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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 21 2013, 08:57 AM   #1
blssdwlf
Commodore
 
Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

For those interested here is a quick comparison of the cargo hauling capabilities of the TMP Enterprise (Constitution), Reliant, Excelsior and Constellation classes.

The TMP Enterprise we know the most about. Her secondary hull has 8,707m3 for cargo and 12,740m3 for the shuttlebay. The combined volume for both cargo and shuttlebay is 21,447m3.

Because we don't know as much about the other classes as to how and where different sections are partitioned off, the comparison will subtract the Enterprise engineering volume of 32,220m3 from the other ship's secondary hull to get an estimate of how much combined cargo and shuttlebay volume they have.

Reliant's combined cargo+shuttlebay volume is 52,601m3 or 2.5x Constitution's.

Excelsior's combined cargo+shuttlebay volume is 157,738m3 or 7.4x Constitution's.

Constellation's combined cargo+shuttlebay volume is 341,789m3 or 15.9x Constitution's. However the primary hull is part of the body so if we subtract out the same amount of primary hull volume the Constitution has then the combined cargo+shuttlebay volume is 310,356m3 or 14.4x Constitution's.

Real world-wise there were various factors that resulted in the Constitution's permanent retirement such as the model was difficult to film, handle and maintain compared to the other models.

In-universe, we can note that the other classes can haul quite a bit more cargo making them far more useful than the Constitutions during a time of expansion and peace post-TUC. The cigar shaped secondary hull on the Constitutions is the limiting factor, IMHO.

(Click to make bigger)
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Old September 21 2013, 07:12 PM   #2
Nob Akimoto
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Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

I'd imagine part of the Constitution's eventual demise was that it simply didn't have the hull volume to mount new equipment and expand the facilities to new standards. The secondary hull design is certainly a huge limitation there.
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Old September 21 2013, 08:31 PM   #3
zDarby
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Location: NorCal
Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

I think you have a good point. even if you rely on replicators, your range is still limited by the amount of cargo you can carry.

And your effectiveness at mounting new, up to date hardware.

I like your models. Are they yours? Is that Blender?
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Old September 22 2013, 02:36 AM   #4
Praetor
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Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

Fascinating comparison - I'm inclined to agree that the limited space available in the Constitution secondary hull would have helped do her in.
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Old September 22 2013, 03:49 AM   #5
blssdwlf
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Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

@All - thanks

@zDarby - I modeled the ships in Lightwave. These are just low-poly versions that I use to run the AreaVolume plugin.
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Old September 22 2013, 10:11 PM   #6
publiusr
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Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

I think the ST:TMP novel had something about a billion ton super spacer. The closest thing I remember seeing to it was in Sternbach's chronology, when you had this pattern of tugs, not unlike the pattern Wesley's friends got in trouble with--towing a container that looked larger than what a Ptolemy carries.
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Old September 23 2013, 07:03 AM   #7
zDarby
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Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

Well, I like your work. These show good shape and form without being poly heavy. Well done.

And I never considered the volume of Constitution to be a possible detriment before. I mean, I knew Miranda had more volume but I figured Ptolemy, Hermes, etc had considerably less. But, thinking about it, you're right. Having opened up so large a volume of the galaxy means you need more volume in your vessel. Connie's own success was the reason for her retirement.
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Old September 23 2013, 09:57 AM   #8
Robert Comsol
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Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

I really love the idea of such calculations (still remember the volume of TOS Enterprise's impulse engines in its WIP thread), but I have a few questions / issues:
  • Constellation Class: There seems to be a lack of quarters for the ship's personnel and I'm unable to find the engineering section. It must not necessarily be twice as big as Enterprise's but I'd say 4 nacelles require corresponding engine room space.
  • Excelsior Class: I believe the chasm (unless occupied my mission specific modules that could qualify as cargo) allows to take smaller vessels "aboard". IMHO, quite an improvement over the TOS Enterprise. Supposed it's an Orion vessel these suicidal maniacs could take out the entire TOS Enterprise by exploding their ship inside the shuttlebay. Try this in the chasm of the Excelsior, most of such an explosion would probably vanish through the opening and cause much less damage.
  • Miranda Class: From the TOS Enterprise to the TNG Enterprise it had been established that any shuttlebay doors work mechanically and don't glow like these stern features of Reliant and her sisters or cousins. IMO these are merely inserts for cylindrical cargo containers (curiously ST II is the only film to mention "cargo containers" ) which could also be attached to these areas above. I can't really see the need why every starship has to have shuttlecraft (but apparently these areas were used for such purposes in the pilot DS9 episode).
Bob
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Old September 23 2013, 11:10 PM   #9
blssdwlf
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Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

@Bob - answers below...

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
  • Constellation Class: There seems to be a lack of quarters for the ship's personnel and I'm unable to find the engineering section. It must not necessarily be twice as big as Enterprise's but I'd say 4 nacelles require corresponding engine room space.

The primary hull volume on the Constitution is approx 123,000m3. The Constellation is 91,576m3 but it's an odd shape so what I did was subtract the difference of 31,000m3 from the cargo+engineering volume to get a left-over of 310,356m3. That way the equivalent volume is available for crew on the Constellation. Even if the engineering volume doubled to 64,000m3, the left over volume is still an amazing 278,000m3 or 12x the Constitution's combined cargo+shuttlebay volume.



Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
  • Miranda Class: From the TOS Enterprise to the TNG Enterprise it had been established that any shuttlebay doors work mechanically and don't glow like these stern features of Reliant and her sisters or cousins. IMO these are merely inserts for cylindrical cargo containers (curiously ST II is the only film to mention "cargo containers" ) which could also be attached to these areas above. I can't really see the need why every starship has to have shuttlecraft (but apparently these areas were used for such purposes in the pilot DS9 episode).
I tend to think of the shuttlebay as the "other" cargo bay when the regular cargo area fills up
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Old September 23 2013, 11:13 PM   #10
blssdwlf
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Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

zDarby wrote: View Post
Well, I like your work. These show good shape and form without being poly heavy. Well done.

And I never considered the volume of Constitution to be a possible detriment before. I mean, I knew Miranda had more volume but I figured Ptolemy, Hermes, etc had considerably less. But, thinking about it, you're right. Having opened up so large a volume of the galaxy means you need more volume in your vessel. Connie's own success was the reason for her retirement.
Thanks zDarby

I had attempted to catalog all the different missions the TOS Enterprise went on and it was quite a spread which included cargo runs and evacuations. I can only imagine from an in-universe perspective more trunk space meant more savings in time and money.
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Old September 24 2013, 06:39 AM   #11
zDarby
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Location: NorCal
Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
... the Constitution is approx 123,000m3. The Constellation is 91,576m...

This is obviously a type-O.
What's the right number?
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Old September 24 2013, 02:13 PM   #12
blssdwlf
Commodore
 
Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

@zDarby - The smaller Constellation number is due to the way the primary hull is assembled and the way I cut the volume up. You can see in this screen cap that the Constellation takes just the top of the Constitution primary hull and puts one on the top and one on the bottom of the thick body. The volume for those top pieces added together is 91,576m3. To get the rest of the equivalent primary hull volume you would then subtract it from the combined cargo+engineering volume. In that sense, the Constellation is pretty flexible in how much volume can be designated for people, shuttles, cargo and engineering. Here is a graphic of how it is sliced up.


Last edited by blssdwlf; September 25 2013 at 06:54 AM.
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Old September 27 2013, 02:27 AM   #13
zDarby
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Location: NorCal
Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

OH!
I see!
OK, I totally misunderstood you.
Yeah. that makes sense.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks.
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Old September 28 2013, 02:47 AM   #14
Chuck4
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Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

This is a nice theory, but for what role ever depicted in movies or the series did starships really need tens of thousands of cubic meters of cargo space? These aren't freighters.

As to support long voyages, even if a crew of 500 drank only stored potable water and ete only cold preserved produce, and recycled nothing, they would still consume only about 600 metric tons of provision, requiring only about 1000 cubic meters of cargo space, to last 1 year without resupply. The afore mentioned 8000 cubic meter can last enterprise and crew from beginning of 5 year mission to end of TMP refit.
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Old September 28 2013, 03:03 AM   #15
blssdwlf
Commodore
 
Re: Starship Cargo Volumes Compared

Personally I think the "5 year" consumables were stored in the primary hull and the cargo bay is for hauling cargo to different locations.

Just doing a tally on the TOS episodes I counted up references and dialogue for the TOS Enterprise that would suggest that she had assigned patrol areas, made routine facilities and expedition checks while dropping off or picking up cargo, cargo delivery or transfer of medical and fumigation supplies and ferried people and their cargo around in addition to the exploring duties.

This list is by no means complete, but it might be of interest to those that wonder what missions the Enterprise did during those three seasons:

Cargo Run = 14
Diplomatic = 10
Patrol = 5* The Enterprise has an assigned Patrol Area which limited the scope of the other missions.
Science = 7
Star Mapping = 1
Survey = 9
Transport = 20
Checkup on Location = 3
Distress/Emergency Call = 14
Espionage = 1
Evacuation = 3
Explore = 2
Intercept Spaceships / Police = 4
Medical Aid = 5
Military / Alien Invasion Defense = 6
Training = 1
New Equipment Testing = 1
Monster = 7
Rescue = 4
Search and Recover = 3
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