|This page contains information copied or paraphrased from the OCD FLEET site.|
Snoopy-class Spy/Recon Satellite
- Dimensions: 4m x 2m x 2m (approx.)
- Powerplant: 1 x Micro-Fission Powerpack, good for 18 years endurance. Auxiliary solar panels.
- Propulsion: Orbit-adjustment attitude jets.
- Crew: Artificial Intelligence suite.
- Armament: 1 x 1m "Deeplight" laser array.
The Board's satellite grid is a lynchpin of their power, an ever-present ally few Boardies ever give much thought to - and yet, these silent watchdogs quietly sit in orbit, high above the surface, steadily passing on information, energy, and occasionally even Firey Doom on request. They form the glowing grid of information and energy so common on Board globes and maps, a literal and metaphorical network of power any Boardie may call upon on a moment's notice.
When communications satellites were first proposed in the mid-1950s, it was not long before Boardies swiftly cottoned on to the potential of the new technology. Always an organisation with a globe-spanning remit, the old Board's historic distrust of high technology was quietly shoved aside by those sick of using carrier pigeons, and plans were drawn up for a low-orbit relay platform. While the designs were in development Speculation swiftly moved to add high-resolution cameras and passive sensor systems, vastly increasingly their data-gathering abilities at a stroke. Indeed, the modern Speculation network was effectively born with the first launch in March 1963, neatly timed to coincide with the Apollo program's SA-4 test flight.
While using rocketry to get the first satellites in orbit was a proven and relatively simple technique, the rise of missile defence systems during the Cold War made launches problematic and potentially highly dangerous. The Board's answer was to exploit the remoteness and high altitude of their city at Mohaborad and launch using a colossal mass driver built into the mountainside (Boardies occasionally suspect the infamous "Iraqi Supergun" scandal of the 1980s may have involved leaked technology or specifications from this, but investigation never turned up any solid proof either way). Ironically, the backlog of unused rocket vehicles thus created was promptly swiped by the Board's nuclear lobby, sowing the seeds for later proliferation.
By the outbreak of war, an entirely satisfactory network of communications, spy satellites, and early-warning systems was in place and operating. Unfortunately, it proved completely useless against a foe with entire planes of existence to Himself, and was knocked out with the same casual ease as everything else. The first shots of the Fall were fired at the satellite grid, almost certainly to ensure it couldn't be used to find the still-missing Margaret, and within seconds of their monitors going dark the old Speculation centre was blasted with artillery. Indeed, it is still believed to be the pulse of a crippled satellite's gravity communications array that first attracted FLEET ships to the solar system.
While tragic, the loss of most of the satellite grid did allow the Board to make a "clean sweep" during later rebuilding, this time with the vastly more advanced technology used to build the Funky Horror. The latest generation of satellites, far larger and more sophisticated than their forebears, are built to not only route communications and eavesdrop, but also to carry reality-control gear to fine-tune and channel energies transmitted by the Reality Control Array, a full AI suite to filter information gathered, and a rather oversized communications laser that just happens to be capable of vapourising armour should someone be so inconsiderate as to crank up the power output.
Although they never give it much thought, most Boardies are extremely thankful to have the satellites around - aside from the morale factor of knowing one is always in touch with friends and colleagues, there are (entirely true) tales of satellites focussing on a Boardie, detecting threats in the surroundings, and putting a gigawatt of energy into his attackers before he'd even had time to look up. They are just that good.