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Deflector shields, also known simply as shields, are translucent or transparent energy fields produced by deflector shield generators. These generators can be placed on planets, droids, starships, space stations and individual buildings. The primary purpose of the shield is to block or deflect projectiles and lasers from hitting the object under protection.
Deflector shields works in a layered defense fashion: A volumetric field effect extends out from the surface of the shield projector, attempting to reduce the coherency of any beam attacks and deflect physical objects. The shield itself behaves in a manner similar to that of a thermally conductive material — energy applied is quickly diffused and re-radiated back into the environment, but the shield itself can also absorb some of the energy. The absorbed energy is shunted into heat sinks, and re-radiated at a lesser rate by the shield and neutrino radiators. The use of deflector shields on starfighters and other small craft, makes them capable of hypersonic speeds in planetary atmospheres.
The strength of a deflector shield is a factor depending on how close the shield is to the projector, the efficiency of the projector, the power applied, and the surface area of the shield. It is common for starship deflectors to be projected a few molecules underneath the hull plating, and then extended outwards to protect hull integrity. Starship shields can handle massive amounts of energy or punishment, although it is possible to disable a shield by concentrating fire on a specific location. However, by diverting other shipboard energy reserves to the shields, the deflectors can be regenerated.