship that it is mounted on will suffer a tremendous power drain when the system is in use. For a smaller cruiser this could mean that no power would be available for weapons or shields, and engines would be operating at about 60%. For a ship the size of a Star Destroyer, typically power from one entire weapons system would have to be diverted to the jammer. Since any vessel that mounted one of these jammers would be a command ship which isn't supposed to engage in direct combat anyway this is considered an acceptable drawback. Obviously this sytem is only usefull in large fleet actions, but it could become a powerful tool for the remnants of the Empire if sufficient resources were allocated to it's continued development and construction.