The Trek BBS

The Trek BBS (http://www.trekbbs.com/index.php)
-   Trek Tech (http://www.trekbbs.com/forumdisplay.php?f=14)
-   -   Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived! (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=86430)

Praetor March 23 2009 06:10 AM

Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
So various talk 'round these parts has made me decide to start working on my Excelsior Technical Manual again after, what, two years? Some of you may remember it, some may not. I couldn't even find the original thread. I was tempted to place this new thread in fan fiction but since it is really more of a technical nature I thought this more appopriate, especially since I want reactions from my esteemed Treknical brothers and sisters.

It is tentatively titled 'Excelsior: Infinite Velocity.' It basically consists of two main parts:
  1. A history of the class's development and career written from the perspective of 2385 looking backwards that I am using to introduce my own take on various Trek tech and history subjects, some of which may be controversial and others not.
  2. An in-universe 'familiarization manual' written to describe the Excelsior as deployed in 2290, replete with cross-sections and deck plans, as well as appendices describing variants and sister/tangent classes.
So far, I have about 75% or so written and am going through revising it with various ideas. I have deck plans drawn by hand which I must redo in Illustrator, and of course my good ole Excelsior cross section which I am redoing in MSD/LCARS style. Needless to say, the graphics part of it is the hardest and most time consuming part. I know it will never be published, but I'd ultimately like to make it available in a PDF form.

Here's that ole cutaway I mentioned. Some things on it may change as I redo it to fit the LCARS style, but probably not the basic configuration/placements.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y21...sssection8.jpg

What I'd like to do is post chapter by chapter and get everyone's reactions to the various ideas in it. Since the history part is essentially done, I'll start posting there, then hang back for a few days to let everyone comment and react to those comments, and then post another chapter for reactions. I'd like everyone to be as forthright in their opinions as possible. I don't really consider anything set too deeply in stone and am very open to other opinions. Hopefully by the time we're through this I'll have part two's draft done, and also some graphics.

I'm posting this with the caveat that this text is copyright me and I trust you folks not to reproduce my text in any way, at least without asking my permission. (You might be surprised.) If you see an idea you like, run with it, but just don't plagiarize, okay? Good.

Here we go:
Quote:

Chapter One - Background

On the morning of 17 April, 2270, at 1105 hours Earth time, the Sol System was alive with activity. Every ship in the sector had gathered for a very special event. Starfleet scouts flew honor formation as the U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701, returned home from her latest and most historic five-year mission, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. Brass and civilians alike applauded as Enterprise came in under shutug power to dock in Berth Two of the old, now-decommissioned Spacedock. “Lucky Little Enterprise” (as the Federation press had dubbed her because of her comparably shining safety record) had become the most famous member of the Constitution class and as the proclaimed flagship of the fleet, she and her crew had risen to the status of living legend. After arrival, a special commemorative ceremony was held in Enterprise’s main recreation room. The senior staff was decorated, and numerous promotions were handed out.

Behind the celebration, tucked neatly somewhere between the multi-spectrum antimatter fireworks and the Vulcan children’s choir, Starfleet was in real danger of falling behind the times. Starfleet had relied on the Constitution class as its backbone and workhorse since the ships were first commissioned in 2245, before the latest generation of officer to serve on them had even been born. The twenty-third century was a time of unprecedented change in the Alpha Quadrant. Even as the Federation celebrated its Centennial in 2261, it would experience increased threats from its neighbors, ranging from the increasingly antagonistic Tholians to an uneasy but nonetheless threatening alliance between the Klingons and re-emerged Romulans, all of whom, by all intelligence indications, were developing technologically faster than the Constitution class could keep up with.

Indeed, it had become quite apparent that most of Starfleet was in danger of being rendered obsolete much more quickly than anticipated. Missions such as that of Kirk, while monumental successes, highlighted the flaws in Starlfeet’s aging designs. Historic innovations, such as the doctrinal shift toward the split primary/secondary hull configuration first introduced in the late twenty-second century and the introduction of standardized components such as warp nacelles and bridge modules that had rendered the Constitution class an efficient, well-balanced design were no longer revolutionary. Further, the class’s once-impressive defenses seemed inadequate to meet the increasingly powerful fleets maintained by the Klingons and Romulans. Even after the introduction of ship-mounted phaser weapons and photon torpedoes to the Constitution class, it was obvious that the ships’ defenses were somewhat below par compared to the warships being produced by the Federation's enemies.

