The standard tricorder is the primary portable sensing, computing and data-communications device used by Starfleet personnel. The current model is the TR-590, although the older model TR-580 is stiil encountered.

TR590 Tricorder X profile views
TR590 in deployed configuration

The Science Tricorder is the most commonly encountered configuration within Starfleet.It the maid-of-all-work of sensor devices. Although the basic software package and standard hardware can handle common tasks for most scientific disiplines, advanced software and various peripherals are available to handle even the most esoteric tasks.

The Medical Tricorder is optimised for life sciences and features sensor heads optimised for short-range work, as well as a remote scanner head. Earlier models of the Medical Tricorder such as the model TR-580 had an extension module holding the remote scanner and enhanced sensors, but the TR-590 is no larger than the basic model.

The Enginerering Tricorder is similar in capabilities to the Sciences Tricorder, but is oriented toward energy and materials analysis. Its circuitry is hardened aganist EM interference and overload.

A variety of other configurations are available for specialised tasks. Each configuration has its own particular software and hardware installed in order to perform the job at hand. Unlike the three common tricorder configurations (Standard, Medical and Engineering), use of these specialised tricorders is generally restricted to authorised personnel, particularly Security, Intelligence and Temporal Tricorders, and the Psychotricorder.

Civilian-manufactured and older-model surplus Starfleet tricorders modified to delete and classified software or hardware are widely used in the civilian sector. Most of these will be Standard, Medical or Engineering models, though Security Tricorders may be found in police hands, and many civilian security firms have proprietary versions of Security Tricorders. Generally speaking, civilian tricorders are not as robust as Starfleet models, and most are more narrowly specialised than Starfleet's more versatile models. They are not necessarily less capable, though. In fact, high-end models may actually be more advanced than Starfleet-issue tricorders, such as those employed by organisations like the Daystrom Institute or the Vulcan Science Academy.

Devices similar to the Tricorder are in use by most starfaring cultures, among them the Klingon Empire, the Romulan Star Empire, the Cardassian Union, the Ferengi and Bajor. Each culture has optimised its version to suit their cultural and technological priorities, but most are roughly equivalent to their Federation counterparts.

Dimensions: 158.1mm x 76.2mm x 28.4mm (closed)
Mass: 298.3g
Display Screen: 35mm x 24mm
Duration: 36 hours continuous use with all systems active, 1000 hours normal use
Data Transmission Range: 40,000km
Field-of-View:
Minimum: 52.3 arc-seconds
Maximum: Omnidirectional
Time Required for Scan
Narrow Scan: 10 seconds
360° Scan: 20 seconds
Scan Range:
Energy Sources:
General Scan (Detect major power source, determine range and direction): 2000m
Specialised Scan (Determine type of energy being used): 250m
Narrow Scan (Determine specific type of power source): 25m
Physical Composition:
General Scan (Detect specific substance, determine range and direction): 2000m
Specialised Scan (Determine general composition of unknown substance): 250m
Narrow Scan (Determine complete chemical makeup of sample): 1.5m
Life Forms:
General Scan (Detect life forms, determine range and direction): 2000m
Specialised Scan (Determine number and/or general type of life forms present): 200m
Narrow Scan (Identify known life forms) 25m
Scan Range (Medical Tricorder):
Chemical Composition:
General Scan (Detect specific substance, determine range and direction): 250m
Narrow Scan (Determine complete chemical makeup of sample): 1.5m
Life Forms:
General Scan (Detect life forms, determine range and direction): 2000m
Specialised Scan (Determine number and/or general type of life forms present): 200m
Narrow Scan (Identify known life forms, analyze unknown life form): 25m
Diagnostic Scan (Complete medical diagnostic data, detect foreign materials in bloodstream): 1m

This page ©2005 Owen E. Oulton