The Cardan-class space station was an orbital defense structure, built near a planet or strategic point in deep space in order to provide defense against attacks from space. The stations could house squadrons of TIE Series starfighters in their internal hangars and deploy them for additional defense.
The Cardan-class stations were given identifying levels ranked accordingly to their defensive capabilities. A Mark I space station, for example, was very weak, and thus could be easily destroyed by an enemy fleet. A Mark V space station, however, required a large military force to overcome it. Standard defenses on these space stations included ion cannons, laser cannons, proton torpedo launchers, concussion missile launchers, and turbolaser batteries.
Cardan-class stations also came equipped with shield generators and hangars full of starfighters, which provided additional defenses. Areas facilitating the needs of starfighter pilots and technicians were located throughout each section. Security sections were located near every hangar bay, in the upper parts of the walls. From here, security officers could deal with a situation isolated from the other areas.
The starship repair and maintenance facilities were good enough to provide care for capital ships up to Imperial-class Star Destroyers. The repair facilities could also construct space ships on their own. All these additional modules, meant that Imperial warships could operate far from the Core without requiring large travels to be maintained. Besides the drydocks, there was also parking spaces for four other warships. All these extra innovations made the Cardan-class more versatile than other defense stations, like the Golan space defense platforms.