Since the conclusion of the Romulan War, two polarized elements of Starfleet had long fought over the existence of Starfleet warships. Starfleet had been initially founded under the auspices of peaceful exploration and defense, but proponents of a more militaristic Starfleet argued that the narrow victory of the Romulan war had proven the need for dedicated battleships. Opponents countered that such ships would only truly be useful in the event of another full-scale war, and that multi-purpose starships could be well-equipped to maintain the peace. Initially, Starfleet operated battleships that were a part of its leftover Romulan War fleet, but gradually the costs of keeping these in operation outweighed their apparent need, and newer multi-puprose ships easily replaced their tactical roles. Militaristic proponents continued to press the need for more dedicated warships, and opponents continued to dispute them. This argument would rage for decades, with neither side truly gaining any leverage until the 2250s. By that time, the Klingon danger loomed heavily, and many of Starfleet’s most prominent officers began to speak publicly about the need for a new Dreadnought class to meet any potential Threat attacks. Politically motivated budget cuts initially impaired any such major development projects, but eventually the movement gained enough momentum that serious fears began to emerge amongst the general populace about the safety of the Federation.

A special exploratory commission was finally convened to submit a proposal for a new Dreadnought design to the Command Council for review. The proposal was handed to the Council in 2252, and permission was granted to have Starfleet's Advanced Design Bureau begin design work for the ship. The ASDB worked for five years and submitted several possible designs, the most promising being a three-nacelle variant of the basic Constitution design. The first member of the so-called Federation class dreadnoughts was launched in 2260. While well-armed and technologically impressive, the vessels were also somewhat awkward and ungainly. Constitution class ships were still considered more prestigious posts than the twelve members of the Federation class. The class successfully fulfilled its limited roles of border patrol and sector defense, but had little else to do without the outbreak of actual war. It did serve to assuage public safety fears, which bought Starfleet more time to come up with a real solution: a true replacement for the Constitution class that could hold its own against the Federation class in terms of defense. Some cynics on both side of the argument said that the role of warship and exploratory ship could not be successfully merged, and remained skeptical.

For numerous reasons, the Starfleet General Staff did not entirely abandon the Constitution class. The Constitution was a proven deisgn, as all but two of the original 2240s production line were still in service, and during their careers had increased the area of known space by thousands of square parsecs. At the ceremony held aboard the Enterprise at her return, Fleet Admiral Heihachiro Nogura, Starfleet’s Chief in Command, announced the implementation of a massive fleet-wide modernization and refit program, beginning with the two and a half year upgrade of Enterprise herself. However, Nogura and his colleagues at the General Staff were confident that this would only extend the design life of the Constitutions by three to four decades at most. Starfleet had already begun designing a replacement for the Constitution that could satisfactorily explore and defend the ever-growing Federation. While the very concept of a true multi-mission explorer-type starship, such as the Ambassador and Galaxy classes, was still nearly eighty years away, the seeds that would ultimately lead to its genesis were about to be sown.

In 2266, the Federation had granted permission for the ASDB to begin preliminary work on a Constitution replacement, even as the first members of the Federation class and the final group of Constitutions left the docks. The general design brief issued (labeled SV-20) called for a ship capable of fulfilling the duties of the Constitution class: provide a mobile research platform for Starfleet exploration projects, border patrol, and defense, starbase resupply and defense of regional interests, and full execution of Federation policy in outlying frontier territories. The design team was convened under the supervision of Doctor Akito Tokogawa of the ASDB, an accomplished engineer and assistant on both the original Constitution class project and the new modernization project. The team convened by Tokogawa included an impressive range of the best of the old and young that the ASDB had to offer, fully confident of their ability to meet Starfleet’s challenge. In 2271, another design requirement would be added: incorporate advances of the new prototypical propulsion form called transwarp drive.
And let it fly. Don't worry, I've thick skin.

kitsune March 23 2009 07:36 AM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
Quote:

Praetor wrote: (Post 2744550)
So various talk 'round these parts has made me decide to start working on my Excelsior Technical Manual again after, what, two years?

This sounds like a really fun project! I've been lamenting the lack of a tech manual for the Excelsior class.

Quote:

Praetor wrote: (Post 2744550)
It is tentatively titled 'Excelsior: Infinite Velocity.'

Why not Excelsior: The Great Experiment?
"Infinite velocity" evokes bad memories of a certain absurd Voyager episode that shall remain nameless.

