Imperial Research Station

The scattered worlds of the Imperium manifest a wide range of technological levels; this diversity is maintained by the distance between worlds, the high cost of transportation, and the relative independence allowed to worlds within the Imperium.

Nevertheless, the Imperium itself is constantly involved with research projects at the forefronts of technology. While some new technology can be purchased from advanced cultures beyond the Imperial boundaries, such high technology is expensive, and still requires a solid technological foundation to allow its usage. Consider: however useful solid-state chip circuits are, they still require a firm grounding in electronics, and cannot be used on a large scale without electronics, individual solid-state chip components, photo processing, and even crystal culture. It is vital that the Imperium pass through many stages of technological development on the way to achievement in higher tech level areas.

Imperial technological research is performed in two ways: under contract by corporations, or in established Imperial Research Stations. The difference is that corporate (and equivalent privately financed) research is directed at specific practical uses, while Imperial projects are breaking new ground on the forefronts of knowledge. Often this is an attempt to duplicate technology observed or reported in neighbouring cultures and not yet within the ability of Imperial science. At other times, the research is in an area of interest expressed by some Imperial body (such as spinal mount weapons research performed by the Imperial Navy).

Imperial Research Stations may be sited in areas which need the boost to the local economy, or in remote areas far from the potential disturbance of Imperial politics. Many different stations may be working in the same region, and many different areas of knowledge may be under investigation at one time.

In general, however, one station will be constructed for one purpose, and continue in that area of knowledge for its entire span of usefulness. Its size, personnel roster, power plant capacity, and even visibility profile, are dependent on its area of investigation.

Imperial research may delve into many areas. Some examples include anti-matter containment, artificial intelligence, bionics, black globe development, black hole research (both of large-scale and mini black holes), cryptography, deep planetary core soundings, deep radar analysis, disintegrator beams, genetic manipulation, gravity manipulation (advanced), instantaneous transmitter development (so far proving impossible), long-range detection systems, magic (so-called), nova prediction and prevention, personal shields, psionics, psychohistory (mass population behaviour prediction), robotics, stable superheavy elements , stasis and time travel, super-conductors (high-temperature), weaponry research (advanced), and x-ray laser technology.

(ADV-2, 1106; SUPP-8, 1107; MT-ENCYC, 1120)

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