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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 November 28 2014, 04:08 AM   #1
Wingsley
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The Dish and Changing Times

In the 1968 book "The Making of Star Trek" by Stephen Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry, a simple exterior schematic identified the Big Dish on the front of the Enterprise's secondary hull as a "main sensor". There was do direct discussion of the dish by the characters in TOS at all. It wasn't until TMP's novelization that Mr. Roddenberry weighed in on the refit Enterprise's dish as being a "navigational deflector", performing forward sweeps ahead of the ship to keep space debris and particles from colliding with the ship while in flight.

This notion of the ship relying on such a device to make flight practical seemed pretty dicey and implausible to me. Now, speculation into faster-than-light propulsion (the IXS Enterprise) suggests such a sweeping device may not be necessary. The proposed FTL drive stretches and compresses space around the vehicle; the vehicle itself barely moves while in flight. So if something did cross paths with the proposed IXS Enterprise, the ship's faster-than-light velocity would be irrelevant. Once the object crossed the warp threshold it would be inside the warp bubble, at a natural velocity.

Assuming this speculation holds up, the notion of a navigational deflector makes much less sense. Does this mean the STAR TREK dish would go back to being something else? Changing times would suggest the dish would have to, lest it become a dunsel.
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Old November 28 2014, 09:14 AM   #2
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

Wingsley wrote: View Post
In the 1968 book "The Making of Star Trek" by Stephen Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry, a simple exterior schematic identified the Big Dish on the front of the Enterprise's secondary hull as a "main sensor". There was do direct discussion of the dish by the characters in TOS at all. It wasn't until TMP's novelization that Mr. Roddenberry weighed in on the refit Enterprise's dish as being a "navigational deflector", performing forward sweeps ahead of the ship to keep space debris and particles from colliding with the ship while in flight.
...
This is not quite true. Break out your copy of TMoST and turn to Page 191. The first paragraph that starts on that page says:

The starship's main sensor-deflector (a parabolic sensor antenna and asteroid deflector) is located at the front end of the secondary hull.
And then it goes on to describe the hangar facilities.

So, the idea of the dish being a deflector was in place at least as early as 1968 and Trek's second season.

Also, while Franz Josef's 1974 Technical Manual only refers to the dish as "Main Sensor" or "Main Scanner" his Booklet of General Plans of similar vintage calls the dish the "Main Sensor And Navigational Deflector." So, the idea certainly predates Roddenberry's TMP novelization.


Regarding the rest of what you're talking about, I would suggest that the warp drive pictured in Star Trek is fundamentally different from the theoretical stuff you're describing. For example, warp drive pods in that model would most likely be ring shaped, and certainly would not be nacelle shaped. So, I'm quite comfortable with the deflector dish continuing to serve it's traditional roles.

--Alex
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Old November 28 2014, 09:52 PM   #3
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

Navigational Deflector(s) might still be of use at sublight speeds. Remember the Columbia, and how she had to travel at relativistic speeds in her attempt to reach Earth or a colony in one of the Star Trek: Destiny novels.
That'd be handy to block any space debris from causing any damage, which would cause ever more damage at higher speeds.
It'd also be nice if it could passively filter out radiation traveling from stars, or random black holes.
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Old November 28 2014, 10:09 PM   #4
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

It'd also be nice if it could passively filter out radiation traveling from stars, or random black holes.
Pesky Daleks, all sort of flotsam.
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Old November 29 2014, 06:09 PM   #5
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

Ithekro wrote: View Post
It'd also be nice if it could passively filter out radiation traveling from stars, or random black holes.
Pesky Daleks, all sort of flotsam.
What'd ya expect from a very old space-faring civilization who cares about no one but themselves?

I'm pretty sure that the Klingons picked up the nasty habit of leaving space flotsam behind too, on a much smaller scale, either from their own ships, or those who they blew up.
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Old November 30 2014, 08:42 PM   #6
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

My assumption is that that the deflector beam we see in Paradise Syndrome is coming from the deflector dish, although we never actually see the emitter.




