Flare Sci-fi Forums
Flare Sci-Fi Forums Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Flare Sci-Fi Forums » Star Trek » Starships & Technology » Why the blue glow is there at sublight (Page 1)

  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Why the blue glow is there at sublight
OnToMars
Now on to the making of films!
Member # 621

 - posted      Profile for OnToMars     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why have the blue glow when the warp drives are apparently not being used? (I know it wasn't Probert's intent, but its what we've seen)
  • It seems RCS thrusters just aren't up to directing the ship with as much precision and control as we've seen. It just doesn't seem plausible according to Newtonian physics.
  • We know that warp fields working in conjuntion with one another determine the direction of the ship at warp speed (according to TNGTM at least, for anybody that likes to contest the TM's canonicity/believability).
  • We know that it is possible to maintain a stable warp bubble without actually going to warp speed.
    [/list]

    Why not, then, use a stable warp field at sublight speeds to maneuver?

    [ July 14, 2001: Message edited by: Stingray ]



    --------------------
    If God didn't want us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

    Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
  • Siegfried
    Fullmetal Pompatus
    Member # 29

     - posted      Profile for Siegfried     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    Well, according to the TNG Technical Manual, the impulse drive system used in the Galaxy-class includes a a subspace driver coil that creates a weak subspace field around the ship to lower the ship's mass so that's it easier to move at impulse. As such, there wouldn't be a need for the nacelles to stay energized since the impulse system is capable of generating the a sufficient field on its own.

    The short answer is that I have no idea to even begin guessing about the nacelles staying energized. There's no real reason because I doubt it takes that long to energize them to jump to warp in an emergency.


    Registered: Mar 1999  |  IP: Logged
    The_Tom
    recently silent
    Member # 38

     - posted      Profile for The_Tom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    Presumably the vertainium-technobabbleide itself emits the blue light when soaked in electroplasma, so it's reasonably simple to assume there's a lingering current running to them at all times. The core is alive and pumping pretty much always, but the ship mightn't tap 100% of its power and a bit of excess might continue trickling to the nacelles.

    Alternatively, vertanium-technobabbleide could be somewhat phosphorescent even once the power heading out to it is cut and keep on glowing unless there's a concerted effort to shut down everything.

    [ July 14, 2001: Message edited by: The_Tom ]



    --------------------
    "I was surprised by the matter-of-factness of Kafka's narration, and the subtle humor present as a result." (Sizer 2005)

    Registered: Mar 1999  |  IP: Logged
    OnToMars
    Now on to the making of films!
    Member # 621

     - posted      Profile for OnToMars     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    That's all well and good Siegfried, but the part about slowing down/stopping/going backwards (in the case of every starship) or moving in a certain direction like up or down (Miranda, Excelsior, Connie, others) and side to side.

    The impulse subspace thingies would only make it easier for the ship to move, not have any say in which direction the ship would go. And extra or weak current thing would neccessitate a fading effect, and TNG/DS9/VOY all show blue lights of constant brightness.

    A modification: The RCS quads work for relatively acceptably slow maneuvers (orbital insertion/spacedock obviously). For combat and other sudden shit-hitting-fan moments, there's the warp fields at impulse.

    --------------------
    If God didn't want us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.


    Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
    Wes
    is still alive.
    Member # 212

     - posted      Profile for Wes     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    because it looks cool
    Registered: Aug 1999  |  IP: Logged
    Siegfried
    Fullmetal Pompatus
    Member # 29

     - posted      Profile for Siegfried     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    Well, the impulse subspace field coils are used to make the ship easier to move. But the main the impulse engine still provides the thrust to move the ship. I think the three assemblies for the impulse propulsion system are the reactors, subspace field coil, and the vectored thrust nozzle. The power from the reactor energizes the field coils which produces the field and supplies power to the vector thrust assembly which propels the ship. I think there was a thread on this forum from a while ago that explains possible ways as to how the impulse engines are able to provide thrust in different directions.

