Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Cary L. Brown, Apr 24, 2009.

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  1. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    Perhaps the top and bottom lamp having different colors serves a purpose not too different from using green and red to designate port and starboard. The nautical idea is to identify facing for a ship that's in front of you. If you see red and green lights, you know the ship is heading towards you ... especially if green is on the left and red is on the right. You're then supposed to pass green-to-green. That is, your starboard side to his starboard side.

    In Trek, by adding un-colored lights under the saucer in the same general position as the colored lights, you now know that a ship in front of you is upside-down if there is a white light directly above the green light. Without them, if you saw a ship with its green lights on the right and its red lights on the left, you might assume the ship is heading the same general directioin you are. But it might be upside-down relative to you and thus heading towards you -- especially since there appears to be no mechanism for obstructing the running lights from behind. [EDIT: This is my speculation for colored on top, white on bottom, not established Trek convention.]

    So the lights should be arranged to tell everyone, at a glance, your orientation and general heading in an environment that allows ships to move three dimensionally. Unfortunately, the original Enterprise is missing some more lamps that would help this make sense; red and green lamps on the tops of the nacelles, for instance, and the secondary hull in case the saucer has separated and the secondary hull is maneuvering independently.

    And you're certainly welcome to your take on things! But -- as you say -- "big" isn't the same as "bright", and whenever I see those huge bulbs on the ship, I don't see a design philosophy that says "these domes are big to make them visible", I see two, magnificently out-of-scale incandescent bulbs. The filament must be as thick as rope!
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  2. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, actually... there ARE colored running lights on the top of the nacelles. They're small (equivalent to the ones you see next to the "giant globe lights" on the primary hull) and are colored.

    These are found on the top of the ring section behind the bussard collector domes, by the way.

    As for secondary-hull lights, the only ones we see are the ones to either side of the hangar bay (which I haven't added yet) and the one red one on the centerline just forward of the little dome.

    I know that TOS-R had a shot intended to demonstrate that one of those lights on the side was actually "the ion pod" but this is nonsensical, in my opinion. The dome seen there, on the model, is the same size as the small running light on the primary hull, and (from my image above) you can tell how difficult it would be to get a person inside of that. You could create a little glass "pill" that you could put a person inside of, but you couldn't then have any equipment inside, nor any way of the person to USE that equipment.

    Just FYI, as far as I'm concerned, the "ion pod" is one of those conundrums that really makes very little sense from any technical basis, anyway. I mean, I can envision a reason to have a remote sensor of some sort, but no reason it should have to be manned. And unless the "ion pod" is, in fact, a remote (towed) sensor, there's no reason that you'd ever need to "jettison" it.

    MY take on the "ion pod" is that it's a "towed array sensor" which is tied to the ship by a tether. It either trails from the (open) hangar bay, or from the (open) underside fantail hatch (the red rectangle with no fill color under the faintail).

    In either of those situations, it sort of makes sense why you might have to "jettison" it... because you'd have to have shields down, and the doors open, for it to be operating - letting whatever nasty stuff was outside get inside. Ideally, you'd retract the pod back inside the shield barrier, back inside the doors, and get your defenses (hull and shields) back up before any harm was done. But if Ben Finney didn't come back in when you wanted, eventually you'd have to "cut the tether" and close up the doors and raise the shields.

    There are two unsolvables there... first, why a person needed to be in the pod at all (I'd think an unmanned device makes much more sense), and second, why "retraction" would be at the discretion of the guy inside, rather than of someone shipside who was monitoring his deployment.

    (For that matter, even if it were a "pod" physically part of the main ship, rather than a detachable remote device, you'd still think someone besides the Captain would be tracking what was happening with it, wouldn't you?)

    A brief aside... I actually considered making the "little dome" atop the hangar into the "ion pod." This was because I really can't see much advantage to that dome, otherwise, except maybe for sightseeing. So I thought of making that into a detachable, towable "pod" (with a little crane element raising up from the spine of the secondary hull). But that is just too gimmicky. The ion pod is just another specialized small shuttle, tied to the ship with a cable, as far as I'm concerned.

    And the "TOS-R" location of the ion pod is a running light, as I'm sure it was originally intended to be!
    Well, heck yeah, we're talking tungsten ropes three inches thick! :)
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2009
  3. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I was disappointed TOS-R put the ion pod where it was. I've always liked to think of the ion pod as an analogy to the crow's nest of a seagoing ship.

    I always kinda liked Drexler's and Mandel's version having the pod as the 'ball' at the lower end of the little ventral navigational sensor dome - I'd always imagined it telescoping out like an antenna, although I'm not sure whether this was implied in the original design they did. I'd always thought the value of the ion pod might have been that for whatever reason other ship's sensors had to all be closed off during an ion storm (perhaps to avoid overloading the computer via those excess ions?)

    The ion pod could act like a lightning rod in some sense, drawing those ions to it to take readings. Perhaps the pod had a permanently closed sensor circuit that could not fry the ship's computer, but which could be observed and reported by the person manning it. The ion pod would then be the single piece of equipment on the ship that could withstand the ion storm to take readings of it - with the caveat that it has to be manned and extended away from the hull.