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Old November 30 2014, 10:45 PM   #7
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

What about the tree bright circles on the forward-most rim of the TOS Enterprise's saucer? Are those deflectors as well?
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Old November 30 2014, 11:33 PM   #8
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

Wingsley wrote: View Post
What about the tree bright circles on the forward-most rim of the TOS Enterprise's saucer? Are those deflectors as well?
The only thing official about those three circular lights I've seen is from the Franz Josef materials. In the Technical Manual there is a schematic on TO:02:06:13 "Course Tracking Elements" which has three parabolic dishes labeled as scanners 1, 2, and 3, but nowhere else does it specifically tie those to the three light on the bow. However, in his Booklet of General Plans those do show up on the bow of Deck 7 and are labeled as "Search Sensors and Deflectors" so, that's what I've always assumed they were.

Interestingly, on page 88 of the TNG Technical Manual the 1701-D's saucer deflector is described, and I always wondered if that was a nod to the three circles on the 1701's bow. I guess only Rick Sternbach would know for sure... maybe he'll drop in with a word on the matter.

If TOSr is to be believed, then they are just three big boring windows through which can be seen people and red doors. I personally prefer the FJ concept.

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Old December 1 2014, 12:16 AM   #9
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

^ iirc, the starfleet museum website described those three circles as weapons targeting scanners.


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Old December 1 2014, 02:51 AM   #10
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

Those are the high beams, so they can blind any annoying Klingons or see through Romulan cloaks.
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Old December 1 2014, 04:18 AM   #11
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

I assumed those were the backup navigational defector in case of emergency saucer seperation or just damage to the main deflector. That was why Drexler's refit NX-01 Enterprise with both its original bow deflector dish and the new secondary hull deflector dish made sense to me. It starts a trend for future starships.
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Old December 1 2014, 05:49 PM   #12
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

Albertese wrote: View Post

Interestingly, on page 88 of the TNG Technical Manual the 1701-D's saucer deflector is described, and I always wondered if that was a nod to the three circles on the 1701's bow. I guess only Rick Sternbach would know for sure... maybe he'll drop in with a word on the matter.
Actually, only Andrew Probert would know for sure, since he designed the thing. I could make a techy guess about function, but what's in the TNG TM will have to do for now.

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Old December 1 2014, 09:27 PM   #13
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

Good point. I hadn't thought of that.

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Old December 1 2014, 11:14 PM   #14
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

Rick Sternbach wrote: View Post
Albertese wrote: View Post

Interestingly, on page 88 of the TNG Technical Manual the 1701-D's saucer deflector is described, and I always wondered if that was a nod to the three circles on the 1701's bow. I guess only Rick Sternbach would know for sure... maybe he'll drop in with a word on the matter.
Actually, only Andrew Probert would know for sure, since he designed the thing. I could make a techy guess about function, but what's in the TNG TM will have to do for now.

Rick
As I recall, Andy never intended there to be a saucer deflector at all.
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Old December 2 2014, 03:41 AM   #15
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Re: The Dish and Changing Times

Maurice wrote: View Post
Rick Sternbach wrote: View Post
Albertese wrote: View Post

Interestingly, on page 88 of the TNG Technical Manual the 1701-D's saucer deflector is described, and I always wondered if that was a nod to the three circles on the 1701's bow. I guess only Rick Sternbach would know for sure... maybe he'll drop in with a word on the matter.
Actually, only Andrew Probert would know for sure, since he designed the thing. I could make a techy guess about function, but what's in the TNG TM will have to do for now.

Rick
As I recall, Andy never intended there to be a saucer deflector at all.
Ah, sorry. Didn't see the phrase "saucer deflector" and thought you meant the main deflector. Not enough coffee. Anyhow, the windows that got pressed into service as deflector emitters was indeed me. What might have been big windows were "converted" into big radiative gizmos. Now for the cancelled DeAgostini Japan Ent-D project, I "updated" the emitters to be clear antennae that definitely allowed viewing out, so the rooms could finally be used for crew functions. That material never got published, of course, but do I think it's a pretty good mental reworking of the equipment.
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