PsiCorder

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A general-purpose science/investigative tool developed by Psion. In the hands of a trained user, a psicorder can provide bonuses to some detect hidden and intelligence rolls. In the hands of an untrained user, a rabid mammoth with church bells hanging from its tusks could be missed while the user tries to puzzle out the functions. Indeed, many missed detect-danger rolls have been blamed on this innocuous device.

Mark III psicorder concept sketch.

Versions

  • Mark I -- a proof of concept prototype enclosed in a simple, plastic case. This device was carried with Psion during the Exoverse mission to stop Mundelein. It had a simple LCD display and could be operated using short sequences of hexadecimal commands.
  • Mark II -- Using technology obtained from other universes, this unit vastly expanded upon the capabilities of its predecessor. It had dual, 12-bit, touch-sensitive displays. The main body was a thick disk attached to a long, cushioned grip which contained the power supply. This was the first unit that could be operated single-handedly. It also featured the first mobile version of a telepathic user interface, and was considerably more user-friendly than its predecessor. The components of the Mark II, however, were poorly optimized resulting in a bulky tool that consumed too much power and required a heavy battery pack in its handle.
  • Mark III -- The most advanced unit to date, the Mark III borrows from contemporary mobile phone design concepts, Indeed, it could easily be mistaken for an oversized smartphone. The unit can be used straight out of its holster or opened with the push of a button, revealing a 56-key thumbpad keyboard and joypad. Peripheral sensors and other devices can communicate via RF or through one of two bayonet-mount peripheral ports located at the head of the unit. Miniaturization has lowered power requirements somewhat and the large battery packs of the Mark II have been replaced by smaller, high-density units that can be ejected and replaced quickly while internal capacitors keep the unit operational.

Functions

Sensors

  • Digital video camera: IR through UV spectrum; maximum resolution 3840 x 2160 at up to 1400 fps; non-optical Software Lens™ focusing system.
  • Digital audio recorder: Digitized stereo sound in 24 bit samples at 96,000 KHz; internal microphone input or external jack at peripheral port; audio/video passthrough at peripheral port. Digital editing available.
  • Hall-effect magnetometer: 2 to 19.99 megagauss; compass function in software; linked to Inertia Totalizer platform for 3D analysis.
  • Solid-state radioactivity counter: Alpha and beta particle counter, sensitive to .01μCi; filtered-double-counter system allows simultaneous particle counts; directional mode available; linked to Inertia Totalizer platform for 3D analysis; directly monitored by environmental safety software; see pan-spectrum array for related functions.
  • Pan-spectrum array: low-resolution reception plates for radio, microwaves, UV, x-rays, and gamma rays; directional mode available; linked to Inertia Totalizer platform for 3D analysis; non-optical Software Lens™ focusing system provides limited imaging capabilities; directly monitored by environmental safety software. Couples with VLF transmitter function for metal detection and analysis. In-software GPS functions. In-software wireless networking.
  • Thermal analysis: directional and ambient thermal sensors read from -273° to +3500°C; accuracy to ±.01° C; linked to inertial totalizer for 3D analysis.
  • Infrared point sensor: for simple atmosphere analysis. Indicates levels of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen gases.
  • Kirlian analysis: low-resolution psionium array detects sentient mental activity (alpha through beta wavelengths); linked to inertial totalizer for 3D analysis; non-optical Software Lens™ focusing system provides limited imaging capabilities; directly monitored by environmental safety software.

