Ionization is a condition that results when a ship encounters an ion storm of sufficient intensity to wreak havoc with its electrical functions, including shields and guidance systems. Several weapon systems, including ion cannons, EMP torpedoes, and Hellhound missiles, use ionization effects in an attempt to disable a target vessel without destroying it. This use of ionization makes such weapons highly sought-after by pirates and, therefore, tightly controlled by the Federation.
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Ionization effects dissipate gradually, depending on the size and configuration of the subject vessel. Rumor has it that the Rebellion is developing an ion dissipation device, but no commercial implementation has surfaced as yet.