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

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Old July 17 2014, 07:33 PM   #16
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Specialized designs

I assume there is some Federation or Starfleet Maritime Service. Didn't Tom Paris say something like that?
We have seen "Starfleet proper" handle incredibly varied duties, from starship adventures to colonial management to being the only Federation law enforcement force in evidence. Their Corps of Engineers helps out civilian researchers; there's even a Terraform Command in Starfleet, apparently... It would be a bit odd for an entirely separate organization to exist for something as marginal as underwater operations.

But yes, Tom Paris in VOY "Thirty Days" mentioned the Federation Naval Patrol as a career option or at least lifestyle choice. However, this was in a context that indicates said patrol operates "ancient sailing ships". So it's probably a group of reenactors, or some sort of a Boy Scouts Sea Branch...

Whether there also exists a Starfleet Maritime Service that possibly operates non-ancient sailing ships for practical work, we don't know yet. Might well be; Paris would still have wanted to go to the Naval Patrol for the ancient vessels, and be disappointed when his dad forced him to choose Starfleet whose maritime gear is modern (and whose rigid internal hierarchy probably wouldn't allow Paris to waltz in directly to the sailing troops anyway).

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Old July 18 2014, 01:17 AM   #17
Unicron
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Re: Specialized designs

FASA also mentioned a Federation Merchant Marine, although I don't recall off the top of my head whether that would have been considered separate from Starfleet or not (probably, since Starfleet was clearly described as being the equivalent of a navy as well as having exploratory services).
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Old July 18 2014, 09:25 AM   #18
Timo
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Re: Specialized designs

I even remember a few references to a Starfleet Merchant Marine, possibly simple typos but good material for speculation nevertheless. In the wilderness, it might be necessary for the military to perform some pathfinding commercial operations in order to encourage civilians to follow. Or the SFMM might designate ships and operators who enjoy special privileges, access to Starfleet technologies and expertise and training and whatnot, and have federal obligations in return - a bit like the British Blue Ensign.

My collection of FASA booklets is far from complete, though, and elsewhere. Gotta check at some point; Memory Beta at least mentions the term Starfleet MM in a stub entry, as synonymous with Federation MM.

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Old July 19 2014, 12:03 AM   #19
AirCommodore
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Re: Specialized designs

I could see a Federation Merchant service, in addition to private shipping companies, and individual owner-operator merchants. Even a Merchant Academy makes perfect sense. Some universities and research foundations may also have their own ships. A Federation Cutter Service is also possible. Possibly with it's own Academy as well.

As far as Starfleet Merchant vessels, that's fine. The US Army had something called "Army Mariners" who serve on the cargo vessels that support the Army. Most of the US Navy cargo vessels are part of the "Military Sealift Command" (MSC). They operate the ammunition ships, Salvage and Hospital Ships, etc. Many are manned by civilians. The UK has the "Royal Fleet Auxiliary".
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Old July 20 2014, 09:47 PM   #20
publiusr
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Re: Specialized designs

Timo wrote: View Post
I must disagree on the FASA TNG destroyers, not as a matter of principle, but just in order to defend the Decker. Sure, she's spindly, but she's also a beauty! Just ignore the generic engines (like one could and should ignore the copy-paste engines on the TOS-movie-era ships) and perhaps apply something a tad more elongated, and you have a winner there.
I'm of the same opinion.

http://home.comcast.net/~ststcsolda/...er/decker.html

Here is a new drawing of that ship
http://www.tacticalstarshipcombat.co...ion_decker.htm

Aventine type engines might help...

The good old days
http://www.tacticalstarshipcombat.co...ng/index7.html
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Old July 26 2014, 05:48 PM   #21
publiusr
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Re: Specialized designs

Here was another attempt at a Decker redraw
http://www.tacticalstarshipcombat.co..._Destroyer.jpg
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Old July 30 2014, 05:30 PM   #22
drt
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Re: Specialized designs

AirCommodore wrote: View Post
STARFLEET SIZE

Yes, it's always been mystery as to why Starfleet seems so tiny, given the colossal size and resources of the immense Federation. The influence on Earth Navy and Air Force sizes and plot needs are probably the out-universe explanations. In-universe, you could say that anti-matter production, while prodigious, remains insufficient to maintain a Starfleet of millions of starships even if the Federation has sufficient building materials and population to manufacture and crew them.
I'd say, at least for the original series, that dilithium was intended to be the limiting resource.
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Old July 30 2014, 06:40 PM   #23
Timo
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Re: Specialized designs

I dare say it was convincingly described as one, given how the hero ship couldn't even afford to carry spares. But we also saw several "insignificant" or "frivolous" ships such as pleasure cruisers; supposedly, those would not be running on dilithium, or else only quadrillionaires rather than the likes of Leo Walsh or Cyrano Jones could operate them. If certain ships can make do without dilithium, Starfleet might actually invest heavily on those.

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Old July 30 2014, 08:51 PM   #24
Ithekro
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Re: Specialized designs

Perhaps ships with lower maximum warp factors could operate without dilithium. But that would result in more slow freighters like the early to mid 22nd century and effectively a bunch of planetary defense forces that can't do better than say Warp 5, if that. (Simple impulse power? Fusion drives?)

