Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Praetor, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Probably similar to how the holodeck replicates props... a prop holodeck phaser might not work, but an industrial replicator phaser would. Or somethin.'

    Regarding torpedoes, I assumed it was the antimatter part that couldn't be replicated.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    We have never heard it categorically explicated that antimatter couldn't be replicated - but supposedly the power for replicators comes from antimatter, so it makes little sense to burn lots of it to create a little bit of it.

    However, the torpedo warheads did not appear loaded. Or at least they probably wouldn't have been so carelessly demonstrated in the Cardassian court if they had the potential to blow not just the building but the city sky high. And they had been on long term storage aboard DS9, too.

    Perhaps it's the supposed incredibly intricate forcefields that are the key component of an antimatter-holding warhead that give the biggest headache to a replicator? Food replicators might fall short on that area, even though we have seen them replicate functional weapons (a phaser in "Civil Defense", a transporter-equipped slug-thrower in "Field of Fire"). OTOH, a full industrial replicator might not be needed, as starships supposedly have the capacity to replicate their own torpedoes (the Voyager faced a shortage when her replicators were down, but no longer faced a shortage in later seasons when her replicators were working again). Or does every starship capable of replenishing her own torpedo (and shuttlecraft!) supply come equipped with what amounts to an industrial replicator? I'm tempted to believe in an intermediate type of replicator instead.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Well we know from TNG that there's a dedicated "replicator kiosk" on the E-D that supposedly has replicators that function differently from the ones in personal quarters, so perhaps there's different kinds depending on function. I would also suggest that shuttlebays and perhaps cargo bays also have some sort of replicator function (perhaps combined with cargo transporters?) that can be used to craft new replacement parts for auxiliary vessels and for the ship itself, as Federation starships seem almost as self-sufficient in repair capability as wooden warships. Having a sort of mini-industrial replicator on board would also I think solve the "infinite shuttles" problem on Voyager, as well as the fact that each and every starship seems to have a custom shuttle that looks like the mother ship.
     
  4. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    I had a couple of questions that were asked earlier, albeit in perhaps the incorrect thread, so here they are in the proper place.

    Assuming the 467-meter length of the Excelsior, what are the dimensions of that underhull alcove? Is it really large enough, with enough "floor space", to serve as a shuttlebay? The curvature of the hull doesn't seem to give it a helluva lot of floor...unless they took a page from nuBSG's Pegasus and reverse the gravity plating to make the floor the ceiling.

    Also, where is the Excelsior's main shuttlebay? I thought I saw a cutaway some time ago that showed the main shuttlebay to be in the primary hull, forward of the impulse engines but aft of the bridge. But looking at some of the images in this thread, I'm not so sure. I was always of the impression that the shuttlebay in the stern of the secondary hull was just for cargo shuttles only, and not the main shuttlebay.
     
  5. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My apologies if I missed your questions in the other thread.

    I will try to work up something to figure out the exact dimensions of that area. Previous assumptions I made were based on faulty conclusions about the arrangement of that inside. Basically, though, what I'm still leaning towards is having the actual curved opening not be the shuttlebay, as much as a stanging area - because as you said, the floor is curved unless we reverse the gravity. (An intriguing notion, although I struggle with balancing it against the fact that we've never, ever seen such a thing done in Trek. Trek ships always seem to have a very clear top and bottom.)

    I will work up some dimensions based on the two possible sizes of the ship, both official and inferred from window rows. I think a comparison to the Galileo-5 is on order, since it seems likely this is the type of shuttle she'd carry.

    So, the cutaway of which you speak was done by Mr. Drexler for the Enterprise-B in "Generations." Apparently there was some confusion as to what the saucer add-ons were. Indeed, that cutaway has several interesting issues.

