Vertical Intermix Chamber and TMP Enterprise

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by CTM, May 5, 2009.

  1. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    The saucer of the Galaxy class has sustainer coils, which are able to maintain a previously generated warp field for a limited time, but they can't generate a warp field independently. This is how the E-D's saucer was able to make it all the way to Farpoint without the stardrive section (and with a speed of well over warp 9.5, it was able to "coast" a long ways before that warp field dissapated).

    As far as the refit goes, either Rick Sternbach or Andrew Probert (probably Rick) said that the idea was that the entire intermix chamber was encrusted with dilithium, so the amping up of the matter/antimatter reaction was done throughout the system, and not just at one central point. Apparently, this system didn't catch on, since the E-A has a more conventional intermix chamber setup, setting up the design paradigm for the next century of starship engineering design. ;)
     
  2. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Probably Rick. I can't find it anymore, but it was a post in Trek Tech a few months ago where Andy Probert explained what was up with the intermix chamber.
     
  3. Saquist

    Saquist Commodore

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    A power Linkage?
    Then why is it called a deflection crystal?
    Why isn't between the intermix and impulse engines?

    That was Fascinating.
    In the New Frontieer the Galaxys have Saucers with limited warp drive powered by the impulse engines.

    No...Dilithium isn't needed for the reactor...just one thing is necessary....
    a shield. Not for containment but for decaying the neutinos so that the energy produce by the reaction could have an effect on the matter and become high energy plasma. The only other thing needes is a magnetic bottle.

    So, while those guys I'm sure had a design intent of there own, in order for warp cores to produce that amazing amount of energy the neutrinos need to converted because they carry 99 percent of the energy away from the reaction and they don't react with anything but water....occasionally.

    That's also why they don't need that much matter and antimatter.
     
  4. DiamondJoe

    DiamondJoe Ensign Red Shirt

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    "No...Dilithium isn't needed for the reactor...just one thing is necessary....
    a shield. Not for containment but for decaying the neutinos so that the energy produce by the reaction could have an effect on the matter and become high energy plasma. The only other thing needes is a magnetic bottle.

    So, while those guys I'm sure had a design intent of there own, in order for warp cores to produce that amazing amount of energy the neutrinos need to converted because they carry 99 percent of the energy away from the reaction and they don't react with anything but water....occasionally.

    That's also why they don't need that much matter and antimatter. "

    Saquist - where are you getting this info? Dilithium IS needed for the reactor, it always has been since TOS. Dilithium is the regulating element that prevents matter and antimatter from annihiliating one another in an explosive, uncontrolled reaction. It allows them to meet and converts the reaction into plasma.
     
  5. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    This is untrue.

    Actually, BOTH of you are projecting more onto TOS/TMP ship design than we "really" know.

    From TOS, all we know is that dilithium is somehow used in the creation of useable power. There is no clear definition as to what, exactly, it does. There is ZERO reason, from TOS, to believe that dilithium crystals are used in the actual matter/antimatter reaction process. (In TMP, we know even LESS. They never even mention "dilithium" in regards to the TMP-era ship.)

    What we know, for certain, is that without the dilithium, the TOS ship "loses power." This, obviously, doesn't mean that annihilation of matter and antimatter doesn't produce ENERGY. The physics of that sort of annihilation reaction is a well-understood (if mostly still theoretical) concept, in REAL science (as opposed to "Treknology").

    So, we are driven to assume one of the following about the TOS ship:

    1) The matter/antimatter reaction must be shut down if the dilithium is not present and working properly,

    OR

    2) The dilithium is what is used to convert the m/am reaction products into "usable energy."
    For the purposes of TOS, WE HAVE NO CANON IDEA WHICH IS THE CASE. NO idea whatsoever.

    I, personally, like the second far better than the first. There is some "pseudo-science" out there, in Trekdom, based upon things which have been stated about "dilithium" on-screen over the years, which supports this viewpoint. And there's a little bit of... "predictive real science" that can support it as well, though it's almost entirely speculative in nature.

    Look at the one "working" dilithium crystal we see during TOS. It's a prismatic shape of amber-colored crystal. Flat, and roughly rectangular, with a pair of "grip points" on either end. We saw that crystal prop multiple times, starting with "The Alternative Factor" but repeatedly after that.

    What I see this doing is simple... pass the high-energy stream from the m/am reaction through this crystal, and you get a very high-level "potential difference" along the crystalline structure. In other words... electrical power.

    Sort of like a super-charged photocell... that's a good analogy.

    The actual WARP effect may use "pure electromagnetic energy" to generate it... that's so far beyond real science that we can't even begin to discuss it practically. But even if that's the case, without the control systems, force fields, cooling systems, etc, etc... all of which require "usable power" to drive them... warp drive won't work anyway.

