Regenerative Shields

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Crazy Eddie, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Realistically, to me, shields should be regenerating whenever they're not taking fire. I think there needs to be special a reason why it is called 'regenerative' shielding.

    That said, I like the idea that regenerative shields somehow absorb incoming energy for use. I don't like this as being redistributable to other systems, though.

    The way shields were depicted in 'Equinox' might be worth studying, or might only complicate things. I seem to remember the crew somehow managing to reinforce keep the shields up even after the generator was stolen, using the nav deflector? Perhaps then regenerative shields tie the nav deflector into the shield system to absorb the energy expended against them.
     
  2. kent

    kent Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    no regular shields would be able to redistribute power to a failing shield grid automatically. that's a basic redundancy routine that would be common in shield technology. OBVIOUSLY you transferr power to a more needed area.

    REGENERATIVE....this suggest something is being regenerated or recharged. Regenerative shields suggests that the shield grid either has a backup power supply that regenerates the shield generators/grid, or it uses incoming weapons energies to regenerate the shields grid and generators. the latter seems more practical and likely in battle.

    In between fire or battles shields should automatically recharge using repair techniques. A generator when not under duress can fufill it's shield chargine capabilites. but to suggest regeneration means that the shield technologies not only fufill their obligations under duress but do the job of recharging also under duress, a situation that normal or standard shield generators and grids cannot do. this isn't to say regeneration technology isn't within limits, eventually it is fed so much energy that it's transistors and energy translation intermixes can't keep up and then degredation happens.

    it would reasonably be the way it works.

    logically this is what regenerative sheilds are.
     
  3. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, first things first... the term is simply a made-up term, invented by people working on a TV show with barely even a high-school science education. So all it "really" means is "gee, we've heard this neato term being tossed around and so let's use it to sound super-keen!"

    The term, of course, is used primarily in regards to a braking system used on electromotive vehicles (electric or hybrid). The idea is that instead of dissipating motive energy as heat (like normal brakes do) you use it to drive a very stiff "generator," converting it into AC electrical power (which can then be rectified to DC and pushed back into energy storage cells).

    The point of "regenerative braking" is to avoid wasting energy, and instead to recapture energy which otherwise would be lost, for future system-wide use.

    Since that's the point of the term in real life, and since the writers were (without fully understanding the term) emulating this real-life concept, I think we should apply the same concept.

    That is... energy which would otherwise be wasted and dissipated is instead reclaimed, absorbed if you will, and redirected into the energy storage system.

    Of course, the shields themselves are an "energy storage system" of sorts (as I mentioned earlier) so it could be that the energy is redirected into them, or it could be that it's redirected into the ship's batteries and capacitor banks and so forth.

    But, of course, in reality.. it's just nifty technobabble.
     
  4. kent

    kent Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    agreed with the last post.
     
  5. shipfisher

    shipfisher Commander Red Shirt

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    Is there an MSD of the prometheus class somewhere that shows the location of the big flywheel (or all 3, what with that MVAM business) that spools up while the shields are getting whacked? :D

    I do have a more serious question though. I assume stated shield power levels remaining in a given situation work the same as present day chemical batteries, which maintain output at or near stated voltage even as they approach total discharge. So shields at say 18% can still repel the same magnitude of firepower they can at 100%, but are 82% closer to collapsing. Is this the consensus out there?
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This would certainly be suggested by the two facts that a) continuous enemy fire reduces the percentages at a steady rate, not an accelerating one and b) the severity of hull damage suffered in shields-up hits is seemingly independent of the percentages.

    It's only when shields "collapse", as in ST6, that hits suddenly begin to pierce the hull unopposed. Powerful hits against minimal shields collapse the shields first and only then hit the ship in e.g. "Q Who?". I don't recall any blatant counterexamples at the moment...

    Apparently, it's very difficult to damage the shields, that is, to do damage to the shield machinery. Rather, one only manages to drain the shields, but if firing ceases, the shields tend to recharge fairly quickly if there is power available. Thus, "regenerative" might be a general description of all Starfleet shields as they have behaved like this ever since TOS. Or then the same evidence could be used to support the argument that "regenerative" must refer to something else than the simple ubiquitous ability to regenerate, in which case the analogy to regenerative brakes begins to sound pretty good.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. shipfisher

    shipfisher Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks for the prompt response Timo - almost into chatroom turnaround time here. Shields at "full noise" right before collapse does seem consistent with most on-screen scenarios I can recall.
     
  8. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command Rear Admiral

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    Sometimes. It seems that there are other times they give a report on the shields with a bit more data, e.g., "aft shields at 42%," and single out an area that is no longer capable of holding, then declining at a known rate when exposed to energies beyond a certain threshold. Since the shields are not always stopping 100% of the incoming in the first place, this probably refers to areas where the grid itself, or some other hardware component, has been affected.

    It generally seems that the shields are supposed to be redistributing whatever's incoming around the whole system, reducing overall protection by a smaller percentage instead of letting individual areas become overwhelmed. There are times they have changed this, though, aren't there? Reinforced a specific arc at the expense of others?

    Is the ship's nose always better-protected in the primary flight direction due to the navigational deflector?

    Do you think "boost power to shields" refers to exceeding the spec on the generators and so forth and "overcharging" them within a known range in which they are technically exceeding the spec but very unlikely to fail?
     
  9. Tigger

    Tigger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've always treated it as like an onion - you have multiple shield layers and as the outer layer is defeated, it reforms at the bottom so it's effectively a continuously-regenerating multi-layered field. *shrug*
     
  10. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, you're not really accurately stating the whole deal with batteries. (FYI, in case anyone's interested, I changed jobs several months ago, and am now the senior mechanical engineer with Valence Technologies, a high-tech battery manufacturer focusing mainly on the electromotive vehicle marketplace... so I'm fast becoming a bit of an expert on this topic.)

