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Old May 27 2013, 10:06 PM   #11
Re: Treknology Upside-Down

How is that? If your scanners indicate you come under attack from the planet below, it seems wise to be able to re-align the position of your vessel so your most critical part is still protected by some kind of mechanical shield in case you have deflector failure.
And since the ship flies portside to planet as default, a 90 degree roll would create this shielding effect regardless of whether the bridge were atop or below the saucer...

As for the TOS Enterprise we do have expendable storage space at the bottom of the engineering hull, a phaser control room that apparently became automated during the evolution of the series, and a lot of uninhabitated space surrounding the center of Deck 7.
None of which would really qualify as "shielding". A puncture at "expendable storage space" of the ST:TMP description would be devastating to the ship, far more dangerous than a hit that merely destroyed the bridge or some equally non-essential part. The phaser control room in turn would be insignificantly small a shield for the rest of the ship, if located near the lower dome (speculation not really supported by the episode), and apparently there are some antimatter pods right next to it just waiting to receive "buckling" in the hands of devious Klingon attackers.

Not that the phaser control room ever really seems to go out of fashion. Sulu always called the shots on his console, control room or not; nothing seemed to change in that respect during the run of the show.

Maybe the dome atop the shuttlebay is a compensation for the blind spot of the saucer's bottom dome?
Definitely. But a ventral placement would be much better compensation, so why does Starfleet waste resources with this one and skimp on the more useful counterpart?

Of course it could be a dedicated weapons-targeting system, but then the next question would have to be why the two domes of the saucer serve the main forward phasers at the bottom and the TOS mentioned "aft phasers" have to do with a smaller and only a single dome...
Oh, the upper dome would obviously serve the main upper phasers ("One of Our Planets is Missing").

Whether the aft phasers are of the same "caliber" as the main weapons, or just a secondary system warranting only a secondary fire control system to match, it's hard to tell. The division to "main" and non-main phasers seems to survive till the construction (and possible refitting) of Picard's Stargazer, FWIW.

Timo Saloniemi
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