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Old January 7 2013, 02:31 AM   #46
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Caseless Torpedoes

Timo wrote: View Post
You know where you probably WOULDN'T stick an infrared sensor? On the actual bullet.
Except that this is exactly what you do when you want the sensor to guide the steerable bullet.
No, because the sensor stops working as soon as you fire it. It's hard to mount a sensor to a projectile that is subject to a huge amount of energy at launch. Likewise, a propulsion system powerful enough to envelop an entire photon torpedo and completely mask its physical presence from all observers probably wouldn't be very good for an onboard sensor either.

torpedoes are just torpedoes
Your opinion has been noted.


blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Speaking off glowing objects... in TOS, high power output ships like the Orion ship was glowing hot. Also Mudd's ship too was glowing when he pushed it too far. It would seem reasonable then a photon torpedo in flight has such a high power output that it could glow so bright to obscure the casing (since it is the source of the glow).
That wouldn't explain the same effect post-TOS, though, especially in the movie era where FX capabilities have expanded significantly.

Still of considerable interest to me is why photon torpedoes do not usually look like this. It seems instead to be a special case of a torpedo that has been modified to propel itself out of the tube in a slow controlled burn instead of discharging all its energy into a destructive bolt. At least in this case, what we're seeing is explicitly suggestive of a rocket-propelled projectile, while normal depictions of photon torpedoes are less so.
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Old January 7 2013, 07:29 AM   #47
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Re: Caseless Torpedoes

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
You know where you probably WOULDN'T stick an infrared sensor? On the actual bullet.
Except that this is exactly what you do when you want the sensor to guide the steerable bullet.
No, because the sensor stops working as soon as you fire it. It's hard to mount a sensor to a projectile that is subject to a huge amount of energy at launch. Likewise, a propulsion system powerful enough to envelop an entire photon torpedo and completely mask its physical presence from all observers probably wouldn't be very good for an onboard sensor either.
Have you read about the steerable bullet with the optical sensor mounted on the nose?

Also, since the the Orion ship from "Journey to Babel" was completely enveloped by glowing energy as it zipped by (original FX) and it was able to maneuver and attack the Enterprise it would seem that glowing field doesn't prohibit sensor operations.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Speaking off glowing objects... in TOS, high power output ships like the Orion ship was glowing hot. Also Mudd's ship too was glowing when he pushed it too far. It would seem reasonable then a photon torpedo in flight has such a high power output that it could glow so bright to obscure the casing (since it is the source of the glow).
That wouldn't explain the same effect post-TOS, though, especially in the movie era where FX capabilities have expanded significantly.
I don't understand what you mean here.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Still of considerable interest to me is why photon torpedoes do not usually look like this.
I had thought that the difference was the flight and payload. A fully-fueled, explosive photon torpedo would have the characteristic powered super glow field while the "Spock's casket" version probably only had enough fuel to get it near the Genesis planet. Spock's torpedo casket did do a short initial glow before it glided into the Genesis atmosphere.

The "Dark Frontier" torpedo would be an armed, but not fueled, photon torpedo which lacked the glow but still could explode.
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Old January 7 2013, 09:19 AM   #48
Timo
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Re: Caseless Torpedoes

No, because the sensor stops working as soon as you fire it. It's hard to mount a sensor to a projectile that is subject to a huge amount of energy at launch.
No, that's trivial. Even vacuum tube electronics were routinely installed aboard high muzzle velocity anti-aircraft ammunition almost a century ago; today, a Copperhead-type round mounts the very type of sensor you specify while subjecting it to immense accelerations. And of course, Trek instrumentation would be immune to acceleration anyway, as Starfleet has mastered inertia control.

The ST6 torpedo corkscrewed through space under guidance from an onboard sensor. Proving the opposite requires something way heftier than what you have to offer so far.

Likewise, a propulsion system powerful enough to envelop an entire photon torpedo and completely mask its physical presence from all observers probably wouldn't be very good for an onboard sensor either.
That's merely a matter of spectral windows. Also, if a cloaked vessel can see but not be seen, problems of this sort pale in comparison.

Amusingly, infrared sensors would appear a poor idea for a weapon that is subjected to a lot of air friction, but have been among the most reliable sensors for such weapons for about as long as the weapons have existed.

Spock's torpedo casket did do a short initial glow before it glided into the Genesis atmosphere.
One wonders if the glow, with its atypical tail, wasn't purely for show...

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Old January 7 2013, 01:20 PM   #49
Merry Christmas
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Re: Caseless Torpedoes

Timo wrote: View Post
Spock's torpedo casket did do a short initial glow before it glided into the Genesis atmosphere.
One wonders if the glow, with its atypical tail, wasn't purely for show...
Perhaps something like the decorative smoke that trails behind a fighter plane during a airshow. The red glow was ceremonial and deliberate. It was the same general color as the officer's uniform jacket.

Traditionally employed during funerals.

