Alas, we know little about the Remmler array beyond the fact that it conducts "baryon sweeps" to get rid of Baryon particles. For the non-physisists, a Baryon is basically a particle that is of equal or greater mass than a Proton. They include the Proton itself, Neutrons, and the heavier hyperons : the lambda, sigma, xi, and omega particles (yes, there is a real Omega particle and no, it doesn't destroy subspace!). Most of these are unstable and would decay on their own anyway. The stable ones - protons and neutrons - are things you really would not want to get rid of, unless you want to have the E-D converted into a cloud of free-floating electrons! I guess the future involves some sort or fundamental re-arrangement of particle physics...

Whatever the relevant science/technobabble is, the effects of the Baryon sweep are stated in the episode. My projection for the numbers of arrays comes out of the size of the Federation rather than the capacity of the arrays. The E-D's sweep took a couple of hours, tops; with time to clear the ship out and re-occupy it afterwards, I'd guess you could sweep at least one ship per day - actually many more if you have a queue of ships offloading and reloading outside the array itself, but let's take one per day as a conservative figure. Given that the E-D got its sweep in the sixth season, then I would assume that ships need a sweep on average every six years. One a day for six years lets an array handle some 2,190 ships - over half of Starfleet, according to the 4,000+ numbers I settled on! You'd never need more than two of the things.

However, given that it can take many years to cross the Federation at normal (rather than maximum) warp speeds, you would need several arrays if you were to avoid having to spend years travelling to and from your arrays. I would assume that there is at least a couple of dozen smaller arrays out there for the likes of the Saber and Oberth classes, and possibly hundreds for stuff like warp-capable shuttles and Runabouts.

Last updated : 6th December 1998.
This page is Copyright Graham Kennedy 1998.

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