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Old February 22 2014, 08:30 PM   #16
PhoenixClass
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

Yes but doesn't the fact that an emitter has an upper limit mean that it doesn't matter how long the array is?
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Old February 22 2014, 08:56 PM   #17
EmperorTiberius
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

It says that due to force coupling, the charge passes over the emitter, or something to that effect, so the individual capacity wouldn't matter.
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Old February 22 2014, 09:20 PM   #18
blssdwlf
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

Unfortunately the TM's technical specs don't match up to what's on screen. In "A Matter of Time", the E-D's phasers had to have a margin of error less than 60 GW which is quite higher than the potential max as described in the TM.

Also, the phaser strip length doesn't appear to correlate to the amount of phaser power the strip can put out so the longer strips only appear to give the ship more emitter redundancy. For example, the dorsal saucer phaser strip is the longest strip with the ventral saucer second longest but we don't see the longest strip do the most damage or fired the most on a consistent basis.

IMHO, the removal of the saucer section and it's impulse engines probably wouldn't detract from the stardrive section as the stardrive doesn't have to waste energy to shield the additional surface area of the saucer or additional power to move the extra mass.
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Old February 22 2014, 09:41 PM   #19
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

EmperorTiberius wrote: View Post
It says that due to force coupling, the charge passes over the emitter, or something to that effect, so the individual capacity wouldn't matter.
It seems more like the size of the individual array wouldn't matter. The above sounds like basic phaser operations stuff. Where array size may come into play is in regard to firing arcs or angles.
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Old February 23 2014, 09:24 PM   #20
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

I like the idea of phaser array length correlating to firepower the most.
It makes sense for the biggest, least maneuverable ships to have powerful weapons which can fire in all directions. That's why the Galaxy class has these long arrays while other, more maneuverable ships have shorter ones. They can maneuver to bring all their main phaser arrays into line and fire them simulaneously. Why don't they have long ones too? Maybe the longer the arrays are, the lower their efficiency is. But the ability to combine the firepower of many hundreds of phaser emitters and fire that in all directions makes up for this on large sluggish vessels.

If it would be about firing arcs, you could just place 10 or so of the shortest possible arrays around the saucer. And the old ball-turret emitters should already have a decent firing arc, so replacing them with a strip that's hundreds of metres long doesn't make much sense.

Redundancy could be the reason, but aren't 930 emitter segments (that's the number Graham Kennedy counted for the Galaxy's dorsal saucer array) a bit of an overkill? Also, did the phasers fail even once because of damage to a phaser array in any episode? If the answer is no, then it's not only to much redundancy, but it is also not working (or not needed, because it's always other stuff which is hit and lets the phasers fail).

As for why the longest array is not used most, maybe it's because they fire the phasers only rarely on maximum power, so the shorter array could be used instead.

As for the longest array not doing the most damage:
@blssdwlf: Which episode do you think of? Q Who? That's the only one I can think of at the time where that happened, and there they wanted to hit the tractor beam emitter on the the borg cube but missed it by hundreds of metres if I remember correctly, so who knows what went wrong there. Maybe a problem with the targeting system, which assigned the (wrong) target to the only phaser array which could hit that target at the time.
Also the first phaser discharge that did the most damage was longer than the two others. And it could also be that the two large arrays share their power, so when the ventral one used up most of it, the dorsal one had almost nothing left.

There are a few alternatives for this whole issue I can think of. Phaser array length could correlate to accuracy, recharge time and/or cooldown time.
Accuracy would be the best one of them in my opinion. An efficient and sophisticated ship like the Galaxy class has very accurate weapons, her battle section and the ships more built toward raw firepower have less accurate ones. Ships with long arrays would be the snipers and ships with short arrays would be the machine guns.
On the other hand I simply don't like the idea of very short arrays being as powerful as very long ones. Seems odd.
But maybe it's just that I think too much in simple terms of "bigger=better".
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Old February 24 2014, 03:01 AM   #21
blssdwlf
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

