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The title of this page given above is incorrect, due to technical limitations. The correct title is DRADIS.

A typical DRADIS read-out

DRADIS (Direction, RAnge, and DIStance) is a detection, identification and tracking system, somewhat similar to radar, used aboard Colonial Fleet spacecraft.

DRADIS can be used in stationary configurations as well on ships. A group of Centurions were able to jury-rig a DRADIS assembly from their Heavy Raider into a stationary DRADIS tracking array in an attempt to shoot down a SAR mission from Galactica (Fragged).

Carbon composites are largely invisible to DRADIS scans (Flight of the Phoenix).

A DRADIS contact is an object or objects detected by the DRADIS sensor system. Contacts are typically identified by cross-referencing with an IFF system (in the case of ships) or an astronomical database (in the instance of planets or other celestial bodies).

The symbols used on Colonial DRADIS displays for the representation of battlestars, Raptors, and Vipers are visible in the picture to the right.

DRADIS symbology for various Colonial Fleet units (Pegasus)
DRADIS Warning of Radiological Alarm (The Captain's Hand)

DRADIS is also used to report Radiological Alarms as well as timer countdowns.

DRADIS countdown (33)

DRADIS is likely a central component of the Navigation computer on Galactica.


  • "DRADIS" is an unfortunate acronym, since "range" and "distance" are redundant with each other.
The "Direction, RAnge, and DIStance" breakdown of the acronym "DRADIS" was listed in an early manuscript (PDF) of the first half of the Miniseries. Since some major elements of this script were changed (such as Kobol being the sole home of the Colonies, and not separate worlds) in comparison to the completed teleplay, canonical use of this breakdown should be taken with some skepticism.
However, there still is some evidence to suggest that the original breakdown is the canon version. In "Kobol's Last Gleaming Pt. 1" Crashdown performs a DRADIS sweep of Kobol. That aerial survey is then presented to the President. For a brief moment as she is just taking the survey image out of Billy's hand you can see the DRADIS information printed on the image. The letters on the image are clear and are as follows:
Aerial Survey

D. 41376 Ra. 145.8 Dis. 43.5

The numbers may not be accurate or complete as we cannot see much further to the right of the image. However, given that the letters do represent numerical values, most fan-suggested alternatives for the breakdown of DRADIS would seem to be unlikely. While this is not conclusive evidence, it is consistent with the orignal manuscript definition.
  • In "The Hand of God", some fans believe that Starbuck said "The decoy ships will jump into the enemy star system at extreme radar range from the Cylon asteroid", which would be a continuity error. Others believed that actress Katee Sackhoff said "extreme Raider range", the range of the Raiders from the Cylon base, and that she just slurred the word "Raider" slightly so it sounded vaguely like "radar". The matter was put to rest when BattlestarWiki asked the writer of this episode, Bradley Thompson, and he said that the line in the script was "...extreme Viper range..."; the final line must have been looped in during post-production without his input (probably to keep from spoiling the plot) and he confirmed that the final line sounded like "Raider". Also, he confirmed that "radar" does not exist on the series at all.

See Also