Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Mark_Nguyen, Apr 4, 2022.
What? Picard spoke to admirals at Starfleet Command in real time...
But where were the Admirals physically stationed? Where was the Enterprise at the time?
Until the advent of "Hyper-Subspace" with Project Pathfinder, there would be HUGE time lag that Real Time communications wouldn't have been possible given the latency of Subspace communication.
That's a plot hole that they must've glossed over.
If you're wondering where I got the speed for how fast Standard Subspace Radio Waves are traveling, I got it from the Memory Alpha Article where Data states it.
The Vulcans invested alot more into Ankeshtan K'Til's subspace broadband connectivity than Star Fleet does for their network and it shows
I remember the explanation (mentioned in the SNW episode, too, IIRC) was that they needed Subspace Relays not to boost the strength of the signal so it'd go further, but to somehow make it go faster.
If they needed dedicated Subspace Relays to boost the signal to go "Faster", then the layer of Subspace that they use in the Relay's must transmit faster than the default Subspace Signals and require special dedicated equipment like the relay to make it happen. Otherwise the parent vessel itself would be able to send out the "Faster" signal and there wouldn't be a need for relays.
My interpretation is that subspace radio somehow slows down as travels out, so the relays boost it back up to the maximum speed.
In my Head Canon for the 26th century, I figured StarFleet & the UFP must've figured out different speeds of Subspace Radio.
I don't think they could've managed to only gain Real-Time communication relatively recently with "Project PathFinder" and still have Real Time Communication across all of the UFP.
There must’ve been a Higher Speed SubSpace Radio Communications channel between standard SubSpace which is in the “Heigh-Warp” Speed Range and “Hyper-Warp”. Some advanced form of SubSpace Radio that is in the “Trans-Warp” & “Super-Warp” Transmission speed ranges must’ve been part of the backbones of the SubSpace Relay networks that let massive amounts of data to travel vast distances with such low latency that it allowed “Real-Time” communications within the UFP by the “SubSpace Relay Networks” that connected the UFP.
If you're wondering about my Warp Factor 3.0 scale, I talk about it in this old thread.
Here's my terminology. On my Warp Factor Scale (Version 3.0):
I think so too. SNW gives us some pieces to the puzzle. In LUWSCR, Spock tells the First Servant that subspace radio signals in long-range communications travel at roughly 52,000c. The First Servant then comments on that subspace relays are needed to relay the signals before they degrade but the distance isn't specified other than being part of long-range communications. In "The Serene Squall", the Enterprise is in a sector that is outside of subspace relays to provide "rapid communication". A message would take 2 days to reach Starfleet so I assume that the subspace message would not degrade after 2 days of travel (~280 LY) before reaching the subspace relay to then rapidly travel to Starfleet.
SNW appears to be taking the TNG episode "Where No One Has Gone Before"'s calculated speed of the subspace message back home of 52,000c. Interestingly, the TNG episode doesn't point out any issues with signal degradation at 2.7 million LY with no relays in-between but maybe TNG has better subspace tech?
The "rapid communication" might suggest that the subspace relays allow for faster short-range subspace communications signals which can travel much faster and is lag-free vs the slower long-range subspace communications signal?
I do hope that there are faster subspace signals though. A 52,000c subspace signal would mean that a subspace sensor signal would travel only 100 AU in a second which limits how far forward nav sensors can look. A ship traveling 21,000c ("The 37's") would be moving 43 AU/second which would make traveling at high warp a very near-sighted flying experience.
"Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach"
FIRST SERVANT: Do you know the speed of propagation of subspace radio signals in long-range communications?
SPOCK: I believe it is roughly 52,000 times the speed of light.
FIRST SERVANT: Really? Wow, that's... super slow. No wonder you have to use subspace relays. At those distances, the signals would degrade long before they were received, even when radially polarized.
SPOCK: I do not know many your age who grasp radial polarization.
FIRST SERVANT: I'm interested in it because I thought it would be fun to have a friend across the galaxy. I once worked on my own subspace frequency. I bet I could generate one by rewiring this biobed.
"The Serene Squall"
PIKE: How long for a request to reach Starfleet?
SPOCK: At this distance, two days. This sector is too far from Federation subspace relays to provide rapid communication.
PIKE: We'll drop subspace buoys as we go to maintain comms.
SPOCK: Those buoys will be our only connection to civilization.
You do know that regular radio waves spread out as you emit the Radio Pulses.
Radio waves are subject to the Inverse-Square law and the signal intensity weakens the further it gets out.
Here's a tutorial on the basics of RADAR.
The reason you need the Subspace relay's is that the the Relay Buoy's catch the signal, processes it and sends out a fresh new signal with the same message out to the target Subspace Relay network. That's how you would do it IRL or in Star Trek since the Radio Wave technology is fundamentally designed to mimic IRL Radio Waves.
The only difference is the medium that you send the Radio Waves in, ergo different layers of Subspace have Radio waves travel at different speeds, which allows ultra low latency at longer ranges the farther you're out.
That's regular old EM stuff. Are you able to provide a quote that subspace radio waves are subject to the same laws? Otherwise you're just hypothesizing like I am
Are you able to explain how the E-D's subspace message will travel at an average speed of 52,000c across 2.7 million LY without the need for subspace relays?
So not like IRL EM behavior then? Magic subspace properties
That's kind of the point like this entire thread. We speculate based on observable evidence and what we know IRL.
I speculate that it works in a similar fashion to IRL Radio Laws of Physics, with the most "Minor" of tweaks.
Yeah, it'll be a weaker signal, but it'll take it's sweet time getting there. Subspace, especially the layers used by Subspace Radio's, seems to have less environmental obstructions compared to "Regular Space".
