"That Which Survives" Ship Peril Makes No Sense

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by uniderth, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Location:
    Back on the Shelf
    So, what is the "energy" in the glowing tubes? Probably a plasma system. Now, is the plasma itself consumed as a fuel source needing continuous replacement (open system), or is it a closed system where the plasma is "energized" (in the main energizer maybe?) and the electrical and/or subatomic particle charge is removed at the energy using equipment/systems, so, the M/AM reaction just charges up the plasma which is not consumed. TNG clearly uses the later scheme, so, why not TOS. TNG calls it "warp plasma" which is probably some treknobabble substance that can transport electrical as well as concentrated subatomic particles to the warp engines or convert it into simple electricity (probably transported in the ship's EPS.) YMMV :)

    So, when the main energizers are down (as in The Doomsday Machine), the ship lost the ability to provide warp power to the warp engines, thus, loosing warp drive. (Same with WNMHGB and Mudd's Women and maybe the worry in The Alternative Factor.) The engines themselves weren't damaged, only the energizers or the dilithium crystals. Use of impulse power can be directed into the warp engines to create a strong gravity field around the ship (not powerful enough to create a warp field threshold) that allows the impulse engines to generate low-FLT speeds without a warp effect. Of course, the ship burns its impulse fuel supply very quickly. This is also probably the power system on the Romulan ship in Balance of Terror. It all fits very nicely. :techman:
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
    uniderth likes this.
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    "Getting blown away" wouldn't appear to be a problem, intuitively. To make use of this access point, Spock first has to enter a protective compartment of some sort and then unscrew a cap. Clearly, protection is being taken care of! That is, if the dangers of the power core can be accessed somewhere, this is obviously it.

    The idea that this is the terminal for a dumbwaiter system that moves the dilithium into the reactor focus down below for use, and back up for repair and replacement, would appear to cover all the bases. Dilithium is the one thing that can be helped by "aligning" in explicit technobabble, and dilithium is closely related to "mains" and "energizing" as well. Spock is just twisting back a crystal frame that has been bent the wrong way by Khan's hits.

    I'd be the happiest with Kirk's ship having a system consisting of all the parts we ever see, simultaneously - even if those parts come from slightly different timepoints, parallel universes or whatnot.

    That is, I assume the system works the TNG way, because the system worked that way in ENT already. I also assume there is a big spherical reaction chamber somewhere beneath Scotty's usual workplace, generally inaccessible except through this dilithium dumbwaiter and other waldo rigs. A dilithium focus there handles the annihilation of matter and antimatter from tanks that perhaps surround the top and bottom of the sphere, respectively, making good use of the space. An ejection system doubling as a refueling hatch is clearly marked in red and yellow on the outer hull, beneath this assembly. All sorts of pipes take the produced energy to all sorts of locations for all sorts of uses, sometimes requiring a "transformer" such as the warp field manipulation crystal doodad that makes the warp field reduce the ship's inertial mass for better impulse maneuvering, sometimes entering the appication "raw"; the transfer medium always is plasma, filling the pipes and perhaps slowly circulating, and not being constantly produced and immediately expended (although occasional purging is typical). And we see a major main power trunk and its nacelle-feeding branches in TMP, now more "naked" than before even if the ripping out of the vanity covers also means Scotty has to wear coveralls more often, but we still don't get to see the heavily shielded reactor underneath.

    Did I forget to integrate something there? Dilithium may be in the form of big crystal lumps, but usually Starfleet has to make do with industrial dilithium dust, in a paddle-like matrix that has to be cuddled back to energized status, that is, the dust facets realigned, in a special chamber if something goes wrong. More advanced power systems can energize the dilithium on the spot, though. The ship is also dotted with all sorts of auxiliary reactors, probably fusion-based ones, for which the minimum number is four so that the three sometimes mentioned have to specifically pointed out as this subset of exactly three, rather than as "all of 'em".

    Oh, and big beer tanks and man-sized pipes for water absolutely feature in there somehow.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Henoch and uniderth like this.
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    The original intent was that the matter-antimatter reaction takes place throughout the entire intermix shaft. Rick Sternbach explained it to me once as a "swirl chamber" design in which the M/AM reaction took place continuously through the entire length of the shaft, rather than the Enterprise-D and Defiant's "pulse chamber" design where the reactant streams only met within the dilithium crystal at the middle. Rick intended Voyager's engine core to be the same kind of swirl chamber, which is why it looked like the TMP core with the swirly lights inside.

