Ships crashing into each other

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Laura Cynthia Chambers, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Commodore Commodore

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    Seeing the news about the USS John S. McCain crashing into a merchant ship makes me wonder (given the radar, etc) whether it's reasonable/possible to expect Starfleet starships to ever have a similar accident.
     
  2. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I would like to think that certainly LCARS "smart computers" would normally have countermeasures to prevent that. Earlier starships are likely able to prevent this via the more advanced sensors they have compared to modern day.
     
  3. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    It's hard to imagine a situation in which starships would even be close enough to possibly crash into each other.

    Kor
     
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  4. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

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    On-screen battle scenes, especially on DS9, show oodles of ships packed together in very tight formation, but I don't remember any collisions between friendlies, even with crippled ships flying every which way out of formation. In my view, ship-to-ship combat should have ships much farther apart, measured in dozens if not hundreds of kilometers, so the chances of accidents would be zilch.

    Outside of combat situations, the only time such accidents could possible happen is while docking at a base station or in orbit over a very busy planet. I suppose an accident could happen in deep space if the ships were trying to dock together and someone screwed up. Otherwise, no, I don't see any way ships could run into each other in deep space.
     
  5. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    First I thought there was just a jinx on any ship named the Fitz
    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-...ew-is-praised-after-collision-with-cargo-ship

    Now this:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...0d4e6ec070a_story.html?utm_term=.9e68dce0a8f3

    In addition, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel on May 9 off the Korean Peninsula and the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground Jan. 31 in Tokyo Bay, near its home port of Yokosuka, Japan.

    This book should be required reading
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'd think the odds of collision in the Trek universe should be relatively high. After all, it's standard practice for two ships to come very close to each other when their skippers want to exchange words. Either this is some sort of interstellar etiquette, or then a prudent tactical move in preparation for the inevitable exchange of fire.

    A prime example would be the E-D facing off three Klingon ships in, say, "Mind's Eye". Four vessels are in point blank range of each other. Three have sensor-obstructing devices. Said three are commanded by individualistic, glory-seeking COs whose first instinct at the M Moment of moving from words to deeds will not be to hold formation. And even if it doesn't come to a firefight, all four will be likely to insist on maneuvering that yields no prestige points to the opponent (and the three count as opponents to each other, too).

    It's just as well that starships are virtually indestructible, so that what should result in a cloud of very small shrapnel ITRW is merely a love tap between starships. And conversely, a ramming attempt looks no worse than a ramming on today's seas, despite the immense power of the ships.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    We saw in Cause And Effect that at least one disabled ship can lead to a collision. I'm certain we saw something similar in nuBSG when the Cylons disabled large groups of ships. Momentum can be a bitch.
    You could have ships in a Mutara type nebula, where their sensors are no good. Enterprise and Reliant could have easily had a collision.
     
  8. Project Fear

    Project Fear cultcross fending off rats with blue passport Moderator

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    In the vastness of space, collisions should be near impossible, but in Trek's world, they sit ships only a boat length or so away from each other even when said ships have technical issues, manoeuvring problems, sensor issues, etc. making collisions much more likely. The design of DS9 where the docking pylons go in instead of out, while looking cool, would make manoeuvring a nightmare.
     
  9. JedGhost67

    JedGhost67 Commodore Commodore

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    Real-life space physics would require ships to be at minimum hundreds of kilometers from each other to avoid accidental collisions. With transporter and subspace communication technology there's just no reason for ships to get that close; except that you can't see whats happening on a small TV screen :)
    TV is designed to be cool, not realistic :p
     
  10. Enterprise-C

    Enterprise-C Badass Admiral

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  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...One wonders how much of that is in fact "supposed" to be in slow motion.

    I mean, the bit with the Remans running around in the hangar can't be slow motion. But anything and everything preceding that could be, as we (for obvious reasons) don't see lips moving when unslowed dialogue coincides with cool views through the respective main viewers or through a third-party camera.

    Ramming in Trek requires a lot of explaining. Or, rather, the lack of ramming does. How come it only ever gets done in the very last battles of the Dominion War, and then in ST:NEM, when it should be an obvious answer to many a problem with a vastly superior enemy (say, the Borg)? What role do shields play in this (the Scimitar had basically full shields in the above scene, and Klingons wouldn't drop theirs when the Jem'Hadar rammed them)?