Scanners/Emitters

  • Lidar: Short-range, high-precision detection and mapping of objects up to forty meters away within a 60° arc of the emitter; tunable from 800 to 250nm; linked to inertial totalizer for 3D mapping and CCD array for automatic color-map generation; high-resolution perimeter security; laser emitter available for light spectroscopy function.
  • Radar: Longer-range, low-precision radio-spectrum detection of objects up to two kilometers away within a 90° arc of the emitter; doppler option available; linked to inertial totalizer for automated terrain mapping; long-range perimeter security.
  • Ultrasound: Low-power, short-range, non-EM detection of objects up to sixty meters away within a 120° arc of the emitter; doppler option available; low-power perimeter security mode.
  • VLF: simple very-low-frequency emitter for use with pan-spectrum array for metal detection.
  • Tunable RF: radio-frequency emitter in the range 10 to .1 meters. Used for network interaction and possibly electronic countermeasures.

Software

The psicorder, by combining an extensive sensor/scanner suite with programmability and data recording functions, becomes a useful tool for a variety of investigations. For example, light spectroscopy functions, using the tunable LIDAR emitter, permit the psicorder operator to analyze substances based on their absorption/emission characteristics of infrared through ultraviolet light and comparing these characteristics against a preprogrammed database. This can be useful for geology, protein analysis, polymer analysis, etc.

The ability to image between infrared and ultraviolet while coupling output from the Inertial Totalizer, permits an astronomer or astrophysicist to observe stars, planets, and stellar activity in real-time and label observed objects based upon an observational database. Sunspots can be imaged and analyzed, spectral lines noted and compared against known objects, and given sufficient time to collect ephemerides, orbits and trajectories established.

  • Software Lens™ Focusing System: Utilizing optics management software and a dedicated microprocessor, this system dispenses with the typically bulky lens-focus methods currently in widespread use. A flat-panel CCD array is regularly scanned by the system and the output is focused digitally rather than optically. In theory, this should yield infinitely scalable magnifications, but is limited in practice by processing speed. Non-visible spectrum-array devices may also be tied into this system for similar processing.
  • Environmental Safety Software: A simple model describing normal human tolerances to environmental variables is regularly compared against current sensor readings. Should one or more of these readings indicate a hazardous situation, appropriate alerts are triggered. This model is modifiable by software.
  • Three-dimensional Analysis System: Directional sensors are scanned and cross-indexed with data from the Inertial Totalizer. A simple reverse-ray algorithm allows a functional three-dimensional image and database to be constructed from any of several phenomena. This allows construction and study of magnetic field models, thermal convection models, radioactive field models, etc. Note that real-time manipulation of thes models is usually beyond the psicorder's specifications. Such needs are best handled by higher-powered processing platforms.
  • Perimeter Sentry: The LIDAR, radar, or ultrasonic scanners can be used to detect approaching individual objects with range and sensitivity dependent on mode. Note that power consumption using radar or LIDAR is considerable and shouldn't be attempted for extended periods without a full battery charge. Networked psicorders may be used in conjunction to cover wider scan areas.
  • Danger Mode: During ordinary operations, a psicorder may maintain a log of 500 millisecond sweeps of all sensors on a six hour loop. When an alert mode is triggered, the sweep rate increases to 10 ms and the previous 500 ms log is archived. Note that danger mode logs are dynamically scaled to meet the demands of the operator and may temporarily suspend if the user requires full processing power.
  • Avatar Mode: For Psion's use only. Provides a telepresence perspective for Psion from the POV of the psicorder's sensors or an augmented reality from his own.

Peripherals

  • "Sniffer" - Analyzes atmospheric content and displays results.
  • "Sipper" - Based on the Sniffer, analyzes liquid content. Dry material analysis can be made by first establishing a baseline in an available liquid (water, kerosene, etc.), then adding the subject material and re-scanning.
  • "Medic" - Enhanced bio-related sensors and diagnostic expert software provides effective on-the-spot analysis and treatment recommendations for medical emergencies. (In prototype stage.)
  • LIDAR
  • Radar
  • Sonar

Construction

  • Impact-resistant, carbon-reinforced resin and stainless steel.
  • Components are psi-phased and backed up with a psionium crystal for additional survivability
  • I/O: 64 bit addressing and data paths; communications software for external processing and peripherals; audio and video pass-through.
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