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Old June 27 2011, 01:22 AM   #1
Cary L. Brown
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Location: Austin, Texas
U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

Several recent threads have brought back to mind one of my favorite designs, the U.S.S. Ariel, the class ship of a series of four (Ariel, Ichkeul, Manna, Adjuvant).

This is a design worked out quite a few years ago by Aridas Sofia. I've always enjoyed his work... nobody is flawless, obviously, but I enjoy most of what he's worked on.

Now, the threads I've seen so far include two discussing the relative merits of shuttlecarriers and one discussing another variation of this concept, created by TrekBBS poster Bernard Guignard, which he's called the Fredrickstad Class.

The Fredrikstad Class was mentioned in various Fan-pub Trek books, but never shown. Bernard chose to make it a partial upgrade of the Ariel. You can find his thread here:

http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=143861

A few years ago, I started working on a 3D model of the Ariel, and I learned my first big "always back up your work" lesson.

There are a few mismatches in the two available views of the Ariel, so it's a matter of making a few compromises to make a model that "mostly matches" both views. But, as always with Aridas' work, the views are very, very CLOSE to being "just right" so those tweaks are minimal. I'm trying to match his original two views as well as I practically can.

The ship is best discussed in the "Heavy Cruiser Evolution" drawing set. The pages I'm referring to can be seen here:



And a high-resolution version of the detail page there:


Now, one of the issues with this design is that nobody ever seems to QUITE get the proper secondary hull shape. I had gotten it pretty well developed when I lost my old version... so I'm mainly just replicating my work from that here (but with several years worth of added experience under my belt now).

This project will likely not progress as quickly as some of my prior ones... I have a lot more responsibilities now than I used to have, and my free time is dramatically more limited. Still, I thought I'd share it...

Here are some basic views of the Ariel model I've developed so far. The primary hull shape is correct (but details are absent, and the B/C deck superstructure isn't "teardrop shaped" yet). The secondary hull underside is entirely correct, but I have tweaks to make to the nacelle pylons, and the upper side, with the very complex curvature, is still not really developed. Also, I only have the two-meter-wide section representing the centerline of the dorsal. However, the dorsal will resemble the 1701-D's, except upside down... ie, narrow at the top and flaring to blend into the secondary hull top-side.

First, a top-down view.


Next, the port-side elevation.


Here's the aft view.


Note that the aft view really should consist of this sort of curved pair of surfaces. This detail view, overlaid with the drawing, shows this (it also shows that I still have to tweak my pylons a bit to get them right!)


Finally, I've been laying in curves which I'll use to generate my complex topside curvature. I'm doing this by intersecting the lines drawn on Aridas' drawings from top and bottom. For the most part, they line up well, but some minor tweaking has been required. I've hidden the primary hull and gone into wire-frame mode so you can see the curves I've drawn, both on the hull surface and inside, which will eventually form the complex curvature of the secondary hull back. This is a long and tedious process, getting this "just right," but you at least can get the general shape from this image:



I'm hoping to just use nacelles made by someone else... the nacelle is a pain in the @#$ to make, and since this ship is supposed to have the same nacelle housing as most other ships of its era, I don't see much reason to spend a lot of time on that. I'll probably have the whole ship done before I even think about mounting actual engines (though I may incorporate a "block" to represent them during my work.

As always, my goal here isn't to create a "movie-quality" renderable model, but rather to figure out "what goes where, and why" insofar as this design is concerned. That said, it's highly doubtful that I'll do a complete interior on this ship like I've done on some of my other work.

Comments, as always, are welcome.
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Old June 27 2011, 07:02 AM   #2
aridas sofia
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

Thank you for your generous comments, Cary. They are very much appreciated.

You're off to a more promising start than anyone I've seen try to do this so far. I salute your tenacity to stay at the job of trying to visualize what is a complex shape that's publicly documented in only two views.

There is an aft view however, done at the time the original inks were done (to work out that aft that is just visible from the side), but it's done in 5H pencil-- not really scannable.

What it shows however, is that the aft is not quite as rectangular as you've got it -- more ovoid that flows in a fluid reverse curve into the pylon. The whole thing was a study in curves because I was playing with a big set of ship curves I'd just bought and got inspired.

I'd be happy to use Illustrator to sketch the aft that I've got, if that would help. There are also details about the bow of the secondary hull and how it integrates the deflector that aren't visible at all from the available views, that I'm willing to help you with if you'd like.
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Old June 27 2011, 08:46 PM   #3
Cary L. Brown
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

aridas sofia wrote: View Post
Thank you for your generous comments, Cary. They are very much appreciated.

You're off to a more promising start than anyone I've seen try to do this so far. I salute your tenacity to stay at the job of trying to visualize what is a complex shape that's publicly documented in only two views.

There is an aft view however, done at the time the original inks were done (to work out that aft that is just visible from the side), but it's done in 5H pencil-- not really scannable.

What it shows however, is that the aft is not quite as rectangular as you've got it -- more ovoid that flows in a fluid reverse curve into the pylon. The whole thing was a study in curves because I was playing with a big set of ship curves I'd just bought and got inspired.

I'd be happy to use Illustrator to sketch the aft that I've got, if that would help. There are also details about the bow of the secondary hull and how it integrates the deflector that aren't visible at all from the available views, that I'm willing to help you with if you'd like.
Oh, ABSOLUTELY, I'd LOVE to have those. It's a real "kick" trying to make some of this up. There are some issues that just don't work, but they're trivial.

I've gone ahead and "tweaked" the aft shape a bit, as you suggested. It no longer matches QUITE as well in the side view, but I think it's close enough. I set it up so that I can tweak the shape subtly if I need to adjust it much more, but based upon your verbal description, I think I'm pretty happy.

I'm having to recreate the curves which I'll be using to create the internal "complex curvature" so those are missing, but I'm mostly happy with how it stands right now. The only area I'm having trouble with is the front transition of the pylon into the secondary hull. I'm sure I'll resolve it eventually, but for now, I'm a bit stumped as to how to best approximate what you did.

By the way, my pylons are 3m thick, and that same 3m thickness carries along the leading edges of the secondary hull. If you intended for this to be some other thickness, please let me know. But 3m is enough for structure, hardware, and personnel access. 2m is adequate, but a bit tighter than I'd normally want to go for. The TMP pylons are about 2.7m, as I recall, at the thick spot. (My pylons are rectangular, not "airfoil-like," by the way.)

Here are the orthogonal views:











And that same image in wireframe, so you can compare my secondary-hull front edge shape (so far) to the drawing:


Next, a handful of perspective views...





And two three shots... the first shows the area of the secondary hull which will be "shaved out" into a complex curvature now... lacking, as I said, the internal curves I'm going to have to recreate.


The next shot shows my match-up with the new shape, as compared to the side view you provided.


And finally, a shot I provided so you can do a "red line markup" to show how you intend for the deflector/sensor suite to be there, as you mentioned.



Thanks in advance for whatever help you can provide.
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Old June 27 2011, 08:46 PM   #4
137th Gebirg
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

Damn. That's really quite good. Awesome work so far, Cary!
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Old June 28 2011, 12:15 AM   #5
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

Fantastic work there it brings back some memories especially my spending quite a few days drawing and redrawing until I decided on my own take on it for the
Malverne I'm really enjoying this
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Old June 28 2011, 12:41 AM   #6
Cary L. Brown
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

Some more physical updates...

Okay, I went ahead and made the "cutouts" for the region that I plan to replace with the complex curves. I just was having a hard time wrapping my head around the available space... and now I can do so easily.

I also decided to go ahead and work out the decklines. I decided to use the visible windows on the port elevation view, on the secondary hull (mainly in the neck region) as my guide. I determined that the deck surfaces are spaced 3.625m apart, and when I chose to use a 9.5' ceiling height (2.9m), this gave me a .725 deck thickness, which is about the thickness I usually like to use (remembering that the deck contains significant amounts of hardware and structure; it's not just a "floor"). This works beautifully with the existing window structure, and matches up fairly well with the existing landing bay openings. In fact, it even works with the bridge, without having to vary any deck spacing.



What IS interesting is that the saucer edge is literally only a single deck high (with big "crawlspace" areas above and below), and that the "B/C deck superstructure" is also really only a single deck (so it's just the "B deck superstructure," I guess!)

I used the published dimensions for all of the shapes. They're pretty close (with some small allowances for rounding error, I guess).

As I said, the landing bays are close, but not exact, when using this deckline structure.



I set the width of the various landing bays to match the "hardware patch" above each. This is how the Reliant was done, so I'm comfortable with the idea. You can see the outline of each bay here. I haven't put the doors in, or set the depth of each bay, yet (or allowed for "taxiways" between bays for that matter, though I plan to).



Here's what that looks like from behind. There's plenty of room for all the "gizmos" you need between the individual bays.



And as I said, I did my hull cutout (pending replacement of part of the area with a complex-curved shape). You can get the general idea from the following two images...the fore elevation and a perspective view.





Again... I'm anxiously awaiting Aridas' feedback before I start redoing the "complex shape" area... since that will likely collapse again if I have to make any significant changes.
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Old June 28 2011, 02:37 PM   #7
aridas sofia
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

You've just about nailed it, Cary. Very nice. I'm still scrounging around my boxes looking for the original Ariel inks (because that's where I think that aft view is located.) I'll get it into Illustrator as soon as I find it.

The other end of the secondary hull caught my eye last night. It's the wireframe image where you asked me to do a red line markup, above. That gives me the impression the leading edge isn't an edge, but rather the aft height brought forward and squared off.

I'm a bit confused by what's really going on there. Have you maintained that aft thickness coming forward, or is that just a misperception on my part?
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Old June 28 2011, 02:43 PM   #8
137th Gebirg
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

Is the neck really supposed to be that thin?
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Old June 28 2011, 04:05 PM   #9
Cary L. Brown
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
Is the neck really supposed to be that thin?
No... I haven't created the neck yet, except for the 2.0 meter wide "core" section. The neck itself is part of the whole "curved" section which I haven't added in yet. As I said in my first post... the neck is probably more similar to the 1701-D's neck (but inverted) than anything else you're familiar with... that is, it's narrow at the top (but wider than what you see here) and flares out to blend into the secondary hull shape at the bottom.

Remember, I'm posting these as I create the model, not showing a finished model. You can see one of the "sections" making up the neck, as a blue sketch trace near the base of the "neck only" region.
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Old June 28 2011, 04:38 PM   #10
Cary L. Brown
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

aridas sofia wrote: View Post
You've just about nailed it, Cary. Very nice. I'm still scrounging around my boxes looking for the original Ariel inks (because that's where I think that aft view is located.) I'll get it into Illustrator as soon as I find it.

The other end of the secondary hull caught my eye last night. It's the wireframe image where you asked me to do a red line markup, above. That gives me the impression the leading edge isn't an edge, but rather the aft height brought forward and squared off.

I'm a bit confused by what's really going on there. Have you maintained that aft thickness coming forward, or is that just a misperception on my part?
Hi Aridas,

I'm modeling this in CAD (Pro/ENGINEER "Wildfire 4.0" to be specific). The techniques here are a bit different than what other modelers tend to be... it's not so much "make a shape, tweak a surface, etc." I have to create mathematically-precise shapes.

My secondary hull started off by creating the aft profile surface, then extruding the top and bottom halves of the shape forward, then creating the forward surface... trimming all of this, merging the surfaces into a common "quilt" and finally "solidifying" that enclosed "quilt." At that point, the model was made of extrusions of only four 2D sections.

After that, I added the "neck core" and then trimmed off the underside of the secondary hull to match the profile view (this was a swept cut, not an extruded one). At that point, the secondary hull's top surface consisted entirely of the top aft profile, extruded forward.

This was making it hard for me to see what I really wanted to do as well, even though I had it in my mind, so I went ahead and "shelled out" the region where the complex curvature begins. Even though this makes a bit more work for me (subtracting material then adding material back, instead of JUST subtracting material), it's proving helpful for me to visualize the form of that area as I model it.

I have a 3D PDF I can send to you (PM me your private email) and you can actually spin, pan, zoom, etc that in real-time (using any recent version of Adobe Reader), if that will be helpful for you to see what it "really" looks like right now.

Again, I really want to get your "approval" on this, because it is, of course, your design. I'm not trying to do "Cary's version of the Ariel," I want to do the most accurate Ariel I can manage.

That said, I do have a few questions for you.

A) There are four squares on the top side (each subdivided into four smaller squares), in line with the inner two rows of landing bays. I was planning on treating those as landing platforms... elevator platforms where ships can land, and be lowered into the ship interior. If I'm mistaken about the purpose of those shapes, please let me know.

B) The specs listed don't mention torpedo tubes, but there are details on the neck leading edge that most people assume are torpedo launchers... a row of four horizontal ribs. What did you intend for those to be?

C) Also, there is a spot slightly higher on the dorsal leading edge which appears to be an RCS thruster... and is in-line with something which is clearly intended to be an RSC station on the trailing edge. Is this correct?

D) There are supposed to be six single-mount phasers, in addition to the six dual-mount phaser banks on the primary hull. I see four, on the topside between the landing bay support equipment. I'm assuming that the other two are on the underside, but if you have a spot selected for them, I'd like to make sure I put those last two phasers in the right place.

E) There's a large circular patch on the underside of the secondary hull. I'm assuming that this is related to the main power system. Can you tell me what this is?

F) There are two rows, per side, of a series of diminishing-size rectangular shapes, on the top of the secondary hull. These could be simple surface markings, or they could be intended to be some form of recessed feature (like an "intake" of some sort?) What are they intended to be?

G) There are two small notches on the leading edge, and one larger notch on the trailing edge, of the secondary hull, near the nacelle pylons, repeated on the port and the starboard sides. I think that these are maneuvering thrusters, and exist only on the top surface. Is this correct?

H) There are two magnetic field sensors on the topside secondary hull. Is there a third one anyplace else? (Both Enterprise and Reliant had three such sensors... and you need three in order to properly triangulate locations, obviously.)

I) There is an odd shape near the trailing edge of the dorsal... it is circular, roughly the size of a window, but has a vertical "cross" on it. Is this intended to be anything specific?

J) Near the base of the dorsal, on either side, there is a pair of rectangular shapes.. one pretty large, the other, just forward of that one, smaller. Did you have any purpose in mind for these?

K) I can see what seems to be a saucer landing pad on the underside of the primary hull, at 90 degrees from the forward axis. I assume that there are more of these... I was planning on putting six of these (at even spacing) around the underside. Is this what you had in mind?

L) On the topside secondary hull, there are a pair of what seem to be squashed hexagons, one port and one starboard. These are near the two "rows of shrinking rectangles." Any specific intention for what that's intended to be?

And finally,

M) Further inboard, but nearly in line with those "squashed hexes," there are a pair of circular shapes, with what seems to be an inset "quarter circular" shape inside of it. Again, any specific intention for that?

In any case, where the answer is "nothing specific," I'll feel free to let my mind run free to fill in those blanks. But I don't want to go in a different direction that what you intended.

By the way... my landing bays are going to be cojoined by a large internal taxiway, running port to starboard. The upper and lower bays will access this taxiway by an elevator.

There will be a lot of hangar space internally, cojoining the landing bays and taxiway. I read in "Starship design" that the Ariel carries "over 80 embarked craft" and I plan to allow for that, unless you have some other number I should use. I'm not counting "work bees" or service pods, only actual autonomous vessels (passenger/research/cargo shuttles, fighters, tenders, etc).

That pretty much sums up my questions for now. If you're confused at all about the shape I've got so far, let me send you the 3D PDF, and it should clear most everything up.
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Old June 28 2011, 05:17 PM   #11
Cary L. Brown
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

This image is a screen-cap from my manipulation of the 3D PDF file, by the way... but this shows the actual form of the leading edge of the secondary hull.

Again, there's a big empty space in the area between the forward edge and the "landing bay zone" which I'm in the process of filling in... but I'm struggling to get the shape just right. I chose this angle of view because pretty much all of the material I'll be adding would be hidden in this view anyway, except for the "fattening" of the neck region. So this is not far from what the final version will look like.

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Old June 28 2011, 05:45 PM   #12
137th Gebirg
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

Out of curiosity, when you're done with this, were you planning on doing an Ariel-styled Miranda variant like the Kirov?
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Old June 28 2011, 06:20 PM   #13
Cary L. Brown
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
Out of curiosity, when you're done with this, were you planning on doing an Ariel-styled Miranda variant like the Kirov?
Not really, no... the only thing the Kirov shares with the Ariel is the saucer shape. If someone else wants to do a Kirov, I'll gladly let them use my saucer as a reference, but except for the very simplest element (the revolved shape) that's a totally different ship.

I have several things I've been wanting to do... one of them is a TOS-ized version of the Iowa class (aka the Kelvin). I've seen several which were just rearrangements of the TOS 1701's components, but I dislike that approach, personally. I want something comparable in size, shape, and general configuration to what was seen in ST-09, but which has TOS "styling" (hull appearance, lack of external greeblies, big red dome on the front of the nacelle with an illuminated white sphere at the aft, real intercoolers (not identical to the TOS ones, but clearly the same technology), conventional Trekkish weapons (TOS style, not TMP or TNG era styles, mind you), a bronze main sensor/deflector, and so forth.

But the Ariel has been nagging at the back of my mind for years... and I finally gave in to the obsessive/compulsive need to finally figure the damned thing out!

That said... I wholeheartedly welcome any efforts by anyone who wants to do a Kirov and wants to "piggy-back" on my own efforts here.
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Old June 28 2011, 07:00 PM   #14
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
I have several things I've been wanting to do... one of them is a TOS-ized version of the Iowa class (aka the Kelvin). I've seen several which were just rearrangements of the TOS 1701's components, but I dislike that approach, personally. I want something comparable in size, shape, and general configuration to what was seen in ST-09, but which has TOS "styling" (hull appearance, lack of external greeblies, big red dome on the front of the nacelle with an illuminated white sphere at the aft, real intercoolers (not identical to the TOS ones, but clearly the same technology), conventional Trekkish weapons (TOS style, not TMP or TNG era styles, mind you), a bronze main sensor/deflector, and so forth.
Hi Cary,

Concerning the Iowa class - would you be aiming for something like the Ryan Church semi-TOS style?

http://www.ryanchurch.com/picture/io...tureId=7785256

When I saw this a while back, it struck me as good looking ship.

Cheers,
S.O.
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Old June 28 2011, 07:49 PM   #15
aridas sofia
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

Cary:

That image you last posted looks good, however as I'm sure you know, the entire leading edge is rounded and not squared off. I'm sure the way you have it is just a result of the rudimentary state of the mesh, and not your eventual intention.

A) There are four squares on the top side (each subdivided into four smaller squares), in line with the inner two rows of landing bays. I was planning on treating those as landing platforms... elevator platforms where ships can land, and be lowered into the ship interior. If I'm mistaken about the purpose of those shapes, please let me know.
That is a detail pulled from the Ingram plans. It is indeed a large lift, meant to lower into a null gravity space for cargo offloading. It is also intended to increase the ship's speed in receiving its embarked craft. When a large number of craft are circling to land, those lifts can be employed to bring some of them directly into the cavernous hangar space. The lifts can be used whole, half, or quarter, depending on the need. Additionally, there is a personnel hatch on one of the "quarter lifts" to facilitate EVA and small craft embarking/receiving.

B) The specs listed don't mention torpedo tubes, but there are details on the neck leading edge that most people assume are torpedo launchers... a row of four horizontal ribs. What did you intend for those to be?
What you see on the side view is the vent system for the forward torpedo launchers. Instead of venting to aft, like on the TMP E, this ship vents to port and starboard. The launchers (3) would be centered on the same line as the vents -- one in the middle flanked by one on either side. These launchers would be recessed and concealed, similar to the launchers Probert depicts here, but flush with the forward surface of the neck:

http://probertdesigns.com/Folder_DES...REK/Torp-1.jpg

C) Also, there is a spot slightly higher on the dorsal leading edge which appears to be an RCS thruster... and is in-line with something which is clearly intended to be an RCS station on the trailing edge. Is this correct?
Yes, both of those are RCS thrusters. port/starboard/forward on the leading edge, port/starboard/up/aft on the trailing surface.

D) There are supposed to be six single-mount phasers, in addition to the six dual-mount phaser banks on the primary hull. I see four, on the topside between the landing bay support equipment. I'm assuming that the other two are on the underside, but if you have a spot selected for them, I'd like to make sure I put those last two phasers in the right place.
If you look carefully, you can see the underside phasers on the side view:



E) There's a large circular patch on the underside of the secondary hull. I'm assuming that this is related to the main power system. Can you tell me what this is?
It is equivalent to the yellow circle bordered in red on the keel of the TOS E -- a hatch to access the primary antimatter stores (a ring of magnetic bottles as depicted on my Avenger plans cross section, though without the "containment chamber force field generator". Thus, very much like what is on the TOS E.) Note items 15 and 16, here:

http://www.cygnus-x1.net/links/lcars...ss-sheet-5.jpg

F) There are two rows, per side, of a series of diminishing-size rectangular shapes, on the top of the secondary hull. These could be simple surface markings, or they could be intended to be some form of recessed feature (like an "intake" of some sort?) What are they intended to be?
These markings, the arrows pointing to the cargo hatches, and the triangles pointing to the nacelles/pylons, are all meant to be visual beacons to warn off a craft veering outboard. They are dedicated to the outboard landing bay because of its proximity to the nacelle and pylon, and under ordianry circumstances would be hardly visible. They would only illuminate in the case of tractor failure and manual landing e.g. akin to those warning beacons on the fantail of the TOS E, only a little less easy for us mere civilians to make sense of. When veering outboard of the outermost bay, the outermost strip would flash red, each sequence terminating with the triangle pointing at the pylon. Veering offline to the inboard side would result in the other strip flashing either red or yellow.

