In what century do you think Starfleet would invent self-repairing hulls?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by The Rock, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. The Rock

    The Rock Captain Captain

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    Eventually ship technology would advance enough for Starfleet to develop hulls that would repair itself from damage similar to that of Borg ships. In fact, I imagine they would find a way to unlock Borg tech so they could adapt Borg technology (such as self-repairing hulls) but it would be pretty far in the future since even the top scientists at Starfleet HQ had only a rudimentary understanding of how Borg tech actually works for a super long time.

    I wonder how long it took them? In fact, is there any chance that the Enterprise-J (seen in ENT) has that capability?
     
  2. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Commodore Commodore

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    23rd, given we saw robots doing that job in Discovery.
     
  3. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ent-J probably has liquid fix it inside the hulls.
     
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  4. The Rock

    The Rock Captain Captain

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    So why wasn't Starfleet using it on their ships in the TOS movies and in TNG, VOY, and DS9?
     
  5. Leathco

    Leathco Commander Red Shirt

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    To a degree, they were. Force Fields automatically popped up to seal off breaches, using power to fix the hull until a "repair crew" got there. And I don't recall seeing a "repair crew" working on the hull on any of the shows, for all we know that crew could be robotics, a simpler form of the Exo robots. Heck, by the time Voyager airs, they could literally be Exo robots.
     
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  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think we're supposed to pretend they were.
     
  7. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

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    TOS repair technology seems to be performed by crew members; from The Doomsday Machine:
    PALMER: (to Spock) Sir, Deck seven reports power failure in main energisers. Implementing emergency procedures. (another hit) Severe casualties reported on decks three and four. Damage control party sealing off inner hull rupture.
    One can speculate that if there is an "inner hull rupture" it makes sense that it will be repaired by the crew, but if there is an "outer hull rupture" then I don't think a damage control party can fix it, especially during combat. The outer hull must be evenually repairable from the outside, probably by crew in spacesuits (based on the TOS special effects budget constraints).
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  8. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Given the rate of exponential advancements in science and technology... self-repairing hulls should probably have been invented before the NX-01 was launched.
    Given the kind of technologies we have in development already, you could have a liquid like alloy to come into place of a hull breach and then solidify once its in place and of course, because the hull would (obviously) be made of programmable metamaterials, it would shape itself into what's needed (windows indents, etc.).

    They should have been using nanobots for starship construction by then realistically.
    We already have a molecular synthesizer technology which was demonstrated in 2015 and again in 2018.
    Nanobots were made in a lab and we are expected to have them in wide-scale use by 2030 when they are cheap enough to mass produce (of course, if money was not a limiting factor, most of these technologies would already be in use right now... a ridiculous type of technology could have been used back in 1974 that would put most of what's used today to shame, but we did not due to 'cost efficiency' - otherwise, we had the resources, the know how and technology to implement that in sustainable abundance - and given how Starfleet and the Federation at large don't use money, 'cost efficiency' is not a factor... they'd be focusing on 'technical efficiency' with 'sustainability' in mind).

    Most of Trek writers didn't (and couldn't) necessarily predict where real world technology would be today.
    Mind you, some had good visions, but unfortunately, a lot of information did not proliferate very fast in the 1960-ies (even though a lot of what was invented back then was already quite amazing, and not accessible to everyone given that you couldn't just pull the information up on a computer screen).
    Setting everything so far into the future seems a bit unrealistic (not to mention that Warp drive is way too slow in comparison to where it should be).

    Self-repairing hulls should be a standard by the NX-01 launch, along with even shields (as we ARE experimenting with this technology already).

    Looking at the time frame between TOS and TMP for instance, I think they've given it a good overhaul by leaving the time lapse the same as for the real world.
    That said, TNG should have similarly taken place 15 years after TOS (and probably featured a Galaxy class ship called something else - can still have the same crew though).
    You could easily still have same design changes, etc. in such a time span... given how fast things change in the real world, they'd change even faster in Trek.

