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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Tech

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

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Old September 23 2012, 02:03 PM   #16
Robert Comsol
Commodore
 
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Location: shore leave in La Baule, France
Re: TOS shuttle power sources.

Timo wrote: View Post
"It's a bit dubious whether the standard mode of TOS shuttle sublight propulsion would involve rockets at all."
My mistake, I was using the colloquialism they used back in the 70's where "rocket" stood in general for "propulsion engine" (in contrast to power engine or power generator). Of course a "fusion rocket" has little in common with our fuel burning rockets IRL as the fuel is not burned but rather released through the exhaust nozzle by its own pressure.

Timo wrote: View Post
"Not quite so strongly agreed. The Commander doesn't really have a choice: the ship grows visible against his will as power wanes. But the two systems competing for the power are not specified to be drive and cloak. Rather, it seems that it's the weapon that eats power and consumes fuel so that any other systems are compromised, both temporarily and in the long term... Use of weapon results in dropping of cloak and cessation of movement, actions that the Commander would not willingly take unless the shortcomings of the technology thus dictated. But combined invisibility and movement are possible throughout the episode."
Another misunderstanding? The Romulan Bird of Prey's fuel is
a) essential to feed the sublight fusion drive to get them home after their raid on the Federation outposts
b) essential to create the (fusion) plasma torpedo and to draw energy from the fusion reactor to accelerate it to warp speed (in a ideal scenario the Bird of Prey would turn 180° degrees to fire at a pursuing vessel and thus utilize the exhaust momentum of the torpedo to further propel it forward in the direction of its course home. Enterprise's optimal attack strategy would therefore be to approach the Bird of Prey from the side...).
c) essential to provide the cloaking device with energy the fusion reactor creates.

Therefore b) and c) consume the fuel calculated necessary for the vessel to make it back to a rendezvous point with another Romulan vessel in Romulan territory.

I should add, that I'm a strong supporter that the Romulan ship according to Scotty indeed only has sublight impulse drive (before the vessels were retrofitted in "The Deadly Years" with true warp engines). That the vessel is about to pass a sublight speed comet's trail is a hint, IMHO.

In this particular case the Enterprise's warp speed capability (other than reverse warp to avoid being hit by the plasma torpedo) would serve it as much as the Messerschmitt's 262 jet engines in WW II when attacking enemy fighters. The Russians knew that the Me 262 was too fast to score a hit, so Russian planes simply dispersed into all directions. The allied bombers didn't have that kind of maneuverability as smaller planes so it was easier for the Me 262 to bring them down as the bombers' formations stayed rather rigid.

Bob

P.S.
Sorry, this should be a new thread (Romulan Bird of Prey capabilities)
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Old September 23 2012, 05:25 PM   #17
blssdwlf
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Re: TOS shuttle power sources.

Timo wrote: View Post
It's a bit dubious whether the standard mode of TOS shuttle sublight propulsion would involve rockets at all. Chiefly, if the standard rocket flame is invisible, it would be quite difficult for Spock to make it visible without special preparations. "Dumping fuel into the flame" is fine and well as such, but as said, there is basically no fuel left for the trick... Will the tiny amount really make a difference?
Well perhaps fusion-powered rockets. "Rockets" were referred to in "The Cage" for "blasting out" of orbit. In "The Naked Time", the impulse engines were called to "blast" them out of orbit.

Back to the shuttle in "Galileo 7". The phaser energy conversion must have been for creating new "fusion fuel" since at the time of lift off they had more then enough to make orbit by firing their boosters.
SPOCK: That is a most illogical attitude. Orbit in one minute, Mister Scott. Fuel status?
SCOTT: Fifteen pounds psi. Approximately enough for one orbit, sir.
MCCOY: After that?
SCOTT: Tapping our boosters ended our last chance for a soft landing.
IMO, it seems that the reactor is part of what feeds the engines with fuel which give the shuttle thrust. That mirrors the starship Enterprise's power setup with the big difference in that lithium/dilithium is not involved which gives them a limited fuel capacity.

