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Old March 20 2009, 06:16 PM   #1
sojourner
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Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

Hello,
This has been nagging me for years. On the Voyager, why did the nacelles change position to go to warp? From a design standpoint it just does not make sense to me. Why not leave them in the correct position all the time? I know the real life answer is the producers wanted "something cool that moved" on the ship. I just wanted your idea on an "in Universe" reason for it. The best idea I came up with would be "variable geometry", i.e. they would change angle of attack to best suit the warp dynamics for the speed they were going. (much like the wings of an F-14 or F-111) Unfortunately, in the show, they were not portrayed this way. They went straight from stowed position to warp position. Thanks in advance for your time!
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Old March 20 2009, 06:26 PM   #2
Cmdr Sho
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

even though i am not this Rick Sternbach, i think this might help you.

Memory Alpha:
The variable-geometry pylon is a feature first introduced to Federation starships around 2370.
The warp nacelles have the ability to be raised into position for warp speeds, then lowered into a more streamlined position when at slower-than-light speeds. The Intrepid-class starships are equipped with this feature, an example of which is the USS Voyager. (VOY: "Caretaker")
The pylons were raised anytime a warp field was generated, even if the ship was not traveling at warp speeds. (VOY: "Learning Curve")
No other class of starship to date incorporates this design. edit Background

The first time the concept of variable-geometry warp nacelle pylons is mentioned anywhere is in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual in the section dealing with preliminary concepts for future starships. The goal of these pylons is to improve engine efficiency by optimizing field stress when the ship travels extended journeys at warp 8+ velocity.
According to the unpublished VOY Season 1 edition of the Star Trek: Voyager Technical Guide, by Rick Sternbach and Michael Okuda, it was suggested that because of the variable-geometry pylons, warp fields may no longer have a negative impact on habitable worlds as established in TNG: "Force of Nature".
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Old March 20 2009, 07:11 PM   #3
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

sojourner wrote: View Post
Hello,
This has been nagging me for years. On the Voyager, why did the nacelles change position to go to warp? From a design standpoint it just does not make sense to me. Why not leave them in the correct position all the time? I know the real life answer is the producers wanted "something cool that moved" on the ship. I just wanted your idea on an "in Universe" reason for it. The best idea I came up with would be "variable geometry", i.e. they would change angle of attack to best suit the warp dynamics for the speed they were going. (much like the wings of an F-14 or F-111) Unfortunately, in the show, they were not portrayed this way. They went straight from stowed position to warp position. Thanks in advance for your time!

They did it to get the hell away from the Kazon, Borg, Viidians, and those hunter aliens whose name eludes me at the moment...
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Old March 20 2009, 07:20 PM   #4
MyClone
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

I always wondered if the variable-position nacelles on Voyager might be the result of the same Federation-Klingon technology exchange that, as Rick suggested, was behind the Starfleet-looking engines on the Klingon Vor'cha class. After all, the Klingons operate the only other major ship class with wings that (sometimes) change position during warp, the Bird-of-Prey. YMMV.

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Old March 20 2009, 07:25 PM   #5
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

IIRC, it had something to do with bringing the warp field tighter in, and closer to the ship, which supposedly was more efficient, or something to that effect.
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Old March 20 2009, 07:28 PM   #6
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

Yes, but none of these really answers the question "Why not build the pylons in the correct position to begin with?" If they had been shown to change position with different warp speeds, I could understand having them move. But if is just for "warp bubble on" and "warp bubble off" why not leave them in the on position?
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Old March 20 2009, 07:44 PM   #7
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

cause its space lol
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Old March 20 2009, 07:56 PM   #8
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

This may not be the reason, but the bussard collectors would be blocked by the primary hull if the nacelles were locked in the upright position.
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Old March 20 2009, 08:30 PM   #9
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

Lol, so your saying they should NOT be raised at warp?
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Old March 20 2009, 08:37 PM   #10
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

I'm not sure there is any circumstantial matter to collect in subspace (where a ship is a warp) so when they are cruising at sublight the scoops are available for use. I don't believe the collectors have ever been used on screen in any series while at warp.

More info: http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Bussard_collector
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Old March 20 2009, 09:03 PM   #11
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

Mr. B wrote: View Post
I'm not sure there is any circumstantial matter to collect in subspace (where a ship is a warp) so when they are cruising at sublight the scoops are available for use. I don't believe the collectors have ever been used on screen in any series while at warp.

More info: http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Bussard_collector
Seems to me they would collect vastly, VASTLY more material while at warp (to the extent that we've talked about the possibility of a high-warp "ramjet" on these boards once or twice.)

Anyway, the TNG Tech Manual supports this idea. We don't actually have much direct reference to the collectors performing their normal function, but it's a background kind of thing and if they're glowing, they are probably workin'
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Old March 20 2009, 09:14 PM   #12
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

JNG wrote: View Post
Seems to me they would collect vastly, VASTLY more material while at warp
It just occurred to me that the main deflector deflects all matter while at warp due to the incredible damage a single spec could inflict on a vessel traveling faster than light. Even if there is matter to collect while at warp, it would be no easy task.
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Old March 20 2009, 09:34 PM   #13
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

Why does anyone think that Bussard collectors operate at FTL speeds?
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Old March 20 2009, 10:00 PM   #14
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

sojourner wrote: View Post
Yes, but none of these really answers the question "Why not build the pylons in the correct position to begin with?" If they had been shown to change position with different warp speeds, I could understand having them move. But if is just for "warp bubble on" and "warp bubble off" why not leave them in the on position?
Energy requirements. It could be, as suggested, that the nacelles collect material through the collectors only while at impulse. That makes sense, if you think about it, because the Deflector would drive away all the hydrogen normally collected while the ship was at warp.

Captain's Chair (the game that let you explore the ships) suggested that it was done to allow the crew full control over the warp bubble and to alleviate the stresses. It even claimed that warp could be reached at different levels of inclanation for the nacelles.
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Old March 20 2009, 10:10 PM   #15
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Re: Question for Rick Sternbach regarding Voyager design.

nx1701g wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
Yes, but none of these really answers the question "Why not build the pylons in the correct position to begin with?" If they had been shown to change position with different warp speeds, I could understand having them move. But if is just for "warp bubble on" and "warp bubble off" why not leave them in the on position?
Energy requirements. It could be, as suggested, that the nacelles collect material through the collectors only while at impulse. That makes sense, if you think about it, because the Deflector would drive away all the hydrogen normally collected while the ship was at warp.

Captain's Chair (the game that let you explore the ships) suggested that it was done to allow the crew full control over the warp bubble and to alleviate the stresses. It even claimed that warp could be reached at different levels of inclanation for the nacelles.
Too bad this was never seen or mentioned in the show.

As far as when the bussards are actively collecting, has there ever been a canonical statement regarding "not at warp"? I am not sure, but the "always glowing" whether at stand still, impulse power or high warp doesn't really tell us either way.

If we were to infer that the bussards only get used at impulse speeds, then why have them as part of the warp engine assemblies at all? why not integrate them into the pylon leading edge and make the warp engines fixed in orientation? For that matter, why not integrate the bussard collector into the deflector dish? Both pieces seem to be doing very similar jobs when you think about it.

I just don't like moving parts without a reason. the more moving parts something has the higher the chances of failure.
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