    Of course, I've always thought that little piece of the navigation dome was a bit too small for the way it was scaled, but on your 10xx' ship, it might work... but your tethered version works too. Just so long as it's not a running light. ;)
     
  4. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, technically, they never overtly stated "ION POD HERE" in the episode... they only showed a repair. Maybe the "danger to the ship" from having the pod deployed resulted in some burst light bulbs? ;)
    Oh yeah... I loved that image from the "USS Enterprise Officers' Manual." And I thought it sounded like such a good idea, that until I really started thinking "scale" I hung onto it.

    Of course, once you seriously consider scale, it becomes a huge issue. Here's a close-up of my lower dome.

    [​IMG]

    Again, this is based on Sinclair's work but with a minor "tweak" on my part to make it look like a blend between the "real" part and the little image in Scotty's tech manual (even though I don't call it a phaser!)... you'll notice that it's not a perfect sphere, slightly elongated.

    This is my ubiquitous 6'0" tall "Poser Guy" that I use for scaling, but this one is the seated version I made to build my Jefferies Workpod around, so he's seated and driving an invisible pod right now...

    Now, for a person to be able to sit inside that little pod... dayammm... twouldn't be fun. I suppose Frodo or Sam might fit in there... and maybe that's why Starfleet started considering putting children on starships??? ;)
     
  5. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nah. They just used Scotty's little sidekick from ST. Why do you think we never saw him in the show? :evil:
     
  6. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Now that's a happy way to think of that scene. :D ;)

    Wow, that is even worse than I thought! :eek:

    Doug's drawing seems to suggest the pod is about 3 1/2 feet across... which is obviously out of "real" scale with the actual proportions of the model to start with, and even then is a rather tight fit. Of course, given their work was meant to line up with FJ's and was before any real analysis of the ship's real proportions had been analyzed.

    It's a dang shame it won't work without fudging the real size of that little blister, cuz it was a pretty spiffy idea. Then again, who says this navigation dome was the same one all along? Maybe this is the automated ion pod version?

    Nah... so, tether it is? ;)
     
  7. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    I thought the protrusion on the base of the lower saucer dome was shaped differently than that; kinda like a turret.
     
  8. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, I did a fair bit on the dorsal junction this evening, so the primary and secondary hull mating bits all fit now. It's not "done" yet (mainly some cosmetic fixes) but all the features are in place. I've also started on the other side of the hull in that area... ie, "impulse engineering."

    Here's a cross-section of that area.
    [​IMG]

    You can see where the leading-edge Jefferies tube enters the primary hull... this will have a secured data (well, with some redundancy) from the main computer cores. Remember, there are three cores in this ship. (No, I'm not taking that from TNG... TNG took it from "standard operating procedures for computer work. With three systems, you can constantly cross-check data and thus ensure what is effectively error-free operation, even allowing for the inevitable hardware glitch.) One is in the secondary hull, two are in the primary hull. So there's a heavy-traffic connection between them at all times, and that goes down the dorsal leading edge.

    The aft set of Jefferies tubes, by contrast, are parallel to the main power lines between the hulls. At the primary hull side, there are six fusion reactors in this area, with a pair of VASIMR type propulsion units (that's real tech currently under development... however, the ones in the Enterprise would make the one we have now look like the Wright brothers' plane compared to an F-22... or worse). The impulse thrust system is NOT a fusion reactor... but there are fusion reactors ("auxiliary power") associated with it and colocated with it. The point is that you can run impulse drive from power provided by the m/am reactor, or from the fusion reactors... and you can even generate a low-level ("non-warping") subspace field in the nacelles using fusion power, allowing you to go FTL (but not "warp") using impulse power.

    The fusion reactors will have fission-based initiators, and those will have "points" that can "decay to lead" if you drive the ship through strange galactic barriers, by the way.

    Now, there are going to be lots more details here, including a horizontal turbolift tube on Deck 6, but for the most part, I think you can probably make out what's what already.

    Now, here are a couple of shots showing the (fairly sparsely filled-in) decks 6 and 7. The entire "aft arc" is intended to be engineering spaces. (You'll note that the lift tube comes up fore of that area.)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Those engineering spaces will consist of, in the middle, the two propulsion units, the six reactors. The "L" shaped hatches on the top (which correspond to the "T" shaped one on the underside of the secondary hull) allow emergency jettisoning of faulty reactors, as well as assisting with regular maintenance. The thrust units can also be access through there. The little yellow hatches up there are for refilling of the primary hull fuel tanks, as well as several other "utility" connections.

    Immediately outboard of the "L" hatches will be found a pair of energizers (port and starboard... the same as the one seen in main engineering). And outboard from those will be engineering control rooms. Finally, outboard from those will be hydrogen tanks for the fusion reactors, as well as propellant for the thrust units (which I'm not sure will use hydrogen as a propellant... since hydrogen isn't really an optimal choice... though since it's replenishable in-flight, I may stick with that).

