General Star Trek starship thread.

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

  1. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    By definition, the Bridge is an area of the ship where observation of the ship and its surroundings, and therefore maneuvering decisions, can take place.

    On a submarine, the Bridge might not be the primary control area, it is just the one located high in the ship, and sometimes the ship would be controlled from another place. Even in TOS multiple locations to control the ship were shown, some in more hidden locations, apparently.

    I feel that Star Trek fans often try to overthink this with justification of shielding, replaceable Bridge Modules, etc, all of which may be true, but...

    The point is that the Control Room on Deck 1 is called the "Bridge" precisely BECAUSE OF WHERE IT IS.

    The main control room would not need to be near the outside of the ship because of sensors, but, if that room were not near the outside of the ship, in the traditional location of a Bridge, it should not be called that. Seems pretty simple reasoning to me.
     
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  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Of course, this takes us into a world of purebred fiction: the need for a bridge (in the sense of the word that you establish) is not obvious in the modern real world, and the need for a bridge is not obvious in putative starships.

    Trek either must create its need for a bridge out of whole cloth, or refer to bygone days when such things were still relevant in the real world. And the latter choice, while a good way to make the audience feel comfortable with what they see, may be counterproductive for a show pretending to show the future rather than the past.

    But Trek has done enough work on this field already. Starships do have bridges in your sense of the word; we don't need to argue that point. We don't know the "why?" part, but we can rest assured our heroes do know the answer to that. That they then decide to use historically appropriate terminology for that thing they need is not only acceptable but realistic as well: people do exactly that sort of stuff with terminology for real.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to day that I don't think that quick-change-units on Star Trek ships is a bad idea, I actually like the idea so much that I think it should be considered basically canon, especially with what we see in the TOS Movies :)

    When I was at the museum in Chicago, I toured the German U-boat, and the start of the tour went into a control room low in the ship, where a new doorway had been cut just for the tour. I asked if we would see the Bridge, and was told that it would take lots of crawling to get there, and that the room we were walking through was where most of the operating decisions took place at that time. It was a really amazing experience, seeing what the US was up against in wartime sea combat, and really made me appreciate our troops of all centuries, and the generation that fought in the World Wars.

    It would have been nice to see a Star Trek ship, maybe even just for one episode, where most of the activity is in another control room deeper in the ship, with characters only going to to bridge at times to do some kind to observations. I think I saw a submarine movie like this, too.

    If, as the Franz Joseph blueprints suggest, there is another control room identical to the bridge located in the secondary hall behind the base of the deflector dish on some ships, this could have been accomplished without much money, or a guest ships even could have just used the Auxiliary Control set more; like in Doomsday Machine but not require that the Bridge was supposedly destroyed.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What we saw of Auxiliary Control (under various names) in TOS suggested the facility had its everyday uses and was a backup Bridge only secondarily. In "Lights of Zetar", it was used as an operations center for the project of the week; perhaps this is something that happens all the time, only usually it doesn't involve our key characters and guest stars. The day-to-day operations of the ship might be run from that facility in practice, even if the command decisions are made elsewhere.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  5. Henoch

    Henoch Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Auxiliary Control was manned by an officer and used as a robot daycare in "The Changeling". It was also manned by one officer in "I Mudd" and KO'd by Norman. Manned by Chekov in "The Way to Eden" and used as a make-out room. No big deal, but it was not in the "Lights of Zetar", they used the EMM in Engineering and the Environmental Chamber lab in Sick Bay. In any event, the Auxiliary Control was monitored by one officer at all times. I thought Aux. Control was a great set added to the ship. Does anyone have a good idea where on the ship it was located?
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, Kirk didn't in "DDM" - he almost walked past it!

    In practice, this might mean it's an expansive facility, with assorted rooms and consoles and purposes. Placing it next to Engineering would also connect it to the EMM, with its suggestive name and role.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  7. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I'd argue that Kirk did know where it was since he was heading to the machinery room that is part of the ACR but oddly partitioned off by a hex-screen wall. He just happened to spot Decker and made a diversion to the viewscreen room.
    I do agree that the ACR is an expansive facility with assorted room and consoles (and that adjacent machinery room is an example of it.) :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
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  8. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It is also possible that their are minor differences between Constitution-class starships from when they were built, or any number of refits, or battle damage repairs over the decades. Perhaps one yard put the room four doors down from where it is on ships from a different yard due to local customs. Or Enterprise's room was moved after a refit following the war with the Klingons, so her's is the one in a different location than is standard.
     
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  9. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    I picked up the second volume of Designing Starships the other day, and it's a good volume. Perhaps I'm the relative minority, but I don't have that many issues with the Prometheus design or aspects of the MVAM. That's not to say I don't think said concept could be improved, but I don't think it's terrible as is either.

    I'm a lot less fond of Doug Drexler's Enterprise-J, though. While I understand he was given a very short amount of time (2 days) to come up with the model and that he wanted to play around with some "impossible" aesthetics to help make it a better future design, his descriptions of how the ship works and the exaggerated proportions just don't work for me.
     
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  10. Henoch

    Henoch Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Drexler's take on the original Connie from ENT looked great, except for the same issue you have, the exaggerated proportions just don't work for me. He blew the ship size up by 150 to 200% :wtf: . And we argue whether it was 947' or 1080'? (Please, this not an open invitation to start that old debate up, again.)

    As a general starship design feature, we shouldn't let the size of the ships balloon to ridiculous dimensions as Unicron says about the E-J, and I say that about the TOS-E retcons. By the 25th century, we'll have city-size ships like the Star Destroyer, or moon-size ships like the Death Star. As discussed previously on this site, Is it Star Wars size envy? Why does ships need to get bigger in the future versus smaller as technology shrinks in size, grows in power and needs less crew. The smaller, powerful ships of Star Trek gives the show its unique feel over the other ScI Fi shows.
     
  11. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    I don't mind huge ships if the aesthetics and engineering make a degree of sense; I've been a fan of the Battletech series for years and many of their capital ships are closer to the model seen in Star Wars than some of Trek's unique aspects. They're huge ships with low sublight speeds, and none of the fancier sci-fi systems like shields or artificial gravity. Most ships require at least one centrifugal grav deck to create gravity. BT tends to stick closer to realistic engineering principles to a degree, so FTL travel tends to be very energy consuming and a warship can only make two jumps in a short period of time if it has a lithium-fusion battery. After that it needs to recharge with a huge solar sail, and the jump range is only 30 light years. You also have to be wary if you're trying to manage a group of ships, even an entire fleet, because the energy of multiple jump engines can interact with each other if they're in close proximity (often in a negative way).

    Civilian jumpships are mostly composed of the jump core itself, and are designed only to transport smaller craft between systems. They lack any form of normal maneuvering drive as warships have, and are generally considered to be non-combatants (although this hasn't always protected them). The drive operates on some non-Newtonian physics, IIRC. In recent years there's been a story trend (partly a running joke in the fanbase) that's done away with many of the huge warships and replaced them with the "pocket warship" concept, where you have a smaller dropship style hull fitted with capital weaponry. The original PW were jury-rigged dropships that traded most of their cargo volume for surprise firepower, but the idea has since become popular with governments. The joke is that the designers want to keep mechs as the "premiere" unit of the game, so they've made up some plot reasons to keep the fleets smaller. :D
     
  12. Henoch

    Henoch Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I love huge ships too, but not for Star Trek. I used to play Battletech and Full Thrust, its been many years ago, but occasionally, I pull out the old books and ships to look at. Yes, they were big ships with lots of hull points, lots of beams, lots of small fighters, little in the way of shields and armor, no artificial gravity, maybe more science-real. You played the ship and not the crew or a person on the crew; the crew were just boxes to cross off. That was the feel of those games.
    I also loved Babylon 5 TV series (also set ~300 years in the future) where the ships were big and more science-real, but at least the command crew were more important. Star Trek ships were more like the Vorlons or Shadows tech. The DS9 Defiant was like the Whitestar. Now, if I want science-real, I watch the Expanse. I like Star Trek aesthetics to have smaller more powerful science-magic with super speeds, super shields and super beam/torpedo weapons, where our small group of heroes make a difference and don't die. Except for a few red shirts, the crew don't die, and the ship is not full of holes after a battle (à la ST:TWOK, it was a different style Star Trek over TOS.) :)
     
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  13. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am under the impression that the Enterprise-J was designed for intergalactic exploration and thus very long missions where a lot of time would be spent on ship between locations, rather than getting to the next mission/star in a week or two on average.

    But like the Enterprise-D, she gets called back so much, or assigned various galactic/local duties, that she never gets to use her hull the way she was intended to be used.
     
  14. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Good point, and actually "The Way to Eden" dealt with this, allowing Chekov to use it for a navigation problem while everyone else was doing other things. I just think it would have made for an interesting Star Trek ship design if the roles of the two rooms were reversed, with the room down in the hull the main operations center for the command crew and one on the top of the ship used for projects that involved collecting information.

    I also thought it was a great addition to the ship sets. I always assumed that it was within, the Secondary Hull, but near the top, if the location of the Battle Bridge in TNG is any indication (except that in TOS it would need to be below the dorsal and not in it, due to size of the dorsal.

    Actually, I felt that, if TNG used the movie bridge for the Battle Bridge, then the Bridge in the series Enterprise should have looked more like the Auxiliary Control Room from TOS. That keeps the Continuity that the secondary control room is like the Bridge but a generation or two older.
     