The rapid response forces and the deep space exploration vessels would be the ships that can make high warp speed with the dilithium installed.
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Old July 31 2014, 01:34 AM   #25
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Re: Specialized designs

FASA's oddball Samson class tender is perhaps an example of a design that's too specialized in terms of its actual mission - towing the big Regula type starbases around if they need to change locations.
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Old July 31 2014, 06:37 PM   #26
drt
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Re: Specialized designs

Ithekro wrote: View Post
Perhaps ships with lower maximum warp factors could operate without dilithium. But that would result in more slow freighters like the early to mid 22nd century and effectively a bunch of planetary defense forces that can't do better than say Warp 5, if that. (Simple impulse power? Fusion drives?)

The rapid response forces and the deep space exploration vessels would be the ships that can make high warp speed with the dilithium installed.
This was pretty much what I was thinking, although, I suppose small ships could also utilize much smaller crystals, which would be more common.
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Old July 31 2014, 07:30 PM   #27
Timo
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Re: Specialized designs

I'm actually fond of the idea that Kirk's ship usually operates on microscopic dilithium, embedded in those ping-pong paddle things seen in "The Alternative Factor" - the equivalent of industrial diamonds today. This dilithium dust matrix easily goes out of alignment and needs to be re-energized in a dedicated machine, but it's the best Starfleet can do as naturally occurring large crystals are extremely rare and expensive.

Perhaps the microscopic dilithium dust is what one gets when a large lump decrystallizes, and only by the time of TNG do they learn the trick of turning a degraded lump back into a workable one (as we certainly see lumps and shards being used in TNG "Skin of Evil" et al.).

NX-01 already used dilithium the way it is used in TNG, to focus and regulate an annihilation reaction, as per fourth season dialogue. But we didn't learn whether they used macroscopic or microscopic crystals, so there could be steady progress there, rather than an odd sequence of TNG style - TOS style - back to TNG style.

Then there's the VOY fact that a substance called paralithium will do, even though it performs poorly. Perhaps "lithium crystals" is a catchall name for paralithium, dilithium, tri-translithium and whatnot, and Kirk's ship prefers the high-octane dilithium but might be a flexifuel (or flexifocus) machine capable of operating on other types of lithium-containing crystal as well?

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Old August 4 2014, 11:18 PM   #28
Unicron
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Re: Specialized designs

I'm not sure if this would exactly fit the category of a ship, but Battletech has another interesting entry in the form of the Space Defense System (SDS). The original version was an advanced, largely autonomous network of modified ships of various types with a robotic control system, designed to be controllable by a relatively small number of human operators. The most infamous were the M-5 capital warship drones, based on the Lola destroyers with the weapons package upgraded to nearly that of the Texas class battleship, one of the SLDF's primary heavy guns. The space borne elements could also be supported by specialized ground units whose fire could reach orbital levels.

This version also had an advanced sort of AI which served as a repository for the knowledge and experience of many commanding officers, which meant the autonomous drones were familiar with SLDF tactics and often capable of adapting to the most dangerous enemies. The system wasn't perfect, though, as all versions of the drones suffered from some degree of electromagnetic vulnerability which could disrupt their ability to coordinate attacks. It was also impossible to reliably have drones transport to other systems FTL, as this would disrupt their computer systems. They would be shut down and transported under human direction over such distances.

Most of the original SDS was destroyed during the Amaris Civil War, with the surviving elements destroyed by the SLDF. The Word of Blake later revived a version during the Jihad and came the closest to recreating it, but lacked the ability to reproduce elements like the tactical database.
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Old August 12 2014, 10:50 PM   #29
Tim Walker
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Re: Specialized designs

Timo wrote: View Post
I dare say it was convincingly described as one, given how the hero ship couldn't even afford to carry spares. But we also saw several "insignificant" or "frivolous" ships such as pleasure cruisers; supposedly, those would not be running on dilithium, or else only quadrillionaires rather than the likes of Leo Walsh or Cyrano Jones could operate them. If certain ships can make do without dilithium, Starfleet might actually invest heavily on those.

Timo Saloniemi
I have imagined old ships in a sort of tramp steamer role. Perhaps there are old ships comparable to Serenitiy.
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Old August 13 2014, 12:07 AM   #30
Tim Walker
Lieutenant Commander
 
Re: Specialized designs

Apparently, with specialized but modular mission pods, a (nonspecialized) utility vehicle may be practical. That is, the specialization is in the pod, while the the basics, such as energy, propulsion, crew quarters, etc. is in a generic chassis. The Nebula class seems to be a large sized example The New Orleans class seems to be a small pod/utility vehicle.

On the other hand, for small ships a lack of room (and small size of pods) might result in a tendency for specialization.

In a few cases a design might straddle categories. As a middling size ship, Voyage might be classified as a Smaller Explorer/Large Scout.

Last edited by Tim Walker; August 13 2014 at 12:50 AM.
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