Copernicus Class

From Bravo Fleet
This article is official Bravo Fleet canon.

Federation Faction Starfleet

The Copernicus-class station is an outpost designed by Starfleet for deployment along the Federation's frontiers. With a configurable design, the Copernicus is capable of serving a variety of roles depending on the area and Starfleet's needs. As such, it can provide an effective platform for scientific research and exploration missions beyond Federation borders, or support and facilitate local diplomacy and commerce, or act as a defensive outpost in regions expecting only mid-level hostilities, depending on its deployment configuration. A relatively modern design, it is a fairly common sight on less-fortified borders.

Mission Parameters

Copernicus-class stations are built with six configurable modules, which allow each starbase to be constructed with capabilities and facilities to support the needs of its deployment. While there are many modules of different types, some being exceptionally mission-specific, Starfleet usually builds the Copernicus to fit one of the following mission profiles: research facility, trade and diplomatic outpost, or border patrol hub.

Research Facility

A Copernicus contains basic scientific facilities in its main hull, but with the modules can boast extensive research and laboratory space. These stations are usually built near regions of unexplored space or stellar phenomena where Starfleet expects years of possible study. With the modules, the laboratories available can be hyper-specialised to support whatever research priority the station needs to meet. It is also not uncommon for at least one module to be a dedicated auxiliary craft bay, able to support additional runabouts or shuttles if the station expects to perform more survey work. These are often some of the loneliest assignments on a Copernicus, the station more likely to be built on quieter frontiers far from busy Federation territory, as they are hardy and support themselves and their mission well. Starships may visit en route to the regions the starbase is studying, but with the Copernicus's limited capacity to support the larger vessels of exploration, these stop-offs are usually for brief shore leave or to exchange research data. This gives these stations a focused, collegial atmosphere, with a large crew of dedicated science officers.

Trade and Diplomatic Outpost

On busy but reasonably safe borders or transport routes, a Copernicus makes an excellent choice for a Starfleet outpost. Traffic needs tend to dictate the suitability of a Copernicus-class on such trade routes, as the station cannot easily support larger ships or a massive volume of docking ships, unlike the Canopus-class or larger. But on trade routes traversed by mostly mid-sized vessels, a Copernicus can provide a useful commercial hub or border checkpoint. This is often the configuration of a Copernicus expected to provide local diplomatic services, internal or external. In regions with multiple Federation members of vying needs and interests, the station can provide a hub where Starfleet can facilitate discussion, both as mediators and by offering facilities. This configuration of station is also a good choice on borders with friendly, or at least communicative, local powers, where a significant portion of Starfleet's responsibility is to liaise with their counterparts across the border on matters of law enforcement, research, and so forth. It has facilities to welcome even high-ranking diplomatic representatives, and host everyday meetings and important negotiations including multiple delegates alike. The modules in this configuration are usually given over to additional housing for the many transient visitors, diplomatic facilities including meeting rooms and VIP quarters, additional recreation facilities, and increased capability to house and support visiting freight and diplomatic vessels. Stations of this configuration have been quite common along regions such as the border with the Klingon Empire, where local challenges such as the House of Mo'Kai necessitate both security and a joint response from Starfleet and the Empire.

Border Patrol Hub

For more dangerous regions, the Copernicus can be deployed with increased capabilities of self-defence and to house more auxiliary ships. This is better for areas where the station itself does not anticipate a significant direct assault, though it is more than capable of defending itself, but rather where Starfleet sees a need for a consistent and wide-ranging presence that can be provided through runabouts and shuttles, including the away teams they can carry. These stations provide significant auxiliary craft to patrol a border or fraught region, extensive sensor equipment for long range scans, and where necessary house an increased number of Starfleet officers suitable for deployment on away missions. This does not always mean security officers, as such a Copernicus may be deployed to a fraught region with complex needs, like ongoing humanitarian aid or diplomatic intervention. The exact configuration usually depends on what the region needs, such as a medical module with extensive hospital facilities, but often includes space for additional auxiliary craft. More of these Copernicus-class deployments have been seen on the Romulan borders with the collapse of the Romulan Neutral Zone, to protect the border from warlords or provide support to refugee worlds.

Layout and Design

The Copernicus-class has a central hull not dissimilar in shape to the 'mushroom' of the Spacedock Class and other Federation starbases. Much smaller in size, it has fewer curves and more stark lines of support struts to maximise space. Protruding from the upper dome and the bottom of the hull are six modular 'pads' - three from the upper, three from the lower. These are circular segments each with a landing pad that can hold a large runabout. The central hull has a standard configuration containing all essential station operations, key facilities, crew quarters and civilian housing. The pad modules give the Copernicus its versatility, as different configurations of modules are available to allow each Copernicus to be constructed with a different mission profile.

Central Hull

The dorsal section of the main hull houses large antennae farms, facilitating powerful communications systems that can keep these sometimes-distant starbases in contact with the rest of the Federation and act as a communications relay hub for nearby ships or outposts. Shield generators are nestled above them, flush with the dorsal stem of the hull, to provide protection for the whole station. The station's two fusion generators, providing the whole of the facility's power, are housed directly above this spire.

