Elite Dangerous Wiki

Full Spectrum System Scanner interface

The Full Spectrum System Scanner is an integrated module included in all ships. It is activated after switching to Analysis Mode and conducting an initial scan of a star system using the Discovery Scanner to identify all astronomical objects and signal sources. The FSS Scanner is then used to map and obtain detailed data about each identified location.[1]



Fully zoomed-in FSS view of a gas giant

Analysis Mode diagram

A diagram showing which filtered frequencies correspond to specific objects and phenomena

The Full Spectrum System Scanner (FSS) is a powerful scanning device that is used to identify signal sources and astronomical objects such as planets, moons, and asteroid clusters within a star system. This generates exploration data that can be sold to Universal Cartographics, and fills in the System Map for the user. To prepare to use the FSS, begin by switching to Analysis Mode and activating the Discovery Scanner to detect the system's contents and chart the orbital plane. Next, while in Supercruise, throttle down to minimum speed; be aware that large objects such as stars can obscure smaller bodies, so taking a few moments to get away from a star before throttling down is recommended to reduce the need to reposition later. Once the ship's speed has bottomed out, the FSS can be activated.

The FSS interface relies on three main control inputs: reticle horizontal and vertical movement, reticle zoom, and adjusting the Filtered Signal Analysis bar at the bottom of the screen to tune into different frequencies. The FSS automatically emits a regular pulse of energy that briefly highlights points of interest that are emitting signals. Simply move the reticle to these highlighted areas and tune the Filtered Signal Analysis until a scannable target is resolved, then zoom in until the FSS is able to pick up a clear, unobstructed signal and analyse it. Note that most bodies can be found along the system's orbital plane, but some bodies have unusual orbits and may require careful searching of deep space.

Tuning the Filtered Signal Analysis bar is essential to correctly and efficiently using the FSS. Not only does the bar display exactly what kinds of signals and bodies to expect in a system, with low frequencies indicating transient signals or smaller objects and high frequencies indicating large objects such as gas giants, but signals that have already been scanned will be filtered out and stop appearing on it. A completely empty bar means that all available objects within the system have been scanned.

The reticle can be used to find signal sources that may not be readily visible in the interface, such as objects that are not on the system's orbital plane. When the FSS is tuned to a specific frequency, arrow symbols will appear around it if it is near a signal source of a similar frequency. If the arrows are clustered and arranged in a symmetrical pattern, then the FSS is tuned to the correct frequency to scan the signal. If the arrows are scattered around the reticle asymmetrically, then the tuning needs to be adjusted. The signal sources themselves will also provide a visual cue if tuning is correct: as the FSS is tuned towards the signal's frequency, a broken circle will appear to mark the signal's origin point, and when the exact frequency is achieved, the circle will become a solid ring, indicating the origin point can finally be scanned.

It is only necessary to scan all of a system's planets and moons to receive the "System Scan Complete" notification, so other signal sources can be left alone. The ratio of scanned bodies to detected bodies is displayed in the upper-right corner of the FSS interface.

Other FSS functions[]

Aside from system scanning, the FSS also provides a wealth of details about bodies in the system when fully zoomed-in, including:

  • Resources - The elemental composition of the body's surface, signifying what Raw Materials can be prospected there
  • Locations - The presence of any Points of Interest
  • The body's mass, radius, gravity, surface temperature, atmospheric composition, and astronometric details
  • The names of the Commander(s) who previously scanned and mapped the body, if any

Once zoomed in on any body or signal source in the FSS, the user can also select it as a navigation target if desired.