Interface Systems

      The interface system in a suit of power armor is basically the brain of the suit. This is the system that connects with the human wearer to allow them to see, hear and interpret everything that goes on around the suit. All sensors, weapons and suit functions are intertwined with this system. Interface systems can go from simple to extravagant, in their designs and functions. It is important to choose an interface that best suits a suits intended mission. For a civilian contracted project for heavy lifting one will not truly need a full out H.U.D. - meanwhile a high tech suit of power armor loaded with sensors and weapons will be ill equipped if it only has a few slots cut in the front of the helmet.

Basic Interface: This is the most simple system possible, composed of openings on the helmet protected by projectile resistant glass or plastic so the pilot can see. Range of vision with this type is very restricted - only a range of about sixty to eighty degrees of vision are possible. Optical sensors installed on such a system are either worn inside of the helmet or are designed to swing down in front of the pilot's viewport. Radar so installed is on a flat LCD display under the viewport - but no pertinent data is either broadcast or displayed on the viewport, there is NO H.U.D. on this model at all! Furthermore there are no audio sensors outside of the armor - it's like sitting inside of a barrel and trying to listen to what is going on outside of it. This system is primarily used for BASIC combat armor, similar in design to the Northern Gun NG-EX10 Gladius, Chipwell's series or for simple civilian utility designs. The only real advantage in choosing this design over others is it's dirt cheap price.

Advanced Interface: This is much the same as the Basic interface, BUT it includes a series of mirrors and lenses to give a slightly better field of vision boosting it to one hundred degrees of vision. The rub to this is that the mirrors and lenses that allow a wider field of vision distorts the appearance of what is going on outside of the suit and that it tires the wearers eyes horribly. Operating power armor utilizing this type of interface for an extended duration of time will cause headaches, eyestrain and possible eye damage over time. This advanced version also includes two optical sensors included with this system, those being nightvision with a 2,000' range and infrared with a 2,000' range. External audio sensors are included in this suit, roughly equivalent to human hearing with slight phone-like distortion.

Expert Interface: This is the third and final incarnation of the Basic Interface platform, with even more extensive use of lenses and mirrors than in the advanced model. Peripheral vision improves to one hundred and twenty degrees with this variant - becoming equivical to normal human vision, but furthering the problems caused by the advanced model. Like the advanced model, optics are included with this interface including nightvision with a 2,000' range, infrared with a 2,000' range, telescopic optics with a 6,000' range and finally with anti-dazzle flash protection. (Anti-dazzle flash protection is basically a light sensitive film on the protective glass or plastic on the exterior of the armor that changes color with the intensity of light. A bright flash would therefore cause the lense to go almost completely black. A basic targeting computer is also included in this system providing a cross hair on the vision of the power armor pilot indicating where weapons are aimed. The audio sensors in this system are also enhanced beyond that of the advanced model granting near perfect human like hearing.

H.U.D. Wideband Interface: This system is one of the most common systems used throughout post-cataclysm Earth in power armor. Instead of relying upon human vision it operates using a wide angle lense camera to take in the scene. Built into the helmet it often sits directly in front of the pilot's face, concealed behind a curved LCD screen. With this model a full one hundred and twenty degree field of vision is attained AND it has no ill effects on the power armor operative. This system provides full integration of all systems in a comprehensive H.U.D. (Heads Up Display), along with a more advanced targeting computer that allows up to two weapons to be trained on a target at once. The same optics offered in the Expert Interface are available to this model in addition to Macro-Vision with a range of 6'. The audio level in the H.U.D. Wideband Interface is advanced beyond normal human hearing, becoming only slightly less sensitive than the cybernetic "Amplified Hearing".

E.C.H.U.D. Wideband Interface: The next step up from H.U.D. Wideband Interface is the Environment Calculating Heads Up Display Wideband Interface. This is basically identical to the system described before it, but the system's computer does a great deal of additional work. This includes computing power to determine the geometry of surrounding terrain, distances, angles of deflection, interpretations, etc. This system can be programmed to identify known thermal signatures of creatures and vehicles, it can be programmed to identify specific radar signatures, it can even be programmed to translate foreign languages. It translates this sort of data symbolically if not graphically. The targeting computer is advanced still further than the previous models - allowing the simultanious training of three separate weapon systems on a target. Optics are identical to those built into the H.U.D. Wideband Interface, and audio reaches the equivalent of cybernetic "Amplified Hearing".

Virtual Reality Interface: The last step in power armor reality interfaces, as produced in Desert Star, is the Virtual Reality Interface. This system is far above those used elsewhere in North America, perhaps in the world. While it has many of the same features provided by the E.C.H.U.D. Wideband Interface, it takes it a step further. The cameras installed interpret the surrounding terrain into graphics at real-time speed without any form of lag. The former curved LCD screen now is a half sphere screen giving the operator a full 180 degrees of vision. Unlike the system above, a suit so equipped will actually talk to the operator giving audio warnings of impending attack, calculated dangers and so on. Some power armor operators who run on this interface actually have indicated that suits produced with this system seem intelligent. The targeting computer is advanced over and above that of the systems above, allowing the simultanious training of four weapon systems on a single target. Optics are identical to the model above - with the addition of two final optic systems, thermal imaging optics with a 2,000' range, and ultraviolet optics with a range of 2,000'. External audio quality is identical to the model above.

Name Weight S.R. Initiative Penalties/Bonuses Ranged Combat Penalties/Bonuses Cost
Basic Interface N/A 5 -6 -2 1,000
Advanced Interface 1 Lb. 5 -4 0 3,000
Expert Interface 1 Lb. 5 -2 +1 8,000
H.U.D. Wideband Interface 2 Lb. 5 0 +2 24,000
E.C.H.U.D Wideband Interface 2 Lb. 5 +2 +2 40,000
Virtual Reality Interface 3 Lb. 10 +3 +3 60,000

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