Quote:

Praetor wrote: (Post 2744550)
An in-universe 'familiarization manual' written to describe the Excelsior as deployed in 2290, replete with cross-sections and deck plans, as well as appendices describing variants and sister/tangent classes.
...
Here's that ole cutaway I mentioned.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y21...sssection8.jpg

If your deck plans are of a similar quality, this is going to be awesome.

Quote:

The Constitution was a proven deisgn, as all but two of the original 2240s production line were still in service, and during their careers had increased the area of known space by thousands of square parsecs.
Shouldn't that be volume and cubic parsecs? And by the way, parsecs are really awkward units of measure.

Timo March 23 2009 01:12 PM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
I suppose the blueprints and manual will be specific to NX/NCC-2000 and not general ones for the Excelsior class? I'd like to limit the presence of Shuttlebay 1 to this prototype ship, as this is the only vessel that features the characteristic blue glow (in ST6), and also as the generic Excelsiors are sometimes viewed from lower angles that reveal the true contents of that cavity (that is, some sort of a generic greeblie that more or less precludes shuttlecraft ops).

Also, it seems you are going to treat transwarp drive as an already developed feature to be installed aboard this ship type, rather than treating this ship type as a means for developing transwarp drive. I certainly agree this makes more sense. But if so, we probably have to drop the fandom notion that transwarp was a conceptual failure. It must have been a well-proven success if Starfleet risked installing it aboard this important ship type. Perhaps the installation was something of a disappointment, yes, but the transwarp theory itself must have been valid.

I'd drop the "infinite velocity" angle altogether. It's not stated in ST3, and it's not a feature of Borg transwarp, so it need not really be a feature of Starfleet transwarp, either. Just because the ship's computer says "all speeds available through transwarp drive" doesn't mean that all speeds in existence (from zero to infinite) would be available. It may merely mean that all the speeds for which this ship has been built are currently greenlighted by the internal diagnostics system.

Timo Saloniemi

JNG March 23 2009 01:58 PM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
I like what Styles called it: "incredible machine."

Praetor March 23 2009 07:29 PM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
Quote:

kitsune wrote: (Post 2744723)
Quote:

Praetor wrote: (Post 2744550)
So various talk 'round these parts has made me decide to start working on my Excelsior Technical Manual again after, what, two years?

This sounds like a really fun project! I've been lamenting the lack of a tech manual for the Excelsior class.

Thanks! That's what motivated me to do it.

Quote:

Quote:

Praetor wrote: (Post 2744550)
It is tentatively titled 'Excelsior: Infinite Velocity.'

Why not Excelsior: The Great Experiment?
"Infinite velocity" evokes bad memories of a certain absurd Voyager episode that shall remain nameless.
Heh, then you may not like a certain upcoming chapter, and I was somewhat expecting that. The name was meant to reference the fact that the transwarp drive failed, but that the class itself thrived. I'm not opposed to changing it, it just seemed cute at the time.

Quote:

Quote:

Praetor wrote: (Post 2744550)
An in-universe 'familiarization manual' written to describe the Excelsior as deployed in 2290, replete with cross-sections and deck plans, as well as appendices describing variants and sister/tangent classes.
...
Here's that ole cutaway I mentioned.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y21...sssection8.jpg

If your deck plans are of a similar quality, this is going to be awesome.
Thankya. :) I can't decide whether I want to do them all in LCARS style on black, or good old black and white like this. Both have their advantages.

Quote:

Quote:

The Constitution was a proven deisgn, as all but two of the original 2240s production line were still in service, and during their careers had increased the area of known space by thousands of square parsecs.
Shouldn't that be volume and cubic parsecs? And by the way, parsecs are really awkward units of measure.
I think I lifted that figure from the 'Starship Spotter' book. What do you suggest instead?

Quote:

Timo wrote: (Post 2745039)
I suppose the blueprints and manual will be specific to NX/NCC-2000 and not general ones for the Excelsior class? I'd like to limit the presence of Shuttlebay 1 to this prototype ship, as this is the only vessel that features the characteristic blue glow (in ST6), and also as the generic Excelsiors are sometimes viewed from lower angles that reveal the true contents of that cavity (that is, some sort of a generic greeblie that more or less precludes shuttlecraft ops).

Yes, the manual and blueprints will be the U.S.S. Excelsior circa 2290 which I call it's official 'launch' in a finalized flight configuration.

