1701 warp core?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by kent, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Well, it was 1967...

    Um...if the pod is still inside the ship, and you're just sticking out an extension, like a high tech butterfly net, wouldn't it make more sense to eject the extension rather than the whole pod? In other words, let go of the butterfly net rather than jump overboard?

    Only if Finney managed to shrink down to the size of Kenny Baker. There's a nice little comparison shot in the form of the closeup on that spot, courtesy of Denise Okuda making a cameo in the window just above. That burned spot isn't big enough to house anything big enough to constitute a manned sensor pod.
     
  2. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    All I am saying is that it makes a lot more sense to have the pod be a multifunctional sensing instrument that can be outfit for ion storms. Insert the pod into the sensor, deploy it, collect the samples and get the hell away. Because, when deployed, the pod would act like a lightning rod. In this case, I've drawn it as twin antennae that create a collector field between them:

    [​IMG]

    Retract the antennae and the samples return to the ship. Grab 'em and go.

    Why this couldn't be done mechanically, I have no idea. If the sample collections are a big deal it might be desirable to have a human there to make the decision whether to pull the plug on the experiment if it looks like the pod is going to get fried. In any event, why a man would need to jump in a pod and dangle from a tether during an ion storm instead of having an unmanned tethered probe provide readings... that's even crazier IMO.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ^We might tackle this biggest issue by noting that it's even bigger than you say. Not only do they send a live person to this sampling station at a moment of great danger - they send a high-ranking officer!

    The list of personnel cleared to do the ion pod thing can't be long, of Finney would have to have waited for decades rather than mere years to put his plan into action. Finney himself seems to be on that short list for one of his two known attributes: either because he is Records Officer (with the required training), or because he is a Lieutenant Commander (with the required clearance or position of responsibility).

    Now let's take another, parallel tack: Finney's plan requires that the ship frequently encounter these storms. Yet we only ever hear of this one encounter. And it should be simple enough to steer clear, too; Kirk attempts no evasion in the case of "Court Martial", but rather stays in until the going gets too rough and then seemingly effortlessly withdraws. All this suggests that Starfleet deliberately enters ion storms, probably for reasons of scientific study.

    Perhaps only a certain number of trained scientist-officers are capable of performing the ion pod task? Finney could have been part of a duty roster that included the Records Officer (some sort of a computer wizard?), a number of Science Officers including Spock, and perhaps a number of suitably cross-trained engineers.

    No doubt the research benefits the military role of the organization as well, though. Perhaps the results are an important military secret, and thus only trusted to high-ranking officers?

    The idea that the "ion plates" are a short-lived recording medium that has to be recovered quickly is a relatively good one, but doesn't yet explain why a high-ranking officer would have to do the recovering; if a machine cannot be built to do it, surely an expendable crew member should be used. In the end, we might have to revert to something like David Niven's "mass counter" instrument: it's partially psychic and thus cannot be automated... But even that would leave us with the mystery of Finney's high rank. So the "requires a highly skilled observer" or "involves military secrets" approaches might have to be taken.

    As for the technical nature of the pod, I suggest that it

    a) is not a functional small spacecraft by itself, or our heroes might have tried to recover Finney or his body afterwards,
    b) is not normally a risk for the ship, and only becomes one when activated,
    c) can only be deactivated by jettisoning.

    Combined with the fact that the TOS-R pimple is too small to be a small spacecraft or even a proper external crawlspace, I thus suggest that the ion pod is a balloon. That is, when studying an ion storm, the pod expands from that tiny pimple into a sphere or other suitable shape perhaps dozens of meters across, both in order to increase the sensing area and in order to accommodate internal instrumentation, and the shape cannot be collapsed and stowed again.

    The throwaway nature of the instrument space would require some judgement calls from the operator: which instruments and recorders to take back inside in case of an emergency jettison? Perhaps this would be enough justification to send in a skilled live operator instead of a simple robot?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Spock's actual line from the episode, following the initial battle with the Klingon ship:
    "...Blast damage in decks ten and eleven, minor buckling in the antimatter pods, casualties very light."

    So not explicitly saying that there's antimatter pods down there (damage could have occurred in more that one section of the ship), but certainly alluding to it.

    Incidentally, that yellow square is next to another small square labelled "inspection door vent systems connections" (it's visible on the restoration photos at modelermagic.com) OK, so the writing was never seen in any episode, but neither was the bottom of the secondary hull - if we're going to allow one we ought to allow the other.
     
  5. USS Jack Riley

    USS Jack Riley Captain Captain

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  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Combine that with the fact that all the Klingon weapons we see hit the underside of the saucer, and the fact that antimatter-laden photon torpedoes usually emerge from the very area hit by the Klingon weapons, and the idea of antimatter pods on Deck 11 of the saucer suddenly begins to sound very attractive...

