I can reach into my bag of tricks and postulate that there are different classes of navigational deflector systems. Perhaps there is a low power system that works well enough for certain classes of maneuvers that doesn't require a dish?
Or what if standard navigational deflectors (note plural) require no main dish and all maneuvers are available to the ship?
Ships with a giant sensor
dish would have a deflector built into it to help "tunnel a sensor path" for better long range resolution. The side benefit is that you get an additional multi-purpose deflector for pushing moons out of the way
That would mean that the heavy cruiser connie can just plain do more, such as:
The Paradise Syndrome
uses a deflector beam from the Enterprise.
IIRC, the original effects didn't show where the beam came out of, but the remastered effects have it coming out of the dish.
remastered FX: http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/3x...romehd0510.jpg
Hmm. The beam doesn't appear to be coming from the dish (or at least not from the center of it). The beam looks like it is originating from the port side from a point on the engineering hull.
I'm not going to comment further on the quality of the remastered effects, except to say that I find that the idea of a train wreck on top of another train wreck doesn't begin to describe how ill conceived a lot, if not most, of the new FX shots were, especially the ones involving the Enterprise.
Perhaps they refer to navigational deflectors in the plural routinely, because the idea is that when the system is operating, it's always continuously targeting multiple objects simultaneously.
But, multiple simultaneous beams need not imply multiple emitters. (ETA:
This could be especially true on smaller craft, such as the Aurora,
as well as shuttlecraft. To travel at warp, I'd expect even a shuttlecraft to need at least basic navigational deflectors. Photon torpedoes on the other hand, not as much, anyway.)
In real life, a transmitter dish routinely transmits modulated output that expresses the mathematical combination of multiple signals.
If the focal properties of the deflector dish can be dynamically adjusted just by controlling field parameters, I don't see any reason why a single deflector dish couldn't serve as a multiplexer for multiple simultaneous navigational deflector beams, by essentially emitting a modulated signal. (ETA:
I believe this would be consistent with the application of the dish in TNG: The Loss,
where they use the dish to reflect a whole set
of frequencies simultaneously, to simulate the signature of a cosmic string fragment.)
Now, I'm not saying that all navigational deflector beams have to come from the dish; I think I've already made that clear. But I think it's also clear that the main dish is the most powerful emitter. Sending a Miranda
-type ship to deal with the out of control asteroid in The Paradise Syndrome
should be totally inappropriate, if you see what I mean. (ETA:
And we seem to completely agree on this, at least.)
To clarify what I meant by some maneuvers being unavailable, perhaps the Miranda
-class has to change course somewhat more often than a connie, say to evade high momentum/heavy debris that it cannot deflect in time at warp speed, but the situations when those types of course changes are needed occur only rarely. Additionally, maybe it's the number of independent targets that can be deflected in time that's smaller on the Miranda
's, or maybe it's a combination of all that. That sort of thing would mean that not giving Miranda
's a dish could be justified by a cost-benefit analysis, especially under the consideration of the types of expected missions, including whether they involve going into uncharted space. Whereas on the other hand, when going to uncharted space, it might be deemed much more essential not to require that the cruiser must always have a wide berth from unexpected heavy objects or clusters of smaller objects, etc.
Were talking about a starship's impulse engines, not some contemporary chemical fuel rocket. If you've got engines with the power to push a 190,000 metric ton ship to high percentages of light than those engines can easily push you out of orbit and out of the system. What's even more amazing is how powerful those engines are given their comparatively small size in relation to the rest of the ship.
I think Timo
's idea, which to me requires that we should tweak Kirk's dialog to mean that he's worried about the recharging effort totally shorting out the ship, is the right call.