Short-Range Communications
Away teams are often sent on dangerous missions, so it is vital that an efficient communications system keeps them in contact with their starship.

All Starfleet vessels are equipped with a short-range communications system that is suitable for maintaining contact with away team personnel, communicating with planetside governments, and conducting shuttle approach and departure guidance.

The short-range communications systems are typically used over distances of 38,000 kilometers to 60,000 kilometers. There are two types of short-range communications: data transfer between computer systems, and personnel communications. Short-range communications are normally conducted at faster than light speeds that are facilitated by subspace transceivers. This prevents any signal delay or distortion. Basic radio (RF) transmissions are still used when dealing with cultures that have not embraced subspace technology and as a backup system. Some stellar and geographical phenomena prevent the efficient working of subspace systems.

A network of medium power subspace tranceivers is embedded in each ship's hull, and draws power from the EPS taps. Each transceiver has separate processors for handling voice and data streams. The RF system is made up of a series of triply redundant transceivers that are also partially embedded in the ship's hull. The effective range of RF signals is 5.2 AUs, although this can be boosted to 1,000 AUs. The personal communicators used by Starfleet over the years provide the away team member with audio communication only, although the receiving ship also has access to visual communication via shipboard viewscreens. Communications between ships and official planetside bodies often provide visual links between both parties.