    1. The decks are scaled to the window rows, rather than the official 467 meter size
    2. The saucer add-ons are made shuttlebays (with a cross through inside) even though we see a characteristic red impulse glow from them in the film
    3. The warp core is not aligned with the "deflection crystals"
    4. The deflector dish is placed too low
    5. There's no secondary hull cutout... at all.
    6. The structure that actually looks like a shuttlebay at the aft end of the secondary hull is actually a cargo loading facility
    7. The torpedo launchers are placed in the neck, but their placement doesn't correspond with the actual cutouts in the neck filligree detail
    8. I believe the aft torpedo launchers are instead stated to be the location of the aft tractor beam
    There are probably a couple that I'm forgetting, too.

    For my part, I assumed that the lower cutout was a predecessor to the large shuttlebay seen on the Ambassador and Galaxy classes, albeit in an embyronic form. I'm still in the process of revising my thoughts about the cutout, but I'm fairly certain, either way, that the structure at the aft end where a shuttlebay traditionally is, is indeed a shuttlebay. There are other simple ways of providing cargo deck access, and IMO a long conveyor from there to the front area of the hull where the cargo bays apparently are is kind of a waste of space.
     
  6. Lego Thrawn

    Lego Thrawn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    IIRC, we have never seen a replicator inside someone's quarters create anything but food or drink. Even in the TNG episode "The Neutral Zone", we never saw WHERE Data replicated the guitar for Sonny. My thinking is that the ship's stores have the non-foods replicators, and that the ones in crew cabins can only produce foodstuffs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. zDarby

    zDarby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I am slowly slogging my way through this zombie thread. Awesome work, Predator! I love reading this stuff!

    I am on page 15, poised to read the first technical essay and looking forward to it. But on the previous page was a discussion about the number of Excelcior ships. I understand it is probably bad form to bring up an old dead arguement but I can't help but adding a thought.

    Using Geoffrey Mandel's Star Charts as a reference, I counted the total square sectors on the maps that were claimed to be Federation: about 53, 23 in alpha quad and 30 in Beta. I then estimated the depth of each sector by assuming it and its neighbors horizontally were representative of them vertically and got an average of 2.4 sectors tall. Rounding down to 50 and 2, respectively, that's about 100 sectors of Federation space. (A very rough estimate.) Assuming you want to have enough ships to patrol that volume of space such that any point may be accessed by just one ship by one days travel at warp 9, you would need about 8600 ships to patrol that volume. Reducing your speed to warp 8 requires 27,000.

    And that's just to patrol the volume. Not to mention the places you're exploring or that a day away seems irresponsible in some sectors.

    As someone else said, the scope of the Federation at TNG era is hard to fathom.
    ..........
    How I calculated: total volume devided by volume travelable.

    total volume is the number of sectors times the cubic volume in light days of a sector: 100*(20*365)^3 cubic light days.

    volume travelable is volume of a sphere with radius of one day at the given warp speed: ~(4/3)*(wf^(10/3))^3) cubic light days
     
  8. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks, zDarby. :)

    That math is quite helpful... and slightly painful. :rommie:

    I'm still leaning towards keeping that number on the low side, to keep those "We're the only ship in the <insert unit of measure here>" far more plausible. But, perhaps upping my estimates by, say, 50% are in order.

    For those interested, I have also begun some revisions to this historic section of the writeup which I may post soon. The technical section is of course highly contingent on what the "real" size of the ship finally ends up being over in the other thread. ;)
     
  9. zDarby

    zDarby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    found an error in my equations: I didn't include pi in the volume of a sphere. So my estimates are pi times too large.

    100 sectors and one day at 9wf would be 2,660 ships.
    8wf, 8,650
    7wf, 32,900
    6wf, 154,000

    later, I'll estimate the density from 40 ships scrambling to wolf 359 in so many days. :techman:
     
  10. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, hooray for mathematical errors!

    That actually works much better. :D

    (And I'd love to see those Wolf 359 calculations.)
     
