A sensor was one of a wide range of complex devices that helped gather information about a given subject. Commonly found on vehicles and starships, sensors gathered information about the area surrounding the craft, and helped accentuate threats and hazards. Passive-mode sensors repeatedly scanned the same area, while scan-mode sensors had a longer range and collected data by emitting pulses in all directions, and search-mode sensors focused on a specific area for further analysis. Data accumulated from scans was then fed directly into a sensor computer and relayed to the vehicle's operator. Due to the practical benefits of sensor systems, most starships had sensor suites which could analyze a wide range of spectra such as cronau radiation, which all ships emitted upon entering hyperspace.
Despite this, sensor systems could be fooled through advanced anti-detection technologies, such as through cloaking devices or natural phenomena such as solar fluctuations, cosmic radiation and asteroid fields.