Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
I appreciate you making yourself this much work, and so far this is good writing, as well as a good compellation of images.
However I absolutely hate FASA's idea to put transwarp into the Excelsior class, which is for me just plain stupidity and ignorance of canon. Which is why FASA is non-canon, anyway :P
Will you ever be planning to do a canon Excelsior Tech Manual?
Thank you for the compliments.
As for the transwarp and 'canon' issue...
Wait. what? What transwarp? Did you read what Praetor wrote? He extrapolated what was seen in the movies but ultimately made transwarp a failure as it was portrayed in the later shows. That's about as "canon" as it can get I think.
Bingo, and that was my goal - to stay as true to 'canon' as possible.
Since the (mostly) official materials such as the TM and STE say transwarp was a failure, as far as I'm concerned it was
a failure - although as I mentioned it was a pseudo-success as the source for the innovations that led to the recalibrated warp scale and the TNG-style warp drive.
It's worth noting that in the mid-eighties, transwarp was a success as far as anyone else knew. According to the Enterprise-A bridge graphics in Star Trek IV (Mike Okuda's first Trek contribution, I believe), the ship was packing transwarp drive too. FASA was knocking about around that time, was it not? I never heard of it until recently.
TNG made things a bit clearer, and "transwarp" was always a super-advanced tech associated with the Borg. With the exception of the newt episode... I think Praetor's done a great job of retconning everything to make sense.
Well, I even tried to fit in infinite velocity whatnottery from the 'newt' episode without the actual mention of the whole 'newt' thing - even if it did require some creative retconning on my part.
Okay, let's wade our toes in some tech stuff (while I try to force myself to scan my deckplan hand drawings.)
U.S.S. Excelsior, NCC-2000
Technical Familiarization Resource
The following was written in 2290 following the Excelsior's operational refit after the failure of the Transwarp Development Project to familiarize new crew and Starfleet brass alike with the new ship. It describes the ship in its original condition as of launch in that year, and compares the ship's initial fittings in 2284 to the equipment later installed for her service career. Appendices follow outlining the evolution of the design in the subsequent years, 'cousins' developed from the class, and a list of noteworthy ships. In her exhibition as part of the Fleet Museum's collection, Excelsior has been cosmetically restored to her 2290 status. This summary is one of several historic documents prepared for display at the Excelsior Exhibit.
The Excelsior’s design drew upon the now traditional primary-secondary hull configuration first introduced in the Daedalus class of the late twenty-second century. The Excelsior’s space-frame consisted of five integrated main assemblies: the primary hull (saucer section), interconnecting dorsal “neck,” secondary hull, warp nacelle pylon assembly, and twin warp nacelles (together comprising the engineering section). Each unit was constructed separately as an independent module at San Francisco Fleet Yards on Earth and then gamma-welded together with the others in drydock in synchronus Earth orbit. Overall vessel dimensions are as follows: Length, 467.05 meters; Beam, 177.21 meters; Height, 74.93 meters.
The primary hull, or more popularly the “saucer section,” is considered to be the main hull component. It houses the main command facilities, including the main and auxiliary bridges and the main computer core, as well as main crew accommodations and crew support facilities including food preparation and laundry systems. It also contains the main dorsal and ventral sensor platforms, and the ten primary phaser banks. A spar extending aft along the longitudinal axis of the saucer section also houses the impulse reaction system and upper intermix chamber, which extends downward to the deflector alcove in the secondary hull. Overall saucer dimensions are as follows: Length, 198.51 meters; Beam, 177.21 meters; Height, 30.71 meters.
The interconnecting dorsal is one of the components of the “engineering section.” Originally fitted with transwarp field monitoring and refinement equipment (its very chevron-shaped horizontal cross-sections defined by warp field dynamics), it is now primary void space, save the intermix chamber which spans it vertically and related equipment. Auxiliary crew quarters and freight space can be found here, along with inertial damper systems.
The secondary hull itself is the main component of the engineering section. It is roughly cigar-shaped in design, with a flattened dorsal and perfectly curved ventral. It houses main engineering and primary warp power systems, including the antimatter storage systems, as well as the main deflector dish. Primarily a hollow unit, the secondary hull houses Shuttlebay One and the Main Cargo Storage Facility, Shuttlebay Two mounted at the fantail atop the dorsal, and the twin fore and aft torpedo launchers. Overall secondary hull dimensions are as follows: Length, 271.79 meters; Beam, 58.76 meters; Height, 43.93 meters.
The warp nacelle pylon assembly is composed of an elliptical hemisphere mounting the twin warp nacelle struts. The “dome” unit houses the main plasma manifold and EPS system, as well as various engineering support systems. It is streamlined for greater warp performance. The massive twin warp nacelles are mounted securely atop the twin support pylons. They are roughly shaped like truncated squares in cross-section, and taper to their aft ends. Overall warp nacelle unit dimensions are as follows: Length, 247.08 meters, Beam, 17.70 meters; Height, 20.33 meters.