    It's true that electrochemical batteries provide a near-constant VOLTAGE... but that's not the same as saying that they produce a near-constant OUTPUT.

    Output is typically rated in either "amp-hours" or in "watt-hours" (which is simply amp-hours multiplied by the voltage... which, as stated, remains essentially constant). This is normally what's referred to as "output," not the voltage. And during the discharge cycle, the battery's available-current-per-unit-time decreases much more significantly than the battery's voltage does (though it's by no means linear, of course).

    Think of it using the water-flow analogy... voltage is the difference in height between two pools of water. Amperage is the speed at which the water flows from the higher one to the lower one. In the case of a battery, this flow rate constricts as the battery discharges.

    In other words, in a fully-charged battery, you may be operating at 14V and may have a lot of power being provided, while in a heavily-discharged battery, you may still have 14volts but not be able to get very much POWER out.

    Make sense?
     
  11. shipfisher

    shipfisher Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks Cary. My simplistic understanding of chem battery performance has been given a boost.

    Some great "fleshing out" of various references to shield operation and performance JNG. I always appreciate canon input on trek tech and tend to forget much in the way of detail in the shows I have watched, especially a long while back.
     
  12. kent

    kent Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    i agree with your explanation to a point I would say.

    You're right that with each hit from enemy fire weakens the shield "recharge" rate depending on the amount of enemy fire incoming.

    Here is my proposal for the difference between standard "rechargable" shields and "regenerative shields".

    Recharchable shields simply means that, as always, the shield generators themselves recharge if enough power is available, or if the incoming energy from the weapons don't exceed the ratio of recharge/incoming fire. The recharging capability happens from the existing fusion, M/AM warp reaction, and eps tap combo's, so it's using the "intra-net" of energy creation to recharge.

    ReGENERATIVE shields have the same idea behind them, but operate differently. Instead of taking incoming fire and using a recharge/uncoming fire ratio, and instead of using the existing intra-net of power/energy created by the ship, the shield generators and shield grids absoarb incoming fire using the radiation to directly charge the shield generators. This has the effect of regenerating the shields directly, so really it's incoming energy, then the energy is converted through the shield generators, and redirected to the shield grid to strengthen shields.

    In the case of regenerative shield technology, instead of the generators operating with the ratio of recharge/incoming fire, they operate on a ratio of regenerate/incoming fire/bleed off. Meaning, incoming fire recharges then regenerates the shields directly, but too much incoming fire reduces the efficiency of the shield regeneration because the shield grid has to be used to bleed off excess energy/radiation. Because of that, the entire shield grid (or grids) aren't being totally regenerated, and the more incoming fire the less regeneration happens until the regenerate/incoming fire/bleed off ratio works in your enemies favor. Also, absorbing too much incoming fire and converting it runs the risk of overloading the EPS taps, then consequently much more important systems.

    To me, that's the difference between standard rechargable shield technology, and the newer regenerative shielding technology. The regenerating ability is simply taking the older rechargable tech to the next step while still incorporating the original concept. Hey, it's better than creating an entirely new concept right?
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well has to be kept in mind that, in actual engineering, "regenerative" is almost always used in the context of recapturing waste energy and diverting it to a useful purpose. Regenerative cooling in rocket engines, for example, pumps the actual rocket propellant through the nozzle as a coolant before pumping that heated coolant into the combustion chamber, now at slightly higher temperature and pressure to (in some cases) get more thrust from the engine overall. In the case of regenerative shields, this should produce a deflector system that is just about impossible to overload and almost never looses strength except from constant prolonged punishment.

    That being said, the Enterprise-E most likely does not have regenerative shielding; the prototype Prometheus class had it, which makes the technology basically irrelevant since the USS Power Ranger is unlikely to be mass produced and is therefore a throwaway design.
     
  14. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

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    One has to wonder if they make it to the field at all given the Romulans most likely made copies of the database.
     
  15. Manticore

    Manticore Manticore, A moment ago Premium Member

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    Since we saw one during Endgame, then at least Prometheus herself did.
     
  16. Captan_Picard

    Captan_Picard Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Regular Sheilds will regenerate only when one directs power from a new sourse and effects repairs.

    Regenerative Sheild technology barrows off a device which autmaticually can reconfigure the sheilds, divert power from key select non essentual systems and effect a few light repairs to the sheild emmiters.

    That is Regenerative sheilds.

    It can also reproduce small amounts of energy..

    Other abilities and these depend on the model being used by the ship...
     
  17. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    corrected typos ...

    :D

    But I also largely agree with this statement.
    I would also like to add that it's possible how the Prometheus is utilizing incoming weapons fire as a way to replenish the shields on a continuous basis (although this type of technological use was never really stated on screen to begin with ... perhaps post Nemesis).
     
  18. N1N

    N1N Ensign Red Shirt

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    Sorry if im wrong but arent Regenerative shields an advanced deflector shield system used by the Borg and other species. The basic principle of regenerative shielding was to quickly analyze an attacking weapon's frequency and then modulate shield frequency to increase damage mitigation without depleting shield energy.
     
  19. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command Rear Admiral

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    It does seem as if the Borg are using some sort of high-specificity interferometric system functioning similarly to what you described, but I can't see any particular reason why a system with such operating principles would be tagged as "regenerative." I think Mr. Brown's above comparison to regenerative braking probably represents a functioning principle which would sensibly deserve the tag.
     
  20. N1N

    N1N Ensign Red Shirt

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