Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)
Refit Constitution class navigational deflector

The navigational deflector of the USS Enterprise-A

Galaxy class navigational deflector

The navigational deflector of a Galaxy-class starship

Sovereign class deflector dish

The navigational deflector on a Sovereign-class starship

USS Enterprise (alternate universe) deflector dish at warp

The navigational deflector of the alternate reality USS Enterprise open at warp

The navigational deflector (also known just as the deflector, the deflector array, the deflector dish, the main deflector, the nav deflector for short, or the parabolic dish) was a component of many starships, and was used to deflect space debris, asteroids, microscopic particles and other objects that might have collided with the ship. At warp speed the deflector was virtually indispensable for most starships as even the most minute particle could cause serious damage to a ship when it was traveling at superluminal velocities. (VOY: "Alliances", "Collective")

Technical data Edit

The deflector commonly took the form of a dish-shaped force beam generator containing heavy-duty subspace accelerators at the extreme forward end of the vessel's secondary hull. It performed its primary function by emitting low-power deflector shields to deflect microscopic particles and higher-powered deflector beams and/or tractor beams to deflect larger objects. (Star Trek: First Contact; VOY: "Alliances", "Shattered")

On the Constitution-class starships, the navigational deflector was a combined system with the ships' main duotronic sensors. (TNG: "Datalore" computer screen; DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations" computer screen)

According to Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual (p. 87), the long-range sensor array was a key element of the navigational deflector system as it was used to detect and track objects in the ship's flight path. The deflector beams caused a great deal of subspace distortion, so the sensor arrays were placed in a circular fashion around the deflector beam emitter array.

A deflector's energy could be extended outward to protect other ships. In 2266, the USS Enterprise extended its deflector shield around Harry Mudd's stolen class J starship, Stella, to temporarily protect it from asteroids while its crew were transported to safety. (TOS: "Mudd's Women") The 24th century Federation starship navigational deflectors could easily deflect laser fire. (TNG: "The Outrageous Okona")

Ordinarily, Federation starships were equipped with a single external deflector dish. In the 2250s these devices were sometimes known as the ships' meteorite beam. (TOS: "The Cage") In the late 24th century, some starships were known to have more than one deflector. One example of this was the Intrepid-class, which had its main deflector located between the extreme forwards of decks 10 through 13, while the secondary deflector was located on the extreme forward of deck 6. (VOY: "Caretaker")

The deflector of the USS Enterprise-E was charged with antiprotons while the Borg were modifying it. This proved to be a potential hazard as particle weapons fire hitting the deflector could destroy much of the ship. (Star Trek: First Contact)

Components of the system Edit

Other uses Edit

Enterprise destroys Sphere 41

A deflector pulse

Deflector beam

A deflector beam

USS Enterprise-B fires resonance burst

A resonance burst

Due to its ability to project a wide variety of energies and particles, the navigational deflector was an extremely versatile piece of equipment. Many starship crews made one-time modifications to the dish to solve several problems they were facing.

Enterprise (NX-01) Edit

In 2154, the navigational deflector of Enterprise NX-01 was used to generate a deflector pulse which destroyed Sphere 41, thus disrupting the entire network of spheres in the Delphic Expanse. Modifications had to be made, however, to prevent the pulse from rupturing EPS conduits throughout the ship. (ENT: "Countdown", "Zero Hour")

Later that year, the NX-01's deflector was modified to emit a positron burst, which disabled Harrad-Sar's barge when it passed through the grappling line of his ship. (ENT: "Bound")

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) Edit

The USS Enterprise used a deflector beam to attempt to shift a large asteroid off course when it threatened the planet Amerind in 2268. The attempt failed and caused damage to the ship's power. (TOS: "The Paradise Syndrome")

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-B) Edit

In 2293, Captains Montgomery Scott and James T. Kirk modified the deflector of the USS Enterprise-B to produce a resonance burst in order to simulate an antimatter explosion when the ship became caught in the Nexus energy ribbon. (Star Trek Generations)

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) Edit

USS Enterprise-D navigational deflector

The USS Enterprise-D fires its deflector dish as a weapon

  • The crew of the USS Enterprise-D used the deflector to channel an extremely large amount of energy at a controlled rate - both as a weapon against a Borg cube in 2366 (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds", "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II") and as an energy source hoping to escape a Tyken's Rift in 2367. (TNG: "Night Terrors") Although the energy beam had a greater power output than the ship's complement of weapons, using the deflector for this purpose was extremely impractical and only ever used on two occasions for three reasons:
    • Channeling such a large amount of energy through the deflector made substantial drains on the ship's power systems, notably from the warp engines. This also meant that the beam could only be fired if the ship was traveling at sublight velocities.
    • The deflector dish would burn out following the energy beam discharge, requiring extensive repairs, possibly replacement of the deflector altogether.
    • The high levels of radiation produced by the energy beam require the evacuation of the entire forward half of the secondary hull and the lower three decks of the saucer section of a Galaxy-class starship.
  • Also in 2367, the Enterprise-D's deflector was modified to amplify and reflect the subspace frequencies produced by a cosmic string fragment to change the trajectory of a group of two-dimensional beings that threatened to destroy the ship. (TNG: "The Loss")
Deflector dish firing 2368

The deflector dish fires five beams of light

  • In 2368, the deflector dish was modified to send five beams of light for exactly 8.3 seconds into the clouded atmosphere of Penthara IV, together with a modified phaser blast. This ionized dust particles in the planet's atmosphere, which were converted into high-energy plasma. This plasma was then absorbed by the deflector shields of the Enterprise-D and redirected into space. Warp power had to be rerouted to the deflector dish to create enough energy for the massive undertaking. (TNG: "A Matter of Time")
  • In three different alternate timelines, the deflector was modified to emit an inverse tachyon pulse to scan beyond the subspace barrier, this being done to ascertain the workings of an anti-time eruption. The convergence of the three tachyon pulse at the same point in space in multiple timeframes caused a paradox which created the eruption in the first instance. (TNG: "All Good Things...")

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E) Edit

Sovereign class deflector dish, damaged

The deflector on the USS Enterprise-E after being damaged by the Borg

As evidenced by a call sheet from Star Trek: First Contact, live-action footage of the deflector array was filmed on Paramount Stage 15.
AE-35 is a reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the AE-35 unit controls the communication dish's orientation for the Discovery.

USS Defiant (NX-74205) Edit

Focal array

The Defiant's deflectors focal array is utilized to generate a subspace tensor matrix

  • During 2372 the deflector of the Defiant was modified in just ten minutes to perform as a single-shot phaser emitter when the ship was under attack from a Jem'Hadar fighter in the atmosphere of a class J gas giant. Only one shot could be fired with this makeshift phaser emitter as it overloaded with the first shot. (DS9: "Starship Down")

USS Voyager (NCC-74656) Edit

USS Voyager emitting graviton beam

The USS Voyager emits a resonant graviton beam

Voyager deflector beam

USS Voyager generating a deflector beam


Voyager emits an anti-tachyon pulse to seal a temporal rift

  • During the same year, Voyager's deflector was used to fire dozens of radion beams to conceal a transporter signal into one of the beams. (VOY: "Resistance")
  • The Borg "children" used a tractor beam in an attempt to steal Voyager's main deflector, to use it as an interplexing beacon for contacting the Borg. (VOY: "Collective")

Other starships Edit

USS Odyssey critically damaged

The Odyssey's deflector destroyed

  • A kamikaze attack on the navigational deflector of the USS Odyssey in 2370 caused a chain reaction resulting in the ship's destruction. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar")

External link Edit