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Helium Macaroni
2004-May-23, 10:08 AM
Hi guys and gals,
I have no idea if this would be the right place to put this, but I'd like to give it a shot. Here's the deal. I'm currently an Art Student at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena CA. I'm in the Illustration department and I do mostly concept art and work meant for use in the entertainment industry. I'm working on a sci-fi movie idea for a particular class I'm taking. There are quite a lot of spaceships and robots and whatnot. I like to have all of my art, and corresponding storylines be as near real as possible. I like having scientific legitimacy to my work. My story involves quite a bit of space travel and reference to particular star systems colonized by earth and the like, run-of-the-mile sci-fi stuff. I'm looking for someone, or perhaps a few people who can help me out on the details of different celestial phenomena. I'm going to try and be as realistic as possible in my story, so I?d like to be solid in knowing what stars are in what proximity to earth, the aspects of different stars, and generally how the reality in nature can help me further the believability of my story. I've looked around the internet for various facts and info, but I'll be frank, some of it confuses me and there have been numerous times when I've said to myself, "Arg, I wish I could just ASK someone." Soooo If anyone would be interested in maybe corresponding with me at various stages of this development either through this forum, over email, or AIM, I'd greatly appreciate it! I've been interested in astronomy and space all my life and really just want to let the fantastic things in nature be a part of my story, and help add believability and texture. Hope you can help me out!

Thanks!
-Mike :D

kucharek
2004-May-23, 10:29 AM
Hi Macaroni,

welcome to the board. I just had some macaroni for lunch, with bacon, eggs and cheese. Much heavier than helium if I can trust what my stomach just tells me. ;-)
Surely the BABB is the right place for the things you want to do. And if you don't listen, your project may end up in the "Bad TV! Bad Movies! No doughnut!" section here... ;-)

Harald

PS: By the way: Rick Sternbach was also here in the forum a few times.

Helium Macaroni
2004-May-23, 10:42 AM
Thanks for the Welcome kucharek!

Good God! Rick Sternbach = One of my personal heroes!! He is right up my alley in terms of the illustration he did for Star Trek. His concept art and production art has been a monumental influence to me. Maybe I can snag his attention and get some advice on a career. :wink:

Yes I'm specifically trying to avoid the "bad" movie syndrome that is plaguing Hollywood these days! And for that, I really want some good solid info so I don't look like a bonehead to the real aficionado's out there. I try to base all of my work on at least SOME sort of scientific reality.. cause it's just more fun if it seems tactile and able to be realized someday :)

Swift
2004-May-24, 02:30 PM
Welcome on board He Mac (must be the low carb version :D ).
You might try contacting the Astronomy department of one of the local universities in LA. Maybe the Bad Astronomer himself could give you some contacts (or maybe he'd like the consulting).

daver
2004-May-25, 07:19 PM
You ought to find plenty of opinions on this board. You might think about taking this to the Babbling group, as presumably most of them won't be too related to general astronomy.

Star Trek (TOS) ran into some problems with names for planetary systems--they wanted names that the user could identify, and so they tended to have systems around pretty inappropriate stars. G-type stars tend not to be particularly conspicuous, so most of the home stars won't have particularly recognizeable names (Alpha Centauri is an exception, Tau Ceti might be).

You'll want to hammer out your drive system and its limitations--how long does it take to go from one star to another, roughly how does it work, that type of thing. Depending on how your story goes, you may not need much detail, but you need to give it some thought--how long a journey takes, how expensive it is, whether the star drive favors combat/piracy, that sort of stuff.

You have robots; presumably that means you have AI. Please don't have giant humanoid fighting robots.

You'll need to decide if there are aliens; if there aren't but there are a plethora of inhabitable planets, why not. If there are, and they are at roughly the same technological level as earth, why?

You haven't described the scenario yet--I'm guessing it takes place a few hundred years after the discovery of a practical star drive; some nearby planets have been colonized. Possibly star travel is on the same order of difficulty as ocean travel was a couple of centuries ago.

Rick Sternbach
2004-Jun-02, 02:48 AM
Thanks for the Welcome kucharek!

Good God! Rick Sternbach = One of my personal heroes!! He is right up my alley in terms of the illustration he did for Star Trek. His concept art and production art has been a monumental influence to me. Maybe I can snag his attention and get some advice on a career. :wink:

Yes I'm specifically trying to avoid the "bad" movie syndrome that is plaguing Hollywood these days! And for that, I really want some good solid info so I don't look like a bonehead to the real aficionado's out there. I try to base all of my work on at least SOME sort of scientific reality.. cause it's just more fun if it seems tactile and able to be realized someday :)

Speak of the Devil and the Devil appears. :)

Striving for realism in science fiction is laudable, but it won't always sell tickets and popcorn. Just look at ARMAGEDDON. Feh. I absolutely love astronomical and engineering realism in my art, but I also have to know how to bend to the director's/producer's wishes without appearing to bend over, if you know what I mean. Left to their own devices, most Hollywood writers will come up with sound-alike techno-gobbledygook that will bear only a fleeting resemblance to well thought out scientific and engineering terminology. Even the well thought out stuff is often lumped together with other technobabble, simply because most folks can't tell the difference. The good thing about Trek was that after a while (at the beginning of TNG), the producers actually trusted a few of us to write the correct things. That remained stable for a while, and then during Voyager's run, the honchos had enough tech-talk under their belts that they could drop in meaningless phrases like isocortical nanophasic depolarization and people would eat it up. A lot of fans didn't, and those are the guys I correspond with.

As for plausible SF design, that's a whole different story. You have to perform a delicate balancing act between what looks like it could work, what's cool, and how much will it cost. Each ship or piece of prop gear should have a distinct style, identifiable elements both inside and out, and this goes for anything, Trek or Farscape or creations for personal enjoyment. I try to at least put in a little thought on propulsion type, fuel supply, structural skeleton, plating, com gear, windows or sensors, weapons, etc. (Hmmm...if it's got antimatter-spiked fusion, that means it can have such'n'such energy weapons) Designers who throw junk shapes together will get junk ships and props, simple as that. Read AvWeek. Read every space book you can find. Read about building naval vessels. Read up on botany and chemical engineering and atmospheric physics and invertebrate life cycles. Collect jazz albums. Watch a lot of anime. Put some thought into your designs, even if you don't write 12-page explanations of how it all works. Most folks aren't going to care. But you'll know.

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com

George
2004-Jun-02, 03:39 AM
I'm looking for someone, or perhaps a few people who can help me out on the details of different celestial phenomena.

Howdy Helium Macaroni Mike!

I would recommend you look for a key word to fininding amazing celestial phenomena. The key word is......."ToSeek". If you see his name as the poster, you can bet you'll get a good poster. :wink: Of course, there are others, too. Some of this stuff may not be believable to the general public, however, even though it's real. :)

The Spitzer telescope site is coming on strong with spectacular sights. Recently a planet seems to have it's own accretion disk while being within a main stellar disk.

Spitzer also is finding stellar nurseries. About 300 new stars in a cloud was announced last week.

Tonite, Nova just did a program on Gamma Ray Bursters. The latest thing that could really and truly toast the Earth if one occured nearby. It's beleived they may account for some serious sterilization of the early universe.

The Sun may have had a giant blue brother is a new report since iron-60 has been found in meteorites.

There is one guy on this board that thinks the Sun may actually look kinda blue if observed from space and if you could turn down it's intensity which makes it look white. Of course, there is a computer model which say's it's Peachy Pink. Forget these as your grade would suffer. :)

Hmmm....this may end up on the babbling thread if I keep this up.

I am sure many here will help you get pasta any a problemo, macaroni. :) [sorry, the puns seem to be getting worse]

Anyway. Welcome to the Board. =D>

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-02, 07:17 AM
Hey Helium Mac and Rick Sternbach... (hehe that rhymes)

Mac, They key to writing a good story is to not worry about the truth... but I don't mean make stuff up and ignore physics. You probably already know that a story is based around man under pressure. So write with that idea always, and don't base the plot on the mechanics or technology. Of course that doesn't mean ignore it either. If you write something that is in line with all theoretical predictions but is heartless, it won't sell. If you write something stirring but that is based on a plot that is ridiculous then it will only sell to half the people. The trick is to write something that is accurate enough to let the audience believe you (so they don't leave in the beginning) and emotional enough to keep them through to the credits. It's a hard balance to write something without making it so technobabbly that you lose them or so simplistic that you offend their intelligence. I would recommend writing a story with some basic plot and technology, then look where you can increase the tension by being more realistic. That'll get you more fans here at the BABB. But if you want to forgot realism, then let on at the beginning that it is science fantasy, like Star Wars, and you may get away with more.

Personally, I like it when the Hero says something technobabbly like "Maximize the output capaciter for ion fluctuation" and the Kid says "Huh?" and the Hero says "Just push the flashing red button!" Make technology simple, that's what I say.

Sternbach said each ship should have a distinct style. Although it might be interesting to see what happens if they were all the same style... How about a battle where no one can tell whose ships are whose and they have to declare a peace because everything is so confused. Interesting idea for a short story or an Outer Limits type one-timer, maybe I'll go write it! Then again, maybe it's already been done, and done better.

Hey Sternbach, I have a question about your globes. I think I read on the site how they are printed in strips and then mounted with a glue to a sphere. Isn't there a machine that can print on a spherical surface? I would imagine that all you need is an inkjet printhead mounted on a semi-circular ring that the carriage can ride on(and itself rotate, or be rotated under) and a suitable inkable material overlaid on the globe (perhaps in a liquid form for no seams) and then overlaid with a clear acrylic or epoxy resin. Or does someone already make this? It may then be naturally translucent allowing for interior illumination (general or night/day accurate for all seasons). It may also have interior robotic LED Laser spot illumination of surface features or satellites in orbit. Connected to a PC it could be updated with new astronomical, meteorological, and seismic data. I would also include controls on the base for an illumination dimmer, vector controls for the LED Laser, maybe a small electroluminescent backlit LCD display and/or speaker announcing information about the manually selected surface feature. Oh, and the shell could either rotate externally or the lights could rotate internally for day/night demarcation and a adjustable compass ring so that it could be oriented properly for time and date. That'd be cool, and that's something I might pay $1600 for.

kucharek
2004-Jun-02, 07:59 AM
Hey Helium Mac and Rick Sternbach... (hehe that rhymes)
How? I never gave a thought about Rick's surname pronounciation, as it is completely legal German with Stern=star and Bach=creek. So, you pronounce "bach" rhyming with "Mac"?

Harald

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-02, 08:04 AM
Hey Helium Mac and Rick Sternbach... (hehe that rhymes)
How? I never gave a thought about Rick's surname pronounciation, as it is completely legal German with Stern=star and Bach=creek. So, you pronounce "bach" rhyming with "Mac"?

Haraldyes, but I could be wrong

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-02, 08:28 AM
Bwah!!!!! Mr. Sternbach! Good God!

Excuse the massive amount of cheese that will henceforth spill from my word hole, but it's a massive honor to have you respond to this thread! Holy gosh... I'd just like you to know that your work, and Trek itself is a major cornerstone of my work, and has been an inspiration to me since I was about 10. (Back then I'd make clay models of the ships you designed and have space battles with them on the living room floor) Oh, man, and the Enterprise D tech manual, egads I read it when I was about the same age and still pick it up when I need a guide for developing tech behind a particular design.

