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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old November 5 2012, 02:49 AM   #121
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Warp_factor

Background information


Although formulas to calculate speeds from warp factors existed in the writer's guides, these were not always used consistently in the episodes and films. To explain the apparent discontinuity of the canonical warp factor speeds, background sources have given several explanations. Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual states the actual speed values of a warp factor are dependent upon interstellar conditions, for example gas density, electric and magnetic fields in different regions of the galaxy, and fluctuations of the subspace domain. Also quantum drag forces and motive power oscillation cause energy penalties to a ship using warp drive. (pg.55) Star Trek Maps introduced a similar concept as the Cochrane's factor, that influences the actual speed by multiplying it. It can be as high as a multiplication of 1500 to the relative speed within the curvature of space caused by the interstellar dust and gas of a galaxy, and as little as 1 in the empty intergalactic void. In the vicinity of massive objects it is so high that disproportionately high speeds are created, and they tend to result in the slingshot effect. Between the galaxies there is only the empty void, so the speed follows only the basic cubic formula. (see below) Within the interstellar medium of Federation space the average value for the Cochrane's factor has been calculated to be 1292.7238. (pg.6)

So you were right, the writers did try to explain some of the variations in calculations.
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Old November 5 2012, 03:16 AM   #122
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

The WRITERS, generally, did not. Like most things produced for television, Star Trek's emphasis was a dramatic treatment, not a technical one. The background information that determined these sorts of things are far more interesting -- and far more relevant -- to people like us than they ever were to the actual showrunners.
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Old November 5 2012, 04:01 AM   #123
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
The WRITERS, generally, did not. Like most things produced for television, Star Trek's emphasis was a dramatic treatment, not a technical one. The background information that determined these sorts of things are far more interesting -- and far more relevant -- to people like us than they ever were to the actual showrunners.
I agree, the writers are not the best people for technical accuracy. All they do is drama. But the technical writers should've been on the ball. You remember those guys who write the technobable that has a real scientist "Andre Bormanis" supervise. They need to be on the ball.
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Old November 5 2012, 12:14 PM   #124
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

There isn't much they can do if the story requires both that a chase from planet A to nearby planet B take an exciting three hours, and a Klingon ship arrive from the Empire to meet our heroes at the destination within no more than six hours lest things become boring. Sometimes warp simply has to be both X and a thousand times X: consistency is ruled out as an option from the get-go.

Doesn't mean there couldn't be excuses, of course. Quite possibly warp gets faster if you spend more time at it - or alternately you can risk much higher speeds if you know you will only be doing them for three hours rather than three months. But the idea that warp factor X would give a significantly higher speed along a specific "space lane" is to be treated with utmost caution, because if the speed advantage offered by an "express lane" truly is significant, then this should be reflected in dialogue big time. No more dabbling in "warp factors" - the valiant skipper should be solely concerned with the question "Where is the nearest express lane?".

Timo Saloniemi
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Old November 5 2012, 06:51 PM   #125
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Timo wrote: View Post
There isn't much they can do if the story requires both that a chase from planet A to nearby planet B take an exciting three hours, and a Klingon ship arrive from the Empire to meet our heroes at the destination within no more than six hours lest things become boring. Sometimes warp simply has to be both X and a thousand times X: consistency is ruled out as an option from the get-go.

Doesn't mean there couldn't be excuses, of course. Quite possibly warp gets faster if you spend more time at it - or alternately you can risk much higher speeds if you know you will only be doing them for three hours rather than three months. But the idea that warp factor X would give a significantly higher speed along a specific "space lane" is to be treated with utmost caution, because if the speed advantage offered by an "express lane" truly is significant, then this should be reflected in dialogue big time. No more dabbling in "warp factors" - the valiant skipper should be solely concerned with the question "Where is the nearest express lane?".

Timo Saloniemi
Yeah I agree with avoiding the "express lane" factor. That just complicates things.

