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Old March 20 2008, 02:18 PM   #76
I Grok Spock
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Nice modeling work. It is however starting to look a bit like all of the components of the NCC 1701 integrated together.
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Old March 20 2008, 02:31 PM   #77
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Starship Polaris wrote: View Post
Thanks.

We don't have shields or forcefields. Best idea is not to get hit by weapons fire.

The danger of hitting or being hit by anything in hyperspace is about nil. During travel within spacetime, we probably would have energy beams of some kind to sweep the path ahead with the emphasis on imparting a very low-energy "push" to small bits of matter at an extreme distance.

It all depends on how versatile your gravitic technology is.

If you can accelerate things away from your ship, then particle beams become feasible. Perhaps a combination of weapons. Particle beams would be more accurate and probably have greater range, while missiles and railgun bullets would pack a bigger punch at shorter distances.

Can the gravitic technology move objects laterally, or just toward and away from the ship? If it can, then there should be a dedicated gravitic projector to move objects out of the ship's path (navigational deflector).

Based on the technology described, a type of shield MIGHT be possible. How about a magnetic or gravitic field around the ship for the purpose of suspending tiny ablative particles to interfere with someone else's lasers or particle beams? (This wouldn't do jack against missiles or railgun bullets.) Something like that could work if there was a way to prevent it from interfering with outgoing particle beam fire or navigation. ("No, Captain. I CAN'T see where I'm going! Some IDIOT ordered a bunch of shiny confetti dumped outside!!") Even if you can get around this problem, there's still the problem of supply during long missions. ("Sorry, Captain. We can't raise the shield. Bob forgot to stop by the Party Supply Store and pick up more shiny confetti...")
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Old March 20 2008, 03:03 PM   #78
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

A shield might be possible to justify, but it's not wanted. Maybe we need to better define what the limits of the gravity control are, because it sounds like it's opening a couple of cans of worms.

One of the problems with fictional technology of this kind is setting limits so that it's possible to tell stories in the way you want. Unfortunately, once you posit FTL flight there are just an enormous number of magical implications. This is a big reason that the uses to which technology is put in just about every space opera that goes on for any length of time - "Star Trek," "Star Wars" et al - are so remarkably inconsistent.

Last edited by Admiral Buzzkill; March 20 2008 at 03:17 PM.
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Old March 20 2008, 03:20 PM   #79
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Okay. No shields.

I thought the quotes about shiny confetti would be worth at least a chuckle...
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Old March 20 2008, 03:21 PM   #80
USS Jack Riley
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Starship Polaris wrote: View Post
Going to do something different with the weapons and the "spine," so they're missing from this one:



The first version of the back ring looked a bit too squashed and twisted.
Whoa. <clunk...picking up jaw from desk and wiping away drool mark> That is bloody brilliant right there. I have been watching the progression of this ship through its many iterations and love it just like this. I know you are adding the weapons and spines back on, but even without, I REALLY like this version. Maybe you could use it if you ever run into the civilian version of this beauty.

About the weapons/shields issue - there is another option (actually a couple) used in today's miltaries (or in the late design, early implementation phases) that might be useful as a guide.

For example, the Israeli military developed a 2 part counter to antitank weapons (RPGs, etc.). The first is an electronic scrambler that tries to confuse the weapons guidance system. If that fails, the weapon then fires a small explosive projectile at the incoming weapon. The point is not get a skin to skin contact but to have the defensive warhead detonate close to the incoming weapon to either destroy the weapon or cause it to fall short of its target.

Another is currently in early development phases (I don't think it has gone much past the blueprint stage, although I may be wrong - hey, I don't work for DARPA!! ) It is basically a teflon net that shoots out of the tail of a Blackhawk helicopter when the onboard system detects an incoming threat (again, like an RPG or a missile). The net opens up and causes the warhead to detonate before it can reach the helicopter.

Just some options other than your standard shields, ablative armor, polarized hull plating, etc.

Again, keep up the great work on this baby. Can't wait to see the finished product!
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Old March 20 2008, 03:45 PM   #81
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

[QUOTE=USS Jack Riley;1453935]
Starship Polaris wrote: View Post
About the weapons/shields issue - there is another option (actually a couple) used in today's miltaries (or in the late design, early implementation phases) that might be useful as a guide.

For example, the Israeli military developed a 2 part counter to antitank weapons (RPGs, etc.). The first is an electronic scrambler that tries to confuse the weapons guidance system. If that fails, the weapon then fires a small explosive projectile at the incoming weapon. The point is not get a skin to skin contact but to have the defensive warhead detonate close to the incoming weapon to either destroy the weapon or cause it to fall short of its target.
Thanks for the encouraging comments.

