Memory Alpha


Revision as of 12:22, July 31, 2013 by SulfBot (Talk | contribs)

40,408pages on
this wiki
Starfleet scanner, 2151

A Starfleet hand scanner

A scanner is a generic term referring to a hand-held sensory device. Scanners were common during the mid-22nd century and used by a variety of space-faring cultures and institutions such as Starfleet, the Earth Sciences Institute, Ferengi privateers, the Suliban Cabal, and the Vulcan High Command.

Scanners were the presumed precursors to the tricorder of the 23rd and 24th centuries.

This article or section needs attention This page or section has been identified as needing attention. Please visit the article's talk page to see what needs fixing and feel free to edit this page to assist with this task.


Hand scanner

Hand scanner closed

Earth Starfleet's hand scanner, closed configuration

Scanner circuit

Internal circuitry of interface and viewer section

Sometimes referred to as a hand scanner, the Starfleet scanner was common during the 2150s. Distinguished by a square-shaped body lined with black grips, this scanner featured a display and interface that could be closed, making the device more compact for storage. (ENT: "Broken Bow")

Capable of performing general sensory functions such as generating floor plan views, and locating bio-signs, these scanners were also equipped with quantum dating technology, yielding at least generally accurate results. (ENT: "Dead Stop", "The Expanse", "Carpenter Street")

Under certain circumstances, the scanner could be converted into a communications device, even transmitting through time, from the 31st to the 22nd century. (ENT: "Shockwave, Part II")

These devices were also capable of interfacing with and potentially overriding vastly different computer systems. Sent back to the 21st century, Starfleet Captain Jonathan Archer successfully tampered with a 2004 ATM and overrode the automatic locking mechanism of a Dodge Ram truck. (ENT: "Carpenter Street")

The hand scanner could also be used to deactivate explosive devices, though with varying results. (ENT: "The Forge")

Despite its versatility, the hand scanner was, at times, somewhat inaccurate. It sometimes could not separate Human (or even humanoid) bio-signs from that of other species. It was also susceptible to certain forms of temporal interference. (ENT: "Doctor's Orders", "Broken Bow")

Hand scanner

A hand scanner detecting lifesigns.

When it did locate life signs, they were generally displayed as a blinking, red indicator. (ENT: "Carpenter Street")

The internal circuitry of the hand scanner could be accessed by removing both the back panel of the body, and by removing the interface viewer portion. (ENT: "Shockwave, Part II")

A small control PADD seen throughout Enterprise in the hands of Lieutenant Reed seems to have been made – at least by the prop makers – from the lower portion of the hand scanner, with added blue LED "blinkies". It can be clearly seen in such episodes as "Dead Stop" and "Regeneration", used to activate Reed's various explosives.
The hand scanner itself was among several all-new props made for the premiere of Enterprise, designed with a built-in pop-up function and blue LED "display". According to one Star Trek prop website, of the four working scanners were built for the series, only one survived until the end of season four. [1]

Medical scanner

Also in stock aboard Starfleet vessels such as the NX-class Enterprise, a small medical scanner was available during the 2150s.

This palm-sized scanner was distinguished by a large, blue-glowing display screen and interface, with two rows of blue-glowing lights opposite. The medical scanner was able to perform simple diagnostic functions such as reading vital signs and internal scans. It could also be used much like the Starfleet hand scanner, used to scan a specific area for general bio-signs.

The medical scanner's range was generally close, though it could get accurate scans from the distance of a few feet. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Dear Doctor", "Hatchery")

In the Enterprise season three episode "Similitude", Dr. Phlox refers to an off-screen piece of equipment as a medical tricorder. It's possible that he was talking about the above medical scanner, though it has never been given a specific or identifiable name.

Heavy scanner

Heavy scanner 2152

A heavy scanner used during an EVA

Larger in size than either the hand or medical scanners, a heavy-duty model was also available aboard Earth starships during the 2150s.