As far as long Starship chase scenes, good editing / cutting can make it interesting.
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Old November 5 2012, 08:01 PM   #126
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Timo wrote: View Post
There isn't much they can do if the story requires both that a chase from planet A to nearby planet B take an exciting three hours, and a Klingon ship arrive from the Empire to meet our heroes at the destination within no more than six hours lest things become boring. Sometimes warp simply has to be both X and a thousand times X: consistency is ruled out as an option from the get-go.
And that goes to the heart of my point.

So you've written yourself into a corner by inserting two plot elements that seem to contradict each other. That should be the point where you stop yourself and think "We need to do something about the timing here. Either the chase needs to be a lot longer, or the ship from the empire needs to be coming from some place closer."

But the idea that warp factor X would give a significantly higher speed along a specific "space lane" is to be treated with utmost caution, because if the speed advantage offered by an "express lane" truly is significant, then this should be reflected in dialogue big time.
Not necessarily. It would be a bit like watching Bad Boys II where you notice they take the car chase onto the freeway, yet nobody bothers to mention that cars tend to move considerably faster on the freeway than they would elsewhere.


No more dabbling in "warp factors" - the valiant skipper should be solely concerned with the question "Where is the nearest express lane?"
That might be implied in the question "How fast can we get to Rigel Ten?" That would be a bit like asking "How fast can we get from Chicago to Houston?" Nowhere in either question is there any mention of an expressway, although your navigator -- either computerized or human -- will give you a definite ETA that is calculated to include a certain amount of time on a freeway.
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Old November 6 2012, 01:03 AM   #127
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

The "lack of consistency" for Warp Factors to actual speeds doesn't make any sense because none of the series has ever put forth a "formula". Without knowing how Warp Factors correspond to speeds in Star Trek there isn't anything we can reference against to call the speeds "inconsistent".

All we really have are occasional distance-time and location data and putting together a picture from that data for the different productions.
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Old November 6 2012, 01:59 AM   #128
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

KamenRiderBlade wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
KamenRiderBlade wrote: View Post

You got to remember, Warp Speed Formula was different for TOS era.
YOU'VE got to remember that the warp speed formula is irrelevant and has never been consistently followed by anyone, ever.

More importantly, even the TOS formula isn't consistent with these figures, which doesn't matter much, since it wasn't devised until AFTER the series went off the air.
I blame the writing staff for not keeping things consistant.
It's not that hard.

The TNG staff and beyond did try to follow the formulas they set forth. I'm sure there are slip ups, but at least they try to be consistant on their calculations.
Well, they are writer, not scientist.
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Old November 6 2012, 05:23 AM   #129
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
The "lack of consistency" for Warp Factors to actual speeds doesn't make any sense because none of the series has ever put forth a "formula". Without knowing how Warp Factors correspond to speeds in Star Trek there isn't anything we can reference against to call the speeds "inconsistent".

All we really have are occasional distance-time and location data and putting together a picture from that data for the different productions.
Good point. If you exclude the back stage materials, the tech manuals and the semi-official resources in the fan community, Star Trek itself is actually fairly vague on this matter.
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Old November 6 2012, 06:18 AM   #130
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Timo wrote: View Post

But the idea that warp factor X would give a significantly higher speed along a specific "space lane" is to be treated with utmost caution, because if the speed advantage offered by an "express lane" truly is significant, then this should be reflected in dialogue big time. No more dabbling in "warp factors" - the valiant skipper should be solely concerned with the question "Where is the nearest express lane?".
To be somewhat pedantic, "warp factor" would seem to be some sort of function of the engines' warping of space around the ship, not necessarily correlating to speed. We can probably assume the warping is more or less constant, but we can't say what speed that would give us. Just like the RPM's of the engine of a car don't tell us how fast we're going, it's the RPM's of the tires (assuming correct size and no slipping, of course); different conditions - gear ratio of the transmission, resistance against the tire turning, weight, etc. - will correlate to different speeds.

