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

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Old August 17 2008, 08:34 PM   #46
Plecostomus
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

Oh I'm well aware of stackup, one humorous example involved a young fabrication apprentice who ran everything at the low end of the tolerance only to find the 80' pipe manifold stack he built was four inches too short when installed in an apartment complex. Yeah I got yelled at for that one.

Now there are SPC programs and software out there that let you punch in your measurement... Say my twelve foot section has two flanges on the end and I hold the length of the part 12' minus .005"

You tell the software that you ran that section UNDERSIZE and when you pull up the program for the next item in the assembly it warns you that the previous part was .005" undersized and prompts you to run the next part in such a way that the part still assembles. If I ran the first part and the second part both undersize there is a good chance that it might not work as intended.

400 years from now they'll have expert systems in place that take what I describe to a whole new level. Virtual energy-based tooling with nanobot assisted die lubes and stroke repeatability to .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 01mm (yes we'll be metric by then ) the press-brakes that form the plates of a Galaxy Class starship will be very very different than what I run today.

...and they will STILL have the AMADA logo on them.
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Old August 17 2008, 08:45 PM   #47
Plecostomus
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post

So you can hold to .001" on a coined sheetmetal bend... good for you. (I usually expect something on the order of .0003" for a coined feature in an aerospace environment).
Frigging aerospace. I'll stick with my envelope-cramming-and-sorting machines and $15,000 movie-studio light fixtures.

BTW how big of a lot are we talking on your example above? I've blown out tools trying to hold the .001 on a coining operation in about 150 parts.
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Old August 17 2008, 10:05 PM   #48
Cary L. Brown
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

Plecostomus wrote: View Post
Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post

So you can hold to .001" on a coined sheetmetal bend... good for you. (I usually expect something on the order of .0003" for a coined feature in an aerospace environment).
Frigging aerospace. I'll stick with my envelope-cramming-and-sorting machines and $15,000 movie-studio light fixtures.

BTW how big of a lot are we talking on your example above? I've blown out tools trying to hold the .001 on a coining operation in about 150 parts.
Well, it varies widely... but total runs are typically counted in the low-hundreds for total ship-sets. (Translation for "ship set"... suppose you're talking about engine supports... on a C-130. That's four engines... thus four engine-sets equals one ship-set... and so on)

I've had runs that involved less than a hundred TOTAL ship sets (say, for a particular revision of a Cessna Citation X) and some that ran into close to a thousand. But the quantities in aerospace are always far lower than in most other industries.

And yeah, in those larger-runs, we usually amortize multiple iterations of tooling... or at the very least, major reworking/restoration of tooling... into the up-front cost estimates. (Though sometimes folks try to wrap all that up into the "NRE" costs... )
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Old August 17 2008, 11:08 PM   #49
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

...whereas this company thinks tooling lasts forever. I think I need to explode more dies so they'll step up the replacement program.
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Old August 18 2008, 01:35 AM   #50
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

This is one thing I question about the Sternbach/Okuda model of treknology, as they assume that starships are not built by replicator-fabrication technology. The logic goes that if entire starships could be replicated, then nobody would have any problem whipping up an entire fleet anytime they wanted to.

I see their point, but I think they approached it from the wrong angle. The point is not to shove an asteroid-full of metal ore into a giant funnel and watch a starship materialize out the other end, fully assembled. That doesn't make sense. I doubt that the Federation would approach ship-building technology in the TOS, TMP or TNG/DS9 eras that way. You want something that has built-in safeguards against failures (if a space vessel's components are built by machines and then assembled, the ship-building process allows time to customize, change specifications, and check for errors that even computerized industrial replicators are bound to make occasionally). Besides, imagine the energy it must take to replicate matter on a large scale, all at once. It would have to be a huge honkin' machine! I would think it would be more efficient and manageable to have a large number of smaller machines fabricating components to be fitted in an assembly process.

You want space vessels to be assembled, not materialized all at once. Why? ENT provided the answer: Archer and Tucker were part of the NX program from the ground up. They may not have had replicator technology in their era, but the Earth Fleet culture which groomed them to build and fly the first NX-class vessel is telling. I would expect that TOS and TNG era space vessel construction and engineering to work in at least a vaguely similar way: you want at least some starship officers (and probably most if not all their engineers) to be involved at some point in their careers in ship building (or, in Scotty's case in TMP, in refitting) so they not only know the ship inside out, but also have direct experience working on one before it gets sent out into space. Archer's and Tucker's experience with the NX program was not only part of their characters that made them interesting, it said something provocative about how a super-complex space vessel with millions (billions?) of parts can be expected to work reliably to get the crew from port to deep space and back. And, lest we forget, their tangle with the Xindi showed they could take a shot-up ship and keep her flying.

I would expect that this ship-builders' subculture within the fleet would be necessary to keep ships flying, since they would be crewed by mere mortals as opposed to a crew of androids. I'm not saying that Pike or Kirk or Janeway or Picard were necessarily ship-builders at any point in their careers, but I do think it's telling that Sisko was involved in the making of the original "escort" ship Defiant. And who's to say that the rest of them didn't at some point fulfill a ship building/engineering/refitting assignment as a prerequisite for their standard career advancement? I can certainly believe that Scotty would have, so he could become a "miracle worker"!

So maybe starships can be replicated, be it is best to replicate components, not have a whole ship popping out of a giant microwave in thirty seconds.
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Old August 18 2008, 03:35 AM   #51
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

Tigger wrote: View Post
I imagine the docking clamp system itself forces the two pieces into the proper alignment as they get closer (since I doubt the ship's motion and position control system is accurate to the nanometer level), so provided the tolerances are close enough, things like EPS taps and turbolifts should all mate correctly.

Unless ship #6 off the line is using a docking clamp system with a different number of clamps in different locations than ship #4; unless lessons learned from ships 1 thru 3 made them move the EPS taps 50 meters starboard and 6 meters farther aft on ships 4 thru 6; unless the battle bridge was moved forward on ship #5 to make room for a new ECM system and the turbolift shaft had to be repositioned 14 meters to port.... In such cases you're just not gonna be able to fit the saucer from ship #4 to the hull of ship #6.

I'm not sayin' it IS that way, I'm just sayin' it's a thing to consider. And in fact, I think it would make a story where they're trying this much more interesting.
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Old August 18 2008, 08:03 AM   #52
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

Actually, I was mainly thinking in terms of software and processes when making that swappability-compatibility remark.

Two saucers might be physically identical, and indeed would probably strive to be, at least within production batches if not between them. But each Galaxy saucer would have learned to "live" attached to a specific stardrive, and that would mean having certain daily routines such as the flow of information, operational fluids or even personnel between the two components. A swapped saucer might suffer from fatal undernourishment, epileptic fits and a constant pain in the portside diodes for months before the two artificial organisms learned to respect their differences and settled for a mutually acceptable lifestyle.

Oh, and as for the E-D -> Veridian IV -> "AGT" timeline, I don't think Starfleet would actually be in a major hurry to remove the saucer. How quickly could the Veridian III dwellers be expected to whip up a space program? It might well take them more than a few decades to work up to those levels of competence, even if they had extraordinary incentive. And they probably wouldn't, as the ST:GEN starship operations seemed to take place on the shadow side of the outer planet, away from the inner one.

In case there were exceptional developments, though, I'm sure Starfleet would set up a stakeout operation that, in observing a rocket launch in progress, would go all Gary Seven on it...

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Old August 18 2008, 08:39 AM   #53
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

Timo wrote: View Post

Oh, and as for the E-D -> Veridian IV -> "AGT" timeline, I don't think Starfleet would actually be in a major hurry to remove the saucer. How quickly could the Veridian III dwellers be expected to whip up a space program? It might well take them more than a few decades to work up to those levels of competence, even if they had extraordinary incentive. And they probably wouldn't, as the ST:GEN starship operations seemed to take place on the shadow side of the outer planet, away from the inner one.

In case there were exceptional developments, though, I'm sure Starfleet would set up a stakeout operation that, in observing a rocket launch in progress, would go all Gary Seven on it...

Timo Saloniemi
Do you think the Federation or Starfleet would go to that extreme in keeping the Veridian people away from the Enterprise-D saucer to the point where they would sabotage the Veridian space program?
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Old August 18 2008, 09:24 AM   #54
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

Yes. That is, the forward observers would make early unmanned space launchers go kaboom the way the USAF Vanguards kept blowing up, or they'd make the probes disappear en route. That'd give them time to summon Starfleet to do the Veridian IV cleanup at a hastened schedule.

TNG "First Contact" already shows our heroes will meddle in appropriate ways when they want to either expose or hide the existence of the interstellar community. Judging by that precedent, Federation agents might actually approach the leaders of Veridian III (or its nation-states or whatever), explain the situation, and ask them to help hide it from their subjects. If that failed, there's always the patented Pulaski Memory Wipe...

We don't really know why the Feds are so obsessed about this first contact thing. But episodes such as the one above show that they really are obsessed enough. Anything nonlethal would probably go in keeping to the approved procedure.

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Old August 18 2008, 01:34 PM   #55
Cary L. Brown
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

Timo wrote: View Post
Actually, I was mainly thinking in terms of software and processes when making that swappability-compatibility remark.

Two saucers might be physically identical, and indeed would probably strive to be, at least within production batches if not between them. But each Galaxy saucer would have learned to "live" attached to a specific stardrive, and that would mean having certain daily routines such as the flow of information, operational fluids or even personnel between the two components. A swapped saucer might suffer from fatal undernourishment, epileptic fits and a constant pain in the portside diodes for months before the two artificial organisms learned to respect their differences and settled for a mutually acceptable lifestyle.

Oh, and as for the E-D -> Veridian IV -> "AGT" timeline, I don't think Starfleet would actually be in a major hurry to remove the saucer. How quickly could the Veridian III dwellers be expected to whip up a space program? It might well take them more than a few decades to work up to those levels of competence, even if they had extraordinary incentive. And they probably wouldn't, as the ST:GEN starship operations seemed to take place on the shadow side of the outer planet, away from the inner one.

In case there were exceptional developments, though, I'm sure Starfleet would set up a stakeout operation that, in observing a rocket launch in progress, would go all Gary Seven on it...

Timo Saloniemi
Well, let's think about this... the Galaxy-class structure consists, really of four primary elements.

1) Structure (that is, beams and girders and so forth... plus the force-field equivalent in SIF).

2) Utilities (plumbing, wiring, "plasma conduits," optical data lines, etc,etc) plus gravity generation and life-support and so forth. I also include power generation in here, though you could break that out into a separate category if you wish... I'm thinking of HOW it's integrated, not the purpose it's integrated for, in other words. Make sense?

3) Skin (including windows, including sensor elements, including phaser strips, including deflector/shield hardware).

4) Habitable spaces (consisting, per the TNG TM, of a series of semi-independent MODULES which are suspended by semi-elastic "stringers" within the superstructure, and linked into the existing utilities network)

Now... we keep talking about the saucer as a "whole" in this conversation, but I don't think that's reasonable. Let's look at SYSTEM instead.

I suspect that the saucer would be "field stripped" bit by bit until anything valuable was gone. SO...

1) Remove the individual habitable spaces, one at a time. Maybe these can be restored and reused on other "new build" or even "dominion war repair job" ships? This also means removing a large amount of the higher technology within her.

2) Remove the higher-order utilities (including the power generation hardware). You could easily leave the less-advanced stuff, though.

3) You'd probably strip down the higher technology from the skin (phasers, sensors, etc) but leave the skin itself.

4) You'd probably strip out the SIF from the skeleton.

At this point, what you basically have is a structural framework with some basic utility runs inside and a skin on the outside. At this point you've have two alternatives... both of which are destructive in nature. You'd either slice it up and take it away in chunks to a "recycling station" or you'd simply use your phasers to melt it to slag. By the time the locals manage to get to that planet, they'd find an odd, slightly unnatural valley and perhaps an odd near-surface deposit of some unrecognized metallic materials (probably well-oxidized and more of an "ore" than a refined metal)

The saucer itself would be gone but it would have largely been recovered, in other words... and its contents recycled to whatever extent was possible.
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Old August 18 2008, 05:15 PM   #56
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

Forbin wrote: View Post
Deks wrote: View Post
Forbin wrote: View Post



That's something that was also in the back of my mind. Just because two ships are of the same class and built the same, doesn't necessarily mean their parts are 100% interchangeable. It's possible every GC's saucer/neck join may require a bit of fine tuning and personalized fitting, and one ship's saucer may not fit perfectly on another's neck without considerable fiddling.
No evidence to support such a claim.
While I will acknowledge that there might be some interior changes from ship to ship regardless of class, I think SF builds all of their vessel classes from one set of blueprints.
So essentially speaking, the design itself will be identical when it comes to class.
The only changes you might possibly expect are some interior changes and fine-tuning of power generators (and whatnot).
Depending really.
No eveidence to support such a claim right back atcha, charlie.

What's the width of the GC neck pad where it mates to the saucer?
What are the construction tolerances over that dimension?
Is the Enterprises pad dimension's idential in every way to the Yamato's? Is the Yamato's identical to the Odyssey's? If the dimensions call for a tolerance of +/- 1cm over the full width, the Yamato's pad may be 2cm wider than the Galaxy's, and not fit in the narrower saucer cove.
Are the docking clamp configurations identical across the fleet, or did later builds use an updated configuration, based on experience with earlier builds? Odyssey's 38-clamp configuration wouldn't mate with Galaxy's 32-clamp.
Are all the power conduit mating points the same across the fleet?
Turbolift shafts?
Have the ships' engineers tinkered? Made their own improvements?
Was a ship damaged, and had to have their mating pads repaired at a starbase or alien yard where they had to kludge a fix?

Etc, etc.
Sigh.
If you have a GC which was built at the time of Enterprise-D launch and the GC constructed at the time of Nemesis, designs would remain the same.
Why?
Refits.
The older classes would be refitted to accommodate ANY design changes that might have happened from the time a first GC was made (not that ANY were made in any significant manner really).

To incorporate engineering 'tweaks' is an internal issue that can be done on any class of ship with several days of work in the field.
Examples of such adjustments are evident in virtually all Star Trek serials.

Point: All star-ships of particular class come out identical from construction yards.
If any field adjustments were made to a star-ship that improved it's functionality (or re-fits), other ships in the fleet of the same class will of course implement those techniques/changes.
Other classes of ships will incorporate internal changes to their systems.
External design changes happen rarely, and most often after a long period of time.
The only radical change the GC experienced (most notably the Venture) was an addition of 2 phaser strips on her upper portion of the nacelles.
Other GC's were not seen with such enhancements, and on some ocassions even the Venture didn't have them (which is of course a CG problem).
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Old August 18 2008, 05:39 PM   #57
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

Deks wrote: View Post
Point: All star-ships of particular class come out identical from construction yards.
No, there are always small differences between the different ships of one class. In naval units, this is used to identify a specific ship with (at last in the past) people memorizing the differences from images.
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Old August 18 2008, 06:43 PM   #58
Deks
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

Sean_McCormick wrote: View Post
No, there are always small differences between the different ships of one class. In naval units, this is used to identify a specific ship with (at last in the past) people memorizing the differences from images.
Nothing substantiates that in regards to SF ships of the same class that leave construction yards.
Changes from ship to ship of the same class happen only because each crew customizes their own ship to their needs and their ideas as a result of personal experience in the past and the ones in the field.
If particular ideas results in a change that improves performance it will probably be incorporated class-wide (adapted for flee-wide use) ... and will become a standard for new ships of the same class that are constructed.

We are talking about fictional SF after all set 270 years into the future ... not reality.
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Old August 18 2008, 07:25 PM   #59
Timo
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

At the very least we should acknowledge that the bridges and engine rooms of externally identical starships may differ radically in layout, shape and size. It would seem a given that the saucer of the E-nil-refit and the secondary hull of the E-A would reject each other like two homophobic rednecks at a nudist camp.

It seems highly unlikely that there would be anything like "fleetwide refits". Some feature would be tested on this ship, another on that one; 1/3 of the ships might remain out of reach for the entire duration of testing refit A, and only half of those would remain at standard B until standard C was introduced because they'd partake in the experimental B1 refit in between. And so forth.

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Old August 18 2008, 08:23 PM   #60
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Re: How About Replacing the Galaxy saucer with dedicated weapons platf

This sounds like the USN Littoral Combat Ship or LCS which is small at 3000 tons yet can engage in multiple missions one at a time by swapping out internal mission packages including towed sonar/ASW helos/Unmanned Air Vehicles/Unmanned Surface Vessels/Unmanned Underwater Vehicles for ASW. For ASUW, the USV/UAV/UUV/helos are armed with antiship/small boat weapons modules. For mine warfare, the mission modules include all of the above with a means of destroying mines. Special Forces and Humanitarian air packages are possible. This 'swapout' of various roles and gear and mission specialists can be done in two days at a suitable base.
Regretably, the LCS is having cost overun problems.
Star Fleet might do better in focused mission/mission swapable starships.
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