Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Crazy Eddie, Nov 20, 2013.
Okay...so what happened to Constitution herself?
Funny story. Short version (long version possibly included in later chapters) is this: It's common practice for Starfleet to build a "ground test article," basically a full-sized working prototype of a starship class for testing system integration, computers, upgrades, and so on. The test article is effectively a completed and fully operational starship with no warp drive or deflectors installed.
The original test article was NX-1700 and was supposed to be named Enterprise while the first operational ship was to be the Constitution (so it actually should have been the Enterprise class). Admiral Marcus didn't like the idea of the Enterprise name going to what was essentially a dummy starship, so he had them switched, justifying it by claiming he wanted to name the entire series after famous aircraft carriers.
I liked that novel. IIRC, it also featured a type of Starfleet battle gear that included personal forcefields and some kind of powered armor
The mass figures seem really excessively low.
Talked about this in another thread.
I'm basing the mass figures on the relative densities of real-world spacecraft and aircraft. Apart from the fact that making the ship as light as feasible reduces strain on the engines (and thus provides certain advantages for the lighter ship over the heavier one) there's also the fact that less-dense construction materials react more favorably to hyper-velocity impacts than denser ones, since the low-density materials will not transmit shockwaves nearly as well as denser ones. There's also the fact that the stronger materials used in starship construction means less internal space is required by structural support work, which means a lot more of that internal volume is truly empty space.
Basically: the Enterprise is a giant space shuttle, not a flying aircraft carrier.
Even assuming shuttle orbiter densities, that's still somewhere in the 90kg/m^3 - 110kg/m^3 which are still substantially greater than your mass figures, given that the ship would be a 3-4 million cubic meter volume.
I did the calculations for Enterprise quite some time ago so I don't have the exact numbers in front of me. IIRC, I worked backwards from a volume similar to the Ambassdor class (about 2.8 million cubic meters) and the space shuttle's basic density (about 100kg per cubic meter). So if we built a ship the size of Enterprise with TODAYS space technology, it would weigh something like 280,000 tons. Then I accounted for the use of much lighter materials in the ship's construction -- closed-cell metal foams, metallic glasses, advanced ceramics, etc -- and reduced that weight by a third. The older flagships and the more conventional ships have slightly higher densities, but they're also a bit smaller.
Still, the fully-loaded Enterprise, with a standard mission load of equipment, fuel, food, shuttles and crew on board, would come closer to 210,000 tons. I'm not quoting an exact "fully loaded" figure for the ship because, frankly, such a figure would be completely irrelevant for a spacecraft whose only real limitation is the volume of its cargo bay; you could fill the ship with neutronium and it could still fly (if a lot slower than usual) to the nearest starbase to deliver it.
ETA: Significantly, I found a tag reference in my notes from 2011 that a spacecraft's density actually decreases with volume, primarily because most of the mass of the ship is concentrated in the outer layers (heat shields, radiation/impact protection). An ISS module like Destiny, with a density of 120kg/cubic meter, would have a density closer to 70kg/cubic meter if you doubled its size.
Good of you to remember that "sensor bay" concept from the TNG Tech Manual...
Well that, but I'm also inspired by someone mentioning this as an explanation for the room where Picard showed Lilly the Earth in "First Contact." Seeing how it was only accessible from the jeffries tubes, there's no reason for that room -- or the exterior door, for that matter -- unless something like a sensor probe or scientific instrument was supposed to be installed in that bay and deployed into space when needed.
In this case, the "sensor bays" are installed behind (most of) the visible windows on the Enterprise. Most of the auxiliary sensor modules are the size of pickup trucks and so they fill basically the entire bay. Of course a few of those windows are just windows...
Awesome work Crazy Eddie! Inspiring stuff!
This is fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.
(Also, Torchwood. Nice touch )
Gold star for Iguana for noticing the historical reference.
Next up: a familiar face
I've just re-read and caught that "sensor bay" section in the Enterprise description on page 2. Fantastic!
I've long suspected (and occasionally argued for) something similar myself, especially on the dorsal section of the TOS Enterprise (which has far too many windows for its own good) or the Engineering Hull (ditto).
Where did it appear in the TNG Tech manual?
Those "trenches" along the mid-lines of the saucer and engineering hulls? Those are sensor bay recesses. There's a section devoted to scientific research assets mounted aboard the 1701-D, in which this was included.
This is awesome! Just absolutely amazing! Keep it up!
I don't hang out in these parts very often, but I had to just drop by to complement you on your outstanding work, Eddie. Great job.
I really hope you flesh out the history more, it seems really interesting and very detailed!
Yet another familiar face for today's update. A few more ship classes before we start getting into technical specs for weapons and technology (sensors, shuttles and such).
Also, I'm planning on making some changes/edits to the intro chapters as IDW gets ready to wrap up the Khitomer Incident story arc. Keep your eyes peeled in the next couple of weeks.
So here, I think, is where it kind of gets interesting.
I'm planning to do some pages for some of the "side" designs, a combination of fanon and canon and supplemental materials not directly related to Abrams trek but part of the background all the same. Partly this is necessary because NuTrek makes a lot of explicit nods to the Enterprise timeline, but mostly -- and this is the interesting part -- because so very little is actually known about the pre-TOS Starfleet and its affairs.
I won't drag us all into another "where's the split?" debate, but for a variety of reasons we're forced to accept that ALOT of things are different about this timeline that don't seem to (directly) have anything to do with Nero. I think this one MIRRORS the old timeline in very important ways, so most people, ships, events and places happen MOSTLY the same way but slightly differently and in a different order (like TNG parallels; sometimes you win the tournament and sometimes you get 5th place, but there's always a tournament).
Apologies in advance if this goes too far off the deep end... but remember, it's only a first draft
And this explains the Abramsverse version of Robert April's Enterprise in the comics.
Those are some unlucky ships.
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