The ground facilities of Starfleet. "Starbase" refers to both the planet side facilities and the orbital facilities. Ideally each sector has its own starbase. Out on the frontier this ideal is seldom met.
Starbases are not built to any single design. Around the Federation one can find everything from highly utilitarian, the soaringly beautify, or jumbled organic growth. They are usually supplied by the planet that they are located on.
Facilities will include some manner of space dock for the repair and resupply of ships, and ground faculties for offices, recreation, and housing. Some starbases, most notably the Builder Class Stations are contained entirely in space.
The main purpose pf a starbase is to maintain and resupply starships. They are places to get your ship fixed, transfer personnel, let off some steam and look at the sky for a while. As Starbases are not located in deep space but are located on and around planets the opportunity for exploration and camping in wild areas is usually available. Camping is more popular with Starfleet personnel than the average population. You spend 100% of your time "indoors" and see how popular outside gets.
Obviously Starfleet. Four times as many officers and enlisted personnel work on Starbases as are crews for ships. Indeed more of the enlisted personnel will be found on starbases. "Enlisted" does not me less trained. It does indicate that Starfleet is a short term thing with that person, not a career path.
Civilian personnel also work at starbases. They will be found in non technical positions such as recreation, commissary, and clerical positions. With Starfleet constantly hurting for people skilled positions can also be finned by civilians such as maintenance technicians and medical personnel.
Starbases are numbered. They might go by a local name or a popular name but they have a number as well. The enumeration system has changed several times in Starfleet history. Some signs of older systems remain, such as the "Starbase 22" lettering on Starbase 222.
The current system breaks the Federation into seven zones:
- 000 -- Old federation Core out of 40 light years is zone 0. Starbases numbers are preceded by a 0. Earth Starbase is 001
- 100 -- From 9:00 to 3:00 within 120 light years of the core.
- 200 -- From 3:00 to 9:00 within 120 light year of the core.
- 300 -- Beyond 120 light years, from the border to 10:00
- 400 -- Beyond 120 light years from 10:00 to the border.
- 500 -- unassigned.
- 600 -- The far sector centered on Oz.
- 700 -- The Builder Zone
- 800 -- unassigned
- 900 -- Mobile starbases. Currently the former Behemoth class cargo ships are the only class of mobile base.