The Unknown Probe:
Only recently discovered, these mysterious artefacts are believed to be probes, but of unknown origin. Their physical appearance makes them likely to be related to the unknown artefacts discovered in 3301. Such mystery only serves to make these objects more widely sought after by wealthy individuals and organisations alike, no matter that their unidentified status automatically prohibits them from being sold on any legal market. <– In game description.
Unknown Probes are objects of unknown origin and purpose. They are believed to be related to the Unknown Artefacts, as they are not only similar in design, but possess the same corrosive qualities as the Artefacts. They appear to point to Merope 5 C, the planet where “Barnacles” were first found. Scanning an Unknown Probe will cause it to emit an EMP wave and burst of noise.
Video by ObsidianAnt
WHAT DO WE KNOW?
- They were initially found protected by threat level 4 military transport convoys in certain systems close to Sirius they can be found free-floating around ammonia worlds in Degraded Emission Signal Sources (Threat 2)
- They point to Merope 5c.
- They corrode ship internals in the same way the Unknown Artefact does.
- They share a similar appearance with the Unknown Artefact.
- When using the discovery scanner in their presence, the Unknown Probe transmits a sound-encoded image that probably is meant as a key to decode the non-interacting UP sound transmission.
- Otherwise, the sound of the UP contains encoded information about the atmospheric composition of the planet, and it’s temperature, gravity, radius and distance to the system Col 70 Sector FY-N c21-3 in multiples of the respective values for Merope 5c. The Col 70 sector is currently permit blocked.
TIPS FOR OWNERSHIP
- Generally a single UP is quite easy to care for, but you will have to be careful carrying more than a couple. The primary concern is the internal systems damage. Here are some tips to handle this:
- First and foremost keep an eye on your cargo hatch. If it fails in normal space you can usually recover any cargo that falls out, provided you notice. However if it fails in super-cruise then you are out of luck.
- Carry one or more Auto Field-Maintenance Units. You need to keep your cargo hatch above 75-80% to prevent malfunctions.
- Carry some additional (less valuable) cargo so that if your cargo hatch does fail you won’t necessarily lose the UP.
- Have a lot of modules. The more modules in your ship, the more the damage will be spread out and the less your cargo hatch will suffer.
- If you’re travelling long distance, jump quickly. From the time you arrive in a system you have 30 seconds until the first damage occurs. If you can scoop fuel (if necessary), find your next destination, and get to the jump countdown before the damage triggers, then you will avoid all damage in that system and get a new 30 second window in the next system. UPs have successfully been taken to Sagittarius A* this way.
- If you’re carrying 3 or more UPs, you need to be lucky. More than two UPs hitting the cargo hatch simultaneously can cause it to malfunction even if it was at 100%.
LOCATING A UP
They have been found in Convoy Dispersal Patterns (USS) with a Threat Level 4 in the following systems:
- Ross 47
- Wolf 294
- G 99-49
Convoys carrying the Unknown Probe will usually have a Python called “Military Transport” and various strange comms chatter, as well as Anacondas of varying combat ranks. The convoy will most often also carry Meta Alloys and Reactive Armour.
They have also been found orbiting planets with ammonia atmospheres in the Pleiades Sector, at locations marked as Anomalous Signals with Threat Level 2, the specific list of systems and bodies (with distance from Merope) is as follows:
|Pleiades sector RO-Q B5-0||7||18.98|
|Pleiades Sector IR-W D1-55||6||26.26|
|Pleiades Sector KC-U B3-1||8||30.83|
|Pleiades Sector LC-U B3-2||B 2||43.91|
|Pleaides Sector DL-Y D54||3||67.1|
|Pleiades Sector QD-T c3-9||1||77.08|
|Pleiades Sector KM-W D1-40||B11||78.26|
|Pleiades Sector ZE-Z B0||4||82.91|
|Pleiades sector ON-T C3-12||2||85.73|
|Pleaides Sector DQ-Y CO||A 5||87.85|
|Pleiades Sector GG-Y C4||C2||96.82|
Our local CFN reporter CMDR Larzock has done some vigorous testing on how the UP acts when close to different atmosphere types. (Please note due to an unknown reason i was unable to embed the video here, so i will leave the links the his various videos)
On July 18, 3302 CMDR Rizal made use of the Advanced Discovery Scanner in the presence of an Unknown Probe after targeting it. The Unknown Probe responded by turning on its lights, charging and releasing an EMP shockwave, which in turn briefly knocked out CMDR Rizal’s HUD (supposedly to grab his attention). This was accompanied by an audio burst; the Unknown Probe finally “spoke”.
The forums were quick to respond, decoding the audio from the video and suggesting various experiments.A map has been drawn from the audio, showing a globe and possible coordinates. With the Unknown Probe pointing at Merope 5 C, many CMDRs are now on the hunt to find the next clue.
On August 17, 3302, the first free-floating Unknown Probe was discovered orbiting Pleiades Sector KC-U b3-1 8, a planet with an ammonia atmosphere, at an “Anomalous Signal” point of interest. This was quickly followed by additional Unknown Probe finds above other ammonia worlds in nearby systems. Finding the Probes above ammonia worlds is significant because it potentially ties the Probes to the Thargoids, who are believed to have originated on an ammonia world.
On August 20, 3302, the Unknown Probe transmission was fully decoded and revealed to contain planetary data such as radius, surface temperature, gravity and atmospheric composition. This transmission was directed at an unknown receiver on Merope 5C. In addition, the transmission included distance data that, when triangulated, was found to have been measured from the star system Col 70 Sector FY-N C21-3, which is within a group of permit-locked systems that players cannot currently access. It is believed Col 70 Sector FY-N C21-3 may be the origin point of all Unknown Probes, and contain the home world of their creators.
However the audio image has not been decoded to this day:
- Credit to the The Original Canonn Codex and the Elite wiki for some information and images here
- The fastest moving thread on the internet regarding all things unknown probe, artefact, and large barnacle is the threadnought, curated by Cmdr Rizal.
- Galnet Collection Unknown Probe