Ablative Armor

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For the Ablative Armor Generator, used by Voyager on her return trip, please read The Voyager Technology

History

Since 2338 ablative fabric has been the outer most layer of Star Fleet vessels. A more rugged armor variant of this fabric has been in development since 2346. With the first contact with the Borg and the subsequent incursions of the Borg into Federation territory the development of Ablative Armor was given higher priority. This renewed interest in the development of true ablative armor issues such as materials availability, instabilities, impact resistance to impact from energy and projectile weapons, and long fabrication lead times have been overcome making the armor now in use within the fleet an effective and practical solution.

The ablative armor is fabricated in multiple thicknesses up to 20 cm thicknesses. The ablative armor is fabricated by a layer of ablative fabric is chemically bonded to a 0.35 cm thick foil of densified tritanium foil. Once this is done further fabric layers are chemically bonded to the other fabric layers until the desired a thickness twice that of the desired thicknesses is reached. The assembled armor section is placed under high pressure compacting the fabric layers to the final thickness.

Ablative armor provides protection for the ship from damage via energy weapons in two stages. In the first stage the armor is impacted by an energy based weapon the impacting beam is dissipated over the hull surface. In the second stage once the threshold of 15.4 Megawatts is reached the molecular matrix begins to boil off at a controlled rate, carrying away a large fraction of the landed beam energy. This boil off creates a medium density particle cloud, which helps disperse the incoming beam as a secondary effect.