Miranda->Nebula->??

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Overgeeked, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Oh, please...EVERYONE knows that those "things" on the refit's secondary hull are the arboretum windows since TMP was released. Please don't choose to ignore that fact just because it doesn't fit with your hypothesis. Serial contrarianism only works within the bounds of established reality.

    Perhaps we might be able to solve this the proper way. Calling Mr. @Rick Sternbach. Could you please, sir, recall what those blue squares were supposed to be on the rear of the primary hull of the Enterprise-D, behind the main shuttle bay? Some of us think arboretum windows, others of us not, and your official blueprints don't seem to indicate what they are definitively. Any help?
     
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  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I ignore the purported fact because it is part of the real world, and of the real world exclusively.

    That is, there is no evidence in the Star Trek universe that those windows would relate to an arboretum. What Rick Sternbach, you, the ghost of Gene Roddenberry or Jahweh have to say on the matter is utterly irrelevant if it's not also said in the movies featuring those "windows" or whatnot. In which case it becomes merely redundant.

    Trek as an entertainment product is 90% unrealized effort and 10% end result. The Trek universe is 100% end result, though: none of the unrealized effort ever became part of it. Nobody in the end result told us what those window-things are, and it's too late to try and do that now.

    The arboretum thing is a real-world fact and therefore irrelevant. It never became an in-universe pseudofact. At best, we can claim that there are things visible through the E-nil "windows"; what those things are is subject to argument, though, as the real-world fact that they might be tree miniatures is not part of the universe, either.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. RunawayStarShip

    RunawayStarShip Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    We do know a few things for certain:

    1) The Enterprise-D saucer has warp coils. To the amazement and relief of everyone, they are of sufficient quality that they can sustain Warp 9.6 for at least one brief shining moment.

    2) A matter-antimatter reactor is not a requirement for warp travel.

    3) Without constant power to maintain a warp field, warp fields naturally decay or even suddenly collapse.

    4) Glowing bits are not necessary for warp (although they are often an indicator of warp). See the original Enterprise as the prime example.

    The blue glow on the nacelles seem to be a way for the ship to cool off because thermodynamics, not necessarily an indication of warp. In the TMP movies, they start glowing blue when they go to warp because that's when the warp core kicks into high gear. Presumably, the Enterprise-D is always generating huge amounts of power, so the nacelles are always glowing. When it goes into warp, the nacelles flash because of the sudden jump in power output.

    How can we reconcile "Encounter at Farpoint", "Arsenal of Freedom", and "Brothers"?

    I'm going to say that the Enterprise-D saucer has warp capability (it has warp coils, and it has the ability to generate power), but it's a crappy warp drive that requires a lot of work by the crew to make it work due to the saucer's geometry.

    Why is it a risk to separate the saucer at high warp if it's automated? Generating and maintaining a warp field must take a lot of work by an engineering crew on the saucer to keep it from suddenly slowing to Warp 2 in front of the engineering hull that is going at Warp 9.6.

    Why would LaForge send his chief engineer to the saucer? Because he was about to separate the saucer at warp, suddenly got cold feet (what would Starfleet do to a junior officer who wrecked a brand new Galaxy-class starship... assuming he survived?), and then decided to separate while the ship was stationary. His chief engineer would be the most qualified person at the moment to lead his crew in getting the saucer to warp speed and dealing with its finicky ready-to-collapse-at-any-moment warp field.

    Why would Picard expect the separated saucer to drop out of warp in two minutes? Because Data is only one person (even if he is quite the one person), not a whole engineering team. The saucer's warp field is going to fall apart without a number of people fiddling with it. It's like the Enterprise in TSFS. She's just not the same with a skeleton crew.
     
  4. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Was it said it has coils? Do photon torpedoes have coils?
    How you know that? (I know a singularity engine can maintain it, but you're probably not talking about that here.)
    Do shuttles have AM reactors?

    I have to say my recollections of "Arsenal of Freedom" are hazy. Was it explicit that they separated out of warp? I know the saucer was supposed to go to the nearest starbase, and we don't know how far that was, but probably far enough that without warp the journey would have taken decades. Then again, you just stated earlier that they used that tiny warpless shuttle for interstellar journeys and that doesn't make any sense either.
     
  5. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They don't travel at warp speed, because we can see them flying around in stationary battles. They might have a tiny coil to sustain a warp field around them when fired at warp speed though, even if only for a matter of seconds. Otherwise the ship that fired them would blow themselves up.

    The DS9 tech manual seemed to suggest they do, at least the longer range ones. I'm not sure those tiny shuttlepods did. Is a warp core really necessary, or is it just the most efficient means for a huge starship? I assumed they either have very good batteries, or perhaps a fusion reactor?
     
  6. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, this is exactly what I meant. Many people here seem to think that the saucer would work similarly; it is capable of maintaining the warp bubble for a while, if separated while the ship is in the warp. I'm not sure if warp coils are needed for that. Maybe they are.
     
