The separating-saucer design

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Jeri, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. roguephoenix

    roguephoenix Captain Captain

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    well, it's the federation design and they need deflectors. if they don't need visible ones, then how come all of them have one? it's part of the design. sure they can have like a small one somewhere on the saucer section but it needs to have a forward allignment. perhaps they are more hidden. however the saucer does not have any warp engines. it has impulse engines but not warp. if you find warp engines on it, let me know cause for the life of me i can't find them. i'm not saying that the ship is not capable of warp if modified, but it didn't have them.

    i think what you were pointing out in farpoint where they separated and saucer seemed to still be in warp maybe is just because of inertia. i think that was just a mistake though cause as soon as the saucer left the warp field generated by the drive section, it would have dropped out of warp.
     
  2. superstring01

    superstring01 Commander Red Shirt

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    From what I remember, I think it can "carry" a static warp field for several seconds until it fades and the ship drops out of warp (which, to me, seems pretty damned dangerous).

    Honestly, I think that it wouldn't have taken much more effort to include two small, internal, warp nacellles that could carry the saucer section up to warp four. At warp four (from what I remember, @ 50c), it could escape supernovae and other stellar events if left defenseless by the stardrive section.

    ~String
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, very few do. Out of the ships designed for central roles in the TOS movies, half do and half don't (Constitution and Excelsior versus Miranda and Oberth). Out of the dozen ships introduced in "Best of Both Worlds", only two do (New Orleans and Nebula). The two TNG-era retro-TOS-movie designs, Constellation and Sydney, both lack an obvious deflector dish. And the ships of ST:FC go 3:1: Akira, Steamrunner and Sabre have dishes, Norway doesn't.

    So obviously a deflector isn't mandatory, at any era.

    The saucer was demonstrably capable of sustained warp unmodified in "Farpoint", and probably of independent acceleration to warp in "Arsenal of Freedom", so I'd indeed make the effort to find the warp engines aboard.

    And the mysterious blue-glowing squares aft of main shuttlebay would be good candidates. Intense blue glow is a typical feature of warp engines, after all. And it's not as if those squares would serve any other known function. Even the Sternbach blueprints suggestively leave the spaces beneath the squares undescribed, as if classified machinery were present...

    I'm more concerned about the fact that the saucer flew from its encounter with Q to Deneb IV in a matter of hours, or a day at most. That would certainly have required a moderately powerful warp drive. After all, the combined ship had just fled from Q at a speed of warp 9.5 for several minutes, in the opposite direction from the original course and thus away from Deneb IV. That must amount to far more than just a couple of lighthours!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. superstring01

    superstring01 Commander Red Shirt

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    I just re-watched the episode a few weeks ago and was severely annoyed by that oversight. I hate it when the producers assume we're all stupid. The plot could have easily been re-written to include "low level warp capability" in the saucer section. But, NOOOOO, it's sublight. Considering that warp 9.5 is like 2,500 times the speed of light. Figuring that they were at warp 9.5 for 20 minutes; that's about 560 billion miles. The saucer section can go--what?--1/4 the speed of light. That would take them almost four months and 18 days to get back to Deneb.

    ~String
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Is it? No episode of TNG makes such a claim. It's only in the Tech Manual that a noncanon claim is made that the saucer would lack independent warp engines.

    Granted that in "Brothers", our heroes believe that separating the Data-hijacked saucer would force it to sublight in two minutes. But that's in a situation where our heroes are trying their damnedest to defeat Data - the drop to sublight could be the result of extensive sabotage, or of Data having no crew in the saucer to help him with warp engines.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Probert

    Probert Starfleet Design Red Shirt

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    Hey gang... yup, it's me again.

    Warp capability was never given to the Galaxy class design. I don't care how screwy the stories got and how little the time/distance details were considered... there are no warp engines in the Enterprise-D saucer. No saucer from the mind of Roddenberry had warp capability and I was not asked to include a system on the 'D'. That's why changing my large window alcoves into "deflectors" is bogus... at best an attempt to clean up shoddy script writing.

    And to answer the original question... no, the latch design was totally adequate.

    As always...
    Andrew-
     
  7. roguephoenix

    roguephoenix Captain Captain

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    ah yea guess not all of them have the obvious deflector dish. still they must have some sort of deflector system whether it be broken in smaller segments or panels. that's why i said that the saucer could have them. just not obvious ones. they do always refer to their dish as "main deflector" so i would assume that that means there's more than one.

    i remember someone saying in an episode though that a deflector is essential for warp travel cause if not, space debri will just compromise the hull like rocks flying towards an oncoming car. space is not always empty and they don't always have shields up. the deflector is what they use to kind of sweep those potentially harmful debris out of the way.

