While many material components in Andromeda are familiar, we have also discovered rarer and more valuable materials; attributable to exposure to the Scourge, or mysterious alien technology. These "augmentation materials" are used in research and development to craft powerful, specialized items. Augmentations are essential to support weapon or gear combinations that would be impossible to build with conventional materials.
Some augmentations are sold by traders, but the highest quality augmentations require careful research. Once completed, the augmentation's profile is used to recognize additional examples of that augmentation out in the field.