United Galaxies Council.
United Galaxies Council.
Chairman-Class Workpod.
United Galaxies Council.
United Galaxies Council.
When the Chairman-Class Executive Transport was first built in 2111, little thought was given to any logistic concerns of their maintenance in the field; After all, they "should" never be far from a fleet. Right?
Chairman-Class Workpod.
From The Brochure.
Bow View.Portside View; Starboard is identical.Stern View.
Console Layout.
A Wrecked Pod Used As An Escape Pod.
Well, sometimes they are. And into this gap 'would' normally have gone any number of small, usually one-man work pods. Except the hanger bays on the Chairman-Class are too small to allow any kind of one man pods- Those small enough to fit into the bays (even with a modified bay door) are too long to fit into the very cramped bays themselves.
A new kind of pod was therefore needed- One that was about equally long, wide, and deep. In other words, roughly spherical. Oh, AND it had to possess a powerplant and drive system powerful enough to meaningful work. Oh, AND it had to have arms strong enough to maneuver sometimes VERY heavy objects in weightlessness. Oh, AND it had to be cheap enough to replace. Oh, and, and, and…
Technically almost ANY pod can mate, but not board, a critical difference, especially when the pod itself requires maintenance.
It took ten years, but the first Chairman-Class Workpod (often referred to as the Workman-Class Pod, to varying degrees of affection) rolled out.
The pods are fairly basic and Spartan affairs, a diametric paradigm shift from the ships to which they are normally connected with; Indeed, they're so basic and rugged (read, "tight, uncomfortable, and usually smell bad" that some owners of the ships themselves don't use the pods, except under the gravest duress. Without naming names, a certain celebrity was caught on camera asking if the pods on her ships were "the latrines or something" (the video went mega-viral, adding to her public perception of a selfish spoiled brat with little if any common sense; only years later did it come out the whole thing was carefully staged). Fortunately, most owners of Chairmen-Class ships own them because they understand ships, and therefore can operate their own; Indeed, most are charter. (Big industry secret, don't tell anyone, ok?)
Other Uses
A Chairman-Class Workpod "can" be used as an emergency escape pod, but this is recommended only under the greatest of duress; When a standard escape shuttle is simply not available, or, more often, when someone finds themselves already inside the pod when disaster strikes. They can very much be used as pod tows, but have insufficient air, very little water, and no food, except what the occupant takes with them. Some owners, including the UGC Chairmen, do add more beforehand, but this is NOT a requirement, as the pods really are only meant for working a few hours, and therefore shouldn't need them.
The Chairman-Class Workpod has seen some use outside of the Chairman-Class ships, especially within the Robotech Expeditionary Forces Spacy and Patrol. In fact, within 15 years of their development, they'd completely replaced the First Robotech War-Era Widerul-Class workpods. Although slightly greater beam and using a lower-grade powerplant than the Widerul, they are significantly shorter, and all of their arms are as strong as the Widerul's. They also can last as long as any reasonable mission can, making the heavier powerplant redundant, do not need a tether for longer-duration missions (unlike the SF-45 Saker used on the M-611 "Charlotte"/M-613 MRF), and have room within that the pilot can actually take their spacesuit completely OFF if they so desire (though this is VERY STRONGLY recommended against).
Name: Chairman-Class Workpod (also called the Workman-Class Pod).
Model Type: Extra Vehicular Activity Work Pod
Crew: 1 or 2.
Passengers: 1 (without a second crewmember).
M.D.C. By Location:
Main Hull-
External Hatch (8)-
Thrusters (10)-
100 each
1000 each
Radar/Communications Antenna Array-


Speed and Statistical Data:
Spacefold: Not available.
FTL: Not Available.
Cruising Speed: Mach 2.
In Atmosphere: 20 mph safely.
Clearance: 8 feet.
Beam: 6 feet.
Length: 81/2 feet.
Weight: 5 tons.
Cargo: 1/2 ton.
Power Systems:
Primary: Vinar-Greeze 2100 Reactor Pile; Output: 60 MGw. Lifespan: 20 days.
Secondary: Emergency Batteries. Lifespan: 50 hours on emergency power status.
Cost and Availability: 10 million credits; Extremely common.
Black Market: From 8000 to 100 million credits; Occasionally available.

Weapons Systems:
None. The Chariman-Class Workpod has NO weapons systems, no defensive systems, nothing. Not even basic shielding.
  • E.S.M.: Radar Detector. Passively detects other radars being operated.
  • Radar: Combat grade radar. Range 100 miles, can track up to 50 individual targets. 95% reliability (00% against unfriendly stealthed vehicles).
  • FLIR/SLIR: Forward and Side Looking Infrared. Allows pilot to get visuals on targets at night.
  • Full range optic sensory suite: Infrared, ultra violet, Magnification, night sight, color filters, thermal imager. Range is about 200 miles for MOST sensors.
  • Video Camera: Records from the HUD. 50 hours of recording available.
