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What are the advantages and disadvantages of deflector and metaphasic shields? Which one is superior? Aside from the later being able to protect the ship from high temperature of the sun corona, do they offer more advantages at the combat level?

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A metaphasic shield is a variation of a deflector shield created by a Ferengi scientist, Dr. Reyga, in 2369 (TNG). Each was designed for a completely different function, so it is less relevant to compare them, since their types of protection do not overlap in any meaningful way.

  • Deflector shields are designed specifically to prevent damage by creating a field or layer of energetic graviton distortion.

  • This field would deflect damage from energy or matter based attacks but could be worn down over time. Deflectors have a frequency range which can be varied or altered preventing an enemy from being able to penetrate the shields.

  • A metaphasic shield is a layered version of a deflector arrangement designed to bleed away energy into subspace thus protecting the ship from the corona of a star.

  • The metaphasic shield also appears to use some of the energy absorbed or shunted to reinforce itself, making it stronger as it is affected by the energy in the environment. The design was created to allow ships to enter into environments where the standard deflector would be insufficient to protect a ship.

  • The metaphasic arrangement required a significant amount of power to maintain and the power requirement is greater depending on the size of the ship being protected.

“The primary drawback to metaphasic shielding is that it requires enormous amounts of energy, and if it is miscalibrated by even the smallest degree, it will collapse utterly, leaving a vessel completely defenseless.” Simon & Schuster: The Starfleet Survival Guide

  • Not every ship can create a metaphasic shield. Certain ships lack the technological and computational capacity to modulate and maintain the integrity of the metaphasic configuration. Ships created before the mid twenty-fourth century would be unable to benefit from the technology.

“Shield emitters in Starfleet vessels commissioned before the U.S.S. New Orleans lacked nanocochrane stabilizers in their frequency stabilizers, and consequently are incapable of maintaining sufficiently precise synchronization with the warp field coils to modulate a metaphasic shield.” Simon & Schuster: The Starfleet Survival Guide

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