    See, the thing is, it's harder than you'd think to get matter and antimatter particles to collide, because they're so tiny and there's so much empty space between them. The pulse chamber design addresses this by using the crystal to concentrate the particles, using the crystal lattice as essentially a series of microscopic magnetic bottles to aim them directly at each other. The swirl chamber design, by contrast, just lets the particles and antiparticles mix continuously as they journey through the shaft, so that they have many chances to collide and most of them will have annihilated by the time they reach the nacelles and impulse deflection crystal.

    As Rick explained it to me, in Voyager's core, the dilithium wasn't in discrete crystals but was vapor-deposited onto the inner lining of the intermix shaft, so basically the entire column was one big dilithium matrix to regulate the reaction inside. Whether that was true of the TMP shaft as well is hard to say, since there is a background-dialogue reference to dilithium crystals at the start of the first engineering scene.

    Granted, Kimble's cutaway does label the large module at the bottom of the shaft as "Matter/Antimatter Mix Chamber," but there's no separate label for the vertical shaft emerging from it, so that could be counted as part of the same unit. That's a logical place where the crystals could be; maybe the initial reaction takes place there but is incomplete, and the remainder of the particles and antiparticles annihilate during their journey through the swirl chamber. I suppose you could assume that the pillar in the TWOK reactor room is the top of a shaft leading down to the reactor four decks below, but if it's a remote control station of some sort, why it would need to be a direct conduit that radiation can leak through? The problem is that the film's low budget required them to stick it into the existing set instead of designing it in a more plausible form.
     
    Henoch likes this.
  4. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    In TOS the dilithium crystals seemed to play the part more of tapping the M/AM reactor for usable energy which could be sent off the ship systems, it had little or nothing to do with mediating the M/AM reaction itself. I see no reason why the refit Enterprise's setup shouldn't be similar.

    Now, "ship systems" would include structural integrity field, inertial dampeners, shielding and other things that you would definitely not want to jump to warp speed without! Therefore, the dilithium systems need to be repaired before FTL speeds can be attempted, even if the M/AM reactor itself is still otherwise functional
     
    Noname Given and Henoch like this.
  5. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Huh.. Never really thought of the Swirl Chamber on how it works.. Just looks pretty, Thanks for the explanation! :)
    I still think of Dilithium as a Kind of "Control Rod" type of material, how the rods in conventional Fission absorbe neutrinos to stop or control the reactions that occur.
    So In my mind ( A wild expanse of open places.. ) in the "Pulse" type that the Matter, Anti matter is sent threw the crystals witch stablize the reaction. Now the Swirl.. I like that the whole chamber is lined with Dilithium.. so it is more like a Fission pile, with matter/antimatter collisions happening inside the chamber, but not to much to destroy the chamber. with the Dilithium as an aborber... Hey why not :)

    Now for runaway, instead of regulated to say.. 2 particles of Antimatter a minute, it increases the fuel flow to 20 particles a minutes, basically no regulation of the fuel flow and reactions. so it goes until the chamber can't contain the reactions and then go boom.. The chamber is probably rated for like 2x the pressure that it has at normal time.. but now its approaching thats 2x.. could go at any minute. They probably had to stop by a starbase and replace the chamber from the near overload.
     
    Phaser Two likes this.
  6. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Scotty did say he had to take the mains off-line because of radiation, and Spock was exposed to a lethal dose when he went in to bring them back on. This suggests that under ideal/regular circumstances, the clear radiation shieldwall is just for show, but is in place for emergency circumstances like we see in TWOK, that the system is damaged in such a way that radiation is leaking out of the pillar. Remember, as the ship gets underway, there is an engineering staffer manning that chamber as a regular postiing. He's not in there when Spock makes his bargain with the devil.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    IIRC, Scotty was trying to get into a radiation suit so he could go in and safely stop the radiation leak/repair the engines, but he passed out before he could finish. Spock didn't have time to don the whole suit, so he just took the gloves so he could handle the extremely hot controls (knowing, of course, that his lack of additional protection would be fatal).
     
  8. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    But what about their family commitments back home? :wtf:
    JB
     
  9. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2017
    Location:
    Prax
    Well, I'm sure it was a big hassle getting notified that their loved ones were presumed dead, but hey, what can you do?:shrug:
     
