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Old April 4 2012, 03:56 AM   #73
Crazy Eddie
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Re: The Mystery Inside the TOS Primary Hull Support Pylon

Mytran wrote: View Post
The only nagging complication is - why so many windows on the engineering hull compared to the saucer?
My guess is because the saucer section has those big domes on the bridge and the underside that are used for navigation and fire control, along with the additional windows on the rims -- plus those three bigass lights on the bow of the saucer -- being additional navigational sensors/scanners used by the bridge crew. For the most part, those sensors are omnidirectional and non-specific, with the suplemental sensors on the rim and the bow being able to zoom in on specific objects in the ship's path.

The sensors on the engineering hull are purely for scientific/research use, which means they are mainly used for examining stellar phenomenon, stellar cartography (where they are used to digitally photograph star formations in their relative positions) or when orbiting a new planet and conducting orbital surveys of its topography, atmosphere, chemical composition and electromagnetic spectrum. This last bit would finally explain why the ship always orbits the planet with one side turned towards the surface: it's keeping those sensors turned towards the planet for observation purposes while the outbound sensors are mapping the surrounding space and nearby planetary bodies. It's even possible that the ship has concentrated all of its planet-sensing equipment on one side of the hull, so Enterprise' "standard orbit" implies a pre-determined altitude and orientation with those instruments pointed directly at the planet at all times.
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