@Egger - If the longest phaser strip is the most powerful, we would see the dorsal saucer phaser strip used more exclusively, particularly in scenarios where they were firing to destroy an enemy ship. Instead we get:

- E-D attacking a Husnock ship - used saucer ventral phaser strip and torpedoes.
- Odyssey attacking Jem'hedar ships - used saucer ventral phaser strip.
- E-D attacking Borg ship - saucer dorsal phaser strip + 2 warp pylon point emitters.
- In the DS9 space battles, we don't see the Galaxy-class ships adjusting their attitude to bring the dorsal phaser array to bear and it's pretty much whatever is in the firing arc.
- Also in "A Matter of Time" when they discharged all their EPS taps through the phasers they fired through the 2nd longest strip, the saucer ventral, instead of the longest one (saucer dorsal) which also was in the firing arc.

For comparison, the phaser strip lengths of the Galaxy-class using the Saucer Dorsal as baseline:

Saucer Dorsal Strip Length 100%
Saucer Ventral Strip Length 77%
Secondary Hull Ventral Strip Length 11%
Warp Pylons Lateral Strip Length 5% each
Small Strips 2% each

Personally, I think it's just redundancy. From "The Nth Degree" it would seem that they only need 40 phaser emitters to channel maximum phaser power so any extra emitters on that strip is just for redundancy and/or firing arc.
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Old February 24 2014, 03:30 PM   #22
Egger
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

Something just occured to me:

If a very short phaser array (let's say a Galaxy pylon strip) is as powerful as a very long one, two short strips would be two times as powerful as one very long array. It would be much better to have many short strips so you can combine their firepower. Alternatively a very long array could fire many beams simultaneously at the same target to accomplish this but we never see this. Sometimes we see two beams but never as many as possible (If you divide the circa 930 emitters of the dorsal saucer array by your number of 40, you get about 23 parts which could channel maximum power).
But maximum firepower from one array seems to be always one beam.

It could be that your 40 emitters can channel as much energy as the ship can deliver to the whole phaser system. But that would also mean that only one array at the time can fire a maximum power beam, so firing more than one beam in situations when maximum firepower is needed would be pointless.

Also if I remember correctly, even in the TNG era phaser banks are being charged. So two short charged strips would be two times as powerful as one very long charged array.
Whichever way you look at it, many short arrays would be better than one or two long ones, and since we don't see that, long arrays must be more powerful.

As for the not quite as long arrays on ships like the Intrepid, Sovereign and Prometheus classes, as I said in my last post, maybe the longer the arrays are, the lower their efficiency is. So only sluggish vessels have the very long ones which can fire in all directions, and more maneuverable ships have more efficient, shorter ones.

Regarding the examples you mentioned, if I'm not totally wrong with my analysis, we should rather try to reconcile those with the above theory then. For example:

- E-D attacking a Husnock ship - ventral array is shorter, therefore more efficient, therefore not so much less powerful than the dorsal array
- Odyssey attacking Jem'hedar ships - many small, fast ships are trying to avoid being hit by the Odyssey's most powerful weapon, also Odyssey's crew is suprised by the heavy pounding they receive, therefore confused, therefore not doing their work properly, or, alternatively, see the first example
- E-D attacking Borg ship - maybe they don't want to fire everything they have at once and hold something in reserve
- In the DS9 space battles, we don't see ... - Good point, or see the first example
- Also in "A Matter of Time" ... - see above

Not perfect explainations, but as I said, I rather try to reconcile those with the above theory unless someone has a better idea how to explain the problems I posed.
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Old February 25 2014, 02:19 AM   #23
blssdwlf
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

@Egger - Here's a thought why having phaser strip length = phaser power output is problematic:

In "The Arsenal of Freedom" the stardrive is identified specifically as the "Battle Section" and contains the "Battle Bridge". If the stardrive is meant to be taken into battle while the Saucer Section retreats to a Starbase why would you put the most powerful phaser strips on the saucer that can least utilize it once separated? That would also leave the Battle Section with the combined strips being less than half the length of phaser strip as the dorsal saucer strip.


