How powerfull is the stardrive section?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by EmperorTiberius, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    I watched Heart of Glory yesterday and Worf says that when Enterprise is releaved of its bulk, it can become an exceptional weapon.

    How exceptional is that?

    Some people are saying that the long phaser arrays on saucer are not "caliber" of phasers, in which case it would make sense to separate for every battle. Unless the (4 was it?) fusion reactors provide that much power?

    How powerful are fusion reactors compared to M/AM?
     
  2. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Don't know about fusion outpot vs. M/AM output, but it seems to me there's a couple of factors that make the Stardrive a better combatant from Worf's POV:

    1) Narrower profile means less surface area for the deflector shields to cover. Less power is probably required to maintain the shields.
    II) Less mass to push around. The ship might be more maneuverable as just the stardrive.
    C) Without families and children to worry about, the command crew can really cut loose and go full Rambo without worrying about protecting innocent lives.
     
  3. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    On screen, the stardrive looked like it didn't have phasers, just torpedoes. Though it does have that super beam they sported during the beginning of All Good Things Part 2.
     
  4. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    I guess that's a good point about Worf's personal preference. Klingons do seem to like speed and maneuverability.

    About the shield though, that's what I was kind of trying to figure out, may be somebody has the tech manual handy, but is it possible that the fusion reactors are that powerful that they would fully compensate for the increase in shield surface area? Entire DS9 is powered by those large fusion reactors very adequately.

    As for the civilians, I don't think Picard cared that much if the cause was just, he'd sacrifice them all
     
  5. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    It has 6 small arreys, plus one medium sized one on the cobra head. I think it is used in Arsenal of Freedom.
     
  6. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    ^You're right, I stand corrected.

    [​IMG]

    ... Well, I lay corrected.
     
  7. PhoenixClass

    PhoenixClass Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    According to the tech manual, a Galaxy class vessel (at least, of the Enterprise D era) has 4 impulse engines in each section (ie saucer and stardrive), each engine having 3 fusion reactors. So, each section has the same amount of fusion reactors.

    And of course the stardrive has it's fusion reactors and the warp engine for power.

    I didn't try to compare the two systems directly and do math but I don't think we have to. A a matter/anti-matter reaction, by definition, converts the matter completely into energy. So it would be more powerful than the fusion reactors.

    By the way, where did you hear that the saucer phasers aren't actually phasers?
     
  8. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    They are phasers, but apparently the tech manual implies that the bigger the array, the more powerful the phaser, because it accumulates charge as it passes over the other emitters. Hence, the length and thickness of the array sort of comes to mean that it's like caliber of the phaser.

    But some fans discount this saying that TNG TM is not canon.

    BTW, so according to the TM, the single engine on the stardrive is actually 2 engines?
     
  9. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    That's if you think a V8 engine is actually eight engines because it has 4 pistons, no..?

    Mark
     
  10. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    Ok, I was able to view a copy of TM online and I see what PhoenixClass meant. Very interesting. I wouldn't compare it to pistons exactly since it doesn't operate like a car.

    There are four engines behind the red exhaust, and two groups of two in saucer. There are total of 24 reactors + 4 additional auxiliary reactors.

    So, losing the saucer section, the ship is left without at least 12 reactors, possibly 16 if the auxiliaries are in the saucer. That could be a significant handicap.
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually the star drive section has a LOT of phasers
    1 pair on the outboard "corners" of the nacelle pylons
    1 pair on the top trailing edge of the ship (with the torpedo tube between them)
    1 pair of the bottom trailing edge of the ship (opposite the top ones)
    a single longish left-right array under the ship's belly
    1 pair on the top back of the cobra head (out near the corners)
    1 longer array along the top front of the cobra head

    That's 10
     
  12. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think the TNG Tech Manual had all of the phaser arrays on the Galaxy-class rated at Type-10. Size may be more of an issue of capacity and output than actual array length or thickness. The DS9 Tech Manual suggested that Type-9 phaser arrays were on the Ambassador-class with a mix of different phaser types (including some Type-11 emitters) installed on Deep Space Nine during its last upgrade.
    Indeed, I think canonically phaser types have only gone as high as Type-8 (TNG's "Preemptive Strike"), and even those seemed to punch quite a wallop on capital ships.
     
