Discuss: The Voyager Fleet

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sxottlan, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. Chris McCarver

    Chris McCarver Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I thought that was implied in Full Circle. Don't have my copy close at hand, but didn't one of the admirals say someting about looking forward to the Doctor's command reports from the Delta Quadrant?
     
  2. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    I don't remember that :wtf:? Do you have a page number? It would great if the Doctor got his chance to exercise the ECH :) .
     
  3. Chris McCarver

    Chris McCarver Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'll hunt it up once I return home (logging on from a relative's house at the moment).
     
  4. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know for sure if he is in command, but I do remember a reference to the ECH.
     
  5. Chris McCarver

    Chris McCarver Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Page 461. Although, on second readthrough, I see I've misinterpreted. Capt. Eden was referring to his reports as the Galen's CMO, and one Commander Clarissa Glenn is later named as Galen's CO on pp. 510-511.
     
  6. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    ^Ah...so the plan isn't for the ECH to be in charge of the whole ship...although that would be cool. I went back and looked through those pages, and I noticed that three of the ships have Commanders as their CO's. It's going to be an interesting fleet. Almost seems like a traveling starbase with removable pieces :).
     
  7. Chris McCarver

    Chris McCarver Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I also like how the fleet's command ship isn't by default the largest vessel in the fleet. Voyager's dwarfed by both the Esquiline and Quirinal at the very least.
     
  8. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    :lol: I like that idea very much!
     
  9. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Isn't it at least conceivable that the Romulans/Klingons have found a way to redirect and reconvert that heat energy into a usable/storable form? After all, in the 24th century they've already mastered transformation between matter and energy, and so transformation from heat to the "power" that they use is not inconceivable.

    Also, this probably why cloaks aren't used for extended periods of time, since eventually they would run out of power storage too. And I can also think of how tachyons could be used to detect imperfect cloaks: inefficient/incomplete conversion of heat to stored energy.

    Just my thoughts....and yeah...I think there's no good engineering reason for the MVAM.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There's a term for that: it's called "revoking the laws of thermodynamics." There's a shorter term for it: "magic." What you're talking about is tantamount to a perpetual-motion machine, and it is a fundamental impossibility. Any process that could "redirect and reconvert" waste heat would itself generate waste heat, because every kind of work generates waste heat. There are ways of extracting energy from waste heat -- for instance, using piezoelectric crystals that generate energy when they expand from the heat -- but it could never be 100% efficient. The universe just doesn't work that way.
     
  11. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    I know the laws of thermodynamics, thank you and I'm not silly enough to attempt to rework them.:)
    What I'm thinking is not actually perpetual. I'm thinking that even that generated waste heat during reconversion could itself be reconverted back into energy.
    Of course that can't go on forever since there's a limit to how much one can store energy, which is why I suggested that ships can't be cloaked for long periods. Eventually they'd have to decloak and/or use that energy built-up energy. Use means expend and in the end entropy does increase as far as the universe (outside the ship) is concerned....it's just delayed until the ship decloaks.

    Jus' sayin'...24th century n'all.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No matter what, you still have waste heat building up. Even the process of recovering or "storing" waste heat could never be 100% efficient without violating multiple laws of physics. And if you're not radiating it, then it's building up inside the cloaking field and will eventually cook the crew.

    Regardless of the century, any technology is constrained by fundamental physical laws. There are some things that you absolutely should not be able to do no matter how advanced your technology is. Technological advancement isn't about throwing away physical laws, it's about finding better ways to take advantage of them.
     
  13. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    ^
    Like I said, before the heat builds up and "cooks the crew" the ship would have to decloak. I keep saying it again, ship cannot remain cloaked forever because of this.

    Please explain how transporters, subspace transmissions, replicators, holodecks, phasers, warp drives, and transwarp drives work without violating known laws of physics. Oh, and time travel too.

    I thought we were talking about fiction and how one could possibly explain something that would be "stretched" science. If you want to throw out cloaking devices as being a "fundamentally violation", you're going to have to throw out a lot of things like the transporters, which are arguably the most frequently used technology on Star Trek.

    :shrug: Hey, you're the author. But Star Trek just wouldn't be Star Trek without transporters, warp drive and cloaks.
     
  14. LightningStorm

    LightningStorm The Borg King Commodore

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    While I agree with you in theory, I don't think this makes such things impossible.

    Sure, nothing can be 100% efficient, but it's possible that something could be extremely efficient such that the 'waste heat' is so small that it would take a ridiculously long time to 'cook the crew'. Then there's also the option of directing the heat to certain decks and areas of the ship that don't have crew in it, that part can get oven hot without worries until it's time to decloak.

    Then this is to say nothing of the idea that we don't know everything there is to know about the physics of the universe. Based on what limited data and "knowledge" we have now sure we can claim impossibility all we want but what's to say that something won't be discovered that completely changes what we thought we knew. This is the purpose of scientific study after all, to learn more and if necessary rewrite old theories and previously thought "facts". This truly is a matter of it appears magical to us because we are like cavemen seeing an airplane flying around for the first time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm not saying they do. I merely pointed out that the idea of cloaking technology is more scientifically ludicrous when looked at realistically than the idea of a multipart attack ship. I offered no opinion on those other things, because they weren't topics in the post by Aeneas that I was responding to when I made my original statement on the subject.