Wow, now that I've assured you that I'm an uber-nerd, thanks so much for the tips. I very much realize that the key to successful sci-fi isn't necessarily in the ships designs, or even the grasp of scientific reality, in fact, that can often hinder certain dramatic storytelling. I mean, TNG was like my bible for the developmental stage of my science fiction appetite. And it's just like you said, during that and through voyager everything that was seen was based in reality, which made it completely tangible and near real for me. I can remember sitting one evening watching "all good things" when doctor crusher makes a remark about how Capt. Picard has an increased amount of a particular chemical in his brain due to experiencing alternate realities. My father, who had joined me that night said, "Wow, you know that?s all true about those chemicals." I just nodded and smiled. Star Trek was always reliable in making use of scientific fact :)

As for my own work, I always attempt to give my designs a solid anchor in reality, but have fun with them as well (many of my ships look reminiscent of 70?s muscle cars for some reason ;) One of the problems I do have however is trying NOT to make my ships run on the same technology as Trek, which is sometimes hard to do, because the technology was so rooted in reality. With this current project I?m working on the star drive needs to run on some massively potent power plant, so what?s more probable than a vertical shaft that focuses streams of matter and antimatter towards a crystal producing a high energy yield that in turn energizes coils that warps space around a ship decreasing its mass?! Darn you guys, you thought of everything! :) Well actually I can?t thank you enough for it, because it certainly propelled my imagination.

Luckily for anyone who I may design spaceships for in the future, I?m a model builder myself, so I can completely sympathize with the plight of taking the design from paper to styrene, fiberglass, plastic, or whatever. In fact I often start some designs with a small sculpey mock up, just something to block out the basic forms so that I feel like it exists with me in my reality, then I can more fully understand its relation to 3 dimensional spaces. I?d actually love to be on either end of the process, either on the conceptual design stage, or the model building stage, providing that models haven?t gone the way of the dodo by the time I hit the industry full time. But even by then, I?ll have learned some 3D software.

As for your advice on subject matter to explore, I am definitely going to find some references on ship building! I?m also interested in a myriad of other things such as the subjects you suggested, everything from parrots to world politics fuels my creative process and helps me churn out some very successful ideas in my opinion. I already watch more anime than I can afford to buy, so that item you suggested is being fulfilled on a constant basis.

Anyway, I?ve already eaten up a ridiculous amount of space and could most likely continue on until my 8am class tomorrow, but I think I?d regret it if I ended up falling asleep on an open tube of cadmium red.

Once again, thanks SO much for checking out this little thread. If I could, I?d really appreciate corresponding with you a bit more on this subject and other various questions I have. One of the reasons I came to California was to talk to ANYONE that I could in order to get a firmer grasp on just what I was getting myself into. Any further conversation we would have would be absolutely invaluable to me, and greatly appreciated! Also, when I get a website up and running, I?d love to get your feedback on some of my work. What better person to critique some designs? :) You are a great inspiration to me, and thanks again.




Jpax2003: ack? you?re ideas are very interesting indeed, and thank you very much for you input! I?d love to discuss them more on a later post; I just kinda used my last bit of consciousness for the night responding to Rick, I?ll post tomorrow and chat a bit more. Until then, thanks :)

Kucharek: little did you know? my name is pronounced, Hee-lee-uhm Mach-a-roh-ni! Or not, I could just be really tired.

George: Thanks for the welcome!Also thanks for the recources to look into. I'll get back to you guys when it's not 1:20 am here.

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-02, 08:34 AM
Odd, a bit of my punctuation is coming out as question marks. Just disreguard that!

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-02, 08:44 AM
little did you know? my name is pronounced, Hee-lee-uhm Mach-a-roh-ni! Or not, I could just be really tired.As long as it isn't pronounced Macarena. I just got a vision of Ferengi doing that dance... ::shudders::

Chip
2004-Jun-02, 09:28 AM
Hi,

Do a search in www.google.com. In Google, select "Images" and enter "Chesley Bonestell" - He was a grand old master and didn't always get the details right: (much of his art was created before the "space age") but his work is always great, and endowed with a real feeling for the dramatic. :wink:

Weird Dave
2004-Jun-02, 10:40 AM
[Off topic] Regarding those globes: in Cambridge there was an art exhibition (http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/exhibitions/archive/csorgo.html) where the artist made a rotating camera. One version had the photographic chemicals spread over a plastic hemisphere, and the camera lens rotated round projecting onto it. The other version used a flat piece of photographic paper that could be put together in a spiral to make a sphere. These were both presented as conceptual art, so I presume that it isn't common elsewhere. [/Off topic]

Since we have no idea how any kind of faster-than-light travel might work, you have a fair bit of freedom to invent away. You could then use your invention to "justify" the shape of the ships. Or you could work backwards. For instance, in Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn series, all starships (well, all starships of one of his civilisations) travel by wormholes. Since the wormhole mouths are spherical, all the starships are spherical. This is fine in a book, but may get rather boring in a visual art project! If you wanted more variety of odd shapes, you could assume what they seem to assume in Star Trek, that the warp engines don't put any mechanical strain on the rest of the ship (hence you can stick them on stalks, or at the end of "wings"). You might want to assume that your power plants produce a lot of radiation, so you have a long spaceship with crew at the front; fuel, cargo and shielding in the middle; and engines and reactor at the back (like in 2001). I'm sure you're perfectly capable of getting your own ideas, though :) .

As for natural phenomena, don't just look at a Hubble nebula picture and draw your spaceship next to it. For a start, the telescope pictures are usually false colour (plenty about it here (http://hubblesite.org/sci.d.tech/behind_the_pictures/meaning_of_color/index.shtml)). Also, I think that nebulae may be too dim to see by eye even when close - telescopes only see them because of large apertures and long exposures. I'm not an expert though, so I can't say it's impossible. And I assume that as an artist, you have your licence and are allowed to use it :wink: , so you could just draw them how you want and say it's a long-exposure photo (you could even brighten the spaceship to match). It's still probably a good idea to look through Hubble's image archives for ideas: the huge variety of things it sees will certainly inspire you.

The Asteroid Belt is much less dense than shown in movies (I'm not sure what the actual asteriod separation is, but I'm sure somebody else knows). You might be able to use Saturn's rings (or similar around a different planet) instead if you want a sky full of icebergs.

Here's a nice thread to read When is BA OK? (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13285), and I'm sure you'd get a great response to any specific questions you asked.

ToSeek
2004-Jun-02, 12:46 PM
I would recommend you look for a key word to fininding amazing celestial phenomena. The key word is......."ToSeek". If you see his name as the poster, you can bet you'll get a good poster. :wink:

*blushing* :oops:

George
2004-Jun-02, 01:52 PM
I would recommend you look for a key word to fininding amazing celestial phenomena. The key word is......."ToSeek". If you see his name as the poster, you can bet you'll get a good poster. :wink:

*blushing* :oops:

Pressure's on! :lol:

ToSeek
2004-Jun-02, 03:01 PM
I would recommend you look for a key word to fininding amazing celestial phenomena. The key word is......."ToSeek". If you see his name as the poster, you can bet you'll get a good poster. :wink:

*blushing* :oops:

Pressure's on! :lol:

And I was so looking forward to putting up a whole bunch of fluff posts, too. Guess I can't now because it would ruin my reputation.... :cry:

Rick Sternbach
2004-Jun-02, 07:52 PM
Jpax2003 said: Hey Sternbach, I have a question about your globes. I think I read on the site how they are printed in strips and then mounted with a glue to a sphere. Isn't there a machine that can print on a spherical surface?

I've not seen an inkjet printer that can print onto a sphere. Most every large globe, from 12" and up, are made in gores. There are even some 3-4' inflatables, and even those are assembled in gores. We don't use glue, we use a special adhesive vinyl.

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com

George
2004-Jun-02, 10:10 PM
I would recommend you look for a key word to fininding amazing celestial phenomena. The key word is......."ToSeek". If you see his name as the poster, you can bet you'll get a good poster. :wink:

*blushing* :oops:

Pressure's on! :lol:

And I was so looking forward to putting up a whole bunch of fluff posts, too. Guess I can't now because it would ruin my reputation.... :cry:

I feared as much as I thought you might be overdue to slack off. Tough break. :-({|= Btw, you ain't got time to blab here. Get back out there! :evil:
:)

George
2004-Jun-02, 10:22 PM
Wow. I did not realize I had turned to "Bad Master" on my post to you, ToSeek. Maybe that explains my behavior. :)

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-03, 03:04 AM
Jpax2003 said: Hey Sternbach, I have a question about your globes. I think I read on the site how they are printed in strips and then mounted with a glue to a sphere. Isn't there a machine that can print on a spherical surface?

I've not seen an inkjet printer that can print onto a sphere. Most every large globe, from 12" and up, are made in gores. There are even some 3-4' inflatables, and even those are assembled in gores. We don't use glue, we use a special adhesive vinyl.

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.comMaybe we should invent it, although there would be limited utility outside of cartography. I would not expect sales to pass 1000 units. Unless people want to print their own beach balls, or christmas ornaments, but there are easier and cheaper ways to do those things. Sigh, Mother Necessity once again fails to nurture a newborn invention.

Rick Sternbach
2004-Jun-03, 03:10 AM
Jpax2003 said: Hey Sternbach, I have a question about your globes. I think I read on the site how they are printed in strips and then mounted with a glue to a sphere. Isn't there a machine that can print on a spherical surface?

I've not seen an inkjet printer that can print onto a sphere. Most every large globe, from 12" and up, are made in gores. There are even some 3-4' inflatables, and even those are assembled in gores. We don't use glue, we use a special adhesive vinyl.

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.comMaybe we should invent it, although there would be limited utility outside of cartography. I would not expect sales to pass 1000 units. Unless people want to print their own beach balls, or christmas ornaments, but there are easier and cheaper ways to do those things. Sigh, Mother Necessity once again fails to nurture a newborn invention.

Turns out that there is an inkjet machine that does, of all things, images on golf balls. It's called, amazingly enough, the Balljet. And it also does Christmas ornaments (wow, what a psychic! :) ). What I need is 720 dpi on a 24" sphere, of course.

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com

ToSeek
2004-Jun-03, 03:42 AM
Wow. I did not realize I had turned to "Bad Master" on my post to you, ToSeek. Maybe that explains my behavior. :)

You can't let that sort of stuff go to your head. Now look at me: despite my almost godlike erudition, my breathtaking post count, my perspicacity at Web-searching, and the total awe with which I am held by my fellow BABBlers, I remain a modest, humble soul, only occasionally demanding treatment appropriate to my status (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=266401#266401).

Rick Sternbach
2004-Jun-03, 03:58 AM
Wow, now that I've assured you that I'm an uber-nerd, thanks so much for the tips. I very much realize that the key to successful sci-fi isn't necessarily in the ships designs, or even the grasp of scientific reality, in fact, that can often hinder certain dramatic storytelling. I mean, TNG was like my bible for the developmental stage of my science fiction appetite.

When it was clicking on all cylinders, TNG had good proportions of classic Trekishness, good characters, good stories, and good SF elements. Even TNG had its share of clunkers, but I like to think that we had a slightly higher number of good episodes when put into a ratio with average ones and clunky ones, compared to TOS. For the producers to say today that "Enterprise isn't science fiction" only tells me that they want an easy out when they fail to present good media SF on the screen. I mean, what's the point of doing a future space show if it isn't SF? You don't see the folks running ER saying that their show "isn't a medical show, it's a one hour drama that just happens to be set in an emergency room." The whole Enterprise thing has become very silly, especially the Space Nazis. But I digress.

Good science fiction is just that: fiction with science. There should be cool SF concepts, some gadgetry, some problem-solving, with good characters and a good story to wrap it all up in a bundle. For weird reasons I can't adequately explain, I really like THE MATRIX for its brand of SF. Okay, so some of the hardware is cludgy, but I can overlook that. I like the sizzling big levitating ships and the overall design effort. I like the overall look that spawned from TNG and the TOS features, very clean, very neat (well, maybe a little too neat if Starfleet Academy grads have to file their sock pairs in tiny color-coded cubicles). Two extremes, with a lot of cool design in between. I'm hoping that Sky Captain will be a cool film; retro most always works. I'd love to see someone do the proper super-science retro movie thing to Doc Smith's LENSMEN books. You want to see where a lot of this space opera started, read Smith's novels (they'll give you visions). Another great direction is the architecture and gadgetry in Myst and Riven and the like; where amazing workmanship would have to go into each and every 60W light fixture and maybe even the toothpicks. :)

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com

The Bad Astronomer
2004-Jun-03, 04:16 AM
I just wanted to note that I have a pretty cool board here. 8)

Now we just need to get my friends Ron Miller (http://www.black-cat-studios.com/) and Fred Durant (http://www.astronautix.com/astros/durant.htm) posting, and we'll be in the stratosphere. :o

If only Dan Durda (http://www.boulder.swri.edu/~durda/) had time to read this board...

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-03, 06:16 AM
Turns out that there is an inkjet machine that does, of all things, images on golf balls. It's called, amazingly enough, the Balljet. And it also does Christmas ornaments (wow, what a psychic! :) ). What I need is 720 dpi on a 24" sphere, of course.Well, I could imagine an HP sized tri-color printhead working on that scale, if it were mounted on top and the globe rotated beneath it with precision rollers. I doubt the standard printhead could work sideways or upside down, so the ball would need to be moved instead. Not that someone couldn't make a printhead that worked in those orientations, just not with off-the-shelf technology. However, thermal dye might not have the orientation problem, but it would require multiple passes or multiple thermal heads. Now if Epson or someone could make an 8 color printhead array with each color nozzle arced a few degrees apart so that each color spray is perpendicular... but you'd still need computer driven rollers to advance to the next gore-like swath. Too bad I'm a synthesist and not an actual engineer: all my ideas are conceptual in nature.

Another great direction is the architecture and gadgetry in Myst and Riven and the like; where amazing workmanship would have to go into each and every 60W light fixture and maybe even the toothpicks.Hey, I did once get a wooden toothpick that had been lathed with a nifty little ball-end and some milling. I can only imagine the cost versus a box of round, or even flat toothpicks. Capitalism, quantity at the cost of quality. Well, until someone figures out how to make quality with enough quantity for profit. Therein lies a good story, a people that handcraft everything versus a race that industrializes everything. Oh wait, that's already been done to death. #-o One of my favorites is The Mote in God's Eye. I'd love to see that turned into a movie.

edited for spelling

Kaptain K
2004-Jun-03, 11:02 AM
I'd love to see someone do the proper super-science retro movie thing to Doc Smith's LENSMEN books.
I second that!!!! =D>

Moose
2004-Jun-03, 12:43 PM
Layperson here, but I wanted to express something I've just realized. Something that technology scenes I enjoy (vs ones I find cheesy) have in common:

The best scenes are where this amazing technology is used (by those who are supposed to be accustomed to it) as casually as a hammer. The worst are chock full of contrived drama to what should be (to the characters) mundane.

Avoiding Trek references for the moment, the scene in particular I have in mind is in Hunt for Red October where Jack Ryan has just rejoined Mancuso. In order to locate the Red October, Mancuso orders a dive below the thermocline (specifically to 1200 feet, IIRC).

The crew members all react like this is both expected and no big deal (alert as usual, those standing casually adjusting to the new deck angle, but otherwise same old same old).

Jack, on the other hand, blanches visibly as he (and the audience) listen to the groaning of the hull and imagine the crush of water around them.

Let the audience generate the wonder. The crews should be using their technology as casually as we use our microwave ovens.

Now I don't mean that warp drive should be as easy as pressing a few buttons and off you go.

I mean that engineering knows the job. It's involved and highly technical, involving frequent light adjustments and constant monitoring to ensure both safety and efficiency. But while the work is critically important to maintaining the safety of the ship, it is also well-understood and routine.

When the Captain orders Warp Whatever, the engineering crew first ensure the power plant is generating enough power to do the job, and then brings the warp drive up to speed properly (which may involve several separate states as the ship accelerates.)

The pilot of Enterprise had a good scene where Hoshi is stressed over the ship shuddering ocassionally as it accelerates and engineering trims the warp curve. Something the rest of the bridge staff both fully expects and barely notices.

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-04, 09:44 AM
Well I'm glad the thread has really taken off, I love getting input. Maybe I can post a couple of images from my storyline for a bit of a critique in their adherence to scientific reality, and general design.

Moose you bring up a good point. It?s great when tech is taken for granted in movies and TV. It gives it a bit more tangibility when the characters treat it as routine. I also like the idea that you presented about monitoring warp fields and making minute adjustments as the ship travels. Perhaps I shall incorporate such a concept into the drive of my starships! There are actually 2 star drives in play in my storyline for this project. One is the human hyperdrive, which basically works similar to the star trek system, but instead of fields being created by coils in nacelles, the fields is established by a cylinder at the center of the ship with two counter-rotating rings creating a "positive" and "negative" to the field, helping it move along. This is slightly stolen from 2001 Nights, a manga by Yukinobu Hoshino, where a ship "falls" towards the negative field when in hyperspace. The other drive is used by an alien race that essentially is a fold drive, which lets the ship transit instantaneously in hops, rather than actually floating along as the human ships do.

Well, I don't really know how much of all that is really feasible or based on good science, maybe you guys can tell me :)

And I'll certainly have to read Lensmen in the near future!

kucharek
2004-Jun-04, 09:51 AM
I also like the idea that you presented about monitoring warp fields and making minute adjustments as the ship travels. Perhaps I shall incorporate such a concept into the drive of my starships!
This sometimes annoys me in the movies. Some problem comes up and they tune a few parameters in a way as they do it all day and again things run smooth. Why aren't such things automated? Sometimes it seems to me that any arbitrary power plant of today has more automatic systems than starships of the future. ;-)

Harald

Moose
2004-Jun-04, 10:46 AM
I also like the idea that you presented about monitoring warp fields and making minute adjustments as the ship travels. Perhaps I shall incorporate such a concept into the drive of my starships!

This sometimes annoys me in the movies. Some problem comes up and they tune a few parameters in a way as they do it all day and again things run smooth. Why aren't such things automated? Sometimes it seems to me that any arbitrary power plant of today has more automatic systems than starships of the future. ;-)

It would depend, I think, on the specific conditions of your environment.

My understanding is that submarines are still trimmed by hand by the dive officer. An automated system would have to know a) the CO's intentions, b) where each object within the ship is, c) whether or not any compartments are flooded (eek!), d) the hydrological conditions surrounding the ship, including water temp (which affects density, and thus buoyency.)

Also, we have aircraft that are capable of completing an entire flight under autopilot, from runway to runway. But we still have a pilot and a co-pilot on every commercial flight. Why?

And why do the arbitrary power plants of today have technical employees at all if they're automated? They don't just sit around until repairs are needed. Why is that?

One final observation: would we expect an unspecified power-plant / submarine / aircraft of today to be as complex (or as simple) to operate as some future FTL drive might be, regardless of which systems were automatable?

Weird Dave
2004-Jun-04, 03:32 PM
Well I'm glad the thread has really taken off, I love getting input. Maybe I can post a couple of images from my storyline for a bit of a critique in their adherence to scientific reality, and general design.

Moose you bring up a good point. It?s great when tech is taken for granted in movies and TV. It gives it a bit more tangibility when the characters treat it as routine. I also like the idea that you presented about monitoring warp fields and making minute adjustments as the ship travels. Perhaps I shall incorporate such a concept into the drive of my starships! There are actually 2 star drives in play in my storyline for this project. One is the human hyperdrive, which basically works similar to the star trek system, but instead of fields being created by coils in nacelles, the fields is established by a cylinder at the center of the ship with two counter-rotating rings creating a "positive" and "negative" to the field, helping it move along. This is slightly stolen from 2001 Nights, a manga by Yukinobu Hoshino, where a ship "falls" towards the negative field when in hyperspace. The other drive is used by an alien race that essentially is a fold drive, which lets the ship transit instantaneously in hops, rather than actually floating along as the human ships do.

Well, I don't really know how much of all that is really feasible or based on good science, maybe you guys can tell me :)

Having two different systems is a good idea. It could allow for some interesting cooperation (or conflict) between races if the drives have different capabilites. For instance, if the human ships are faster but the alien ships are cheaper to run, human ships would carry light cargo (e.g. food delicacies that are perishable) and the aliens would carry bulk cargo (e.g. ore).

One thing I have trouble with when imagining future technology is deciding what it actually consists of. For instance, does it involve many moving parts, liquid chemicals, large antennae etc.

Rick Sternbach: One of the things I really liked about TNG is the design of the Enterprise D bridge - the tan/beige plastic decor was uncannily like the interior of a friend's Rover car. It clearly demonstrated (or seemed to, anyway) that spaceflight was now so well established that the design didn't have to be purely functional any more. I suppose it also fitted the Enterprise's role as a flagship (where appearance is important) rather than a ship purely of war or science (where squeezing out the last drop of performance or reliability would come far before anything else).

Rick Sternbach
2004-Jun-04, 07:21 PM
Rick Sternbach: One of the things I really liked about TNG is the design of the Enterprise D bridge - the tan/beige plastic decor was uncannily like the interior of a friend's Rover car. It clearly demonstrated (or seemed to, anyway) that spaceflight was now so well established that the design didn't have to be purely functional any more. I suppose it also fitted the Enterprise's role as a flagship (where appearance is important) rather than a ship purely of war or science (where squeezing out the last drop of performance or reliability would come far before anything else).

Well, it was a blessing and a curse. It was Starfleet-neat and clean, but it was also thought of as having a hotel lobby or restaurant sort of look, not a working space vessel. With the seats removed between shooting days on Stage 8, it looked like a dance floor. Some of the mods to the set, for episodes like Yesterday's Enterprise and the TNG features, made it much cooler.

