Sketches – Terran Survey Ship

Originally built off of the old Star Class SAR ship, the Scout Class survey ship represents the standard survey ship found in Terran service. Their simplistic design, coupled with mass production meant that there was in practice little difference between an EU Scout, a UNA Scout, or even a RSSF Scout. The first Scouts were put into service by the UNA (at that point the USA), who quickly licensed the designs to anyone and everyone. By the time of the collapse war, an entire wing of the massive TABK yards in orbit of Mars were dedicated to building and maintaining the class.

The Scout is, at its core, a very simplistic design. A rectangular prism hull, with sensor booms and masts to support survey operations. A small shuttle bay forward provides integral crew transport abilities, while cargo hatches amidships allowed for ease of access to the sensitive survey equipment as well as the ship’s own cargo stores. The Scout was also one of the few ships that got access to some of the UNA’s command and control advancements, which substantially cut down on crew requirements and improved living conditions for what crew remained.

In service, the only real refits that the Scout ever got were incremental improvements to its survey systems (that required the installation of a pair of sensor booms on the dorsal and ventral sides of the hull) and changes to its onboard engine suite as the hull outlived the service life of drive system after drive system. Some Scouts in service date back to before the founding of the Terran Commonwealth, and their main mess halls resemble museums as much as dining facilities.

The Scout class was one of the first “from whole cloth” ships for the Terrans that didn’t lean on earlier “source material” for inspiration, and it went through a few other design concepts, the culmination of which is seen below. Initially instead of the “Thalys” style sensor masts, they had full on hull extensions in a kind of cruciform pattern extending out from the main hull, but it didn’t quite click as well as I wanted, so it got shelved until I had a chance to try a few more ideas, which ended up with the above design.

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