The solution you describe is the one I like most conceptually, and IIRC it's something like what David Weber does in the "Honor Harrington" books. In the case of his ships (someone who's a Weber fan correct me here, if necessary) the guidance scrambling part is moot because both weapons and ships are traveling at such velocities that beyond a certain point it would require too much energy for either to veer from their trajectories; their paths will intersect. OTOH, his ships employ close-in lasers and interceptor missiles to try to destroy incoming missiles.

You know, back to the subject of gravity control for a moment - one of the fun things about space opera seems to me to be the great variety of the high tech stuff in those worlds. If one follows "Star Trek" style gravity control to its solution, not only ought it to be the basis of every weapon and every defensive system - not only is there no justification for worrying about whether the Enterprise can be built or land on a planet's surface - but in principle you ought to be able to build starships out of cardboard boxes and have them be practically indestructable. No fun.
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Old March 20 2008, 03:47 PM   #82
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

therealfoxbat wrote: View Post
Okay. No shields.

I thought the quotes about shiny confetti would be worth at least a chuckle...

Oh, they were. It's just that you guys got me thinking, and then I go all frowny and have to lie down.
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Old March 20 2008, 04:07 PM   #83
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Starship Polaris wrote: View Post
If one follows "Star Trek" style gravity control to its solution, not only ought it to be the basis of every weapon and every defensive system - not only is there no justification for worrying about whether the Enterprise can be built or land on a planet's surface - but in principle you ought to be able to build starships out of cardboard boxes and have them be practically indestructable. No fun.
Perhaps. But you could conceivably come up with gravity control situations that aren't so easy to expand to different applications. For example, what if the gravity control wasn't just plating in the floor, but also required a panel in the ceiling, so that in between those two is your gravity field? I'm sure someone could figure out something else to do with that, but it's an idea to start with. (Well, not necessarily for this project, but for someone else perhaps.)
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Old March 20 2008, 04:19 PM   #84
aridas sofia
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Think of particle beam weapons, and coil-like guns, accelerating their respective large and small ammunitions through negative energy coils that impart an antigravity "push". You end up with beam weapons, and slug throwers. A whole class of weapons called "CANE" guns that individually go by different colloquial and acronymic names. That's the weaponry.

As for defense, given the propulsive ability to create a stable antigravity field around a ship in order to prevent severely warped space from collapsing, I'd see no obvious impediment to using the same field to create something akin to "shields". The problem is, such shields would probably be all but impenetrable. So, we'd definitely need to figure out ways to make its use strongly inadvisable during battle. I think it might end up having something to do with stealth being destroyed when you employ such tech, or there being "smart" projectiles that can find gaps in an antigravity field fore and aft, making shield deployment have a big downside. You might be able to use it in a story to pull someone's feet out of the fire, but there would be serious consequences after the immediate problem of avoiding destruction is averted. You might have avoided the enemy's dumb-but-fast shots, but now are wide open to his followup smart shots that can see you very clearly and get around your shields.

In the end though, a problem persists. The incoming shots can be seen. If the shots aren't using their own form of warping or stealth, the ship can just crank the drive and take off before they arrive. So conceptual refinements are needed -- in the time it takes to crank the drive, implications of your location (interstellar space or in close proximity to a gravity well), propulsive and maneuvering capabilities of smart and dumb ammunition, detection abilities, stabilization of an antigravity field normally used for propulsion and being employed for defense -- all these are things that would combine to form the complex picture of how and why you'd do things the way you'd do them.

And yet... in the end, just as happens in effective dramas about sea battles, the phraseology would be simplified, or form background chatter, and inform the action, but the important dialog that moves the plot forward would focus much less on how something happens, and more on the fact that it happens and the effect it happening has on the characters.
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Old March 20 2008, 04:28 PM   #85
USS Jack Riley
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

[quote=Starship Polaris;1454000]
USS Jack Riley wrote: View Post
Thanks for the encouraging comments.
My pleasure. Anything to encourage great work.

The solution you describe is the one I like most conceptually, and IIRC it's something like what David Weber does in the "Honor Harrington" books. In the case of his ships (someone who's a Weber fan correct me here, if necessary) the guidance scrambling part is moot because both weapons and ships are traveling at such velocities that beyond a certain point it would require too much energy for either to veer from their trajectories; their paths will intersect. OTOH, his ships employ close-in lasers and interceptor missiles to try to destroy incoming missiles.
I have read almost all of the Honor Harrington books. They use something similar to what I describe above, but the first level of defense is Electronic Counter Warfare (ECW), then the anti missile missiles, then the close in anti missile lasers (not to mention sidewalls, etc.). The ECW is similar to what is used today in modern navies (and the air forces) in that it is passive and causes the incoming missile to think that a target is in one palce when it is someplace else, or that there are 2 dreadnaughts, when there is but a single cruiser.

