Affiliation United Federation of Planets / Starfleet
Year Beginning Service 2365
Design Specifications
Ship Type Surveyor
Length 160 meters
Beam 108 meters
Height 39 meters
Crew 80
Tactical Specifications
Armament 11 Type VI Collimated Phaser Array, 3 Photon Torpedo Launchers (Two Forward, One Aft)
Defenses Deflector Shields
Engineering Spefications
Top Speeds Warp 7.0 (Standard Cruising), Warp 8.0 (Maximum Cruising), Warp 8.3 (Maximum Attainable)
Impulse Engines Two Impulse Systems


In an early 25th century alternate timeline, a variant of the Nova-class was in use. The interior of the ship was almost the same, however, the exterior had a number of changes. The variant also had superior tactical firepower and shield strength to that of its predecessor. (VOY: "Endgame")

In a later timeline, this class of vessel (at least the Rhode Island variant) was still in use during the 26th century by the Federation and was involved in the pivotal Battle of Procyon V. (ENT: "Azati Prime")

Schematics of the Nova-class were contained in the 31st century database kept by temporal agent Daniels aboard the Enterprise NX-01. They were viewed by Captain Jonathan Archer and Lieutenant Malcolm Reed who accessed his database in 2151. (ENT: "Shockwave") They were later viewed by Archer and T'Pol in Daniels' database the following year. (ENT: "Future Tense")

Technical Data

The Nova-class was originally designed as a science and scout vessel used for short-term planetary research and analysis. They were not typically suitable for combat operations.

The Nova design had a maximum speed of warp 8.

This class had a small crew complement of about eighty.

One unique feature of the Nova-class was its Waverider shuttle, which was located in a special docking port on the ventral side of the primary hull, similar to that of the Aeroshuttle on the Intrepid-class.

Physical arrangement

The Nova-class had a design similar to that of an Intrepid-class starship, though half the size. It consisted of a saucer section with a curved triangular shape. The secondary hull was directly attached to the underside of the saucer with two warp nacelles.

Unlike some starship designs, the Nova-class only featured one impulse drive, located at the aft end of deck 2 aligned center to the ship.

Tactical systems

Though Novas were science vessels, they had a wide assortment of weaponry, allowing the vessel to handle many threats on its own. It was equipped with eleven strategically-placed phaser arrays: eight on the saucer and three on the secondary hull, two forward-facing photon torpedo launchers at the bow of the saucer opposite of the secondary deflector, and one aft-facing launcher.

The third, aft-facing torpedo launcher, was not displayed on the MSD.

Navigational deflector

In order to prevent space debris and objects from colliding and damaging the vessel, Nova-class vessels, like other Starfleet vessels, were equipped with a navigational deflector at the bow of the secondary hull. If the main deflector was damaged or disabled, a secondary deflector on the saucer could substitute the main deflector.

Like most Starfleet vessels, the Nova-class was also equipped with a deflector shield for defensive purposes. Shields on a Nova-class could be fully recharged after charging the shield emitters for 45 seconds. This task required the shields to be dropped. The shield grid itself was located along the secondary hull.

Interior Design

Main bridge

Equinox MSD

Nova Class Master System Display

The main bridge, located near the center of deck 1, was the command center for the ship. Despite the size of the ship, the spacious bridge allowed for the ease of movement between stations.

The central command area on the bridge was at the very center of the circular area in a submerged location. The captain's chair was starboard side, and the executive officer's was on the port side. Between them was a console built into the structure that provided a place for information dissemination, as well as operational command of the starship. Directly ahead of the command area and down into a further sunken area, was the conn.

The rest of the stations were located on the perimeter of the round bridge, including the master systems display behind the command seats and the main viewscreen in the standard frontwards position. Stations, such as tactical, were not stand-out stations due to the scientific nature of the design. When necessary, Tactical would usually be assigned to the forward, port side console just right of the main viewscreen.

Entryways to the bridge were located at the port and starboard sides on the upper level. The port door leads to the main turbolift while the starboard door leads to a corridor that accesses other sections of deck 1. Access to the captain's ready room was also located on port side.

The Nova-class bridge was a redress of what had appeared as the Prometheus-class bridge, from the episode "Message in a Bottle", which was previously a redress of the recreated USS Excelsior bridge from "Flashback". The construction of all three bridges was overseen by Voyager production designer Richard James.

Main engineering

Main engineering was located on deck 7. The Nova-class engineering section only spanned one deck, and featured four wall based engineering consoles and a warp core analysis console in front of the core itself. At the far end of the room was the warp core with a transparent floor and support railing around it. The core spanned from decks 5-8 and could be ejected from the bottom of the ship through an ejection hatch. The core could be accessed from either engineering or from the maintenance areas around the core.

Sickbay and science labs

The Nova-class had one sickbay located on deck 4, in front of the shuttlebay. The Nova-class medical facility was equipped with an Emergency Medical Hologram system, like the one on USS Voyager.

Additionally, as a science vessel, the Nova-class was equipped with a number of specially-equipped science and research labs. The labs were similar to those found on an Intrepid-class vessel and served many purposes and supported numerous personnel. They featured a great number of work consoles to perform numerous tasks and had one main work console area in an alcove.

Auxiliary craft and cargo bays

Behind the main sickbay were two shuttle bays, which could contain a single shuttle each. In the saucer on deck 4, a short trip from the shuttle bays, was the aforementioned Waverider auxiliary craft, which was integrated into the Nova-class' hull. Spanning decks 2 and 3 in front of the shuttle bay were the main cargo bays which also contained Workbees, used for transportation and repair purposes.

Additionally, like a majority of starships in the 24th century, Nova-classes were equipped with emergency escape pods, twenty in total; fourteen were located on deck 3, four on deck 1 and two on deck 2, all located in the saucer section. They were stored under hatches to permit both launch and retrieval.

Crew quarters

Due to the size of this class, crew quarters were spartan, but provided all the standard needs for the crew. A majority of the quarters were standard crew quarters, though a number of them were larger for use by the senior staff. The majority of these larger quarters were located on decks 1 and 4, with slightly smaller ones located on decks 2 and 6.

Ships Using This Class in Star Trek: Second Fleet Online

There are no ships of this class in ST:SFO.


Specifications for the ship: Memory Alpha and Ships of the Starfleet, Volume III

Pictures: From Paramount and CBS through Memory Alpha
USS Rhode Island intercepts SC-4

Nova Class Surveyor

USS Equinox, forward

Nova Class Surveyor