U.S. Navy document asks: What would Captain Kirk purchase?

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Jan 9, 2014, 6:08 PM EST (Updated)

Somewhere deep in the byzantine U.S. Navy bureaucracy, a hardcore Star Trek fan has found a job purchasing seriously scary electronic warfare technology.

Or at least that's the simplest conclusion after reading a document recently posted to the federal government's contracting website. Either that or Capt. James T. Kirk really has scored funds for photon-torpedo jammers and cloaked-ship detectors.

The goal of the Navy's Electronic Warfare program is "to control the Electro-Magnetic Spectrum by exploiting, deceiving, or denying enemy use of the spectrum while ensuring its use by friendly forces." But as any veteran will tell you, before you can go charging into the battlefield, digital or otherwise, you've got to fill out a lot of paperwork. When the Office of Naval Research published the opportunity for various EW technology projects in December, the contracting officer relieved the tedium by attached a document showing how it would be done in Starfleet.

The form details three very focused projects that the Office of Starfleet Research would likely fund if it were real, each listing "CAPT James T. Kirk" as the government point of contact, complete with a email address and a 555 phone number. The descriptions are so well steeped in canon that they could only have been written by a diehard Trekkie or the Enterprise captain himself.

#1 Investigation of Gravitic Anomalies on Wormhole Generation

According to the document, this research would be conducted by the Vulcan Institute of Science, with Mr. Spock as the technical point of contact. (His email address is, if you're interested in receiving an instant delivery error bounce-back.)

#2 Wideband Transtators Fabricated from Rodinium Nitride

Transtators are ill-defined but apparently very key electronic components unique to the Star Trek universe, as is rodinium, the hardest metal known to the Federation. According to the form, these indestructible devices will be used for "generating delta ray emissions for jamming photon torpedos." Montgomery "Scotty" Scott is listed as the project lead, but not in his capacity as chief engineer of the Enterprise. Instead, Scotty now has his own company, "Scott Engineering Corporation."

#3 Detection of Warp Field Emissions Using Polarization of Spatially Inverted Tetryons

Since the description describes how the technology "enables precision location, identification, tracking, and targeting of cloaked starships," this must be one of the tools the Federation is developing for its hot-and-cold wars with the Klingon and Romulan empires. Tetryons are fictional subatomic elements and make extremely powerful spacecraft cannons when polarized. This project would be developed by another familiar name: Pavel Chekov, who has moved on to the Starfleet Research Laboratory.

As imaginative as the naval exercise is, if it were real, the contracting proposals would raise red flags for any auditor. A captain of a ship funneling grants to his former crew's private businesses? If it weren't for the pneumatic swish, this would sound a lot like a revolving door.

Check it out the full document below: