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

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Old December 12 2010, 10:22 PM   #1
Lorna
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Location: The Perseus Galactic Arm
The Future Of Federation Tech

I recently started a thread about the Federation having multiple ship classes and how I thought it was a little silly having so many. I agreed that they should have specific classes for specific roles but that this should really only require the Federation having 3 classes.

But I got to thinking and realised that the future of Federation technology will require them to only build one class of ship.

The Galaxy class and Prometheus class utilises the ability of separation and reconnection.

So all the Federation needs to do is design one class of vessel that has the ability to connect an extra section to the hull.

So for an example the Federation builds 5 of this new class of ship.
The 1st ship is for deep space exploration so the ship is connected to a deep space exploration module which houses extra crew quarters and extra science bays.
The 2nd ship is being sent to the Gorn border due to recent hostilities so this particular ship is connected to a battle module which contains extra weapons arrays, extra torpedo launchers, extra ordinance and a more powerful shield generator.
The 3rd ship is being sent on a rescue mission and needs to transfer several thousand people, so this ship is connected to a rescue module which houses extra facilities such as medical bays, quarters, replicators for aid replication etc
The 4th ship is for a diplomatic mission. Well, I'm sure you catch my drift.

There really is no need for a multitude of ship classes. All taht is required is one class of ship that has the capability of connecting to specific modules designed for specific types of missions.

The ships can of course function without the modules, the modules are just an added bonus to help that ship better function whilst on mission.

Imagine if during the Dominion war there was one class of ship and all those ships replaced their deep space modules, science modules etc with battle modules?
All the Federation ships would in an instant be transformed from scientific, exploratory and diplomatic ships in to ships prepared for full scale war.



The modules can also be of varying sizes, so the deep space module is not necessarily as large as the battle module.

Last edited by Lorna; December 12 2010 at 10:39 PM.
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Old December 12 2010, 11:01 PM   #2
Wingsley
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Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

... or the Dominion would have the advantage, having infiltrated the Federation, of being able to study and target the vulnerabilities of the Federation having "put all of its eggs in one basket" (design) and not having any others to fall back on.

Having said this, there are definite possibilities for technological improvement and improved maintenance by standardizing on a single "platform" with multiple ship types based on that platform. Your multiclass could be the standard basis for multiple types of cruisers. I think the best Sovereign-derived art I've seen on the web to follow this philosophy would have to be the Starship Poseidon. I started a thread about this a couple of years ago to see if anyone had any additional information on this beauty. You can read the reactions I solicited in that thread.

I was pleased with people's responses. I saw Poseidon as a possible late 24th century successor to the general line of cruiser-type Federation starships of the same ilk as the old Constitution and Intrepid/Voyager. My take on it was that after the Dominion War the Federation had limited resources, and they decided to consolidate starship classes and designs on fewer standardized platforms "to get the most bang for the buck." By utilizing the components of the existing Sovvie, Starfleet would be able to kill two birds with one stone by filling more than one classification of starship fleet on a single design.
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Old December 12 2010, 11:28 PM   #3
Lorna
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Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

Wingsley wrote: View Post
... or the Dominion would have the advantage, having infiltrated the Federation, of being able to study and target the vulnerabilities of the Federation having "put all of its eggs in one basket" (design) and not having any others to fall back on.
That makes no sense. How does having the one design automatically create a vulnerability?

Even without a module attached, the ship is still mission capable and still has the standard firepower of the other Federation ship classes such as the Intrepid. The modules simply add extra capability and therefore a ship of this class fitted with a battle module would be more powerful vs the Dominion.

It would be no different than the USS Voyager going into battle, the difference being that Voyager could be fitted with a battle module.

Did the Klingons prove weak against the Dominion with their very few ship classes? Were the Vor'Cha and Negh'Var ship vulnerable just because those were the two popular designs of their fleet?
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Old December 12 2010, 11:36 PM   #4
Lorna
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Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

To expand on the idea. These modules could be docked at space stations or at ship yards ready for use.
The modules could also be warp capable so they can head towards the ship they need to connect to. This way the ship and the module meet half way and make the module switch. So the ship can get back underway without travelling so far and the module that was dropped off can set it's own course to dock at the ship yard.