The lower section of the main hull contains the primary computer cores and the majority of the station's facilities for its permanent population, particularly its Starfleet crew. This includes enough scientific laboratory space, medical facilities, cargo space, and other equipment to support general operations - specialised or additional equipment and facilities are contained in the modular pods, depending on the Copernicus' mission profile. Most housing, including visitor housing, is at the very top of this section, closest to the recreational facilities above.

The topmost decks of the upper hull form a narrower ring, which is dedicated to space to support visitors, including limited guest quarters but especially the majority of the station's recreational and social spaces. The promenade stretches across two decks and runs the circumference of the upper hull, and in many places directly overlooks the docking bay doors to allow up-close sights of starships arriving and departing.

At the topmost level is the Operations division, generally referred to as Ops. This includes not only the central command and control facilities for the entire station, but offices for senior staff, meeting space, and other essential facilities to support key Starfleet personnel.


The modules on Copernicus-class stations are usually two to six decks in height, though by the 25th century most bases are deployed with the larger pads. Circular in shape, they are attached to the station by limb-like connectors, into which are built all passageways and turbolifts, passenger and cargo, to facilitate travel between them. Such transitions are normally seamless, with the modules acting as an easily-accessible wing of the station. Once a station has been built, it is rare for these modules to be changed or removed, as the process is highly-intensive; they are designed to enable different configurations of station upon deployment, rather than ongoing flexibility.

Docking Facilities

Much of the space in the upper hull section is given over to the interior docking space, which has room for several small starship ships no bigger than 200 metres in width, such as Reliants and Steamrunners. Four large docking doors grant access. Additional facilities for ship maintenance and support are also located here. With multiple doors for access and egress of several ships at once, this can also act as a launching bay for the station's smaller auxiliary craft, such as its shuttles and workerbees.

The station's six runabouts, however, are housed in the six module pads. Each includes a single interior bay for any craft up to the size of a New Atlantic-class runabout, with bay doors immediately above for a vertical launch to conserve space. These pads are normally reserved for Starfleet ships or visitors on special business, as they are normally in proximity to the specialist facilities of the modular pads. It is common for the runabouts with a mission-specific configuration to be assigned to the relevant module - runabouts configured for medical transport at a medical pad, those configured for scientific surveys at the science pad, and so forth. This makes the use of these landing facilities for mission operations, not general station or visitor business, a matter of practicality as much as security.


The Copernicus-class was designed after the Dominion War, both in response to the changing nature of borders and Starfleet's desire to return to more missions of exploration. Initially it was conceived of as a purely scientific outpost, with the modules intended to allow specialised facilities according to regional needs. Throughout the late 2370s and early 2380s the starbases were deployed on the edges of explored space or in proximity to phenomena like the Typhon Expanse. The Attack on Mars and ensuing shift to border priorities brought the Copernicus-class back for review, and additional modules were designed to give it more of a role on interior deployments for trade and commerce, or to provide a permanent facility on borders Starfleet now viewed as both more dangerous and more fixed. By the start of the 25th century, as Starfleet is once again looking to the wider galaxy, the Copernicus offers a versatile platform for permanent facilities with only a modest investment of resources, far more modern than many stations of its size.

Station Life

Life aboard a Copernicus depends heavily on its configuration and location, but it is large enough to always provide a sense of a small, bustling town. Even isolated science facilities which rarely receive a significant influx of visitors have a crew of a couple of thousand people, and this builds a collegial atmosphere of study and research, like a thriving university town - though some crewmembers have said this can either cultivate closeness and cooperation, or a certain cut-throat territorialism over the research opportunities available. Most other Copernicus-classes receive considerably more visitors. The trade hubs have a constant cycling of civilians and guests passing through to keep the station alive and ever-changing, and the border protection stations usually have guests of local law enforcement or people in need brought aboard to receive aid.

Quarters are usually large and comfortable and are rarely shared rooms. On any Copernicus, it is not uncommon for Starfleet officers to bring their family, with quarters large enough to suit - even a border protection station is expected to be relatively safe from direct threat.

Because of these different needs, a Copernicus always offers recreational facilities suitable to its needs - either a large population is expected to spend months away from the rest of the Federation, with high morale important to support work, or it regularly sees civilians passing through in need of entertainment and support. The promenade on the upper hull is always a hub of activity, and workers in these eateries and entertainment venues are the backbone of a station's permanent civilian population. With the numbers of families aboard, most stations have schools to educate children of varying ages, often with civilian teachers.


In Play

  • A Copernicus can be one of the most dynamic and exciting assignments for a station of its size, depending on an officer's interests. Scientists sent to a research station can expect constant intrigue and research opportunities, though this may be very boring for a security officer or the like. Trade hubs or border outposts are usually thriving and ever-changing, though are often not at the heart of regional affairs - big decisions tend to be made on larger starbases, or by officers above the commanding officer's grade.
  • Due to its size, a Copernicus is never deployed in regions where serious or consistent support is needed for larger starships. It is excellent at supporting small vessels and especially civilian vessels. As such, it is usually built where Starfleet's needs are modest and where the volume of civilian ships passing through is not especially high. This still means it is valuable on all but the most major trade routes.
  • Smaller than the Canopus-class, a Copernicus has a regular crew of a few thousand. Outposts on trade routes can see an average population of sometimes approaching double that number of transient civilians.