    What does TOS-R negate? We see some workers manhandle a pod towards the socket from which the previous one was ejected, but there's no evidence that the pod wouldn't feature a tether. It would simply be reeled in at that stage. Ditto for the ideas of a balloon or extending antennas or whatnot.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Why does everybody assume that a person has to cram themselves into the visable part of the pod (whether it be the RM location or elsewhere)? For all we know the pod my be a long eliptical tube that a person slides into while laying prone, rather like Scotty in the TOS intermix chamber in 'That Which survives', and the visible part we see is just the rounded end of this 'capsule'? What we see being replaced in the RM 'Court Martial' could be just the outer covering, not the actual ion pod? This has a nice real world counterpart in the way many research submarines have similar arangements for seeing and filming through little 'bubble' portholes.
     
  8. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Where did they show anybody manhandling anything in "Court Martial"? And even if they do show that work being done, at what point does anybody say "Be sure and get that ION POD (wink, wink) in straight!" Maybe they're replacing the blown out light bulb?
     
  9. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I didn't say anything about "manhandling", but in this scene we see astronauts (or robots?) replacing what the RM team said in interviews was the ion pod.
    http://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x20hd/courtmartialhd049.jpg
    Or perhaps this is just the outer cover, which needs to be put in place before the technicians on the inside can start "manhandling" a new tubular pod into place?

    Hence, my "(whether it be the RM location or elsewhere)" that you missed in my original post.

    My point, which also evidently escaped you, was that we need not dismiss this or other suggested locations (the nipple on the lower sensor dome, for example) because they're too small for someone to fit completly into, that is, the visible part of these details may be only part of a larger/longer structure that might surround a human body in a 'standing' or prone position.

    Personally, I think the ion pod is one of those minor details best left ignored, since it was just a plot device, and really doesn't make a lot of sense when one thinks too deeply about it?
     
  10. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    I say they're just replacing a really big burned out light bulb.
     
  11. Mirren Audax

    Mirren Audax Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I would've thought that the original Enterprise had an internal configuration similar to the redesign - the warp core in the primary/secondary hull connecting dorsal - as we see in the Enterprise-D; note that in TMP we see Kirk looking down at the warp core.

    However in Trek XI, we see the warp core being ejected in six parts, or were they beer kegs?
     
  12. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As I've said, the "warp core" in the 23rd century was probably a reactor COMPLEX and not a singular device. Sort of like how 1960s core computers used by NASA actually consisted of massive banks of multiple computers all acting in tandem.

    The nice thing about a compound warp core is you don't neccesarily need to eject the entire thing. You can dump six out of eight reactors and still limp home at warp two.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Of course, the TOS and STXI ships are likely to have different engines/powerplants, considering how differently they perform at warp. Perhaps even fundamentally different; a "gas turbine" for the STXI ship vs. a "steam turbine" for the TOS one, so that a breakthrough in technology resulted in the greater speeds observed in the movie.

    I'd think there could still be similarities, though: the engineering hull of the TOS ship probably looked quite a bit like a giant brewery, too, except there may have been more red hexagonal grillework and less transparent sheeting.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Considering Abrams' ship is about ten times the size of the TOS ship, any comparison between the two is a waste of time.
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If the ion pod was a specialty piece of equipment that had to be outside the ship, it could of been docked to a regular airlock/docking port. Imagine the ion pod looking like a travel pod.

    Given a crew of 430, the Enterprise is floating in officers, a health percent of them high ranking.

    Starfleet Command deliberately sent the Enterprise into that area to study ion storms, with perhaps several disposible ion pods on board. Then Finney made up his plan on the fly. After he walk out of the pod, and the doors closed behind him, THAT'S when the plan formed in his head.

    One reason to eject the pod could be that it's presence prevented the shields from completely closing.

    Of couse, the US AIR Force sends aircraft into hurricanes every year for just that reason.

    Yes. The prime purpose of the military is to protect civilian lives.

    The Enterprise itself was damaged, something the size of, again, a travel pod wouldn't of lasted long. And they did search the interior of the ship for Finney.

    When during TOS did we see starfleet with robots?

    Only if the pod was four feet across. Finney was a full size man, the pod was full of equipment. Kirk stated that he " ... sent Finney into the pod."

    Those were the more intelligent parts of the script, JJ had to get rid of them somehow.
     
  16. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I didn't remember this. So much for my big rabbit ears idea.

    It's not a actually a bad idea for the original 1701 to have a docking area P/S the flight deck. I'm not so sure about keeping an ion pod permanently docked there, and I'd have much preferred that light switch to have been interpreted as one of the aft phasers (great firing arcs). But that's the way it is.

