How do transphasiac torpedos work?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by SicOne, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    Hey, guys,

    Thread going on over in Trek Lit about transphasiac torpedos. How do they work? And are they only effective against the Borg?

    As seen in Voyager's "Endgame", one t-torp took out a Borg cube. That being the case, certainly only one would take out a Romulan Warbird, a Negh'var, a Sovereign, pretty much anything. The discussion in Trek Lit sparked discussion about a new arms race in the quadrant, but for some reason I'm thinking the t-torp phases through the Borg multi-adaptive shielding and targets the cube's transwarp coils, causing a massive chain reaction of all of the cube's t-warp coils, and destroying the cube.

    Hence, though devastating against cubes and spheres, it wouldn't be much more than a photon torpedo's-worth of explosives (maybe even less, if the phasing mechanism takes up much of the torpedo's interior space) against non-transwarp-equipped ships.

    Is there discussion, whether in a previous thread or a novel, in which this is shown? I am led to understand it is discussed in "Greater Than The Sum", and while I have the book, I am leaving it alone for the time being while I finish some other ones in chronological order.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Mister_Atoz

    Mister_Atoz Commander Red Shirt

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  3. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

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    They require a highly sophisticated plot device that is made out of rarefied balonieum-lanthanum sulfide crystals that channel the reaction through the unobtanium-chloride reaction chamber. The power-source is the collected rage of all the canon-wankers across the internet amplified by a pseudo-galvanometric thermometric-particle generation matrix. The reaction must be started by generating a radiation-field with cyanoacrylate below absolute zero.
     
  4. BorgMan

    BorgMan Captain Captain

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    Theywork because Future Janeway tells you they work ;)
     
  5. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd say that there's something in the torpedo that puts it out of phase with normal matter, allowing the torpedo to pass through shields. The warhead is probably a standard photon torpedo warhead, maybe even cut down to make room for the phasing majigger. The torpedo sails right through shields, its full yield being unleashed on a protective target, and the force from the detonation might bounce off of the inside of the target's shields, resulting in a sort of blastback.

    That, and Voyager's writers wanted a magic torpedo.
     
  6. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well look at the name: transphasiac They most like phase in an out alowing them to get past sheilds and there explosive yeald probaly gets is power from pahsing matter somehow.
     
  7. Strider

    Strider Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I thought about this while I was reading Destiny. Maybe transphasic technology is something that most powers would have a relatively easy time altering their shields to compensate for. The Borg aren't able to do actual research, just assimilate it, so blah blah blah.
     
  8. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

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    This. Plain and simple.

    Most people keep adding MORE and MORE to the "output numbers" because they have no idea how powerful 20 megatons really is. I used to cut inches of steel plate with a 2.5 kilowatt laser, not a 250 megawatt one.

    You set off a 20-50 megaton explosion inside a structure it is fucked. That's all there is to it. There is heat, there is electromagnetic radiation, there is particle radiation, you set up a shock-wave from all this energy being released....



    The "magic bullet" aspect could come from some kind of radical new understanding of phasing technology or better control over it. At the minimum you'd need a way for the torpedo to sense when it is inside the target in a location where rephasing won't embed a delicate part of the mechanism in a wall. You'd want to rephase in an open chamber like a cargo-bay or shuttle-bay or main engineering. You'd want to time the rephase and detonation so there is close to zero possiblity of someone reacting quick enough to slap a stais field around the torpedo or lock on to it and beam it into space. The "magic bullet" aspect would have to include this as well.

    You could do this by having the torpedo shift in and out of phase rapidly to take sensor readings as it flies twords the target or you could have the firing vessel use a phase-thingimagigger to send telemetry from the ship's senors to the torpedo.

    Shall I keep going or should I go torment the sushi thread some more?
     
  9. BorgMan

    BorgMan Captain Captain

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    *ponders* I just had a talk with Plecostomus, and he made a remark that was meant to be funny
    We had fun over it, but then it hit me: if there's no machine to keep "stuff" out of phase... wouldn't that then mean that once a small part of the explosion rips away the Transphasic generator, the rest of the blast shifts back to "normal" space?
     
  10. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

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    I can't fucking BELIEVE I'm discussing matters of Federation Security with the fucking BORG.

    GET OUT OF MY THREAD! SECURITY! DETAIN THAT DRONE!
     
  11. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I always assumed it was an outgrowth of the way the interphase cloaking device from the Pegasus (of the TNG episode of the same name) worked... Surely Starfleet Security and Section 31 would eventually take up working on such technology again at some point, if they ever stopped? And if it was developed by Starfleet while Voyager was still some light years from Earth, why couldn't they have transmitted the plans to them for construction and use against the Borg? Admiral Janeway was rather vague on that point - her talk of 'in my time we've developed defenses against the Borg' could have meant Starfleet or could have meant the Voyager crew.)

    I also always assumed as pretty much all of you have suggested - some small component in the torpedo allows it to pass just enough out of phase to pass through the target's outer extremities into the target's heart - be it warp core or whatever - where it instantly de-phases and goes off.

    Borgman,
    you do make a good point, but perhaps millisecond timing allows the torpedos to 'dephase' almost simultaneously as the explosive is triggered?
     
  12. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Assuming that it's a standard photon torpedo with an ability to phase through matter is bogus.