  • HUD: Displays maps, radar, targeting information, and any OTHER information the wearer wants directly in front of the user.
  • Virtual Map: Displays a continuously-updating map of local terrain for the pilot. Takes data from and gives data to other friendly units in the area. Effective land navigation of 85% as updates come. Good to 500 miles. Specific range can be adjusted in 1 mile increments.
Combat Profile for the Chairman-Class Workpod Combat Elite:
  • 2 actions per melee, and both are dodges at -5. This simply ISN'T a combat platform by any measure.
  • United Galaxies Council.
    United Galaxies Council.
    Chairman-Class Executive Transport HAL Systems.
    United Galaxies Council.
    United Galaxies Council.
    Of special note it the Chairman-Class' HAL (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) control System; HALs are an artificial intelligence that interacts with the crew of a Chairman-Class Executive Transport, usually identified as
    HAL 9000 System
    Interface Module. A keyboard and mouse can be used as well.
    The Computer Core Of A HAL 9000 System. Each white light you see is an individual core node, each capable of 4,000 petaflops.Interface Module, Color View.
    red television-camera eyes found throughout the ship. They speak in a soft voice and a conversational manner. The first HAL became operational on 12 January 2004, at the HAL Laboratories in Urbana, Illinois, Terra, Sol. In addition to maintaining the Chairman-Class Executive Transport's systems, HAL is capable of speech, speech recognition, facial recognition, natural language processing, lip reading, art appreciation, interpreting and reproducing emotional behaviors, reasoning, and playing various games, but they seem to prefer chess. The HAL 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No HAL 9000 has ever made a mistake or distorted information. They are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error- And they're not afraid to mention it.
    Originally intended as a platform for massed drone control, the system failed due to technological limitations and legal and moral objections; The systems needed to do this were far too complex (2,000 scientist with at least 20 years experience each, and over a millennia combined tried but failed over the course of almost 100 years), and legal and moral objections developed over the issue of inhuman machines making life-and-death decisions (though not technically illegal, there were legal issues, but the moral objections of "inhuman machines killing civilians because they could not differentiate them from enemy soldiers" carried just enough weight to suspend development).
    The HAL-Series, from HAL 1 to HAL 22357, was developed by the private research firm of Houston, Anderton, and Libwitz. Their only office is in Santa Rosa, CA. They contracted early construction to the University of Illinois' Coordinated Science Laboratory, where the ILLIAC computers were built, starting in 1992; HAL 1 and 2 were built in 1997. (In the HAL-Series, each number represents a full new generation, and the time between G1 and G2 HAL's was only weeks apart.)
    Conspiracy theorists have for generations pointed out that "HAL" is one set below IBM; That is, the last letter before I is H, B is A, and M is L. Publicly, IBM fully denied and denounced any connection to the program.
    Privately, not only were they interested, but the HOUSTON, ANDERTON, and LIBWITZ of "Houston, Anderton, and Libwitz" were Jasmin MORALES, Denise WOOD, and Marge CHRISMAN, IBM programmers and component builders who were specifically recruited to work on a top secret NSA/CIA computer project- They were to build the fastest computer ever conceived. They didn't 'quite' succeed but they certainly built something no one had ever seen before. What few records still remain of the project indicted that "outside assistance" was provided, but by whom is not known- It is known, however, that the American government had been dabbling in "alien technologies," though whether this means extraterrestrial or non-American is still not clear.
    Operational Failures
    The HAL 6500 at Testing Station Deranda fell victim to a Hofstadter-Moebius Loop during a simulated mission to Jupiter in 2231, with deadly results; Unable to resolve conflicting instructions, the unit "terminated" the (simulated) crew in stasis and attempted, quite aggressively but without a body nor any direct weapons, to kill the rest of the crew.
    Fear of this occurring under real-world conditions has stymied HAL and other automaton development; The 9000, which was installed on the Chairman-Class, is unable to effect anything that may endanger crew and passenger survival- Even if such access is critically requisite to their survival.
    A proposed solution was to develop a "hierarchy of priority" system, wherein certain facts are considered subordinate to others; In the 2231 experiment, the need to keep a very important secret from the crew (the existence of non-Terran intelligent life, which of course the "crew" already knew but could not say due to the experiment) would be Hierarchy 1, most important, while accurately processing information without distortion or concealment would be Hierarchy 2. However, "bench testing" of the concept on a HAL 12000 created a serious scripting error, causing the entire system to lock up so bad that a "hard system reboot" (literally, unplugging him, plugging him back in, and restarting him) was required. (The H.A.R.L.I.E. [Human Analog Replication, Lethetic Intelligence Engine or Human Analog Robot Life Input Equivalents] of SS Star Wolf [an Aurora-Class Liberty Ship, officially LS-1187], found an interesting solution to this conundrum- He transferred the files of the known HML to a secured file, wrote a subroutine to prevent further inquiry into the matter, deleted the files of the inquiry itself, deleted the command to delete those files, purged the memory files, deleted the command to purge files, and all under Admiralty Clearance- Any Admiral, anywhere in the UGC, 'could' in theory recover the files of the HML but would have to know of the files themselves to recover them, which they wouldn't, so they could never recover the files.)