Characterized by a thick, rectangular body held horizontally, this scanner also featured a metallic handle to the left of a rectangular display screen and control buttons. It could be used to view graphic representations of the inside of devices such as the Romulan mine that struck the NX-01 in 2152. (ENT: "Minefield")

Appearing only once during the run of Enterprise, it is not clear if this scanner had other functions or whether its role was specifically intended for EVA as depicted in the episode. It was clearly constructed from an actual plasma screen monitor, about the same size as those mounted on the NX-01's command chair.

Earth Sciences Institute

Standard scanner

ESI scanner

A standard ESI scanner

Available to members of the Earth Sciences Institute including researchers of the A-6 Excavation Team during the 2150s, was a small, angular scanner. Dominated by a large, rectangular, green-glowing display screen, this scanner included a long, irregularly shaped input area with a number of button controls.

The device could be used to identify technology buried beneath snow and could differentiate organic matter from inorganic matter. Researcher Rooney successfully identified a warp coil buried in the Arctic Circle debris field with the scanner, though it was actually a Borg transwarp coil. (ENT: "Regeneration")

The generic scanner used by the A-6 Excavation Team was a reuse of the mold of the Cardassian PADD from TNG and DS9, with a large, now square, lighted display screen. It would appear again in the second season of Enterprise, repainted and in the hands of Klingons in "Bounty".

Medical scanner

ESI medical scanner

An ESI medical scanner

Also utilized by the ESI and A-6 Excavation Team was a large, oval-shaped device used for medical scans.

Distinguished by a small, circular readout and several circular buttons lining the periphery of the device, this scanner could detect, among other things, changes in bio-functions.

The medical scanner used by Researcher Moninger to scan the Borg "corpses" was a redress of Daniels' temporal observatory device from "Cold Front" and was one of the most unique scanners portrayed on Enterprise.


Ferengi scanner

A Ferengi scanner

A small brown, angular scanning device was utilized by citizens of the Ferengi Alliance or Ferengi privateers as early as 2151.

Characterized by a large, green, illuminated interface and display, this Ferengi scanner was capable of scanning through bulkheads and was key in the search for loot. (ENT: "Acquisition")

The Ferengi scanning device seen in only the aforementioned episode was a reuse of the Ferengi PADD from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Unlike the PADD, however, the scanner featured electronics to illuminate the display screen.

Suliban Cabal

Suliban scanner

A Suliban scanner

Also similar in design and shape to the Vulcan scanner, the hand held sensing device utilized by members of the Suliban Cabal featured a rounded interface area, with an extended handle. Mottled-brown in color, this scanner also featured a purple readout.

Presumably along with a handful of other functions, the Suliban scanner was capable of locating an individual's distinct bio-signs and could detect temporal signatures. (ENT: "Shockwave, Part II")

Appearing only in "Shockwave, Part II", the Suliban scanner was likely created from the same mold as T'Pol's scanner, with an extended handle and a new, more Suilban paint scheme.

Vulcan High Command


Vulcan tricorder

A 22nd century Vulcan scanner

Used by officers in service of the Vulcan High Command as early as 1957, the standard scanner used by Vulcans was a chrome-colored, dome-shaped device with a handle.

The device featured a purple-colored, lighted display screen and could be used to scan for life signs. (ENT: "Carbon Creek")


Standard scanner

Similar in shape and design as its 21st century counterpart, the scanner used by the Vulcans during the 2150s was also a dome-shaped sensor, with a triangular handle. This device, however, was distinguished by a silver colored readout portion and a blue handle, with black grips. The viewer itself displayed readings in Vulcan script with a generally purple-color glow, the grip featured an array of button controls. (ENT: "Broken Bow")

The Vulcan scanner possessed a maximum scanning radius of three kilometers and performed the same general function as the Earth Starfleet hand scanner. Vulcan sensors, however, were commonly known to be superior during that time. (ENT: "Carpenter Street", "Broken Bow")

Medical scanner

As early as 2153, Vulcans doctors in the service of the High Command were equipped with distinct medical scanners.

Featuring a similarly dome-shaped readout section, this scanner also featured a dome-shaped lower, control portion. It was also distinguished by yellow indicator lights on each side of the display screen.

It was used to scan for certain types of radiation and could, possibly, perform detailed brain scans. (ENT: "The Expanse")

See also

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki