General Star Trek starship thread.

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Charles Markov, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Basically whatever it says on the tin. If you have any headcannon, trivia, models, fanart, fan ship or anything related to starships in the Star trek universe then here is the place to post it. Basically this stems from a couple ideas I had for some posts, but they were to minute to go into a thread of their own.
     
  2. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Function of ships with four nacelles.
    In cannon on screen trek we have seen three Federation ships with four nacelles. These would be the Cheyenne, Prometheus and Constellation class vessels, even if the former was only ever seen as a burning wreck in the background. The Constellation by the way is likely one of my favorite trek ships of all time, who would have guessed.

    Anyway the question I have is how useful a four nacelle ship would be. Presumably it does not allow a ship to travel any faster than a two nacelle ship. Otherwise four nacelle designs would become the norm in Starfleet. Nor would they be more power efficient or anything as twice the number of nacelles is unlikely to consume less fuel than two nacelles.

    My personal theory is that a ship with four nacelles can maintain maximum speed for much longer than a ship with two. It does this by simply switching off different pairs of nacelles as they overheat/overload/wear out or whatever happens when a ship travels at high speed. Travel at a cruising speed of warp seven until your lower pair of nacelles overloads, then simply switch them over and use the upper pair to allow the lower set to cool. Repeat as long as needed.

    The downside would be that the technology to do so would likely be very expensive and difficult to produce in a large way. Perhaps to difficult in fact for mass production. And by the way I am aware this is a commonly accepted beta cannon explanation I just wanted peoples thoughts on it.
     
  3. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Non Humans in Starfleet
    So we know that the United Federation of Planets is supposed to be a massive multi species empire. So why do we hardly ever see non humans serving aboard Federation starships? I have three explanations.

    1) Different ships have different species manning them
    This theory would seem to be supported by the mention of the USS Intrepid in ToS which had a Vulcan crew. It also makes sense in that a ship with a crew comprised entirely, or mostly by TNG, of Humans, Vulcans, Andorians, Bolians, Betazoids or Trill would likely function far better than a ship with a mixed crew. All members would be part of a common culture, share a common language (Universal translators are great and all but just speaking the language would still be better) and would think along similar lines.
    The problems to this theory would be that it would not really give the appearance of a unified Federation if Starfleet is segregated in this manner. It would also mean that a rivalry could develop between ships of different species. The Vulcans and Andorians especially seem likely to get into a disagreement over such a thing. And it would simply not do to have Andorian or Vulcan Starfleet vessels shooting eachother for no good reason.

    2) Starfleet is comprised almost entirely of Humans
    Perhaps each Federation member contributes something to the Federation. Similar to the Covenant from Halo. Vulcan provides scientists and technological breakthroughts, Andor supplies raw materials while Earth is tasked with defending the Federation and its members. While each member would be able to contribute things other than what they were tasked with, explaining why Earth has universities and scientists and Vulcans are seen in Starfleet.
    The problem with this theory is that it would make the Federation quite different to what it is seen to be. With each member expected to perform a certain task rather than work together peacefully.

    3) Each Federation member possesses their own fleet
    Perhaps my favorite theory this one says that Starfleet is one of several fleets that perform the task of defending the Federation and exploring the frontier. With Vulcan and Andor at least likely possessing their own fleets of native built starships crewed by native Vulcans and Andorians. Each of these fleets would likely have an assigned area of operation. But would likely be under a combined leadership in times of war.
    The major flaw in this plan is on screen and verbal evidence. No mention is ever made of separate fleets of Vulcan and Andorian ships. Especially in DS9 where such a formation would be the most likely to be seen. Nor is any mention of it made. Still this is my personal theory for the Federations fleet formation.

    Of course Star Trek is a tv show with a budget that often does not allow it to make a great deal of aliens in makeup. Certianly not in background shots showing general crewmen aboard the ship in question. And even when they do the showrunners often are to busy writing crummy episodes on a lousy show to do anything like that. But still it is fun to think about.
     
  4. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Commodore Commodore

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    In Discovery, we learn of the Vulcan Expeditionary Force, presumably in connection with the Vulcan Expedition from TOS. That's onscreen reference to a non-Starfleet planetary force within the Federation. We also see Vulcan ships in the TNG era, and hear of Andorian ships (unknown if these are private or local military).

    My assumption has always been that Starfleet is much more integrated by the TNG era, and the Vulcans were always late entries (even if a founding member) to Starfleet and the Federation-at-large due to their insular nature and the societal upheaval they suffered before the Federation started. They probably had many exemptions that other founders and later members did not.
     
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  5. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I did not know about that, honestly after the first few episodes I gave up on discovery. It just wasn't worth paying for cbs`s streaming service for a show that was at best mediocre and at worst terrible. (aside from the space battles those are amazing but hardly what trek should be about)
    However getting back on point does the show mention a lot about the VEF? Or is it just a passing mention?
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I like the idea of the Vulcans doing their own thing in DSC, but tying the Expeditionary Force to the Expedition mentioned in "Court Martial" seems wrong to me. After all, the Expedition was very specifically a one-off thing: either you were there, or then you weren't. The Force in turn seems to be a standing, ongoing one.

    My headcanon nods towards #2 and the dominance of humans in Starfleet. Although "dominance" may be the wrong word for a role that involves dying in scores for the benefit of others. One might just as well see humans as the gullible hotheads of the UFP, the Federation's closest analogy to Klingons and thus a nifty resource for crewing the vitally important defense organization. The true rulers would be defined by their absence from Starfleet.

    As for four nacelles, I see multiple analogies to the propellers of seagoing ships. Many of them distribute power better, allowing for higher power to be channeled, but too many results in complications and downright destructive interference. Two already means redundancy in emergencies, as we (finally) see in ENT that a two-naceller can still warp with one nacelle down. The idea of letting a nacelle cool down while another takes the burden is undermined by the constant glow from all observed nacelles - the presence of illumination seems to correlate heavily to the strain the nacelle is taking, and the rare blackouts spell crisis, or at least a very laborious maintenance operation as in, say, "Skin of Evil".

    What else? Nacelle shapes: my headcanon is that Starfleet swaps these things every now and then, the main reason for them being rigged on pylons being that they can be thus swapped. We see a swap between TOS and TMP, but I see one (or two or three) in DSC as well. And I further see a swap in TNG, even when no previously seen design suddenly sports E-D style nacelles: some ships seen in TNG for the first time are IMHO older ones and recipients of a recent swap. The Ambassador-lookalike Niagara in my view originally had Ambassador nacelles and got the Galaxy ones only fairly recently, say.

    Looking forward to seeing into other heads here!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  7. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commander Red Shirt

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    I think of 4 vs 2 Nacelle design like Airliner Engine layout.

    4 would give you more thrust assuming all Engines give out equal thrust in pairs

    4 would give you more than 2, but at the cost of more complexity, more energy consumption, etc.

    Ergo the top speed and top sustainable speed might be higher for a significant amount of time, but at less efficiency than the 2x nacelle.

    Therefore as new era Nacelles come in play, older 4x nacelles get retired and a few select 4x Nacelle models will get made in a new revision.

    Most ships don't need to be the fastest in a straight line at FTL.

    As newer & more efficient nacelles come online like in the Voyager era, the advantages of Quad Nacelles diminishes and slowly get phased out for the simplicity of Quad Nacelles.

    That's why you don't see them more often other than for specialist vessels like the Prometheus Class
     
  8. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    Nacelles are always interesting, because it can depend on how you view them as being the main power source (as seemed the original intent to a degree in TOS) versus being powered by an internal warp core (as seen in TNG and other series). I personally like the idea that having more or less nacelles in a design can alter the potential speed and power output, as seen in some fanon works like Jackill's series. There is a class called the Cheetah fast cruiser, which might be thought of as a variant of the Constellation, and which was designed to have increased mobility and reduce stress on an individual nacelle by being able to regulate power between pairs. Dreadnoughts and other tactical vessels with three nacelles have a somewhat similar idea, with the third nacelle both increasing speed (making the dreadnought closer to a destroyer's speed vs that of a cruiser) and giving increased power for a heavier array of weapons and shields.