    Accidental collisions, however... Trek ships basically never have their shields up unless they absolutely have to. If the above is what happens against a well-protected ship, then accidental bumps should be phenomenal. Except "Cause and Effect" shows they aren't, not immediately or directly. (But the DSC pilot episode may again show they in fact are...)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I have a coworker who was on a destroyer for 8 years back in the 80s, and he's starting to wonder if people are ramming our Navy ships on purpose. Given how many sensors our ships have and how part of their daily routine is the basic requirement to know exactly what's out there around them out to many miles, he just can't believe these are all accidents.
     
  13. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

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    At the end of Best of Both Worlds Pt II, Riker orders a collision course with the Borg cube at warp 9. So, there is a precedent.
     
  14. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    And this:


    Kor
     
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  15. Pure Antiproton

    Pure Antiproton Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I find it odd also that US Navy ships keep having accidents. This is basic operations stuff. My first thought after this latest incident is that the US Navy is being hacked or possibly a target of GPS spoofing or something of this type. 4 incidents in 8 months is strange.
     
  16. Go-Captain

    Go-Captain Commander Red Shirt

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    It turns out training has been lapsing due to having to having to decide between maintenance, training, upgrades, or new gear. Basic maintenance can't be skipped for too long, but only gets so much money, and training takes time from maintenance. There is more emphasis on upgrades and new gear, so they get the money, instead of hiring more personnel and keeping free time open for training. Part of this is due to riding on the momentum of the US being a hyperpower, giving us the security that we won't have a real fight, but now we have two up and coming super powers and a couple major powers rising, so we can't skate by on just having great gear and size. The lack of training upkeep and lack of proper maintenance is really coming to the fore.

    That's why all operations across the entire Navy were halted recently, I think for a day, in order to send a message to the entire fleet that the problem of maintaining training is being taken with extreme seriousness. Hopefully that will lead to the reorganization of focus and money required to emphasize good training first. Good training leads to personnel knowing their responsibilities, and how to execute them well.

    With a well trained crew the dozen or so people involved in keeping the ship safe in a busy section of sea are all more likely to find a problem before it reaches the top and results in an incident. From what I've read, incidents like ship crashes, or going aground, involve everyone in the chain failing to notice, or failing to respond to, a problem. The whole picture is always divided between all involved, so the people at the top do not necessarily have a whole picture, but because they have ultimate authority they are ultimately responsible for what the ship does. If the crew failed to pass on critical information, then that is the head officer's fault for not keeping training up to the task, or for not getting rid of incompetence.

    As for space, it's huge, and ideal orbits change by the second. In a real setting collisions should be unheard of, unless purposefully on a collision course, or near collision course. Star Trek though frequently has ships come with a hairs breadth, so I would expect collisions to be relatively common, if not for good automated systems.

    The best example of strong crash avoidance is in DS9, when the Defiant makes its way through Dominioin fleet to DS9 where Sisko then Deus Ex Machinas the other Dominion fleet away. No one crashes head on unless they are first shot, despite a high speed head to head convergence of the fleets.
     
  17. Undead

    Undead Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    IIRC, FASA mentioned a few cases of accidental crashes that resulted in damage or effectively destroyed vessels, but those occurred near bases and other areas with a degree of traffic.
     
  18. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, when the Defiant is under manual control in "For the Uniform" it almost smacks one of DS9's pylons, IIRC. Possibly Dax was just showing off, though.
     
  19. Lakenheath 72

    Lakenheath 72 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    At the end of the battle in Star Trek: First Contact, a Steamrunner-class starship, after being hit by shrapnel from the exploding Borg cube, exploded. The sequence begins at 4:14 in this video.



    The Russians have been perfecting cyberweapon technology called GPS spoofing. There is some evidence that they used this technique in the Black Sea recently.

    So-called "GPS spoofing" causes GPS trackers to misidentify a ship's location, presumably confusing ships and causing accidents.

    There is no evidence that this technique was used in the latest incidents involving the American ships.

    https://www.newscientist.com/articl...-spoofing-attack-suggest-russian-cyberweapon/

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/news/a27854/uss-mccain-collision-gps/
     
  20. Go-Captain

    Go-Captain Commander Red Shirt

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    When Jake Sisko with Nog try to fly a runabout manually it constantly swerves about, and he has to constantly monitor the controls to keep it on a straight course. On the other hand, Tom Paris rigged the Delta Flyer with highly manual looking controls, so either Jake is just a bad pilot, or normal manual is highly automated. It's probably supposed to be fully manual even though that would be silly.