    And there's plenty of evidence, particularly in TOS, to believe that electrical power is used throughout the ship.

    I see "dilithium" as being the replacement for using "steam turbines" to convert reaction energy into usable power. (That's what we do, today, to convert any energy - heat from a nuclear reaction, or heat from combustion, or geothermal heat, for example) into power.

    And the tendency for sci-fi buffs to reject electrical power as part of the "sci-fi technology" realm is sort of silly. It's real, it works, it's a fundamental part of all reality. There's no compelling reason NOT to use it, if it's able to do the trick... and in every case we can envision right now, it's more than sufficient.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps, perhaps not. When three dilithium crystals in a row were burned in "Mudd's Women", Spock suggested "rigging a bypass circuit" so that the one remaining crystal wouldn't be a risk factor. Scotty couldn't oblige because "the whole converter assembly" was damaged. The implication might be that the ship could run at warp or otherwise traverse interstellar distances without dilithium, if only the converter assembly (whatever that is) were in working condition and some special arrangements were made.

    In "Alternative Factor", all four active crystals (nice continuity with "Mudd's Women"!) were damaged by the hiccuping universe, and were brought to some sort of a nurturing station. They were then stolen from there, two by two. At no point was the ship said to be deprived of power. Either Scotty managed to rig a bypass circuit this time, or then there were additional crystals that could be taken from storage and put in place of the ailing ones.

    Just to nitpick. But it pays to be careful. ;)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Fair enough... but I was specifically talking about conversion of the m/am reaction into power, not necessarily the "auxiliary power" (generally assumed to be the fusion powerplant output)... just the matter/antimatter system.

    An interesting point about that "bypass circuit." Let's think about that for a moment.

    Perhaps the m/am reactor subsystem (which I personally think of as being in the nacelles, but this works just fine if it isn't, too) produces usable power by one system - incorporating dilithium. And maybe the auxiliary power system (fusion, whether or not tied into the impulse drive system) uses a somewhat different, but not entirely incompatible, system, not using dilithium.

    Well, yes, in "Mudd's women" they were crippled without the crystals. That's a pretty glaring design defect, and I'd expect that after this episode, the ship spent the next couple of months in drydock getting this design defect fixed, so that you didn't need the same "energizer" for all possible power systems.

    I'm extrapolating, sure, but it seems reasonable, doesn't it?

    So, after that, you have not one but TWO "energizer" subsystems on the ship. Only one (at "main engineering") requires the use of a dilithium system. The other is far less efficient, and would probably even be damaged by extended use with the m/am output, but you could "bypass" to use that as a short-term fix.

    I think that "fits" reasonably well with what we've seen, doesn't it?

    (FYI, in my ... currently gathering a bit of dust... 1701 interior layout, I've got three "energizer" - aka "rows of tubes" - assemblies, with three engineering-deck facilities. Two are in the primary hull, to either side of the impulse deck, and one is at the intersection of the nacelle pylons in the secondary hull. In this case, the one in the secondary hull is the one with the dilithium crystals.)
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'd hardly call it a "design defect" if an aircraft were crippled by losing both wings, or a ship by losing all propellers...

    "Mudd's Women" might already describe a pretty robust ship that can go to warp with or without dilithium. It's just that Scotty didn't dedicate time and resources to bringing the backup power system online when Kirk decided to pursue the other option of obtaining more dilithium. The backup need not be "defective" just because it wasn't significantly more robust than the primary in face of exceptional strain.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    I would call it a design defect, however, if a naval cruiser had multiple powerplants and only one generator being driven by those powerplants. Or multiple propellers, all driven by a single drive shaft.

    There's some room for dispute here, but it seems that the Enterprise wasn't running on multiple parallel system in "Mudd's Women." If that had been the case, they would have simply had to go a lot more slowly (like losing one of four propellers). That's not how it reads when you watch the show, however. It seems like the crystals are all part of the same circuit, not separate, parallel circuits.
     
  10. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Literally (as designed) because it deflects drive plasma aft into the impulse engine. Of course the actual purpose via retcon could be just about anything; it could be the seat of a fusion reactor that receives and conditions that plasma before pumping it into the impulse engines. What I'm saying is AS DESIGNED, that's what the intermix--and the deflection crystal--was supposed to be.

    It is. The intermix goes through it before it goes to the impulse engines.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Let's bring out the old hobbyhorse...

    We now have new technobabble to go by, from ENT. Doug Drexler's ideas on what the blue dome thing did in NX-01 might surprisingly well fit previous ideas on what it did in NCC-1701-refit. Drexler's dome adjusts the main warp field, essentially "deflects" it as needed. Sternbach and Okuda in turn suggest that suitably adjusted warp fields reduce inertial mass, making impulse propulsion possible. So an "impulse deflection crystal" could deflect the warp field in order to create inertial mass reduction and allow for impulse propulsion, in NX-01 and NCC-1701 and NCC-1701-B alike.