    Technology evolves, and given the fact that SF churned out quite powerful torpedoes in TNG era throughout a relatively short period of time alone, I would say there is a very good possibility the explosive yield of torpedoes was increased as well ... especially 26 years down the line.

    Yes, the name 'transphasic' does allude to the possibility the torpedo utilizes aspects of phased cloaking technology to phase through matter, but at the same time, you'd be a moron not to improve the torpedoes in ever possible way and just use technology from 30 years ago and slap on some phasing generators.
     
  13. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    The Klingons did have a weapon that could go through shields in Starfleet Command 3, the polaron torpedo. It was their answer to the quantum torpedo, and it carries a device which creates a rapidly cycling polaron burst. That allows it to pass through the shields on many conventional enemies and hit the hull armor directly, but the downside is that it's only marginally more powerful than a standard photon torpedo. The polaron emitter consumes enough space that the warhead can't be increased.
     
  14. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well of course the torpedoes would be improved, but we're talking about Voyager, a ship with limited resources. Meaning, they would have been able to build it with existing resources and equipment.
     
  15. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Uhm ... you are forgetting that the technology in question came from the future.
    The ship was in full contact with SF prior to Endgame and had numerous advanced tech schematics (incl. Borg tech) at their disposal in their database from their original 7 years of trip, not to mention the extra 16 years in an alternate time-line.
    SF could have analyzed that data as much as Voyager crew did and use their own resources to devise new weapons which Voyager's crew would only need to duplicate it as the techs were made to work with SF tech to begin with.

    Remember that Seven of 9 mentioned that the stealth tech was incompatible at this time with their systems ... but the armor and weapons were compatible, meaning that their advanced tactical superiority would not be downgraded from being duplicated using Voyager's present day tech.

    In the alternate future, Voyager was updating the ship likely with SF's aid so they can keep up.
    And given how Voyager acquired technology to triple their replicator efficiency with only using 50% of power than what they were using in the 'Void' (which was a considerable power drain to begin with as far as the anomaly is concerned), there is no reason to think Voyager would have suffered the same issues of being extremely limited with resources as fast as they were in the past.
     
  16. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just because I go back to 1952 with the blueprints to a modern supercomputer doesn't mean that they'd be able to build it with the same level of function, if at all. Maybe they could use it to improve circuit designs or new cooling systems, but they wouldn't be able to build Blue Gene right off the bat.

    You're underestimating the yield of a standard photon torpedo. Agaisnt an unprotected Borg cube, it would be more than enough, and with an interphase device in the torpedo, the Borg ship's defenses are a moot point.
     
  17. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

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    Agreed. The energy released in a 50 megaton explosion is immense, and we're talking about setting it of INSIDE an enclosed space. Multi-adaptive nano-regeneration or not the heat and electromagnetic effects alone are going to play havoc with any sort of biological system, the heat and the shock will play havoc with the mechanical. The shockwave will cause the cube to expand rapidly outwards at several thousand KPH.
     
  18. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Fine. Then its a frikkin' trans-multi-tri-quantum-inter-spectrum-phasic torpedo, transphasic for short. :p

    You do make a good point though. The warhead doesn't have to be a conventional photon or even quantum (with its magic zero-point energy whatnots) torpedo. However, the warheads in the ones that the past Voyager built had to come from somewhere, and we did see them apparently churning out more photon torpedos than quantum (which unless I'm mistaken I believe they had zero of from the get-go anyway.) So even if the transphasic torpedos of the future use a different type of warhead, it could be entirely more complex then we think.

    I actually quite agree with this assessment. Of course if the 'transphasic' bit has something to do with the actual warhead's components, using dark matter or some invented technobabble, and the 'phasic' part isn't just an easily-replicated plugin bit of tech, then maybe the Admiral brought back whichever parts they couldn't replicate in the past in her shuttle someplace. So either way, we don't really know. Janeway could have brought back enough unreplicateable parts to build the, what, five or six, transphasic torpedoes that they used and the only parts they share with 'ordinary' photorps is the casing, proplusion, and tracking tech. However, the actual origin of the torpedoes' invention could just as easily be a Voyager deus ex machina improvement on existing tech that Starfleet later adopted as a SF tactical upgrade.

    I still think a phase-cloaked photon or quantum torpedo that could phase through all of the target's defenses and detonate at the most vulnerable part of the interior would be more than enough to do the job as-shown.
     
  19. Vance

    Vance Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think people toss around technobabble numbers so much that they forget what the numbers actually mean. Kirk's Enterprise, in the original series, had torpedoes which had about 18MT yield each. That's the same as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima for every single frackin' torpedo. (Phasers are roughly 2MT yield).

    And that's Kirk's time.

    Honestly, at that point, for a weapon used to destroy structures that are a fraction of the size of Hiroshima, and enclosed and as fragile as a ship... well, there's a reason I scoff at 'target their bridge', target ANYTHING - if the torpedo goes off inside the ship, the whole thing's gone anyway.

    So, it comes down to shields, so the only LOGICAL argument is that all these new 'torpedo types' refer to ways to bypass the shields of the time, which is problematic, when you think about it, but there ya go. "Transphasic", more than likely, allows the torpedo to ripple-through an enemy shield, but deliver the same yield as the previous torpedoes.

    You just don't need anything more.
     
  20. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Precisley. These things are designed by trained engineers and experts, not Jeremy Clarkson. More power isn't a trait indicitive of "more advanced" weaponry.