This is the Artronic computer network that handles all the systems aboard a TARDIS. The Artron Mainframe Module is located right beneath the Core Service Module and above the Transpower Systems. Because of its role as an interface between the four dimensional TARDIS and its three dimensional crew, the Relative Dimensional Stabilizers are essential for the TARDIS to understand the desires of its operator. Monitoring and controlling the RDS takes up more of the Artron Mainframe's processing power than any other function, leaving only 5% of that processing capacity for other functions. But that 5% represents a significant amount of computational power and the Mainframe also contains the interfaces for the Psionic (Telepathic) Circuits and is connected to the Navigation Systems, Guidance Systems, Drive Systems, Defence Systems, Life Support Systems, Self-repair Systems, and even the Emergency Transceiver. With a physical link to the Artron Mainframe, and the right Command Codes most functions of a TARDIS can be controlled.
With the exception of the Protyon Units, all of these systems are composed of exitonic (a.k.a. Artronic) Circuitry with Organic picotechnology elements. This circuitry is connected with fine grey, hair-like interfaces. Lights move up and down these hairs searching for faults. Older Artron Mainframes (like those on a Type 40) use Old High Gallifreyan for their programming code. Four modules stick out of the Artron Mainframe. These contain the data for the TARDIS Informational Systems. The Information-Banks, Data-Core, Data-Banks, and Memory-Store each have their own module.
While materialized a TARDIS will continual send a telepathic signal stating "TARDIS Mainframe – Waiting." While the Imprimature allows the Time Lord to detect the location of his TARDIS from several dozen meters away, most Time Lords can only clearly sense this standby message when they are inside the capsule. The Artron Mainframe is connected to the Matrix via the Telepathic Circuits, and if a Time Lord has the Key of Rassilon, he can physically interface their TARDIS into the Matrix's Thought Space.
Reliability is ensured by having the Fault Locator operate independently of the Mainframe. Security is ensured by requiring Command Codes to make major changes to the programming.[/ttv] The Mainframe has several firewalls, including one dedicated to protecting the TARDIS Sentient Matrix. Even with the Command Codes it would take over a year for the operator to disable all of the defences the Artron Mainframe has. However these defences can be vulnerable to hacking by code that involves a large amount of prime numbers.
It is, however, possible to overload the Artron Center Mainframe with brute force. Powerful Rho Waves (of the sort used for hypnotic induction) have occasionally caused glitches. And a signal powerful enough to pass sideways in time, from one universe to another, would be enough to overload any TARDIS that has its Scanner engaged. Such an overload would traumatize and disable the Artron Mainframe disabling power to almost all systems for almost 2 minutes while the system cuts back and contains the signal.
The following color code is used:
- Black: For information from the TV Series, including Dimensions in Time, and 1996 TV Movie.
- Blue: For information from the Novels and Audios including Target, Virgin, BCC, and Big Finish.
- Green: For information from 'licensed' reference sources such as the Technical Manual, Doctor Who Magazine, and the Role Playing Games.
- Red: For information from unofficial sources -The Faction Paradox series, behind the scenes interviews, author's speculation, and popular fan belief.
The TARDIS Technical Index is copyright Will B Swift.