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Old October 14 2013, 06:41 PM   #361
137th Gebirg
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Workbee wrote: View Post
Ugh, its Monday already and on top of it, the Dodgers are 0-2 in the NL Championship series. Hope everyone had a good weekend!
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Old October 14 2013, 07:23 PM   #362
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Workbee wrote: View Post
@ Praetor That is a great find with the Jenolan. I'll have to work extra hard now to find evidence that reinforces my entirely personnel preference for the movie aesthetic over TNG aesthetics.

Though if I recall, that model was a reuse of some kind of shuttlecraft in TUC. If the scale is meant to be anything close to that shuttle, then extrapolating a "full size" starship's warp core from this vessel is problematic at best.
Even though it was a reuse of the model, many details like a bridge module and windows were added to denote a completely different and much bigger size.
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Old October 14 2013, 09:15 PM   #363
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Wow, I knew that some changes were made, but I didn't realize it was that extensive. Guess it is valid.
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Old October 14 2013, 11:57 PM   #364
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Workbee wrote: View Post
Another example that came up earlier was the ship in Peak Performance. Its warp core looked almost nothing like the TMP or TNG core, aside from being a vertical conduit. In fact, it probably has more similarity to the aborted Phase II core.
What it also has in common with the TNG core is the dilithium chamber with its dilithium articulation frame holding the crystal.

So while the MSD on the Ent-B shows a TNG style warp core, I could accept that the Excelsior utilized a TMP era structure, as it was a prototype, which often make use of existing hardware cobbled together to get the job done. Technological refinements and improvements can be accomplished once the initial design succeeds.

I guess what I find myself saying is, I am okay with any other excelsior class using TNG tech, as long as the original excelsior, or at least in its NX-2000 phase, utilized the TMP era core.
I agree, maybe this could also support that there are now two impulse deflection crystals on the NCC version. The new warp core wouldn't be directly connected to those crystals, but the warp plasma conduits could. There are always (?) two conduits coming out of the core and these could split right behind it with two running up to the crystals and two running to the nacelles.

A belated welcome to the board Egger!
Thank you very much!
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Old October 15 2013, 08:01 PM   #365
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

OT, but I came across this picture of the original concept for Excelsior's bridge. Would have loved if they used this design https://sites.google.com/site/spectr...dgeconcept.jpg

Though for a one off set, there was almost zero chance of this being realized on the available budget. I think what we ended up with was the best possible compromise.
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Old October 16 2013, 04:44 AM   #366
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Excellsior definitely longer than the galaxy
Want the smoking gun? Check out the big ass Fed vs. dominion battle in DS9. Haven't watched those episodes in a while and this awesome thread had me nostalgic for the last televised Trek I actually liked (in DS9's case loved)
Nearly every shot in which an Ex is alongside a galaxy it is longer
For what it's worth I'd go with the biggest upscaled size and the larger upscaled size of the Connie and Refit as well.
I know the docking rings tend to poopoo the much larger upscaled size of the refit but they pooched the size of the docking rings on the Enterprise C as well
Damn I wish I had Cgi skills, love to render a refit with smaller docking rings to see how she would look
I love this thread
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Old October 17 2013, 03:30 AM   #367
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Workbee wrote: View Post
@ Praetor That is a great find with the Jenolan. I'll have to work extra hard now to find evidence that reinforces my entirely personnel preference for the movie aesthetic over TNG aesthetics.

Though if I recall, that model was a reuse of some kind of shuttlecraft in TUC. If the scale is meant to be anything close to that shuttle, then extrapolating a "full size" starship's warp core from this vessel is problematic at best. Coupled with other inconsistincies -- the fact that a TOS transporter sound and visual effect (sort of) were used instead of one of the movie era effects makes this a troublesome example of 23rd century hardware.
As B.J. points out, enough changes were made to the model that it was clearly meant to be a starship. Memory fails at the moment, but I think there were at least six visible window rows. She was probably a ship of fourteen or so decks. I understand your belief though; several sources tend to say that the Jenolan/Nash and the "executive shuttle" were the same thing, but it's just not possible.

