a device, system, etc. used for systematically examining something or gathering data, esp. at a distance or through obstacles
The early bracketed quots., and similar examples from the early 1930s, show the closely related sense in reference to devices used to capture images of objects, esp. for televisual transmission.
He wanted to reconstruct, atom for atom, the object under his fourth dimensional scanner. [Ibid. 393/2] The ship was to be sent was put in position before it; the scanner viewed it; and the signal for each atom and each molecule followed each other in swift flight on the train of light waves that was their wire.]
Voice of the Void in Amazing Stories Quarterly Summer 393/1
Since no physical means can be found whereby the transmitting scanner can be made to cut off the penetrating beam, as does the scanning disc in a light-governed television machine, King had to resort to breaking the ‘secondary wave’ so as to scan distant objects.]
Television Hill in Amazing Stories Feb. 986/2
That cabinet became instantly a manifold scanner…. Simultaneously there appeared in the air above the machine a three-dimensional model of all the Galaxies there listed.
Skylark of Valeron in Astounding Stories Jan. 77/2
They had a scanner on it now and by stepping up illumination to the utmost, and magnification to the point where the image was as rough as an old-fashioned half-tone cut, they brought the strange ship to the visiplate as a six-inch miniature.
Proxima Centauri in Astounding Stories Mar. 20/1
‘What kind of amateur outfit do you think the Patrol is?’ Ezra demanded injuredly. ‘O’ course we searched them. We used the X-Ray “scanner” on each convict as he was brought into the ship.’
Face of the Deep in Captain Future (1943) Winter ii. 8/1
Just as a picture is reproduced at the receiving end in a series of lines which lie closely packed in the same plane, this machine of the professor’s genius scans the body in all its details by means of an x-ray, duplicating every cell in its entirety in a carbon simulation. As the scanner passed over Paula’s body, the carbon particles in the cabinet were arranged into an exact duplication of her body down to the last particle.
Carbon-Copy Killer in Amazing Stories July 187/1
Thorne would give it the works. He would set it up in solidographs, down to the last shattered piece of glass and plastic. He would have it analyzed and diagramed and the robots would put it in scanners that would peel it and record it molecule by molecule.
Time Quarry in Galaxy Science Fiction Oct. 23/1
Fylh had triggered the scanner and it should be recording as they flew.
Star Rangers ii. 24
Aboard the Enterprise, all controls on the transporter have gone dead. Their scanners, communicators, all contact with the planet has been lost.
The Cage 29 June in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ (1968) i. iv. 60
The forward scanners were operative and recording.
Mote in God’s Eye (1975) i. vi. 59
What does a scanner see? he asked himself. I mean, really see? Into the head? Down into the heart? Does a passive infrared scanner like they used to use or a cube-type holo-scanner like they use these days, the latest thing, see into me—into us—clearly or darkly?
A Scanner Darkly (1991) xi. 185
Our scanners cannot penetrate this material.
Demons i. 11
First he used the instrument to scan the plate. Then he swept the scanner over the entire area.
Star Trek Voyager: Escape xi. 117
The targeting system showed two hostile fighters. I checked the tactical scanner, which told me the ships had identical capabilities.
Dragon Pearl xii. 106
Research HistoryFred Galvin submitted a 1950 cite from Clifford D. Simak's "Time Quarry".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a number of cites.
Last modified 2022-09-22 12:22:23
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.