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Research dinghy

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A research dinghy was a type of spacecraft attached to Federation starships. It was boat-shaped, smaller and slightly faster than a shuttlecraft, and was virtually all sensors, capable of picking up highly detailed readings, from to wind shifts to storm patterns and even microorganisms.

In 2364, Commander Riker used a research dinghy to go after Data, who had taken a shuttlecraft in an attempt to make contact with an alien creature. (TNG novel: Ghost Ship)

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