Four Sensor Positions,Two Obwerver
Two recent seemingly minor adjustments seem to have rippled into a major reorganization of the science department, which might also come to effect others. The first is a new tactical software package. It promises to increase Hawking's ability to detect, track, and damage opponents, perhaps increasing our effective phaser range somewhat. The difficulty is that the package is a 'sensor hog'. While in operation, the science department's ability to perform real time analysis of enemy capability is significantly impacted. To optimize utilization of the new system, Ops will have to significantly cut back on sensor resources available to the science department.
A secondary factor is the new officer manning levels provided by Starfleet. With a fourth and fifth prime shift science officer expected, and Ops and Helm roles now being performed by separate officers, the Hawking's bridge does not have room for the full prime shift science staff.
As a result, we have installed a new Science Information Center. It's design is similar to a bridge on a much smaller ship. Forward to aft, it has a two dimensional large back up flat display, the primary three dimensional holograph display, a row of four science / bridge stations, and a row of three command / observer chairs.
Behind the Science Information Center is the Science Ready Room. It contains a single large table, with a small 3d holo display in the center which will normally echo the main SIC display. There is a window that opens between the SIC and the ready room, which can be set to open, glass, or dark.
View From Ready Room
Immediately behind the science ready room is my office, and As'lan's.
I will be requesting that Ops set up four requested levels of
sensor priority for the SIC. SIC mode changes may be requested by SIC
personnel, but the SIC modes change under OPS control. The requested
priorities will be...
'Cold'. This mode is to be used when Tactical or another department needs high access to sensors. It might also be used when the SIC is being used for training or casual investigations. Under this mode, the SIC will only seize sensor assets which are not requested by any other source.
'Warm'. This is a middle level sensor request, corresponding to a typical average science priority level.
'Hot'. This request is for a very high sensor priority. It is appropriate for study of anomalies such as the time warp near the orange mud planet. During this mode, if Kevla wishes to fire at a target other than that which we are studying, she may have to use a manual track mode. This unit recommends that Ops be ready to drop out of SIC Hot mode should use of weapons seem likely in the near future.
Science Information Center : The SIC was primarily designed
as a Science Information Center to be used for solving science
problems. During such use, we shall likely have four science officers
in the SIC. My preliminary plan is to assign Lt Castrux to a bridge
liaison role, with all other science personnel reporting to the SIC
during science research studies. Often, a member of the Command Staff
may be present in the SIC and commanding. Often, if any other
department has expertise in the problem at hand, their expertise may
be requested and welcome.
The degree of formality for best use of the SIC in problem solving mode is uncertain, as will be use of the ready room behind the bridge. For the moment, any officer not required in their own department may come to the ready room, observe the anomaly and suggest ideas. We will open or close the window between the SIC and the ready room, depending on noise level and how desperate we are for ideas. If you come into the ready room, have expertise relevant to the problem, and you are familiar with sensor operation, you might come into the SIC proper, and request one of the free chairs. I request that no more than seven people be in the SIC proper. Visitors should be ready to yield to other visitors with more expertise or pips.
I expect my role will be to sit back, listen, and suggest ideas. I would like As'lan to coordinate with Castrux in the main bridge, and make sure that the ideas I throw out get assigned to someone on a sensor console. As'lan should track who is doing what, and decide which old task might be dropped when a new task comes up. The two expected new scientists, and any visitors, will operate sensors and hopefully make creative suggestions.
Auxiliary Bridge : During Red Alert and especially in space battle, two of the four consoles shall be used to echo Tac, and Ops/Helm. Should the main bridge be hit, the SIC personnel should be prepared to take over. Normal staffing during Red Alert puts As'lan in center chair SIC and in command of the SIC, myself at SIC Ops/Helm, Castrux on the main bridge on the old Science One, and the two junior scientists taking Tac and Science positions in the SIC.
As bridge hits are very rare, the SIC crew might also be used as a manpower reserve. Should any emergency arise, all or part of the SIC's battle staff might be sent elsewhere. Possible uses include damage control parties, away team, and shuttle crew. A prize crew might also be sent to take technical control of a defeated enemy ship, after the marines have taken physical control.
Unless the battle is well over, this unit at SIC Ops/Helm and a second junior scientist at SIC Tac will likely stay with the SIC as long as the Red Alert lasts. As'lan and the other junior scientist should be considered available for immediate use in response to any need.
As I wish to have security and medical support available on any away team or shuttle mission involving science, I would like to request that the security and medical departments each consider assigning an individual to the SIC during Red Alert. These need not be an officer. Seniority of the individuals assigned are left to the discretion of the appropriate chiefs. Any individual assigned would be part of any away, shuttle, prize crew or damage control operation called for from the SIC.
Also, the SIC is located adjacent to transporter room two. If Lt Tamacy should care to combine her Transport Chief role with command of any damage control mission, this seems appropriate.
Tactical Operations Center : The SIC's position near transporter room two combined with it's sensor and display capabilities might make it useful as a last minute planning and command center for marine operations. Sensor scouting of the enemy, terrain familiarization, drop zone selection, and fire control planning for the use of Hawking's phasers in support of ground operations might all be performed here. Marine officers can stay aware of changing situations until crossing the corridor to the transport room just prior to beaming.
During use as a Tactical Operations Center, command of the SIC and it's associated ready room shall be turned over to the marines on request. Science personnel are to consider themselves to be sensor operators, and should respond to marine requests. Any stand by marine rescue teams may monitor the progress of a primary away team from the SIC as desired.
Mixed Mode : It seems likely enough that in our first use of the SIC, the marines will be trying to figure out how to board an enemy ship, the scientists will be trying to figure out how to defeat the enemy ship, when our main bridge will get hit.
We cannot plan for all contingencies. However, SIC Tac shall always be the left most console. SIC Ops/Helm will take the left center. The marines should use the right hand command / observer chairs, closest to transport room two, and work with the sensor operators furthest to the right. As bridge hits are rare, the SIC Tac and SIC Ops/Helm operators shall often be performing analysis tasks during a battle when sensor assets are available, rather than simply observing the main bridge operators. We shall program the displays for a split screen mode, with the marines and science sides each getting half the main tank.
Training : While the SIC is not as good a ship simulator as the holodeck, any who wish to brush up for the next semi-annual training event may schedule use of the SIC. Lt. As'lan will schedule such use. Any such training use might be preempted at any time by unexpected developments.