|The current Starfleet-issue communicator represents
the latest improvement (2379) in small subspace radio
devices. Its primary role is to maintain voice contact
among crew members aboard ship and during away missions,
and to provide a lock-on contact for transporter
operations. Voice contact with other devices, such as the
ship's main computers, is also within the communicator's
The communicator casing is micromilled duranium with proportions of plasma bonded gold and silver. The metal alloys serve to complement the aesthetic design of the device, which has been fashioned into the Starfleet emblem (circa 2371).
The heart of the internal electronics is the subspace transceiver assembly (STA). This circuit incorporates an analog-to-digital voice encoder and low-power subspace field emitter. It is also the same circuit used in devices such as the personal access display device (PADD) and tricorder, and shares the efficient data transmission protocols.
|Voice inputs are received by a monofilm pickup with
vibrational conduits molded into the inner casing and
routed to the STA for improved audio quality. The voice
processor has additional hardwired AI algorithms in place
for improved phoneme separation and passes the phoneme
impulses through a set of user-definable filters to
control word and phrase validation. These AI circuits
also work directly with the integral universal translator
section, a limited version of the normal large handheld
device. The combadge
Universal translator (UT) circuit is equipped with the basic conversational libraries of 253 galactic civilizations plus the linguistic analysis routines for basic translations.
While the standard STA possesses input channels for other data, these are not active in the communicator. As all Starfleet communications are normally encrypted, the voice signal pulses are converted by a series of encryptions algorithms. These algorithms are changed on a random schedule by Starfleet Command for galaxywide subspace transmissions, and individual starship codes mad be substituted during local away missions.
|Battery power is provided by a sarium krellide
crystal rated for two weeks in normal use. When close to
depletion, the crystal will produce a faintly audible
oscillation (about 3 weeks); it can be returned to full
power by induction recharging.
Combadge subspace radio range has been increased to 1200 kilometers in line-of-sight mode, and to 780 kilometers through geologic materials with a mean density of 7.54 grams per cubic centimeter. Command coupling with more powerful communication devices, such as emergency subspace beacons, allow combadges to make contact with each other over distances approaching 60,000 km. In relay mode, beacons can allow the STA to transmit and receive voice and data over distances of upto 3.72 light-years.
Transporter lock using the combadge is always affected by interfering fields and particles, through the STA circuitry continuously attempts to bounce a clean transponder pulse back to the polling unit. Adaptive waveform algorithms in the STA automatically filter the subspace signal, even in fluctuating field conditions. If the threshold for a safe transport has been tripped, the combadge chirps a negative tone.