    Setting Kirk and TNG about 70 years apart was a mistake. Too much time has elapsed with too little changing (apart from say the Federation growing) - that just doesn't make sense.
    A society like the one we saw in Trek would not be susceptible to stagnation.
    Warp drive should have been much faster in the 23rd century, allowing the Federation to travel from one end of the galaxy to the next in say a 150 days (150 000 ly's - equating to 1000 Ly's per day).
    With the Excelsior Transwarp for example, that could have been increased by a factor of 10 (10 000 Ly's a day - or basically Warp 9.975).
    By the mid 24th century, they should be having exploratory missions to other galaxies (along with outlying bases there) - that's what 'realistic' portrayal of exponential advancement might look like.

    Voyager could have been thrown 273,750,000 L'ys away and still the writers could have said it would have taken them 75 years to get back to the Milky Way by using Warp 9.975 (because, that's what I calculated exponential Warp scale would look like past Warp 9.9 and canonical statement that its 21 473 times LS) - that's how powerful Warp engines should be by the late 23rd century.

    24th century could have had outlying colonies and ships exploring other galaxies.
    With 10 000 Ly's per day, it would take a ship 270 days to reach Andromeda for instance.

    Oh and Biological immortality should have been a long time standard by NX-01 era.
    We will have it in the real world by 2030... or possibly accessible for everyone by 2039 (if we retain Capitalism and massive inequality we still have).

    So many things would need revamping to make Trek more 'in line' with reality (and no, it wouldn't be 'too advanced').
    It would still take large amount of time to explore the entirety of the Milky Way even with superfast ships and very powerful sensors.
    Milky way too much? Set the story outside the galaxy... in the intergalactic void.
    Man, Voyager might have been even better if it needed 75 years to cross 273 million Ly's... the show could take a more science based turn to explore what's happening in the void between galaxies, while (mostly) meeting new species in a galaxy they encounter.

    :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  9. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Realistically, SF has had technology since the NX-01 era to do ridiculous things - we could just say the TV budget was never big enough to showcase them, and the writers tended to dumb things down frequently for the sake of 'drama' - whilst neglecting they could tell interesting stories with high-tech setting.
     
  10. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    By the time of TNG, DS9 and VOY, you'd expect starship hulls to be repaired by automation using replicators and transporters.
    Why bother with manual labor or similar nonsense when you can beam out a damaged section, recycle it/reconstitute it in the matter stream directly and materialize a NEW one with minimal energy input with all the conduits and needed bits in place?
    Their sensors are accurate to the subatomic, and their hulls really modular. Its more than doable.
    In the case of massive hull breach, much more energy would be needed (obviously), and for that, they could have simply stopped in a star system and used either asteroids for raw materials and let the computer manufacture what they need, or because replicators convert energy into matter, use stars to power the replicators (by using the hull as an energy collector) and then just replicate sections of the hull automatically in place and replenish spare parts and needed stuff.
     
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  11. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    If they can make self-replicating mines and self-sealing stem bolts, then they should already be able to make self-repairing hulls which materialize matter out of nowhere to patch up physical damage.

    Kor
     
  12. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not out of nowhere... they materialize matter from energy.
    Its been said on more than one occasion that replicators convert energy into matter, so the self-replicating mines probably drew energy from subspace and/or the Bajoran star (and because there were so many of them, they were probably networked so that each mine could for example replicate a section of the new mine (minimizing energy requirements from a single mine doing the whole thing - but hey, they did say the nearest mine would just replicate a new one, implying that transporter buffer and energy requirements wouldn't be an issue if a single mine needed to replicate a new one).
     
  13. arch101

    arch101 Commodore Commodore

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    We'll probably see something like this on Discovery.
     
  14. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

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    Early 25th century.

    Ablative Hull Generator is just a variant on that tech.
     
  15. HelenofBorg

    HelenofBorg Lieutenant Newbie

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    I think the main reason for not making such huge advancements so quickly is because it leaves the door wide open for other series to be made in the future where such technologies would be invented. Rushing to the end of a story takes away the actual story.
     
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