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Old February 8 2013, 03:20 PM   #58
Re: Dilithium Crystals and Nuclear Fusion - A Star Trek Reunion Story?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post

But the power loss of all major systems in "The Doomsday Machine" is due to "power failure in main energizers" which affects
  • deflector shields
  • instant phaser fire
  • warp power
  • (normal) impulse power (!!!)
Well maybe, sort of. I consider the deflector shields and energizers to have been knocked out by the same hit from the doomsday machine (instead of the shields failing because of the energizer).

I do wonder now what is "normal" impulse power?
  • The impulse engines were powered by the "prime energy circuits" in "Court Martial".
  • They are fed by "transformer banks" that can be bypassed and fed directly in "Arena".
  • They can be powered by "emergency" power in "The Doomsday Machine" and/or "auxiliary" power in "Mudd's Women".
  • Impulse power takes longer to power up or requires main power based on what happened in "The Naked Time".
  • Impulse engine power could be built back up once auxiliary power was restored in "Tomorrow is Yesterday".
  • But we've also seen impulse power counted as a separate power source from main power in various episodes like "The Immunity Syndrome", "Doomsday Machine", etc.
  • And in "WNMHGB", Spock says "emergency power cells" were powering the ship when the main engines were out.

Some possibilities then about impulse engines and power:
  • Impulse engines generate thrust from a nuclear fusion reaction. That can be overloaded.
  • Impulse power is energy that is stored and constantly recharged/fed from the main/auxiliary power systems. The impulse power is then fed into the impulse engine which is used to power the fusion reaction of impulse fuel for thrust.
  • Stored impulse power can be sent back into the main power grid to add power. Sometimes it is referred to as emergency power. Or could emergency and auxiliary power be the same?
  • More main power can be added to the normal impulse power to increase impulse acceleration for "full power accelerations" like in "Squire of Gothos".
I'm somewhat reluctant to now say that the impulse power system has nuclear fusion reactors that generate power now - due to the instances where they would've been handy such as "The Naked Time" and the ability to rapidly exhaust the impulse reserves under load which strikes me more of a "battery" issue rather than fusion reactor issue, IMHO.
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