Polarized Hull Plating
Polarized hull plating was a defensive armored hull technology used on Starfleet shuttles and starships during the twenty-second century. Before the development of deflector shielding, hull polarization was the primary defensive measure for starships against weaponry.
In the twenty-second century, this technology was used on Earth starships such as the J-class and the NX-class as well as smaller auxiliary vessels such as the shuttlepod. During the months the Enterprise NX-01 was in the Delphic Expanse, polarization technology on Earth had been improved by twelve percent.
In the twenty-fourth century, starships still occasionally polarized their hull plating, though not typically as a defensive countermeasure. One example of such use has been to disrupt a tractor beam lock by rotating the frequency of the hull plating's electromagnetic field. Starships also sometimes polarized their hull plating to help mask their sensory signature, which worked by interfering with enemy sensor scans.