Constellation class

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Bill Morris, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    ^ I thought the same thing for many years till I got into a discussion about the TOS ship mass on this same forum :)

    Unfortunately, the actual mass of TOS-TMP ships were never spoken or shown in the series other than Scotty's line about the TOS Enterprise. There are lots of guesses out there so I think it'll come down to your personal preference...
     
  2. Bill Morris

    Bill Morris Commodore Commodore

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    Okay, well, Starship Volumetrics puts the minimum mass at 711,900 (max. over 2 million), while the Daystrom Library puts it at only 325,000 M.T. TrekMania, which usually gives a mass figure, has nothing on it. Neither do Memory Alpha, Memory Beta, nor EAS.

    But notice that overall length falls only 34 meters short of that of the Intrepid class, which has canon mass of 700,000 M.T., then picture the relative volume of the warp coils of both, where the Constellation class has nearly six times the coil volume. (That's easier to see if viewing the Constellation class from the top.) Verterium cortenide is approximately 250% as dense as lead. In that regard, I see 700,000 M.T. as quite conservative. And recently Rick Sternbach, in another thread here in TrekTech mentioned the importance of verterium cortenide in the nacelles of Zephram Cochrane's Phoenix, effectively killing the comeback that older ships used something extremely less massive.

    Admittedly, the volume of the much lighter tungsten, cobalt, and magnesium in warp coils is much greater than that of verterium cortenide, and the Intrepid class may have denser packaging (more veterium cortenide content for a given coil volume), as implied by its relatively low nacelle volume and high warp rating, but that still leaves any figure below 700,000 M.T. for the Constellation class hard to justify, I would think.
     
  3. MapleJack

    MapleJack Ensign Red Shirt

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    I always thought the Voyager's smaller nacelles had more to do with, perhaps, that the ship was not meant to be a deep space explorer or a user of high warp for prolonged periods in relation to ships like the Enterprise-E with it's long nacelles. Hence, shorter nacelles. In addition, the tilting also somehow had an affect with the ship's warp dynamics, allowing for better performance then a fixed set of nacelles. Just thoughts on the matter.
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    ^Except for the fact that the nacelles were only used in one position during warp speed, so having them move made little sense.
     
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't recall that at all, though it doesn't matter all that much since it wouldn't be canon.

    Have we ever determined canonically whether Voyager's 700,000 metric tons is the mass of the ship or the mass of the ship plus fuel and provisions?
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Or even something suitably obscure, such as the mass of the ship without her warp coils? The history and present of naval terminology is full of such funny definitions.

    The old excuse for that is that position as such is irrelevant, but movement is crucial: the ship accelerates better by squeezing her warp coils during the jump from sublight to warp.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Bill Morris

    Bill Morris Commodore Commodore

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    Oh? You posted numerous times in the now-closed TrekTech thread "Why does the Phoenix have Bussard Collectors?" I'll paste in Rick Sternbach's comment, essentially about the thread's question but pertaining to what I mentioned about the warp coils:

    And about Voyager's mass, it was only mentioned in a snide comment by the EMH. A radically different mass was given in the first version of the Star Trek Voyager Technical Manual Technical Guide V1.0, written (before production started) by Rick Sternbach and Michael Okuda:


    [​IMG]


    Regardless, 700,000 is the canon figure. If Rick or Mike want to tell us that's a mistake, well . . .
     
  8. Vance

    Vance Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The post TSFS masses of ships are all pretty rediculous anyway. The official numbers from that point on are on the high-side of insane, requiring the ships to be nearly solid chunks of heavy metals. This is what happens when you throw out numbers that sound impressive but have no clue what any of them actually mean.
     
  9. Bill Morris

    Bill Morris Commodore Commodore

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    The tritanium material could be simply trigangulated carbon nanotubes layered like plywood then sintered with titantium, making it reflective, metallic in appearance, very light, and very strong. A few racing cars already have triangulated tube frames, with gives them extreme ridigity compared with ordinary tube frames made of the same alloy. In combination with cross-layering, that would make most of the structure of a starship lighter than if it were made of wood but a lot stronger. Some automakers are already making limited use of carbon body panels, although they probably haven't even thought of triangulating the nanotubes.

