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saving a warp nacelle

miklamar

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POSTS: 2164

Report this Dec. 11 2010, 11:50 pm

Standard starship design restricts the number of nacelles to an even number, usually 2 or 4.  And, standard procedure is that, in the event of damage to a nacelle, it is jettisoned off, as quickly as possible.  However, I would like to suggest considering an alternative.


First of all, if you jettison one of two nacelles (which most Federation ships use), wouldn't you either be unable to move or only travel in a circle (like a boat using one oar)?  Wouldn't building ships with 3 or more nacelles be better, so that if you lost one, you would still have at least two working nacelles?


Second, couldn't you flip a switch that would shut off power to that nacelle's power transfer conduit and decrease the amount of fuel being fed into the reaction chamber by the appropriate amount, dividing the plasma between the remaining nacelle(s)?  (The flow of matter and antimatter fuels being fed into the matter antimatter reaction chamber can be regulated.)


If you didn't have to eject a nonfunctioning nacelle, you could perhaps repair it later, replacing the damaged parts.  That would be much more cost-effective than ejecting it.  And, if your automated systems, or engineers, react quickly enough, power to that damaged nacelle would be cut off immediately.


Any excess energy could be shunted into other systems, like the phaser array--which could fire the surplus safely into space--or some other system, like the shields.


I think these suggestions would be preferable to losing a warp-drive nacelle.


Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

scottjimenez

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Report this Dec. 12 2010, 4:27 am

I thought they only jettisoned the warp core...never heard of a nacelle.

One damn minute, Admiral.

johnd777

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Report this Dec. 12 2010, 2:07 pm

It's been mentioned and in a TOS episode no less.


The Apple. Kirk instructed thatr if necessary to blast out of orbit with the main section, discard the nacelles.


Google it.


 


.

AdmiralArcher33

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Report this Dec. 12 2010, 6:09 pm

But the future Enterprise-D had 3 nacelles, and the TOS and the Abramsverse Kelvin had only one. So I don't think there was an even number limit, but rather a balance limit to be obtained.

They have two settings: stun and kill... It'd be best not to confuse them. ~~ Lt. Reed

scottjimenez

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Report this Dec. 12 2010, 6:35 pm

I thought i read in a book a few years back that starfleet came to the conclusion that anything more than two nacelles was ineffecient. but i could be wrong.


One damn minute, Admiral.

___Lucifer___

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Report this Dec. 12 2010, 10:54 pm

Quote: johnd777 @ Dec. 12 2010, 2:07 pm

It's been mentioned and in a TOS episode no less.

The Apple. Kirk instructed thatr if necessary to blast out of orbit with the main section, discard the nacelles.

Google it.

 



That doesn't mean that the nacelles were to go flying off...the original Connie had the ability to saucer sep

Matthias Russell

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Report this Dec. 13 2010, 4:02 am

There is no matter/anti-matter reaction in the nacelles, first of all. The one warp core feeds high energy plasma to both nacelles where the plasma injectors feed the plasma to the warp coils which magically form a warp field. That pod on the nx and the blue dome at the rear of the saucer on 23rd century ships, those are field balancers to unify the 2 warp fields. By adjusting the balance or shifting the output of either nacelle, ships can make course adjustments at warp.

Since space is 3 dimensional, at least a 3rd nacelle makes sense for adjusting pitch at warp. As for ejecting a nacelle, based upon the modular design, it could be done and was, in fact, one of the reasons matt jeffries designed the original like he did. Would you do this at warp? Probably not. But if a ship loses a nacelle, theoretically the balancer should let them adjust the field to encompass the ship, but one wants to be careful to keep the entire ship in the field. Based on the theory, flying on 1 nacelle should work but the amount of warping possible is probably limited.

miklamar

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Report this Dec. 18 2010, 10:01 pm

Yes, Matthias, I think you're right. I reread the Technical Manual, and it talks about ejecting the warp core and the antimatter storage pod assembly, in case of an emergency (pp. 73-73).   That is a relief, although that would be a huge loss of equipment and energy.


But, I was wondering:  Why are the two nacelles always horizontally aligned?  Why are they not vertically aligned?  Just the aesthetics?


Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

Matthias Russell

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Report this Dec. 19 2010, 8:43 am

I think the horizontal alignment makes more sense. Think about it. This way, the coils are aligned about the x-axis of the ship. If you have the forward coils compressing space time less, or even expanding it with the aft coils compressing space-time more to generate the pressure difference needed for forward propulsion. At least that's how I understand the theory.

miklamar

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Report this Dec. 21 2010, 11:52 pm

I couldn't say for sure, without conducting numerous simulations, but I don't think the placement of the nacelles should affect their ability to compress spacetime very much. They might even be able to work, if you placed them side-by-side, together. But, that would obviously be much less aesthetic.

Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

Matthias Russell

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Report this Dec. 22 2010, 4:38 am

Bingo! It's all about aesthetics.

Dendodge

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Report this Dec. 22 2010, 4:43 am

The saucer section is wider than it is tall, so it makes more sense to spread the nacelles out sideways than at the top and bottom.

I think the Kelvin had them arranged vertically, though, didn't it?

Trekkie 12

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Report this Dec. 22 2010, 3:49 pm

Um, yeah. In Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, it does say that Starfleet found that 2 nacells was better, but in earlyer (or later) times, as the nacelles changed design, this could have changed.


Pain is a thing of the mind. The mind can be controlled. -Spock

Doc Boomstick

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Report this Dec. 22 2010, 7:38 pm

Matthias makes a good point. Three nacelles would make sense to alter a 3D warp bubble. However, since most ships we've seen only have two, I have to assume that this isn't the case. Since we've seen ships with only one nacelle, I'm assuming that the number a ship has is just for redundancy.

On the other hand, it might have something to do with power. Perhaps a nacelle of a certain size can only warp space to a limited extent, and hence more are required to get to higher war. This might be why the future Enterprise D had three. Maybe it can make a stronger warp field and obtain higher speeds.

miklamar

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Report this Dec. 22 2010, 10:42 pm

Yes, Doc Boomstick, I wondered that, too. Were two nacelles needed, to provide the necessary power? Or, was the required power divided equally between the nacelles? In that second case, the number of nacelles is moot.


Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."

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