TOS Nacelles

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Patrickivan, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Patrickivan

    Patrickivan Fleet Captain Newbie

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    I was watching By Any Other Name today and noted an interesting line by Scotty.

    "I have opened the control valves to the matter/antimatter nacelles"...

    I relistened to it 6 times, because the subtitles say "cells". But he is specifically saying "nacelles".

    Now we've heard that the nacelles were supposed to be the actual engines for the ship, and the power source. Though it has never been substantiated fully in cannon.

    I recall an episode were someone suggested jettisoning the power pods. Now this may not have been referring to the warp nacelles, but if it was, there's more evidence to suggest that the nacelles of this time period (or at least on This type of ship) housed the matter antimatter reactors.

    And this makes sense since The nacelles were so far away from the ship due to how dangerous they were supposed to be.

    Engineering in the secondary and primary hulls are obviously places to control were this energy goes/ stored, but it's not where it's created.

    So what I'm wondering, is who here is in the camp where the nacelles are not only part of the warp drive, but contain the volitile matter/antimatter reactors to power this huge and powerful ship? And what other lines from TOS substantiate this possibility?
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Hmm. I'm in the camp for accepting that there probably are dozens of ways to skin the warp propulsion cat, and that ENT, TOS, TMP and TNG might all have utilized engines that were subtly or grossly dissimilar, despite looking more or less the same to the outside.

    OTOH, nothing about warp nacelle placement changed when antimatter reactors explicitly became internal to the secondary hull. And ejectable pods other than the nacelles seem to have been a feature of all the warp power and propulsion systems in all the shows and eras. "That Which Survives" especially seems to show Scotty toiling on a single matter-antimatter reaction chamber that involves an ejectable magnetic bottle arrangement.

    Doesn't mean there wasn't antimatter flowing in the nacelles, too. But the reference to a single reaction chamber makes it a bit unlikely that there would have been much mixing going on up there. Unless we speculate that Losira was only able to sabotage one reaction chamber out of many, and was kind enough to sabotage the one in the engineering hull (so that Scotty could save the day) - or perhaps cruel enough to sabotage that one, instead of the more easily jettisonable nacelle ones?

    It doesn't sound as if Losira actually sabotaged the m/am intermix system, tho. Spock just suggested this as a practical location for cutting the fuel flow to the engines which couldn't otherwise be shut down, thanks to Losira's sabotage. Perhaps the m/am chamber mixes the fuel but then has it delivered to the nacelles for the actual power generation? Doesn't make much sense to mix (or, as Scotty says, "integrate") matter and antimatter unless for power generation, tho. And a system that delivers energy from the integration unit to the nacelles is essentially what we have in TNG.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. judexavier

    judexavier Commander Red Shirt

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    I've always gone with what Jefferies thought, that the nacelles contained powerful, dangerous
    energies that needed kept away from the rest of the ship.
    My own opinion is that the anti-matter containment tanks/modules would be THE dangerous things
    to eject in event of emergency. The reactor itself, without antimatter involvement, would just be a inert hunk of metal.
    I always envisioned the layout like this: A/M tank adjacent to the reactor, followed by some sort of
    feed/distribution/modulation assembly, which then fed plasma to the coils, and to the rest of the ship.

    With all the later "warp cores" and "warp plasma?", dialog, tech manual descriptions, etc, my opinion goes completely out the window.
    Visually, the glowing exotic cool warp core sets look better than, well, tanks inside nacelles. :)
     
  4. malchya

    malchya Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    My personal take on it, supported by considerable research into technical sources as well as multiple discussions on this same topic on several boards and with about 6 million other trekkies is: The old cylindrical warp drive nacelles contained the reactors as well as the engines. Breakthroughs in safety and containment led to the "warp core" being installed in the engineering hull and the considerable "slimming" of the nacelles.
     
  5. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    I go with the official line, that the main reactor is in the secondary hull, a.k.a. the engineering hull, which feeds power out to the nacelles, which contain the warp coils and other doohickeys, which generates and regulates the warp field.

    The thing to keep in mind is that whenever the threat to the ship was largely external, like some mad supercomputer has grabbed the ship and will blow her up unless Kirk does something down on the planet, like talk the computer into blowing itself up, the technobabble is all over the place, and oftentimes focuses on the obvious trait of the ship's power, those big nacelles.

    HOWEVER, when the ship itself is threatening to blow up and Scotty actually has to do something to prevent this, we are almost always presented with an internal m/a reactor.
     
  6. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I ended up in the "there are 3 m/am reactor cores that comprise of the m/am system (complex)." 1 reactor in each nacelle and 1 in the engineering hull.

    That way you could refer to a single reactor or multiple reactors and still be "correct" since anyone of them could be the cause of a catastrophe :D

    I detailed out a bunch of dialogue from the series with my notes in an earlier post:

    http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=4380476&postcount=229
     
  7. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    I worked up a system with a small M/A reactor in each nacelle (emergency backups for when the main reactor is offline, giving the ship capability of around warp two to get out of whatever mess they've gotten into), simply to take the occasional oddball reference into account with a minimum of hassle.
     
  8. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Well, I think that everyone who's read anything I've written on here knows that I'm firmly in the "airplane design philosophy" for the TOS 1701.

    Matt Jefferies was an aerospace guy, and he was thinking in terms of aircraft when he came up with the concepts for the Enterprise. In aircraft, engines are generally mounted remotely from the main fuselage, in external nacelles, typically suspended from the wings.

    The engine burns fuel, and and this turns the turbines in the engines... which gives both propulsive energy and also allows mechanical energy to be tapped from the gearbox. The gearbox drives an AC generator which provides unprocessed electrical power as well as drives the hydraulic system's primary elements.

    The electrical power as provided is unusable, however. It is sent to a complex array of rectifiers and inverters which provide a range of different forms of electrical power to various subsystems on the aircraft.

    The Enterprise, as designed by Matt Jefferies, was intended to follow this model. Main Engineering, as designed by Matt Jefferies, was not intended to represent the main power generation system, but rather the location where the raw energy from the engines is transformed into a useable form.

    It is true that in Elaan of Troius, comments were made which could be interpreted to mean that power generation occurred at Main Engineering. I'm not aware of any other place in the series where anything of this nature was said, however, and most of the series (and in particular, the items you mentioned) tend to agree with Jefferies' original intent.

    So, I'm 100% in the "power generated in the engine nacelles, but converted into useable form in the secondary hull" camp.

    No surprise there to anyone who's followed my work on the Enterprise, of course, huh?
     
  9. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Actually, while this is not directly supported by anything we see in the show, I PERSONALLY treat the radical redesign of the power generation system seen in TMP as an outgrowth of the interaction with the First Federation (Balok's people).

    I also see the redesigned nacelles to be an outgrowth of the modifications made to the engines of the Enterprise by the Kelvins.

    Just like we were explicitly told by Gene Roddenberry in the ST-TMP novelization he wrote (or partially wrote, anyway) that most of the sickbay modifications and advances were brought back by McCoy after his sebatical among the Fabrini.

    It makes sense, really... radical changes in technology may not necessarily reflect evolutionary changes as much as radical, revolutionary changes based upon new discoveries. And we KNOW that there were multiple new discoveries during the time of TOS, don't we?
     
  10. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Except, of course, that this was never "the official line" for TOS... you are substituting personal opinion and "post-TOS trek" ideas for "TOS ideas," I'm afraid.

    It's not "the official line." It's just not. Until TMP, it was pretty much universally accepted that the engines generated the power. A few people might have thought otherwise, but nothing official ever stated anything to that effect, no line in the series ever stated that overtly (only one episode really even HINTING at that) and a number of other references clearly infer otherwise... and that's not considering "original design intent."

    It's one thing to say "this is what I think" but it's another, entirely, to say "this is the REAL story, and thus you're all wrong." Your take is your take... and you're welcome to believe it. But it's no more "official" than any other opinion any of the rest of us may hold.
     
  11. ngc7293

    ngc7293 Commander Red Shirt

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    I just had the impression that the nacelles had the warp coils and that the m/am was carried in the engineering hull. There are several ships where the pylons are different lengths or none at all. Miranda has a short pylon. Oberth has the Nacelle directly connected to the hull. That is just two examples.
     
  12. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    From TOS? Where nary a coil been mentioned?
     
  13. ngc7293

    ngc7293 Commander Red Shirt

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    So basically since nothing has been said, those two big cylinders are empty? Or does M/AM some how get put in there and run the ship?

    I don't know about you, but I like my idea better.
     
  14. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I see it having coils too, but I'm just playing devil's advocate.

    It's applying TNG's approach to TOS.

    It's roughly like seeing a jet-powered aircraft and using its principles to try and figure out the Wright Flyer.
     
  15. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    What you mean sufficent forward thrust to generate lift?
     
  16. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    The animated episode One of Our Planets Is Missing pretty clearly has a scene inside one of the nacelles. Antimatter regeneration evidently occurs there. I know acceptance of animated episodes as canon is controversial, but anyway, it's the only episode anywhere that even comes close to showing this on the TOS Enterprise. The author of that episode is none other than Marc Daniels, so that carries at least some weight to me.
     
  17. Patrickivan

    Patrickivan Fleet Captain Newbie

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    Funny you say that, because if I were to place a m/arc of some sort in the main hull, that would have been my back up one, and the ones in the nacelles would be the main reactors.

    That said, I don't think I would put a m/arc in the main hull on this ship. The episode (can't recall the name right now- just got up) where Scotty pulls out a dilithium crystal from what could be interpreted as a reactor (as per TNG), is in my opionion more of a critical relay station of some sort, making the DC a very serious issue...

    I would think to keep the ship powered under emergency conditions where the nacelle m/arcs are down, they would rely on other power generation units that are far less powerful, consume a different fuel, and have a far less useful life span (during said emergency). Failing those units, they'd be stuck on batteries- something that has certainly been mentioned. Please forgive my lack of citations.

    Agreed. And I've too designed my Enterprise concept following that same design logic. If not in a completely basic and lamen sense.

    Was there anything that specifically made you think the coils were in the main hull? I'm just curious- not judging...

    I'd be reluctant to compare ships of a different design like the Miranda and Oberth Classes to a Constitution Class. Where post TOS ships seem to have a primary M/arc in the main hull. So it's a completely different beast.

    As for the nacelle strut lengths, I've always attributes that to a combination of factors- Safety (from the TOS standpoint), and to warp field geometry in relation to the overall shape/ style, and requirements of that specific ship.

    For example. TOS- safety. But speed is made up for with raw power.

    Post TNG we see better regulation and safety controls around M/arcs, hence their transfer to inside the ship. Then nacelles get drawn in tighter to the ship, making the warp field more efficient, but too close may have different have still.

    In ships like the Defient, (DS9), we have a ship that bucks the trend and focuses purely on speed and power. Nothing superfluous like exploration of any sort. The nacelles are drawn in for maximizing the warp field geometry for such a flat compact ship and to help reduce it's warp signiture as seen by potential enemies. So practical for a specialized borg busting ship like this, but not in the general mandate of Starfleet, and therefore not practical on all ships.

    I saw your following post where you said you were just playing devils advocate. And fair enough. If it wasn't for ST Enterprise, we could call them something else. But we obviously have to allow for some intrepretive licence considering the lack of and inconsistant information from TOS.

    Can you provide a screen cap of that? Or maybe I'll look it up and post it. I'm curious. While not a huge fan of TAS, I'm willing to take and disregard what we need to make it work. If we didn't, we'd be stuck admitting a group of bimbo's stole spock's brain- <sigh>... Clearly it would have been a far cooler episode if they kidnapped him for his man-junk in an effort to repopulate an entire female race! And they don't know what articial insemination is! Oh Ya! ;)

    ---

    I have a thought about ST:Enterprise too. First off, having them place the M/arc where they did was a mistake as far as I was concerned. (I wasn't a big fan of a lot of stuff they did on the series, but I actually was excited and had high hopes for Bakula as Captain!)... Anyway. So in that era, perhaps we can say that the main reason for having it in the main hull was due to a lack of understanding of how to integrate the m/arcs into the nacelles. They took the chance with the extreme volitility because they had no choice... Plus the Vulcan's were like, we can't share EVERYthing we know with you. You gotta, like, go learn on your own. <snicker- suckers>

    Subsequent ships that we didn't see, therefore eventually went the route of TOS.

    That was too much typing after getting up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    http://tas.trekcore.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=3&page=7

    They're on this page; it's pretty obvious which ones.
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    We might take into account that this is a rare emergency procedure for kickstarting the engine after it has been magically shut down by the alien threat of the week. By analogy to the emergency (re)start systems of some real-world engines, we might argue that this system might introduce antimatter where no antimatter is ordinarily supposed to be placed.

    The dialogue refers to the "antimatter nacelle", singular. This one-off reference might be taken as indicating that one of the nacelles processes antimatter while the other does not; whether this refers to everyday operations or the rare kickstart is another question. It would be natural enough to postulate that a system that normally pumps plasma energized by antimatter in a distant intermix chamber can be kickstarted by energizing the plasma locally in an "emergency intermix chamber", and that doing so in just one of the nacelles is enough to eventually restart the entire system - and that the nacelle configured for this is colloquially called the "antimatter nacelle".

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Yep, and I borrowed from the concept there, with significant "tweaks" and so forth, when I did the engine system for my version of the Enterprise. I know a few of you remember this, but for those who don't, I'll share my (more than a year old, now) work...

    Here's the completed engine nacelle, with transparent skin.
    [​IMG]

    The thing on the outer face, looking like a small version of the Fermi accelerator system up in Illinois, is the antimatter generation system. The antimatter storage facility is at the aft, and you can see a big vertical cylinder in that area where the antimatter (in semi-solid, amorphous form, as seen in that TAS episode) is stored. There is less total VOLUME for that than for the hydrogen storage (the "orange segment tanks" at the fore, just aft of the bussard collection system) because of that "solid state versus compressed fluid state" issue... and the fact that the matter is being converted into antimatter by that "accelerator system" I mentioned, so you need more overall.

    Here's a perspective view of the walkway (the same one seen in the TAS episode) within my nacelle. First, from the fore, looking aft down the length of the nacelle:
    [​IMG]

    And then from the aft, offset from center, looking forward:
    [​IMG]

    I did take liberties when transforming the TAS version into what you see here. For instance, the nacelle is much more densely packed. And the walkway isn't at the centerline, but the horizontal reaction chamber IS.

    And, I added small "warp field stabilization coils" (not the same as the TMP-and-later "warp coils" but these are what the Kelvins used to implement their engine tweaks, and they ended up becoming "warp coils" for the Kelvins, leading to later revisions.

    The idea is, the reaction occurs here AND the subspace field manipulation occurs here as well.
     

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