Data Canister: Motion Scanner
Data Canister 1037, X-Com Archives.
Briefing for Relativistic Motion Detection Unit (Motion Scanner) 'Problem'.
Probably an internal memo, origin of document otherwise unclear. Dated 2014.
The technology behind this device and its origins has often been misunderstood. The exact origins of the device lie with the Pre-War Black Project Codename 'Dream Kin', as part of the package of information turned over at the start of Project Codename Blackbook, also known as Operation 'Enemy Unknown', The Extra-Terrestrial Combat Unit, UFO Defence, or as it has most popularly been known, X-Com.
The technology, making use of superconducting cores built around a metallic alloy antennae with a disturbing similarity to the later-discovered Alien Alloys, is based around difficult to understand physical properties. Some of these slot in neatly to our understanding of special relativity, others only make sense when viewed as part of super string theory.
The basic idea is that moving objects contain kinetic inertia, something we all know. This energy is, of course, only relative to the motion of other objects. This technology allows this type of information to be 'read' with varying degrees of accuracy.
Similar technologies have been discovered in the ways in which the alien craft navigate, although the semi-organic optical computation networks utilised in the 'navigation devices' seen on alien craft are considerably more advanced.
The first results of research into these principles were completed quickly, culminating with Project Twenty-Twenty in March 1999. A ruggedised unit was produced, with a 'scan' resolution of objects with mass greater than sixty kilograms at one gravity moving at speeds greater than 1 m/s.
The ruggedised unit which went into service with X-Com weighed two kilograms, had a pistol grip, three calibration dials and four antennae. The battery pack, weighing approximately another kilogram, was either clipped to the back of the unit or carried on the belt, with a cable extending to the unit. The unit has a shoulder strap which allowed the unit to be used 'hands free' with the pistol grip removed, but this was often considered difficult to manage in a combat situation.
The casing was made out of a durable fireproof polymer, with an armoured glass shield over the LCD readout screen. The bulk of machinery, including the antennae, were behind the screen.
Crude by current standards, the operator needed to move the unit in slow sweeps while depressing a trigger which charged the unit. The motion allowed the unit to build up a 'motion' charge of its own, which made it capable of detecting moving objects within a radius of sixty meters. The field of 'vision' of the unit meant it could only accurately determine an object's location on the horizontal plane relative to the unit.
Some soldiers would tilt the unit while scanning, and as such were able to get a fix on moving objects at various planes of elevation. Unfortunately the results from this method were relatively innacurate, due to the unit's calibration to the gravity field of the earth.
The faster a unit moves, or the larger and heavier the unit is, the larger and more striking the 'scan' result. This technology is unblocked by any known materials, although high presences of Elerium and Gravity-Wave engines are known to distort readings, sometimes significantly.
Only five units built prior to October 1999 are still known to exist, and the details of Project Twenty-Twenty and the origins of motion-scanning technology are still hotly debated outside of the public eye.
Ultimately it is only a matter of time before otherwise insignificant sections of the UFOpedia become public and someone realizes that the Scanners' exitance proves the existence of Project 'Dream Kin' and the Roswell incident.
It is reccomended that all five units are replaced with units built post-October, proof of documentation fabrication created and Psi specialists engaging in memory alteration as neccesary to ensure historians stick to our version of events.