Master CPO Alex Peterson is the ISDC’s leading EMDAR specialist, responsible for the team of specialists who operate specialist tactical sensor equipment, tasked with detecting other vessels in space as early as possible.

EMDAR Technicians are the eyes of the vessel, responsible for maintaining awareness of what’s happening within the Tactical Operating Environment. Unlike in science-fiction other vessels don’t just automatically appear on “long range sensors”. They can only be detected and tracked by the electromagnetic radiation they emit.

The vessel’s EMDAR system is capable of detecting EM emissions at significant distances and estimating their range but can’t determine direction. EMDAR technicians are trained to assess changes in intensity and range of EM detections across multiple sensor arrays for insights into the location and behaviour of other vessels.

To assist with this, data visualisations display historical EM data that allows operators to spot trends. These are known as ‘waterfall displays’ because of the distinctive progression of data down the visualisation.

 Above (from top): An example of a waterfall display; TOE Grid display showing a tracked vesselShifts in EM range over time show up on waterfall displays as ‘drifts’. The direction of the drift indicates if the EM source is getting closer or further away, or even if EM is being generated by multiple sources. EMDAR technicians work closely with the quartermaster to request changes in the ship’s own course that may produce tell-tale EM drifts. 

Once confident that what they’re seeing really is another vessel, the team will designate the EM source as a contact. The EMDAR team’s ultimate goal is to refine the possible location of a contact enough to attain a track.

Once that is done, highly targeted narrowband EMDAR arrays can lock on and track it automatically, allowing main weapons to be targeted if necessary. Until then, the EMDAR team is still expected to provide as much information as possible on the location and behaviour of contacts.

Becoming an EMDAR Technician

To become an EMDAR Technician, register your interest using the link below.

You'll be signed up as crew and will to complete a couple of common training seminars which will familiarise you with life in the ISDC. You’ll also be given access to additional training and technical information.

Then you can train towards your rating in Tactical Sensor Systems (EMDAR). The training program consists of a video seminar and supporting reference materials, and a number of training exercises (evolutions). You’ll be assigned an instructor to assist with your training.

Once you’ve been rated, you’ll be able to join simulations as an EMDAR Technician.