    With regards to multiple fleets, this is another idea I've rather liked. I think it's reasonable to infer that by the TNG+ era things are more integrated than they would have been in earlier decades, but the FASA Trekverse certainly liked the idea that individual members had their own vessels and made their own specific fleet contributions. The Andorians were said to operate a "Blue Fleet" comprising designs they had helped build (like the Andor missile ships, Loknar frigates and Thufir destroyers) and whose crews tended to be primarily Andorian. It's inferred that the Vulcans tended to man many of the exploratory vessels in the fleet, while the Tellarites did a lot of the engineering work on ships and outposts. I'm a bit more partial to the structure of the Federation being a UN type analogy than a western/U.S. analogy and I think some interesting story elements come from the balance of power between the members. FASA mentions one incident where an Andorian/Tellarite dispute over resources led to an Andorian Starfleet captain opening fire on Tellarite vessels. The incident was swiftly contained and the captain punished, but it naturally didn't cast Starfleet in the best light.
     
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  9. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commander Red Shirt

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    I've always viewed Nacelles as the part of the ship that moves the ship FTL, while the Warp Core is a generic term for the Centralized Power Generator that powers the Warp Engines.

    You can compare it to modern automobiles:
    - The ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) is powered by the combusting of Refined Petroleum products that spins a crank through either moving of a piston in a up/down fashion or spinning a rotor in a rotary engine. That combustion cycle will eventually send power to the primary Differential through the crank that passes through the transmission unit.
    Then the Differential spins the axles that connect to the wheels or transmits more power through a drive shaft to the other differential which spins the other set of axles.
    - For EV (Electric Vehicles), the power source can come from either the Battery, Capacitors that store energy through regenerative braking, a Internal Combustion Electric Generator, or a Internal Combustion Electric Engine with a specialzed Alternator to help generate the electricity to power the Electric motors.

    To outsiders that don't understand how a automobile works, it sounds like magic or techno-babble.

    To those who are in the know and understand how things work, it's just technical jargon for that specific subject matter.

    Just like every subject has unique lingo / jargon for the professionals/enthusiasts/researchers/engineers in that field.
     
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  10. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    I picked up V1 of Designing Starships yesterday, and it's interesting. There are two future volumes in the works, it looks like. I can't really decide about the Shipyards book, as it seems like a lot of it is basically a copy of the magazine and some other stuff (based on limited reviews). I'm keeping an open mind though.
     
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  11. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Starfleet, and other alpha quadrant powers, design their ships to be highly modular and to use similar components across the fleet. In the 23rd century at least. Regardless of class, type or intended role the ships generally use similar bridges, nacelles, weapons, sensors and shields.

    This means that a ship is usually very easy to repair or refit if it is damaged. Allowing a vessel which suffered even fairly major damage to be repaired fairly simply and without any major fuss. A starbase would carry enough spares generally to allow for several new ships to be built.

    This holds true generally with the ships of the early TNG era as well. With ships like the New Orleans and Challenger, Sprignfield and Cheyenne classes, and Galaxy and Nebula classes all using similar if not identical components. However as the century drags on the ships designed to combat the Borg and other threats begin to use components meant specifically for the class.
     
  12. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    One of the more unusual Jackill's designs is the Kentwood class, which is specialized for transporting large bulk components like nacelles or a secondary hull.
     
  13. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Interesting. It takes the idea of a flying pringles can to the extreme.
     
  14. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In my head canon, ENT never really happened. It’s an alternate universe, and ships of the era actually look closer to something out of Babylon 5 meets NASA. The Daedalus esthetic is a combined pre-/Federation one.

    I almost kinda wish they did a TNG’s “Parallels”-like episode in which we saw different timelines that fit the esthetics of TheCage/TOS/TAS/PhaseII/TMP/TWOK-TUC/earlyTNG/lateTNG/GEN/INS-NEM/earlyDS9/lateDS9/VOY/ENT/JJverse/DSC. I’d love to see different ships from different points along each of those universes’ timelines. What does early TNG’s 22nd century look like and what does JJ’s 24th?
     
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  15. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    Picked up the Shipyards book today so I need to look through it. I was thinking recently about the TMP Vulcan shuttle design and would be interested in hearing opinions. I've always found it an interesting design, but I've also had somewhat mixed feelings about the functionality.

    When the model was initially designed, Andrew Probert thought of it as being the TMP "standard" shuttle with the idea that the shuttle component would be modular and use a warp sled for long range travel. The script called for such a design to transport Spock, as it was preferable to having him board with the transporter. Andrew saw the shuttle module as being a Starfleet design while the sled module was a Vulcan design, and the full unit was sort of a hybrid.

