Miranda->Nebula->??

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

  1. BillJ

    BillJ History's Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    But in an age of very little mechanical involvement, where any panel can be reprogrammed for any function, I'm not sure I see where Data would have a problem.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  2. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Even on the Enterprise, some things need to be physically manipulated, otherwise they wouldn't need Jeffries Tubes.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ History's Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    But why would they go through that kind of non-sense when they could simply put some warp coils inside the saucer if they wanted it to be warp capable?
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Saucer will fall out of warp, shields will drop, phasers will go offline... These are classic examples of sabotage achieved by our heroes in the various shows and contexts. If anything, they support the notion that a capacity exists in the first place, allowing for the sabotage to then be applied.

    Data is fighting sabotage on multiple fronts, but only of a certain type: the heroes cannot physically access Data or his environs beyond the primary/secondary hull border, so they can only play dirty tricks with software, and not throw physical switches. So naturally they would try tricks where it falls on Data to throw the switches! If a saucer warp drive safety master switch is on by default, Data can't easily go and turn it off. Not in the two minutes it would take for the safeties to kick in and render the drive inoperable until extensive reset.

    And the rules of Hollywood dictate that safety switches are in locations distant from the switches that activate or operate the machinery... See "Disaster" for example!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Here's a thought: What if the saucer's warp field can't be engaged (or the systems even activated) while it is still linked to the Engineering Hull? We can only speculate on the type of damage that would ensue while trying to generate one warp field inside a different one, so it makes sense that there are perpetual safety mechanisms in place to prevent this kind of thing.

    Consequently: If the E-D separates at warp, the saucer will naturally drop to sublight within a couple of minutes. This happens in EaF and would have happened in Brothers too. Once free, the saucer can spool up its FTL systems and be on its (much slower) way within half an hour or so.

    Are there any onscreen situations this wouldn't fit?
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ History's Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    That is the great thing about Trek, in most instances you can go with whatever fits your personal view of the universe.

    I tend to like the idea of the saucer being an impulse craft. I think it fits and doesn't make the Galaxy class seem invincible. Yeah, there is separation ability, but there are drawbacks.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "EaF" is actually pretty standard fare in introducing all these Knight Rider gadgets by stating that "they have never been tried" and "they shouldn't work outside certain narrow parameters", after which the hero takes "inadvisable" risks and everything still works out fine.

    But we still learn that the saucer separation thing was supposed to have serious design limits, compared with what we later see on the Prometheus. That attempt at verisimilitude appeals to me, while the fact that the ship did survive makes me feel the designers should be credited with more than was apparent from the dialogue and events, not less.

    Regarding warp separation, visuals actually show the ship separating at impulse in "EaF": warp streaks disappear for the duration of the breakaway maneuver. Immediately afterwards, the stardrive section is back at warp, and the plot implies the saucer would be doing the same lest it be captured by Q or fail to reach Deneb IV in time. So there isn't any propulsive advantage to warp separation - "initial speed" is lost immediately. The advantage in this tactical situation comes from not stopping for the duration of the entire separation progress (thereby allowing Q to catch up), but only for the breakaway maneuver where the warp field finally ceases to encompass the saucer.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. SPCTRE

    SPCTRE Badass Admiral

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    the best kind of cool
     
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  9. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I really am on the fence with this one - I agree it's entirely possible that the designers at Utopia Planetia just didn't see the need to equip the saucer with FTL capabilities, instead viewing the saucer module as a miniature starbase rather than a full-on starship. We know from The Last Outpost that even auxiliary power can last many months, so under normal operating conditions the saucer can wait around indefinitely. Built in a period of peace-time for Starfleet, what danger would a separated saucer be in? That's what the Battle Hull is for.

    Really?

    Although a little faint at times, there's still the unmistakable star streaks in the background throughout the whole process.
    Without a doubt, the saucer separation happened at warp
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not "the whole process", which is my point. While the saucer unlatches and hovers a few dozen meters above where it used to be, the combination remains at high warp. But when the stardrive swerves to starboard, and an actual gap is created between the two halves for the first time, the action suddenly is at impulse.
    [​IMG]
    (This is the remastered shot; the original has the same pinprick stars, though. No streaks, just some motion blur at the very most.)

    We could argue that this is an artifact of camera placement - that a camera outside the ship's warp field is going to see stars, while a camera inside is going to see streaks, regardless of the speeds involved. But the tight turn we see wouldn't make any sense at high speed let alone FTL speed, so it feels more satisfying to assume that the ship did exactly what Picard said she would do: she reversed power and came to a standstill, more or less.

    She then accelerated again, and again reversed power and came to a standstill; we miss the former part of the action, and get interior scenes for the latter part. But that must be separate from Picard's original command to reverse power at a suitable moment, because the explicated purpose of that command was to create a separation between the stardrive and the saucer. The second reversing we see only serves to minimize such a separation.

    ...So why head for a starbase in "Arsenal of Freedom"? A saucer-shaped starbase isn't going to make any real progress in meeting its mushroom-shaped kin within the lifetimes of the crew (relativistic considerations notwithstanding), so why even start?