    Sternbach and Okuda also say that a doohickey built into the impulse engines themselves takes care of the inertia trickery in NCC-1701-C, which (perhaps not so coincidentally) lacks the blue dome. NCC-1701 before the refit might also have had such a doohickey, as might ships preceding NX-01. But whenever warp fields became more powerful, or ships more massive, the externally visible dome would have to be brought into play again, until technology evolved and internal doohickeys could take over once more.

    Exit hobbyhorse.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ That works in terms of a retcon, especially since the JJ-prize DOES have a deflection crystal in its impulse engine.
     
  13. SoM

    SoM Commander Red Shirt

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    That's not actually what the blog post Timo's referencing said though. What THAT said was that the Symmetrical Warp Governor unit on the NX-01 was an attempt to workaround a problem which had plagued Earth warp ships since the Phoenix itself (and quite possibly non-Earth ships for even longer, although the Vulcans presumably had their own workaround) - the fact that they couldn't produce a symmetrical warp bubble. The SWG manipulated the (dangerously) asymmetrical warp bubble to make it less asymmetrical, and allowing the ship to get to warp 5.

    The same blog post says that that problem was solved some time not long before The Cage, when they finally managed to generate natively symmetrical warp bubbles for practical use, allowing them to get to the warp 6-8 range. Timo's idea involves them having to revert to a SWG at higher warps, well above the range they can apparently countenance an asymmetrical warp field in action.
     
  14. DiamondJoe

    DiamondJoe Ensign Red Shirt

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    I'm liking this one. So one of the functions is essentially to facilitate the reverse impulse manueuver by refocusing the impulse field?
     
  15. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    I'll just toss my own 2cents in here... explain why I don't like this... and then let it go.

    "Impulse" is a real, meaningful term... much as "force" is a real term, and "mass" is a real term, and "velocity" is a real term, and "addition and subtraction" are real terms. It's so fundamental that attempts to say that it means something else are always going to to be intensely objectionable to me.

    That most folks who haven't taken "Dynamics" classes (dealing with the physics of objects in motion) may not know this doesn't change that fact.

    It's this reason that makes me cringe every time someone comes up with an explanation for what "impulse" means that has no relationship to what an impulse is. It's not really any different than trying to redefine the term "mass."

    If a system called "impulse" doesn't have anything to do with what an impulse is... that's just wrong.

    The original coiners of the term knew what it meant, and that's why they coined the term. Some of the writers of the show, and many (I'd go so far as to say "most") of the effects guys, from TOS onwards, didn't necessarily understand their physics, and so things got a little confused... and that's why we're where we are now.

    Look... the easiest way to slow down is to simply TURN AROUND. The Enterprise isn't an airplane... despite the fact that it's always shown "facing forwards" there's no real reason not to simply turn around and apply "reverse thrust" in that fashion.

    Is there?

    If only just one effects shot had showed this happening, this argument would never come up, either. ;)

    That said... we've been given soooo much nonsensical "impulse drive" behavior on-screen, that SOMETHING has to be done. And the idea of a "subspace-assisted impulse" drive has been a favorite of mine for a couple of years now. So TIMO's explanation works... but the idea of it "redirecting the 'impulse field'" doesn't.

    There is not an "Impulse field." Rather, with this explanation, there is a subspace field which doesn't do ANYTHING on its own to propel the ship. It just makes it easier for the "rockets"... the impulse thrust system... to do their job, by reducing the "effective mass" that they have to accelerate.
     
  16. RapidNadion

    RapidNadion Commander Red Shirt

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    ^ Cary, I don't mind you making that point about how the term "impulse" has been mis-used by non-science types over the course of the Trek series ... but I'd thought that after such a long rant, you'd provide us with some explanation of what it does mean. :)

    Also, it would be my argument that, after 200+ years of utilizing a form of technology, its meaning would eventually become distorted. We see this with weapons like "photon torpedoes," after all, which may at one point (possibly pre-TOS) have had much more to do with photons than their "current" (2370s and later) M/AM descendants. Granted, they may employ photons and anti-photons to generate destructive force, but that doesn't excuse the fact that their name has become somewhat muddied over their many years of use.

    A good modern example is the U.S. Navy term for shutting down a nuclear reactor in an emergency. The order is still "scram the reactor," even though the SCRAM acronym (Safety Control Rod Axe Man) is now hopelessly outdated.

    Given the aforementioned 200+ years of use, modification, and development, and consequent muddying of the technical waters, I'd say "impulse" in the 24th century might well mean something very different than it did in the 22nd.

    Just my 0.02.
     