Workbee wrote: View Post
One question I have is if that graphic appeared somewhere before. Does it have the name Jenolan on it? If not, it could be one of the many plates that got reused for various ships of the week.
When the Blu-Ray screencaps are available, we'll probably have much more data. For now, I think we'll have to speculate. The color scheme of the graphic would seem to suggest it could have only been used on another movies-era set, which off-hand I think could only point to the Bozeman or Hathaway. To me, it's almost a reinforcement that the TNG-era core in TUC shouldn't just be accepted as a throwaway use of what they had; it seems like the tech team decided that as of 2294, the paradigm had changed. Still quite ambivalent on this point, though. Speaking of the Hathaway...

Workbee wrote: View Post
Another example that came up earlier was the ship in Peak Performance. Its warp core looked almost nothing like the TMP or TNG core, aside from being a vertical conduit. In fact, it probably has more similarity to the aborted Phase II core.
Eh, to me it looked like a very clunky version of the TNG core. It had the central hatch and the black boiler type components, as well as two power transfer conduits stretching back horizontally at a bit wider than 45 degrees.

That said, I see no reason that the core on the Hathaway should have been original to her 2280s construction. I don't feel beholden to it in any way.

Workbee wrote: View Post
But we are back to our TNG vs TMP core. IIRC, Shane Johnson in his MSGTTE explained the difference between the Enterprise and Excelsior Warp Nacelles as coming from different manufacturers. Meaning the difference isn't so much due a technology advancement, rather it is another contractor's approach to fulfilling the same functioning (not to say they aren't more advanced). But it is like the difference between Boeing and Airbus. Lockheed Martin vs Nothrop Grumman. The Mirandas, Oberths and similar old style starships we see in the 24th century may be the result of continued agreements with other manufacturer. But they are outfitted with newer tech. A 747 built in 1983 is not the same as a 747 built in 2013, even though they look similar on the outside.

So while the MSD on the Ent-B shows a TNG style warp core, I could accept that the Excelsior utilized a TMP era structure, as it was a prototype, which often make use of existing hardware cobbled together to get the job done. Technological refinements and improvements can be accomplished once the initial design succeeds.

I guess what I find myself saying is, I am okay with any other excelsior class using TNG tech, as long as the original excelsior, or at least in its NX-2000 phase, utilized the TMP era core.
I have always liked the corporate explanations too, but I'm not entirely sure if I can buy the difference between the TMP and TNG style cores being that simple. To me, it suggests a paradigm shift. One of the great things about this whole thread (who knew scaling a damn model could have scope creep like this?) is that it has forced me to really examine how warp drive works, and how I thought it works.

Workbee wrote: View Post
Egger and Nob -- love the contributions. These are great perspectives and always helpful to have a fresh pair of eyes. A belated welcome to the board Egger!
Agreed, and ditto if I forgot to welcome you, Egger.

Egger wrote: View Post
What it also has in common with the TNG core is the dilithium chamber with its dilithium articulation frame holding the crystal.
Yep... which may or may not be analagous to The Thing That Killed Spock in TWOK.

Egger wrote: View Post
I agree, maybe this could also support that there are now two impulse deflection crystals on the NCC version. The new warp core wouldn't be directly connected to those crystals, but the warp plasma conduits could. There are always (?) two conduits coming out of the core and these could split right behind it with two running up to the crystals and two running to the nacelles.
Decent notion. I guess to my thinking, the reason for two deflection crystals would be that one was insufficient to bear the load, maybe prone to overload. If you think about it, one of the Excelsior's impulse engines is larger and probably at least as powerful as both of the Enterprise refit's. If you scale them side by side, it's possible that the one large deflection crystal was just insufficient.

Workbee wrote: View Post
OT, but I came across this picture of the original concept for Excelsior's bridge. Would have loved if they used this design https://sites.google.com/site/spectr...dgeconcept.jpg

Though for a one off set, there was almost zero chance of this being realized on the available budget. I think what we ended up with was the best possible compromise.
I've always dug that, myself.

Lord Garth, FOI wrote: View Post
Excellsior definitely longer than the galaxy
Want the smoking gun? Check out the big ass Fed vs. dominion battle in DS9. Haven't watched those episodes in a while and this awesome thread had me nostalgic for the last televised Trek I actually liked (in DS9's case loved)
Nearly every shot in which an Ex is alongside a galaxy it is longer
For what it's worth I'd go with the biggest upscaled size and the larger upscaled size of the Connie and Refit as well.
I know the docking rings tend to poopoo the much larger upscaled size of the refit but they pooched the size of the docking rings on the Enterprise C as well
Damn I wish I had Cgi skills, love to render a refit with smaller docking rings to see how she would look
I love this thread
While some of those shots are a bit dubious, they may bear closer examination. And I may be a bit biased, but I love this thread too. There've been some really great discussions, mostly spurred on by my fellow BBSers.