    wasn't it mentioned in an ep too that the saucer was only capable of impulse? the fact that the time it took for the saucer to travel in that ep was probably just a mistake as it was the pilot. that's why i was convinced that the saucer was incapable of warp. it was because it was explicitly mentioned at some point. otherwise i wouldn't have thought of it.
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    There is no mention of the saucer being only capable of impulse on screen in TNG, no. There's that bit about it dropping to sublight after separation in "Brothers", and then there's some talk about its impulse engines in "Best of Both Worlds" when our heroes ponder the merits of separation vs. holding together - but nobody ever quite says "we don't have warp engines" or "if only we weren't limited to sublight by design" or anything like that.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. ST-One

    ST-One Vice Admiral

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    Yes, but the designer just told you that the saucer didn't have warp-capability. And since no on-screen comment contradics him... his is the last word on this.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Umm, but "Farpoint" does contradict him. The people playing with his toys played foul, but it's the play that counts, not the opinion of the owner of the toys. In the Star Trek universe, there is no Mr. Probert, so he doesn't really have a say there. :vulcan:

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. ST-One

    ST-One Vice Admiral

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    Actually, 'Encounter at Farpoint' does not contradict him.
    The saucer travels on after separation but not under warp-drive (it is only maintaining its momentum). The stardrive-section arrives first at Deneb.

    And, btw, have a look at the D's dedication plaque:

    [​IMG]

    And now tell me again, that there is no Mr. Probert in Star Trek. :D
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'd still count it as "warp drive" if the spacecraft "maintains momentum" through a 180 degree turn, and for however long it took to reach the original Q encounter point, let alone Deneb IV, after that.

    And then there's "Arsenal of Freedom" which implies the capability of independent acceleration to warp. After all, "Farpoint" had already demonstrated that while inadvisable, it was possible to give the saucer a warp boost with the stardrive section. LaForge didn't give the saucer that boost, which would be gross negligience unless the saucer could do its own boosting.

    By all of fifty-one minutes, as per Data's statement when the stardrive section settles in orbit. And this apparently isn't considered exceptionally swift by any of the bridge officers listening. So basically, the saucer's warp drive is almost as good as the stardrive section's, give or take whatever time was lost in Q's courtroom.

    Admittedly, though, Q might have been tampering with the results. Note that when our heroes are returned from the court to the stardrive section, the helmsguy (whom we later learn to know as O'Brien) acts as if nothing had happened and no time had been lost, and as if flying without the saucer would be the most natural thing in the world. Who knows what antics Q played on the physical movements of the two ship halves?

    Okay, there is no Mr. Probert in Star Trek. Only a Captain Probert and his possible granddad (grandma?) Commodore Probert, both of whom would have you in chains if you called them Mister (at least by the classic RN rules on that form of address). :p

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. ST-One

    ST-One Vice Admiral

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    What 180 degree turn?
    The star drive section makes a turn, not the saucer, after separation.

    How is that implied. I don't remember.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    But the saucer has to repeat that turn at some point, or it will never hit Deneb IV.

    The joined ship was initially heading for Deneb. Q erected a wall on her path. Picard turned around 180 degrees and hit maximum warp, thus putting more and more distance between the ship and Deneb. Q followed. Picard separated the saucer and turned 180 degrees, thus again pointing the nose of the stardrive section towards Deneb. Sooner rather than later, the saucer would have to do the same while remaining at warp in order to reach the ultimate destination.

    The saucer is separated in the Minosian star system, far away from Federation assets. It is supposed to head for the safety of a starbase, which must be distant from this system in order for the plot to make sense (a ship dispatched here had been missing for months, after all).

    The saucer is separated at sublight speed. If it lacks the ability to accelerate to warp, it will only arrive at the starbase years or decades later, "objective" time (although relativistic sublight speeds might allow the crew to only experience some weeks of travel). However, "Farpoint" taught us that the saucer separated at high warp will cross significant distances not much more slowly than the stardrive section - so LaForge should have made every effort to separate the saucer at high warp, to take months or even years off the travel time. He did not, which implies the time lost due to the choice is not significant. Which in turn implies that the saucer can travel at warp, rather than at relativistic crawl - and thus that it can achieve this warp on its own.

    All sorts of rescue efforts may factor in here, of course. At some point, a warp-capable starship would no doubt meet with the saucer to offer assistance, regardless of whether the saucer was moving at warp or impulse. But if Starfleet is expected to take care of the last half of the voyage to safety, there should be all the more impetus on hastening the first half, via warp boost if the saucer cannot do independent warp. After all, the important thing is to put distance between the saucer and the pursuit-minded enemy lurking in the Minosian star system.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Probert

    Probert Starfleet Design Red Shirt

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    Again...

    Please remember that some of you are hanging Star Trek's credibility on people who create inappropriate beams coming out of Enterprise's deflector dish as well as the Captain's Yacht. Those same people also have torpedoes firing out of a Romulan Warbird's deflector dish. And don't forget that scriptwriters are not astro-navigators... they're storytellers.

