Discussion in 'Star Trek: Prodigy' started by NCC-73515, Jul 23, 2021.
Why not just call it a mini black hole or a mini singularity? Save the cringey acronyms.
The Romulans call it AQS (Artificial Quantum Singularity).
Can't trust the Romulans.
Well, actually, it was called Forced Quantum Singularity in TNG and Ds9.
Whatever 'Forced' here implies.
They could have been harvested from local space within Romulan star empire (in a sense that conditions in a given system are ripe for creating micro singularities which the Romulans then managed to capture at the moment of creation, put a containment field around and use as a main power source in their Warbirds).
Although, it seems more 'reasonable' (not to mention more sustainable if you want to make a whole fleet of ships using this technology) that the Romulans figured out how to make them artificially instead. They have been in space for quite a long time, and lacking UFP integration of alien species and cooperation for R&D, they would sooner just enslave species and not benefit in the long run from training officers of alien species to serve in Romulan military... so any species they enslave, the Romulans would probably just get short term boosts in technology which they themselves would have to develop further (UFP on the other hand preserves alien species freedoms and if they join UFP, they freely contribute their own ideas, technology, science, resources and perspectives [which can also happen if UFP is on good terms with a species that's not a member] which then accelerates technological and scientific development in the long run - so 2000 years for Romulans vs 200-ish for UFP - and a Protostar is a step further than a black hole, or... is it?).
Anyway... its been hypothesized that the LHC might technically create microscopic black holes that would exist for a fraction of a second before disintegrating... so it wouldn't be a stretch to think the Romulans managed to intetnionally or by accident create quantum singularities in between TOS and TNG, and then saw them as useful for power generation (once they figured out how to contain them). Or they could have encountered and enslaved a species that developed the technology in question and just appropriated it for themselves.
Dilithium mining for Romulans (on Remus) could be nothing more than an excercise in subjugating a species (the Remans)... and they could be using Dilithium for possible trade, but nothing more.
They also have plenty of Warp Capable Shuttlecraft that could be using traditional M/A-M reactors and those need Dilithium.
It's probably easier for the average engineer to maintain a M/A-M reactor on a smaller scale than a AQS reactor.
I think it's a tangential step or side-step, similar levels of technology, but creating different things and having different benefits.
Dilithium however was used as BOTH a power source and regulation system for M/AM reactions in Trek - apparently.
So it CAN be used as a power source too... though TNG usually mentioned Dilithium exclusively as means of REGULATING M/AM reactions... not as a power source.
Discovery on the other hand retained TOS use of Dilithium as a power source (or at least, I don't recall instances in the 24th century which mentioned Dilithium being used as a power source... only as a REGULATOR of energy reactions).
Good point.... but the Romulans would probably still have large surpluss for trade - or other things, depending on what they use it for.
I can imagine larger ships would still be using FQS (forced quantum singularity) tech... unless the Romulans and/or the Tal Shiar switched to M/AM and dilithium for whatever reason after TNG.
In ST: Picard, we have seen the Tal shiar used smaller craft which are quite powerful (on the tactical side that rivaled the La Sirena)... so those could easily use regular M/AM and dilithium.
For the bigger ships (aka Warbirds), they probably used FQS power cores... unless the Tal Shiar used M/AM and dilithium (this WAS after their Star went supernova... but I doubt the knowledge of how to build FQS would have died with Romulus - or at least, it wouldn't make sense for a space faring empire that spans hundreds or a few thousand lighyears).
This much I'd agree with.
One of the reasons I think SF may have had in harnessing/creating a Protostar was due to its radiation being of a type beneficial for generating ProtoWarp (aka TransWarp)... not necessarily for energy generation (because a Protostar seems like 'eh' in that regard - although who knows)... but because of the nature of a natural Protostar (its overall mass and size), SF needed to create a containment system that could keep the thing at a proverbial tiny size without losing on the radiation it emits... which also means containing all that mass and size in that little 'container' (which begs a question - how is the thing viable if its switched off - aka, just what happened to the thing when the ship was completely switched off? - the ship couldn't possibly sustain it in its offline mode, so, the only hypothesis I can come up with is that the two warp cores not only sustain the containmant field, but also feed the Protostar which generates the needed radiation that allows the ship to go to ProtoWarp... and when its not needed, they don't 'feed' the thing which effectively makes it inert and therefore no need to contain it (this is very 'convenient' though - but then again a lot of things in Trek are).
For some reason, I am reminded of that Hirogen relay station in the DQ which was powered by a quantum singularity. Despite only being around 1cm in size, it emitted gravimetric disturbances from 2 Ly's away which were felt by Voyager (obviously this was compensated for until the ship reached the proverbial spitting distance of the station - at which point, the gravitational waves started increasing in intensity again).
That's definitely NOT consistent with how a 1 cm black hole would behave.
It produced 4TW of power though - which seems infintesimal compared to ENT-D Warp core power generation in its idle state (12.7 exawatts per unknown measure of time - Data was cut off at that point... though it was 'supposed' to be 'per second' according to the script writers).
This is why I think subspace technology is used in Trek to extract a lot more energy out of existing power sources. Yes, I know, it violates thermodynamics, but they 'bend' the laws ofphysics on multiple occasions in Trek, so they may have created a way to shuffle the needed energy through a device which shifts that energy into subspace, and then back out again in much more intense form... and subspace isn't real to begin with... so if that's what enables Trek FTL to begin with, who is to say that it woud be impossible to enhance on baseload energy generation using subspace tech in Trek universe?
4TW however aren't enough to emit gravimetric disturbances at 2 Ly's distance.
Janeway even said the following: I've learned a few interesting things about that relay station. It's generating as much energy every minute as a typical star puts out in a year.