Robert Comsol wrote:
Therefore b) and c) consume the fuel calculated necessary for the vessel to make it back to a rendezvous point with another Romulan vessel in Romulan territory.
The fuel consumed on the Romulan ship sounds more like it is used for generating power to it's other power consuming systems, such as the plasma weapon, propulsion and cloaking device. Based on the episode, propulsion uses the least amount of energy (aka fuel cost) while the cloak has its own energy / fuel cost and the plasma weapon takes all the energy briefly (and is the biggest fuel cost). Unlike the Enterprise's re-generating power systems, the Romulans have to be mindful of their fuel consumption which is like that of a TOS shuttlecraft operator.

Robert Comsol wrote:
I should add, that I'm a strong supporter that the Romulan ship according to Scotty indeed only has sublight impulse drive (before the vessels were retrofitted in "The Deadly Years" with true warp engines). That the vessel is about to pass a sublight speed comet's trail is a hint, IMHO.
Passing through a sublight-speed comet's trail doesn't indicate that they were at sublight. Ships at FTL do interact with things in "real space" in TOS - the Enterprise warps through the tail. And given how long it takes to warp through the tail, we can tell that it must be a rather large one with a large cross section.
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Old September 24 2012, 08:38 AM   #18
Timo
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Re: TOS shuttle power sources.

...Or, alternately, that they are deep within one of those fancy star systems where high warp equals low sublight speed, much as in "Paradise Syndrome". Being deep insystem would be a prerequisite anyway, or else the comet wouldn't have a tail...

Sorry about the diversion. Under what sort of circumstances would you give the "status" of fuel in units of pressure? Or in fact units of weight times (per?) units of pressure, because "pounds pee-ess-eye" is redundant and expands into "pounds pounds per square inch"? Pressure would perhaps be the most appropriate for a fuel that is stored in compressible form, such as gas; there'd be no point in indicating the pressure of incompressible liquids, as it would tell nothing about quantity.

Or are we in fact hearing of the effects of fuel when we get this status report? Perhaps there's a battery charged with phaser energies that can currently wrangle fifteen psi (or "pounds psi", whatever that is) of pressure out of the fancy pressure-making machine that is used instead of rockets in pushing the shuttle forward?

15 psi is rather little for propulsion applications, really, unless we're talking about a humungous surface area, much greater than any of the shuttle's cross sections. Surely any given square inch of the shuttle's bottom would have more than fifteen pounds of weight upon it, say?

...Except when you are already in freefall; Scotty might maintain an orbit with it (that is, nudge the perigee or peritaurus or whatever a little bit so that it doesn't plunge into the atmosphere that badly), even if takeoff in fact takes fifteen thousand psi.

...Or except when you are using the pressure in combination with gravity manipulation of some sort. Some sort of a slow hovering into orbit was apparently being planned anyway, rather than a rocketlike blastoff. Otherwise the precious seconds used hovering, with the cavemen clinging onto the hull, would have consumed a massive share of the total propulsion resources. All that calculating and leaving behind bodies would have been for naught if the launch depended on attaining of escape velocity with a minimum duration blast of thrust, like today's rockets do.

Oh, well. It all goes to show that in the case of "The Galileo Seven" we should not let writer intent hold us back in any way - because it's so evident there was no real writer intent involved in any of the technical details. Or even in many of the plot twists, alas. I seriously doubt anybody technologically oriented was consulted in any way in the writing or rewriting process.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old September 24 2012, 02:01 PM   #19
blssdwlf
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Re: TOS shuttle power sources.

Timo wrote: View Post
...Or, alternately, that they are deep within one of those fancy star systems where high warp equals low sublight speed, much as in "Paradise Syndrome". Being deep insystem would be a prerequisite anyway, or else the comet wouldn't have a tail...
I agree that they must have been in a system and warp "effective speed" is in the low single-digit c's instead the 1000's for TOS.

As to the pressure problem, remember that Spock used up most of the fuel with the boosters during the liftoff. However, it could still be that they use a hybrid antigrav/thruster system so the actual amount of fuel would not need to be huge...
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