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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old May 26 2013, 07:39 PM   #121
T'Girl
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Re: Saucer Separation

Tiberius wrote: View Post
even if they fitted the saucer with those "sustainer coils" that they apparently put inside photon torpedoes, so they could release the saucer at a low warp speed and it would keep going.
Worf: "according to my calculations, a solar probe launched from either the Klingon ship or the planet's surface will take eleven seconds to reach the sun."

I never have bought into the idea that torpedoes only have a combination of a sublight engine and something referred to as a "warp sustainer."

The distance between the Earth and our sun is about five hundred light seconds. Worf in GEN said that a solar probe (admittedly not a torpedo) would travel a not dissimilar distance, from basically a standing start, in eleven seconds. Meaning the probe had to be capable of achieving warp on it's own, it clearly possessed a independent warp drive.

Again a probe and a torpedo are not the same thing, however they are about the same size, if a small warp drive were available for one, why not the other?

so they could release the saucer at a low warp speed and it would keep going.
And if they were unable to release the saucer at warp (for whatever reason), it would be "trapped" at sublight speeds.

Interstellar space is a big place, the saucer would have propulsion suited for travel between planets, not between stars.

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Old May 27 2013, 04:57 AM   #122
Tiberius
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Re: Saucer Separation

It could be down to several reasons.

A probe doesn't need to carry targeting systems (at least, not always, they can easily be programmed to follow a pre-set course, which is impractical for most torpedo applications), nor does it need to carry a warhead. the removal of these systems may make room for a small warp drive. With the miniscule mass of a torpedo, I don't imagine that it would require a particularly powerful unit.

Also, probes aren't always built off the torpedo base. As such, a probe may be designed with the ability to incorporate a small warp engine. Also, given the tactical requirements for a torpedo, a warp drive may be impractical - any anti-torpedo defense could easily track a warp signature, for example.
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Old May 27 2013, 10:30 AM   #123
xvicente
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Re: Saucer Separation

I remember Data saying in the first episode that saucer separation was not safe at any speed > zero (relative to what, I dont know), much less at warp. This seems to contradicts that "warp sustainer coils" theory.

Maybe this is one of the times when TNG tangled itself in it's own technobabble.
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Old May 27 2013, 11:45 AM   #124
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Re: Saucer Separation

xvicente wrote: View Post
I remember Data saying in the first episode that saucer separation was not safe at any speed > zero (relative to what, I dont know), much less at warp. This seems to contradicts that "warp sustainer coils" theory.

Maybe this is one of the times when TNG tangled itself in it's own technobabble.
Here's the dialog:

Encounter at Farpoint wrote:
PICARD: Records search, Data. Results of detaching saucer section at high warp velocity.
DATA: Inadvisable at any warp speed, sir.
PICARD: Search theoretical.
DATA: It is possible, sir. But absolutely no margin for error.
I don't think that means necessarily that there are no sustainers (I have no dog in that fight, by the way), just that separation at warp is potentially unsafe. If sustainers are there, the intention is pretty clearly to use them only in case of emergency already threatening the ship.
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Old May 27 2013, 12:28 PM   #125
Tiberius
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Re: Saucer Separation

Of course, if they wanted to go with the warp sustainers idea, all they had to do was have Data say it was unsafe above warp 3 or something. They could have gotten around it if they wanted to.
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Old May 27 2013, 03:53 PM   #126
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Re: Saucer Separation

Do we really think this is something that would have occurred to them in the pilot episode of the series?
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Old May 27 2013, 04:32 PM   #127
xvicente
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Re: Saucer Separation

Well the ship is said to be new. Maybe the warp sustainers were installed the next Tuesday.

in-universe chronology it would be consistent starfleet practice.
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Old May 27 2013, 08:41 PM   #128
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Re: Saucer Separation

If the saucer had the ability to sustain warp, yet not the ability to achieve it on its own (despite virtually every other piece of Starfleet hardware having the latter ability), then LaForge committed a hideous offense in "Arsenal of Freedom" by not giving the saucer an initial warp velocity to sustain...

And at that point the saucer already did have some means to achieve high warp, as demonstrated in "Encounter at Farpoint". Unless we assume Starfleet removed that ability the previous Tuesday?

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Old May 27 2013, 09:51 PM   #129
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Re: Saucer Separation

I still think the evidence from EaF is evidence of poorly-considered writing rather than evidence that the saucer has warp drive, especially given the contradictory evidence presented in "Brothers".
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Old May 27 2013, 10:38 PM   #130
Timo
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Re: Saucer Separation

"Brothers" doesn't really state anything much - only that our heroes think they have a way to force Data out of warp. Doesn't mean the ship was designed for such a thing; our heroes are a resourceful bunch, well motivated to sabotage their own ship on this occasion so that it does things other than those designed into it.

In any case, two counts of effortless interstellar travel seem to well outweigh "Brothers"...

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