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Old September 30 2012, 06:28 PM   #61
blssdwlf
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
That remains to be seen for the JJ Verse, though. If nothing else, it's the first time we've seen phasers being used in an explicit point defense role, which is pretty much a revolution where Trek combat is concerned.
First time? Nah. "For the world is hollow that I've touched the sky" and "Patterns of Force" both feature the Enterprise using her phasers to knock out incoming missiles. It'll be interesting to see what "maximum range" might look like in Abrams Trek.
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Old September 30 2012, 06:40 PM   #62
blssdwlf
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

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Something that I don't understand (from a technical point of view, that is; I can understand why this isn't the case from a story-telling point of view) is why, during close combat, starships don't utilize a method of destroying the enemy's torpedoes the instant they launch, in unshielded ships, or when they reach the perimeter of the firing ship's shields.

According to the tech manuals, sensor systems and computers work at FTL speeds. Almost as soon as the weapons officer on the threat ship presses the button to launch the torpedo and the torpedo begins to move one meter down the tube, the sensors on the target ship should detect the increase in power and movement in the weapons systems and an automatic command should be given to the phasers to target the threat ship's torpedo tube if unshielded, or a wide-area effect directed towards the portion of the threat ship's shield envelope that the torpedo is likely to pass through on its way towards the target ship. From a tech standpoint, there's no reason why as soon as the threat ship's torpedo leaves the tube, there shouldn't be a phaser strike inbound and timed to detonate the torpedo just as it departs the threat ship's tube, or shield envelope.
I've often wondered that as well. There is technically no reason it can't be done however there seems to be a voluntary man-in-the-loop that is used that prevents this from happening automatically plus few if any captain appears willing to do this. Although IIRC, there was one or two Voyager episodes where similar tactics were used...

SicOne wrote: View Post
Additionally, while watching some of the big battle scenes towards the end of DS9's run, it seems like no one is using shields; I see phaser/disruptor/polaron beam impacts and torpedo hits against ship hulls directly, with no shields. Was it ever explained what technology was used, or by who, to cause shields not to function? Or was it just a decision by the VFX people to not use shields?
This part probably is a VFX decision. But keep in mind that the movie-era Enterprise also used conformal or skin-hugging shields and some of the VFX in TOS show weapons impacting very close to the hull. We also know that shield distance is extendable but also more power intensive. Put that together and it can be explained in those large DS9 battles the tactics could have called for skin hugging shields to maximize shield power and that weapons on both sides were so powerful that they could cause hull damage even against full shields.
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Old October 1 2012, 09:19 AM   #63
Timo
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Also remarkably, it is only the Axis of Alpha ships that die in new and flamboyant ways: any ship built or enhanced by the Dominion still stays intact when fired upon, or disappears in a classic fireball. So we could very logically claim that Dominion weapons are a new thing that pierces shields with ease and causes the more exciting type of destruction, and nothing else has changed much.

In Alpha-to-Alpha fights such as "Way of the Warrior", the lack of visible shield bubbles doesn't create obvious contradictions. It still takes an enjoyable fireworks show of four torpedoes to gut a Klingon battle cruiser, even if the powerful phaser beams of the station are the first to demonstrate the ability to kill a small BoP with one shot. (And that really is a small BoP - among the smallest in Trek history, at least in the shot where these fly in formation with a Vor'Cha.)

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Old October 2 2012, 04:00 AM   #64
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
That remains to be seen for the JJ Verse, though. If nothing else, it's the first time we've seen phasers being used in an explicit point defense role, which is pretty much a revolution where Trek combat is concerned.
First time? Nah. "For the world is hollow that I've touched the sky" and "Patterns of Force" both feature the Enterprise using her phasers to knock out incoming missiles.
Conventional weapons launched by primitive cultures, yes. The Narada's weapons are implied as being fairly modern by 23rd century standards, and that makes this an interesting precedent.
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Old October 2 2012, 08:16 AM   #65
Timo
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

There is still something of a mismatch between the threat and the defense, in that the phasers fire very rapidly, but the missiles move somewhat more slowly than the "classic" threat of photon torpedoes. It seems to be no contest.

Yet Robau's crew never seemed to think that firing back at the projectiles would be necessary - it was a shock that the shields did not handle the threat. So there might be no culture of active defenses in Starfleet despite the demonstrated capacity.

And when the weapons were used, admittedly by a badly damaged ship, they proved quite unsuccessful. They were 100% successful against threats directed at a third party (shuttles in teaser, Spock in climax), though. Perhaps this sort of defense really is useful only against inferior threats, and the TOS examples and STXI aren't that different in the end?

