|TechStatus||Star Trek Canon|
The Phaser is the mainstay weapon of the Federation's Starfleet both as portable handheld weaponry as well as ship and station based weapons. It has been an important part of the Starfleet arsenal for two hundred years and continues today as a vital component of the weapons available to the organisation.
The term Phaser is an acronym for PHASed Energy Rectification. Personal phasers were first developed by Starfleet in the 23rd century as a defensive beam weapon for use by personnel heading into uncertain situations. There are three classes of personal phaser.
Energy from the power cell is modulated by three interconnected parts: the beam control assembly (the operation buttons), the safety interlock (to personalize the user), and the subspace transceiver assembly (which limits the power of shipboard firings). Once the energy has passed through these control mechanisms, it is routed into the prefire chamber. It is held here until the trigger is depressed, at which point the energy is passed to the emitter crystal. There it is converted into a tuned phaser discharge and released according to the setting.
All phaser types are capable of firing beams of varying power. The settings include 'stun,' which renders an organic target unconscious; 'heat,' for warming objects such as rocks for use as heat or light sources, as well as a cutting tool; and 'disruption.' This last setting destroys objects and almost any known life form. In Type I and Type II phasers, energy is stored in a sarium krellide cell. This can be recharged aboard ship through standard power taps, or in the field using portable bulk sarium krellide units. If desired, the phaser could be set to overload, which caused it to glow red and produce a high-pitched whine. The resulting explosion would destroy the phaser and anything in the immediate vicintiy.
Phaser energy is released by the rapid nadion effect. Rapid nadions are short lived subatomic particles which can liberate and transfer strong nuclear forces within a class of crystals called fushigi-no-umi.
Type I Phaser
The Type I is a hand-sized unit, easily concealed; it is ideal for use on diplomatic or sensitive missions, where it would be unwise to appear heavily armed.
Type II Phaser
Type II phasers are larger, more powerful weapons issued to personnel going into hostile environments.
The Type II phasers of 2266 were mostly casing, incorporating the smaller Type I phaser giving it a greater power output. This model of the Type II could not function without the Type I plugged in.
The Type II phaser of the 2270s were elongated and less bulky with a wider beam emitter. This Type II model also could also detach from the hand grip unit.
In the late 2280s a new Type II phaser was designed that, unlike previous models, did not break down into a smaller Type I unit. It was constructed of a black metallic material, and had a much smoother finish than its predecessors. This model also featured a removable power pack that slotted into the handle which was marked with an identification tag.
Type III Phaser
The Type III phaser rifle is only issued in special situations.
Ship Based Phasers
Type IV Phaser
The type IV phaser is a medium sized device fitted to small vehicles such as shuttlecraft
Type X Phaser
Type XII Phaser
Previously designated as the 'Type 10+' for security reasons, the Type XII phaser has been used in dedicated planetary defence arrays and as the main armament of heavy fortified starbases since 2263. It was considered that the Type XII was unsuitable for use on a starship platform because the energy requirements of the array were too high and the supporting hardware too bulky. However, by 2368 the power plant of the Sovereign class had grown large enough to support Type XII arrays in place of the planned Type X models; technical improvements had also allowed for considerable shrinkage in the size of the equipment. These are the most powerful phaser weapons currently in use by the Federation.
On the largest of ships the Maximum number of segments is 250 due to hull dimentions.
The type XII phaser has a total Output of 85,000 TeraWatts per bank.