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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 October 14 2012, 05:26 PM   #31
Timo
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Re: TFF Shuttle

I would think that after the subspace damage warp causes was discovered, a ban would be placed on all warp travel in systems (especially inhabited ones), so as to not damage local ecosystems, etc.
The effect appears to be minimal, though. If it creates observable damage after, say, ten thousand years of normal traffic (or a hundred years of traffic in the Hekaras Corridor which is an exceptional phenomenon squeezing all the traffic for that system into a single lane), then a ban might serve no purpose. In those ten thousand years, technology to reverse the damage would be discovered, or traffic could be stopped 9,000 years into the process.

I think that was "By Inferno's Light". Dax did seem to balk at that although Kira didn't think it would be a problem.
The bigger problem is that a supposedly perfectly ordinary stellar explosion would pose a risk to perfectly warp-capable starships about twice as far from the star than Bajor is. Surely those ships could get their engines up and running in the 15-20 minutes it takes for the explosion to reach DS9?

Mind you, this is an explicitly mentioned threat that comes atop the fact that Bajor itself would fry. So the explosion has to be stopped in any case, but the explicit mention makes the warp limitation issue more intriguing.

We should remember here that Bajor has extremely severe "space weather". It was a central plot point in "Invasive Procedures" and "Things Past", manifesting as special limitations that applied only during those two episodes. Quite possibly, then, "By Inferno's Light" is a third episode where the Bajoran star is misbehaving and making subspace around it difficult to warp through.

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Old October 14 2012, 09:06 PM   #32
blssdwlf
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Re: TFF Shuttle

Timo wrote: View Post
I think that was "By Inferno's Light". Dax did seem to balk at that although Kira didn't think it would be a problem.
The bigger problem is that a supposedly perfectly ordinary stellar explosion would pose a risk to perfectly warp-capable starships about twice as far from the star than Bajor is. Surely those ships could get their engines up and running in the 15-20 minutes it takes for the explosion to reach DS9?
There is another possibility. The warp drive in the "Q and the Grey" had it's warp field collapsed by a supernova's subspace shockwave only "0.02 LY" or 1,264 AU away. Earlier in the episode, the crew comments that Voyager was one of only two ships that have ever observed a supernova within 66 AU. They stayed in front of the (presumably non-subspace) shockwave at full impulse.

Since DS9 (and the fleet) would have been well withing 60 AU from Bajor's star they might also be unable to escape on warp drive.

Also, in "Second Sight" they modified a ship to be able to hit "Warp 9.5" believing that would allow them to escape in case their experiment was going to cause a supernova .
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Old October 15 2012, 01:32 AM   #33
Crazy Eddie
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Re: TFF Shuttle

Have we considered the very real possibility that not all warp drives work the same way... that some ships can safely go to warp inside a solar system -- or even in an atmosphere -- while others are at risk of destroying themselves every time they try it.

They might not bother to specify one way or the other because it's something so fundamental to warp drive that it totally goes without saying. Sort of like NASA astronauts neglecting to explain (for the Audience's sake) why they never fire their maneuvering engines while they're next to a space station, while a Dragon and a Soyuz probably wouldn't have the same limitations.
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Old October 15 2012, 12:21 PM   #34
Timo
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Re: TFF Shuttle

I'm not sure how this would be helpful. The same Defiant that may be at risk warping inside the Bajor system in "By Inferno's Light" has no trouble warping inside the Bajor system in most other episodes, and the same Enterprise that slows to impulse in "BoBW" has no trouble warping inside other systems. This evidence would seem to rule out starship type as a factor, while offering two other possible factors: whether the ship catches a system at an opportune or inopportune time for a warp risk, and whether the ship flies in a system posing a warp risk (regardless of time) or in one not posing a risk.

Earlier in the episode, the crew comments that Voyager was one of only two ships that have ever observed a supernova within 66 AU.
Yeah, a good way to explain the threat to the resident fleets... Except for the fact that the same evidence also suggests they could have escaped at impulse speed.

Of course, we don't know what the real intent of the Dominion was in nova-bombing Bajor's star. All we have is hero speculation. Perhaps there was no nova-bomb at all - and the agent posing as Bashir turned part of himself into a bomb lookalike in order to pull a flashy stunt that would divert attention from the other agent aboard the station, at a time when exposure of the Bashir agent was inevitable?

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Old October 15 2012, 01:39 PM   #35
blssdwlf
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Re: TFF Shuttle

Timo wrote: View Post

Earlier in the episode, the crew comments that Voyager was one of only two ships that have ever observed a supernova within 66 AU.
Yeah, a good way to explain the threat to the resident fleets... Except for the fact that the same evidence also suggests they could have escaped at impulse speed.
Could have escaped if they were far enough away to start out at. 66 AU would be between the Kuiper belt and the heliosphere if it were the Sol system. That would mean the starships would need to be close to the outer edge of the system to have a chance...
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Old October 15 2012, 04:01 PM   #36
Timo
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Re: TFF Shuttle

But if the Voyager could stay ahead of the destruction front at full impulse (Tuvok says he can't escape three waves, in such a way that one gets the impression there was reasonable hope of escaping the one), should these ships not be capable of the same, regardless of distance?