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-05, 05:48 AM
There are actually 2 star drives in play in my storyline for this project. One is the human hyperdrive, which basically works similar to the star trek system, but instead of fields being created by coils in nacelles, the fields is established by a cylinder at the center of the ship with two counter-rotating rings creating a "positive" and "negative" to the field, helping it move along. This is slightly stolen from 2001 Nights, a manga by Yukinobu Hoshino, where a ship "falls" towards the negative field when in hyperspace. The other drive is used by an alien race that essentially is a fold drive, which lets the ship transit instantaneously in hops, rather than actually floating along as the human ships do.Hey, do you plan to have arti-grav or are you going to spin the ship in part or in whole? It might be interesting but techinically challenging to film. But if your star drive is constantly accelerating then you would have vertically stacked decks like a building, but when it is coasting, it could spin, thus forcing each room to do double duty. That would force you do use ships with a decidedly distinct interior layout. I have a few ideas about scifi transportation. It combines hyperspace and teleportation, such that ships jump from station to station using locks enclosures similar to those along the panama canal. It might sound cumbersome, but it forces a map and topographical strategies. Oh, and by the way, my idea might work by having 2 lock operate at the same time with matched mass (including station owned deadweights) to somehow account for Lorentz.

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-05, 09:19 AM
I rather liked the Enterprise bridge, although it?s a pain in the neck attempting to come up with a bridge that doesn't utilize its basic layout, with the signature captain?s chair and whatnot. My bridge(s) are a bit more multi leveled, with the navigation and helm controls in "pods" in front of the captain that elevate slightly when in use, and engage a holographic display around them. Tactical, unlike the Enterprise bridge is most forward, comprising 3 stations that man various turret systems. Behind the captain, the bridge extends quite far back to accommodate a large holo-display system and ops center type area. Behind that then is launch bay operations and fighter/craft operations center. I'm trying to balance it a bit where I don't want it to be completely fighter/small ship based like the majority of Star Wars, but not completely capital ship based like Trek. Though cap ships have massive weapons systems, I would assume that fighters could have some advantage in slipping through to deliver a tactical nuke. Play the game Homeworld and you'll find my favorite recipe for space melee :D

Jpaxx2003: My ships do indeed have artificial gravity, mainly again to assist in budget or ease in production. Plus my ships resemble 70's muscle cars and need that kinda wide rear-heavy look. I guess my technology isn't quite as advanced as Trek in certain aspects, but I utilize a few of those budget saving mechanisms to make things a bit easier!

Weird Dave: as for the 2 drive systems, its a bit of a source of conflict, considering in my little universe, the alien adversaries can move about almost instantaneously, thereby sticking it rather hard to the humans at first... however then this technology is stolen and humans utilize it on a limited basis.

I'm going to try to post a couple of schematic images of one of my main ships. She's a cruiser and enters in the second movie (in my mind!) as the newest and badest ship type of the human fleet, complete with stolen fold drive technology, which I think might be that blue budge at the top rear, but I haven't decided. I put that thing on previous ships just because it looks cool, but it would make sense for it to be a fold drive on ships previous to this design. So, if anyone can think of a use for this thing, let me know. I didn't think it could be anything that?s too volatile, or else it would be protruding in such a way to be an easy target.

These images are works in progress at the moment, with many a retuning to be made, most notably the size of that underside launch bay. Enjoy, and do critique if you please.

http://img25.photobucket.com/albums/v75/mmaurino/Ship_Front_and_Rear.jpg

http://img25.photobucket.com/albums/v75/mmaurino/Stats_F_and_B.jpg

http://img25.photobucket.com/albums/v75/mmaurino/Ship_Top.jpg

http://img25.photobucket.com/albums/v75/mmaurino/Stats_Top.jpg

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-05, 09:35 AM
Oh, by the way, does anyone know if Antares is located in the Orion arm or the Sagittarius arm of the galaxy?

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-05, 09:39 PM
Your ships look good, although I do have some observations. Why are there missile launchers in the middle of the lifeboats? If an enemy wants to be humane and just take out your weapons systems, your escape pods might be collateral damage. Instead of just capturing the crew and passengers for interrogation and possibly lead to understanding between the races, they accidentally kill the whole crew thus angering the humans and igniting a war of vengeance. Your comm arrays also look like weapons turrets. When you power them up to say "Hail, we meet in peace" they may think you are preparing to attack. I'm not really sure why the maneuvering thrusters are so close to the centerline. The thrust would seem to work better if they are at the periphery and off axis. There is no image of a ventral view. Is this capable of landing on a planet of 1 G, smaller, or at all? Do you have any external docking ports for something larger than a dockable shuttle. Ya know, in case your flagship is hit and their shuttles and fighters are destroyed or trapped and you just need to evacuate the Admiral.

I like the placement of the shuttle ports near the centerline, but the aft ones look to be inside the exhaust cone and the forward ones are close to the missile and cannon systems. Can the fighters come out the rear? If you are attacked head-on, a simple directional barrage might take them out and damage them during their egress. If they slip out behind the ship and out of direct fire, it is a better tactical advantage. Incidentally, I do like the idea of fighters tactically, because if each one has the power (even just one torpedo) to severely damage a capital ship, then it is a terrific force multiplier. It takes the battle to the enemy in many dimensions, and forces the enemy to drain resources on multiple non-capital targets in defense. However, they are also cannon fodder, and might be left behind in a battle, severely lowering moral.

I tend to think of the bridge as a quasi-diplomatic arena. That's where the main viewer is and where you meet and greet ambassadors. You don't want the camera to image the screens of your defense status or shield modulation frequency (like in Generations). I think of the real action as happening in a dark C'n'C (Command and Control) center or the CIC (Combat Information Center) deep in the protected bowels of the ship (like modern sea-navies). I do like the holo-display area. I even have an idea for a real design using current technology... :lol:

I do have to say that one of my favorite transient Trek designs was the alien ship in the TNG episode with the god-like man of an entity that has the green plot of land on the otherwise obliterated plant. It looked like a massive and powerful ship (whose race was blinked out of existence with a single thought). I wish I had seen more of them.

kucharek
2004-Jun-05, 10:17 PM
Nice design. And now I understand your nick. ;-)

Harald

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-06, 05:27 AM
All right! Explanations are in order then! What I labeled as life boats are actually very thick armor plates that are ejected or exploded to launch the life boats. As for the launchers being in that location is purely for aesthetic reasons, they just line up nice is all. Good point about the comm. arrays. Again, they?re there mostly to look nice, but they are just essentially antennae pointing forward, I didn't quite know what else to make them look like, I didn?t want a dish, nor anything too flimsy looking, plus I thought there would be other transceivers else ware, those were just the main ones. As for the maneuvering thrusters, there are yet more to add. There will be additional ones on the side and near every edge pretty much. And you're right, as of yet there is no finished ventral view, it's still only in rough sketch form, and not photoshoped, nor is there a profile shot yet, that?s coming soon. There are docking ports along the side and underneath the ship. Ships of the humans can dock together from the side, via extendable gangway bridge. If it needs to, the ship can survive in about 1 G. It cant life off without tug support if it does indeed land, but it can make a relatively soft landing putting anti-grav systems to high, and applying high power to the ventral maneuvering thrusters which also double as landing thrusters. That forward shuttle hatch is also a large docking port for when the ship is docked at a station; it is used for the transfer of anything from cargo to personnel station to ship.


That very forward shuttle bay is directly under the bridge almost. The Forward launch bays are at the equivalent area of the side launch bays but underneath, so it ends up being more or less slightly behind center of the ship, therefore fighters can approach well below the exhaust cone and ascend into the receiving bays. Fighters can be shot out the back, but it isn't often done. The launch bays are simply that, only designed for launch, having tubes inside them, lined with linear induction systems to catapult the fighters out quickly. Each launch bay has 5 tubes, in order to launch 3 squadrons of 5 fighters simultaneously... unless there is typically a different number for a squadron :)

Indeed what you said about the bridge is a good idea. The bridge and C'n'C area are in roughly the same place, the "bridge" itself can be sectioned off or closed if damage is taken There is however a large window that surrounds the bridge, but that has large armor coverings that can slide shut if need be.


Harald: thanks! Yes, I'm a clever one :wink:

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-06, 07:32 AM
All right! Explanations are in order then! What I labeled as life boats are actually very thick armor plates that are ejected or exploded to launch the life boats. As for the launchers being in that location is purely for aesthetic reasons, they just line up nice is all. Good point about the comm. arrays. Again, they?re there mostly to look nice, but they are just essentially antennae pointing forward, I didn't quite know what else to make them look like, I didn?t want a dish, nor anything too flimsy looking, plus I thought there would be other transceivers else ware, those were just the main ones.Well, I realized later that those comm systems might be directional, like laser or maser communcation.

I also noticed that most of your weapons arrays are missile launchers with only the two ion cannon up front. Why no lasers? Did you know that we already have anti-missile laser technology today that would transfer over as science fact? Check out the COIL laser at www.airbornelaser.com
Are your cannon targetable or do they simply fire straight ahead?

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-07, 09:20 AM
Hmm.. can anyone think of a good name for a material, preferably a metal, used for creating a hyperspace field? I need this particular mineral to be a bit of a disputed resource in my story line. I can't very well use verterium cortenide which is what the warp coils from Trek were made of :D

Swift
2004-Jun-07, 12:23 PM
Unobtainium?
Badastronium?
Bubblegumium?
:D

Are you looking for real metals or just something that sounds good?

Tranquility
2004-Jun-07, 12:35 PM
Are you looking for real metals or just something that sounds good?

lol so you've figured out what material we need in real life for interstellar travel :D ?

Rick Sternbach
2004-Jun-07, 04:32 PM
Hmm.. can anyone think of a good name for a material, preferably a metal, used for creating a hyperspace field? I need this particular mineral to be a bit of a disputed resource in my story line. I can't very well use verterium cortenide which is what the warp coils from Trek were made of :D

Dig into some latin roots to find words that say what you want the metal to do. I picked verterium because of the root word meaning to twist or turn (can't recall the exact spelling, tho'), which is what the warp field does. You might surprise yourself by easily finding real words that sound cool instead of plain old nonsense tech.

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com

Spacedog
2004-Jun-07, 09:57 PM
sorry, i haven't had time to read this whole thread yet
- kinda involved in a project right now
making a 3D map of the Local Neighborhood
http://dudeman.net/spacedog/starmap/sirius1.gif

Antares is about 600 LY away, in Scorpio
- but I haven't gotten to that yet either
so i'm almost guessing when i say it's relatively local
about as far as the bright Orion stars Betelgeuse and Rigel
- only in roughly the opposite direction

cool ship
8)

oh - and as far as materials go
i always liked Adamantium - from X-men, etc
or, there's always the notorious Element 115
:wink:

Swift
2004-Jun-07, 10:40 PM
A couple of ideas for metals/alloys, that are a little more "realistic" than made up:

- Make up alloys that are very hard (or presently impossible) to create on Earth. For example, alloys of some of the very light metals (beryllium or aluminum) with the very dense (tungsten). The problem is when you melt them together the light metal doesn't mix with the dense. That doesn't mean they will make warp drive possible, but they'll sound exotic.

- I dislike it when SF makes up elements, at least without explanation. Our knowledge of the periodic table is good enough that we are not going to find anything new below an atomic number of about 115. Star Trek, for example seems to do that. Gordy will be talking about an alloy that is composed of xyzzyium and lantinum. Well last I checked, those don't exist. The only possibility along those lines are "island of stability" high atomic number elements. They are only theoretical (though there is good evidence for them), and they don't happen naturally, at least on earth. So you'll have to synthesize them or mine them. There was a science fiction book (might have been Paul Anderson?) where they mined such things off a rocky world that had been very distant from its star when the star went nova. IIRC, the world was supposed to have been the core of a gas giant and got covered with all these exotic elements when the star went nova.

