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Polarized hull plating

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Polarized hull plating was a defensive armored hull technology used on 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 electromagnetic power, the metal hull of the ship can be made several orders of magnitude harder than it is in its non-polarized state."


In the 22nd century, this technology was used on Earth starships such as the J-class and the Template:ShipClass and on smaller auxiliary vessels such as the shuttlepods. During the months the Enterprise was in the Delphic Expanse, polarization technology on Earth had been improved by 12%. (Star Trek: Enterprise; ENT: "Horizon", "Vanishing Point", "Home")

Polarized hull plating was presumably invented by 2102, as that was the year the ECS Horizon was commissioned.

In the 24th century, starships still occasionally polarized their hull plating, though not typically as a defensive countermeasure. One example was disrupting an enemy's tractor beam 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 the enemy's sensors. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow"; VOY: "Equinox, Part II")

In 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")

In 2375, Tom Paris attempted to polarize the Delta Flyer's hull after it had crash-landed in order to make it easier for the USS Voyager's sensors to find them. (VOY: "Once Upon a Time")

In 2376, Voyager's hull was polarized in order mask their approach towards the errant USS Equinox. (VOY: "Equinox, Part II")

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