A sensor globe allowed shipboard sensor systems to operate. A sensor dish could perform the same tasks, albeit with a different exterior appearance.
Sensor globes used on top of Star Destroyers and Super Star Destroyers contained hyperwave transceiver coils and long-range scanners, part of the com-scan system of the ship. The scanners could feed targeting information to the ship's weapons systems, which made them viable targets once the main shields went down in a battle.
The sensor globes also contained projector vanes for an auxiliary shielding system that had a local-area effect only. The vanes were positioned in a crown-like formation around the sensor globes, forming the ISD-72x deflector shield generator dome system.
Behind the scenes
There has been some controversy[source?] as to whether the domes on Imperial Star Destroyer bridge towers are sensor globes or shield generators. Richard Edlund, one of the special-effects artists on Return of the Jedi, noted in the February 1983 issue of Cinefex that they were "radar domes," thus, for sensor purposes.
Later guidebooks from Dorling Kindersley devoted to the worlds and vehicles of the films performed what was said to be "the most thorough research done on the vehicles" according to a Lucasfilm blurb in Star Wars Insider 68. These books also identified them as sensor globes. It further explained that they contained local-area shielding vanes, but were not the ship's main shield generators.
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, Second Edition
- Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections
- Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide