A deployed quantum beacon

Quantum beacon graphic

A graphic of a quantum beacon and its dispersal curve

Quantum beacons were a form of sensor technology which could be used to detect objects or phenomena otherwise undetectable by conventional scanning methods.

In 2152, the 31st century temporal agent Daniels provided the specifications for a pair of extremely advanced quantum beacons to the crew of Enterprise NX-01, for use in penetrating the cloak of a Suliban stealth cruiser. These beacons were positron-based, and had an output of two hundred gigawatts. The subassembly tolerances were isolated from the emitter algorithms, which was made possible by generating a stable flux between the positronic conductors and renormalizing the tertiary wave functions.

The beacons were mounted on Enterprise's grappler arm and deployed when in use. They were successfully used to penetrate the cruiser's cloak, which allowed Captain Archer, Commander Tucker, and Sub-Commander T'Pol to board the vessel and acquire proof that the Cabal had attempted to frame the Enterprise crew for the destruction of the Paraagan II mining colony. (ENT: "Shockwave")

Later that year, the Enterprise crew used the beacons to penetrate the cloaks of Romulan mines, but the beacons proved unsuccessful against the more advanced cloaking devices used on Romulan Birds-of-Prey. (ENT: "Minefield")

In the final draft script of "Shockwave", a description of the quantum beacons remarked, "The beacons are unlike anything we've ever seen before."
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