    But supposedly the ship would have been built in the 2350s-60s, which were not particularly peaceful: Starfleet had half a dozen known adversaries to fight, even if many of them were third-rate.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ah yes, I take your point. However, if non-streaky stars mean sublight speeds, then the episode also begins that way - which begs the question of how far away the E-D was from Farp;oint Station if it was puttering along at Impulse?
    But regardless, the most obvious interpretation must be that the saucer cannot maintain FTL speeds whilst splitting off from the Engineering Hull. Anything that like that (if it is even possible) must wait until the separation process is safely done and dusted.

    I think LaForge and especially Logan know this all too well: The acting Captain's intent was to get both the saucer and the irritating engineer to a comfortable distance away so he could get back to rescuing the landing party. Furthermore, he had no real knowledge of the range of the enemy weapon, so getting the saucer out of the system is a prudent move. And finally, should the worst happen and the Battle Section be destroyed in her efforts; at least Starbase 103 will have no trouble tracking down the survivors in the saucer, since it will be making a direct (if slow) path to them.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ History's Greatest Monster Premium Member

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    Dialogue from the episode indicates they were at warp during the separation.

     
  13. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which is exactly what did happen. However, once the saucer was detached, either:
    The Battle Section performed an incredibly tight 180 at high warp speed (a feat never seen before or since)
    Or:
    The Battle Section dropped to sublight just long enough to do a 180 (a manoeuvre seen many times since on TNG)

    Neither of these options conflict with the onscreen dialogue, but the second is more likely IMO
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would prefer fairly close, as that would allow us to do more accurate calculations of saucer warp performance...

    We may deduce the E-D was on final approach to the system and therefore at sublight - but not so close yet that she would have felt the need to inform Farpoint and the Hood of the arrival, or the urge to call the Hood for help.

    Which makes all three eps, "EaF", "Arsenal of Freedom" and "Brothers" consistent: first separate, then warp. Although I'd formulate this as "whilst splitting off from the Engineering Hull's warp field"... The latches unlatch easily enough, but once the separation grows too great, the warp field apparently must be opened to let he saucer out!

    No doubt. And "heading for the nearest starbase" or even "heading for the fifth-nearest starbase" would be a legitimate order, even if making no immediate tactical sense, one that Logan couldn't argue against.

    Well, Kirk does call for "pivoting" at warp two in "Elaan of Troyius". I guess "faster than light, no left or right" is the ground truth here, any maneuvering presenting a degree of risk (for whatever reason) - but pivoting at warp two still being quite practicable. Doesn't mean that skidding to a U-turn at warp 9.5 wouldn't be suicidal.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well Data did say that the procedure would incur "extreeeme risk" - despite the apparent ease of the manoeuvre, it probably required pinpoint adjustments that only an android brain would be capable of.

    The crux of the "pivot at warp two" command is that we never see it in action. Is it a literal pivot, a 180° on the spot? That would be hard to reconcile that with the leisurely turns we see other at-warp ships perform. More likely it's just Kirk's flamboyant language, and the actual "pivot" is more of a sweeping manoeuvre, probably encompassing several million kilometres.

    This might explain why Picard drops to STL to execute the turn in EaF - he needs to obscure the departure of the saucer as best he can, and needs to keep to a tight path in order to accomplish this task.
     
  16. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Could we assume the saucer can make a warp field, but not travel at warp? A warp field would allow the saucer to coast out of warp, but with no nacelles, it couldn't maintain or propel itself back into warp.
     
  17. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sort of like the warp field sustainers which are said to exist inside 24th century Photon Torpedoes?

    It might make sense to have those at strategic points around the saucer as standard components, to help sustain the warp field around its somewhat massive bulk.

    That they can keep the warp field going after a warp-speed separation can hardly have been part of their intended function though, since the very procedure was inadvisable, at any warp speed.
     
  18. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm not saying it would be advisable. There could still be an issue when the two warp fields are overlapping and/or separating like others have said. The harmonics of the two warp fields would have to match exactly.

    Or they would need to have opposing harmonics, so they could exist independently of each other.

    Weren't the little nacelles on the top section of the Prometheus called "sustainers"?
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This is indeed an interesting issue. But Kirk is desperate to regain warp drive because of the maneuverability advantage it provides - maneuverability as in the ability to point the ship's torpedo launchers, a task at which Sulu fails when the ship is limited to impulse drive. It should logically follow that when Kirk regains warp drive and the upper hand, this indeed means he can swivel to his heart's content, not just in his command chair but with his entire starship.

    Do we ever see pivoting at warp? Only when superbeings whisk the Enterprise across vast distances, sending her spinning. And in the TOS opening credits, where the ship flies towards the camera nose noticeably down!

    This would be the least desirable option. The evidence we have to accommodate includes the saucer being unable to sustain an initial warp (if it could, it would, in all the three episodes discussed), and nevertheless traveling at warp speed afterwards (in "EaF").

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Unless Q intercepted the Enterprise on the edge of the Deneb system, as previously suggested. The saucer would then have a journey of several hours at sublight speeds to reach Deneb IV - inconvenient but not impossible.