  17. CTM

    CTM Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I am willing to buy that argument. SCRAM means the same thing today (in purpose - emergency halt to reactor operation) as it did originally, even if the actual mechanism and implementation have changed. In the same way, modern steam, diesel, and nuclear ships "sail" even though they have no actual sails (or rarely do). I can definitely see "Impulse Engines" in the 24th C having the same USE (or role) as when they were actually conventional impulse engines - even though they are vastly different in actual technical operation.
     
  18. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Well, the short form is this:

    The application of force over time.

    So, apply a force to a known mass, and you get an acceleration. Apply an impulse to a known mass and you get a velocity.

    You can get the same velocity imparted to the same mass by applying a high force for a short period of time, or a low force for a longer period of time. Because both apply the same impulse to the mass.

    That's a very simple take on the concept, but it sums it up pretty well. If you want to know more... if you want to get into integrals and other somewhat more complex forms of math... you can do so, of course, but the general concept is as I've just described it.
     
  19. Saquist

    Saquist Commodore

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    I'm extrapolating, sure, but it seems reasonable, doesn't it?

    So, after that, you have not one but TWO "energizer" subsystems on the ship. Only one (at "main engineering") requires the use of a dilithium system. The other is far less efficient, and would probably even be damaged by extended use with the m/am output, but you could "bypass" to use that as a short-term fix.



    If that's true, then wouldn't you need a Deflection crystal at the conduit junction to the nacelles. If the Plasma needs to be conditioned why is there another conduit under the impulse engines heading to the impulse "thrustered" exhaust?

    From what I've looked up Impulse means

    -pulsation: (electronics) a sharp transient wave in the normal electrical state (or a series of such transients); "the pulsations seemed to be coming from a star"

    -the act of applying force suddenly; "the impulse knocked him over

    -momentum: an impelling force or strength; "the car's momentum carried it off the road"

    ~brought to you by the World Wide Web.

    I can't emphasize how many times we've seen Voyager, Defiant, NCC-1701, NCC-1701-A, NCC-1701-B, NCC-1701-D "Reverse" Engines without the traditional logical rules of physics.

    Enterprise D in particular litterally pivoted on it's on center of gravity at full thrust and without interuption in motion continued bow forward and run from a probe.

    Inertial Dampners:
    The effect of this Trek-nology keeps the ship's crew from experiencing sudden jolts that would kill the crew. They're effects would also cause a ship to slow down progressively when in use. Essentially they cause universal drag. A ship has no Inertia when the IDF is active which is pretty much all the time.

    For the Galaxy to preform that manuver without thrustered exhaust or "planes" as though it were a sub It would need an impulse engine on the bow of the ship and powerful RCS. (RCS is far less powerful than the IMF engines) The IDF would have to be deactivated for the manuver. If the IDF is deactivated for the manuver then everyone should fly to the left and then right as the ship revered it's motion and proceeded forward.



    The impulse engines despite whatever "impulse" means must be a form of field propulsion. Relics specificly states that the impulse engines produce and Ion trail. YET we see the impulse engines are engaged on many craft we see no visual increase in out put.

    Note:
    We have ION engines today = a type of reaction-propulsion engine to propel rockets in space; a stream of positive ions is accelerated to a high velocity by an electric field.

    The problem is there is no subspace or warp field associated with the engines engines...ever. We all know that TMP showed impulse taking them to warp. So if there is no mass reducing field field how do you get to such a velocity in such a short amount of time. Well perphaps warp isn't the only type of mass reducing field.

    My Conclusion as to what Impulse is:

    Warp Drive is known as a type of field propulsion that surrounds the ship and essentially creates it's own universe...a low mass universe, that actually reverses the effect of universal expansion that causes Gravity and universal acceleration which causes Time.

    What if Impulse engines are type of field propulsion that instead of making a new enviroment attempts to change a localized section of the universe it's self. Changing the reaction the universe has to the ship instead of changing the ship's reaction to the universe. (Yes I know that's relative)

    IE.

    Impulse creates a field that alters the space around the ship to expand at a slightly slower rate of speed.

    Warp Engines create a field that creates a whole other reality isolated from the rest of the universe that expands at a different speed.

    The difference being the impulse field is still bound to the physics of the surrounding universe even if those physics are "drunk".
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Just to be contrary, I'd argue that the expression "impulse engine" could easily originate from a trade name, just like "diesel engine" does. There'd only need to be a very vaguely similar engineering principle behind the modern impulse (diesel) engine and the original creation of the Impulse Corporation (Rudolf Diesel).

    Whether the same holds true for "warp engine" is an interesting question, too. These are very complex machines with undoubtedly complex operating principles: it might be impossible to express the principle properly in the name, so deliberately improper choices are made instead. Engineers usually do make every effort to be funny... Or cool. Or both. (Usually, they think the two mean the same thing.)

    Timo Saloniemi