A Better Scan on Sensors

As the sensors section in the SR5 book is not well written, here is how I understand how it works.

1. Housings:
The first thing that needs to be selected is what the sensors are going to be installed into. The various options include:

  • Sensor tag: a small RFID tag with a single sensor.
    Cost for a sensor tag is 40¥.
  • Handheld Housing: a small housing either held in the hand, mounted on armour, belt, helmet, etc., or in a cyberlimb and has a capacity for up to 3 sensors. If installed in armour, etc it uses up capacity of the armour, equal to its sensor capacity.
    Cost for the hand-held housing is Capacity x 100¥.
  • Wall-mounted Housing: larger than the hand-held housing, this is suitable for wall mounting and has a capacity for up to 6 sensors.
    Cost for the wall-mounted housing is Capacity x 250¥.
  • Drone/Vehicle: the built-in housing available for sensors in vehicles and drones. This has a capacity equal to the Sensor Rating of the drone/vehicle.
    Cost for the Drone/Vehicle sensor housing is included in the cost of the drone/vehicle.
Housing Cost Capacity
Sensor Tag 40¥ 1
Handheld Sensor Capacity x 100¥ 1-3
Wall-mounted Housing Capacity x 250¥ 1-6
Small (or smaller) Drone Included 3
Medium or Large Drone, Vehicle Included BOD Rating of Drone/Vehicle
Device Max Sensor Rating
RFID Tag Headware 2
Hand-held device, small (or smaller) drone, armour 3
Wall-mounted Device, medium drone 4
Large drone, cyberlimb 5
Motorcycle 6
Vehicle (larger than a motorcycle) 7
Building, extremely large vehicles (aircraft carriers, AWACS aircraft) 8

2. Single Sensors vs. Sensor Arrays:
Once you have selected your housing, you need to determine what sensors are going to be installed in the housing. These need to be either single sensors or sensor arrays. The max ratings of the sensors available to be installed in a device are limited by its type, and found in the

  • Single sensor: select a single function from the Sensor Functions list and its Rating. Each single sensor uses up 1 from the capacity of the housing regardless of rating.
    Cost is equal to the Rating of the sensor x 100¥
  • Sensor Array: select up to 8 functions from the Sensor Functions list. All of these sensors are of the same rating. The entire sensor array uses up 6 from the capacity of the housing, regardless of rating.
    Cost is equal to the Rating of the sensors x 1000¥
Housing Cost Capacity Sensor Functions
Single Sensor Rating x 100¥ 1 1
Sensor Array Rating x 1000¥ 6 8

3. Sensor functions:
Finally, select the functions that you wish to include in the sensors. Each function uses a single slot from the sensor type (single or array), regardless of the function. However, enhancements to the sensor function (like adding low-light vision to a camera sensor) must be purchased separately, and are limited by the capacity of the associated sensor.

Function Range
Atmosphere Sensor
Visual Enhancements
Cyberware Scanner 15 meters
Directional Microphone -
Audio Enhancements
Geiger Counter
Laser Microphone 100 meters
Audio Enhancements 100 meters
Laser Range Finder 1,000 meters
MAD Scanner 5 meters
Motion Sensor 25 meters
Olfactory Sensor
Omni-directional Microphone
Audio Enhancements
Radio Signal Scanner 20 meters
Ultrasound Sensor 50 meters

4. Default sensors:
Vehicles and drones come with some sensors installed as part of the base package. These depend on the type of vehicle or drone. By default, they will be at the Sensor rating of the vehicle.
Vehicles: typical setup will include an atmosphere sensor, a pair of cameras (front & rear; with low-light vision), laser range finder and motion sensor. (These are all typically used by the on-board autopilot)
Drones: typical setup will include a camera (fore; with low-light vision), laser range finder and motion sensor. (These are all typically used by the on-board autopilot).

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