A transporter-less Trekverse

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Blip, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Suppose for a moment if you will, that within the Trek universe, transporters were never invented for use with living beings (maybe cargo, and replicators would be fine) due to that pesky old Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle that no-one ever managed to devise some kind of compensator to work around.

    Ignoring the real-world concerns of how it might change the franchise, or the various storylines that would be altered/impossible, etc, how does everyone imagine this would impact Starship (and I guess even Shuttlecraft!) design? Personally I suspect that many vessel classes might survive with little to no tampering - the Galaxy and Miranda classes seem like they have sufficient shuttlebay facilities already, but maybe the Constitution would end up needing a secondary bay up on the primary hull...

    Thoughts anyone?
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
  2. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If it was never invented for live transport, somebody would eventually. Or take a gamble on it in a last-ditch effort situation and win.
     
  3. Idran

    Idran Commodore Premium Member

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    They're talking about a version of the Trek universe where they literally aren't possible for living beings and wondering the consequences to other technology.
     
  4. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So if it couldn't? Poor redshirts. Maybe they'd deploy a space elevator out the hatch instead.
     
  5. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would think they'd have used the concept of either the saucer sections of Federation starships (or at least the Constitutions) or just the bridge module complex, as a large landing craft or survey ship while the stardrive/engineering hull sits in orbit. The transporter being "invented" due to a TV budget and the FX for landing the ship would be extreme every episode or three, plus take time when the transporter beam in and out is quicker and only need to get a small number of crew (actors) in peril each week.
     
  6. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Like I said, ignoring any real-world implications - ie, purely in terms of within the Trek universe itself. Real-life budget, deus ex machina storytelling, and the impact upon thousands of disposable redshirts etc etc are all entirely irrelevant here. As Idran kindly clarified, the transporter is physically impossible to use on living beings without killing them in this scenario.

    I'm speaking strictly in terms of starship design attributes.

    Ithekro
    I'd forgotten about that idea for the Bridge module; I can't remember if that was posited for the original series or one of the spinoffs? Since it's not that big though, I'd imagine they'd still want some form of Shuttlebay in the primary hull for the rest of the crew...
     
  7. Kahless the Unforgettable

    Kahless the Unforgettable Captain Captain

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    They'd... just use shuttlecrafts? Considering the whole reason transporters were invented (storywise) was because the special effects budget wasn't high enough to make use of shuttlecrafts, that seems... uh, that just seems the obvious answer. And it's not like you need a fleet of them either. Though if that were the case, there'd be more 'shuttlecraft carrier' starship designs for use in situations where mass transit would be required; but that's not something that would be important for typical starships, least of which the exploration ones we typically see on the shows.

    Of course, that would also mean replicators would be a no-go (since they're just a variant of transporters), so ships would need larger cargo bays to store foodstuff, spare parts, uniforms, and all that sort of thing.

    But other than that, not much would change. Like, at all.
     
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  8. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Rear Admiral Moderator

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    Except for those two in "And the Children Shall Lead". They actually come out ahead.

    Well, until the next week, anyway...
     
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  9. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    No transporters would mean no more last-second escapes from bad guys or exploding space vehicles, no more instantly slipping in & out enemy territory/pre-warp societies, and we'd definitely have to get rid of cargo transporters & replicators, because eventually someone would figure out how to transport living objects if organic-based materials (like food & medicines) can be transported.
     
  10. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Probably like most episodes of Enterprise were depicted, except that instead of "prep a shuttlepod, Travis" we'd have "order the flight deck to stand by, Mr Chekov".

    I imagine the stock footage of the shuttlecraft launching would get tedious very quickly, though.
     
  11. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Transporters are not viable for the living in this scenario. There is no reverse engineering, nor scenario-of-the-week workaround possible here.

    I thought I'd been clear that this has nothing to do with real-life considerations, such as dramatic effect, story arcs, tv show budgeting, or any other reason you can wrangle up so as just to say "well we'll have transporters one way or another eventually anyway". Honestly, why even bother posting that? :wtf:

    I'm talking Starship design; ie what do we think would need to be changed in terms of shipboard hangar facilities, overall layout, vessel manning, number and type of shuttles, starbase and station docking facilities, and so on and so forth.