As to the shuttlebay, I'm glad you went ahead and brought this up. I'm of two minds about this. Based on what we've seen of the Ent-B/Lakota version of the original model, I am uncertain whether changes were made to the model in that area. What I am relatively certain of is that the second Excelsior model built by Greg Jein for 'Flashback' (which I believe is the model you mention that is seen from those angles on DS9?) did have quite different details in that area - and even fired a beam of some kind from that area.

My personal inclination is to believe that all of the ships looked like the 'original' and ignore the inconsistency in the second model, unless there's evidence to the contrary that the original model precludes doing so. I think the views of the ship from that angle in TVH and TUC seem the most definitive in suggesting the 'gondola' is a shuttlebay and the hollow volume (which I rationalize as being a concession to reducing the mass of the ship) can act as a forcefield-based staging area for ready-to-launch shuttles.

I'm also open to suggestions as to what this space could be on the other ships if not a shuttlebay.

Quote:

Also, it seems you are going to treat transwarp drive as an already developed feature to be installed aboard this ship type, rather than treating this ship type as a means for developing transwarp drive. I certainly agree this makes more sense. But if so, we probably have to drop the fandom notion that transwarp was a conceptual failure. It must have been a well-proven success if Starfleet risked installing it aboard this important ship type. Perhaps the installation was something of a disappointment, yes, but the transwarp theory itself must have been valid.

I'd drop the "infinite velocity" angle altogether. It's not stated in ST3, and it's not a feature of Borg transwarp, so it need not really be a feature of Starfleet transwarp, either. Just because the ship's computer says "all speeds available through transwarp drive" doesn't mean that all speeds in existence (from zero to infinite) would be available. It may merely mean that all the speeds for which this ship has been built are currently greenlighted by the internal diagnostics system.
Well, believe it or not I am trying to rectify 'Threshold' with the transwarp depicted as part of the Excelsior. (I know, I know, I'm really asking for it here. :p) It's my take that the transwarp drive is basically a 'jump drive' once you hit magic Warp 10, and that the engineers were unable to do do this in their tests but through various political pressures pressed on anyway, and the drive ended up being a revolution anyway.

Rather than address all of your points directly maybe I should go ahead and post the next chapter a little sooner than I originally planned and see if that answers any of your questions/issues. It may well spark more.

Quote:

Chapter Two - Transwarp

By 2271, the ASDB had been conducting initial design work on SV-20 for five years when the secretive Excelsior Group presented its findings in transwarp research to the Federation Council and Starfleet Command. Transwarp had been a classified research project for nearly a decade by that time. For years, Starfleet scientists had been researching not only developing a more powerful and therefore faster warp engines, but also faster alternatives to conventional warp drive. The story itself has become something of a legend to modern warp engineers and physicists. In early 2261, Doctor Eugene Wesley was working in the Theoretical Propulsion Group researching warp theory. Wesley made a revolutionary discovery about warp velocity; he discovered nine progressively higher threshold leaps in warp field power requirements that did not correspond with the previously utilized cubed warp scale. He also noticed what appeared to be a tenth and infinite warp jump. Dr. Wesley concluded that the tenth warp velocity jump would result in a state of infinite velocity which would allow a starship to exist in all points in the galaxy at once. Therefore, controlling the entry and exit from infinite velocity would allow a ship to instantly jump from any point in the universe to another by briefly entering another dimension. Dr. Wesley envisioned an advanced drive capable of thus propelling a ship, which he termed “transwarp.”

In February 2262, Dr. Wesley presented his classified data to the Federation Council and Starfleet. Although controversial among his colleagues, Dr. Wesley’s work intrigued both the Council and Starfleet, who allowed him to continue with a full research team. The team took the name the “Excelsior Group,” excelsior being from the Latin for “ever higher.” Transwarp was envisioned as the Holy Grail of interstellar travel, but no real promising breakthroughs into generating high-level subspace fields necessary for the project were made. Dr. Wesley and his team were initially given five years to produce concrete results, and had managed to beg for another five, but he and his team were getting more worried and more desperate. Their efforts were also hampered by severe funding cuts by the increasingly skeptical Federation Council.

