SELENIUM ARSENIDE CRYSTALS PROVIDE BASIS FOR NEW HIGH POWERED BEAM WEAPONS TECHNOLOGY
First excitable crystal discovered since the fushigi-no-umi crystals that lead to the development of Phaser system technology
By Dr. Carlos Matengna, Asst. Director Star Fleet Weapons Development Section, OutPost 070
Its long been recognized that Selenium Arsenide crystals emit mild photonic radiation when stimulated by low frequency microwave radiation. Several Alpha system civilizatins use this phenomenon as an integral feature of their power and lighting distribution grids.
In July 2371, a team of Ferengi physicists working at the Magev science station discovered that variable phase anti-proton discharges activated the crystals to emit high frequency gamma wave pi-meson radiation. While there was not much interest in the initial announcement, it was when the power in put to output conversion efficiency was far superior to the current technologys energy efficiency profile.
Star Fleet representatives traveled to Ferengenar to negotiate the purchase of the technology rights in December of 2371. They returned with a complete laboratory bench test bed assembly and 10 kilograms of refined Selenium Arsenide crystal. In addition, the Ferengi sold the right to the technology they had developed to date in their attempts to energize the crystals to emission state levels. While not completely successful, they had attained some preliminary results that were somewhat encouraging-and they were more than willing to exchange the information-for a profit. This provided Federation researchers with a defined starting point for their continued experimentation.
Unlike fushigi-no-umi crystals, the foundational emitter source for modern day Phaser technologies, the Selenium Arsenide crystals do not react based on the rapid nadion effect (RNE). Instead, these unique crystals use a variable decay unstable anti-proton/proton laced impulse to induce a rapid pi-meson discharge effect, where varying levels of power output are input level controlled, a key requirement for a viable tactical system design.
The primary issue we concerned ourselves with was determining methods to focus and fine tune the pi-meson discharge. The Ferengi physicists had noted that the application of mild metawave radiation did deflect the output discharge. Our people decided this was an excellent place to start our inquiry into these unique artificially produced crystals.
Initially, we recorded the behavior of the discharge as we ran the subject crystals through a variety of metawave frequencies while discharging varying levels of pi-meson discharge. This produced rather disappointing results however, as we could use the additional charge to disperse the radiation effect, but we couldnt do the reverse and bring it to a focus. Polarity changes, charge inverters, these too were tried in vain. It wasnt until a fatal accident occurred that we got our answers.
In OutPost 070 laboratory 374.66, D team had developed a system of cylindrical, magnetically fielded "pipes" to refine the metawave signal. There was an accidental high frequency gamma-nadion discharge that over-excited the Selenium Arsenide crystals and unexpectedly caused the crystal matrix to align on a sub-atomic level, producing a discharge that was focused and amplified via the apparatus the team developed. However, due to spectral frequency coherency, the semi-reflective mirror at the end of the tube failed to contain the signal and a clearly defined narrow beam was projected right out of the apparatus toward the unprotected laboratory walls.
Since this was a scheduled low power test, sufficient force field shielding had not been put in place to prevent this event from occurring. The beam struck the laboratory with explosive force, before it decimated several other internal barriers and finally breached the outpost stations outer pressure hull. Despite almost immediate containment procedures and the ability of structural integrity force fields to minimize the effect of the breached station, thirteen 070 staffers wee killed outright, two more died within days and over twenty people were seriously injured. Over 100 people received relatively minor injuries.
The cost of our inquiry to develop this technology into a variable power, steerable beam technology was far higher than we ever expected it would be. Out of respect for the work that so many of those killed and injured were committed to, the work so many died for, we elected to continue the project at the same pace we had been using to succeed with this project.
Within 90 days we developed a far safer test bed, with the recommended level 10 force fields in effect, that supported Federation contention that we could outfit a typical starship emitter segment with output in the 74 to 8.6 megawatt range. This is an increase of 37% to 54% over the current fushigi-no-umi crystal phaser technology of equivalent size and power consumption.
This clearly points to the real possibility of retrofitting key Star Fleet vehicles with this powerful technology once it is completely refined.
Several issues remain to be resolved however, before well see production level development of this new technology. The "halo effect that plagued early experimentation with the Phaser technology model has been as difficult an issue with this technology as it had been for those pioneering weapons researchers. Still, we are working with a variety of technological interventions that show great promise in resolving this issue.
In addition, there is the problem of high heat levels generated within the apparatus itself during firing operations. This is clearly controllable with high output refrigerant systems, but the concern is that the bulk of such a solution would add substantially to both physical space requirements and the power requirement of the system. We are very confidant that we can, in fact resolve these issues and do so within the next 12 to 18 months.
In summary, we see it as inevitable that this technology will be further refined to present our Federation associates with a new weapons technology that our early tests demonstrate clearly is far more effective against multi-phasic Borg shielding (it is easily multi-phased for output purposes). Further, there is fairly strong evidence that we can also penetrate the Chroniton based temporal shielding used by the Kremin race with this technology