Helm Specialist

Master Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Sonya Akakios is a helm specialist (known as a quartermaster) and is a member of the navigation branch.

Akakios is responsible for vessel maneuvering using the helm. She works closely with tactical and science teams to ensure optimal vessel orientation for defence and exploration.

A starship operates in three navigation modes and a fully-qualified quartermaster must be rated (qualified) in all three, although most vessel maneuvering is done in impulse (sublight) mode.

Impulse Navigation Mode

In this navigation mode the vessel operates at sublight speeds, up to 0.2C (60,000km/sec). These speeds are sufficient to navigate between planets within a stellar system.

Most tactical operations occur in this mode, including the tracking of other vessels and combat. During tracking the quartermaster works with EMDAR specialists to assist with locating targets by setting up search patterns and reorienting the vessel to help narrow down search results.

During combat the quartermaster works with Weapons Direction specialists to ensure the vessel is at optimal conditions for primary weapons launch. Should the vessel come under fire, the quartermaster must attempt to evade or orient the vessel to minimise damage.

  Above from top: Helm console; Impulse maneuvering panelAt all times the quartermaster must also be aware that the vessel’s main engines are its largest source of EM emissions, which are used to detect the presence and location of a vessel. Careful planning of maneuvers is required to keep EM output to a minimum.

Faster Than Light Navigation Mode

This navigation mode is used to travel between stellar systems using Faster-Than-Light (FTL) relativistic speeds. This is a point-to-point mode of travel, as no maneuvering is possible while underway at FTL. Other vessels in surrounding space cannot be detected and are unlikely to be able to detect an FTL vessel. Communication is not possible.

RCS Navigation Mode

In this navigation mode the vessel operates at extremely slow speeds - hundreds or thousands of km/h, depending on the context. The vessel’s Reaction Control System (RCS) is used to perform precise maneuvers for applications such as rendezvous and station-keeping or orbital insertion.

Becoming a Quartermaster

To become a quartermaster, register your interest using the link below.

You'll be signed up as crew and will to complete a couple of common training seminars which will familiarise you with life in the ISDC. You’ll also be given access to additional training and technical information.

Then you can decide which rating you’d like to train towards. For a quartermaster it’s recommended you get rated on impulse navigation first.

The training program consists of a video seminar and supporting reference materials, and a number of training exercises (evolutions). You’ll be assigned an instructor to assist with your training.

Once you’ve been rated, you’ll be able to join simulations as a quartermaster.