The Laboratory ship is a mobile base/platform for scientific research and analysis, used by Imperial corporations, the Imperial Scout Service and sometimes various militaries to study and compile data on any a variety of scientific phenomenon.
Presently there is increased demand for the services of this class of ship as Imperial corporations seek out new resources beyond the Imperial fringe, such as new wonder drugs, weapons research, data on life forms or system surveys etc.
The craft is unusual in appearance, made up of a number of different hull forms but distinctive due to the 'wings' that curl up and away from the main hull almost to the point of touching. This is done so that important sensors can be mounted on the hull and thus make the most of the available surface area which has the effect of making the lab ship seem bigger that it actually is, the benefit being that the most can be made of aperture synthesis giving more accurate sensor readings and scan results with only minimal changes made to the orientation of the ship.
The 20 or so scientists vary from mission to mission and are treated as mid to high passengers for the duration of their stay thus they enjoy large staterooms, whilst the permanent crew have small cabins just behind the bridge. The lab ship is unarmed though it does come with 4 Hardpoints to allow future upgrades at the expense of cargo or lab space.
The standard configuration allows up to 10 equally sized labs of 8 tons each; the design is ingenious as each lab is made up of dismountable pressure tight, shielded walls to allow on board lab space to be reconfigured into larger or smaller laboratories as long as the 80-ton maximum is not exceeded.
The fact that the walls are pressure tight allows compartments to be filled with exotic atmospheres if needed (transporting alien life to a research facility etc) up to 3 Atmospheres pressure. Given that some samples might be radioactive or contain biochemical contagions this is especially important, though prolonged radiation exposure may necessitate replacing the wall panels after a period of time. Hence the radiation hardened electronic systems aboard.
This class of ship makes an excellent survey vessel and are typically hired by the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service to supplement their own survey craft or conduct detailed surveys of unusual stellar phenomenon such as strange Gas-Giants or unusual or interesting nebulae or weather patterns on rediscovered or re-contacted worlds.
The ship is semi-streamlined and incapable of landing on a planets surface if it has an atmosphere greater than 1, though it can skim for fuel, it's onboard processor effortlessly refining a full load in approximately 3 ½ hours.
Atmospheric entry/insertion is normally handled by any sub-craft aboard such as streamlined air/rafts or a research pinnace if carried.
Class: Laboratory Ship Type L Ep Output: 8 Tech Level: 12 Agility: 0 Size: (Medium 400 Tons) Initiative: 0 Streamlining: Semi Streamlined AC: 10 Jump Range: 1 x Jump 2 Repulsors: None Acceleration 1G Thruster Nuclear Dampers: None Fuel 88 Tons (Liquid Hydrogen) Meson Screens: None Duration: 4 weeks Black Globes: None Crew: 7 AR: 10 Staterooms: 20 SI: 145 Small Cabins: 16 Main Computer: Model 3Fib Bunks: none Sensor Range: Medium (model 3) Couches: none Comm. Range: Medium (model 3) Low Berths: none Cargo Space: 20.4 Tons Cost: Mcr: 215.732 (Mcr 172.585 in quantity) Atmospheric speeds Noe= 875 kph Cruising = 825 kph Maximum = 1100 kph Other Equipment: Fuel Scoops & Purifier (refines 88 tons in 3 Hr 32 min) 80 tons dedicated to Laboratory Space Hanger for 1 x Research pinnace (40 Ton) & 2 air/rafts (5 ton each) Price quoted does not include any sub-craft or other vehicles, though if you include a typical pinnace and 2 pressurised air/rafts the price would increase to Mcr 233.848 (or 187.078 with quantity discount) Crew Detail: 7-27
Original T4 Design: Not Credited
Design re-designed for T20, by Mark Bridgeman.