Egger wrote: View Post
Something just occured to me:

If a very short phaser array (let's say a Galaxy pylon strip) is as powerful as a very long one, two short strips would be two times as powerful as one very long array. It would be much better to have many short strips so you can combine their firepower.
That's assuming that the ship has more than enough energy fire max power through more than one short strip which doesn't appear to be the case. We've seen in "The Nth Degree" and "A Matter of Time" that the E-D can put all her phaser power through a single beam. So if she had to fire two beams at once, the combined beams would total "max power".

Egger wrote: View Post
Alternatively a very long array could fire many beams simultaneously at the same target to accomplish this but we never see this.
The most we've seen the E-D fire at the same time are 3 beams. IIRC, it was against the Borg so it might have made sense if they had each beam on a different frequency. The other times (where it was 2 beams simultaneously) was when engaging some drones in "Conundrum" and a Galaxy-class in DS9 firing 2 beams at a Cardassian ship.

Egger wrote: View Post
But maximum firepower from one array seems to be always one beam.
IMHO, it's more nuanced. More like maximum phaser power can be fired in one beam. You can fire multiple beams, if you're willing to split the power output.

Egger wrote: View Post
It could be that your 40 emitters can channel as much energy as the ship can deliver to the whole phaser system. But that would also mean that only one array at the time can fire a maximum power beam, so firing more than one beam in situations when maximum firepower is needed would be pointless.
True - unless you need to have the 2nd and 3rd beams at a different phaser frequency.

Egger wrote: View Post
Also if I remember correctly, even in the TNG era phaser banks are being charged. So two short charged strips would be two times as powerful as one very long charged array.
Whichever way you look at it, many short arrays would be better than one or two long ones, and since we don't see that, long arrays must be more powerful.
In "Conundrum", the E-D was equipped with 10 phaser banks. Since 10 banks is less than the number of strips on the E-D they must be independent of the phaser strips. The way I look at banks is that they can be discharged individually into separate phaser emitters or combined into a single phaser emitter firing. So theoretically the E-D could fire at 10 different targets at once or put all her power into one beam.
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Old February 25 2014, 02:30 AM   #24
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

Did we ever see two beams come out of a single strip? If not, does the Tech Manual say it's possible? Do all emitters on the same strip draw from the same power feed? Can someone give page numbers in the TNG Tech Manual to where this is discussed?
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Old February 25 2014, 02:38 AM   #25
bbjeg
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

I can't recall if I ever saw the Galaxy Class fire two beams at once, cannonly.
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Old February 25 2014, 03:05 AM   #26
Unicron
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

The Enterprise does it a couple of times against the Lysian drones in "Conundrum" (pic 1, pic 2 and one of the Galaxies in "Sacrifice of Angels" does the same against a Galor (pic). I'm not too sure if there are any other instances I can readily think of.
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Old February 25 2014, 03:10 AM   #27
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

^ Nice. Thanks, Unicron.
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Old February 25 2014, 03:31 AM   #28
PhoenixClass
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Did we ever see two beams come out of a single strip? If not, does the Tech Manual say it's possible? Do all emitters on the same strip draw from the same power feed? Can someone give page numbers in the TNG Tech Manual to where this is discussed?
Pages 123-127

The manual mentions the phaser beam exiting "one or more of the facets" of a crystal that is part of the emitter. So I guess that implies that it can be more than one beam. I didn't see anything explicit about multiple emitters. However, it does talk about redundant plasma feeds to an array.

A caveat about the Manual: It is intentionally vague sometimes. That is intentional, of course, to leave room for writers and the imaginations of fans.
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Old February 25 2014, 02:53 PM   #29
blssdwlf
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

Thanks Unicron
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Old February 26 2014, 03:51 AM   #30
Egger
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Re: How powerfull is the stardrive section?

