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Old September 18 2010, 02:30 AM   #1
Kaelri
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Just Another Bridge Design

Hi folks! I wanted to share this bridge module design that I've been working on as a hobby, and see if some of the experts around here have any feedback or advice.

I should say right away that this does not follow the established design standards of Star Trek. Trek's bridges were a big influence - probably the biggest, in fact - but it also owes a lot to the CIC of Battlestar Galactica and the White House situation room. (This is why some of the labels in the drawing use generic terms; I "translated" them into Trek terms for this post.) I hope I've come up with a unique design that would still fit comfortably within the Star Trek universe.

Since I'm a newbie who can't post images:
Like all modern-Trek bridge modules, the design has three main components: the main control room, conference room, and ready room.

The main room does not have a main viewscreen in the traditional sense. Instead, the captain sits (or stands) in the center of the room, and all primary stations - of which there are six - face her. The captain, first officer, tactical officer, and up to three additional advisers are seated around the conn table, whose surface allows the captain to confer with her officers, view the current contents of any other bridge console, and set down a cup of coffee - which I thought Captain Sulu would appreciate. The captain can also turn around to face the other central display system, the sphere - a large holographic field which normally shows the ship, its internal component status (much like the MSD), and other ships and objects in its vicinity. The sphere takes up most of the open floorspace between the conn table and the Helm station; the captain can stand and interact with it somatically, instead of having to calculate courses and positions in her head. (I'm told the Titan novels feature a similar device.)

The four port and starboard stations are inside raised and hooded alcoves, a nod to Tuvok and Kim's stations on the Voyager. In addition, all six of the bridge's main entrances - two from the corridors, two from stairs, and two from turbolifts - are placed in the back of these alcoves, which shields the command area from the distraction of routine comings and goings (and offers an extra security buffer). The alcoves also allow officers to have semi-private discussions and concentrate on delicate tasks, while still having a good vantage point over the entire room.

In contrast, the fore and aft stations are sunken a few steps, which allows the captain to see over their heads. The far walls are occupied by two wide viewscreens. These screens are configurable for any purpose, and often show images from the ship's exterior cameras. However, they also have two unique features. First, they are semi-transparent (like the "windshield" viewers from the 2009 movie), allowing an unobstructed view between the ready room, conference room, and bridge. They can, of course, be blanked out in one or both directions. Second, each screen may be divided into as many as four modular workstations, which augment the abilities of the six main stations.

The bridge is designed to be expandable - in addition to the extra stations described above, all six main stations have just enough room to seat a second assistant or relief officer. Thus, the same facility which runs with only seven core officers can accommodate a crew of twenty-five (albeit a little cramped). This allows the standard bridge module to scale to a wide range of ship sizes and operational complexity.

The ready room is pretty self-explanatory. It's designed to serve as auxiliary quarters for the captain, should she need to be available at a moment's notice. The transparent displays allow her to keep an eye on the bridge from any part of the room. She's also just one door away from the bridge, a turbolift, or the corridor.

The conference room is actually a small suite of utilities which serve the bridge crew. The meeting area itself is flanked by two small hallways, separated by glass walls and open doorways, which provide access to the turbolift, head, and storage lockers for emergency defense, medical and survival supplies. The area does not have direct access to the rest of the ship; instead, it is separated by a security checkpoint, which is the entrance normally used by civilians, visitors, and low-ranking enlisted men who lack the necessary clearance. The center area is dominated by the conference table, which seats ten people, and features touch consoles and a holo-projector similar to the one on the bridge. On one side, it has two modular consoles and the viewscreen which it shares with the bridge; on the other, it has a raised observation window, which looks out into either a shuttlebay or space, depending on the size of the ship.

If you want a little more detail, including descriptions of the six core stations, you're welcome to read my draft on Google Documents. Otherwise, I hope you've found my little project interesting. Please feel free to leave comments, questions, and critiques. :)
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