The Israeli system I referenced above is an active system in that the weapons pod (for lack of a better term) focuses on the incoming missile and scrambles its electronics as opposed to making the incoming missile think there is more than one tank and that the real tank is a "ghost" and the missile should, therefore, attack what is in fact the "ghost" tank. Am I clear on that explanation? Not sure if I cleared that up for you or not.

Regardless, keep up the great work!
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Old March 20 2008, 05:03 PM   #86
therealfoxbat
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

aridas sofia wrote: View Post
Think of particle beam weapons, and coil-like guns, accelerating their respective large and small ammunitions through negative energy coils that impart an antigravity "push". You end up with beam weapons, and slug throwers. A whole class of weapons called "CANE" guns that individually go by different colloquial and acronymic names. That's the weaponry.

As for defense, given the propulsive ability to create a stable antigravity field around a ship in order to prevent severely warped space from collapsing, I'd see no obvious impediment to using the same field to create something akin to "shields". The problem is, such shields would probably be all but impenetrable. So, we'd definitely need to figure out ways to make its use strongly inadvisable during battle. I think it might end up having something to do with stealth being destroyed when you employ such tech, or there being "smart" projectiles that can find gaps in an antigravity field fore and aft, making shield deployment have a big downside. You might be able to use it in a story to pull someone's feet out of the fire, but there would be serious consequences after the immediate problem of avoiding destruction is averted. You might have avoided the enemy's dumb-but-fast shots, but now are wide open to his followup smart shots that can see you very clearly and get around your shields.

In the end though, a problem persists. The incoming shots can be seen. If the shots aren't using their own form of warping or stealth, the ship can just crank the drive and take off before they arrive. So conceptual refinements are needed -- in the time it takes to crank the drive, implications of your location (interstellar space or in close proximity to a gravity well), propulsive and maneuvering capabilities of smart and dumb ammunition, detection abilities, stabilization of an antigravity field normally used for propulsion and being employed for defense -- all these are things that would combine to form the complex picture of how and why you'd do things the way you'd do them.

And yet... in the end, just as happens in effective dramas about sea battles, the phraseology would be simplified, or form background chatter, and inform the action, but the important dialog that moves the plot forward would focus much less on how something happens, and more on the fact that it happens and the effect it happening has on the characters.

I wasn't talking about using gravity for shields themselves, just using it to hold something in place that could interfere with incoming energy beams. Using gravity for the shields themselves would open up a LARGE can of worms...

Generating a gravity field strong enough to stop or deflect objects moving at relativistic speeds would require lots of energy. Buttloads of energy. Like maybe a small star's worth...

A gravitic field like that would also require that your outgoing fire be virtually immune to the effects of gravity if you wanted it to travel straight (or at all)...

Not to mention the time dilation problems your gravity shield might cause...

"What? We were only fighting for thirty seconds! What do you mean it's next year...?"
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Old March 20 2008, 05:18 PM   #87
aridas sofia
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

If you can create a space warp, you can create much, much more gravity than a star. Of course, we are talking apples and oranges, because the question isn't really about how much, as about how much in what amount of space. In any event, I'm not saying a gravity field would be used -- that would be attractive. I'm saying a negative energy and/or exotic matter-generated antigravity field. A repulsive field. Remember, the purpose of such a field is to keep open the fabric of space that has been warped by intense gravity -- a microsingularity or some other source -- at the ship's bow. Absent an antigravity field amidships, the fabric of space would collapse and create (I think) a black hole. The ship would be destroyed. The antigravity keeps the "throat" open, and creates something akin to (again, I think) a wormhole. The ship then has another hypergravity source at the stern to close the breach and restore the fabric of space to its natural geometry.

Last edited by aridas sofia; March 20 2008 at 05:33 PM.
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Old March 21 2008, 02:05 AM   #88
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

A small update:



aridas designed irised hatches about six feet in diameter for folks in "bubble" work suits to use.

Don't know about y'all but nothing says sci-fi movie to me quite like irised doorways.
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Old March 21 2008, 03:31 AM   #89
Brutal Strudel
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

I like it. It's a fascinating take on the flying saucer/rocket almost as intriguing as what MJ came up with for the E back in the early 60s.

That and I'm fond of retro. Nicely done all around.
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Old March 21 2008, 02:33 PM   #90
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

aridas is very familiar with most of Jefferies' design work before and after Trek as well as all kinds of conceptual spacecraft of the 1950s and 60s, futurist illustration ranging from the early 20th century on to Mead and beyond and god only knows what all else - he can give you the design and the science to go with it, as most of y'all know and can see in this instance.

Then I get to hang decorations on the Christmas tree - usually way too much tinsel and, well, my dad used to fuss at me for impatiently throwing handfuls of the stuff on the tree rather than carefully placing it. I'd have to take it off and do over.
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