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(covers information from several alternate timelines)
A deflector field was the energy field created by the deflector array of a starship. A deflector field was typically initialized automatically, though in extreme circumstances, it had to be activated manually.
When the USS Defiant's computer systems were rendered inoperable by a cascade virus in 2373, the deflector field had to be manually initialized by the bridge crew when the ship undocked from Deep Space 9. (DS9: "For the Uniform")