  11. zDarby

    zDarby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Without more accurate data about how long it took to rally the Wolf 359 fleet, my calculations yield a useless range of outputs.

    If you assume it took a day and all the vessels came at warp 9, that gives a ship density of about 0.133 ships per cubic light year. Extrapolating outward over 100 sectors, that's over 100,000 ships.

    But if it took 6 days at warp 9, then the density is 0.000616 ships per light year, yielding 500 ships in 100 sectors. (Starfleet reinforcements were 6 days away when Ent-D met up with the Borg just prior to the battle at Wolf 359, according to Memory Alpha, giving an upper.)

    This range of answers is completely useless, as I am sure you can tell. Can anyone find closer set of (connonical) time limits?
     
  12. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I finally came across the website that I got "Dr. Tokogawa" from... mostly I included it as a nod for my appreciation to the site's efforts. I disagree with a chunk of what they assert.

    In another thread, Crazy Eddie brought up the notion that the "humpback pod" that the nacelle struts attach to iswhat actually houses the warp core. I must admit, I've considered this notion before, but was convinced primarily by the location of the deflection crystals that the ship probably had a more conventional core arrangement. I'm eager to hear others' thoughts on this.

    In addition, what do others make of the fact that the warp cores of the two ships appear to be represented by the TNG set? We more or less know from Mr. Probert that the TMP intermix chamber was essentially a power transfer conduit, with the reaction taking place elsewhere, and TOS also seems to be a different animal.

    On the one hand, we may wish to assume that the A and Excelsior cores aren't "really" identical, but on the other, we may wish to infer from this that the Excelsior tech introduced the "modern" warp core arrangement, and this played a part in the class's longevity. I'm eager to hear others' thoughts on this, too.
     
  13. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I've always personally felt that the intermix chamber of the Excelsior roughly matches the layout of the Enterprise refit. Although I do agree that there had been some major revisions with the dual crystal configuration. There were similar discussions about the Constellation class (also with dual crystals - and dual everything else), where the doubling up all main systems was an attempt at boosting performance without necessarily coming up with any innovations. I figure the dual crystals gave the Excelsiors the kind of boost that allowed them to keep up with newer designs later on into the 24th century - possibly implying that they may have had dual intermix chambers/cores.

    I'm thinking that the big "hump" where the engines go into the secondary hull was a more structurally sound alternative to the "strong back" configuration of the Connies, taking the pressure of torquing forces off the entire spine and on to a more localized area specifically architected to handle it.
     
  14. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You know, initially I'd dismissed the TMP-style warp core as being inadequate for the Great Experiment, and wanting to rectify the appearance of the TNG-style cores in TUC, but you make some great points... particularly about the possibility of dual cores, which I hadn't before considered.

    Anyone who's not following the scaling thread, please go check out this post concerning some options I'm facing with the placement of the core.
     
  15. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ok, time to start revising this beauty. The original version of this chapter can be found in the first post.

    I've chosen to omit the mention of Federation battleships because in the interim I've become less convinced that they "really" existed and felt no need to render a verdict either way for the purposes of this writeup. I've also tried to make it sound less like Starfleet was caught with its pants down designing a replacement for the Constitution class, while trying to maintain the notion that the 23rd century was a time of great change.

    Please let me know what you think.

    Second chapter on transwarp to come soon.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Unless the name of Dr. Tokugawa shows up in the ST III novelization or other expanded universe materials or is mentioned in another dubbed version of the movie, "Thorndike" or "Thorndyke" is canon according to the German dubbed version. ;)

    I'm not saying that you have not experienced Star Trek unless you have listened to the German dubbed version (for TOS this Klingon proverb might however apply :lol:), but every German fan of Star Trek "knows" that the Excelsior was designed by a person with the aforementioned name.