    You can see the various "rim windows" here... it's worthwhile to note that there really aren't very many windows on the ship. In this case, I've put them in four two-story rooms... two "rec rooms" forward, and two science labs aft. These rooms are accessed from Deck 6. (Much of the lower "ring" around Deck 7 consists of lifeboats, by the way.)

    Finally... a trio of shots with me "tweaking" my "separation parameters" (a pair of numbers which allow me to space the two hull sections apart easily). This shows the (as-yet not quite fully completed) primary hull "interface plate" which is a massive solid metal casting which connects to mating plate in the dorsal... both of which are held together by explosive-bolt-driven pins.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is something that I'll be able to animate easily when complete.
     
  9. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe a silly question, but: how good a simulation of reality is this engineering software? By which I mean, if you build something in there, can you operate it and see if it really would work? If so, would it be possible to fuel this thing up and try to fly it/subject it to the g-forces it would experience and see if it would really operate?
     
  10. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Did you not see this, which I stated in that very post?
    So you're pointing out something I already explained...
     
  11. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's not "silly" but I'd need rooms full of supercomputers to do that sort of thing. As it is, the Vega got so large that it overwhelmed my system (part of why I'm leaving it... which is a much more complicated ship than this one is... alone for the time being. Until I get a new machine that can handle it!)

    What this does is models volumes, and can calculate mass properties (that is... assign the proper material to all your bits and pieces and you'll know exactly how much it weights, what the center of gravity is, the center of inertia, etc, etc.

    I can also simulate mechanisms... and basic kinematics. That is.. I can apply a force and it will tell me how the part responds. I can model all sorts of mechanical elements (springs, pins, cams, etc). This lets you do complete mechanisms.

    For instance... a transit vehicle door system I did once, I drove through the physical motion by applying an "air pressure" value. This told me how fast, and with what force, the door would operate, given a particular air pressure supplied by the vehicle... and since there are safety regulations dictating that you can't have a door which slams on someone standing in it and cut them in half, is sort of important! ;)

    But... "fueling it up?" Not so much. There is other software which CAN do that, but that's a different problem and requires a different means of solution. Propulsion systems... that's really out of the realm of this. At best, I can determine how fast the ship will spin out of control if the impulse engines aren't located properly! ;)
     
  12. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Now that's something I'd be interested in seeing, especially given the seemingly random locations of impulse engines on Starfleet ships.
     
  13. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is why I'm a big fan of multiple impulse-engine emplacements... something seen on the 1701-D and which I implemented on Vega... where you can simply adjust thrust on a per-unit basis to handle all of this... no "nozzle vectoring" required.

    In the case of the 1701, we'll have to have some vectoring, upwards or downwards... meaning the ship may occasionally fly "nose down" if he cargo deck is heavily loaded (see the opening credit sequences, though, where it seems to be doing that!). But the nacelles are, combined, volumetrically equivalent to the secondary hull, and they're probably much more dense, so my assumption is that the ship will be pretty well balanced for its engine location. (And if it's not... just make the engines heavier!)
     
  14. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The other option being the ever-popular fan theory that the glowy red parts of the impulse engines don't provide thrust at all and just dump waste heat, while the actual propulsion it handled by some kind of non-Newtonain subspace magic. Which would also explain how ships can stop dead without forward-facing engine outlets or spinning 180 degrees to decelerate.
     
  15. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which is just fine if you don't call it "impulse." Because the word "impulse" is a real, technical term with a real, established meaning.

    An impulse is a force applied over time. It's inherently a Newtonian term. It is utterly fundamental to all mechanics. If someone's talking about this and isn't familiar with the term, they should read up on it.

    Call your propulsion system something else... "sublight drive" or whatever... and you can get away with that. But you can't take a real word and totally bastardize the meaning of the word. That's like saying a "light" is something where you turn a knob and water comes out.
     
  16. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I know. But the way Trek uses it is just dumb.

    Of course, As Laurence Krauss pointed out in "The Physics of Star Trek," the way "impulse" is used in Trek would more properly be called "thrust," since (if I'm remembering the chapter properly) they sacrifice building force over time for quick acceleration. So, you know, Trek strikes out again...
     
  17. Gagarin

    Gagarin Commander Red Shirt

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    Lots of goodies in your post, Cary, especially with the impusle engines and reactor stuff. Which reminds me - what about RCS stuff? When or how are you planning to tackle them? (Sorry if you've already gotten to that issue in this thread, the eye candy is distracting).
     
  18. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If someone really wanted to use a magic non-Newtonian drive, they could retcon impulse to an acronym, like how Phaser was meant to be a portmanteau of "phased" and "laser" and got retconned to PHASed Energy Rectification.
     
  19. EJD1984

    EJD1984 Commander Red Shirt

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    Looks like you're using ProE Wildfire. :)
     
  20. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Cary, I'm really liking this engineering setup at the back of the saucer, and the capabilities that you're giving the power/propulsion systems regarding power adaptability/reconnectivity and generating a low-level warpish field via fusion power. They seem to foggily fit well with the varying depictions of impulse power being used for interstellar travel when maybe it really shouldn't have been. And kudos for making the impulse engines VASIMRs. I think they're a good modern fit.
     
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