Ok, time for some pretty pictures. But first, let me talk about my current mindset. As I mentioned upthread, this entire process has made me re-evaluate my notions about how warp drive works, which, frankly is great. I love a challenge.

A few assumptions/decisions on my part with regards to the evolutionary path here.
  1. The TOS Enterprise had one reactor in each nacelle, and another reactor in the secondary hull someplace. The one in the secondary hull was a smaller "control reactor" used to prime and regulate the other two.
  2. The TMP Enterprise's power shaft/intermix chamber was an outgrowth of the TOS version's secondary hull reactor. Now, greater interconnectivity was at play, and the reactors in the nacelles are still present, but of a much more secondary nature. Ships of the refit tech "family" function much the same way, e.g. Miranda and Constellation.
  3. The primary goal of warp reactor technology is to create warp plasma, which is the magical nectar that makes the whole thing work. Dilithium is the magic mediator that allows the byproduct of annihilation reactions to produce energetic plasma rather than a big, apocalyptic explosion. Rather than capturing energy at the moment of annihilation, this energy is captured within the plasma, and this captured power in turn powers whatever you want it to.
  4. The deflection crystal is used to shunt warp plasma into the impulse engines, probably primarily to "supercharge" or maybe even jump start the primary fusion reactions that power them. This whole assembly generates a heavy mass force that helps move the ship.
  5. In the pre-TNG era, warp reactor ejection was not really a viable safety option. Ships meant for long term voyages were designed to have their engine systems be highly compartmentalized to help ensure saftey in the face of disaster. Ejecting nacelles was the first safety measure, followed by separating a primary hull (if applicable... sorry Mirandas.) Warp reactor and antimatter pod ejection was possible, but was a true last-ditch method that no one really ever put any faith in. Warp reactors/intermix chambers did typically align to service/maintenance hatches, and through some effort could be removed from their starship, but this in and of itself does not constitute a safety maneuver.
With all that said, I have chosen a rough path for Excelsior with two possible iterations, the TMP flavor and the TNG flavor. Shown here, they are applied to the 467 meter version of the ship. (I'm alternating working on the large and small versions to make sure I finish both.)








The yellow hexagon shapes are antimatter pods, which you'll notice are present both above the deflector alcove and in the "humpback." In both versions, the intermix chamber/warp core serves to provide what I'm calling an "initial stage" reaction, with the antimatter pods above the alcove providing primary antimatter for this. As the warp plasma transfers back to the humpback, the plasma manifold draws power for most of the ship's main systems, after which a secondary reaction takes place, which I'm calling the "power stage." Here, more antimatter is injected into the already volatile plasma through a sort of "dilithium distributor," supercharging it for its final transfer into the massive nacelles.

Unlike previous generations, the Excelsior generation nacelles no longer have reactors, with the supercharging process in the humpback replacing the need for the multiple reactor configuration. With some effort, all the antimatter pods could be ejected, as could the vertical components of the intermix chambers. (Of course in the TNG version, the horizontal chunk is just a PTC.) The humpback reactor isn't really ejectible the way I have it set up now, although the entire nacelle/pylon/humpback assembly could be.

Regardless which version I pick to be the launch and TUC configuration of the ship, I think the TNG version is probably still viable as the setup that would be used during the 24th century. Maybe the need for the secondary supercharging reaction would be rendered unnecessary, but maybe not... frankly I kind of like the idea of Excelsior having a supercharger.

One thing worthy of note: in the chasm, I've decided the primary use of the grabber and doors above is to launch and retrieve the ships' large executive shuttle (the model that became the Jenolan.)

I look forward to your thoughts on all this.
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Old October 17 2013, 05:09 PM   #368
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

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Agreed, and ditto if I forgot to welcome you, Egger.
Thanks Praetor!