More like, you only change one property, how fast the signal travels in the vacuum of that respective Subspace layer.
Well, now that I know you're speculating that subspace radio behaves in a similar fashion to IRL radio physics with "minor" tweaks then that's cool. Just like I'm speculating that long-range subspace signals travel at a slower speed than a relayed subspace signal across a network, based on the dialogue.
A "weaker signal" was never mentioned in the episode, only the amount of time for the subspace message to reach Starfleet. It's also a given that there are no subspace relays to keep the signal going either.
Are there any examples of subspace layers in relation to comms? I've heard subspace frequencies used in dialogue but not layers.
I don't think the speeds of the signals would slow down because the speed of EM waves generally are pretty consistent in speed as long as they're not transitioning between mediums. Since the Subspace Radios are in the same medium the entire time, to me, there is no logical reason for their speed to ever change. The intensity of the signal will change due to the inverse square law, but in subspace, that just takes much longer before the signal gets weaker due to how fast the Radio Waves are traveling in that specific layer of Subspace.
True, but if you understood how fundamental Radio Waves work, you don't need very much on-screen dialogue to understand what they're talking about. Yes there is no Subspace relays to increase the signal strength over distance, but you got to remember that the Enterprise-D has a VERY LARGE Multi-Purpose Deflector dish where they can probably use a giant chunk of the Warp Core to blast out a signal Towards StarFleet HQ for a split moment in time, ergo the initial Subspace Signal Strength would be REALLY strong and it would take a longer amount of time / distance before the signal would degrade.
Channeling all that Warp Core energy to just send 1x Subspace Radio message helps compared to using standard COMM emitter panels.
Read up on the Memory Alpha article on Subspace.
The inverse square law formula doesn't have speed of signal in it so the intensity at distance X will be the same regardless of speed. Also, you might be misinterpreting my speculation. I speculate that long-range subspace radio signals travel at 52,000c but the subspace relays are using a short-range subspace radio signal that travels significantly faster than 52,000c.
This would help account for "rapid" or "real-time" communications over hundreds if not thousands of light years over the relay network versus the "we're not going to get a response back in a few days" communications when out of network as seen in Strange New Worlds.
But is the degradation relevant or even a problem for TNG? Data does not point out that Starfleet might receive a garbled, degraded message despite the distance and time of flight.
"Exactly what subspace is has never been revealed on screen, though many theories, both fan-based and scientific, have been put forward. Explaining subspace would be hard, since it is used as a solution and cause of various problems throughout the series. It is implied to be the medium through which faster-than-light travel and communication is possible, similar to hyperspace."
The inverse square law doesn't need speed, it's all about relative distance. And you can determine distance by speed over time. I understand what you're speculating, and that's fine. You speculate that speed changes. I'm speculating that it doesn't because generally, EM waves within one medium travels at a consistent speed based on IRL. Ergo, the medium being a specific layer of Subspace.
I'm just going to chalk it up to the writers don't understand how Radio Wave based communications work and are just screwing it up.
Degradation is only relevant over vast distances or if somebody is intentionally jamming your signal or some other phenomena is messing with your signal.
Data is making vast assumptions that nobody is going to mess with his signal since he can't forsee what could mess with it given how far they were from the UFP.
All True, it's a medium that allows FTL communications and travel due to the intrinsic properties of Subspace.
Then your comment that it would take longer for the intensity to change due to how fast the radio waves are traveling in a layer of subspace would make the inverse square law not applicable, no? Mathematically you would not be able to apply the inverse square law since the intensity of the signal should be the same at distance X regardless of how quickly it got there. I'd suggest making up a subspace distance law instead
"The intensity of the signal will change due to the inverse square law, but in subspace, that just takes much longer before the signal gets weaker due to how fast the Radio Waves are traveling in that specific layer of Subspace."
So why not a long-range subspace layer with a 52,000c speed and a short-range subspace layer with a 1 billion c speed?
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree here on the relevance of aired data vs IRL expectations.
I think you're misunderstanding how the Inverse-Square Law works.
Here's a simple Inverse-Square Calculator for you to play with.
Notice that while you ramp the initial Radiation intensity @ the starting point of 1 meter, by the time it hits the same value of 1 in Radiation intensity, the distance will grow with it.
The major difference with Subspace is how fast the Radio Waves would travel in that layer of Subspace with higher speeds allowing you cover said distance with a reasonable intensity to the final signal.
Since Distance is a function "Speed x Time", you can understand how everything inter-relates.
I'm sure Data would have increased the Initial Radio Wave burst Signal Strength or Intensity to such large amounts via the main Deflector Dish of the Enterprise-D that by the time it reaches SF HQ, the signal would have enough strength for them to decipher it.
That's kind of what Hyper-Subspace is that Reginald Barkley was heading up. It allowed Real Time Communication over a vast distance due to faster speeds of Radio waves in that layer.
I try to adhere to IRL physics with the minimum amount of change necessary.
Ergo, I only adjusted the speed of the Radio Waves with different mediums = different layers of Subspace.
Changing only the factors needed.
On the contrary. I think you're misunderstanding how the Inverse-Square Law works.
What is the intensity of two signals with the same starting values and intensities but one is traveling at 1c and the other at 1000c measured at a distance of X? You'll find the intensity to be the same if you use the calculator to play with.
I know that, but how fast do you get to that point is the main difference.
I think we're agreed on that as signals go, a subspace radio signal is faster than IRL radio signals and if subspace radio follows the inverse square law then they would have the same strength at the same distance given the same starting intensity.
Still not sure how this plays into the real-time or lag-free subspace comms that are present in the episodes given the distances involved and the 52,000c speed given... other than there is some other mechanism that is facilitating the much faster communication.
Separate names with a comma.