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Old June 28 2011, 07:49 PM   #15
aridas sofia
Rear Admiral
Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier


That image you last posted looks good, however as I'm sure you know, the entire leading edge is rounded and not squared off. I'm sure the way you have it is just a result of the rudimentary state of the mesh, and not your eventual intention.

A) There are four squares on the top side (each subdivided into four smaller squares), in line with the inner two rows of landing bays. I was planning on treating those as landing platforms... elevator platforms where ships can land, and be lowered into the ship interior. If I'm mistaken about the purpose of those shapes, please let me know.
That is a detail pulled from the Ingram plans. It is indeed a large lift, meant to lower into a null gravity space for cargo offloading. It is also intended to increase the ship's speed in receiving its embarked craft. When a large number of craft are circling to land, those lifts can be employed to bring some of them directly into the cavernous hangar space. The lifts can be used whole, half, or quarter, depending on the need. Additionally, there is a personnel hatch on one of the "quarter lifts" to facilitate EVA and small craft embarking/receiving.

B) The specs listed don't mention torpedo tubes, but there are details on the neck leading edge that most people assume are torpedo launchers... a row of four horizontal ribs. What did you intend for those to be?
What you see on the side view is the vent system for the forward torpedo launchers. Instead of venting to aft, like on the TMP E, this ship vents to port and starboard. The launchers (3) would be centered on the same line as the vents -- one in the middle flanked by one on either side. These launchers would be recessed and concealed, similar to the launchers Probert depicts here, but flush with the forward surface of the neck:

C) Also, there is a spot slightly higher on the dorsal leading edge which appears to be an RCS thruster... and is in-line with something which is clearly intended to be an RCS station on the trailing edge. Is this correct?
Yes, both of those are RCS thrusters. port/starboard/forward on the leading edge, port/starboard/up/aft on the trailing surface.

D) There are supposed to be six single-mount phasers, in addition to the six dual-mount phaser banks on the primary hull. I see four, on the topside between the landing bay support equipment. I'm assuming that the other two are on the underside, but if you have a spot selected for them, I'd like to make sure I put those last two phasers in the right place.
If you look carefully, you can see the underside phasers on the side view:

E) There's a large circular patch on the underside of the secondary hull. I'm assuming that this is related to the main power system. Can you tell me what this is?
It is equivalent to the yellow circle bordered in red on the keel of the TOS E -- a hatch to access the primary antimatter stores (a ring of magnetic bottles as depicted on my Avenger plans cross section, though without the "containment chamber force field generator". Thus, very much like what is on the TOS E.) Note items 15 and 16, here:

F) There are two rows, per side, of a series of diminishing-size rectangular shapes, on the top of the secondary hull. These could be simple surface markings, or they could be intended to be some form of recessed feature (like an "intake" of some sort?) What are they intended to be?
These markings, the arrows pointing to the cargo hatches, and the triangles pointing to the nacelles/pylons, are all meant to be visual beacons to warn off a craft veering outboard. They are dedicated to the outboard landing bay because of its proximity to the nacelle and pylon, and under ordianry circumstances would be hardly visible. They would only illuminate in the case of tractor failure and manual landing e.g. akin to those warning beacons on the fantail of the TOS E, only a little less easy for us mere civilians to make sense of. When veering outboard of the outermost bay, the outermost strip would flash red, each sequence terminating with the triangle pointing at the pylon. Veering offline to the inboard side would result in the other strip flashing either red or yellow.

G) There are two small notches on the leading edge, and one larger notch on the trailing edge, of the secondary hull, near the nacelle pylons, repeated on the port and the starboard sides. I think that these are maneuvering thrusters, and exist only on the top surface. Is this correct?
Yes -- maneuvering thrusters. Just like the ones on the TMP E upper secondary hull.

H) There are two magnetic field sensors on the topside secondary hull. Is there a third one anyplace else? (Both Enterprise and Reliant had three such sensors... and you need three in order to properly triangulate locations, obviously.)
Space energy field attraction sensors, port and starboard, similar to what you see on Reliant's upper saucer but somewhat more embedded in the hull. I agree about the triangulation issue in principle, but I don't recall there being three on Reliant, just the two upper installations. Where was the other?