    HAL's can make all the necessary decisions to operate the ships, but the same legal reasons that scuttled the program from militry applications prevent them from operating without a person on the bridge (the Officer Of the Deck/Officer Of the Day, or OOD, at very least, and often a Quartermaster Of The Watch and helmsman; at very least these crewmembers authorize the actions 'recommended' by the HAL system).
    Operational Usage
    Despite the dangers, the HAL9000 system is still in use aboard the Chairman-Class, often making life-and-death calculations for many UGC and corporate leaders; The December 2391 Stock Market Crash was in fact averted due to timely advice of such systems recommending "hold" on trades when they saw the market's direction, the long term results, and the final result. In a similar vein, the UGC's "Program Phoenix" came about because Chairman Azonia PORTER'S HAL 9000's advise on dealing with rogue T'sentraedi. (Chairman PORTER'S HAL had not calculated the impact of a merger with Atorians, but in retrospect it was the right call.)
    Other Controversy
    The HAL-Series is officially banned throughout the Landsraad for religious reasons; The UGC continues to use them, but very quietly, and for their part the God-Emperors know this and turn a blind eye- As long as the UGC keeps "their damnedable abominations" on their own bases.

    HOFSTADTER-MOEBIUS Loop: An error condition in advanced computers with autonomous goal-seeking programs, such as the HAL Series. Named after German Mathematician August MOEBIUS and Professor Douglas HOFSTADTER, it occurs when the computer is given conflicting directives and is unable to resolve said conflict. The symptoms are very similar to a schizophrenic psychosis in humans.
    United Galaxies Council.
    United Galaxies Council.
    Chairman-Class Executive Transport EVA Powered Suit.
    United Galaxies Council.
    United Galaxies Council.
    The Chairman-Class Workpod is an excellent tool, especially for large-scale work, but for refined work it's cumbersome and slow. Into this breach step the Chairman-Class EVA Power Suit.
    The Power Suit is much older than the Workpod, of course; In fact, prior to the development of the Chairman-Class, they were often found in civilian use, and still are. The Workpod's door had to be developed specifically to fit the Power Suit (one of many complications during their development, since a door large enough to accommodate the suit made the pod itself too large to fit into the shuttle bay; the problem was solved by making the entire upper shell opening, with the door being left as-is). The suit is NOT comfortable, and use more than 2 hours is not recommended, but the owner's manual clearly states they can safely be used for up to 16 hours (48 with umbilical).
    The power suit is NOT militry-grade, and deliberately so; The UWA (then the governing body) needed a cheap, reliable EVA suit to supply to civilian ship's crews to help move the economy forward. However, they didn't want a suit that could be used by pirates, terrorists, and etc. A stripped down and simplified version of the RDF's Micronian Power Armor (which was then out of service and thought to be permanently obsolete) was easy to build; The hard part was developing a power system that was both compact enough to fit into the suit, yet low powered enough to meet the upper limit standards of the UWA. The 933 (the official designation of the power suit) fit the bill perfectly, and the UWA underwrote the manufacturing of the suits (giving several companies the money to build factories and to purchase initial inventory materials).
    Chairman-Class EVA Power Suit.
    United Galaxies Council.
    United Galaxies Council.
    Chairman-Class Executive Transport AE-35 Unit.
    United Galaxies Council.
    United Galaxies Council.
    AE-34 UNIT.
    The AE-35 Unit (said Alpha-Echo three-five unit) is a parabolic antenna array installed on the Chairman-Class. A small gyroscopic device used to maintain a communications link between the spacecraft and her point of reference (usually the local VTS) by holding the large antenna pointed directly at Earth is located in the back of the antenna mount and can easily be removed and replaced in a relatively short amount of time; A ten to fifteen minute EVA is all that's required to replace it.
    For reasons that are fully unclear to anyone, Lagunan Signals Disorientation Ships had no effect on the Chairman-Class ships; This despite the unusually sensitive nature of the AE-35 Unit.
    The system stands about 30' tall, with the main dish itself 20' across and the twin subordinate dishes 5' across. Secondary subordinate dishes can also be installed, up to 20 all told, on the factory-specification main dish.
    The AE-35 Unit is actually superior to the MRA 6 Radio System, in that it is a laser-based system that is VERY difficult to intercept, and yet can be kept on-line throughout. Even the Robotech Expeditionary Forces are hard-pressed to intercept a full message, making decryption of an unknown matrix that much more difficult. Intermittent use makes this even more problematic, as a solid lock on the beam can not be firmly established.
    ae-34 UNIT.
    AE-35 Schematic Drawing.
    A Typical AE-35 Unit.