MOBILE ANALYTIC LABORATORY PROBE
M.A.L.P.

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A Mobile Analytic Laboratory Probe, or MALP, is a device in the fictional Stargate universe, though based on the real concept of an Unmanned Ground Vehicle.
 

FUNCTION & USE
The SG personnel use the MALP's collection of electronic equipment to analyze unexplored planets, determine if the environment is safe and identify points of interest by sending the device through the Stargate. After the planet has been briefly surveyed by the MALP and deemed safe, an SG team is assigned to investigate.

A high-resolution tiltable color video camera, laser range finder, spectrometer and a small directional microphone are used for surveying. Other sensors detect air pressure/temperature, atmospheric composition and even if the MALP is on its side . Dangerous radiation is also a potential threat to SG teams so MALP's have a Geiger counter. If a planet is suspected of being occupied by an advanced civilization, the receiver dish can be tuned to detect a variety of terrestrial transmissions. Should a mission call for it, other types of optional sensors or equipment can easily and quickly be fitted to suit the particular needs of the SG team or mission.

Infrared scanning was likely installed after "The Broca Divide" when the MALP's lights were broken in transit. They are used in dark situations, such as inspecting the Goa'uld structure in "Within the Serpent's Grasp" and the Lost City in Stargate Atlantis' pilot "Rising". The standard MALP is based on a sturdy six-wheeled chassis, similar to its eight-wheeled counterpart, FRED. However, because of its wheels, the MALP is not fit for all terrains, and is completely helpless in space.

MALPs are operated from Stargate Command's (SGC) Control Room by remote or on-site at a planet. From the SGC, communication is achieved via two-way digital transmissions sent through the Stargate's wormhole. Technicians can operate the MALP's robot arm by remote. The robot arm provides servo-precision motion and allows the operator to approach a target with millimeter accuracy. Due to the nature of a Stargate's one-way wormhole, an unattended MALP cannot return to Earth using the same wormhole it came through. MALP's are also capable of performing some tasks on their own, such as automatically surveying the area immediately around the Stargate, and collecting samples. Once a MALP has finished its duties, an SG team member or technician dials the gate on the other side and sends it back. As a result, MALPs sent to planets which are too hostile are abandoned.

The prototype was developed at MIT, though it's since been mass-produced, since they have a high loss rate, due primarily to being sent to hostile planets.
 

RELATED DEVICES
GOA'ULD ADAPTION
The Goa'uld, being scavengers of other society's technologies, learned from the SGC's use of these useful devices and have apparently created their own version of the device. However, the only System Lord seen using this device was Anubis, sending it to planets in advance of his fleet and troops.

This Goa'uld MALP was equipped with sensors, a large database, shields that protected it from projectile weapons and weapon systems firing energy bolts similar to those of a Staff weapon, although much faster.

It did not require the activation of the Stargate to send information back to its master, instead using a long-range subspace communication device. Also, it hovered several feet over the ground, relying on anti-gravity technology instead of wheels, being both a MALP and UAV at the same time.
 
UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES
The SGC also uses Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) to check much larger areas of alien worlds. This miniature aeroplane can be manually controlled from the SGC control room. A UAV can run search patterns, drop supplies, and paint laser targets for the SGC's missile launching capabilities.  Some UAV's are mounted with small missiles.
 
F.R.E.D.
Abbreviation of Field Remote Expeditionary Device. The FRED is an eight-wheeled carrier for tools and supplies, and is mostly sent after the planet has been surveyed by a MALP, immediately before sending a SG team. Among the supplied carried by the FRED is a homing device, used by SG teams to locate the Stargate if they are lost. Occasionally, the FRED will be used as a place for cover if the team is fired upon.