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Warp trail

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Warp trail fragments

Fragments of Suliban warp trails

A warp trail (also known as an ion trail) was a wake left by a starship using warp drive. A warp trail could be tracked with sensors, although there were ways of masking warp trails, such as traveling through a nebula.

In 2151, the Enterprise NX-01 followed a Suliban vessel into the atmosphere of a gas giant by tracking its warp trail. Enterprise did not originally have the sensor acuity to identify a warp trail, but this changed when Subcommander T'Pol modified the sensors to isolate the plasma decay rate of the Suliban ship. (ENT: "Broken Bow")

Ion trail, Anomaly

An ion trail left by an Osaarian vessel.

In 2152, Travis Mayweather successfully located a Kreetassan starship by scanning for their warp trail. (ENT: "Vox Sola")

In 2153, Enterprise tracked the ion trail of an Osaarian vessel that had hidden inside a cloaking field to avoid detection. (ENT: "Anomaly")

In 2154, the crew of Enterprise pursued Doctor Arik Soong and his Augments into Klingon territory by tracking their warp trail. Once Soong discovered that Enterprise was using the Bird-of-Prey's warp trail to track them, he was able to successfully mask their warp trail. (ENT: "The Augments")

In 2356, Magnus and Erin Hansen attempted to mask their warp trail in a nebula when they and their daughter, Annika, attempted to escape from the Borg aboard the USS Raven. (VOY: "Dark Frontier")

In 2370, Chief Miles O'Brien was able to retrace a Maquis warp trail to find Gul Dukat. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part II")

In 2372, the crew of the USS Voyager discovered the ion trail of a Kazon carrier vessel commanded by Razik which had destroy Chakotay's shuttlecraft. (VOY: "Initiations")

Soon after, a warp trail was discovered leading away from a moon the Voyager crew had been surveying for polyferranide, which lead them to a seemingly lifeless planet with an unusual energy source. (VOY: "Tattoo")

After a raid on Voyager by the Kazon-Nistrim in which a transporter module was stolen, Seska deliberately left a warp trail behind for Captain Janeway to follow. (VOY: "Maneuvers")

In the same year, Voyager encountered the Cardassian Dreadnought missile in the Delta Quadrant. It contained a sophisticated array of computer technology as well as its own high-powered warp drive. To avoid detection, it was also capable of masking its own warp trail. (VOY: "Dreadnought")

A group of rogue Jem'Hadar used a magneton pulse to dissipate their ion trail after attacking Deep Space 9. (DS9: "To the Death")

When the Nistrim seized Voyager at the end of 2372, Seska ordered Maje Cullah's askara to scan for the warp trail of a missing shuttlecraft even if they found its wreckage. (VOY: "Basics, Part I")

In 2373, Tieran, in the body of Kes, stole a Voyager shuttlecraft and remodulated the plasma injectors to suppress its warp signature. (VOY: "Warlord")

Benjamin Sisko told Worf to look for an ion trail generated by a runabout Kira Nerys had taken to interview several Cardassians suspected of being behind the killings of a number of former members of the Shakaar resistance cell. (DS9: "The Darkness and the Light")

In 2377, Janeway ordered her senior staff to scan for the ion trail of Gar's ship after the Dralian stole The Doctor's program. (VOY: "Critical Care")

Later that year, she again gave the order to scan for ion trails after Voyager's deuterium was stolen in the Void. (VOY: "The Void")

In 2378, The Doctor masked the Delta Flyer II's ion trail after departing with Voyager's warp core to deliver it to a pair of kidnappers. (VOY: "Renaissance Man")

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