Enterprise-D's Spotlights (TNG "Pegasus")

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by FalTorPan, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In TNG's "Pegasus," we learned that the Enterprise-D has... steerable spotlights.

    The spotlights made for interesting visual effects, which is no doubt why were added for the episode, but in-universe, what purpose would they serve? The ship's various sensors are already capable of gathering far more information than any spotlights would reveal.

    Discuss!
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But visuals are important to Starfleet nevertheless, otherwise they wouldn't bother to light up the starships and their pennants.

    I'm sure the lights would be useful when somebody else besides the starship herself is at work. Say, they'd be an excellent aid for spacewalks and work pod operations, or for inspecting and handling objects in the ship's tractor beams before they are moved to or from the ship's holds. Apart from that, though, it would probably still be standard procedure to illuminate any starships or other objects encountered unless they are polite enough to illuminate themselves. Sensors may be fine for navigating, docking and so forth, but the heroes still want to see what they are up against.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Vanyel

    Vanyel The Imperious Leader Premium Member

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    The spotlights could also be some sort of high intensity, short range scanner. We've seen plenty of races in Trek whose scanners cast a visible beam of light.
     
  4. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

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    Nothing beats the Mk1 Eyeball. Perhaps they lit up the rockface so people near windows could take a gander.
     
  5. Meredith

    Meredith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah as for the light source, I'd say low grade holographic (light only) projectors.
     
  6. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    :cardie: :vulcan:

    What's "graphic" about them?
     
  7. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

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    As Freud would say sometimes a lightbulb is simply a lightbulb. Not everything has to be technobabbled to the extreme. Prehaps its an array of some kind of LED lights made from exotic materials. Or maybe some kind of high energy plasma-based florescent light source.
     
  8. Santaman

    Santaman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No matter how advanced the equipment, humans stay humans and so they want/need windows, gravity, up&down being the same as on planets etc etc and of course switch on the lights when flying into the dark.
     
  9. Major Chord

    Major Chord Choir Boy Extraordinaire Captain

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    I wonder how many interstellar deer the Enterprise would hit if she flew with those lights on at warp speed?
     
  10. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

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    None, that is why they have the nav-defector. :p
     
  11. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    From this moment on, to be called a "subspace cowcatcher." :)
     
  12. jolau

    jolau Captain Captain

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    Didn't spacedock have something similar?

    Also, the TNG Tech Manual mentions something about mooring tractors built along with the RCS thrusters. Perhaps these are low-level tractor beams that in Spacedock's case, keeps ships still (but will break if a ship begins to move as in Star Trek: 3) but in the Galaxy Class case, it keeps the ship from bumping into walls in such confined spaces.
     
  13. Rÿcher

    Rÿcher Fleet Captain

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    the E-D had spotlights so the camera following it could wee what's going on.
     
  14. Jadzia

    Jadzia on holiday Premium Member

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    Many encounters were away from stars. And out there in interstellar space, it's pretty dark, and you wouldn't be able to see the ship 1km in front of yours.

    The real secret behind the Romulans' cloaking fields is that they just switched off their floodlights. ;)
     

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