A few assumptions/decisions on my part with regards to the evolutionary path here. ...
Here's my theory of warp drive and the reactor configuration in TOS:

1. The Constitution class has 3 reactors, one in each nacelle and one of the same type in the engineering hull.
2. Dilithium (used in the "Dilithium Crystal Converter Assembly) is a highly efficient way of converting massive amounts of energy in the form of radiation into electrical energy.
3. The "Dilithium Crystal Converter Assembly" is the so-called "main energizer", with auxillary (non-dilithium) energizers for example being used for the impulse reactors.

As we have seen in Star Trek Enterprise the matter/antimatter reactor can be placed in the hull, so danger from the reactor is no reason to place them outside the hull (in the nacelles).
I think, as the faster and faster warp drives after Enterprise needed bigger and bigger reactors, there was the choice of one huge reactor in the hull taking away part of the volume of that hull, or multiple reactors. The reason for their placement in the nacelles is for convenience. As I see it, the warp coils need radiation energy, and therefore there is no need for a Dilithium Crystal Converter Assembly in the nacelles. (see NOTES below)
For the other systems besides the warp coils, there is a small non-dilithium converter assemby fitted to the nacelle that is similar (or even identical) to the ones connected to the Impulse reactors. These can convert only a fraction of the energy coming from the matter/antimatter reaction to electricity, but it is enough to power the systems in the nacelle.
With this configuration, a nacelle is a complete energy production and warp drive system that only has to be fitted to a starship hull. This hull contains a Dilithium Crystal Converter Assembly (main energizer) which is connected to the reactor in the nacelle and converts as much energy into electricity as is needed to power the other systems of the ship. Also, this energizer diverts some of the warp plasma to the EPS system as a transport medium for the electricity.

Now you could ask: If the warp engines don't need dilithium, why is the warp drive not working when the crystals aren't working?
The answer is that a ship needs more than just the engines to use warp drive. Without the deflector(s), the tiniest bit of space dust would blow a hole into the hull.
So even if the warp engines themselves work, you can't risk going to warp.

Now on to the reason for a third reactor:

A ship like the Saladin class for example has one nacelle and only one reactor within it. That means that:

1. The ship is rather slow because it has only one set of warp coils.
2. The energy that the one reactor produces must be split between the engine and the rest of the vital systems (especially the deflector(s))
3. When it uses its warp drive, shields and weapons cannot be operated with full power (if at all).

So that ship (or, more precisely, a ship that has only nacelle reactors) has no energy left for other systems when it uses its warp drive (at least with high warp factors). That is why the Constitution class (as the best Starfleet has to offer) has an additional reactor. With it, the ship can give every system full power at the same time.

Now on to TMP:

As I see it, the Intermix shaft IS the reactor (so from there on: no nacelle reactors anymore). This is a new design which is easy to adjust to the different energy needs for ships of different sizes, since you only need to make the shaft longer for more energy or shorter for less energy. For example, a refit Saladin class would only have a short vertical shaft from the deflection crystal down to the nacelle, and that is enough for that ship class. Bigger ships have longer shafts with the Excelsior having the longest. There still is a Dilithium Crystal Converter Assembly needed for this configuration, as seen in TWOK. By the way, when the main energizer in that movie failed, Scotty then rigged all auxillary energizers to convert enough energy from the intermix shaft to power the ship. This bypass was so unstable (like a chrismas tree) because the auxillary energizers were not disigned to handle that much energy.

And on to TNG:

By the time the TNG-style core came into use (whenever that is) the Dilithium Crystal Converter Assembly had been incorporated into the matter/antimatter reactor itself. There, it converts part of the energy into electricity for use in the ships systems. That energy is tapped off from the warp plasma conduits by the main EPS taps and, together with some plasma, is then fed into the EPS system.


NOTES:

This stems from the observation that, as seen in TNG, plasma is pumped up to the nacelles and "injected" into the warp coils. If the coils use electricity, I think there would be no reason to "inject" it there beacause the plasma would only be the medium for the moving electrical energy (for comparison: you don't "pump" power cables into your computer, you use them to "pump" electrical energy into it). Also it wouldn't be "highly energetic" since this energy would be already converted to electricity.
Additionaly, if the warp coils would use electrical energy, the placement of the reactors in the nacelles and the energizer system in the secondary hull would make no sense. Plasma would be pumped down the pylons to the energizer and then up again to the warp coils.
And there cannot be additional "Dilithium Crystal Converter Assemblies" in the nacelles because in the series, the failure of the crystals in main engineering always resulted in the ship losing main power.