G) There are two small notches on the leading edge, and one larger notch on the trailing edge, of the secondary hull, near the nacelle pylons, repeated on the port and the starboard sides. I think that these are maneuvering thrusters, and exist only on the top surface. Is this correct?
Yes -- maneuvering thrusters. Just like the ones on the TMP E upper secondary hull.

H) There are two magnetic field sensors on the topside secondary hull. Is there a third one anyplace else? (Both Enterprise and Reliant had three such sensors... and you need three in order to properly triangulate locations, obviously.)
Space energy field attraction sensors, port and starboard, similar to what you see on Reliant's upper saucer but somewhat more embedded in the hull. I agree about the triangulation issue in principle, but I don't recall there being three on Reliant, just the two upper installations. Where was the other?

I assumed there were multiple sensors in each housing and that triangulation would not this be an issue.

I) There is an odd shape near the trailing edge of the dorsal... it is circular, roughly the size of a window, but has a vertical "cross" on it. Is this intended to be anything specific?
That is a dedicated probe launcher. one each port and starboard. Think something similar to Finney's "ion pod," but multifunctional.

J) Near the base of the dorsal, on either side, there is a pair of rectangular shapes.. one pretty large, the other, just forward of that one, smaller. Did you have any purpose in mind for these?
Damn... I don't remember what the hell they were supposed to be. Hatches of some kind, I'm sure. You'll have to help me out on that one.

K) I can see what seems to be a saucer landing pad on the underside of the primary hull, at 90 degrees from the forward axis. I assume that there are more of these... I was planning on putting six of these (at even spacing) around the underside. Is this what you had in mind?
Yes. IIRC I meant there to be six of those, but I don't recall if the others are not visible because they aren't visible from the side or because I forgot to put them in. Two forward, one each port and starboard, and two aftward, in a hexagonal arrangement.

L) On the topside secondary hull, there are a pair of what seem to be squashed hexagons, one port and one starboard. These are near the two "rows of shrinking rectangles." Any specific intention for what that's intended to be?
That and the rectangle just aft of it are meant to be interchangeable sensor/equipment pallets. You would see more things like this on the underside of the ship.

And finally,

M) Further inboard, but nearly in line with those "squashed hexes," there are a pair of circular shapes, with what seems to be an inset "quarter circular" shape inside of it. Again, any specific intention for that?
I don't recall what that was supposed to be either. All I can say about that and the other rectangular set is this: Ariel is almost totally devoted to flight deck and hangar space to the aft. As the secondary hull tapers forward, the space is devoted more and more to storage. The entire secondary hull is flight decks, hangars, workshops and cargo/equipment/fuel storage. Because of the secondary mission of planetary rescue/relief and colony settlement, these spaces can be partially converted to emergency accommodations and hospital space as needed. Thus, as you move forward, there is less and less "free" space internally and more space being used on the hull for swappable, modular installations of various equipment.

I hope that helps -- I think some of these details will be easier to identify as the interior is fleshed out.

In any case, where the answer is "nothing specific," I'll feel free to let my mind run free to fill in those blanks. But I don't want to go in a different direction that what you intended.
I had a general idea of the layout of the ship -- the secondary hull as I described, and the primary hull to support the three crews -- the ship's crew, the flight crew, and the large contingent of Security Corps personnel (Mobile Ground Forces and Surface Action Specialists). The secondary hull would hangar these troops' landing craft, "stardiver" suits for "Starship Trooper"-like entries, first wave automechs, photorp and phaser tanks, etc.

By the way... my landing bays are going to be cojoined by a large internal taxiway, running port to starboard. The upper and lower bays will access this taxiway by an elevator.
Studying Todd Guenther's layout for the Ingram space control ship will be very instructive for how I saw these interlinked bays to join up with the null gravity tubes and the forward cargo spaces.

There will be a lot of hangar space internally, cojoining the landing bays and taxiway. I read in "Starship design" that the Ariel carries "over 80 embarked craft" and I plan to allow for that, unless you have some other number I should use. I'm not counting "work bees" or service pods, only actual autonomous vessels (passenger/research/cargo shuttles, fighters, tenders, etc).
Small fighters and drones, landing craft, and shuttles. In my mind, shuttles are for shuttling from point to point in space, landing craft are for landing on a surface, etc. Only a ship with a relatively small hangar like a heavy cruiser would need multifunctional shuttlecraft like Galileo, ships that are good at point to point travel in space or landings, but not great at either. OTOH, Ariel would have the room for lots of craft dedicated to their specific function.
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