- Alloys, on the other hand, often have exotic sounding made up names, and sometimes the same alloy has different names, depending on the company that makes them. So you have names like Monel, Inconel, Hastaloy. They often have numbers (they often relate to proportions of the metals) so you'll get things like Inconel 625. I guess here it just has to sound good, and you could claim it's a proprietary composition so it's a secret. :D

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-07, 11:15 PM
Hmm.. can anyone think of a good name for a material, preferably a metal, used for creating a hyperspace field? I need this particular mineral to be a bit of a disputed resource in my story line. I can't very well use verterium cortenide which is what the warp coils from Trek were made of :D

Dig into some latin roots to find words that say what you want the metal to do. I picked verterium because of the root word meaning to twist or turn (can't recall the exact spelling, tho'), which is what the warp field does. You might surprise yourself by easily finding real words that sound cool instead of plain old nonsense tech.Mac, maybe you should have two names... the public name, and the secret formula name, such as:
Hyperium™ (for hyperspace) made of Plutonic Molybdenum Neutronide.
Telasterin™ (tel=far, aster=star) made of Centrilium (element 130?) Di-Flourinate. (Total flourination is how a hydrocarbon becomes Teflon™ implying that you ship will slip through space.)

Sternbach, my favorite Trek compound was "transparent aluminum." I was incredulous until years later when I realized we already have such a thing: Corundum, AKA Aluminum Oxide, commonly called Rubies and Sapphires.

Rick Sternbach
2004-Jun-07, 11:25 PM
Mac, maybe you should have two names... the public name, and the secret formula name, such as:
Hyperium™ (for hyperspace) made of Plutonic Molybdenum Neutronide.
Telasterin™ (tel=far, aster=star) made of Centrilium (element 130?) Di-Flourinate. (Total flourination is how a hydrocarbon becomes Teflon™ implying that you ship will slip through space.)

Sternbach, my favorite Trek compound was "transparent aluminum." I was incredulous until years later when I realized we already have such a thing: Corundum, AKA Aluminum Oxide, commonly called Rubies and Sapphires.

There's tons of these things to make up. Hopefully, they won't sound like toothpaste or car wax additives. :) Which is exactly what that goofy "Trellium-D" sounds like in Enterprise. Since it's an alien compound, where did they get the "D" from? Phonetics? The fourth oxidation state of the compound? "New! Enterprise, with Trellium-D! Whitens your dilithium in half the time!" :lol:

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com
Now with Trellium-D!

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-08, 02:20 AM
Spacedog: thank you sir, your 3d map looks very promising. Will it be available someday for amateurs such as me to use? Do you know if Antares itself is in the Orion arm or the Sagittarius arm? I'm wondering if I can say that it's in the Sagittarius arm for my story.. it just sounds neat. However, I suppose if the Sagittarius arm is a rediculos distance, then it would be impractical for anything to take place there.

Swift: yeah, this particular mineral (that is then used as an integral part in the hyperdrive assembly) is supposed to be, as far as the humans know, not naturally occurring, so they must fabricate it themselves (kinda like plutonium? I'm relatively sure that has to be produced manually).A scouting party however finds veins of the stuff running through a very distant planet and assumes that it's naturally occurring, leading to a very unfriendly encounter with the aliens whose sphere of influence contains this world. The details of the altercation however are top secret :wink: I'm not sure whether or not to make it an alloy or just a straight mineral. It would make more sense I think if it was an alloy, but it needs to be able to exist in its raw form, and be able to produce hyperspacial effects when exposed to the proper conditions. Maybe the final product is augmented with other elements.. that would work. And really I?d very much like to get some scientific backing to it! I'm more concerned about its composition as being a theoretical possibility though. Thanks for the help :D

Jpax: Ah! I love transparent aluminum too! That was always the most memorable material for me, other than Dilithium and Tritanium-Duranium alloy. I Love the idea of the stuff to have both a brand name and a scientific name. Telasterin sounds extremely good, Hyperium is a bit obvious though :) I love the composition behind Telasterin also, I'm going to search for some other names and ideas, but I indeed may be using that, Thanks!

Rick: Didn't you know? That?s what Crest White Strips are laced with. And I can tell you, I've never had a more brightly irradiated smile! My hair may be falling out, but you can see my teeth in the dead of night! Also, I'd love to get your opinion on that ship Rick. I know it's not very complete at the moment, I'm busy working on another project that involves the precursors to its type, and characters, so it's ventral and profile view may be a bit delayed. I do have a three-quarters view of it somewhere though.. I'll have to find it. The alien ships are quite the opposite of that hulk, they are completely gravity-drive propelled, with no exhaust created thrust, and are completely organic looking with floating nodules held in place by powerful magnetic fields.... and with ninjas... lots of ninjas.

Rick Sternbach
2004-Jun-08, 03:05 AM
Rick: Also, I'd love to get your opinion on that ship Rick. I know it's not very complete at the moment, I'm busy working on another project that involves the precursors to its type, and characters, so it's ventral and profile view may be a bit delayed. I do have a three-quarters view of it somewhere though.. I'll have to find it.

Quite cool; would like to see a port or starboard elevation view, though I can pretty well picture it in my head. The sorta-kinda ovalish cross-section and L/W proportions reminds me of the Covenant dropship in Halo, one of my favorite games. It's only a fleeting comparison, and your design stands up on its own nicely. The amount of smoothing of the basic masses suggests it can fly atmospheric for part of its operation; forgive me if I missed any of the explanations. I'll go back and check 'em.

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-08, 08:20 AM
Thank you Rick, your opinion means more than you can imagine! Actually.. I'm heavilly influenced by Halo, perhaps my favorite console game ever. This ship was actually made far before Halo, in about 1995, back when the only program I knew how to use was MS Paint :D. Actually, my dropships are very reminiscent of the Pelican from Halo. I threw my hands up when I saw it, essentially saying that there could not possibly be a better dropship design, I certainly wish I had thought of it. I often find a great deal of inspiration from other peoples designs and have sometimes incorporate what I like into my own unique design. Is that bad? I look at nature for designs, and also on familiar shapes, but sometimes I just can't help but utilize some part of successful designs that others have made. Sometimes I'm just amazed at what people come up with, then feel bad when I think I'm influenced too much by others. This cruiser design really has almost no outside influence. I do take many queues from Anime, however there was no immediate inspiration for this one.

I did indeed make it a solid looking hunk of metal so that it could indeed fly in the atmosphere if need be. I didn't know wheather or not I wanted to give the humans advanced enough anti-grav technology to enable it to be as versitie as say, the Star Wars ships which seem to float like clouds. That always bugged the hell out of me.

Anyway, Thanks again for taking a look, I really appreciate it. Here's the original drawing from MS Paint :)

http://img25.photobucket.com/albums/v75/mmaurino/cruisers.jpg

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-08, 09:46 AM
Actually, my dropships are very reminiscent of the Pelican from Halo. I threw my hands up when I saw it, essentially saying that there could not possibly be a better dropship design, I certainly wish I had thought of it. I often find a great deal of inspiration from other peoples designs and have sometimes incorporate what I like into my own unique design. Is that bad? I look at nature for designs, and also on familiar shapes, but sometimes I just can't help but utilize some part of successful designs that others have made. Sometimes I'm just amazed at what people come up with, then feel bad when I think I'm influenced too much by others. This cruiser design really has almost no outside influence. I do take many queues from Anime, however there was no immediate inspiration for this one.Dropships? I have never played HALO and am not too familiar with it, but I think I heard that they use powered armor... Sounds like a takeoff on Starship Troopers (the Heinlein book, not the movie of dubious similarity). Have you ever read Starship Troopers? It's a good book, with some scientific backing (but it's mostly political science 8-[ ).

Your ships look like their mass would be balanced front and rear, but not in the middle. I could almost imagine the ship loosing propulsion and go spinning end-over-end, but I'm not sure of the physics of that. Where is the bridge again? Is it in the front end? If it was in front it kind of reminds me of the hover-ships in The Matrix. I thought the command/flag bridge might be on the top 2/3 of the way aft since you wanted it to resemble a muscle car. Maybe that observation dome in front is a "flying bridge" for the CAG, or Helm or even forward Fire Control.

What kind of shielding will you use? I just recently read about real experiments using cold plasmas (http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/cold_plasma_000724.html) to absorb energy-type weapons' effects. The plasma could also be used for cloaking... reminds me of the Mote in God's Eye tech called a Langston Field.

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-08, 10:10 AM
Jpax.. Man, you are a fantastic recourse for information, thanks for the site on shields. I was just about to ask if anyone knew of where I could research that.

As for dropships and halo, awesome game, worth a whirl. It has one of the best storylines I've ever played in a video game, very epic. And actually, there are 3 books that accompany the game. One prequel, one during the game, and one right after. The prequel and the one coming right after the game are worth a serious look. It makes the universe very believable and even more immersive. The 2nd book called "the flood" isn?t worth it. My dropships are of 2 varieties. I suppose you could lump the first kind into the Halo version, where essentially it?s similar to helicopter that just drops off troops. This would have preference in a time when a surgical strike is needed, where you could just drop from orbit, hover, drop the troops, and fly away. Or do quick insertion or extraction. The second kind is along the starship trooper version, almost like a landing craft, where the ship drops, sets down a box full of troops and then escapes quickly. This particular ship would be used mostly for mass deployment during an invasion or when significant forces are needed at one time.

I have both read and seen starship troopers, and have a deep love of both of them, but for completely different reasons. I'm very much a politics buff so it had great appeal to me, and it was just a classic book. The movie was fantastic for effects and very tongue-in-cheek. (Plus the scene where the Roger Young gets blasted from the sky is possibly the best starship death scene I've ever witnessed, it just had great texture.)

When I get you a profile view of the ship then you can help me out in deciding if its a viable possibility to land or not. The bridge is indeed at the very front. It would indeed make sense for it to be at the top near the center somewhere, but I really wanted to try something different, and to have all the mass of the ship behind the pilots, rather than having them "ride" the ship like in most designs. I have no real idea id it would serve any particular purpose, I developed the idea looking at some designs from the 80's anime Macross, aka Robotech in the states. Do tell me your opinion of whether or not it's a good idea to even have it there. I'll most likely keep it there regardless of logistics, but I?d like to know any particular faults of benefits the placement might present if you can think of any.

I'm going to go read up on shielding now, thanks for the info, you are a great help and bringing up some great questions and points, I really appreciate it.

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-08, 01:05 PM
If you remember, in the book many of the drops were made by capsule. The Cap Troopers would be shot out of the ships to de-orbit in their own egg-shapped pods. The caps would shed off ablative heat shield layers during their descent through the atmosphere with different types of retro-rockets and parachutes also slowing them down. I think they did ride down in a boat only once in the book (although they were always picked up by one). BTW, based on my understanding of orbital mechanics I think you might want to launch landing shuttles/cap troopers to the rear so that their velocity is less than the orbiting ship. After all, you want to slow them down for descent and atmospheric entry. If a craft speeds up by going out the front, then it will achieve a higher orbit. (The book, Orbital Mechanics (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0471146366/103-7935106-6243064?v=glance) by Logsdon, is a good start, see if you can borrow it from a university library.)

