All space-travel capable vehicles registered in SCG space are required to posses three methods of identification; a prefix - for shorthand type identification, a name - to idenfify a specific craft, and a unique identification number - which is almost exclusively used for administrative purposes. The usage of identification numbers means that a ship's name by no means needs to be unique galaxy-wide, though the practice is typically avoided for larger vessels.
A vehicle's prefix consists of three parts:
- Owning Government Body or Corporation
- General classification
When the current registration system was implemented, the first portion of the prefix was intended to differentiate military vessels with government designations from civilian craft, which were universally designated "C". Interest and political pressure from major Trans-Stellar Corporations eventually led to the ability for organizations to license their own prefix letters for a sizable fee. Most major corporations with large private fleets have since opted into this program, and have adopted their own prefixes. No longer a useful differentiation, the "C" designation was soon depreicated and replaced with the modern "I", standing for "Independent". Some of the oldest surviving civilian vessels retain the "C" prefix.
|Letter Designation||Owning Body||Additional Information|
|I||None (Independent)||Not owned by any particular government body or major corporation with a registered unique prefix. Includes most privately owned vessels, including the fleets of most corporations.|
|C||None (Civilian, Archaic)||Replaced by "I" designation in 2330 for all future registered vehicles. Still used on certain vehicles registered before this date.|
|SCG-||SolGov||Solar Confederate Government fleet vessels, both military and general government use.|
|VGA||VirGov||Fleet of the Vir Government. The government's small number of vessels means full prefix is not required, and VGA acts as the full prefix.|
|H||Hephaestus Industries||All craft belonging to Hephaestus Industries|
|M||Morpheus Cyberkinetics||All craft belonging to Morpheus Cyberkinetics|
|N||NanoTrasen||All craft belonging to NanoTrasen|
|T||Major Bill's Transportation||All craft belonging to Major Bill's Transportation|
|V||Vey Medical||All craft belonging to Vey Medical|
|W||Ward-Takahashi||All craft belonging to Ward-Takahashi|
|X||Xion Manufacturing Group||All craft belonging to Xion Manufacturing Group|
|Z||Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals||All craft belonging to Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals|
The second portion of a craft's prefix designates it's purpose. Official definitions are often broad and loose, and are only intended to give a general idea of the vehicle's usage. As a result there is some overlap, and exact designations are left up to the registering party.
|Letter Designation||Purpose||Additional Information|
|A||Administrative||Defined as a workplace with a specific industrial or research output. Almost always installations, rather than vessels.|
|C||Colony||Residential craft, most often fixed installations but also including arcology ships.|
|D||Defense (Civilian use)||Civilian designation. Non-military armed craft and platforms, almost always asset protection vehicles belonging to large TSCs.|
|D||Diplomatic (Government use)||A government-specific designation, not to be confused with Defense vessels. Mostly diplomatic transports which often act as mobile embassies.|
|E||Exploration||Exploratory vessels, specifically manned craft. Less common with the establishment of borders with other races, but several still exist following in the wake of survey craft.|
|F||Freight||An alternate designation for cargo vessels, which the specific exclusion of craft transporting people besides crew.|
|I||Industrial||Industrial or construction craft, including shipyards, mining vessels, and factories.|
|L||Logistical||Trading hubs, general purpose and "waypoint" stations without significant residential facilities often fall under this designation.|
|M||Medical||Specialist medical craft, ranging from large-scale emergency transports to full-fledged hospital ships and stations.|
|R||Response||Emergency response vehicles and installations. Specialized transport craft and mobile "triage stations" for anything from medical emergencies to major disasters.|
|S||Science||Research craft, for almost any purpose. Includes survey vessels and is sometimes used for experimental prototype vehicles.|
|T||Transport||Transport vessels of any description. Includes passenger transports, cargo ships and many mid-size personal craft.|
Note: Military vessels may use the civilian "D" or "R" designations for the purposes of civilian Traffic Control. Specific military designations are largely used only within the fleet.
The third portion of the prefix is the most straightforward, and designates the type of craft:
|Letter Designation||Type||Additional Information|
|B||Base||Certain ground based facilities which require craft registration due to close interaction with space traffic on small planetoids, or which were delivered as self-propelled payloads.|
|C||Craft||A general term for small vehicles designed for in-system use, built without interstellar capabilities. Typically personal craft capable of being operated by one person.|
|S||Station||"Fixed" space facilities, including everything from orbital platforms and asteroid bases to distant waypoint outposts.|
|V||Vessel||Encompasses all mobile spacecraft capable of interstellar travel. Usually larger vessels due to the nature of long distance travel.|
A ship's name is entirely the decision of its owner, and may be re-registered at any time. Specific naming schemes exist within several TSCs, and popular trends differ between systems. In addition, many Skrell ships are constructed from large Dionea gestalts, and as such select their own names. Some regulations exist for chosen ship names, mostly regarding the use of profanity and inflammatory remarks. However, these are relatively loose and do not prevent some rather provocative monikers, as widely employed by Morpheus Cyberkinetics. A name is not required, and in the case of an unnamed ship, it will be referred to soley by its designation and registration number for the purposes of identification and traffic control.
When a ship is registered with the SCG, it is assigned a unique registration number which is never reused. This number consists of three letters - representing the craft's home system, three digits - representing the year of registration, and a randomly assigned six digit number. Spacecraft are not required to display their Registration Number, and it largely exists for the purposes of referencing the database. Certain individuals with "unique" RNs choose to display them regardless. For example, Shelf proudly displays an aging craft with the RN "SOL-420-696969"
The most referred to example of a ship designation is the NLS Southern Cross
- N - NanoTrasen
- L- Logistical
- S - Station
From this, an onlooker can easily determine that the Southern Cross is a Logistical space station belonging to NanoTrasen.