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Old January 7 2013, 03:38 PM   #50
Timo
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Re: Caseless Torpedoes

The part where Spock's burial tube "must have soft-landed" due to "gravitational fields [..] in flux" surprises everybody. Is it because

a) Spock's coffin was expected to burn up in atmospheric entry?
b) Spock's coffin was not originally aimed at the planet at all?
c) Spock's coffin would in normal circumstances have been buried deep in bedrock, even if still intact?

The first option would indicate that the coffin, despite being an explicit Mk IV photon torpedo casing, would be of feeble construct. Bad news for Kirk and friends in ST5, then, as terminal guidance by physical means wouldn't have been possible with the torpedo that hit God and gave the heroes time to escape. But in that scene, and in many others, torpedoes and comparable devices indeed accurately hit planetside targets, typically exhibiting the classic glow while doing so:

http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/albu...penpals245.jpg

So, guided balls of energy after all, leaving the feeble cartridge in the launcher? Not necessarily even in option a). After all, the very glow (from the drive or whatnot) may affect survival in atmospheric entry, and the glow from Spock's coffin wasn't of the classic torpedo type and in any case appeared to dim down before the torp hit the horizon (or the atmosphere) and the lightshow was taken over by the sunrise.

That the casing would be so easily combustible (whether in flight or at launcher) is not my favorite interpretation anyway. But the durability by which they enter bedrock or the outer layers of a star may be due to shielding alone. FWIW, shielding is quoted as the explicit means of survival in "Half a Life".

In any case, a photon torpedo is a valid means of physically delivering a payload to a destination in dozens of episodes using the terminology and doing the VFX. That's a trick energy bolts would have great difficulty pulling off. (Greater, perhaps, than phasers, which for their part use terminology curiously similar to that of transporters, and may indeed be weaponized transporters of some sort.)

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Old January 7 2013, 07:34 PM   #51
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Re: Caseless Torpedoes

IIRC, in the Vonda McIntyre novelization, Saavik deliberately ignores the order to program for a reentry that would burn up the casket, and instead programs for a soft landing. Whether that was based on omitted script info, or the writer simply trying to generate a plausible hook for a retcon, I don't know, but it would explain the surprise.
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Old January 7 2013, 08:29 PM   #52
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Caseless Torpedoes

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
Except that this is exactly what you do when you want the sensor to guide the steerable bullet.
No, because the sensor stops working as soon as you fire it. It's hard to mount a sensor to a projectile that is subject to a huge amount of energy at launch. Likewise, a propulsion system powerful enough to envelop an entire photon torpedo and completely mask its physical presence from all observers probably wouldn't be very good for an onboard sensor either.
Have you read about the steerable bullet with the optical sensor mounted on the nose?
I have. DARPA's been working on this since about 2005. The major technical hurdle is trying to figure out how to get the bullet's guidance system to still function properly after a 2000G acceleration at the moment of firing.

Never heard of this new company, though. If they've solved that problem, it might actually work, but along with the sudden jump in temperature as well as acceleration, it's a pretty big problem to solve.

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
That wouldn't explain the same effect post-TOS, though, especially in the movie era where FX capabilities have expanded significantly.
I don't understand what you mean here.
Simply put, we never see a ship that looks like this ever again after TOS. And the remastered version all but implies that we probably SHOULDN'T have seen something like that in the first place.
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Old January 8 2013, 02:17 AM   #53
blssdwlf
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Re: Caseless Torpedoes

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
That wouldn't explain the same effect post-TOS, though, especially in the movie era where FX capabilities have expanded significantly.
I don't understand what you mean here.
Simply put, we never see a ship that looks like this ever again after TOS. And the remastered version all but implies that we probably SHOULDN'T have seen something like that in the first place.
Well the remastered version makes enough changes to put the two as alternate universe variations. As to post-TOS effects, I'm not aware of any ship quite like the Orion's overloaded super powerful ship. Even the Defiant doesn't qualify since the Orion ship was fast and retained full power for attack.
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Old January 9 2013, 02:15 PM   #54
Timo
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Re: Caseless Torpedoes

FWIW, every Starfleet ship in TNG glows to an equal, physicality-obscuring degree when she enters warp.

Perhaps the glow of warp entry is the sign of straining engines, and there is a special degree of strain involved in the rapid accelerations to warp seen in TNG (much more rapid than any of the TOS movement), but not in the gentler accelerations that follow the initial jump from STL to FTL.

Only uncrewed equipment and madmen would engage in constant strain, of course. This would explain not only the onscreen glow of photon torpedoes (a tradeoff between safety and speed, going fully in favor of the latter), but also the onscreen mysteries of tiny or ancient probes that seem to outperform the best starships of the corresponding era (things like Friendship 1 must be glowing like mad to cross quadrants, but this always happens offscreen)!

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Old January 12 2013, 09:25 PM   #55
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Re: Caseless Torpedoes

I think the Orion ship was a spherical design--the non-remastered version. I would explain it as a manned torpedo of huge size just trying to ram a ship but it bounced off.
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