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

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Old August 24 2013, 07:17 PM   #271
The_Beef
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Hey Praetor, if you intend to work on this any more since the subject has been resurrected, I had a thought while I was re-reading. I noticed that you discussed the possibility that the Ambassador is what really made the technology behind "transwarp" work, even if the end result was only an increase in speed and the adaptation of the modified warp scale, rather than actual instantaneous travel. I don't think you mentioned that at all though in the actual chapter that discussed the Ambassador-class. If you're sticking to that idea, it would give some nice meat to that section and maybe make the Ambassador seem like a bit less of a lackluster design. It would also give a nice resolution to the transwarp story that dominates the opening chapters.
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Old August 25 2013, 02:23 AM   #272
Praetor
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Hm, good idea. Among the things I want to do is downplay the Ambassador as a failure (and downplay talking about her a tad in general.) In hindsight, I think it'll come down to simple math - depending how the scaling wars work out, it would probably be easier to build two Excelsiors for one Ambassador.
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Old August 25 2013, 07:07 PM   #273
The_Beef
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Makes sense. I think there's ample evidence that the Federation grew significantly in the years prior to TNG. Just look at how many start-up colonies and outposts the Enterprise visited over the course of the show. Starfleet must have been stretched a bit thin and would have been more concerned with getting as much use possible out of existing designs.

Another thing worth considering is the advent of replicator technology. Starfleet in the TOS-era seemed much more concerned with securing resources than in the TNG-era. Replication must have made some parts of starship production cheaper and easier, even if some components couldn't be replicated. Maybe replicators made their appearance sometime between the Ambassador and Galaxy classes, and that's part of why we see Starfleet experimenting with bigger ships and a much wider range of designs?
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Old August 26 2013, 07:34 PM   #274
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Good point. I think heretofore I've mostly assumed that it was related to provisions that a ship would have to carry for the crew; even in a closed system, without replicators I think there would be some loss, and certain things that a ship just couldn't manufacture, i.e. the turkey in "Charlie X."

I've privately assumed that a leap in synthesizer technology took place sometime during Kirk's era, with the possibility of replicator introduction in the 2290s or so given the appearance of something that appeared to be one in Kirk's quarters in TUC, Kitchen notwithstanding. It's still possible that true proper industrial replicators able to make ship-sized components didn't come about until the era in which the Ambassador was built - and it actually almost works in Excelsior's favor; if Excelsior is smaller, then her smaller parts would probably be simpler to replicate than those of an Ambassador. Gradually, the technology would catch up in time to make a big difference for the Galaxy.
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Old August 27 2013, 12:36 AM   #275
The_Beef
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

I'm actually kicking around a theory about how replicator technology, as opposed to earlier food synthesizers and protein re-sequencers, revolutionized Starfleet. I'm picturing it as something that revolutionized logistics, but also put tremendous strain on the fleet to upgrade power distribution and computer systems onboard starships. I'm trying to tie it into some overall ideas about how Starfleet was able to rely on the Miranda and Excelsior classes for so long, which I'll get into more when I actually post the thing.
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Old August 27 2013, 03:46 AM   #276
Nob Akimoto
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

We know that there's something very specific about "industrial replicators" that do things that ordinary replicators evidently can't. I wonder if these work at a higher resolution (quantum rather than molecular?) than food replicators to reduce small errors in the resultant item.
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Old August 27 2013, 03:58 AM   #277
Avro Arrow
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

^ Huh, I guess I just always assumed that ordinary replicators are small, and can make a nice pair of candlesticks or a cup of tea, but they're too small to really form anything large. Industrial replicators would be freakin' huge, and you would use them to replicate bulldozers or prefabricated buildings or 1000 tonnes of nano-carbon infused aluminum-matrix composite. Not a matter of resolution; just a matter of scale. YMMV.
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Old August 27 2013, 01:49 PM   #278
Herkimer Jitty
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Yeah, I've figured size was always the major difference.

I remember something about industrial replicators being used to make the fake "idyllic environment" of Risa viable - are the replicators used to somehow alter the terrain (IE, replicate millions of tons of sand to replace eroding coastlines? other, more impressive feats of geoengineering), or for more mundane, usual purposes? Given the context, I would hazard a guess at the former, which could should some light on the capabilities of industrial units.

I'd figure they're Kind Of A Big Deal, at any rate. Two industrial replicators were apparently enough to cover most of Bajor's rebuilding.
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Old August 27 2013, 02:31 PM   #279
Timo
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Then again, the Maquis had food replicators ("Preemptive Strike"), but supposedly couldn't use them to replicate photon torpedo warheads ("Tribunal") which were small enough to fit in packing crates the size of portable freezer boxes... Supposedly, their subsequent theft of industrial replicators ("For the Uniform") was motivated by a quest for quality rather than quantity, then.

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Old August 27 2013, 10:46 PM   #280
Nob Akimoto
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

The way "industrial replicator" seemed to be used as well as things like the replicator kiosk in TNG seemed to imply there was a distinct type of replicator used to create long-term durable goods or technical items over say stuff that could be discarded relatively swiftly. Presumably such things have rather high power and maybe matter feed requirements that go beyond what ordinary replicators are capable of providing.
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Old August 27 2013, 10:49 PM   #281
Praetor
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Probably similar to how the holodeck replicates props... a prop holodeck phaser might not work, but an industrial replicator phaser would. Or somethin.'

Regarding torpedoes, I assumed it was the antimatter part that couldn't be replicated.
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Old August 27 2013, 11:09 PM   #282
Timo
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

We have never heard it categorically explicated that antimatter couldn't be replicated - but supposedly the power for replicators comes from antimatter, so it makes little sense to burn lots of it to create a little bit of it.

