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Old July 10 2009, 11:45 AM   #35
Re: Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

I've never really understood how the saucer can be able to travel at warp without the nacelles, as surely the nacelles generate the subspace/warp field necessary?
Most Trek starships don't have "nacelles" - only Starfleet vessels tend to have those. Yet most if not all Trek starships appear to have "warp coils", the things that sometimes are positioned inside nacelles, sometimes inside casings, sometimes inside side or top bulges, sometimes at the very heart of the ship...

The usual hint of the presence of a set of warp coils is a visual glow through some sort of a "field window". Many Starfleet ships have blue glow at the nacelles or cowlings. And remarkably, the saucer of the E-D has intense blue glow on two sets of squarish windows at the aft topside. This would be an excellent place for the saucer's warp engines, close to the impulse engines and their reactors, and close to the reputed saucer aft photon torpedo launcher which would have to have an antimatter source.

There is no clear indication on the TMP engine core that crystals are contained within, unlike the TNG Enterprise where there is a central crystal housing.
Yet there isn't really any evidence of active crystals being located anywhere else, either. If they are in the very heart of the reactor in TNG and ENT, and in TOS "Elaan of Troyius" and the like this seems to be true as well, why assume they would occupy a radically different location in the machinery of other eras?

OTOH, on today's ships one may confuse a reciprocating steam engine (an external combustion engine) and a diesel engine (an internal combustion engine) because both have cylinders and pistons, even though the fuel is in a completely and fundamentally different location in the two. Perhaps the TMP ship was based on a completely different powerplant than the TOS and TNG ones, not just in configuration, but in operating principle as well?

..the identical reactor chamber seen in Voyage Home containing crystals..
Or the identical access point to the conveyor/tubemail/waldo that takes the crystals from the shirtsleeves environment to the hellfires of the intermix chamber?

That'd be a somewhat logical path of development: in ENT, one couldn't manipulate the dilithium at all, in TOS and TMP one could manipulate it by feeding it into a robotic system, and in TNG one could directly access it at the very reaction site.

It is a reasonable assumption, given the evidence, that both Klingon and Starfleet warp technology functions using similar principles.
Indeed, many a TOS episode was based on the premise that Klingons covet the exact same resources as the UFP. So their technologies in general might be very similar, perhaps due to industrial espionage.

Timo Saloniemi
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