The forward bridge has good visibility for a little over 180º arc along the forward azimuth, but I can't tell what would be the altutude. The limit looks to be between 30º and -30º. Do you have any other sensors or observation posts (OPs) along the hull to cover the blind spots. The forward placement is vulnerable, especially if that is where all the weapons and fighter launching is taking place. That assumes you go face to face with your enemy. However, I would probably put a conning bridge there for Helm Control, Forward Fire Control, and flight control for the Commander–Air Group (CAG) too. I would also have a Command Bridge (e.g. battlebridge, Command & Control Center, Combat Information Center) somewhere less vulnerable and less visible. In the Command Bridge I would put the main Sensors, Engineering, Defense, and Communications stations.

Also, is your ship's arti-grav oriented the same way on all decks? You might consider the advantages to having a few ventral decks oriented 180º for any manned weapons and observation emplacements. Electrical cameras and other sensors can be spoofed by ECM, and sometimes it's critical to have eyeballs on target. And it might be useful to be able to vary the intensity and orientation when the enemy tries to breach the hull with a landing pod and space marines. Imagine the enemy boarding party being bounced from deck to ceiling every 10 seconds...

Spacedog
2004-Jun-09, 12:39 AM
Helium Macaroni
thanx, man - the pix are just previews
http://dudeman.net/spacedog/starmap/2.gif
it'll hafta be a video file to appreciate the 3D, tho
n i would be honored if someone had a use for it
- i'll keep postin me progress
:wink:

arms? what arms? there's arms now?
:P

i'm sure any star that has a name is in whatever arm we are - the orion arm? - as most are under 1000 ly away, and the galaxy is 100 times that in diameter, "but out by us it's just 3000 light years wide"
8)

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-09, 02:07 AM
Helium Macaroni
thanx, man - the pix are just previews
http://dudeman.net/spacedog/starmap/2.gif
it'll hafta be a video file to appreciate the 3D, tho
n i would be honored if someone had a use for it
- i'll keep postin me progress
:wink: I have a use for it... maybe not now but eventually. I am writing a story set in space and the ship will be using real 3D graphic displays for navigation etc. I am thinking of writing it as a screenplay and if someone ever decides to film it, there ya go...

Rick Sternbach
2004-Jun-09, 02:54 AM
Thank you Rick, your opinion means more than you can imagine! Actually.. I'm heavilly influenced by Halo, perhaps my favorite console game ever. This ship was actually made far before Halo, in about 1995, back when the only program I knew how to use was MS Paint :D.

Anytime. I wish I had more er, time to devote to my own fun designs, but that'll happen eventually. If Bonestell could paint until he was 98, I can at least try to keep working til I'm 68, which is still a long ways off, and then maybe a lot more besides. The neat thing about fictional ship designs is being able to whip doodles together, clean 'em up a little, and then start calling out pieces 'n' parts. The inspiration can come from anywhere; I get out the invertebrate zoology books for a lot of it. I used to think Luigi Colani's vehicle designs were just plain crazy until I decided he wasn't exactly making stuff that would work, but making artistic statements. I like Colani for the basic styling before the engineering takes over. But I'll really study guys like Syd Mead and Jack Olson and my old pal Ron Cobb because they know the look of plausible engineering and can draw, too. We have a nice group of artists in the IAAA who know both the space machines and what makes for stunning art, folks like B.E. Johnson, Aldo Spadoni, and Pat Rawlings, who have done work for NASA and Northup Grumman. They're a joy to learn from. Come on over to www.iaaa.org and take a peek.

I'm schizoid enough to embrace both real space and fictional space, so a lot of my work has crossover elements. As long as you keep the hand limber and your mind like a sponge to soak up all this great stuff, you'll wow the crowd. By the by, take a drift over to the trekbbs and check out the stuff by "Vektor" in the Trek Art section. I'm learning more just by watching. Oh, also take a gander at the website of a friend of mine, Dak Phoenix from the Wolf 359 "Wolfpack." Go to www.phoenix-archetypes.com and have fun.

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com

kucharek
2004-Jun-09, 06:41 AM
I used to think Luigi Colani's vehicle designs were just plain crazy until I decided he wasn't exactly making stuff that would work, but making artistic statements. I like Colani for the basic styling before the engineering takes over.
Since a few years, Colani lives and works here in Karlsruhe. Currently, until the end of the year, he has an exhibition on his complete works in a hall just a two minutes walk away from where I live. The website (in German only) is at http://www.colani.de/ "Ausstellung" is exhibition. There is a catalogue published also in English about it.
Personally, I don't like his style very much. I was never a fan of this organic, rounded stuff. You can't stack it ;-) I'm more with the Spongebob-Squarepants rectangular designs ;-)

Harald

PS: I hope, this saturday I finally can make it to the big Kubrick exhibition in Frankfurt http://www.stanleykubrick.de/eng.php?img=img-l-6&kubrick=news-eng

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-11, 01:37 AM
So why does the ship have so many rocket exhausts? Redundancy? Some different sets of them move in order to change orientation? What form of propulsion are you depicting? How do you generate arti-grav? What's the habitable volume of the vessel? Do you have any internal elevations and floorplans? How many does the crew number?

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-11, 09:59 AM
Ok, in a recent redesign I did of the aft, I had reduced the over all number of thrust nozzles, and made the bigger exhausts larger. Mainly the number was for design purposes in order to make the thing look big. I tend to think gigantic thrust bells look stupid, but later on I did decide that there were a few too many on the main engines. I like the idea of having 5 on both units, so that was again, purely for design purposes.

For the propulsion, maybe you guys can help me out. I had envisioned some sort of plasma engine that I had seen on the discovery channel. I'd like to flesh out just what kind of system it, I had thought some sort of fusion pre-burn and that the thrust exhaust would be some sort of plasma. I don't know how possible it is, so I'd love some input.

The artificial grav systems are another issue I'd like some advisement on. I really have no idea about the theories of arti-grav; I had just assumed they had something similar to the Star Trek arti-grav units.

The habitable areas are something of a debated issue. I had first thought that the crew quarters and whatnot would be located internally as to guard against attack, but I thought that would be quite the miserable existence with no window towards the outside. So in the profile view, which hasn't been drawn out, there is a long notched strip which has view ports. This, because it's set in, can have a thick shield of armor close over it during battle. That large grey structure that runs along the top is inclined. That also would have windows running along it, but I haven?t detailed it yet. Again, a shield could close over the indentation.

No floor plans drawn up yet, only a loose idea in my head as to where things are. I had wondered at how high the crew compliment would be. I know that the relative size of a modern day air craft carrier is about a thousand people. I figured I would make it comparable to that. Not every corner of the ship would be habitable as there would be space needed for all the machinery.


Rick: Wow there?s some real fantastic stuff on the TrekBBS. I like Luigi Golani's designs also. I remember picking up an old Road and Track, or motor trend, and seeing his designs. At that time I was about 10, so I was just amused that his name was Luigi and he looked like a Mario brother :D
I have quite a few Syd Mead books, but have kind of mixed feelings about some of his designs. His ability to draw in perspective is fantastic though, among other things..

Ok, I'd love to continue this a bit more.. but it's 3am..

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-11, 11:16 AM
For the propulsion, maybe you guys can help me out. I had envisioned some sort of plasma engine that I had seen on the discovery channel. I'd like to flesh out just what kind of system it, I had thought some sort of fusion pre-burn and that the thrust exhaust would be some sort of plasma. I don't know how possible it is, so I'd love some input.

Well, I just started writing the backstory for a screenplay I want to write (on spec of course, for my own satisfaction if nothing else). I had read about vacuum propellers here (http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/vprop/) and he has lots of other good real-world idea like Rocket a Day. I have an idea in my head that uses massive rotating and/or counter-rotating tori near the stern that generate some sort of electromagnetic arc wrapped on the bias to act as a propeller. Just an idea for now, no art yet.

The artificial grav systems are another issue I'd like some advisement on. I really have no idea about the theories of arti-grav; I had just assumed they had something similar to the Star Trek arti-grav units. Well, you could always use the tried and true spinning section design. I think I will do spinning cylinders but I will have a few special areas that have arti-grav, such as the bridge and CIC. Then the bulk of the ship will be in microgravity except when the ship is in a high impulse sprint. I actually foresee a stage setup on gimbals to rotate it slightly (or even completely) when the ship is depicted as moving at a noticeable linear acceleration. It might look funny with everyone leaning forward at about 10º but it'd be realistic. Although my story arc won't allow it to happen but rarely.

Don't dismiss the idea of using something seemingly pedestrian as constant acceleration-flip-constant deceleration. Heinlein illustrated it in his Expanded Universe to show that with a constant boost of 1g and with earth and mars at normal opposition, the roundtrip would take less than 5 days. Even at 1/10g it would only take about 2 weeks for a roundtrip. At 1/100g a roundtrip would take a month and a half.

daver
2004-Jun-11, 05:57 PM
For the propulsion, maybe you guys can help me out. I had envisioned some sort of plasma engine that I had seen on the discovery channel.

Let's talk about this in conjunction with the antigrav.


The artificial grav systems are another issue I'd like some advisement on. I really have no idea about the theories of arti-grav; I had just assumed they had something similar to the Star Trek arti-grav units.

Star Trek-style artificial gravity implies that you can accelerate your exhaust to ridiculous speeds in an insignificant amount of space (you run your exhaust down the center of a 1e6 g corridor)--your exhaust speed is determined solely by the amount of energy you have available. Also, if you have artificial gravity, you trivially have fusion. Your thrusters, by the way, are pretty nasty short-range particle weapons--effective exhaust velocity on the order of 8% c (Isp of around 2.4 e6) depending on what fusion reaction you choose (I'm going to play with H2+He3).

If you go this route, possibly you have one set of main thrusters that run some significant fraction of the length of the ship, with various low-power maneuvering thrusters elsewhere. One ton of thrust would require the expulsion of around 0.4 grams of exhaust/second, and about 120 GW of power. Realistically, your fuel consumption is going to be higher than that, as you'll need to cool that reactor somehow.

Again, if you have artificial gravity, your acceleration is limited only by the amount of fuel you want to carry and your reactor power.


On the other hand, there are some good reasons for not going with this type of artificial gravity--for one thing, there is absolutely no basis for it--so far as I know, not even a hint of a rationale for it in our current understanding of physics.



The habitable areas are something of a debated issue. I had first thought that the crew quarters and whatnot would be located internally as to guard against attack, but I thought that would be quite the miserable existence with no window towards the outside.

I spend most of my day in a windowless cubicle, and we have a tendency to keep the curtains drawn when we're home. TV screens would give a better view than a window for the most part, and you wouldn't have to worry about structural or radiation problems that a window would induce. You might have some sort of rotunda that could be extended when not in combat and in a relatively radiation-free environment--time in the rotunda could be a perk for good performance.

Swift
2004-Jun-11, 08:04 PM
The habitable areas are something of a debated issue. I had first thought that the crew quarters and whatnot would be located internally as to guard against attack, but I thought that would be quite the miserable existence with no window towards the outside.