    No, I was talking about how silly I think the Prometheus is, and then when the subject of cloaking technology was raised, I mentioned as an aside that it's intrinsically a much sillier gimmick. You're taking a specific, narrow comment and misinterpreting it as some kind of general, universal assertion.


    I never said anything about "throwing out" anything. I'm merely stepping back from the fictional context -- in which obviously the laws are mutable to fit the story -- and offering an observation more grounded in real physics in order to provide some perspective about the differences between fantasy and reality.
     
  16. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    Looks like you wouldn't want cloaking devices in the Trekverse to me.

    I get now that you were only looking at it in the context of the engineering of Prometheus. Previously it sounded to me that you only had a problem with cloaking devices, and I was trying to show how a plausible explanation could be constructed even for cloaking devices.

    I completely agree with LightningStorm's comment above about heat dissipation and who's to say that the physical laws of the 24th century wouldn't be different from the laws we have today.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Absolutely everything we know about physics says that. That's like saying "Who's to say that the Earth of the 24th century won't be shaped like a pyramid" or "Who's to say that 2 + 2 won't equal 7 in the 24th century?" The laws of physics are universal constants. If they do vary, it's over billions of years of time and trillions of light-years of space.

    In fiction, you can make up whatever imaginary physics you want. That's acceptable if it serves the needs of the story. But for the love of Einstein, don't pretend that it can be justified in real terms. Not when it requires such a totally ludicrous assertion as that one.
     
  18. LightningStorm

    LightningStorm The Borg King Commodore

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    Let's be clear. I didn't state that the laws of physics might change, just our understanding and knowledge of them. It's entirely possible that there is something we don't know about the nature of this that makes it possible. There have been theories that were declared true in the past that have been proven not so universally true. This is not a 2+2, A is A situation. There are plenty of options and things that can be done to deal with generated heat, just because today's level of technology is so inefficient that it puts out a LOT of heat really fast doesn't mean things will always be this way... as evidenced by the fact that I have a calculator that can do more calculations faster than supercomputers of the 1970s. Those would cook a person, my calculator will not generate enough heat to do this before you have much bigger concerns like food, air and water.

    Then there is of course a matter of simply MASKING the heat rather than actually holding it in. Who says the heat's not still there, it's just not detectable by the other ship's sensors? Why does a cloak necessarily HAVE to hold it all in? It could still be radiating into space but the cloaking technology somehow affects sensors such that they can't detect it, it's like saying a cloaking device is actually making the ship actually vanish, when we know that's not the case. Makes sense since cloaking and sensor technology within Trek has been in a race since the beginning.
     
  19. rahullak

    rahullak Commodore Commodore

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    ^@Christopher
    I didn't make ridiculous assertions like "Who's to say that 2 + 2 won't equal 7 in the 24th century?" That's just silly.

    I'm sure we all know that everyone thought in the 19th century thought that Newton's laws were immutable and absolute until Einstein came along in the 20th century and revised them. Perhaps someone now (maybe you Christopher :P) or by the time of the 24th century could come along and revise these laws further?

    All I have been talking about is fiction. I made no claims about finding real science in fiction. I do know the difference between what's real science and what's not. I do not know where you get this idea that I'm pretending otherwise.

    If it's fiction, it doesn't matter if its being justified in real terms or not does it? It's just words. I was merely attempting to show how cloaking devices could possibly be fictitiously (god I shoulda emphasized this before) explained. If of course you stand by the statement "If I could expunge cloaking devices from the Trekverse, I would.", that's your prerogative. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But more efficiency is not 100 percent efficiency. What you were talking about before was perpetual motion, the generation of energy with zero cumulative loss. That's not just difficult, that's simply impossible. Entropy is absolutely fundamental to the universe as we know it. Everyone who knows anything about physics knows that perpetual motion is not just an engineering problem but a fundamental absurdity that can never be achieved.

    If you were only saying that power systems could be made efficient enough that heat buildup would be reduced and a cloak could function for, say, a few hours with, say, an energy output only marginally above local background radiation, that's something I can accept. But you seemed to be saying it would be possible for all waste energy to be recovered, and that's when you cross the line from plausible futurism to pure Did Not Do the Research.

    Yes, there are things we don't know yet about how physics works, but it's wrong to assume that means that any given physical law can be thrown out altogether. New understandings add to our knowledge, but the things we knew before still remain valid. Newton's laws were only an approximation of Einstein's laws, but everything they say is still entirely true within the range of conditions in which they were defined. If something is proven to be true, then new knowledge won't suddenly make it untrue.


    Okay, if a cloaking device is merely a way of hacking the enemy's sensors, that's actually credible. Pure electronic countermeasures, nothing implausible about that. But if the enemy knew that were how it worked, then surely they'd use a range of different sensor techniques and would run them on isolated, shielded computer systems so they couldn't all be hacked simultaneously or at all by external signals. Or they could use sensors that don't have any computer components at all between the detector and a purely mechanical readout device. For instance, use a film camera with a type of film that's chemically receptive to infrared light. How do you "jam" a piece of film?

    The bottom line is, while there are limited options for stealth in space, there is no literal, perfect invisibility. There will always be some emissions given off by any ship, and therefore there will always be the theoretical possibility of detection.
     

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