Command and control of Federation (and other) starships is exercised primarily through the ship's main computer. In the event of a computer casualty, various manual back-up systems are available.
Intelligence encompasses a number of systems, most notably the various sensor systems. Starships and bases utilize a variety of sensor systems, each of which uses a variety of sensor types. Federation starships generally utilize what are generically termed the Navigational Sensors (NS) , Long Range Sensor system (LRS) and the Short Range Sensor system (SRS). Each of these systems consists of a number of arrays.
Long Range Sensors (LRS)
The long range sensor systems are comprised of a number of active scan and passive instruments that operate in the normal EM and subspace bands. The majority of these instruments are active scan subspace devices, which provide FTL information gathering. The maximum effective range of the LRS is ~5 light years in high resolution mode and ~17 light years (depending upon instrument type) in medium to low resolution. At maximum range, a sensor pulse takes 90 minutes to travel to the target and return. Within the confines of a solar system, information gathering is essentially instantaneous.
wide-angle active EM scanner
narrow-angle active EM scanner
gamma ray telescope
variable flux EM sensor
lifeform analysis cluster
parametric subspace field stress sensor
gravimetric distortion scanner
passive neutrino imaging scanner
thermal imaging array
The active EM scan instruments are most likely multi-frequency radar and/or lidar(laser ranging) devices with mapping capabilities. The variable flux EM sensor is most likely a passive EM device. The parametric subspace field stress sensor would have applications in navigational mapping for warp travel and for detecting active subspace fields (including warp fields). The gravimetric distortion scanner would have applications in detecting and mapping natural and synthetic gravity fields. the imaging scanners are most likely used in conjunction to provide long-range visuals (via computer interpolation) such as we see on the main viewer.
These instruments are usually located directly behind the main deflector dish and share the use of the main deflectors subspace field generators to enable FTL scanning.
The LRS is designed to scan in the direction of flight (plus or minus a few degrees) and are routinely used to search for flight hazards.