  13. PhoenixClass

    PhoenixClass Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yea I never read the manual as longer array = stronger phaser. I looked again, it says that "Individual emitter segments are capable of directing 5.1 megawatts." So it is the capacity of an emitter, not the length of the array, that defines the power. The emitters are set in sequence, hence the arrays we see.
     
  14. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe people are getting that from the way the firing effect on the main saucer array starts off with a cascade of glowing emitters, that circle around the array from both directions and meet at the point where the beam actually comes out.
     
  15. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    It also says that they all discharge and pass around other segments before coming to a point and being directed at a target.
     
  16. PhoenixClass

    PhoenixClass Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes but doesn't the fact that an emitter has an upper limit mean that it doesn't matter how long the array is?
     
  17. EmperorTiberius

    EmperorTiberius Captain Captain

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    It says that due to force coupling, the charge passes over the emitter, or something to that effect, so the individual capacity wouldn't matter.
     
  18. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Unfortunately the TM's technical specs don't match up to what's on screen. In "A Matter of Time", the E-D's phasers had to have a margin of error less than 60 GW which is quite higher than the potential max as described in the TM.

    Also, the phaser strip length doesn't appear to correlate to the amount of phaser power the strip can put out so the longer strips only appear to give the ship more emitter redundancy. For example, the dorsal saucer phaser strip is the longest strip with the ventral saucer second longest but we don't see the longest strip do the most damage or fired the most on a consistent basis.

    IMHO, the removal of the saucer section and it's impulse engines probably wouldn't detract from the stardrive section as the stardrive doesn't have to waste energy to shield the additional surface area of the saucer or additional power to move the extra mass.
     
  19. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It seems more like the size of the individual array wouldn't matter. The above sounds like basic phaser operations stuff. Where array size may come into play is in regard to firing arcs or angles.
     
  20. Egger

    Egger Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I like the idea of phaser array length correlating to firepower the most.
    It makes sense for the biggest, least maneuverable ships to have powerful weapons which can fire in all directions. That's why the Galaxy class has these long arrays while other, more maneuverable ships have shorter ones. They can maneuver to bring all their main phaser arrays into line and fire them simulaneously. Why don't they have long ones too? Maybe the longer the arrays are, the lower their efficiency is. But the ability to combine the firepower of many hundreds of phaser emitters and fire that in all directions makes up for this on large sluggish vessels.

    If it would be about firing arcs, you could just place 10 or so of the shortest possible arrays around the saucer. And the old ball-turret emitters should already have a decent firing arc, so replacing them with a strip that's hundreds of metres long doesn't make much sense.

    Redundancy could be the reason, but aren't 930 emitter segments (that's the number Graham Kennedy counted for the Galaxy's dorsal saucer array) a bit of an overkill? Also, did the phasers fail even once because of damage to a phaser array in any episode? If the answer is no, then it's not only to much redundancy, but it is also not working (or not needed, because it's always other stuff which is hit and lets the phasers fail).

    As for why the longest array is not used most, maybe it's because they fire the phasers only rarely on maximum power, so the shorter array could be used instead.

    As for the longest array not doing the most damage:
    @blssdwlf: Which episode do you think of? Q Who? That's the only one I can think of at the time where that happened, and there they wanted to hit the tractor beam emitter on the the borg cube but missed it by hundreds of metres if I remember correctly, so who knows what went wrong there. Maybe a problem with the targeting system, which assigned the (wrong) target to the only phaser array which could hit that target at the time.
    Also the first phaser discharge that did the most damage was longer than the two others. And it could also be that the two large arrays share their power, so when the ventral one used up most of it, the dorsal one had almost nothing left.

    There are a few alternatives for this whole issue I can think of. Phaser array length could correlate to accuracy, recharge time and/or cooldown time.
    Accuracy would be the best one of them in my opinion. An efficient and sophisticated ship like the Galaxy class has very accurate weapons, her battle section and the ships more built toward raw firepower have less accurate ones. Ships with long arrays would be the snipers and ships with short arrays would be the machine guns.
    On the other hand I simply don't like the idea of very short arrays being as powerful as very long ones. Seems odd.
    But maybe it's just that I think too much in simple terms of "bigger=better". :lol:
     

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