Phew! I hope I didn't forget anything.

Last edited by Egger; October 17 2013 at 08:11 PM.
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Old October 19 2013, 10:22 AM   #369
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Praetor wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
I'm not interested in addressing the Abramsverse ships, really, at all. I also don't need them for my purposes.
Since I seem to be the only one who IS, I'll add that to my "pet projects" queue.
I think you should sir. No disrespect meant to the new films or anything, I just literally don't care for this particular project. I think it'll muddy the waters when they're already plenty muddy.
This is a slight derail, but I'm finally getting around to this subject, and it kind of starts with the revelation that Starfleet basically has transwarp drive or something like it as early as 2259 in the Abrams timeline. Figured I'd bounce this off you before I ran with it, though:

My conclusion is that Starfleet ALWAYS had transwarp drive, having obtained it from the Xindi in the 22nd century; the problem is, trans-warp drives only work efficiently in certain regions of space (where it can work with a natural subspace vortex) but otherwise has to create an artificial one as it goes. Some solutions -- the Borg, for example -- create permanent artificial vortexes ahead of time, which cuts the hardware requirement but limits their use of transwarp to pre-defined navigation points along their network. Starfleet's drive method was to create those vortexes on the fly so you wouldn't have to build the network ahead of time and you could travel wherever you wanted to go. The advantage with the Borg method is that those permanent vortexes are ALOT faster to move through and require very little specialized hardware to use; the disadvantage, of course, is that it takes hundreds of years to BUILD those conduits in the first place. For a race like the Borg, this isn't really much of a disadvantage, but for the Federation that's a long-term project they simply don't have the stomach for.

The first transwarp prototype was built in the 2190s as XCV-330 "Enterprise-II." That ship -- the fastest ever built by the Federation even to this day -- had twelve warp cores and was driven by a torroidal engine five kilometers in diameter. Smaller (and much MUCH slower) trans-warp engines developed later are still enormous and absurdly expensive; the single warp nacelle of the USS Kelvin cost more than any three conventional starships, and its warp core was a one-of-a-kind multi-chambered monstrosity that cost as much as a small space station.

"The Great Experiment" was Starfleet's effort to develop a trans-warp drive that could be powered by a normal (i.e. "not insanely over-engineered") drive system, which could therefore be mass-produced into a whole fleet of ships instead of hand-crafted one at a time in a small number of immense "hot rod" vessels. Hence Scotty's incredulity: nobody really believes Excelsior's transwarp drive will ever work, because until now all the transwarp ships have been MONSTERS, with warp cores the size of office buildings and nacelles big enough to have their own zip codes. Those ships are so over-powered and so expensive that Starfleet completely stopped building them for a while, figuring that The Great Experiment was about to pay off soon and they could start putting transwarp engines on "normal" starships. Then Narada shot Kelvin to pieces, and Starfleet decided it couldn't afford to wait.

In that sense, the huge vertical/collider warp cores of the TNG era would be the logical consequence of the great experiment. The collider configuration is probably an efficient way of boosting power to the reaction without making the warp core unnecessarily huge or expensive (and so would not require, say, several tons of dilithium to operate at full power). Even the intermix chambers of TMP seem to require a few hundred kilos of dilithium, but would never be able to handle the output needed for sustained (Federation-style) transwarp flight.

Just another spin on the idea that warp drive in the TNG era is basically normalized trans-warp. Which is another reason why the jump to warp in TNG actually looks like this.
[/derail]

Sorry for the rant. I go back to lurking now.
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Old October 19 2013, 01:02 PM   #370
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

No need to feel sorry. ^^
I like this explaination very much. And if someone doesn't like the Abramsverse, just take the Kelvin out of the equation and still there's the XCV-330 left to support this theory.

Regarding the TNG warp core design, I also figured that Starfleet may have developed a kind of coating for the reaction chamber that converts the neutrinos created in the reaction into usable energy. Before that, they had to use these giant TMP style swirl chambers to produce enough energy.
And now, with the ability to use the neutrinos too, the reaction chamber could be much smaller with the TNG design.
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Old October 19 2013, 04:15 PM   #371
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Egger wrote: View Post
[Here's my theory of warp drive and the reactor configuration in TOS: <snip>
Interesting theories. Our notions are not incompatible. I've made the assumption at some point that the "energizers" are either the same thing as, or a component of, the various "EPS manifold"s and such mentioned in TNG-era Trek.