Thing is though, the ships wont need to keep changing modules all the time. If a ship is fitted with a science module that ship will spend the rest of it's days on those type of missions, only when the ships mission is changed will the module need changing.
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Old December 13 2010, 12:41 AM   #5
T'Girl
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Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

Sound like you're describing something like either the Oberth class (or as I call it, the Oh Boy Oberto class) with multiple attachable "pods," I've seen very nice kit bashes as a courier, scout, and as you've described, a corvette with twin torpedo pods and additional phasers. Or there is also Franz Joseph's tug, which could have pods attached to accommodate different mission requirements.

Lorna wrote: View Post
Even without a module attached, the ship is still mission capable and still has the standard firepower of the other Federation ship classes such as the Intrepid.
Why would a pure science vessel want to have all the fire power of a Intrepid? For years on end hauling around all that useless bulk, weight, and wasted internal volume? Time your crew could be putting to better uses (like prepping for science missions) spent maintaining multiple phaser banks and torpedo magazines.

Lorna wrote: View Post
It would be no different than the USS Voyager going into battle, the difference being that Voyager could be fitted with a battle module.
And where is the Voyager's extra propulsion going to come from? It is now being required to move around (likely) hundreds of tonnes of extra mass. And during combat maneuvers too. An environment where the ship need to be relieved of as much bulk as possible.

From "Heart Of Glory."
Korris: We have heard this ship can separate in time of battle.
Worf: Yes. When relieved of its bulk, the Enterprise becomes an exceptional weapon.
.
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Old December 13 2010, 12:51 AM   #6
Lorna
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Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

You're misunderstanding.

The Intrepid Class has regular armaments, same armaments of most Starfleet ships. No Starleet ships is built without adequate firepower. I don't think I've ever seen a Starfleet ship that did not have 2 fore and aft torpedo tubes and topside and underside phaser banks.

The Multiclass vessel will, like all Starfleet ships have these armaments.

Now as for my saying it would be like Voyager going into battle with a battle module I meant it would be like Voyager detaching the font of it's saucer and replacing it with a battle module. The whole point is the that Multiclass ship will have a detachable front section.

What I am trying to convey here is that the Multiclass ship could be similar to Voyager but with the front section of saucer capable of detachment and reattachment.

I was simply using Voyager as an example. The point being that the Multiclass ship can perform just as good as an Intrepid class can but during a time of war it could be given a new module that makes it far more powerful in battle.

Look at the ship in my avatar. Imagine that saucer made of 8 modules, you can either replace a single module or a full 8 modules at one time.
That's the new idea, my original really was only for the saucer being split into two with the front being the detachable module.
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Old December 13 2010, 12:54 AM   #7
Herkimer Jitty
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Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

Lorna wrote: View Post
There really is no need for a multitude of ship classes. All taht is required is one class of ship that has the capability of connecting to specific modules designed for specific types of missions.
Ha ha, no. In the future, there is still scarcity. Dilithium is extremely limited, there are components that can't be replicated, it takes a good deal of time to build a ship, and Starfleet does not have an unlimited supply of ships or people to staff them. Let's say you can only build one or two ship types, and the next thing you know, your frontline cruisers are tied up doing other stuff. There are a bunch of smaller ship classes to take the load off of the big cruisers. Imagine if the Enterprise is needed to research a negative space wedgie that might swallow a planet, but can't make it because they're having a standoff with some Romulans. Now imagine you have a ship designed to troubleshoot negative space wedgies, and your planet doesn't get eaten and you don't have to take your eyes off of the Romulans.

