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Old May 9 2014, 09:43 PM   #16
Christopher
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I'm reminded of a former discussion here about the awesome superweapon that is the transporter, and how rarely anyone in-universe or out seems to realize what it's capable of...
A discussion started by me, most likely, since that's one of my perennial complaints. (I mean, it can beam up entire shuttlecraft! That means it can totally disintegrate any spaceship components in a matter of seconds!)
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Old May 9 2014, 10:13 PM   #17
Enterprise1701
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

This occurred to me: maybe the Federation's reason for not using cloaks is because it's a moral betrayal of its civilians. Like the real-life debate over the U.S. military's drone warfare.
Then again, the Federation's rivals/enemies can all legally possess them, so that reason isn't likely.

Slightly related note: according to background graphics in Star Trek Into Darkness the Federation in AR 2259 is banned from using cloaks. Then in The Khitomer Conflict Section 31's starships have cloaking devices that are superior to those of the Romulans.
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Old May 9 2014, 10:36 PM   #18
Hartzilla2007
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
This occurred to me: maybe the Federation's reason for not using cloaks is because it's a moral betrayal of its civilians.
Okay what is the moral objection to an invisibility, other than some childish nonsense about fair play in possible interstellar conflict?

I mean seriously it turns the ship invisible, its not a freaking WMD.
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Old May 9 2014, 10:58 PM   #19
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
Slightly related note: according to background graphics in Star Trek Into Darkness the Federation in AR 2259 is banned from using cloaks.
One can't take those graphics too seriously. They weren't meant to be an actual part of the story, just a bit of background texture that cannibalized a bunch of prior Trek ideas to fill space on the screen. Any such anachronistic references should probably be taken more as placeholder text than canonical information.
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Old May 10 2014, 01:25 AM   #20
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

I seem to recall that in TNG Borg arc stories from 2005/2007 (possible "Resistance") it was mentioned that all Starfleet vessels have cloaking devices, but they can only be activated with a series of codes supplied by the Admiralty, and only in times great need (of course in the book, at the time that Janeway and Picard used it, the Romulan Empire was divided and Janeway felt that the Treaty was no longer in place).
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Old May 10 2014, 07:51 AM   #21
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
As you say it's down to the Treaty of Algeron, and once again as you say we don't know why, perhaps the Romulan's gave up something in the treaty that was equally valuable to the Federation.
I seem to remember the Romulans' concession was to limit the speeds of their warp drives. Can't remember where I heard it. But I do remember in "Tin Man," the Romulan warbird crew had to tear out their engine safeties just to keep up with the Enterprise-D on the way to Gomtuu.
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Old May 10 2014, 03:46 PM   #22
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

Christopher wrote: View Post
It would pretty much have to. But the point is, despite how it's portrayed in the visual medium of television, the important part of cloaking a ship isn't invisibility to the eye. So other forms of invisibility, like holographic isolation suits, are a different matter.

Really, if you think about it, basic invisibility is integral to holodeck/suite technology. A holosimulation involves concealing the walls, floor, and ceiling of the chamber, and often involves creating the illusion that people who are actually standing within a few meters of each other are much further apart or even unseen by one another due to intervening structures. For instance, if you enter a holographic Baker Street, climb the steps to 221B, knock on the door, and are allowed in to find Data Holmes and Geordi Watson within, you don't see them until you get to that part of the simulated environment, but in reality, they've been in the same smallish room with you the whole time. What is that if not invisibility?
All true, but invisibility is still a form/type of Cloaking Technology (as I said previously) AND one that doesn't break the Treaty of Algeron.

So yes, the Federation has the ability to cloak objects, but it's the Grade-School version whereas the Romulans (and I guess Klingons) have the Masters and Doctorate Level version of cloaks that eliminate ALL emissions and telltales you can imagine. (That is until the Federation comes along and figures out another way to pick up on them.)

I think the term "Cloak" is rather all encompassing really, Regardless of semantics if something negates an active/passive scan, then that's object is being cloaked from detection. Whether it's a Ships Cloaking Device or a Land Based Holographic construct that blends seamlessly into a natural formation that is tuned to appear inert on active sensors. An Invisibility suit for Pre-Warp Contact Situations, or Stealth tech to block active scans.

They all preform the task of Cloaking an object, entrance, person, or emission in the manner intended, they just go about it in different ways and with varying levels of success.
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Last edited by Technobuilder; May 11 2014 at 09:17 AM.
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Old May 10 2014, 04:43 PM   #23
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

If you want a detailed explanation of the events leading to the treaty of Algernon and why the Federation agreed to it the read the TLE book "Serpents among the Ruins". The Real-World explanation is, of course, than Gene Roddenberry believed that "good guys" don't sneak around using a cloak.
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Old May 10 2014, 04:46 PM   #24
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

jedimaster wrote: View Post
If you want a detailed explanation of the events leading to the treaty of Algernon and why the Federation agreed to it the read the TLE book "Serpents among the Ruins".
That's the Treaty of Algeron. The Treaty of Algernon was the agreement not to perform intelligence experiments on lab mice.
(Clearly Acme Labs was not a signatory. What do you want to do tonight, Brain?)

The Real-World explanation is, of course, than Gene Roddenberry believed that "good guys" don't sneak around using a cloak.
More likely, the real-world explanation is that an invisible lead starship isn't a good idea in a visual medium like television.
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Old May 10 2014, 06:58 PM   #25
Enterprise1701
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

Something occurred to me. If the shady Starfleet officers under then-Captain Pressman on the U.S.S. Pegasus apparently independently developed a semi-operable phase cloaking device, then is it too much of a leap to assume that regular Starfleet vessels in the 2370s/2380s would have little to no trouble installing standard cloaking devices (assuming that the materials aren't rare)? After all, in the post-Destiny novels the Romulan Star Empire gives its allies standard cloaking devices which work fine.
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Old May 10 2014, 11:37 PM   #26
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

Enterprise1701 wrote: View Post
...then is it too much of a leap to assume that regular Starfleet vessels in the 2370s/2380s would have little to no trouble installing standard cloaking devices (assuming that the materials aren't rare)?
Sure, you could install them, but as I said, there's a fundamental diminishing-returns problem when it comes to power generation: the more power a ship generates, the harder it is to cloak. The kinds of ships that cloaks work best on are stripped-down battleships with no luxuries or non-military functions. And Starfleet rarely uses ships like that.
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Old May 10 2014, 11:56 PM   #27
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

BritishSeaPower wrote: View Post
My feeling on this is that the Treaty probably only prohibits ship mounted cloaks?
Possible, but an alternate theory might be that the Treaty prohibits mounting cloaks on ships with capital ship class weapons. Putting a cloak on a duckblind or even using one to hide an unarmed transport ship probably doesn't concern the Romulans, but cloaking a ship that poses a threat to their ships or worlds certainly would.
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Old May 11 2014, 03:02 AM   #28
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

^As I said, there's a lot more to a ship cloaking device than the kind of invisibility you'd need for an anthropological duck blind or isolation suit. For the latter, you just have to block visible light (in whatever spectrum is visible to the species you're observing). For the former, the important part is blocking everything else -- since hiding in visible light is the easy part. So they are not the same technology at all. They're broadly the same category of technology -- ways to hide things -- but they're quite distinct ways of doing so.
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Old May 12 2014, 10:28 PM   #29
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

Is there any legal restriction on the use of nadion-pulse cannons by the Federation?
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Old May 12 2014, 10:59 PM   #30
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Re: Why can't the Federation use cloaking technology?

A nadion pulse is part of the operation of a phaser. So a nadion pulse cannon would just be a phaser variant.
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