First of all, everything in my last post assumes that phaser banks are not seperate from the phaser arrays, so read it in that context.

Now, the idea that those ARE seperate would mean your theory would work, but it doesn't invalidate mine either. It would still be possible that only the two main saucer arrays are able to use all 10 phaser banks simultaneously. All the examples you mentioned and IIRC all others too show the Enterprise-D firing a maximum power shot from one of the long main arrays and not one of the short strips. And in "The Nth Degree" we see the phaser beam on the viewscreen coming from the upper right and hitting the probe. Considering the orientation of the Enterprise relative to the probe at that time, the beam could be fired from either the left short phaser strip on the upper saucer section or from the dorsal main array. So that one is inconclusive, but all other instances I can think of where the Enterprise-D fires maximum power beams show the beam coming from either the dorsal or ventral main saucer arrays, and not one of the shorter strips (e.g. "A Matter of Time").

As for the instances where Galaxy class ships fire more than one beam simultaneously, those also don't invalidate my theory. First, in "Conundrum" their enemies are so weak that it's unlikely that they're firing with maximum power. Second, in "Sacrifice of Angels" we also don't know if they're firing with max. power. It would seem likely, considering the mucch more powerful enemy (than in the first example), but on the other hand, there are more enemy vessels to worry about, so they might want to hold some of their phaser power in reserve. Less than maximum is always possible. Or it is maximum but simply not in one beam. All I say is that this maximum is dependant on the length of the phaser array.
Finally, there is the "Best of Both Worlds" example. This one also doesn't invalidate the idea that longer arrays are more powerful. We don't know if the two beams from the pylon phaser strips are as powerful as the beams coming from the long main arrays. There is also the fact that they're not only firing 3 beams simultaneously, but also later many short beams from the dorsal saucer array alone, so maybe those beams are all not very strong. And yes, it could make sense in that instance to fire several beams with different frequencies. Maybe the idea was to see if one of the weak beams comes through and then to use this frequency for a powerful shot with one of the long main arrays.

All that said, it seems the "evidence" could be used to support both theories, although I think the fact that maximum power phaser beams are always fired from one of the long main arrays seems to support my theory more. Perhaps there are other examples we haven't thought of yet. Other than that, we could simply ask what makes more sense: longer phaser arrays being more powerful than short ones or not.

You have a good argument: If longer phaser arrays are more powerful, then the Galaxy classes battle section would make no sense. Or not much sense at least. It could be that the stronger (because smaller) shield bubble plus the better speed and maneuverability of the battle section could compensate for the weaker phasers, at least to some degree. And who knows, maybe this disadvantage is the reason why this whole feature is used so rarely, even in the dominion war. It could be a design flaw.

But my main argument is that I simply can't see the logic in linking many phaser emitters together and giving them the ability to pass their energy from one to another, if not for the purpose of combining their firepower.
Redundancy would be better served if there are many short arrays, so that when one is damaged, it is only one of many and not the only one. Yes, the idea could be that you can damage several emitters of one array and the rest would still work, but who knows if this would always work properly (we never saw it). Either way, having many short arrays would ensure that only the one weapon that is damaged, is damaged.
Shorter cooldown times and/or faster recharge rate for longer arrays compared to short ones at the same firepower would imply that for the longer arrays more firepower would be possible, so much so that the cooldown time/recharge rate is the same as with the short arrays.
Better accuracy for longer arrays would imply that ships with shorter ones couldn't aim that good. I don't know if this is a problem, I haven't thought this possibility through yet. Maybe it's a real alternative, plus it wouldn't make the Galaxy battle section be (more or less) pointless.

By the way: On the 10 phaser bank vs. 11 (or 12) phaser arrays, is there any instance where another number was mentioned? Maybe even the same number as there are arrays?

EDIT: Also, I found this picture which maybe could prove that phaser banks ARE the emitters, or at least every emitter has one:
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File...haser_bank.jpg

Last edited by Egger; February 26 2014 at 04:12 AM.
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