Or is the ca. 500 minutes it takes for a near-lightspeed wave to cross the 60 AU the magical timespan that an average impulse drive takes to accelerate from zero to near-lightspeed? Sounds a bit high, comparing to the accelerations suggested in ST:TMP and perhaps "BoBW".

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Old October 16 2012, 05:10 AM   #37
blssdwlf
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Re: TFF Shuttle

Watching the episode again, it turns out the edge of the shockwave hits Voyager after about 20 or so seconds. (I didn't time it). Janeway orders Paris to stay ahead of the "brunt" of the wave. So it would appear that the edge of a supernova's shockwave is FTL. Whether the "brunt" is also FTL (but slower) or STL is unknown.
KIM: That's the edge of the shock wave. The pressure's over ninety kilopascals, thirty percent more than we predicted.
JANEWAY: Tom, back us off at full impulse. I want to stay ahead of the brunt of that wave.
Also it is unknown whether TOS' "All Our Yesterdays" has this same problem. TNG's "Generations" also had a nova event but the shockwave was definitely sublight (although it's been a while, did the leading edge of the shockwave reach E-D at FTL speed?)
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Old October 16 2012, 08:00 AM   #38
Timo
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Re: TFF Shuttle

We saw the star go dark well before the space station -pulverizing shockwave hit, so clearly there were two different rates of propagation there. But there was no evidence that the "darkening front" qualified as a harmful shockwave of any sort, and it certainly left the E-D perfectly capable of a warp 1 escape.

It does appear odd, though... There would probably be minutes of difference between the "darkening front" reaching the ship at lightspeed, and the ship's FTL sensors registering the star going dark. Why was the trouble first noted when the heroes saw the "darkening front" hit the portholes? Did nobody look at the viewscreen, where the same event should have been visible minutes before? It would actually be more consistent overall if the "darkening front" moved at FTL speed, and thus the sight of the star going dark reached the E-D almost simultaneously with the star going dark!

That way, we wouldn't have to insert a time delay into the darkening of the Veridian star, either - that phenomenon could also reach across the supposed 1-2 AU, 10-20 minute gap in an eyeblink and allow Soran to see his handiwork immediately.

Although the usual laws of nature can be argued to remain in force at Veridian, because there's no reason not to have an uninteresting gap in action after Soran fires the rocket and before the darkness reaches the planet. Why should the camera record two old men panting like huskies in summer heat, trying to catch their breath for ten minutes before trying to scale the steep cliffs again?

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Old October 16 2012, 06:30 PM   #39
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Re: TFF Shuttle

^ It's a minor datapoint that suggests at least some of the Enterprise's sensors operate at light speed only.
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Old October 17 2012, 04:03 AM   #40
blssdwlf
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Re: TFF Shuttle

After watching "All Our Yesterdays" it would appear that the TOS Enterprise has no problem warping away although it was technically called a "nova".

"Generations" is an odd duck alright. They see the explosion first with the flash at the cabin window. Then they confirm a "quantum implosion" that is sending a "level 12 shockwave" at them that will reach them in "4 minutes, 40 seconds". But interestingly, Riker says that the "star is going to collapse in a matter of minutes." This would suggest that the "level 12 shockwave" is not part of a "supernova" and that the supernova will occur a bit afterwards. The initial "light flash" does seem to be FTL though. Perhaps later when the Veridian star exploded the "immediate" light effect is normal in TNG star explosions?

So we have:
  • DS9 "Second Sight" - escape from a supernova is possible, especially at Warp 9.5 but timing is not specified. Is that before star goes supernova (since they are monitoring the star they could predict a supernova and react to it.)
  • DS9 "By Inferno's Light" - escape from a supernova not possible, no reason given
  • VOY "The Q and the Grey" - escape from a supernova at impulse power is possible if at least 66 AU away. Shockwave is FTL. Subspace shockwave from supernova collapses Voyager's warp field preventing warp escape.

  • TOS "All Our Yesterdays" - escape from a "nova" is possible, at maximum warp

  • TNG "Generations" - escape from a "level 12" shockwave is possible at warp speed. Unknown if the star went nova or supernova.
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Old October 17 2012, 11:21 AM   #41
Timo
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Re: TFF Shuttle

Technically, a "nova" today would be a very special phenomenon only applicable to white dwarf stars (and perhaps black holes) that have a companion star or other source of extra mass. The "Return to Tomorrow" phenomenon would not meet the current specs of what qualifies as a nova.

However, "nova" originally was a generic name for unexplained phenomena seen from afar and involving a star exploding into great brightness. Just because we today can explain what happens at those faraway stars to cause the phenomena we once classified under "nova" should not as such be grounds for limiting the use of "nova" to only those specific phenomena. The terminology of science is wrought with illogic anyway; here at least future mankind might have taken a few corrective steps and re-established "nova" as "like supernova, but smaller" (and perhaps also introduced things like "micronova"). These would encompass all the mechanisms capable of producing the big bang in question, and merely divide them into categories of magnitude of observed effect.

Who knows, perhaps "supernova" in the 23rd century is reserved for stellar explosions big enough to endanger the entire galaxy, while "nova" covers the things previously known as supernovae?

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