However, the torpedo warheads did not appear loaded. Or at least they probably wouldn't have been so carelessly demonstrated in the Cardassian court if they had the potential to blow not just the building but the city sky high. And they had been on long term storage aboard DS9, too.

Perhaps it's the supposed incredibly intricate forcefields that are the key component of an antimatter-holding warhead that give the biggest headache to a replicator? Food replicators might fall short on that area, even though we have seen them replicate functional weapons (a phaser in "Civil Defense", a transporter-equipped slug-thrower in "Field of Fire"). OTOH, a full industrial replicator might not be needed, as starships supposedly have the capacity to replicate their own torpedoes (the Voyager faced a shortage when her replicators were down, but no longer faced a shortage in later seasons when her replicators were working again). Or does every starship capable of replenishing her own torpedo (and shuttlecraft!) supply come equipped with what amounts to an industrial replicator? I'm tempted to believe in an intermediate type of replicator instead.

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Old August 27 2013, 11:30 PM   #283
Nob Akimoto
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Well we know from TNG that there's a dedicated "replicator kiosk" on the E-D that supposedly has replicators that function differently from the ones in personal quarters, so perhaps there's different kinds depending on function. I would also suggest that shuttlebays and perhaps cargo bays also have some sort of replicator function (perhaps combined with cargo transporters?) that can be used to craft new replacement parts for auxiliary vessels and for the ship itself, as Federation starships seem almost as self-sufficient in repair capability as wooden warships. Having a sort of mini-industrial replicator on board would also I think solve the "infinite shuttles" problem on Voyager, as well as the fact that each and every starship seems to have a custom shuttle that looks like the mother ship.
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Old August 28 2013, 04:41 AM   #284
SicOne
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

I had a couple of questions that were asked earlier, albeit in perhaps the incorrect thread, so here they are in the proper place.

Assuming the 467-meter length of the Excelsior, what are the dimensions of that underhull alcove? Is it really large enough, with enough "floor space", to serve as a shuttlebay? The curvature of the hull doesn't seem to give it a helluva lot of floor...unless they took a page from nuBSG's Pegasus and reverse the gravity plating to make the floor the ceiling.

Also, where is the Excelsior's main shuttlebay? I thought I saw a cutaway some time ago that showed the main shuttlebay to be in the primary hull, forward of the impulse engines but aft of the bridge. But looking at some of the images in this thread, I'm not so sure. I was always of the impression that the shuttlebay in the stern of the secondary hull was just for cargo shuttles only, and not the main shuttlebay.
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Old August 28 2013, 04:01 PM   #285
Praetor
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

SicOne wrote: View Post
I had a couple of questions that were asked earlier, albeit in perhaps the incorrect thread, so here they are in the proper place.

Assuming the 467-meter length of the Excelsior, what are the dimensions of that underhull alcove? Is it really large enough, with enough "floor space", to serve as a shuttlebay? The curvature of the hull doesn't seem to give it a helluva lot of floor...unless they took a page from nuBSG's Pegasus and reverse the gravity plating to make the floor the ceiling.
My apologies if I missed your questions in the other thread.

I will try to work up something to figure out the exact dimensions of that area. Previous assumptions I made were based on faulty conclusions about the arrangement of that inside. Basically, though, what I'm still leaning towards is having the actual curved opening not be the shuttlebay, as much as a stanging area - because as you said, the floor is curved unless we reverse the gravity. (An intriguing notion, although I struggle with balancing it against the fact that we've never, ever seen such a thing done in Trek. Trek ships always seem to have a very clear top and bottom.)

I will work up some dimensions based on the two possible sizes of the ship, both official and inferred from window rows. I think a comparison to the Galileo-5 is on order, since it seems likely this is the type of shuttle she'd carry.

SicOne wrote: View Post
Also, where is the Excelsior's main shuttlebay? I thought I saw a cutaway some time ago that showed the main shuttlebay to be in the primary hull, forward of the impulse engines but aft of the bridge. But looking at some of the images in this thread, I'm not so sure. I was always of the impression that the shuttlebay in the stern of the secondary hull was just for cargo shuttles only, and not the main shuttlebay.
So, the cutaway of which you speak was done by Mr. Drexler for the Enterprise-B in "Generations." Apparently there was some confusion as to what the saucer add-ons were. Indeed, that cutaway has several interesting issues.
  1. The decks are scaled to the window rows, rather than the official 467 meter size
  2. The saucer add-ons are made shuttlebays (with a cross through inside) even though we see a characteristic red impulse glow from them in the film
  3. The warp core is not aligned with the "deflection crystals"
  4. The deflector dish is placed too low
  5. There's no secondary hull cutout... at all.
  6. The structure that actually looks like a shuttlebay at the aft end of the secondary hull is actually a cargo loading facility
  7. The torpedo launchers are placed in the neck, but their placement doesn't correspond with the actual cutouts in the neck filligree detail
  8. I believe the aft torpedo launchers are instead stated to be the location of the aft tractor beam
There are probably a couple that I'm forgetting, too.

For my part, I assumed that the lower cutout was a predecessor to the large shuttlebay seen on the Ambassador and Galaxy classes, albeit in an embyronic form. I'm still in the process of revising my thoughts about the cutout, but I'm fairly certain, either way, that the structure at the aft end where a shuttlebay traditionally is, is indeed a shuttlebay. There are other simple ways of providing cargo deck access, and IMO a long conveyor from there to the front area of the hull where the cargo bays apparently are is kind of a waste of space.
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