An aside - if we're only going to stick with what we see on-screen, Trek Tech would be pretty slow
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Old November 6 2012, 07:04 AM   #131
blssdwlf
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

TheRoyalFamily wrote: View Post
An aside - if we're only going to stick with what we see on-screen, Trek Tech would be pretty slow
On-screen, it's respectable depending on where you're at.
TOS speed data appears to be dependent on location.
  • TOS interstellar speed go up to the 770,000c range.
  • TOS near star speed drop well below 10c range.
  • TOS intergalactic speed is in the 900c range.

TNG's speed data doesn't appear to be dependent on location.
  • TNG Warp 9 speeds is in the 830c range.
  • Voyager Warp 9.9 speed is up to 21,000c.
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Old November 6 2012, 03:39 PM   #132
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Voyager never got anywhere near that fast. They keep trotting out this "maximum sustainable cruising velocity, warp 9.975" and yet every time they bring it up, they mention it'll take seventy years to make it home at maximum warp. When you actually work it out, from 70,000km away it should take them only about 46 years to make the trip at just warp 9.0; at even the slightly higher warp 9.3, they could cut that almost in half.

So maybe TNG depends on location too, but they move around so much that it's harder to tell?
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Old November 6 2012, 08:16 PM   #133
blssdwlf
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

Voyager is actually inline with TNG speeds. At Warp 9 traveling 70,000 LY it would take 84 years to get home assuming a non-stop flight. Since they said 70 years ETA then Voyager would be cruising at an average speed above Warp 9 (TNG).

As to Warp 9.9, they tried it in "Threshold" but the structure couldn't take it. As the series continued, it appeared that the top speed of the ship worsened (either due to damage or power issues or both) and she was never able to hit the advertised 9.975 speed. Perhaps a brand-new, pristine and maintained Voyager could do Warp 9.975 but the Voyager probably was too damaged to do this again, IMHO.
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Old November 7 2012, 04:09 AM   #134
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Voyager is actually inline with TNG speeds. At Warp 9 traveling 70,000 LY it would take 84 years to get home assuming a non-stop flight.
That's the TOS scale. By the putative TNG scale, Warp 9 would be a bit over 1500 times the speed of light (46 year transit time).

Perhaps a brand-new, pristine and maintained Voyager could do Warp 9.975 but the Voyager probably was too damaged to do this again, IMHO.
Then that wouldn't really be a "sustainable cruising speed" would it? That would just be "Maximum warp" with the caveat that the ship can maintain maximum warp for an unusually long period of time.

Meaningless technobabble from day one: Voyager got off to a dismal start.
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Old November 7 2012, 04:22 AM   #135
blssdwlf
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Re: Federation Law of restricting cloaking device

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Voyager is actually inline with TNG speeds. At Warp 9 traveling 70,000 LY it would take 84 years to get home assuming a non-stop flight.
That's the TOS scale. By the putative TNG scale, Warp 9 would be a bit over 1500 times the speed of light (46 year transit time).
No, that is by the TNG scale. TNG Warp 9 = 833c.

From "Bloodlines"
DATA: I am tracing the transporter beam Bok used to send the probe. The ship is holding position approximately three hundred billion kilometres from here.
PICARD: Plot a course. Maximum warp.
RIKER: Even at warp nine we wouldn't get there for another twenty minutes.
If it was TOS Warp speeds, they'd be home in a few months

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Perhaps a brand-new, pristine and maintained Voyager could do Warp 9.975 but the Voyager probably was too damaged to do this again, IMHO.
Then that wouldn't really be a "sustainable cruising speed" would it? That would just be "Maximum warp" with the caveat that the ship can maintain maximum warp for an unusually long period of time.
It would be more accurate to say: "Sustainable Cruising Speed in Perfect Condition". I'd argue that Voyager had already sustained enough damage that she would no longer be able to come close to her maximum speed which would automatically push down her top sustainable cruising speed as well.

Although looking a second time, it seems that this "9.975" speed is quoted from an alien species (2371) and Neelix but haven't found one from an actual crew member...
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