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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.[1][2]

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.[1][3]

Ships such as the VCX-100 light freighter Ghost were named for their ability to sneak past Imperial sensors.[3]

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