All this changed in late 2267. On Stardate 5693, the Starship Enterprise discovered the missing U.S.S. Defiant, NCC-1764, near Tholian space. Defiant was trapped in a subspace rift, its crew having murdered one another due to madness caused by prolonged subspace exposure. The phenomenon was termed “spatial interphase” by Enterprise science officer Spock. Spatial interphase was described as a temporary overlap of two dimensions, specifically space and subspace, which resulted in a type of trans-dimensional rift. While the Defiant herself was hopelessly lost, apparently trapped in limbo between dimensions, sensor readings accumulated by Enterprise proved invaluable to the Group’s work.

The interphase produced a level of subspace distortion heretofore unencountered by Federation science. These logs helped the scientists understand why the previous efforts to create a high-energy warp field using available power sources had failed. The destruction caused in controlled environments by these efforts was prodigious and well-documented. The fortunate timing of the Defiant incident has caused some in retrospect to wonder if at the time Defiant was engaged in illicit practical tests of rudimentary transwarp technology. While their relevant period documents remain classified to this day, it seems unlikely that Starfleet would have permitted such a dangerous test on a relatively new starship with a full crew, or that the Excelsior Group would have been capable of orchestrating such a perfect conspiracy. At any rate, the disaster had finally given Wesley and his colleagues what they need to make a breakthrough. New calculations were made and simulations and tests conducted.

While many in Starfleet were initial skeptical of transwarp’s virtues, a champion emerged in the form of Admiral Randolph Harrison “Harry” Morrow. The young, charismatic Morrow had held a fascination with technology and warp development since he served as a supervisor at the ASDB, and long followed Dr. Wesley’s efforts. The young maverick, mentored by Admiral Nogura himself, worked his growing influence to bring around his fellows in the Admiralty, and the Federation Council finally ordered transwarp included as part of the SV-20 project. The Transwarp Development Project was officially born. The project soon came to be known among inner Starfleet circles as “the Great Experiment,” which would be made a household phrase by the Federation News Service.

Timo March 23 2009 07:59 PM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
Quote:

My personal inclination is to believe that all of the ships looked like the 'original' and ignore the inconsistency in the second model, unless there's evidence to the contrary that the original model precludes doing so.
There existed quite a few variants of the model - with different bridge domes, different "impulse crystals", and then eventually the E-B variant. This for me sounds like a sufficient reason to go for multiple variants of the ship, too: at least those represented by the models, and perhaps several more, including but not being limited to some mix-and-match-canon-features ships. That's echoing the real world, both in the sense of echoing the modeling reality and in the sense of imitating real-world diversity of ship design.

I'd also think something called the Great Experiment would be in a state of design flux for quite some time, resulting in alterations of mission profile and onboard gear. Decades upon decades of service would work towards that same result of design evolution.

On the other hand, for a ship whose drive didn't perform as intended, the Excelsior remarkably retains her warp engines essentially externally unchanged. That to me suggests that the failure wasn't particularly serious... Or that the failed components weren't in the nacelles. What if the ventral cavity, unseen in ST3, was originally to house an all-important transwarp coil? The ship was built around this piece of equipment, and would have required major design changes were the cavity to be removed (the ventral guns were mounted on this structure already, etc.) - so Starfleet left it there, and also built it into the newer ships, even though the transwarp coil was gone by ST4 already.

Thus, the cavity in later ships is doing make-work: it houses a telescoping self-repair crane (which is what the greeblie most looks like) or perhaps a relay buoy dispenser, or then remains free for carrying all sorts of outsize cargo. Usually it's merely exposed to vacuum, though.

There are parallels in the real world: WWI battleships converted to all-new powerplants for WWII, but retaining some superstructures merely for reasons of correctly directing the smoke from the stacks even though the original innards are gone and have been replaced by completely unrelated machines that would better have fit in a completely different structure...

Timo Saloniemi

BolianAuthor March 23 2009 08:21 PM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
Will there be a chapter on possible future directions... the road to the 2000-E? :)

Praetor March 23 2009 08:26 PM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
Quote:

Timo wrote: (Post 2746430)
Quote:

My personal inclination is to believe that all of the ships looked like the 'original' and ignore the inconsistency in the second model, unless there's evidence to the contrary that the original model precludes doing so.
There existed quite a few variants of the model - with different bridge domes, different "impulse crystals", and then eventually the E-B variant. This for me sounds like a sufficient reason to go for multiple variants of the ship, too: at least those represented by the models, and perhaps several more, including but not being limited to some mix-and-match-canon-features ships. That's echoing the real world, both in the sense of echoing the modeling reality and in the sense of imitating real-world diversity of ship design.