  7. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd have thought the ship would need to generate a warp field to be able to "coast" for that length of time - it was several hours at least in EaF, and a couple of hours in Brothers. Arsenal of Freedom is the spanner in the works, as the Enterprise doesn't leave orbit as far as I recall, meaning the saucer must be independently capable of getting to warp. Maybe they just got a fleet of shuttles to tractor it to warp?
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ History's Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    I have the TNG Tech Manual. I'll pull it out later and see if it offers any clues.
     
  9. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A really good summary, and I'm definitely drawn to the notion of an entire engineering team being required to maintain (and boost under emergency conditions) the FTL capabilities of the saucer. It's a theory that fits the facts nicely

    FWIW, I've long favoured the idea of the E-D saucer having FTL capability, since it is otherwise just a sitting duck for enemy spacecraft should the Engineering Hull be destroyed.
    The only sub-light saucer alternative is to interpret the entire first 20 minutes of EAF as taking place within the confines of the Deneb star system: That way, the STL saucer can spend the several hours after separation slowly tacking towards the planet (on its evasive course away from Q), while the much faster Battle Module takes a different route and then chills in orbit for a while. In all other episodes the saucer's role is to simply sit there and wait for some other ship to come and rescue it, vulnerable for months or even years.
    I'm not sure I like that so much, even if it seems to have been the original series concept.

    As for antimatter not being the only method of fuelling a FTL drive, see also the "simple impulse" engines of the BOP, the "Ion propulsion" of the rocket in Spock's Brain, and most important of all, the TOS shuttlecraft which clearly has FTL capabilities and never made mention of an ounce of antimatter. Indeed, "Ion Power" was specifically named in the Menagerie, when the shuttle was chasing the Enterprise. If the shuttle were really STL this is akin to chasing a fighter jet on a unicycle.
     
  10. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Remember that in EaF, Q actually zaps the stardrive section forward at the end of his trial, which explains why they don't just rendezvous with the saucer on the way to Farpoint. O'Brien doesn't even seem to realise there's anything wrong, just nonchalantly flying to Farpoint, "the same heading it's always been Sir".

    Good point about Kirk's shuttle - but I never really bought why the shuttle would have little copies of the Enterprise's warp nacelles if it didn't also have some measure of warp power? Unless of course we're getting it all wrong, and the nacelles were actually the impulse power units all along.
     
  11. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hmm, maybe. We don't know what 'ion power' means (it cannot mean the modern ion thrusters) and 'simple impulse' for BOP made never any sense. Why would impulse mean fusion? Then again, it meaning sublight does not really work. Furthermore, all these examples are from TOS, before the concept of warp cores was even envisioned by the writers. Cochrane's Phoenix already had a warp core, but maybe that's just a generic term for anything which produces power for the warp drive and not necessarily an AM reactor... Though I cannot recall the term ever being used to refer to anything else.

    I think many of these issues actually stem from writers not understanding interstellar distances. I think that they envisioned the Romulan BOP, Ent-D's saucer and possibly various shuttles to be sublight crafts, but failed to comprehend the implications.

    Does anyone understand the physics well enough to estimate what kind of differences in output we are talking about between Fusion and AM?
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  12. BillJ

    BillJ History's Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    From the 1991 Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, by Rick Sternbach and Mike Okuda...

    Page 64 states that warp coils are necessary for warp flight. The only listed warp coils are in the nacelles. Though a side diagram on page 67 shows an anti-matter storage area near the saucer.

    Page 169, under "Separated Flight Mode", it states "Saucer Module SIF/IDF systems are set to high output for all velocity regimes, including low warp or sublight velocities."

    So make of that what everyone will. It is possible that I've missed something.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ History's Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    I did miss something...

    From section 2.7 (page 28) - Saucer Module Separation Systems:

    "...the saucer module is equipped with only impulse propulsion."

    "Decaying warp field energy surrounding the Saucer Module is managed by the driver coil segments of the impulse engines. This energy will take, on average, two minutes to dissipate and bring the vehicle to its original sublight velocity."
     
  14. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Wow. They must have some serious intertidal dampeners to prevent the crew from turning into wall salsa if the residual warp bubble collapses around the saucer.

    Thanks for looking that up. And it deepens the mystery as to what those blue boxes are back there - they look so different from all the other surface details. Does the tech manual happen to have a call-out for those, by any chance? My money still sits on an arboretum area.
     
  15. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why would this be any different from ship normally dropping out of warp?
     
  16. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    One would think that it would be a controlled deceleration, regulated by the warp drive slowly throttling back the warp field distortion. Based on what BiilJ said, though, it appears as if this process is regulated by the impulse drive, but it might not be as smooth a ride as if the main warp coils were present, perhaps leading to a "popping" of the bubble, rather than a gentle drop into normal space.
     
  17. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't have my copy to hand, but I'm sure it doesn't, and nor did the Enterprise-D blueprints. I always wondered what they were for, but could never find an answer. It must have been when I got online that I discovered the arboretum idea.
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ History's Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    Nothing in the technical manual.

    I wonder if they might be some type of exhaust or excessive energy bleed off point for the warp core?
     
  19. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Living the #SocialDistancing Life Moderator

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    ^ I believe they might be the temporal anomaly attraction field generators...
     
  20. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    The TNG blueprints by Rick Sternbach refer to them as "Arboretum".

    [​IMG]
     
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