Sensory Equipment

As with every scientific endeavor, the ultimate success or failure of The Institute will depend on the quantity and accuracy of collected data. With this thought in mind, The Institute has developed a number of devices to aid our Agents in the acquisition and analysis of data.

Additionally, many of these sensors also serve a defensive purpose for our Agents. All too often, our subjects are hostile to our studies, and the ability to detect the existence and location of such hostiles can mean the difference between life and death for an Agent.

All sensors are capable of linking their displays into standard- issue goggles, allowing Agents greater freedom of vision in the field. Currently, sensors are linked to goggles via a wire attachment on the left side of the goggles. When the Mark II goggles come into general service, all sensors will be upgraded to provide wireless link capability.

Infrared Sensor

Probably the most basic of all The Institute's sensors, the IR Sensor works by measuring the heat of objects in the area, and using that data to construct a picture of the heat sources.

The relative temperature is displayed via increasing the brightness for increasing temperatures, though the user can determine the specific temperature of any point if he so chooses.

The default display colors are red on a black background, though other color choices can be selected, and the background/IR colors can be inverted.

The IR sensor is of greatest value to the Were and Misc. Phenomena Divisions, both of which regularly work with creatures whose body temperature differs from the human norm. It is also considered an essential piece of equipment for the Vampires Division, however, since vampires generally maintain themselves at room temperature, it is only useful as a supplement to other detection methods.

Ultraviolet Sensor

The UV sensor is found almost exclusively in the Vampires Division, being tailor-made to the known attributes of Vampires.

The UV sensor works in the same manner as conventional radar or sonar systems. Ultraviolet rays are sent out from the sensor, and a minute amount of photons are reflected back from surfaces. These reflected photons are used to provide the raw sensor data.

While the UV sensor can be used in a manner similar to radar, the extremely tiny numbers of UV photons that surfaces actually reflect make the accuracy of such a reading questionable at best.

The primary use of the UV sensor is to measure relative amounts of UV absorption. Vampires, by their nature, absorb nearly 100% of incident UV radiation. Thus a user can set the background to be 95-97% absorption, with the display registering higher absorption rates.

Similar to the IR sensor, colors for background/high absorption are user-settable. Defaults are black for background, and green for high absorption.

Since the UV sensor operates by emitting UV radiation, it can be used as a standoff weapon, via the use of an "overload" setting. This setting causes the UV sensor to emit large amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time, draining the power source. The emitted radiation is enough to cause a fairly severe sunburn in the average human. It is not, however, enough to cause more than moderate damage to a vampire. As such, it is best utilized as a standoff weapon, one which should delay pursuit for long enough to allow the users to escape any pursuers.

Magic Meters

Standard Issue

The Standard Issue Magic Meter is a device designed to allow the user to determine various properties of any nearby magical energies.

The exact readouts given by the Magic Meter are dependent on the type of energy, though the total amount of energy expended (in Joules) is given for all energy types. For example, in an analysis of a teleportation, the Magic Meter would attempt to detect the origin of the object being teleported, or at least give a general direction, if the exact location cannot be determined.

In the case where the magic being used is of unknown type, the Magic Meter displays the readouts that appear to be the most applicable.

In cases where the user finds himself in a place with high amounts of "background" magical energy, it may be necessary to recalibrate the Magic Meter to get accurate readings.

The Standard Issue Magic Meter is used primarily by the Vampire, Were, and Misc. Phenomena Divisions, as a supplement to other sensors.

Deluxe Issue

The Deluxe Issue Magic Meter is primarily used by the Magic Division, though a few Agents in other Divisions (particularly Misc. Phenomena) use it as well.

The Deluxe Issue contains all the functions of the Standard Issue. However, the Deluxe Issue is able to measure magical energies to a much greater degree of accuracy.

The amount of user training required to obtain this greater accuracy is considered prohibitive in all but those cases where the accuracy is considered essential, which is why it's issue is primarily limited to the Magic Division.

Magic Analyzer (prototype)

The Magic Analyzer is designed to eventually replace the Deluxe Issue Magic Meter.

In addition to an even greater refinement of magic detection technology, the Magic Analyzer can, in certain cases, allow the user to manipulate existing energies.

The final extent of this manipulation will not be known until testing is completed, however, it is certain that it will be limited to altering existing spells. For example, if a magic-user were to launch a bolt of destructive energy, the user of a Magic Analyzer would be able to alter the path of the bolt, or perhaps dissipate it completely. However, the user would never be able to use the analyzer to launch a bolt of his own.

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