That's an insane amount of power... definitely A LOT more than 4 TW, because its been stated by NASA:
A total of 173,000 terawatts (trillions of watts) of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously (they don't say what 'continuously' means in terms of precise measure of time - it actually means 'without interruption'... but again, we're given a figure without a precise time measurement - is there anywhere which says how much energy hits the Earth at every second or minute?).
And this only pertains to how much energy hits the Earth continuoulsy... it doesn't say how much energy our star as a whole emits at any given time (not just what hits the Earth).
Anyway... something has to be enhancing on the energy that black hole is producing over the course of one minute to equte same amount of power a typical star would emit in a whole year - the amounts are astronomical (and I don't have the time to set up the needed calculations).
My hypthetical guess is that subspace tech is used to (somehow) achieve this energy enhancing effect.
So, IF subspace tech is used in Trek to radically enhance power generation, then the relay station probably used a superior version of what SF and most species in the Milky Way (sans maybe the Borg) use.
We've seen Romulan and Cardassian weapons visually giving off Teraton range explosive blasts in Ds9... that's consistent with about 101 000 times enhancement effect from 128 MT explosion (working off a regular photon torpedo 1.5kg of matter and 1.5 kg of antimatter).
To go from 4TW to just 4 Exawatts (for example), the hypothetical subspace technology would need to be able to enhance the effect about 10x more compared to what UFP (and most other races) use... so instead of 101 000 times enhancement... you get 1 million times enhancement.
And in order to get 12.7 exawatts (same as what ENT-D generates supposedly every 'second')... that 4 TeraWatts needs to be enhanced 3 million and 175 thousand times (or just over 30 times above what UFP and other Alpha/Beta quadrant races achieved).
So, that's cool (if accurate).. but still nowhere near what a star would emit over a course of a year.
IF 173 000 TW hits the Earth every second (for example), that's 10 million 380 thousand TW per minute (or 10.38 Exawatts - so, just less than what Ent-D generates per supposed 'second').
Then that's 622.8 Exawatts per hour... 14.947 Zetawatts per day.... and 5,455.65 Zetawatts per year, or 5.455 Yottawatts per year (if 173 000 TW hits the Earth every second... if its per minute or hour... then obviously, the calculations would need revising).
That's one potent black hole.
ENT-D warp core generates 762 Exawatts per minute in 'idle' state.
The relay station black hole produces at least 5455 Zettawatts per minute. (or roughly 7.1 million times more... if I'm calculating it correctly).... a figure based on how much solar energy hits the Earth (not how much the whole Star emits).
But that's not the whole story... it is said our star/Sun emits 384.6 Yottawatts of energy in the form of light and other forms of radiation (but its [again] not stated over what period of time this amount is produced - or at least, I hadn't found any info on that).
VOY did acquire a lot of sensor data on that relay station, and Janeway was studying it actively... so its likely this data was transmitted to SF when Hypersubspace comms started being used via Pathfinder in Season 6 (Janeway transmitted ship's logs and navigational records to SF via that micro-wormhole)... and SF could have used this data for Protostar development/containment (while simultaneously radically increasing on how much power they can extract from a given power source using subspace technology) and using its radiation and/or energy for ProtoWarp.
Again, spitballing here based off what was said and seen, and contrasting that to what we know in real life (which doesn't always mesh well).
Then again, we never ever heard of a shuttle that would have used dilithium.
Perhaps this famed "ion power" of theirs derives oomph from annihilation without involving dilithium? Hardly a valid alternative for post-Burn transport infrastructure if shuttles can do warp two at best and might not even move on that ion stuff if built larger than boxcars.
...The Romulan take on warp power could be analogous to the real-world solutions of the embargoed South Africa which had to utilize and develop the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to create automobile fuel out of indigenous coal resources. Or then to peroxide submarines in those nations that can't afford (monetarily or politically) fission as their air-independent propulsion system power source.
Possibly the fleet would run better on dilithium, but Remus simply isn't producing enough?
Or then it could be a "silent" way to do high warp power, allowing for cloaking. But that doesn't last: in "The Die is Cast" and "Visionary", it becomes a beacon instead, allowing the heroes to decisively spot and identifly cloaked Romulans or their allies.
The poor protostar has been imprisoned solely for improved propulsion, it seems. Although whether proto-warp is just warp on nitrous oxide, or a whole new type of warp, we need more episodes and more cool visuals to decide.
I seriously doubt they call it that since they have a different alphabet.
Fair enough, that's what the Universal Translator spews out for us humans who speak English which is Earth/Federation/StarFleet Standard.
Prodigy continues Voyager's tradition of trashing shuttlecraft!
Stock cars are all engine -- the primary function of the chassis is to support the engine.
Perhaps the Protostar is built to do the same thing -- support the Protostar drive?
Perhaps once they get back to the Alpha Quadrant, the ship will go in for a refit? (Just like Discovery, Enterprise, and the Cerritos?)
I wouldn't be surprised. Ships can easily get a refit after just 1 or 2 years of being in space, and UFP can easily make technological breakthroughs in under a year too... depending on when they reach a home port to dock with.
But, all of these upgrades could also be done on the go if they really wanted to... or at least there is no reason SF crews couldn't upgrade the ship in space without returning to a nearby drydock.
The Protostar on the other hand doesn't have an experienced crew on board (yet), so the kids can likely just repair and maintain the ship, but not necessarily upgrade it.
Although, it seems like the Protostar is fairly well automated... and as such, it wouldn't surprise me if it can do all of this by itself.
The Cerritos suffered heavy damage at the end of Season 1, and as such it seems like it also received a decent upgrade to its tactical systems and across the ship... because it was able to withstand an assault from both BoP and a Pakled frankenship for a while before the Vulcans arrived to assist.
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