Post-Jump Sensor Calibration Process (PJSCP)

George Kelln

Banded Mongoose
What does the masses think about the Post-Jump Sensor Calibration Process? Is it too long? Not long enough?

Post-Jump Sensor Calibration Process (PJSCP)

: After executing a jump, the ship's sensors may be temporarily misaligned or filled with "jump noise" – residual interference from the hyperspace bubble. Calibration ensures accurate readings and optimal sensor performance in the new system.

Task: Routine (6+) Electronic (Sensor), 60 minutes, INT or EDU
Average (8+) Electronic (Sensor), 30 minutes, INT or EDU

1. Initial Diagnostic (2 minutes):

  • The onboard computer runs a diagnostic on all sensor systems to check for immediate malfunctions caused by jump travel.
  • If malfunctions are detected, immediate repairs are flagged for crew or automated systems.

2. Clear Jump Noise (5 minutes):
  • Use the ship's internal systems to purge sensor buffers and caches of any residual data from before the jump.
  • Run software algorithms to filter out any hyperspace interference from sensor readings.

3. Local Star Calibration (5 minutes):
  • Point optical telescopes and ladar at the system's primary star.
  • Measure its spectral output and radiation levels.
  • Adjust onboard databases for local star characteristics.

4. Gravitational Mapping (15 minutes):
  • Use passive sensors to detect large gravitational sources such as planets, moons, and other celestial bodies.
  • Map these sources relative to the ship’s position, updating the navigation database.

5. Active Sensor Pulse (10 minutes):
  • Emit a wide-spectrum radar and ladar pulse to get detailed readings of nearby objects.
  • Use return data to calibrate sensor sensitivity and range.

6. Communication Channel Adjustment (5 minutes):
  • Scan local communication frequencies.
  • Adjust ship's comm systems to local "traffic" to ensure clear communications.

7. Defensive Systems Check (5 minutes):
  • Test defensive countermeasures to ensure they are functioning and calibrated to potential threats in the new system.
  • Adjust chaff launchers and jamming systems based on local conditions.

8. Data Integration and Analysis (10 minutes):
  • Integrate all collected data into the ship's main computer.
  • The computer will analyze data, creating a detailed map of the immediate vicinity and flagging potential points of interest or threats.
  • Update crew stations with new sensor data.

9. Final Systems Check (3 minutes):
  • Once all calibrations are done, perform a final diagnostic to ensure all sensors are operating at optimal levels.
  • Address any anomalies and rectify them immediately.

Total Calibration Time: Approximately 60 minutes.

Note: This is a standard calibration process, and actual time can vary based on the ship's technology, crew expertise, and specific circumstances of the jump exit point. For military or high-tech ships with advanced AI assistance, this process might be faster. Conversely, for older or civilian ships, the calibration could take longer. Always refer to ship-specific manuals for detailed instructions.
Certainly something to consider for people that want spaceship operation to be more "realistic", so it is not for everyone.
I wouldn't let the players roll for this if one character has at least Electronic 0. Let players roll enough and they will eventually fail.
In addition I feel that the times given are way too long. I would assume that the ships computer and sensors would assist in the calibration process if it such an important thing.
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Some of the points can probably be done concurrently (at least points 3, 4, 5 & 6).
Point 7 is usually pointless for civilian ships (no chaff or jammer).
If you have to wait close to an hour to know if there is any threat, you'll be dead by that time if any immediate threat exists.
I... really don't see the point to this other than to create more busywork and ensure that every ship is a sitting duck for an hour after arrival.

This sort of stuff should happen automatically and take a few seconds, especially since most of it is stuff that would be going on all the time in the background during normal flight.
I agree that the times seem very long. This should be something doable in a combat round, ie 6 min.
Roll 2D - any result means your sensors work unless the referee has an adventure requiring them not to.

Ok real feedback.

Traveller as a task library game is a complete turn off for me.

A multistage task like this that has to be performed every time you jump - ever actually done this at the game table?

Many of the time increments should be measured in microseconds not minutes - TL9 electronics are a lot better than TL7 electronics (which could also do most of this in a fraction of a second)
Thanks for your comments.

So why? Well my players like to ask: "why and how long?"

We do them initially, similar to making a Jump Roll each time the ship jumps, or docking at a starport. As the players become more capable these checks are only done when something it out of the ordinary (i.e., ship is damaged, attempt to synchronize a jump with several ships, or jumping into a pirate infested system).

The one (6 minute) combat round makes sense, made adjustments.

Routine Electronics Check (6+), 6 minutes, INT or EDU.

Rapid-Post-Jump Sensor Calibration Process (R-PJSCP)

Quickly calibrate sensors post-jump, ensuring essential functions are restored in a constrained timeframe.


1. Quick Diagnostic (20 seconds):

- Onboard computer swiftly checks primary sensor systems.
- Flags critical malfunctions for urgent attention.

2. Jump Noise Clearance (40 seconds):
- Rapidly purge primary sensor buffers of pre-jump data.
- Initiate priority software algorithms to eliminate hyperspace interference.

3. Star and Gravitational Quick-Calibration (1 minute):
- Simultaneously aim optical telescopes and ladar at the system's main star and significant gravitational sources.
- Briefly measure primary spectral outputs and major gravitational anomalies.
- Update onboard databases with essential local characteristics.

4. Essential Active Sensor Pulse (1 minute):
- Emit a priority radar and ladar pulse to get a rudimentary overview of nearby significant objects.
- Calibrate primary sensors based on this swift return data.

5. Urgent Communication Calibration (40 seconds):
- Rapidly scan dominant local communication frequencies.
- Temporarily adjust ship's comm systems for essential communications.

6. Defensive Systems Quick Check (40 seconds):
- Swiftly assess primary defensive countermeasures.
- Make necessary adjustments for immediate threats.

7. Priority Data Integration (1 minute):
- Feed critical data to the ship's main computer for urgent analysis.
- Highlight primary points of interest or threats on main crew interfaces.

8. Brief Systems Recheck (20 seconds):
- After rapid calibrations, run a swift recheck on essential systems.
- Rectify any glaring anomalies.

Total Calibration Time: 6 minutes.

Note: This rapid process ensures primary systems are operational post-jump but may leave out finer calibration details. It's advisable to perform a more detailed calibration when circumstances permit. This procedure is suitable for situations demanding swift readiness post-jump. Always cross-check with ship-specific procedures when in doubt.
It's not easy to get a hold of these days, but if you haven't read the MegaTraveller Starship Operator's Manual I think it would be right down your alley.
Basically, this stuff only matters if you are jumping straight into combat. Ships expecting there will be enemy ships in the system might want to not jump close to the places where the enemy is expected to be. Given how long starship combat turns are, the OP time frames would be ok for known systems, and 99.99999% of the time this won't matter at all because all these systems checks will get done well before the enemy is near enough to start shooting. However, if you are deliberately jumping in close to the enemy, it would matter, as basically, this is like giving the enemy a free turn to shoot at you while you get your bearings. This seems ok to me. On the other hand, the enemy is also likely to be surprised and need a moment to make sure they are firing on an enemy ship, and not one of their own.

There are already other rules for figuring out where you are in unexplored systems - it is actually kind of complicated.