  10. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Location:
    Back on the Shelf
    Getting back to the original topic, I've done some thoughts on the TOS S3 M/AM Fuel and Power Schematic to start discussions:
    [​IMG]
    That Which Survives M/AM fuel features:
    1. The M/AMRC has the M/AM Integrator (small magenta square) probably inside the reaction chamber.
    2. The fused emergency bypass valve is part of the M/AM Integrator.
    3. The maintenance crawlway to the M/AMRC is used to cut off the Antimatter Fuel.
    4. The M/AMRC is set with explosive charges to jettison the whole thing into space. I propose the big yellow circle on the ship's underbelly is this feature/location.
    5. The dangerous antimatter operations and storage are in the nacelles, as far away from personnel as possible.
    6. No speculation on how the warp nacelles work, whether extra M/AM reactors or such.
    7. Speculated on some warp power systems to give the flavor of other episodes, using some TGN terms in places.
    From a pure engineering stand point, I find the large number of single point failures for such an advanced ship quite alarming.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
    uniderth likes this.
  11. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Well, this could lead into a lot of discussion on the TOS power systems. But to cut through all that and get to the point, the story establishes that the engines are running away and need to be stopped AND they need to find the captain. If they eject Scotty and that bit of engineering, the ship will stop and be dead in the water for an unknown period of time (Either another ship would have to bring the part to fix it or the ship would have to be towed to a repair facility). So the goal of the story is to save the ship AND save the captain. Sure they could save the ship in a moment by jettisoning that big of the system, but then they basically couldn't go anywhere. So the story very much makes sense, even if trying to get to the bottom of the TOS engineering systems is a bottomless pit of possibilities.
     
    Prax likes this.
  12. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    That mostly sounds about right, though one could infer that since Scotty was already suited up, save for perhaps a helmet, he believed that wasn't enough to protect whoever might need to go inside, and he wasn't willing to sacrifice any of his trainees. There's not enough information visually to get a concrete idea of his motivations, and all he says is "It's the radiation". He may have even taken a dose himself already, but not enough to kill him.
     
  13. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2017
    Location:
    Prax
    Everyone knows that when you've got a radiation leak, and the only way to fix it is to send someone to their death, you send Geordi.
     
  14. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    It seems to me from that schematic that the Enterprise is also able to collect gases from outer space to fuel itself as well as the dilithium crystals! There have been theories around for years that future spacecraft may be able to collect radiation and hydrogen from space in which to fuel their engines! :p
    JB
     
  15. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    I wonder if most of those theories stem from a time before the exact density of interstellar space was accurately known.

    According to this website, you get approx 1 hydrogen atom per cubic centimetre.
    https://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/DaWeiCai.shtml
    To scoop up 1kg of hydrogen, you'd need approx 602,300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms which would be spread around six hundred billion (602,300,000,000) cubic kilometres of interstellar space.
    https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/how-many-moles-hydrogen-will-weigh-1kg-578683
    For comparison, that's a harvesting area of about two thirds of the volume of the planet Earth...to gain a kilogram! :eek:

    Of course, that doesn't preclude starships from hoovering up nebulas that they come across, which would be a much more efficient way to refuel IMO :techman:
     
    johnnybear and Henoch like this.
  16. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Very interesting my dear, Mytran! :techman:
    JB
     
  17. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Location:
    Back on the Shelf
    Absolutely. The best time to refuel the matter tanks is while in solar systems using the denser solar wind, gas giants, or a close fly by the sun to scoop up the fuel (a la Stargate: Universe). Buuuut, maybe this is not needed...(see below).

    Going back to the comment about interstellar gases being very low concentration, remember, the Enterprise at warp covers hundreds of billions of kilometers all the time. Assuming the collectors have a decent reach, say one square kilometer in area in front of the ship, just at the speed of light of 300,000 kilometers/second, the ship can scoop up 1 kilogram in ~2 million seconds (23 days) based on the data given. At higher speeds (depending on your warp scale), the ship scoops up kilogram-ish to several kilograms per day. Let's hope the M/AM efficiency for power conversion and use are very high...

    In addition, never in TOS has the Enterprise even hinted that it had either a matter or antimatter fuel supply problem. Impulse fuel, yes; M/AM fuel, no.

    In Mark of Gideon, I assume Kirk is talking about the M/AM power system:
    I conclude that the Enterprise has "infinite" supply of matter and antimatter for its M/AM power system. Now, is this because she has infinite refueling capability, or an extremely efficient power system, or both? She also must be able to make her own antimatter (probably converted from the matter fuel). YMMV :).
     
  18. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    Good extrapolation, that's certainly enough as a top-up (even if not to run "indefinitely") However, when at warp how much of the real space is the Enterprise really interacting with? The whole point is to warp space around the ship, isn't it? Wouldn't that also include interstellar hydrogen?
     
  19. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Location:
    Back on the Shelf
    Great question. Perhaps the collector's field extends past the warp bubble, so, interstellar hydrogen is streaming into the warp bubble at FLT speeds, but maybe the warp field also slows the concentrated streams of hydrogen down to be funneled into the collectors...more treknobabble...
     
  20. Henoch

    Henoch Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Location:
    Back on the Shelf
    No, the bottom of the engineering systems on the Enterprise is only 23 decks. :rommie:
     
    MAGolding and Mytran like this.