    And in the figure linked below you can see that the warp coils are made of the combinations of the light elements and heavy transuranic compound I mentioned above.

    http://lcars24.com/schem21.html

    The body, wheels, other structural parts, and even the seats of this model of Aston Martin are made of carbon nanotubes. The price? Don't ask!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Did you stop to figure in the tonnage of Tom Paris's ego?

    :)
     
  11. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Well, mentioned twice... :)

    "Phage"
    EMH: Then replicate one. The design schematics are in the ship’s medical database. The man drives a seven hundred thousand ton starship so somebody thinks he’d make a good medic.

    "Relativity"
    JANEWAY: Seven hundred thousand metric tons, fifteen decks, and computer systems augmented with bio-neural circuitry, top cruising speed warp nine point nine seven five
     
  12. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You mean the part where he says "meteoritic materials, lab-grown verterium cortenide or its nearest equivalent in the higher atomic numbers"?

    Fermium--atomic number 100--would fit the bill, especially since it has one of the longest half lives of the higher atomic numbers. At room temperature it would have a mass of about 20 grams per cubic centimeter (slightly higher than plutonium). Since even Rick Sternbach never clearly explained how warp coils actually work (nor does anyone really know) then this works perfectly as V-C's "closest equivalent" in the 21st century.

    Which isn't what I asked, is it? Has it ever been established that that 700,000 tons is the mass of the empty ship, or the mass of the ship minus warp coils, or the mass of the ship plus warp coils plus food fuel and provisions?

    The space shuttle, for example (just the orbiter) has a loaded mass of about 100 metric tons. About 20 to 25% of that mass is payload, fuel, provisions for the crew and onboard systems... this for a spacecraft that is only supposed to operate for a duration of about a week or so. Smaller craft--the Dragon, for example--have mass fractions skewed on the lighter side so it's more like 10 to 20% of its mass being fuel and provisions.

    Voyager is a thousand feet long. If that 700,000 tons is the mass of the fully loaded starship, that figure may very well include 200,000 tons of food, fuel, cargo and additional equipment (not to mention spare parts for all the shuttlecraft they keep trashing). It's also unclear if that 700,000 tons includes the warp coils or not, and it's even more unclear if this is meant to be the ship's EMPTY weight and there's an extra 300,000 tons of provisions on board that simply goes unmentioned.
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Considering warp 9.975 is very clearly NOT Voyager's "cruising speed," nor does the ship ever demonstrate any real capacity to reach this speed, I think I might dismiss both specs as marketing slogans: tech specs that are intentionally nerfed whenever spoken aloud, usually with a wink and a nod, in case the Tal Shiar might be listening.

    The Japanese sort of did something like this with the Long Lance torpedo in WW-II. The compressed oxygen tank was labeled the "secondary air tank" on the actual torpedo and in diagrams, with the allies being unaware of the existence of the oxygen tank--or the torpedo's true capabilities--until they captured one intact in 1943.
     
  14. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    9.975 is the TOP cruising speed. There are at least 4 examples of Voyager flying around above Warp 9 or mentioned capable of round-tripping above Warp 9. We can allow for damage that the ship probably couldn't hit that top speed for too long, but above Warp 9 cruising speeds didn't seem out of place.
     
  15. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    True as that is, "top cruising speed" and "maximum warp" are two COMPLETELY different things. The TOS Enterprise had a cruising speed of around warp six; this was, by definition, a velocity it could sustain essentially indefinitely. It's maximum warp was in the neighborhood of warp nine; it could sustain THIS velocity for a few minutes or hours before it had to power down.

    Enterprise-D had a cruising velocity of about warp seven, with a maximum of warp 9.4 or so. It could not sustain higher warp factors without causing alot of extra strain on the engines and on at least one occasion had to stop to make repairs to its engines because of excessive use at high warp.

    "Our cruising velocity is warp 9.975" means that the ship can sustain that velocity pretty much indefinitely without putting any strain on the engines at all. This SHOULD be equivalent to TOS' warp six, E-D's warp eight, NX-01's warp four.

    "Allow for damage" is just a copout. You can either sustain that speed or you can't; if you can only sustain it under ideal circumstances, then it isn't your cruising speed, it's your maximum warp.

    Not that the Romulans would necessarily know this, and thus the constant repetition of this fact is probably just a line of propaganda Starfleet has been pushing for the Intrepids since they were developed.
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It might of course also be that the Intrepid class is so new that its inability to reach its specified cruising and top speeds has not yet been discovered by the time the Voyager embarks on her first mission.