    Bob
     
  17. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, you're right Bob. I did forget to change that, and I wasn't crazy about Tokugawa anyway. Changed. ;)

    And with that, here's what's sure to be the most controversial chapter, on transwarp. :)

    The original version of Chapter Two can be found here. Whatcha think?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  18. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    I like this! This however made me think -- going back to the Transwarp subject; as you know it really bothers me that a full scale mock up was made before thoroughly testing the concept smaller scale. Earlier we talked about a compromise, where it was only a partial failure.

    Another thought occurred to me. What if the Excelsior in ST III functioned just as well as it was expected to -- that the limits and extent that they could achieve Transwarp were known prior to starship construction. In other words, prior to ST III, they knew the Transwarp experiment would not result in the "infinite speed" or breaking the "warp 10 barrier", but kept the project name for PR.

    In reality, Transwarp was dropped for political reasons -- Transwarp as a concept was simply a plot device to allow our heros to be the underdog in TSFS. After TSFS, the producers had little interest in the concept, and the production team of TNG seemed to consciously distance themselves from many of the concepts from the films.

    When trying to divine an in-universe rationalization, I find myself wanting to mirror the real world reason. In other words, since transwarp was abandoned for political reasons production wise, why not assume it was abandoned for political reasons in universe wise too? I don't know if this is a good approach -- this may in fact be the wrong thing to do, allowing the production reality to shape the universe that we want to be "above" such considerations.

    Yet in my mind, it makes a certain sense. Kirks actions in TSFS contributed to a very tense and sensitive political situation (the Genesis project and planet) blowing up in Starfleet's face. Though Kirk's actions in TVH led to his actions being all but pardoned, we have little indication that the overall political situation was resolved or even improved. Rather, it was simply deferred due to a more imminent crisis.

    I could see Starfleet, in the immediate aftermath of events of TSFS, putting a hold on Excelsior trials as the leaders scrambled to contain and address the political fallout from all sides. Indeed, a freeze on R&D may have been imposed on any cutting edge technology that could be construed as providing a tactical or combative advantage. Agreements such as Federations abstention from cloaking technology might have had their genesis (no pun intended) here.

    When all the dust had settled, and the federation had brought some stability to the situation, an edict may have come down to discontinue use of the term "transwarp." Starfleet would then quietly close out the project, officially labeling it a "failure" (which technically it was determined to be long before the Excelsior was built), and discretely make improvements under the guise of enhancements to "conventional" warp drive. And Admiral Harry Morrow, the man who spearheaded the project, quietly stepped down from his role as Starfleet Commander.

    The hit to morale would be substantial. During this decade, and in spite of their efforts to the contrary, Starfleet found itself becoming perceived as more and more militaristic. Border disputes, raids on colonies, bottlenecks on the supply of resources pushed Starfleet deployments more into this role.

    Excelsior project was heralded as a beacon of light, with hopes that it would bring exploration and discovery back to the forefront, returning Starfleet to a new scientific era. Alas, what began as a shining talisman to the future soon became an albatross of the past. Starfleet would not see a return to this era for another 80 years. It is not without irony that Excelsior's commissioning plate came to have the quote "No matter where you go, there you are"

    To be clear, exploration and discover were never abandoned. Several new cultures were discovered and relationships forged. This issue was simply that Starfleets overlapping roles of exploration and protection, which always necessitating careful communication and education for both member and non member interactions, continued to become more blurred and nebulous during this era.
     
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just to point out: the Enterprise is said to have exceeded warp ten in "That Which Survives" among other cases, and the Orion ship from "Journey to Babel" was also traveling at warp ten.

    I never much cared for the "infinite velocity" theory of transwarp drive. I still believe it refers to something a lot more esoteric than that; say, the ability to sustain fractional warp factors for extended periods of time.
     
  20. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    ^^^ Agreed. Always disliked the Warp 10 paradox as well, partly because one of Trek's worst episodes ("Threshold") featured it, but also because it was too reminiscent of HHGTTG's Infinite Improbability Drive and, therefore, I could never take it seriously.