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

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Old December 12 2012, 05:09 AM   #1
GalacticWierdo
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Bussard Collectors could actually be useful at warp speed?

So I was reading This article today, and it says that warp drive would essentially have to potential to sweep up all the interstellar radiation and particles it comes across and release it all in a big burst when it stops, creating a wave of catastrophe, essentially. That got me thinking; could the Bussard collectors work as a cosmic dustpan, cleaning up the radiation and particles from the warp field, and potentially using them to power the ship?
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Old December 12 2012, 05:37 AM   #2
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Bussard Collectors could actually be useful at warp speed?

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Bussard_collector

Your theory makes sense. Especially since particles can be caught around the warp field like in the article.
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Old December 12 2012, 09:04 AM   #3
sojourner
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Re: Bussard Collectors could actually be useful at warp speed?

Are you guys mixing trecknology and real science?
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Old December 12 2012, 09:42 PM   #4
Ronald Held
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Re: Bussard Collectors could actually be useful at warp speed?

In the our universe, said collectors have a drag that limit speeds to sublight. I suspect that would happen under warp drive.
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Old December 12 2012, 10:06 PM   #5
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Bussard Collectors could actually be useful at warp speed?

Ronald Held wrote: View Post
In the our universe, said collectors have a drag that limit speeds to sublight. I suspect that would happen under warp drive.
http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_sp_ms.html#friction

Yes there is friction in space, but the amount is so miniscule that you wouldn't really notice it.

I think what limit's a vessel is the "Theory of Special Relativity" not drag from the Bussard collectors.

According to Star Trek rules / logic, you cannot break the Speed of Light barrier without warp drive.

No matter how good your impulse engine is, you cannot go FTL without activating warp engines.
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Old December 13 2012, 12:32 PM   #6
Robert Comsol
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Re: Bussard Collectors could actually be useful at warp speed?

I do not hold a PhD in astrophysics but if I read the article correctly the core issue is essentially the application of exotic "negative matter" (or energy), not be confused with "antimatter" or "dark matter" (quite a euphemism for something that actually is invisible and an issue even Professor Stephen Hawking seems to prefer to avoid ).

If I recall correctly the application of negative matter for spaceship propulsion is the brainchild of Professor Forward. Put at the end of a spaceship the negative matter's repelling effect suppossedly would propel the ship forward and also all the cosmic particles in front of it.

In contrast the Star Trek warp engines contract ("warp") the fabric of space to cut down interstellar length and travel.

According to Professor Hawking the biggest problem in the context for Star Trek would be that by changing the fabric of space you also change time. But then, according to "The Cage" they had possibly overcome difficulties of the "time warp barrier".

Sufficient to know it works very well - like the infamous Heisenberg compensators . Just my 0.02 $

Bob
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Old December 13 2012, 02:48 PM   #7
T'Girl
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Re: Bussard Collectors could actually be useful at warp speed?

KamenRiderBlade wrote: View Post
No matter how good your impulse engine is, you cannot go FTL without activating warp engines.
That would depend on how the impulse engine works.

Is it just a sophisticated fusion rocket engine? Or is it a "baby" warp drive of some sort, optimized for slower than light travel, but capable of minor FTL in a pinch?

The latter would make the Enterprise's ability to reach Delta Vega is WNMHGB easier to understand.

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Old December 13 2012, 08:26 PM   #8
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Bussard Collectors could actually be useful at warp speed?

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Impulse_drive

Fusion Rocket that shoots out Plasma
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Old December 13 2012, 10:14 PM   #9
Santaman
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Re: Bussard Collectors could actually be useful at warp speed?

^^ Fusion reactor that first of all powers the driver coil assembly and then exhausts the hot reactant matter, its a baby warp drive, there's no other way to have it accelerate a star ship that fast with such little amounts of fuel, the exhaust itself doesn't do much at all else Ent-E would blow the nacelles from their pylons everytime they use the impulse engines.
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Old December 14 2012, 08:19 AM   #10
GalacticWierdo
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Re: Bussard Collectors could actually be useful at warp speed?

So what I was thinking about with the collectors:

The ship has small steam turbines positioned in the nacelles and larger ones in the engineering hull for power generation. To jump to warp, the warp field is generated, and the warp nacelles start up. I have an idea that the "warp coils" could possibly be spinning superconductors. Maybe. But anyway, when the ship reaches warp speed and begins sweeping up radiation and other junk, it could be absorbed SOMEHOW, and used to heat a liquid to steam in the nacelles, running a turbine to generate electricity to spin the coils, essentially a self-propelled space vacuum-cleaner. Any energy that can't be used could be stored, or vented off slowly (Maybe that's why the nacelle "caps" and later the nacelle grilles glow?)

Possibly bits of the warp field are somehow pinched off and channeled to the nacelles periodically, the way a cell pinches off bits of its membrane to act as food containers.
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Old December 16 2012, 04:59 AM   #11
Ian Keldon
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Re: Bussard Collectors could actually be useful at warp speed?

Santaman wrote: View Post
^^ Fusion reactor that first of all powers the driver coil assembly and then exhausts the hot reactant matter, its a baby warp drive, there's no other way to have it accelerate a star ship that fast with such little amounts of fuel, the exhaust itself doesn't do much at all else Ent-E would blow the nacelles from their pylons everytime they use the impulse engines.
I wouldn't call it a "baby warp drive" as it doesn't actually propel the ship FTL. It uses a specially tuned warp field to "compress" the plasma exhaust to provide higher thrust than it ordinarily would.

Otherwise it's pretty much a standard fusion engine.
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Old December 17 2012, 04:11 AM   #12
T'Girl
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Re: Bussard Collectors could actually be useful at warp speed?

Ian Keldon wrote: View Post
I wouldn't call it a "baby warp drive" as it doesn't actually propel the ship FTL. It uses a specially tuned warp field to "compress" the plasma exhaust to provide higher thrust than it ordinarily would.
It does contain many of the same components and systems of a warp drive. It employs a fusion reactor vs a M/AM reactor (warp core). Both enclose the ship in a subspace field, lowering the ship's mass. Drive coils, and warp coils are basically the samething, both are what actually moves the ship. The output of plasma does provide some propulsion, but not much, it's largely used to power the system. On impulse, the Enterprise can accelerate at several hundred gravities, a fusion engine alone could produce a few gees at most. And exhaust all the ship's availible fuel in less than a minute.

Could this system move the ship at a lower warpspeed? I think the potential is there.

Otherwise it's pretty much a standard fusion engine.
No, there is a "standard fusion engine" at it's core. but the technology wrapped around that engine makes it very much nonstandard.

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Old December 18 2012, 06:23 AM   #13
GalacticWierdo
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Re: Bussard Collectors could actually be useful at warp speed?

It seems to me that it would be more effective to use the same system that moves the ship at warp to move it at sublight, I.E. an artificial negative-positive gravitational field, as that would tend to keep crew members from getting squashed by acceleration g-forces. It would of course necessitate RCS thrusters to change direction since nacelles only point forward and backward.
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