Deck One (A-Deck)
Deck one is a fairly large space extending across the very top of the primary hull spar aft towards the impulse engines. However, the only habitable volume of the deck consists of the main bridge/briefing room area at the front, which is sunken nearly two meters into a protective ring structure. The bridge unit is an interchangeable module designed for swapout at regular refit intervals to facilitate easier control system upgrades. In keeping with Starfleet tradition, the bridge is a circular room lined with various instrument stations necessary for the operation of a modern starship.
The uninhabitable space of Deck One contains numerous systems. The protective ring around the bridge module contains auxiliary battery power and life support systems for emergency use. A bar extending aft from this unit contains the main high-gain subspace antenna, and is flanked on either side by the uppermost portions of the dorsal sensor platform within raised hull flats. Excelsior is equipped with an extensive suite of all modern sensor modules.
Aft of this at the deck’s rear are the upper housing for the twin deflection crystals that top the intermix chamber and the upper impulse systems, including the radiative cooling unit baffles and fins. When she was originally launched, Excelsior mounted a single, large deflection crystal atop her intermix chamber. The deflection crystal allows warp power to be directly channeled to supplement the impulse system. However, flight tests proved that the large crystal tended to easily overload, so the ship’s 2287 refit and intermix chamber replacement saw the installation of a pair of smaller, more conventional deflection crystals capable of the same workload. These units have proven far more reliable and stable than the previous configuration, although some future Excelsior class ships are expected to retain the single-unit design if current research makes it more workable as is theorized.
The bridge module originally equipped to the Excelsior at her commissioning in 2284 was quite different from the one installed in 2289 for her operational career, but the two still retain similar Starfleet characteristics. The 2284 bridge module was designed around the operation of the transwarp drive. It did not contain an observation lounge as on the new module, but was still an efficient control space. The room was a perfect circle, with a single turbolift directly aft and a large viewscreen forward, comprising nearly one-third of the room’s wall space, with small secondary exit doors to either side (leading to a surrounding corridor). The remaining wall space was dedicated to control consoles. A “pedestal” in the center of the room mounted (for the first time) separate helm and navigation consoles, with Helm at starboard and navigation at port. The Captain’s chair was directly aft of these consoles.
The Captain’s chair, and indeed all the bridge chairs, was quite unusual and characteristic of Excelsior’s early career. They all mounted large inertial restraint arms that some crew nicknamed “bear arms,” so described because in transwarp flight these mssive arms were programmed to automatically grab and securely hold the seat’s occupant. Also for the first time, Starfleet adopted the use of touch-screen “Okudagram” control surfaces, so named after their inventor, Dr. Michael Okuda. These controls were far more sophisticated and versatile than their push-button predecessors, and could be reconfigured for specific needs far more easily. Okudagram interfaces evolved in sophistication quickly and soon became the fleet-wide standard. “Bear arm” chairs, however, heralded the end of physical seating restraints in favor of interwoven gravity cushions and better intertial damper systems.
The Excelsior’s 2287 refit and transwarp drive removal prompted the replacement of the 2284 bridge module, and Starfleet took the opportunity to equip her with something even more modern and cutting-edge. The 2289 module retained the circular dome-shape for the bridge with Okudagram touch-screens, but is distinctly different from its predecessor. Two turbolift stations serve this bridge, one each at port and starboard. The viewscreen remains virtually unchanged, but is slightly smaller, and gone are the forward corridor access doors.
Stations lining the bridge walls include: engineering support, propulsion, communications, and tactical monitoring at port; three dedicated science statsions and a small master control monitoring station at starboard. The upgraded Captain’s chair, and helm and nav consoles retain nearly the same locations on a platform level with the circumferential stations. A small table has been provided in front of the Captain’s chair for his convenience. An alcove at the aft of the bridge houses the new master situation display, a graphic of the ship that allows the Captain to view the ship’s status at a glance over his shoulder. Doors flank the MSD, which allow access to the new briefing room/observation lounge, and an adjacent head for the bridge crew’s use.
Briefing Room/Observation Lounge
The new observation lounge provides an unparalleled view of the aft portion of the ship and the warp nacelles, and was designed to allow the senior staff a more convenient location for mission briefings. It features a long, slightly curved table fitted with computer access systems and chairs for each member of the senior staff. Each end wall is fitted with a fairly sizable viewscreen and data interface for briefing sessions. The inner wall is decorated with art and other personal decorations provided by the Captain. The Captain may also use the room as a ready room if so desired to relax when key situations require his proximity to the bridge.
After looking at the TNG TM again recently, I've been contemplating putting in author's footnotes explaining certain 'behind the scenes' info as Sternbach and Okuda did, and much as I did here with the italicized introductory paragraph - only, of course 'out of universe.' Any opinions on this idea?
"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it's not for the timid." - Q
Last edited by Praetor; April 27 2009 at 11:48 PM.