    Yeah, I also thought it was weird to execute a saucer-sep while in warp travel but they did it, slingshoting the saucer to safety. That's what the "Battle Section" was designed to do,... protect the saucer. No, the saucer does NOT have warp capability! And I will give a big juicy kiss to anyone who finds warp engines on any [unaltered] blueprints of a Galaxy Class saucer. In 'Farpoint' the saucer's momentum would have maintained speeds faster than light for a time (before coasting to sub-light speeds) with it's shields up to 'deflect' normal space debris during that time. No, it wasn't called out because the system is automatically initiated during a 'warp saucer-sep'.

    Obviously each of you is free to enjoy Star Trek in your own way,... but I, for one, will not apply canon to Warbirds that have torpedo launchers in their deflectors along with other screw-ups mistakenly thinking (term used loosely) that Galaxy Class ship deflectors have multi-purpose deflectors (like shower-heads) and the Yacht has some sort of major beam emitter in it's engine core.

    As another example, one of the show's (junior) producers refused to replace the scripted term: 'Captain's shuttle' with 'Captain's Yacht' because he didn't know about it, and when I explained it, couldn't understand the concept (refusing to change the script),... even though the Yacht had already been approved by Gene.

    Here's a question for you... since the Yacht was never used in the series, nor even referred to (that I recall) is it canon? It was approved by Gene, it's in all the blueprints (unlike that set of warp engines), it even was a separate element in the AMT model kit but it was never on the show. So according to "CANON"... does it exist?

    Andrew-
     
  16. GodThingFormerly

    GodThingFormerly A Different Kind of Asshole

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    Yeeezzz..... :cool:

    It most certainly does as far as I am concerned but then - as this nightmarish thread will demonstrate - my repeated references to Gene Roddenberry's stated intentions concerning whether the original NCC-1701 was launched from the ground or from orbit impressed exceedingly few of the Star Trek XI forum regulars.

    TGT
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Given that it was never seen in use even when it should have, and given that its supposed location was put to a wholly different use in "Farpoint", I have to argue it doesn't exist.

    That is, it might exist, but it wasn't carried by the E-D, at least not for most of the duration of the TNG adventures.

    I appreciate the intent of the various people involved in making Star Trek, but if that intent is not evident in the final product, it might just as well not exist, from the Star Trek universe's point of view. Sure, it may be frustrating to see one's intent dismissed - but objectively speaking, there's nothing wrong with having torpedoes come out of a prominent launcherlike feature that the designer might have intended to be something else altogether. Or with having a beam emitter where the designer wanted to have an auxiliary craft. Or with having warp engines where botanical gardens might have been intended.

    TNG as aired was quite consistent about having a torp (disruptor bolt?) launcher at the bow of the Warbird, a beam emitter in place of the Yacht, and a set of nicely performing warp engines hidden somewhere in the saucer. There was nothing wrong with this from the point of view of the fictional universe of the show, and none of it lessened the dramatic impact of the stories.

    Very similarly, Trek overall consistently adopted the concept of ramscoops on the warp engines, even though it's unlikely that anything of the sort was ever intended by the man who designed the first warp engine, or by the man who did the first fan blueprints on that design. It may not meet the approval of the original makers, and it might require lots of handwaving before it makes physical sense - but in the latter respect it's no different from "transporters" or "phasers", devices that are iconic as pieces of technobabble and as dramatic conceits.

    Trek is what it ends up being: a compromise of creative intents. It's not the early sketches, the tentative characterizations, the original casting guidelines. It may accommodate such extraneous material in some cases, but more often it cannot and should not.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. ST-One

    ST-One Vice Admiral

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    Mhmm... If we go by what Gene Roddenberry said, the yacht isn't canon.
    BUT despite that energy beam in 'Farpoint' there is nothing on-screen that would contradict the general view that the the yacht exists. (And sometimes on-screen 'canon' has to be taken with a grain of salt anyway... the D firing a phaser-blast from the photon-torpedo launcher ('Darmok'), firing anti-matter charges from the saucer at the Borg ('Best of Both Worlds, Pt. II) - did they throw them out of the windows? - the whole Ten-Forward affair...
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Yet with the torpedo tube phaser beam thing, we have a contradiction between two pieces of evidence. With the Yacht, there is no contradiction: the thing doesn't exist. A contradiction would only be created if one claimed that the Yacht did exist.

    Speculation is free of charge. It might well be that the berth at the bottom of the saucer can accommodate all sorts of hardware, and a Captain's Yacht was not the favored choice during "Encounter at Farpoint", or during "Samaritan Snare" or other episodes calling for a VIP transport for Picard. Too bad that speculating on the Yacht, while unnecessary, is so easy, while speculating on the torpedo tube phaser, necessary to explain away an onscreen contradiction, is pretty darned difficult!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Probert

    Probert Starfleet Design Red Shirt

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    Then there is a contradiction.

    No speculation here, the Effects Directors screwed up.

    Andrew-