    Pods in TOS refer to other things besides the short range travel shuttles that use the name in TMP. The nacelles are regularly called matter/antimatter pods. But this statement that Finney was being sent into the thing... that's hard to dodge. "When the pod containing Lieutenant Commander Finney was jettisoned, the emergency did not as yet exist," is the line. The script also says he was there to take "readings".

    I can see why a man might need to climb into a dangerous and exposed pod for samples that will quickly expire, but why in the world someone could talk to the guy in the pod but not remotely take readings from the pod is beyond me. There needs to be something about those readings that make them impossible to transmit, and so time sensitive that they are needed immediately and can't wait for the ship to clear the storm.

    Okay, space meteorologists! Speak up! :techman:
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Sorry, I can't buy that. Finney needed at least several hours to preplan - otherwise, he couldn't have altered the computer records, or prepared his hiding place for days or weeks to come.

    Finney may have had a number of scenarios where he could (with the help of computer tampering) make it look like Kirk murdered him, but all of them would require him to wait for favorable circumstances. He couldn't even begin to put those plans in action until he ended up on the same starship with Kirk, which probably was only a few years before the episode, perhaps not even that much. He'd then have to carve out the niche as a computer expert and tamperer, and set up his (possible multiple) plans. This'd be quite consistent with longterm hatred, which seems to be what's motivating Finney. The spur-of-the-moment idea doesn't seem to match Finney's state of mind quite that well, plus the plan becomes implausible if there isn't any preparation time.

    What if the readings aren't of the storm - but of Finney?

    That is, perhaps a key experiment conducted in the pod is the use of "ion plates" to take readings of the effects of the storm on a human body. There could be health risks involved, but in the bright future of anti-radiation medication, those could be easily reversible. And this is the military, which at the time was quite well known for using human guinea pigs to preserve national security or whatnot.

    (Of course, there could also be instruments there that are really finicky and subject to an extreme Pauli effect - so a high-ranking officer has to go in there and do fifty readings of Hail Mary and twenty-five Pater Nosters so that the experiments stand even a tiny chance of succeeding.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One of my idea's is that the TOS Enterprise had multiple docking post as did the TMP ship, but that they'd be covered with an outer armored hatch. Avoid the situation on ENT where everybody who wanted could just dock anytime.

    And I didn't mean the pods were permanentely docked, when they got in the general area of an ion storm, someone would fly it out of the hanger and dock it. It would just sit until the ship found a storm, someone goes into the ion pod, the shield have to stay open on that side of the ship so as that readings can be taken.

    When things get bad and the shields must be raised, the operator leaves, door shut, pod ejects and the shields are fully raised.
    Smart. much better placement than the dome on the top of the hanger doors, everything blocks firing arcs from there
    Only used travel pod as a general reference, possessing a docking adaptor, size and shape.

    Maybe the research into ion storms was a one time thing, that's why special sensors were not installed on the Enterprise, and the pod not linked to the ships systems. The ship may have been carrying many pods for this one time research mission.

    Also a possible that Finney and some others came aboard with the pods as special operators. Timo's right and I was wrong, Finney would have needed more lead time, he might have had the whole thing, more or less, ploted when he came onboard. Just waited his moment.

    Did the episode say how long Finney had been with the ship?


    T'Girl
     
  19. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    It could be that the readings have to be taken from inside the ion storm, so the source of those readings have to be taken from a point away from the ship. I also like the aspect of how having that pod out there prevents the ship from raising the shields, thus increasing the danger level of the whole endeavor.

    As for that flashing light at the aft being the rear phasers, I ran with that idea for a while on my deck plans, until the flashy-light aspect was pointed out, which kinda nixed the idea that they were phaser emitters. So, I took a page from "In a Mirror, Darkly..." and made the ring around the "homing beacon" the aft phaser array (I think makes more sense to make that glowing dome the aft sensor array), in the same manner as the ring around the lower sensor dome on the primary hull is the forward phaser array.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Then again, if there's an underbelly array (like in the TMP ship), the hangartop phasers only need to cover a limited cone of vulnerability between the bottom and top "main" guns. There'd be such a cone directly aft - but not to the aft sides where the blinking light thing would be firing.

    There could also be two standard sizes of docking ring: some of the TMP size, which allows a man to walk through without bending over (perhaps in the TMP locations but covered by assorted hatches), and some of the size of the TOS-R hole, more economical in their use of space but requiring one to crawl to the pod or craft on the other side.

    Alas, no. He and Kirk had served together once before, after the Academy, even if on a different ship; they may have shared even more of a common history, but this was not made explicit in the episode.

    Much nodding and general hear-hearing... Although I'd still want to believe in ENT-style retractable point emitters, as in "In a Mirror, Darkly", rather than in rings. Incidentally, the top sensor dome would then be likely to have an emitter or two adjoining it, right? Like the beam we see in TAS "One of Our Planets Is Missing"?

    Timo Saloniemi
     

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