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  15. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commander Red Shirt

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    I honestly have no issue with larger vessels in StarFleet. It just needs to not fall in the Tarkin Doctrine trap of "Every ship is a ISD" non-sense.

    Within 1x standard Fleet, the ships should progress up in size as you get to bigger vessels, but the larger the vessel, the fewer of them should be in a fleet given the resource cost to build, validate, train, operate, keep safe, use wisely, etc.

    Ergo within 1x standard Fleet, the vast majority of the vessels should be the smaller ships and scale down in quantity as you go up the size ladder / capability ladder.
     
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  16. Henoch

    Henoch Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    In comparison to the pre-WW2 US Navy, the US had only 7 fleet aircraft carriers. The fleet aircraft carrier became the most important capital ship and the backbone of the Navy's aircraft task force. In "peace time", these are very difficult to justify and expensive to build, so, you only have a "small" number of them. In "war time", you build the best of what you need, and damn the costs. At the end on WW2, the US had ~22 fleet carriers assigned to several task force groups. Today, the US has ~12 fleet carriers (with their escort vessels) in service to cover the globe. Interesting that the biggest WW2 fleet carrier had a displacement of ~50,000 Tons, and now, today's fleet carriers displace ~100,000 Tons; twice the weight but not twice all the dimensions or size. Size also has a physical limit in a world environment with the size of the port facilities, size of the Panama and Suez Canals, and size limitations with engineering hydrodynamics.

    An Enterprise type starship is the equivalent in Starfleet of an aircraft fleet carrier battle group all by its self. I can see "12 like her in the fleet" during a "peace time" stance in the TOS era. During TNG, I can see about the same number of their most important capital ships like ENT C-D's. In "war time" such as with the Borg or in the Dominion War, Starfleet pulled out of mothballs many older ships (A-B's), and started building more big ships like the ENT E. With the horrendous loss of ships during those two events, I'd expect the new fleet for Picard's new series to be about 12 ENT D-E type ships now that they are at peace again.
     
  17. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I see no reason to make "bigger is better" ships. I can vaguely see ships becoming larger over centuries as tech improves.
     
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  18. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've seen this statement made before, and I'll be honest, while I agree that the Connie is supposed to be special in someway, I don't buy the "equivalent of a CBG argument", really in terms of its resources it's more a "single multi-role cruiser" kinda thing (they're broadly equivalent to the Belnap-class missile cruisers that debuted about the same time in the RW).
     
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  19. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    By the same concept though, the United States had built nearly 50 battleship since the 1890s and had only stopped in 1922 due to the Washington Treaty. 25 or so of those were obsolete in 1922, but The US already had 12 battleships and battlecruiser types in construction at that time (two of the battlecruisers became the fleet carriers Lexington and Saratoga), and the US had restarted building post-treaty what would become 10 fast battleships (out of 17 planned), the first of those being finished just before the attack on Pearl Harbor, where the US had stationed 8 of its battleships (and some aircraft carriers that were not present). The US had 17 operational battleship at the time, 8 in Pearl Harbor, 8 on the Atlantic Coast (including the first two new fast battleships that were still being worked up) and one on the Pacific coast getting a refit (USS Colorado).

    Aircraft Carriers were of course larger than the Battleships in terms of size, but the battleships were heavier in terms of mass. The then under construction Iowa-class would be longer than many of the carriers until the later Essex-class ships (which were about the same length) and the larger Midway-class carriers. The never laid down USS Montana would have been longer than the Essex-class ships, but not the USS Midway (CV-41). The Montanas are the reason that if the US ever starts to build another battleship type ships using the old numbering system, the next US battleship's hull number would be BB-72 (as the last of them ordered was USS Louisiana BB-71). In perspective, the current to be built USS Enterprise's hull number is CVN-80 over 75 years after the Louisiana was cancelled in 1943 while the current USS Enterprise of that time was CV-6, having been completed only five years earlier.
     
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  20. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commander Red Shirt

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    Space is FAR bigger, so port size or # of ports aren't really the limit.
    The limit would realistically be how many engineers can you have on hand that are trained in Ship / System repairs along with how many automated bots are there to help make things go faster.

    Automation will be a HUGE time saver and force multiplier along with a smart schedule for ships to come in and out on their various cycles.

    The US carriers have their own cycles of <Repair, Training, Deployment> Rinse & Repeat called:
    O-FRP (Optimized Fleet Response Plan)

    Every Ship/Fleet is on that cycle for a variable amount of time in my Head Cannon based on their situation.
    • 24 month Deployment cycles for entire Ships/Fleets
      • Flexibility in which part of the phase a Ship/Fleet is in based on real world conditions & circumstances
    • Operational Phases:
      • Maintenance : 01-08 months
      • Training : 04-08 months
      • Deployments: 08-19 months
     
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