I'd also think something called the Great Experiment would be in a state of design flux for quite some time, resulting in alterations of mission profile and onboard gear. Decades upon decades of service would work towards that same result of design evolution.

Well, as far as I know, there were three versions of the original model:
  1. TSFS-TVH version of the original model with rounder bridge dome, single deflection crystal, and blue glowing 'thing' at the rear shuttlebay that also made appearances on TNG before being refit for TUC
  2. The TUC version with the more Connie style bridge module, two deflection crystals, revised rear shuttlebay section
  3. The 'Generations' version that was the Ent-B and later DS9's Lakota
And then there was the Jein physical model that appeared in 'Flashback' and a couple of times on DS9, and then the CGI model created for DS9 that later appeared on VGR.

So I agree that there could be a lot of minor variants, but it just seems like a shuttlebay would be something hard to replace.

Quote:

On the other hand, for a ship whose drive didn't perform as intended, the Excelsior remarkably retains her warp engines essentially externally unchanged. That to me suggests that the failure wasn't particularly serious... Or that the failed components weren't in the nacelles. What if the ventral cavity, unseen in ST3, was originally to house an all-important transwarp coil? The ship was built around this piece of equipment, and would have required major design changes were the cavity to be removed (the ventral guns were mounted on this structure already, etc.) - so Starfleet left it there, and also built it into the newer ships, even though the transwarp coil was gone by ST4 already.
My thought is that the engine design itself wasn't a failure per se, but it just didn't achieve the 'transwarp' goals as perspective.

Quote:

Thus, the cavity in later ships is doing make-work: it houses a telescoping self-repair crane (which is what the greeblie most looks like) or perhaps a relay buoy dispenser, or then remains free for carrying all sorts of outsize cargo. Usually it's merely exposed to vacuum, though.

There are parallels in the real world: WWI battleships converted to all-new powerplants for WWII, but retaining some superstructures merely for reasons of correctly directing the smoke from the stacks even though the original innards are gone and have been replaced by completely unrelated machines that would better have fit in a completely different structure...
That sounds interestingly plausible. I'd still rather avoid doing something like that if possible. I wish I knew Bill George's email address. :p

Quote:

BolianAdmiral wrote: (Post 2746527)
Will there be a chapter on possible future directions... the road to the 2000-E? :)

Sort of. :p

LCARS 24 March 23 2009 10:24 PM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
Is that 718 meters or so in overall length?

EmperorTiberius March 23 2009 11:10 PM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
Nice back story. Good luck with the rest of the project.

Praetor March 23 2009 11:24 PM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
Quote:

LCARS 24 wrote: (Post 2747127)
Is that 718 meters or so in overall length?

No, sir. It's meant to be 467 meters as the good Bill George intended. :p

I'll sit back as you find a computational error in my decks now, no doubt. ;)

Quote:

EmperorTiberius wrote: (Post 2747299)
Nice back story. Good luck with the rest of the project.

Thanks!

Unicron March 24 2009 03:04 AM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
If I may make a small suggestion, the FASA Trek RPG (specifically, the TNG Officer's Manual) suggested that there was a minor controversy when the 1701-B was proposed, because the Excelsior counted as a battleship in the game and I think that detail could be easily worked in with its more canonical description as a cruiser. One group wanted the new USS Enterprise to be a Constellation class cruiser in keeping with its traditional role of exploration, while the other favored the Excelsior class as a new flagship role. Due to increased tensions with the Klingons and Romulans, the latter group won out and the B was launched as an Excelsior.

Anyway, I've always liked this little bit of trivia. I could check my original manual if you want more details on the footnote. :)

Praetor March 24 2009 03:17 AM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
Actually, I have something similar planned for a later chapter. (I think it was at your suggestion the first time through, in fact.) Stay tuned. :)

Unicron March 24 2009 03:26 AM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
Probably. I don't know where the original thread is either. :lol:

Praetor March 24 2009 03:33 AM

Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
 
Oh, what the hell. Next chapter. :)

Quote:

Chapter Three - Design

New work began on SV-20, in tandem with the development of transwarp drive. The designs for the class evolved greatly from the original configuration conceived in the late 2260s. The first design brief of 2266 called for a ship “superior in every way imaginable to Starfleet’s current design,” meaning the Constitution. Beyond the literal, Dr. Tokogawa was largely uncertain what “superior” meant for his design. The original Starfleet specifications called for a ship at least 350 meters long by 150 meters abeam by 60 meters deep. Obviously, SV-20 needed to be bigger and faster than Constitution, but this in itself posed a serious dilemma. With any ship design, the bigger the ship got, the proportionally larger powerplant and nacelles it had to have; the more substantial warp systems it had, the bigger the ship had to be. Finding a balance was always quite a dilemma, no less so here due to the impatience of this particular design mandate.