I assumed there were multiple sensors in each housing and that triangulation would not this be an issue.

I) There is an odd shape near the trailing edge of the dorsal... it is circular, roughly the size of a window, but has a vertical "cross" on it. Is this intended to be anything specific?
That is a dedicated probe launcher. one each port and starboard. Think something similar to Finney's "ion pod," but multifunctional.

J) Near the base of the dorsal, on either side, there is a pair of rectangular shapes.. one pretty large, the other, just forward of that one, smaller. Did you have any purpose in mind for these?
Damn... I don't remember what the hell they were supposed to be. Hatches of some kind, I'm sure. You'll have to help me out on that one.

K) I can see what seems to be a saucer landing pad on the underside of the primary hull, at 90 degrees from the forward axis. I assume that there are more of these... I was planning on putting six of these (at even spacing) around the underside. Is this what you had in mind?
Yes. IIRC I meant there to be six of those, but I don't recall if the others are not visible because they aren't visible from the side or because I forgot to put them in. Two forward, one each port and starboard, and two aftward, in a hexagonal arrangement.

L) On the topside secondary hull, there are a pair of what seem to be squashed hexagons, one port and one starboard. These are near the two "rows of shrinking rectangles." Any specific intention for what that's intended to be?
That and the rectangle just aft of it are meant to be interchangeable sensor/equipment pallets. You would see more things like this on the underside of the ship.

And finally,

M) Further inboard, but nearly in line with those "squashed hexes," there are a pair of circular shapes, with what seems to be an inset "quarter circular" shape inside of it. Again, any specific intention for that?
I don't recall what that was supposed to be either. All I can say about that and the other rectangular set is this: Ariel is almost totally devoted to flight deck and hangar space to the aft. As the secondary hull tapers forward, the space is devoted more and more to storage. The entire secondary hull is flight decks, hangars, workshops and cargo/equipment/fuel storage. Because of the secondary mission of planetary rescue/relief and colony settlement, these spaces can be partially converted to emergency accommodations and hospital space as needed. Thus, as you move forward, there is less and less "free" space internally and more space being used on the hull for swappable, modular installations of various equipment.

I hope that helps -- I think some of these details will be easier to identify as the interior is fleshed out.

In any case, where the answer is "nothing specific," I'll feel free to let my mind run free to fill in those blanks. But I don't want to go in a different direction that what you intended.
I had a general idea of the layout of the ship -- the secondary hull as I described, and the primary hull to support the three crews -- the ship's crew, the flight crew, and the large contingent of Security Corps personnel (Mobile Ground Forces and Surface Action Specialists). The secondary hull would hangar these troops' landing craft, "stardiver" suits for "Starship Trooper"-like entries, first wave automechs, photorp and phaser tanks, etc.

By the way... my landing bays are going to be cojoined by a large internal taxiway, running port to starboard. The upper and lower bays will access this taxiway by an elevator.
Studying Todd Guenther's layout for the Ingram space control ship will be very instructive for how I saw these interlinked bays to join up with the null gravity tubes and the forward cargo spaces.

There will be a lot of hangar space internally, cojoining the landing bays and taxiway. I read in "Starship design" that the Ariel carries "over 80 embarked craft" and I plan to allow for that, unless you have some other number I should use. I'm not counting "work bees" or service pods, only actual autonomous vessels (passenger/research/cargo shuttles, fighters, tenders, etc).
Small fighters and drones, landing craft, and shuttles. In my mind, shuttles are for shuttling from point to point in space, landing craft are for landing on a surface, etc. Only a ship with a relatively small hangar like a heavy cruiser would need multifunctional shuttlecraft like Galileo, ships that are good at point to point travel in space or landings, but not great at either. OTOH, Ariel would have the room for lots of craft dedicated to their specific function.
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