    Examples: Would DS9 need (somehow) more or larger docking ports, or have additional "pad" hangars? (Personally I imagine it having a series of massive enclosed bays for small vessels and shuttles, and a need for larger ports for cargo transfer). Would Starships have featured visible lifeboats integrated into the hull all along, or gone with the Saratoga type craft, or just resorted to shuttles for evacuation? Would more Secondary and/or Primary hull space end up being used for shuttlecraft storage and access? Would the shuttles have been designed larger to quickly move larger numbers of personnel, or smaller to minimise risks to the crew if one gets damaged etc? Would we have been likely to see something like the Kelvin pods in the prime universe?

    (But for the love of all that's holy, can we please not use the default "it'll be whatever the storyline calls for" replies? :techman: )
     
  12. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In the 60s maybe, but you wouldn't necessarily have to see the shuttle departing/arriving every time to know that personnel were ferried via shuttle. And in this day and age, CGI can easily allow any shuttle scenes to be shot differently each week.

    But again, this is not the point. Real-life production concerns are irrelevant, as was noted in the OP.
     
  13. psCargile

    psCargile Captain Captain

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    Your examples answer your question.

    A solution could follow the design of the Intrepid class, a dedicated landing craft docked at the bottom of the primary hull.
     
  14. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    Perhaps while ships would be designed more with landing in mind, ships would likely look more like a battlestar than a Trek ship, something flat and squat, able to support itself on the ground more easily.

    --Alex
     
  15. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If they kept the same design styling, than it be either more often shuttle usage, or the Saucer would come off for landing, more like the Forbidden Planet style landing. Or the bridge module would be their research outpost/landing craft. It would have the needed materials for the landing party as well as enough defense to keep that part of the crew safe, with the rest of the ship monitored from orbit with planetary sensors and phaser over watch.

    However they might need a car or something to get from the landing point to any nearby towns or whatever. Transporters got them in close so they walked almost everywhere. Having a landing craft that size might need something to get people away from it. More so than a shuttle, but the shuttle would be limited if you needed people to do lab work or other things, so having a larger part of the ship present helps with research and medical needs.

    I don't think they'd have more shuttles, just because their would be multiple parts of the ship that can serve as giant lifeboats in case any one section gets totaled or the warp drive fails. The shuttles would be the escape from the secondary hull to get to the primary in that case.

    Basically you'd have three ships (Engineering, Saucer, Bridge craft) in one plus maybe a dozen shuttles of various types. Plus the ability to dump the nacelles and/or pylons if needed. There might even be a few other large craft embedded into the underside of the Engineering hull or saucer, just they are flush with the hull.

    From a TV perspective, having the bridge be part of the landing craft would make it at least slightly cheaper as they would use the set for everything. But the FX budget...she canna take it, Producer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
  16. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Mine are merely possible ideas for certain instances - and admittedly not necessarily the best ones. I've posted to see what other solutions everyone else might come up with. ;)

    I like the idea of one or more dedicated landing craft in cases where the saucer isn't separable (as I recall Voyager's bridge had RCS thrusters too and could act as a larger lifeboat?). Come to think of it, I imagine the Galaxy-class would not only make increased usage of the Captain's Yacht, but that it would be substantially larger - and likely warp powered. After all, I can't imagine anyone wanting to land a saucer section that big every other week! :D
     
  17. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You might see an aircraft carrier style starship, with shuttles that land on top and anchor into the ship, and an underside airlock hatch at the landing point for crew to drop/climb down through.

    I would love that.
     
  18. Blip

    Blip Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But would you want to keep shuttles permanently exposed like that - particularly in hazardous situations?
     
  19. Saturn0660

    Saturn0660 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We did... It was called Enterprise..
     
  20. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Because you didn't say no to cargo transporters and replicators. :vulcan: If you've got devices that can still transport bio-matter like foodstuffs and medicines, living organisms won't be that far behind. You got to get rid of cargo transporters and replicators too.