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2300AD & 2320 Discussion of the original 2300AD from GDW, the revised 2300 from Mongoose Publishing, or QLI's 2320AD.

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Old June 1st, 2018, 12:39 PM
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Default Generic Courrier Drone

Maintaining communications has always been a major goal (and headache) for any empire, and those in 2300AD are not an exception. With interstellar communications limited to ships, it was only a matter of time until communication drones (in fact large missiles with high capacity data storage capabilities) were developed.

This one was produced by various commercial firms (though they are slightly different, they are all more or less equivalent In capacities, so being considered generic), being in service along nearly all the human space to service colonies and outposts, and even usually carried in military fleets to keep in touch with their headquarters:

10 ton hullHull0-1
Standard ConfigStructure1--
New Commercial ATactical6--
Power PlantMHD A-0.480.1
Drone CommandTL12See details below1.55
ComputerModel 3 (bis)Rate 15(+5)-3
SoftwareStutterwarp control/BRating 10-0.2
-Self repair/1Rating 10-5
Electronics/sensorsStandardDM -4--
FuelPower Plant168 hours (1 week)5.88-
Other featuresRepair Drones-0.10.02
-Data Storage computer (model 2)--0.16

Cost in quantity: MLv 14.13216.

Drone Command software (as per MgT:HG, page 60): INT:7 (0); EDU:9(+1), Intellect/2; Expert Pilot/2: Ecpert Navigator/2; Expert Sensors/2.

The drone goes from Orbital Terminal to Orbital Terminal, where they are served and refueled, with no capacity to land on planets. The Repair Drones perform the Engineer functions in travel, but it needs to be serviced for routine maintenance.

Standard operations are to go straightforward from origin al OT with the information (and up to 1.5 tons of cargo) to the receiving one, where the information is retrieved and, if needed, loaded on another one to keep it running to the next system.

The one week fuel autonomy allows, if needed, to make a round trip, just transmitting the information stored by thigh beam to the target planet (and receiving any one that needs to be taken), as it would take less than 3 days to reach any target on range. This is not something most companies like to do, though, as the lack of maintenance servicing makes it slightly more risky than usual operations.

Though the cost is high (nearly equaling a Thorez-class courier), the fact it does not need a crew and it doubles Thorezís speed has made it quite popular for communication agencies among systems with the infrastructure to support them (that is, after all, quite a basic one, as any ship or Orbital Terminal may do so).
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