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Old October 2 2012, 02:45 PM   #66
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Timo wrote: View Post
Yet Robau's crew never seemed to think that firing back at the projectiles would be necessary
They didn't HAVE to think about it, it was the very first thing they did when the Narada fired at them. More importantly, they WOULD have been considerably more effective if the missiles hadn't split up into a dozen small and powerful submunitions and hammered the ship like a steel rain.

I've actually been sort of pondering two things from STXI.

1) Could/should we re-imagine "shields" from being a skin-covering forcefield and change it into the name of Starfleet's standard CIWS system? That would certainly explain the lack of visible shield flares in the movie and the fact that Kelvin continues to fire phasers even after the engineer tells Robau their weapons are offline.

2) Narada's torpedoes are described as "powerful and advanced" but there doesn't otherwise seem to be anything special bout them other than the clusterbomb trick. Maybe that singular innovation IS the thing that makes them powerful after all? Certainly WE'VE never seen anything like it in Trek, and Kelvin's engineer might be referring to the fact that Narada's single torpedo blew through his engine room in about a dozen different places at once where a normal torpedo only would have hit one spot and been quickly bottled up by STI fields.
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Old October 2 2012, 03:21 PM   #67
Timo
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Could/should we re-imagine "shields" from being a skin-covering forcefield and change it into the name of Starfleet's standard CIWS system?
Possibly so - but the Narada also had "shields" according to our heroes, and never demonstrated any sort of CIWS.

Also, the Kelvin crew wonders if their shields were even up after Nero makes such short work of their ship in the first attack. How could they not know whether the CIWS system was up or not, when the bridge has an actual see-through window opening to the very lightshow that this CIWS system created?

Narada's torpedoes are described as "powerful and advanced" but there doesn't otherwise seem to be anything special bout them other than the clusterbomb trick.
...And their ability to go through shields as if they weren't there - an ability either related or unrelated to the submunitions trick. Certainly it could be that each warhead individually is "powerful" and "advanced" by 23rd century standards.

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Old October 2 2012, 03:36 PM   #68
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Timo wrote: View Post
Could/should we re-imagine "shields" from being a skin-covering forcefield and change it into the name of Starfleet's standard CIWS system?
Possibly so - but the Narada also had "shields" according to our heroes, and never demonstrated any sort of CIWS.
But was never fired on either until the very end of the movie. Kelvin poured phaser fire into the Narada for a good twenty minutes, but we didn't get to see whether those shots landed or how much damage they did; more importantly, we don't really know to what extent the Reboot shields would be that useful against energy weapons.

Also, the Kelvin crew wonders if their shields were even up after Nero makes such short work of their ship in the first attack. How could they not know whether the CIWS system was up or not...
They knew. It was a rhetorical question.

...And their ability to go through shields as if they weren't there - an ability either related or unrelated to the submunitions trick. Certainly it could be that each warhead individually is "powerful" and "advanced" by 23rd century standards.
They don't seem to be, though. Visually and in terms of the damage they do, they're not that much more powerful than a standard photon torpedo, it's just that there's a whole hell of a lot of them and they all hit at once. That either overwhelms their forcefields by attacking at multiple points at once, or the phasers/forcebeams that constitute "shields" simply can't deflect that many fast moving objects at the same time.
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Old October 3 2012, 03:45 AM   #69
blssdwlf
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

The Narada's weapons are from the future and it was expected that they'd go through the older shields like they "were not there" as seen in the movie.

As to the TOS Enterprise firing phasers to knock down incoming missiles I forgot to list "Balance of Terror" where they fired at the last second to detonate the Romulan warhead. That same episode suggested a phaser strike against the plasma weapon as well to detonate it. We've also seen the E-D take out a Ferengi missile that was fired at the Barzan wormhole (IIRC). Oh, and in TMP, the Klingons tried shooting down V'ger's energy weapon with their own photon torpedoes.

What we've not seen though is an explicit defensive phaser fire against incoming photon torpedoes. Perhaps photon torpedoes are too difficult to destroy with phaser or disruptor fire? Wasn't there an episode where they fired photon torpedoes into a star and the casings protected the warhead up till when it was needed to explode?
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Old October 3 2012, 07:07 AM   #70
Timo
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

What we've not seen though is an explicit defensive phaser fire against incoming photon torpedoes.
...Although Kirk apparently called for that very thing in ST2, against Khan's last torpedo in the first fight.

