Polarized hull plating was a defensive armored hull technology used on shuttles and starships. Before the development of deflector shielding, hull polarization was the primary defensive measure for starships against enemy weaponry.
In the January 2002 issue of Star Trek Monthly, according to André Bormanis: "
To minimize potential damage from weapons fire and other space hazards, NX-01 incorporates a polarization matrix in its armored hull plating. Through the application of
hull of the ship can be made several orders of magnitude harder than it is in its non-polarized state.
Unlike with deflector shields,
transporters could be used by a starship when its hull plating was polarized. ( : " ENT ")
22nd century, this technology was used on Earth starships such as the J-class and the NX-class and on smaller auxiliary vessels such as the shuttlepod. During the months Enterprise was in the Delphic Expanse, polarization technology on Earth had been improved by 12 %. ( ; Star Trek: Enterprise : " ENT ", " Horizon ", " Vanishing Point ")
Polarized hull plating was presumably invented by 2102, as that was the year the ECS was commissioned. Horizon Travis Mayweather polarized the hull of Enterprise before entering the neutronic wavefront in 2152 to strengthen its structural integrity. ( : " ENT ")
24th century, starships still occasionally polarized their hull plating, though not typically as a defensive countermeasure. One example was disrupting a tractor beam lock by rotating the frequency of the hull plating's electromagnetic field. Ships also sometimes polarized their hull plating to help mask their sensory signature, which worked by interfering with enemy sensor scans. Polarizing the hull was also done by downed vessels to help their mothership locate them. ( : " DS9 "; In Purgatory's Shadow : " VOY ", " Once Upon a Time ")
Equinox, Part II
2372, Chakotay used a magnetic field to cushion the impact of proton bursts on the USS 's hull, but it was not long before the hull began to depolarize. ( Voyager : " VOY ")
2373, Garak suggested that Worf repolarize their runabout's hull to free them from a Jem'Hadar fighter's tractor beam. ( : " DS9 ")
In Purgatory's Shadow
2375, Tuvok and Tom Paris attempted to polarize the s hull after it had Delta Flyer' crash landed in order to make it easier for Voyager's sensors to locate them. ( : " VOY ")
Once Upon a Time
2376, Voyager's hull was polarized in order to mask their approach towards the errant USS . ( Equinox : " VOY ")
Equinox, Part II
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