To my thinking, having a reactor in the hull is considered an acceptable risk, and can have advantages in that it is more directly accessible for monitoring and maintenance. In ENT, we had a fairly straightforward reactor mated to a rather complicated "plasma accelerator" system. I assume the reason for the accelerator is that the reactor wasn't efficient enough to produce rich enough plasma to power the engines.

By TOS, the power requirements evolved to the point that a two-stage reaction is required. My reasoning for making the hull-side reactor smaller is that the nacelles themselves always seem to be more powerful/important than anything in the hull. The TOS reactor setup would essentially be an inefficient version of the later TMP setup; a very unfocused "swirl."

I think I'm onboard with the nacelle reactors ceasing to exist for TMP-era tech, using the intermix swirl as a replacement for the need for them. Then, the second-stage supercharger of Excelsior can kind of be a throwback to this. (I'm increasingly more onboard with just ignoring the TNG-style core in TUC and just going with the swirl chamber for Excelsior.)

I think the "collider" style reactor (as Eddie so keenly called it) is the natural evolution of this chain; an increasingly simplified, highly efficient high-energy reactor setup.

Regarding the issue of plasma being pumped into the coils, it's my thought that it was probably always this way. The coils probably had channels in them to allow plasma to flow inside, with the coils somehow absorbing the energy directly from them and "evaporating" the plasma in the process. I suspect that the ship's main energizers also sort of evaporate some plasma, but I suspect that the ship's power needs are generally such that the main energizers merely siphon some power from the warp plasma as it passes through the manifolds on its way to the nacelles. To my thinking, this is all the more reason to have the ship's plasma manifolds adjacent to the power transfer conduits to the nacelles.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
This is a slight derail, but I'm finally getting around to this subject, and it kind of starts with the revelation that Starfleet basically has transwarp drive or something like it as early as 2259 in the Abrams timeline. Figured I'd bounce this off you before I ran with it, though:

My conclusion is that Starfleet ALWAYS had transwarp drive, having obtained it from the Xindi in the 22nd century; the problem is, trans-warp drives only work efficiently in certain regions of space (where it can work with a natural subspace vortex) but otherwise has to create an artificial one as it goes. Some solutions -- the Borg, for example -- create permanent artificial vortexes ahead of time, which cuts the hardware requirement but limits their use of transwarp to pre-defined navigation points along their network. Starfleet's drive method was to create those vortexes on the fly so you wouldn't have to build the network ahead of time and you could travel wherever you wanted to go. The advantage with the Borg method is that those permanent vortexes are ALOT faster to move through and require very little specialized hardware to use; the disadvantage, of course, is that it takes hundreds of years to BUILD those conduits in the first place. For a race like the Borg, this isn't really much of a disadvantage, but for the Federation that's a long-term project they simply don't have the stomach for.

The first transwarp prototype was built in the 2190s as XCV-330 "Enterprise-II." That ship -- the fastest ever built by the Federation even to this day -- had twelve warp cores and was driven by a torroidal engine five kilometers in diameter. Smaller (and much MUCH slower) trans-warp engines developed later are still enormous and absurdly expensive; the single warp nacelle of the USS Kelvin cost more than any three conventional starships, and its warp core was a one-of-a-kind multi-chambered monstrosity that cost as much as a small space station.

"The Great Experiment" was Starfleet's effort to develop a trans-warp drive that could be powered by a normal (i.e. "not insanely over-engineered") drive system, which could therefore be mass-produced into a whole fleet of ships instead of hand-crafted one at a time in a small number of immense "hot rod" vessels. Hence Scotty's incredulity: nobody really believes Excelsior's transwarp drive will ever work, because until now all the transwarp ships have been MONSTERS, with warp cores the size of office buildings and nacelles big enough to have their own zip codes. Those ships are so over-powered and so expensive that Starfleet completely stopped building them for a while, figuring that The Great Experiment was about to pay off soon and they could start putting transwarp engines on "normal" starships. Then Narada shot Kelvin to pieces, and Starfleet decided it couldn't afford to wait.

