The tricorder was the marvelous little analytical device used by many of the characters to scan various things such as medical patients, atmospheric mixtures, material content of surfaces, exotic electromagnetic particles, etc.
The most well-known versions of the tricorder were:
- The “classic” units used by various characters from the original show which were about the size of a medium-length hard-cover book and had a shoulder strap for carrying. The controls and displays were at the top facing the user. These were/are actually similar in form to some types of portable gas analyzers in use today.
- The “newer” units were featured on the next generation series’ (STNG, DS9, etc.) and were smaller. They could be described as hand-held and were just a bit bigger than many modern cell phones. Like some phones, they flipped open for use. (The flip phone was evidently a nod to Star Trek by the designers who were no doubt big fans of the series.)
- The medical tricorder looked similar to a standard STNG tricorder, but the functionality was different and it included a remote sensor for localized analysis of specific patient anatomy.
- Numerous other variants were developed during the successful run of various other spin-off Star Trek movies and series which escape my memory. (I’m not the Trekkie I used to be.)
The main reason that we at Nova are interested in tricorders is that we wish we had one. We make analytical instruments for atmospheric gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, hydrogen, and many others. While there were seemingly limitless functions available on the tricorder, real-life gas analysers have only a few specific functions. Some of our most popular analyzers can only provide simultaneous analysis of three to five process gases.
The small size of tricorders is also something to marvel at. In comparison, a high–range multi-gas analyzer that has separate detectors for each gas, internal active compensation, built-in pump(s), flow meters, etc., will be about the size of a small suitcase. The permanent continuous units are even bigger.
And finally, unlike the tricorder, Nova analyzers cannot determine the atmosphere of a Class M planet, or measure the structural integrity of a di-lithium crystal chamber. But we are totally working on it.
For now though, we make gas analyzers for oxygen, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, and many other atmospheric gases. We provide gas analysers for syngas, landfill gas, purity gas, biogas, and other applications.
Give Starfleet Officers Mike or Dave at Nova a call, or send us an e-mail. Be sure to hail us on a secure channel.
sales at nova-gas dot com
websales at nova-gas dot com
If you have a LinkedIn account, search for Nova Analytical Systems under Companies and follow us if you want.
Graphics taken from:
Joseph, Franz (1975) Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual, Ballantine Books,