Q: shield vs whaling harpoon

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by dorkbert, Dec 28, 2018.

  1. dorkbert

    dorkbert Ensign Newbie

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    In ST:IV, the crew parked the Klingon BoP in front of the whales to protect them from a whaler. I am under the impression that navigational shield is always active when a ship is in flight, so what's up with that loud klong from the harpoon impact?
     
  2. Yellow Flame Sushi

    Yellow Flame Sushi Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    It seems to me that any references to navigational deflectors in the films were dropped after ST:TMP. That being said, why would the BoP need to have them active during low/zero velocity atmospheric flight?
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Klingons may have their shields rigged differently from the conservative and safety-conscious Feds, too. In DS9 "Return to Grace", another BoP deliberately keeps her shields down when the heroes try to fire at her with feeble civilian death rays, so that the Klingons can derisively laugh at the impotence of that weaponry. Perhaps taunting-and-ridiculing-the-enemy is the default setting on Klingon shields?

    Of course, shields may simply go "klang" within an atmosphere...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. dorkbert

    dorkbert Ensign Newbie

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    I recall ST:TNG episode in which the crew commented laser won't even penetrate 1701D navigational shield. Since they're in the same... "timeline" as ST:TOS/Movies, I am not sure why you think it would not exist in ST:IV. Conceptually I would think it has to be there just to avoid impact with smaller objects floating around in space.

    Again, I am under the impression it's active during flight regardless of the environment or vessel velocity as I imagine one realistically can't predict what may impact the vessel at any given time.
     
  5. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Is this based on anything spoken or written within any episode or movie?
     
  6. Kemaiku

    Kemaiku Admiral Admiral

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    That was it smacking off the hull while the ship was still cloaked.

    Steel does not beat duranium apparently.
     
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  7. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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    It would probably be quite conservative to say that Earth's atmosphere is millions of times denser and dustier than interplanetary space, which in turn is many times denser and dustier than interstellar space where starships always have their navigational deflectors on.

    So even if the speed of the bird of prey in Earth's atmosphere was a millionth as fast as in interplanetary space the navigational deflector would be equally as necessary as in interplanetary space, and even more so than in interstellar space. If Klingon ships have navigational deflectors, they should be used whenever the ship is in Earth's atmosphere. Even if the ship is standing still they might need the navigational deflectors to handle wind-blown dust or sand.

    Who knows if a little scratch from wind-blown dust or sand might eventually lead to cascading systems failure of the hull letting in deadly radiation or letting the air out?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  8. cgervasi

    cgervasi Commander Red Shirt

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    What sounds should a heavy piece metal abruptly stopped by a strong force make? Imagine the force field were like a harder-than-cement wall. F * delta(t) = m * delta(v). t is small and F is large. Wouldn't a metal harpoon subjected to a large short-duration force resonate with a klang sound?
     
  9. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That sure is a lot of words that don't answer my question. :)
     
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  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the words do outline why nav deflectors should be up during atmospheric flight. But dialogue and events elsewhere in Trek establish that Klingons love to keep their shields down, either because of cloaking, or then just because. Try tell them what they "should" do and you soon wish you had shields, plus Q throwing harpoons for you (which is how I originally read the thread title).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  11. dorkbert

    dorkbert Ensign Newbie

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    That assumes the nav shield would propagate vibration from impact to the hull.
    If that is the case, ship crew would be under constant assault of impact noise and vibrations during flight.
     
  12. dorkbert

    dorkbert Ensign Newbie

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    My original question was poorly phrased and imprecise.
    I've seen the terms nav shield, nav deflector, deflector shield (to name a few)
    It has been my understanding that nav shield is always on during flight to protect the vessel against space debris while the deflect shield is for deflecting weapons fire. Although they could conceivably be one and the same but at different strength setting, I am somewhat incline to think they're distinct since nav shield is referenced by name in ST:TNG.

    Without looking up that DS9 episode, perhaps the shield referenced is deflector shield, not nav shield?
     
  13. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Once again, may I ask for the source of your understanding/impression/inference?
     
  14. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    That's the impression I always got...harpoon meets the hull, and loses.
     
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  15. cgervasi

    cgervasi Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm saying the harpoon itself vibrated at its resonant frequency as if it had hit any hard object, not that the hull or shield propagated any sound.
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, whenever shield action has been depicted by "skintight" effects that allow the offending weapon to come to within centimeters of the hull at least, we have failed to get any indicators that this would be different from the weapon simply meeting a very hard physical substance. So the harpoon would certainly be within its rights to go clang, regardless of whether it hit bare hull, navigational deflectors or skintight combat shields.

    What would sound different within an atmosphere? We may easily argue there is no sound in space in Star Trek - phasers may go pew-pew as heard from within the starship, engines may go woooooosh in the exact same sense, etc. it just depends on where exactly within the ship the microphone is placed: on the soundproofed bridge where phasers are so efficiently muted that their firing has to be indicated by an artificially created ping, or deeper in the bowels of the vessel. The sounds of atmospheric flight aren't all that different from the ones of vacuum flight, though. Nothing much ought to disturb the clang of the harpoon, then - but OTOH an outside observer might be hearing a deafening noise from the engines, one kept away from the audience by choice of microphone placement, and the clang is only for our heroes to hear...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's what I felt also. In fact in all these years since I first saw that movie which must have been around 1993 or so I never once even considered the idea that the ship might have shields up of any kind in that scene. On;y issue is do Klingons use duranium? Not sure when that term was first used but I think it must be TNG. Also I always thought that was something that just Starfleet ships or maybe Federation ships are made out of.


    Jason
     
  18. 1moreRobot

    1moreRobot Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Do you think the resonant frequency of a harpoon would be in that range?
     
  19. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What I am curious about is why they had to fly the Klingon ship so close to the fishing ship. I assume transporters work when your up in space. Heck they could have sat around in the ship still parked in Golden Gate Park and beam them up from their and then take off into space to fly around the sun to get back home.

    Jason
     
  20. dorkbert

    dorkbert Ensign Newbie

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    I think it is inferred since TNG episode dialog indicates 1701D is adequately protected from laser by nav shield alone, and 1701D was in full stop at the time.