In that sense, the huge vertical/collider warp cores of the TNG era would be the logical consequence of the great experiment. The collider configuration is probably an efficient way of boosting power to the reaction without making the warp core unnecessarily huge or expensive (and so would not require, say, several tons of dilithium to operate at full power). Even the intermix chambers of TMP seem to require a few hundred kilos of dilithium, but would never be able to handle the output needed for sustained (Federation-style) transwarp flight.

Just another spin on the idea that warp drive in the TNG era is basically normalized trans-warp. Which is another reason why the jump to warp in TNG actually looks like this.
[/derail]

Sorry for the rant. I go back to lurking now.
You make sense there, sir... lots of sense. I really like your theory overall.

One thing I certainly think I might borrow from your notion is the idea that Starfleet may've been theorizing about transwarp for a very, very long time but that it was utterly unworkable until the late 23rd century, and the idea that part of the reason for calling it the "Great Experiment" was the skepticism surrounding that.

It also gives XCV-330 something better to do.
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Old October 19 2013, 06:37 PM   #372
QuinnTV
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Crazy Eddie, that's one hell of an interesting idea. I like it.
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Old October 19 2013, 06:40 PM   #373
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

I hope you meant 5km in circumference.

Because 5km in diameter...well that would be an absurdly large ship.
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Old October 19 2013, 07:08 PM   #374
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Praetor wrote: View Post
To my thinking, having a reactor in the hull is considered an acceptable risk, and can have advantages in that it is more directly accessible for monitoring and maintenance. In ENT, we had a fairly straightforward reactor mated to a rather complicated "plasma accelerator" system. I assume the reason for the accelerator is that the reactor wasn't efficient enough to produce rich enough plasma to power the engines.
My thinking is that the reactors by the time of TOS are really reliable, so having them in the nacelles is no problem because they don't need much maintenance. What needs the maintenance is the energizer (more specifically the "dilithium crystal converter assembly"), so, in addition to it being unneccesary for the nacelles themselves, that one needs to be in the hull. The additional reactor in the Constitution class is there to provide more energy for the ships most demanding systems (weapons, shields and so on), to give the warp drive an additional boost and to supply the deflector dish - or, as I see it, the "high power long range sensor (the dish) and scanner (the thing behind the dish) assembly".

Slightly Off-topic:
That's another interesting thing. My thinking of the deflector dish is that it is not really the deflector. It's the main long range sensor.
There are ships like the Hermes class which only have the dish. Those can only "listen" into deep space, but cannot scan (like a radar). Only the ships with the thing behind the dish can do that. Ships enirely without a dish have only smaller sensors and scanners (which all the other ones have too). And the deflectors (maybe the angular shaped things to the left, right and bottom of the dish) are only added to this whole assembly, because they benefit from it (or the other way round).

By the way, I'm basing my view of the reactor system on blssdwlf's work:
The thread: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=119751
The most important posts:
http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?...&postcount=237
http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?...&postcount=251
and
http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?...&postcount=262


The coils probably had channels in them to allow plasma to flow inside, with the coils somehow absorbing the energy directly from them and "evaporating" the plasma in the process. I suspect that the ship's main energizers also sort of evaporate some plasma, but I suspect that the ship's power needs are generally such that the main energizers merely siphon some power from the warp plasma as it passes through the manifolds on its way to the nacelles.
I think the coils and energizers don't evaporate the plasma but simply suck all the energy out and then the plasma changes its aggregate phase back to deuterium gas. It is then pumped to the deuterium tanks or the reactors again.

Last edited by Egger; October 19 2013 at 08:19 PM. Reason: Tagging a paragraph as Off-topic
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Old October 20 2013, 12:19 AM   #375
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
I hope you meant 5km in circumference.

Because 5km in diameter...well that would be an absurdly large ship.
It WAS an absurdly large ship. That's the whole point: it may have broken (and held) all Federation speed records for over a century, but its transwarp drive was so huge that it could never be a practical exploration vessel. The few practical transwarp vessels weren't quite as large, but the use of exotic materials in their engines and drive cores made them absurdly expensive, maintenance intensive, hard to repair and impossible to replace. They were on the raggedy edge of being useful, and Starfleet barely tolerated their continued existence.

Of course, even that would not be without precedent, considering Terra Prime managed to install a warp drive on the Orpheus Mining Colony without anyone knowing about it.
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