The initial design, SV-20A, completed in 2268, was quite unconventional in design. It featured a saucer-shaped primary hull in line with a flattened, stepped engineering section. A horizontal “wing” supported four twin warp nacelles, two mounted above and two mounted below each at the end of the wing. Warp power would have been provided by a horizontal intermix chamber. Impulse engines were mounted aft, between warp nacelle pylons. The warp nacelles looked radically unique but were nearly the same size as those that would be installed aboard the refit Enterprise. The ship also featured an unconventional navigation deflector “pod” mounted on the ventral side of the engineering hull.

The design evolved into SV-20B in 2270. SV-20B was similar, but even more unconventional. The overall ship was more flat and stretched out. It was equipped with four warp nacelles, but each nacelle was approximately 30% larger. The impulse engines returned to the saucer section, in separate housings on either side of the engineering hull connection point. The impulse deck itself was mounted atop the dorsal spine, between the engines, with a domed, exposed deflection crystal assembly. While the transwarp criteria introduced the next year would ultimately prompt designers to pursue a more conventional design direction, Starfleet was still very interested in the previous design work done, and asked Dr. Tokogawa to hand over his designs for use on a number of other projects. SV-20B itself served as inspiration for the design of the SV-19 Constellation Class Deep Space Cruiser project that was in work. The Constellation team would seize the promising four-nacelle configuration as its direction. With further work, the final design would see first production as U.S.S. Constellation, NX-1974, in 2284.

Design SV-20C (created in 2272) was the first SV-20 design intended to incorporate transwarp drive, and with the inclusion of the Transwarp Development Project, was the first to bear the code-name Excelsior. It was basically a two-nacelle version of SV-20B, with refinements to the nacelle pylons, impulse systems, and the addition of a distinctive transwarp housing at the ship’s aft. However, this design was rejected as Starfleet requested a vessel that was more conventional. It seemed despite Morrow’s advocacy of the project, he was still afraid of what the reaction and results would be for the already controversial SV-20 project. The ASDB was only too happy to comply.

Design SV-20D (created in 2273) very much resembled a futuristic Constitution. She had a round saucer mounted atop an elongated, curved engineering hull by an interconnecting dorsal. It mounted two pairs of fore and aft torpedo launchers, and radial phaser banks on the dorsal and ventral of the primary hull (akin to the Constitution refit designs). Her transwarp nacelles were 40% larger than the nacelles of the Enterprise, mounted to the dorsal engineering hull spine by inwardly curved pylons. Additionally, the intermix chamber and matter/antimatter injectors were moved to a vertical orientation. The SV-20D gained a great deal of praise and performed admirably in field flow simulations.

In the same year, more members of Starfleet Command came around to Admiral Morrow’s way of thinking, due in no small part to the V’Ger crisis, in which even the refit Enterprise was helpless to defend Earth from a massively powerful Threat Vehicle. Bureaucrats used to sitting behind their desks had been given the rare opportunity to practice taking refuge beneath them, and none liked it. Skeptics and militarization opponents pointed out that the crisis was resolved through diplomacy rather than force, but many were still quick to throw their support behind the SV-20 project as a result of the incident.

With streamlining and other modifications, SV-20E was born and gained final approval by late 2274. The transwarp nacelles were increased in overall length by a third, making them mere tens of meters shorter than the entire Enterprise. The ship’s overall shape was extremely curvilinear, with surfaces either curved or flattened as defined by transwarp field analysis. System design briefs were sent to various facilities throughout the Federation as the design team undertook the charge to turn SV-20E into reality. Armament and impulse drive design elements were soon delivered. Crew requirements were pinned down at a maximum comfortable compliment of 900 and a standard operational crew of 750, with a maximum evacuation capacity of 1,500. By the end of the year, the spaceframe design was approved for construction. Many felt that Dr. Tokogawa had given the design a distinctly elegant Japanese design flair.


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:39 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.