You need niche ships to fill niche roles, otherwise your jacks of all trades are too tied up filling those niches to do really important things, and too many people get hurt or die.
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Old December 13 2010, 01:08 AM   #8
Lorna
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Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
Lorna wrote: View Post
There really is no need for a multitude of ship classes. All taht is required is one class of ship that has the capability of connecting to specific modules designed for specific types of missions.
Ha ha, no. In the future, there is still scarcity. Dilithium is extremely limited, there are components that can't be replicated, it takes a good deal of time to build a ship, and Starfleet does not have an unlimited supply of ships or people to staff them. Let's say you can only build one or two ship types, and the next thing you know, your frontline cruisers are tied up doing other stuff. There are a bunch of smaller ship classes to take the load off of the big cruisers. Imagine if the Enterprise is needed to research a negative space wedgie that might swallow a planet, but can't make it because they're having a standoff with some Romulans. Now imagine you have a ship designed to troubleshoot negative space wedgies, and your planet doesn't get eaten and you don't have to take your eyes off of the Romulans.

You need niche ships to fill niche roles, otherwise your jacks of all trades are too tied up filling those niches to do really important things, and too many people get hurt or die.
Sorry but no.

Instead of having an Akira Class ship and an Intrepid Class ship there could be two Multiclass ships, one Multiclass has the battle module in place and the other one has the Science module in place.
The Multiclass with battle module can go take care of the Romulans and the other ship can go check out that negative space wedgie.

It would be no different than having those two separate classes of ship except that the Multiclass ships can swap roles whenever they wish by a simple change in module.
The Multiclass also allows ships to be given more weaponry and firepower in times of war.

Look at the ship in my avatar, the ship could be exactly the same design no matter what its role is, all it needs is the module necessary for the mission at hand.
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Old December 13 2010, 01:23 AM   #9
Herkimer Jitty
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Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

Yeah, and you'd also be sending about 200 more people or 200 less people than you need to each respective mission. And a bigger or smaller ship than you need.

Then there's the issue of propulsion systems - is the standardized ship class going to favor efficiency range and reliability, or power and speed? What happens when your enemy outlasts you or outspeeds you?

No design can be perfect and the less designs you rely on, the more you invite yourself to being outfoxed, outpowered, outgunned out-everythinged by the universe.

I am familiar with the Insignia-Class, and it is ingenious with its pie-slice saucer and its implementation would eliminate the need for so many mid-size cruiser designs like the Akira, Excelsior, Sovereign, etc., but wouldn't eliminate the need for small cheap scouts, survey ships, couriers, dedicated research ships, light escorts, etc. When you send a big ship to do a little ships job, you send more crewmembers and a larger hull than you need to get the job done.
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Old December 13 2010, 01:28 AM   #10
Lorna
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Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
Yeah, and you'd also be sending about 200 more people or 200 less people than you need to each respective mission. And a bigger or smaller ship than you need.

Then there's the issue of propulsion systems - is the standardized ship class going to favor efficiency range and reliability, or power and speed? What happens when your enemy outlasts you or outspeeds you?

No design can be perfect and the less designs you rely on, the more you invite yourself to being outfoxed, outpowered, outgunned out-everythinged by the universe.

I am familiar with the Insignia-Class, and it is ingenious with its pie-slice saucer and its implementation would eliminate the need for so many mid-size cruiser designs like the Akira, Excelsior, Sovereign, etc., but wouldn't eliminate the need for small cheap scouts, survey ships, couriers, dedicated research ships, light escorts, etc. When you send a big ship to do a little ships job, you send more crewmembers and a larger hull than you need to get the job done.
But I explained that the ships don't need the modules to function. The ships are fully functional and have all the regular weaponry of a regular Starfleet ship without the modules.

If all you want is a fast scout with a minimal crew then don't connect a module. It's THAT straight forward and simple.

You're under the mistaken impression that these ships are swapping modules every other day. That's not the case. One of these ships could use the same module throughout the ships entire lifespan. The ability to switch modules is a bonus.

You don't need different ship classes to perform different roles. All you need to do is change the layout/makeup of the saucer sections or if you want a scout ship just simply don't add the majority of the saucer section and the bit of saucer you do add make sure they have extra engines.

