The four-quadrant strategy, for short 4QS, was a 25th century Starfleet initiative, a project devised to explore and gather intelligence in all four quadrants of the Milky Way Galaxy simultaneously. The 4QS commenced in the early 2410s decade, following the re-activating of the Iconian Gateway Network. (STO Issue 07: "USS Pathfinder")
History and specifications
With the advent of quantum slipstream drive and a detente with the Dominion and unfettered access to the Bajoran wormhole, Starfleet was engaging in exploration missions in each quadrant by the 2380s in the late 24th century, with the Project Full Circle fleet traversing the Delta Quadrant and the USS Robinson surveying the Gamma Quadrant outside the Dominion's borders. (VOY novel: Full Circle, DS9 novel: Original Sin)
What changed with the activation of Iconian gateways across the galaxy during the onset of the Iconian War in the year 2410 was the lack of distance now between the Alpha and Beta Quadrants compared to hitherto remote regions of space.
Operation Delta Rising was a Khitomer Alliance effort to reconnect with races and cultures encountered by USS Voyager during the Intrepid-class starship's historic first journey through the Delta Quadrant. The fleet operated from the Jenolan Dyson Sphere.
The USS Pathfinder was a brand-new long range science vessel (LSRV), based on what Starfleet learned from Voyager's odyssey. The Pathfinder-class ships were sent to survey as much territory as possible.
As part of the four-quadrant strategy, ships were assigned to survey squadrons after the end of the Iconian War. The squadron followed a specific survey deployment procedure in each star system for maximised efficiency. At the end of each solar survey, the squadron's flagship would transmit the intel directly to Starfleet Command before moving on.
Ships assigned to the 4QS
- survey squadrons