Mass Effect

Planetary surveying, especially for potential settlement, involves meticulous scanning. However, there has been little pressure to improve planetary scanners. In its search for a better solution for its Pathfinders, the Andromeda Initiative began with hardware salvaged from geth platforms and software developed by the salarian STG.

With artificial intelligence support, Initiative scientists developed a fast, accurate sampling system codenamed Panoptes. Linking it to the quantum computing power of an AI, which can produce multiple analyses and predictive models in seconds, they created an omni-tool mounted scanner that completes accurate surveys in moments instead of weeks.

For typical scanning, the Panoptes system uses a transmitted accelerator mass spectrometer (TRAMS). This creates a "snapshot" of an object's components, atomic weight, and radioactivity, and allows me to produce a more in-depth analysis. For biological materials, the Panoptes system switches to an electrospray ionization system, so plants or animals can be scanned without causing radiation damage.