Lee Enfield wrote:
I want to add, that the sheer volume and size of the saucer section might be the reason it has no warp drive.
To generate a warp field (big enough to transport that mass) the whole warp system woud certainly have to have a drive, comparable to that of the battle section. That means less space on the saucer for labs asf.
So, actually, it could be easier to generate a warp field around a smaller object - because it's mass-dependant.
...And remember, that the warp nacelles (almost?) always reflect the size of the the ship to carry?!
Well, hang on...
The saucer section is large, so it has plenty of space for a warp core. And those big nacelles are what's required to move the stardrive AND the saucer. Thye saucer by itself has a smaller mass, so it wouldn't require such large nacelles (if nacelle size indeed has a relation to the mass being moved.)
I agree that those nacelles are supposed to carry the whole ship. Hence the size of them.
But most of the Enterprises mass rests in the saucer! I can't link you directly to images that show the size difference - but google it - and compare these sections to each other. This becomes especially obious if you study, either, the Whitfire or the Sternbach Blueprints.
And although extra nacelles for the saucer could be smaller (since it's not the whole ship - but, still, those would still be pretty big), the saucer would have to compromise space for them.
The whole point of the saucer is to provide space for labs, quarters, jeffery tubes, support system, shuttlebay, stellar cartography, lounges, cargo bay, main computer ... Basically the whole ship is in that saucer.
The Battle section holds the primary science sensor devices (Deflector) and everything that makes the warp engine go (Engine room, deuterium cargo, plasma transfer system).
As I understand it, the Saucer is supposed to get everyone and everything evacuated and left in a safe region of space (far away from danger), while the battle section would engage in immediate battle - as long as there is seperation time! No scientific data loss, and more important, no civil life loss if the battle section gets destroyed.
Perhaps you could build in a small nacelle system. But you lose space for what was actually intended to be there or you need to put them outside.