    Jackill's V3 includes the design with a bit of interesting details added in, including four shuttle variants (standard, cargo, light and heavy) and a variety of smaller "add on" modules similar to those used for the workbee. These would allow a shuttle to have enhanced capabilities as needed, such as a medical pod for evacuating injured life forms, phasers or torpedo systems for light defense, or impulse and micro-warp nacelles for better maneuverability.

    In terms of the limited canon screen time, I admit the design feels a bit odd with regard to other shuttle designs we've seen over the years. While the modularity seems cool, it also seems kind of like a waste of effort if you had another warp capable shuttle design available. That being said, using the Jackill's details in addition, it might be fair to say the design fills an in-between role between the modularity of the travel pod and a more conventional shuttle, as the TMP version can use the same docking ports as well as a shuttle bay. There are still some little oddities in the details, as the micro nacelles are said to give the shuttle a speed just below warp 4, yet the speed given for the warp sled is only just below warp 5. Perhaps it might be easier to imagine a slightly higher speed for that, more consistent with the high warp speed seen in Jackill's fighter designs.
     
  16. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I love Jackill’s work. I picked up Vol. I-III at conventions as a kid. A bunch of his designs I consider Head Canon lol
     
  17. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    SOT, but are the Shipyards books more useful than the Designing books?
     
  18. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    Honestly, I'd say it kind of varies. The Shipyard books are nice, but I admit there are issues with the formatting. Many of the Discovery vessels only have generic repeated labels (like say warp nacelles or the deflector), but things like the phasers and torpedo tubes are not labeled at all. The Shenzou's diagrams have absolutely no labels at all, unlike the other ships. In comparison, designs like the Excelsior and movie era vessels have a lot of stuffed labeled (but some are in error, like the Excelsior having an aft torpedo tube marked between the impulse engines when there's nothing actually there).
     
  19. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Starfleet shuttles use their deflectors in atmosphere to create an aerodynamic bubble around the ship. Allowing it to attain very high speeds without the need for a clunky aerodynamic design. That's why Starfleet shuttles are so boxy looking, they don't need to be streamlined because deflectors do it for you. Antigravity also makes the need to pass smoothly through atmospheres rather pointless.
     
  20. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Okay, Guess I'll do this in order:
    4 nacelles, lets see, I see it as what the Navy does. The navy's fighter planes all have 2 engines, why? So if 1 goes out over the ocean, yu have a back up to get back to the ship. So in my head, 4 nacelles is for redundancy for long range ships. If something goes tits up and you loose 1 nacelle, you still have 3 to get you home. You might even cannibalize bigger components from a dormant nacelle. As mentioned you could run 2 nacelles for a long period of time, and then switch out to the others. Things break, things wear out.

    Homosapiens only club:
    Well it is a tv series with limited budgets, so thats the #1 point. However, lets say that its is a majority human starfleet, atleast in the 23rd century. Humans could be more brash, more optomistic, more interested in exploration than the other species, Were the new kids on the block in that most of the other speicis have had warp travel for awhile, and they already have there colonies, explored whats in there neighborhood. So to me, Humans want to be out there, want to push the limits, but other speices, as a mostly whole, have there own wants and needs, and maybe exploration isn't a big thing to them. They do have people that volunteer to go in to starfleet, but not as much as a % as humans do. So to me it might be a 75% human to %25 alien crew on most ships. Over time more speices are added, and the % of humans goes down by the 34th century. But I see that Humans take being in the federation seriously, and is something worthy to strive for to be in starfleet, where say Vulcan, its seen as a thing that is "Beneath" them, like some people that see the military as a bunch of poor people with nothing better to do in there life, the better thing is to go to collage etc. Thats why Spock going in to starfleet was seen as a waste.
    Now the Expeditionary fleet, to me, as said, other species have there own priorities, and maybe starfleet doesn't jive with them, so they do have there own fleets, for exploration, for passenger service, for cargo hauling. So as an example, Vulcan wants to go to some star 50 ly away to study something, starfleet says, sorry we're busy, or we're over here right now. So vulcan sends its own ships out to study, its like woods hole oceanographic, its a civilian thing that does its own stuff. I've never seen starfleet as the end all for exploration needs.
     
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