I spend most of my day in a windowless cubicle, and we have a tendency to keep the curtains drawn when we're home. TV screens would give a better view than a window for the most part, and you wouldn't have to worry about structural or radiation problems that a window would induce. You might have some sort of rotunda that could be extended when not in combat and in a relatively radiation-free environment--time in the rotunda could be a perk for good performance.
I think making the crew quarters in-bound makes more sense. Yes, windows are nice, but they are not worth death. Especially in a warship. Submariners don't have windows and I suspect most people on a modern aircraft carrier don't either.

I've agree that the Star Trek type anti-grav has no basis in anything like current physics. I think the main reason the TV show did that was ease of filming. Babylon 5 had warships with spinning and non-spinning sections. A lot of science fiction books have warships that are micro-gravity. You have to come up with the medical treatments to deal with the negative effects of micro-gravity, but I think that is more probably than anti-gravity.

One advantage of micro-gravity is that you can use the entire volume of the living quarters (beds on ceiling, for example) so it saves space (if that is an issue for your designs).

daver
2004-Jun-11, 11:20 PM
One advantage of micro-gravity is that you can use the entire volume of the living quarters (beds on ceiling, for example) so it saves space (if that is an issue for your designs).
That's somewhat debatable. If you have a craft capable of high (meters/second) accelerations for prolonged (days) periods of time, you'll need your crew quarters to be set up with a preferred orientation. Crew quarters can be packed fairly tight even in a constant 1-g field--look at submarines.

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-11, 11:56 PM
I've agree that the Star Trek type anti-grav has no basis in anything like current physics. I think the main reason the TV show did that was ease of filming. Babylon 5 had warships with spinning and non-spinning sections. A lot of science fiction books have warships that are micro-gravity. You have to come up with the medical treatments to deal with the negative effects of micro-gravity, but I think that is more probably than anti-gravity.

I am thinking about using rotation for most of the gravity on my ships, because it's cheap in terms of energy. However, I have some ideas for how real arti-grav could work. If we determine that gravity is a wave function (gravity waves) then it may be possible to generate gravity from a point source (singularity, stabilized mini-blackhole, stabilized neutronium), but collimate it using wave guides into an orthographic field oriented perpendicular to the deck. Instead of gravitational lensing you'd make lenticular gravitation. If gravity acts like a wave, I wonder if it can be magnified as well. (Gavitational magnification could be used for propulsion if you can magnify solar gravity to pull you out of earth's gravity well, then release the sun and go into earth orbit, but check your velocity first.) Such a system would have a definite up and down orientation, unless you wanted to use it in a radial fashion so that up was out, similar to a planet but opposite to a rotating section's centrifugal force.

Alternately, you could construct a uniform emission system that pushes from the top or ceiling instead of pulling from the bottom. Maybe some sort of WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particle) could be emitted without ionizing your molecules while it's inertia might be transferred through tidal forces. The advantage of this is that the power and orientation might be more variable. It might be able to compensate for thrust acceleration so that you don't lean forward. You could also use it for spot defense, as mentioned previously. Not only that, the emitters might be able to reuse WIMPS from upper decks and maybe recycle in a denser return stream. This idea could also be used for inter-deck transportation tubes, or even for volumetric 3d displays. Actually, I just made this one up as I wrote it, but now I am thinking I like it more than the first idea...

Then there are the active magnetic systems that mimic acceleration. You could have belts and boots that orient a person toward the floor and away from the ceiling. But remember, if the ship is moving it is probably experiencing what would appear to the crew as lateral acceleration at least part of the time, so might as well make use of it. That is unless you use a space warping system that somehow does not transfer momentum to the ship's structure.

edited to correct placement of last sentence

kucharek
2004-Jun-12, 07:10 AM
I am thinking about using rotation for most of the gravity on my ships, because it's cheap in terms of energy.
Why should an artificial gravity field be expensive in terms of energy? It's a static, conservative field and like an electric or magnetic field, it shouldn't take energy to keep it after you established it.

Harald

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-12, 06:32 PM
I am thinking about using rotation for most of the gravity on my ships, because it's cheap in terms of energy.
Why should an artificial gravity field be expensive in terms of energy? It's a static, conservative field and like an electric or magnetic field, it shouldn't take energy to keep it after you established it.

HaraldWell, I suppose it would depend on how you generate the field. Gravity is normally created by mass, and seems to be a derivative function of it. Scientists are still trying to determine the nature of gravity and how it "propogates" through space. I admit that my ideas are just guesses. However, I suspect that if you want to create gravity without mass by using energy that you might be bound by a corrallary of the famous formula E=mc^2. If you want to synthesize a function of mass, you need enormous energy. But, of course, I could be wrong.

Considering the options I listed above you can probably guess where the energies would be used. I don't know of many stable trans-uranics, but even if we find some, they may not be dense enough. We may need to develop something denser, such as a neutronium (conglomeration of dense packed neutrons). However, I would guess that neutronium would need to be stabilized or it might disintegrate in a radioactive fashion. Maintaining a stabilizing matrix of neutronium might require lots of energy.

If gravity is some sort of wave-type phenomena then we know it propogates through massive objects (the earth, the moon, the sun) to act as a point source. An attempt to lens such a wave might take huge amounts of energy or a super dense structure of matter. There may be some interesting possibilities suggested by unusual effects on pendula during eclipses that may work to our advantage.

The pusher-type emitter might be a way to create the sensation of gravity. However, If we postulate that the particle is a WIMP so as to avoid killing the crew with ionizing radiation, then only miniscule gravity is what causes the effect. We would need very high numbers of these particles streaming through a human or a pencil to accelerate it toward the deck at 1g, because the gravity of individual particles is small, and the tidal effect would be smaller, and we may want these to be recyled for economy so they need to get all the way through all the decks where gravity is generated. We could use re-emiters or boosters in the ceiling so as to accelerate the WIMPS after the previous deck's interaction. However, this would still require lots of energy. Why? Well, if we stipulate that the particle is weakly interacting then we must apply a larger force against it in order to get the same effect as we would with normal matter.

Using some sort of magnetic system might work, but it would cause some odd effects if not used in a high power universal manner. If we set up the polarities (actually used the word properly in scifi!) so that the floor attracts and the ceiling propels, then we have a start. But we need something the effect can act upon. So we should probably give the crew some magnetic belts, epaulets, shoes or boots, gloves, etc. If they are not magnetized and oriented properly then people might be drawn to either polarity and end up walking on the ceiling.

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-14, 10:17 AM
Good gosh, that's a lot of info. Well, as plausible as spinning sections of a ship would be, design wise I really loathe them. The Babylon 5 ships took an interesting approach, but I'd like my ships to have a bit more versatility and advanced tech than what is pictured in B5. I really don't want my ships to be just long floating hulks that idle along and shoot weapons as a battle ship does these days. I'd like them to cruise around a bit, and even with enormous size, be able to pull off some interesting maneuvers. I'd like to give their movements character rather than just have them plod along in unidirectional lines. That?s where I took some cues from Trek. Those ships, even though extremely large, could move rather deftly if needed. Granted my ships are a bit boxier, but I think they are solid enough to accommodate interesting movement and not just be platforms with guns.

In terms of those windows I'll show you a drawing sometime soon of what I mean. Indeed it would be again more plausible to have the quarters further into the ship, and indeed some quarters will have to be, but I'd like some sort of window/viewports visible if just to establish size. Remember, someday this thing may be on the big screen :D I envisioned essentially a split going along the side of the ship, similar to what the Star Destroyer has, but with a very thick retractable armor shield that protects the more vulnerable areas. ( my ships aren't as big as Star Destroyers though )

In regards to fusion reactors, is it actually possible for a fusion reactor (theoretically speaking) to go critical? I was under the assumption that you couldn't have a "melt down" with a fusion reaction unless you deliberately intended to. I would imagine that any sort of fusion reactor this ship would use would be ultra efficient, if again that's possible. Also I'd imagine that a ship this size would have several such reactors for subsidiary power and back up. Daver, I like your ideas about the engines being short range weapons. Would it be absolutely necessary for the engine blocks to be a significant length of the ship? In this particular design, as in most of my starships, the engines only comprise about a 4th of the over all space, maybe less in some cases. Are there other forms of fusion reactions that are more powerful than an H2+He3 reaction? And is that the same formulae that they are experimenting with presently? Sorry, I'm extremely interested in fusion and its prospects, but I'm quite the laymen when compared to you guys :D

Oye, again it's 3am and I still have a bit of homework to finish. Thanks for all the input guys; this is all really fascinating and inspiring!

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-14, 11:44 PM
Good gosh, that's a lot of info. Well, as plausible as spinning sections of a ship would be, design wise I really loathe them. The Babylon 5 ships took an interesting approach, but I'd like my ships to have a bit more versatility and advanced tech than what is pictured in B5.I agree. While I am a fan of B5, the thing that got me was that the Earth Force cruiser's spinning section was oddly shaped. I never did the math on the acceleration of it, but from the outer deck to the inner deck would generate a large difference in apparent gravity. Not to mention that the rotation would probably cause the ship to corkscrew without some contrary motion to offset it.

In my ships, I plan to use no less than 4 different forms of arti-grav. Thrust vectored that would make the ship's gravity profile look like a tall building. Rotational-centrifugal habitation section deep inside the ship with a pair of counter-rotating cylinders and a pair of flywheels, therefore not visible from the outside. WIMP acceleration on the command decks and bridge for consistency (accept in higher g thrusting). Finally, I would have magnetic outer deck areas for occasional use.


In regards to fusion reactors, is it actually possible for a fusion reactor (theoretically speaking) to go critical? I was under the assumption that you couldn't have a "melt down" with a fusion reaction unless you deliberately intended to.From my understanding of Fusion physics, a runaway reaction is next to impossible to happen. Most designs use magnetic bottles for fusion, and these would not contain even a small explosion, thus, no really big bang. In an H-bomb, most the power comes from the fission process... fusion just concentrates enough energy to run a second or third set of fission reactions. Now, if they decide to make a fusion/fission reactor by constricting the plasma around a rod of PU or U then maybe it would work. I don't know if it would, I'm a synthesist, not a physicist, I put ideas together and leave it to engineers to see if it would actually work. As for my power and propulsion systems, I plan on using either a fission or fission/fusion hybrid like I just described for energy. I will have nuclear-type impulse engines for emergency high speed, but my primary propulsion will be a vacuum propeller. My ship will have to be somewhat cylindrical in shape, but not completely.

Rick Sternbach
2004-Jun-15, 03:33 AM
In regards to fusion reactors, is it actually possible for a fusion reactor (theoretically speaking) to go critical?

In your "standard" future magnetic-squeeze type reactor, probably not, as Jpax2003 suggests. I've got a story WIP that has a misfiring of a laser-induced system, where the deuterium pellet size somehow gets a bit too big and the beams get a bit too hot, and the chamber rattles almost to destruction. What I tried telling the writers on Trek was that anytime you had a potential for a "runaway" impulse or warp reaction, just shut off the bloody fuel supply. That's what you do in a race car, with a couple of simple mechanical valves. The whole shebang gags to a stop. Of course, that's not dramatic. Unresponsive computer controls and breaching cores are! :)

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-15, 06:56 AM
Well, that was the fantastic dramatic mechanism behind the matter/anti-matter reactor; it very possibly could go critical if magnetic control over the anti-matter pods were lost. However! I was wondering what they meant when Gordi would scream "we have a warp core breach!" It always seemed separate from an antimatter control loss, and spelled the demise of the Enterprise D in the end. If it was some failing in the core, couldn't you just shut off the anti-matter injection and let the remaining reactant finish its cycle? I also remember at least one time that they conveniently weren't able to eject the warp core for such a malfunction :wink:

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-15, 07:00 AM
Gosh, I am tired. I just realized after reading your post for a second time that you were saying that it WAS bunk when they wrote in a "warp core breach." Oye, please forgive my brain, I'm using as a deposit on my school loans to Art Center #-o

Moose
2004-Jun-15, 01:15 PM
In regards to fusion reactors, is it actually possible for a fusion reactor (theoretically speaking) to go critical?The whole shebang gags to a stop. Of course, that's not dramatic. Unresponsive computer controls and breaching cores are! :)

You kidding? That would be perfect.

