Why the lack of personal protection?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by flamewolf393, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Form follows function. Vulcan science officers may be partial to catsuits, but their special forces people wear jackets just like everyone else. So do the Andorians, as it happens.

    Except that the high tech solution is subject to random plot devices that render it somehow useless. Imagine if your personal forcefield was designed to also provide thermal insulation in cold weather, but suddenly rendered inoperable by some sort of [tech] field on the planet surface. In that case, it's just an excuse not to wear a jacket so you can have a really bad "OMG It's freezing down here!" subplot.

    More to the point: along with an extra layer of clothing comes an extra layer of POCKETS. It's easy to underestimate how much difference a few extra pockets can make.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    And that's the thing I find so unrealistic. But it's something I have to live with, even if it's not sufficiently futuristic to my tastes.

    Which is another highly unrealistic aspect of Trek. In reality, it's more typical for high tech render low tech useless (say, through the use of armor that cannot be pierced by primitive weapons :devil:).

    ...Making the lower layer inaccessible. :(

    In any case, the TNG uniforms appear capable of sprouting pockets wherever and whenever needed. Yeah, the quasi-polatronic jammatron beam of the Weirdomites might neutralize that technology, making Torres drop her hammer on her toes at an awkward moment - but somehow I don't see the Trek writers bothering.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yep.
    [​IMG]

    I could only hope so.

    [​IMG]



    Then it is probably fortunate that Voyager did not attempt to stretch into an eighth season.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...But the problem would have disappeared by then, as the level of 24th century technology would have kept on dropping steadily, until the ship was flying on rocket thrust, replicators worked by microwaving preprepared meals, and the only way to carry a hammer would have been to sling it on a loose-fitting tool vest / jacket combo...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You never actually WATCHED Voyager, did you?
     
  6. NrobbieC

    NrobbieC Commander Red Shirt

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    Personal forcefields do exist they were just never seen.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Why?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Probably because the producers believed that security officers walking around with forcefields would be too confusing for the viewers. :p
     
  9. NrobbieC

    NrobbieC Commander Red Shirt

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    Budget or maybe they just forgot they were mentioned in Homefront
     
  10. Silversmok3

    Silversmok3 Commander Red Shirt

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    I still wouldn't want it blowing up on my utility belt!

    Just for perspective, a modern day .40 S&W handgun has but a fraction of the energy of a ST phaser or energy shield power source-and yet if the gun is loaded with a defective round with too much powder, a case failure can result in some injury to a shooter's hands.

    If a phaser or power shield goes critical on your hip, I hope your name's Daniel Jackson .:rofl:
     
  11. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Phasers almost always give you a few seconds warning before that happens (and it's possible to make them do that on purpose, remember?)

    It occurs to me that the power cell on a portable shield belt or armband would probably make a fairly efficient suicide bomb.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    A further concept that flows pretty naturally from the various analogies would be that a life support belt / personal forcefield harness would have two energy sources, SCUBA style: a "main air bottle" and an "emergency air bottle". You operate using the first one, which is optimized for capacity. But if it develops problems, you can gracefully stop operating by switching to the backup and scrambling to safety. And if you want to put the main one into a "secondary use" (say, priming it to explode and throwing it at an enemy vehicle), you have that option even when you also want to keep the primary use (the secondary hardware now keeps you alive and protected).

    Those TAS belts do have a modular appearance, with the big box at the small of your back but with various subdivisions to the forward part. Yeah, it's probably supposed to look like a futuristic buckle at the front, a slim nonfunctional belt around the waist, and all the machinery in that box. But the clumsy artwork necessarily makes it look more substantial than that, especially when Kirk takes his off. It would be easy to argue that the front features include panels hiding the (otherwise unseen) controls; detachable power packs; and perhaps other functionalities as well.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They're more compact by the 24th century, if the armbands in "Timescape" are any indication. Keep in mind, those bands were used as "temporal shielding" to trap a bubble of space time around the wearer. Trapping a bubble of AIR shouldn't be that much harder, and reinforcing the field to stop weapons fire is simple enough that Worf could do it with a communicator.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure the properties would follow from each other, or even be installable in one and the same unit. But yeah, it does make sense that each Trek era from TAS onwards at least would be able to quickly whip out a portable forcefield system that can keep the rain out and the breathable air in. On the other hand, the presence of solid physical protection in all eras also suggests that the technology doesn't grow more useful with time; perhaps all the evolution goes into miniaturizing it, and just possibly making it a tad more reliable?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Only low powered bullets and not from point blank range. That's why you rarely see cops wearing bullet proof vests. Against higher power weapons, they just don't work that well.

    Anyway, we saw Worf create a personal force field in A Fistful of Datas.
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    YOU rarely see cops wearing bullet proof vests because evidently you live in an area where the cops are fucking stupid and work for departments that condone their stupidity.

    Chicago police officers wear the vest. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. THEM. They wear it because they're REQUIRED to wear it. They wear it because this is Chicago and every braindead wannabe thug with a .22 thinks he's Alonzo Harris.

    Which is relevant, ultimately, to the broader point: Starfleet finds itself in hazardous situations often enough that for any organization with any amount of common sense, basic ballistic protection should be MANDATORY for away teams. We've seen officers getting killed by boomerangs, wooden spears, plant spores, and -- yes -- even bullets. If forcefields aren't up to the task, which I VERY STRONGLY doubt, the lack of some kind of protective gear for a well-defined hazardous situation is profoundly irresponsible on Starfleet's part. Basically, much like cops who don't wear their vests, they are stupid people who work for an organization that condones their stupidity.

    Military issue armor DOES, especially the stuff with the ceramic inserts.
     
  17. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    It also weighs a ton.
     
  18. apollo1984

    apollo1984 Commander Red Shirt

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    Whilst only part of a game what do people think of the Hazard suits seen in Star Trek: elite forces + elite forces 2.

    It makes perfect sense for a computer game and would fit peoples idea of personal protection but would it look right/make sense on the show week in week out (though maybe in DS9 as they are in war time).
     
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    23rd century armor materials wouldn't have that problem. Actually, if you buy the predictions of every sci-fi writer for the past twenty years, they'd probably be power-assisted and afford the user more mobility than he'd have in a speedo. That sort of technology would already be a necessary upgrade for space suits, which in addition to being incredibly heavy, are also stiff and hard to work with at full atmospheric pressure, and power-assisted limbs is about the only logical way to use a full-pressure suit that you don't have to be superman to use.
     
  20. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The armor paneling is an obvious decision - I like not getting shot and killed. But there's some other groovy features;

    -Eyepiece display, tied into suit systems and personal gear
    -Built-in passive and active scanners
    -EVA capability, with pressure helmet and optional thruster pack.
    -Built-in medical aid systems (dermal regenerators and the like)
    -The materials of the suit are laced with nanites that patch it up. When the suit gets jacked into a power terminal, the little guys can do their thing.
    -"Mutliphasic wave generators", which prevent hostile transporter lock-ons.

    There's also a portable transporter buffer, which is a novel way of explaining away the ability to carry eleventy billion different weapons in a universe-appropriate context, but I think it ubers transporter tech a bit much.