    High warp has repeatedly surprised Starfleet's best engineers and theoreticians: it is at the same time so mundane that any field technician can strive for it by tinkering with the hardware, and so exotic and theoretically misunderstood that all it takes to fly across the universe in a minute is a single "oops". Perhaps the test flights of the Intrepid were flukes that could never be repeated? Perhaps something similar happened when Starfleet thought it had verified transwarp well enough to build the full-scale Excelsior?

    The way warp is set up in the TNG Tech Manual, a ship can have several cruising speeds, with speeds ill suited for cruising in between (the sawtooth pattern of power expenditure as a function of warp factor and thus of speed). The Voyager could then boast on eleven functional cruising speeds, even though the topmost of them isn't actually attainable in practice.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Saquist

    Saquist Commodore

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    Well the Betazed helmsman on Voyager said it had a sustainable cruise velocity of 9.975. Which might mean Voyager is even faster.

    Considering that Voyager sustained considerable damage to the warp reactor when it incurred all those micro fractures because the Caretaker's crazy method of transport I don't think it's likely Voyager had the same capacity or efficiency it had before hand including the the fact that it was the first core to be tested in deep space. And before anyone thinks that's lame, I would point out that in TNG every time they incurred the most minimal amount of damage or just traveled at high warp for too long they put in for repairs. I think they run at high efficiency because that's what's need for high warp.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  18. Bill Morris

    Bill Morris Commodore Commodore

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    Canonically? How would I know? I come here a treknology novice to ask questions and suck brain. I can only speculate on what might make some modicum of sense.

    I guess we all know about the controversy of what Scotty said in TOS: Mudd's Women about gross tons versus what most people take as the mass of Kirk's Enterprise, where in naval or merchant marine terminology gross tonnage means cargo capacity.

    While it's unfair to hold busy people to information given in a preliminary manual, a snippet of which I posted in this thread, we might speculate that if that figure is close to correct it could mean fully loaded, versus empty mass given in the aforementioned references, so approximately 1,500,000 M.T. loaded and 700,000 M.T. empty.

    We have something similar with trucks. On Yahoo! Autos I can see weight of 4,707 lb. for a certain pickup truck, max./standard payload of 1,693, and GVWR of 6,400.

    So the weight (mass) figure means empty but including jack and spare, while GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) means fully loaded, with people, cargo, fuel, handbags, beverages, etc.

    For this particular 2011 model, GVWR isn't double the stated vehicle weight, but for the prototype SUV built by the Rocky Mountain Institute, it might be, since it's made mostly of carbon, with a body that snaps together rather than using bolts (the atomic number of carbon is 6, while that of iron is 26).

    But for a starship that might be in the ballpark, given the argument I made previously about probable high carbon content in structural material of future space vessels.

    So I could at least speculate that empty mass for the Intrepid class is the twice-stated figure of 700.000 M.T. while the loaded mass might well be the approximately 1,500,000 M.T. stated in that early draft of the Technical Manual.

    But, of course, that seems even further from the TOS-oriented view that these figures are already way too high, even though we have a popular figure of 190.000 M.T. for the E versus gross tonnage of "almost a million" mentioned by Scotty.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  19. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Which usually gets one really, really far from what has been established in some obscure bit of canon. :(

    The eeeeevil thing about naval terminology is that it makes no sense even in the real world. Gross tons have nothing to do with gross tonnage, for example. Or more exactly they once did, then did not, then perhaps did again, and currently do not. We could just as well decide all by ourself what it does or does not mean in the 2260s, or the 2370s, or at other arbitrary points of a fictional future. But "nearly a million metric tons" is a good (and currently accurate) translation of Scotty's phrase when the only other canonical datapoint in the entirety of aired Star Trek, namely the mass of the VOY hero ship, is in the same ballpark.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Let's take it a step further. "Top cruising speed" and "cruising speed" are two different things as well. "Top cruising speed" is the maximum rated cruising speed under normal conditions.

    As much as you think it is a "cop out", Voyager is not operating anywhere near normal conditions. Have you seen any un-damaged Intrepid-class ships?

    You can't knock the "top cruising speed" of the ship without at least seeing an undamaged one make a try at it and fail...

    Is the cruising speed stated anywhere in the TOS series?