'Cause you've been going many multiples of c, and now you have to worry about slowing down intact with a warp field that isn't being maintained (limited power to run the nacelles), potentially having some fairly dramatic deceleration effects while you're trying to get the ship slowed down gently enough not to splatter you micro-thin on the forward bulkhead if inertial dampening gives out.

I've seen the "procedure" speculated on in some technical guide or other, but it's never been established in canon as other than a "gently drift to a stop" thing. It's probably too late to establish it in Trek (too much counter "evidence" that a collapsed warp field is basically a trivial event in terms of crew safety).

The closest anybody's ever come to this is the Enterprise episode where Phlox had to play with the warp drive to save the ship, having no real idea of how to properly trim the field. The scene implied there were safety issues involved in his attempt, that it wasn't just a "point the bow, say engage, and cruise on AI" thing.

eburacum45
2004-Jun-15, 04:16 PM
Since artificial gravity has been mentioned, perhaps I should mention the way we deal with it in Orion's Arm;
artificial gravity using manipulated gravity fields is almost never used, as it bends spacetime to an unnacceptable extent outside the operating area; you can't just shift from 1 gee to zero gee instantly, think of the curvature...
Ships requiring gravity are rotated, but this is only comfortable with large ships; think of the coriolis forces...
other ships are accelerated at one gee or thereabouts for long periods of time, thanks to efficient and powerful motors- but the ship reverts to zero gee during turnround and during coasting.
The most important method of dealing with zero gee is to accept it; most people in space have been genetically modified to withstand short, or long zero gee periods- some have prehensile feet and prefer microgravity.

In some cases the ship is filled with utility fog (http://discuss.foresight.org/~josh/Ufog.html); this mechanical fog supports the passengers and crew and can act as a proxy gravity orienting every person on board in the same plane- many infrequent travellers prefer this.

Rick Sternbach
2004-Jun-16, 03:56 AM
In regards to fusion reactors, is it actually possible for a fusion reactor (theoretically speaking) to go critical?The whole shebang gags to a stop. Of course, that's not dramatic. Unresponsive computer controls and breaching cores are! :)

You kidding? That would be perfect.

'Cause you've been going many multiples of c, and now you have to worry about slowing down intact with a warp field that isn't being maintained (limited power to run the nacelles), potentially having some fairly dramatic deceleration effects while you're trying to get the ship slowed down gently enough not to splatter you micro-thin on the forward bulkhead if inertial dampening gives out.

I've seen the "procedure" speculated on in some technical guide or other, but it's never been established in canon as other than a "gently drift to a stop" thing. It's probably too late to establish it in Trek (too much counter "evidence" that a collapsed warp field is basically a trivial event in terms of crew safety).

In the TNG Tech Manual I described the problem of unbalanced fields, especially in the case of one nacelle failing completely, resulting in the starship "linearly disassociating" or totally shredding because one part was going at high multiples of c and the other half was, well, not. That's an example of the reactants or drive plasma being shut off becoming a very bad thing, unlike simply valving off the gas to the motor.

In future starships, I would install a system very much like the drive train on a V-22 Osprey. If one engine fails, the surviving engine can turn both propellors. It's also a bit like the optic nerve crossovers to the brain. Then again, it's something more that can go wrong. However the Russians make their recent liquid fuel rocket engines is how I want to make starship engines. :)

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-16, 05:01 AM
In the TNG Tech Manual I described the problem of unbalanced fields, especially in the case of one nacelle failing completely, resulting in the starship "linearly disassociating" or totally shredding because one part was going at high multiples of c and the other half was, well, not. That's an example of the reactants or drive plasma being shut off becoming a very bad thing, unlike simply valving off the gas to the motor.

In future starships, I would install a system very much like the drive train on a V-22 Osprey. If one engine fails, the surviving engine can turn both propellors. It's also a bit like the optic nerve crossovers to the brain. Then again, it's something more that can go wrong. However the Russians make their recent liquid fuel rocket engines is how I want to make starship engines. :) Reminds me of The Phantom Menace where Anikin uses a crossover to restart his failed engine.

Moose
2004-Jun-16, 01:32 PM
In the TNG Tech Manual I described the problem of unbalanced fields, especially in the case of one nacelle failing completely, resulting in the starship "linearly disassociating" or totally shredding because one part was going at high multiples of c and the other half was, well, not. That's an example of the reactants or drive plasma being shut off becoming a very bad thing, unlike simply valving off the gas to the motor.

That was you, was it? Cool.

I would have loved to have seen a situation like that handled in TNG or the later series. I remember several times where a starship has a nacelle damaged to knock it out of warp. The effect on the show was similar to coasting to a stop from a fuel cutoff. There was no sense that this, in itself, was more likely to be more immediately catastrophic for the ship than the "Klidassha'dulans" who caused that to happen in the first place.

Warp drive was a trivial endevor throughout the series. It's one thing to take it for granted, it's another to trivialize it.

Generations was probably the best treatment of a starship disaster ever done. (Congratulations on developping that procedure as well, BTW. The movie direction was quite faithful to it. Incidentally, starships that have emergency surface landing modes should have seat belts, possibly fold-out restraint harnesses/systems for the crew not in chairs. Safety. Safety.)

The next closest that I can think of was early in the pilot of DS9 where escape pods were used during the loss of Sisko's ship at Wolf 359.


In future starships, I would install a system very much like the drive train on a V-22 Osprey. If one engine fails, the surviving engine can turn both propellors. It's also a bit like the optic nerve crossovers to the brain. Then again, it's something more that can go wrong. However the Russians make their recent liquid fuel rocket engines is how I want to make starship engines. :)

In terms of trek, perhaps a nacelle that rotates to the center of mass assuming one functional nacelle? (Yeah, I know this breaks the Big-R's law on paired nacelles, but if you guys can do it in the TNG finale...) It would mean you're flying crosswise, somewhat, and I doubt you'd get an efficient field out of it, but it'd get you moving again.

Rick Sternbach
2004-Jun-16, 06:36 PM
Generations was probably the best treatment of a starship disaster ever done. (Congratulations on developping that procedure as well, BTW. The movie direction was quite faithful to it. Incidentally, starships that have emergency surface landing modes should have seat belts, possibly fold-out restraint harnesses/systems for the crew not in chairs. Safety. Safety.)

The writers/producers did everything they could to avoid seatbelts and restraints, probably because the original restraint seats from TMP were so weird, and had a lot of motor problems. Nothing wrong with straps; look at the cool seats and straps from the Flying Sub in VTTBOTS. Nice wide straps and big buckles. :)

As to the saucer crash, I really do get a nice ping in my little heart that the idea came from the TNG TM. We had gotten caught up in the frenzy to get the pilot episode stuff done, and Andy Probert forgot to add the landing legs, so when it came time for the TM to be written, we had to dream up a way to bring the saucer in.

Rick
www.spacemodelsystems.com

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-19, 08:24 AM
Any new pictures, Heli Mac?

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jun-19, 08:46 AM
No new ship pictures as of yet sir. Mostly anything starship oriented is just in thumbnail and sketch form. These few weeks we've been working on characters and environments. In two weeks we'll start on vehicles and I'm going to nail down two designs for some ships then, the cruiser and the destroyer from the expeditionary fleet sent to the Antares system. By the way, do you or anyone know what I might need to do in order to classify a ship frigate, cruiser, destroyer etc? Up to this point I've just been going on sizes dictating the classification. Most of my ships are rather multi-purpose so don't really fit into the category of missile destroyer or other sub classes.

How is your story line going Jpax? Need any art work? :D

I'll post some quick sketches of a few various designs I have a bit later. I have to get to bed at the moment... ahh the life of a student.

Jpax2003
2004-Jun-20, 04:13 AM
No new ship pictures as of yet sir. Mostly anything starship oriented is just in thumbnail and sketch form. These few weeks we've been working on characters and environments. In two weeks we'll start on vehicles and I'm going to nail down two designs for some ships then, the cruiser and the destroyer from the expeditionary fleet sent to the Antares system. By the way, do you or anyone know what I might need to do in order to classify a ship frigate, cruiser, destroyer etc? Up to this point I've just been going on sizes dictating the classification. Most of my ships are rather multi-purpose so don't really fit into the category of missile destroyer or other sub classes.

How is your story line going Jpax? Need any art work? :D

I'll post some quick sketches of a few various designs I have a bit later. I have to get to bed at the moment... ahh the life of a student.Well, a good place to look would be historic material of of naval ships. Quite often the classification was purely based on size, and limites were often in place per treaty, such as the Washington Treaty (http://web.bryant.edu/~history/h364proj/fall_00/trimborn/washington.htm) of 1922. But there are often classifications based on performance or mission specification. The differences between a battleship, pocket battleship, heavy cruiser, light cruiser, destroyer, and frigate are mainly size. However, the design differences between Carriers, Battleships, Marine Assault, submarine, and missile frigate, are huge.

I've thought about it, but don't plan to do too much with it in my story, at least not right away. I'd say a good multifunction ship would have some carrier capacity, some medium to light weapons, and a medium to large crew complement. There could be an assault class that is configured around tending several landing craft into orbit, or against space targets. There could also be a special high-speed picket frigate class, that is quick, lightly armored and armed, with powerful jamming gear, and with only a small crew that flies around the periphery of a base or convoy. Of course there could be a dedicated carrier class that tends several fighter wings. Then there could be a heavily armoured and armed class too (with enough mass armor to withstand a nuke detonated a few km away). Don't forget support ships, fuelers, ammo carriers, troop carriers (e.g. converted cruise ships). The odd thing is that the line becomes blurred between small ship-types and large bomber-aircraft type. I have to say there is something that warms the heart to have a Marauder class vessel along side you for support. One of the ships I liked best in trek was the Defiant.

Helium Macaroni
2004-Jul-25, 07:13 AM
Hiya Gents!

I have no idea if anyone is still around, or would be still subscribed to this thread. I do however finally have a spaceship to show off if anyone is interested. I'm deep in my semester and freelancing on the side, so this thread kind of fell by the wayside during my school work, terribly sorry about that. I'd love to rekindle the conversation if anyone is still up for some discussion. I've furthered my story along and have come up with some neat ideas.

Anyway.. here's that ship!

It's an earth cruiser which is a precursor to the one I showed previously. It's very utilitarian and bulky, with a tad bit less style and finesse. This particular image is minus the gun turrets which will sit atop those circular formations.

http://img25.photobucket.com/albums/v75/mmaurino/cruiser.jpg[/img]

Musashi
2004-Jul-25, 03:32 PM
Very nice! I wish I could draw like that.