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Polarized hull plating was a defensive armored hull technology used on shuttles and starships. Before the development of deflector shielding, hull polarization was the primary defensive measure for starships against enemy weaponry.

In Star Trek Monthly issue 87, according to André Bormanis: "To minimize potential damage from weapons fire and other space hazards, NX-01 incorporates a polarization matrix in its armored hull plating. Through the application of electromagnetic power, the metal hull of the ship can be made several orders of magnitude harder than it is in its non-polarized state."

Unlike with deflector shields, transporters could be used by a starship when its hull plating was polarized. (ENT: "Regeneration")


In the 22nd century, this technology was used by Earth starships such as the J-class, NX-class, Freedom-class and on smaller auxiliary vessels such as the shuttlepod. During the months Enterprise was in the Delphic Expanse, polarization technology on Earth had been improved by 12%. (Star Trek: Enterprise; ENT: "Horizon", "Vanishing Point", "Home", Star Trek Beyond)

Enterprise NX-01 polarized its hull plating twice in August 2151. First during the attack of the ECS Fortunate and later during the confrontation with Nausicaan pirates. (ENT: "Fortunate Son")

Travis Mayweather polarized the hull of Enterprise before entering the neutronic wavefront in 2152 to strengthen its structural integrity. (ENT: "The Catwalk")

In the 24th century, starships still occasionally polarized their hull plating, though not typically as a defensive countermeasure. One example was disrupting a tractor beam lock by rotating the frequency of the hull plating's electromagnetic field. Ships also sometimes polarized their hull plating to help mask their sensory signature, which worked by interfering with enemy sensor scans. Polarizing the hull was also done by downed vessels to help their mothership locate them. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow"; VOY: "Once Upon a Time", "Equinox, Part II")

In 2372, Chakotay used a magnetic field to cushion the impact of proton bursts on the USS Voyager's hull, but it was not long before the hull began to depolarize. (VOY: "Deadlock")

In 2373, Garak suggested that Worf repolarize their runabout's hull to free them from a Jem'Hadar fighter's tractor beam. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow")

In 2375, Tuvok and Tom Paris attempted to polarize the Delta Flyer's hull after it had crash landed in order to make it easier for Voyager's sensors to locate them. (VOY: "Once Upon a Time")

In 2376, Voyager's hull was polarized in order to mask their approach towards the USS Equinox. (VOY: "Equinox, Part II")

In 2383, the USS Protostar was equipped with polarized hull plating. (PRO: "Lost and Found")

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