You asked the question What happens when your enemy outlasts you or outspeeds you?
Well can you not say that about ANY ship class?
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Old December 13 2010, 01:32 AM   #11
Herkimer Jitty
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Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

So, to have a scout with a minimal crew, you send a cruiser that would take more materials to build (Insignia) than a small science ship or scout (Nova)?

Right.
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Old December 13 2010, 01:50 AM   #12
Lorna
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Location: The Perseus Galactic Arm
Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
So, to have a scout with a minimal crew, you send a cruiser that would take more materials to build (Insignia) than a small science ship or scout (Nova)?

Right.
Again, you don't quite understand.

Maybe this makes it clearer.

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Old December 13 2010, 01:58 AM   #13
Herkimer Jitty
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Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

I do quite understand. At that size, its still a bigger ship than you'd need. Unless you plan on stripping down the rest of the hull, in which case having such a large reactor and warp engines is a questionable decision, so those get allocated to a ship that actually needs them while the engineering hull and nacelles are downsized and -my goodness, looks like I've created a new class of ship! How ever could that have happened? Could it be that those differences were necessitated by a need for them? Why yes, I believe they were.
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Old December 13 2010, 02:07 AM   #14
Lorna
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Location: The Perseus Galactic Arm
Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
I do quite understand. At that size, its still a bigger ship than you'd need. Unless you plan on stripping down the rest of the hull, in which case having such a large reactor and warp engines is a questionable decision, so those get allocated to a ship that actually needs them while the engineering hull and nacelles are downsized and -my goodness, looks like I've created a new class of ship! How ever could that have happened? Could it be that those differences were necessitated by a need for them? Why yes, I believe they were.
or, another way of looking at it is this:

Does the Federation need scout ships? What the hell are they scouting? The federation has sensors and space bases along it's borders. Any sign of movement and they can send a multiclass ship for a more detailed scouting.

By building scout ships they're wasting materials and resources, those scout ships likely see very little use and so they were built for nothing.

Any scouting that needs doing could be done by Multiclass ships, drop off the saucer section, go do the scouting and once the scouting is done the ship can re-attach the saucer section and actually do something else when scouting is no longer required.

Building scouts would be a waste of time when scouting is a minimal requirement.

But what the hell, let's have little scout ships for scouting. That still does not make any difference to the fact that a Multiclass ship can replace all other classes of vessel.

So the Federation can go from having dozens of ship classes to just two classes, a scout class and a multiclass.

Your entire argument has been based on the scout ship, I've just compromised with you on the scout ship and said we'll build scout ships. You now have no possible argument against the multiclass replacing all other classes.
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Old December 13 2010, 02:28 AM   #15
Herkimer Jitty
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Re: The Future Of Federation Tech

My argument does not rely on the scouts. I'm using them as an example of a niche role.

Your argument relies on the idea that the multiclass can replace everything, but fails to account for the fact that frontline ships aren't the only ship types and that mundane tasks better suited for cheap, rugged ships form the backbone of any fleet, such as - (off the top of my head)

-Escorts
-Transports
-High-speed Couriers
-Recovery Ships (For retrieving damaged starships)
-Carriers
-Survey ships
-Medical ships

It also fails to account for the amount of time and effort that replacing modules could take, and fails to take into account that Starfleet's ships are its frontline defense against any threat power, or extreme emergency.

At the end of the day, the Insignia-class is just a cruiser, and there are going to be logistics requirements. Every spaceframe has its limitations, every production line has its limitations. Smaller warp engines are easier to build, fewer replicators are easier to build.

Feel free to argue that the Insignia Multiclass would make a great recovery ship, or hospital ship. I'd love to see the Federation's frontline cruiser, and greatest defense against enemy starfleets recklessly used as a logistical support ship.

It may fly in fanfiction, but field it in theory in something like a real-time strategy game, and your opponent will destroy you with an armada of smaller, cheaper, more versatile ships, while your handful of larger multirole ships are spreading themselves thin trying to do everything.
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