Wasn't there an episode where they fired photon torpedoes into a star and the casings protected the warhead up till when it was needed to explode?
"Quality of Life". And apparently Soran's starkiller missile had some of those qualities as well. Then again, starships can fly into stars and survive for certain lengths of time, yet weapons exist to pierce their defenses.

Kelvin poured phaser fire into the Narada for a good twenty minutes
It seemed every shot was fired defensively, at the incoming missiles. Of course, any miss would head in the general direction of the Narada. But then again, the enemy ship was "porous" and in theory the misses might have passed between her tentacles.

There are a couple of good arguments for saying that the shields of STXI are not forcefields, at least not of the usual Trek sort. Namely, they never

a) flare up visually at impact
b) visibly protect from kinetic impact, be it at high or low speed, a weapons hit or a bump, or
c) prevent transporting.

On the other hand, the largest shuttle type is said to have shielding, yet is very unlikely to feature CIWS cannon in any of its incarnations. Robau twice orders power to shields, first when weapons are said to be offline, and next when no fighting is going on, in both cases suggesting that the weapons are not the shields (and never mind the separate terminology!). Pike in turn orders shields up when arriving at Vulcan but never gets any CIWS results of any sort out of it. Nero's first hit reduces shields but involves no CIWS activity. And Pike's officer refers to "deflector shields" as the thing that was tested by Sulu's bumping into jetsam - interestingly, the thing that failed to prevent scraping and physical damage despite "holding". All in all, then, CIWS is unlikely to be the same as shields in that universe, and it remains debatable if a separate CIWS system even exists; possibly it is just a mode for operating the generic (if two-tier) weaponry of the Kelvin.

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Old October 4 2012, 04:25 AM   #71
blssdwlf
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Timo wrote: View Post
What we've not seen though is an explicit defensive phaser fire against incoming photon torpedoes.
...Although Kirk apparently called for that very thing in ST2, against Khan's last torpedo in the first fight.
But was it really meant for the torpedo or for the Reliant? Kirk only asked to divert all power to phasers but he had not declared a target. When they were being chased into the nebula, Kirk had a chance to use phasers to blow up the torpedo Reliant fired at them but he didn't do it. It just doesn't seem like photon torpedoes are something that can be easily destroyed...
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Old October 4 2012, 01:22 PM   #72
Timo
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

I'd say the idea of it being "too late" means it can't have been for Khan. Nothing would be too late about firing at the Reliant, surely? Except for the hope of stopping Khan from firing. But that would never have been Kirk's goal, because he ordered the phasers only after Khan had fired the torpedo...

It would still be a desperate last grasp at a particularly thin straw, only made worth the try when Kirk realized shields were not going to get up any time soon.

In the nebula, there would be no shields. But there would be no way to target anything much, either - Khan even missed a starship-sized target at twenty paces! The best defense against incoming torps in that soup would be to stay vewy vewy quiet and hope the enemy finds nothing to aim at.

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Old October 4 2012, 01:31 PM   #73
blssdwlf
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Timo wrote: View Post
In the nebula, there would be no shields. But there would be no way to target anything much, either - Khan even missed a starship-sized target at twenty paces! The best defense against incoming torps in that soup would be to stay vewy vewy quiet and hope the enemy finds nothing to aim at.
I was actually referring to when they were chasing each other but before any ship enters the nebula. It's when Khan says, "Explain it to them."

The torpedo passed within a few feet of the warp nacelle pylon and under the saucer hull before detonating.
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Old October 5 2012, 08:57 AM   #74
Timo
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Khan clearly intended that one as a warning shot to dissuade Kirk from proceeding into the nebula, so it would make sense for it to detonate in front of the ship. Apparently, Khan still wanted Kirk alive for proper torturing.

Whether Kirk could see this from the flightpath of the torpedo and appropriately hold fire... A bit unlikely, I'd say.

But if shields are the proper way to stop torpedoes, and you waste power on CIWS only if shields aren't an option, then this would be a time for Kirk to hold fire anyway.

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Old October 19 2012, 10:52 AM   #75
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

blssdwlf wrote: View Post

Their sensors don't appear to work well against ships at warp while at sublight since "The Picard Maneuver" is a viable tactic.
An interesting point. It seems that special observatories/listening posts, pointing in the right direction, are needed. The Dominion and Breen were able to go right around and through Federation space to get not only to Federation territory (like Earth), but also to Romulan and Klingon space, which happens to be on the other side of the Federation from Cardassia - all the while keeping their supply lines and the like. If they were easily detected, they could easily be intercepted or prepared for.
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