    I agree that the reaction control system is used for minute changes in direction and other such fine maneuvers. Those things aren't designed to be a main propulsion system, but rather they're designed to be used in situations where impulse power is too much. Like when the Enterprise investigated the interior of the asteroid in "Pegasus," that was done on thrusters. To avoid Junior in "Galaxy's Child," that was done on thrusters until Junior started chasing the ship. And of course they're docking maneuvers that require the use of thrusters (also according to the Tech Manual is that there are mooring tractor emitters in each RCS thruster position).

    Tom, it also seems to me that there is also a plasma stream being sent to the nacelles. I forget the episode name, but in one episode David Kwan kills himself by jumping into a plasma stream from the nacelle tube room. Since the ship was at impulse, why was there still a plasma stream present for Kwan to jump into? I guess this leads to the point that the ships are wasting power by constantly supplying plasma to the nacelles.


    Registered: Mar 1999  |  IP: Logged
    Ryan McReynolds
    Minor Deity
    Member # 28

     - posted      Profile for Ryan McReynolds     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    Incidentally, I don't remember any canon suggesting that the impulse engines ahve subspace coils... I've got no problem with simply saying they don't and use the warp coils for impulse mass-reduction/maneuvering as well, which would explain the blue glow with no problem.

    --------------------
    Enterprise: An Online Companion

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." --Phillip K. Dick

    Registered: Mar 1999  |  IP: Logged
    Siegfried
    Fullmetal Pompatus
    Member # 29

     - posted      Profile for Siegfried     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    True, there's been next to no discussion of the impulse drive system in Star Trek aside from saying that they're powered by fusion reactors.
    Registered: Mar 1999  |  IP: Logged
    Siegfried
    Fullmetal Pompatus
    Member # 29

     - posted      Profile for Siegfried     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    I guess I'll add one more post to this subject. I watched TNG's "Parallels" tonight and this thread stuck in my mind as I watched the shuttlecraft scenes. Worf was using a Type 6 shuttle and was cruising through space at impulse speed. Yet, the nacelles were glowing blue. In fact, all the shuttlecrafts that have had grilles on their engine pods have had them glow blue at impulse as well. This shuttlecrafts also do not have any visible impulse engines on them. So it seems that these engine pods perform dual duties with being warp and impulse engines.
    Registered: Mar 1999  |  IP: Logged
    Dax
    Paradox
    Member # 191

     - posted      Profile for Dax     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    No, the Type-6 shuttles definitely have dedicated impulse engines. There's an unusually accurately labeled schematic in the Fact Files that's shows their location. I can't be bothered at the moment, but if you're interested, I'll scan it in for you.

    --------------------
    "I exist here."
    - Sisko in "Emissary"
    Dax's Ships of Star Trek

    Registered: Jul 1999  |  IP: Logged
    PsyLiam
    Hungry for you
    Member # 73

     - posted      Profile for PsyLiam     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    Are they in the same place as the ST V shuttles? I'd guess so, since it's a modification of one of the models from that film.

    And you can see the Impulse engines quite clearly in ST V. They flash brightly when Sulu accelerates towards the Enterprise.

    --------------------
    Yes, you're despicable, and... and picable... and... and you're definitely, definitely despicable. How a person can get so despicable in one lifetime is beyond me. It isn't as though I haven't met a lot of people. Goodness knows it isn't that. It isn't just that... it isn't... it's... it's despicable.


    Registered: Mar 1999  |  IP: Logged
    Siegfried
    Fullmetal Pompatus
    Member # 29

     - posted      Profile for Siegfried     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    Ack, I give up.
    Registered: Mar 1999  |  IP: Logged
    Dax
    Paradox
    Member # 191

     - posted      Profile for Dax     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    Yeah, the Type-6 impulse engines are located in the panelling on the aft end of the shuttle. The "nozzles" are just on the perimeter of the entry hatch and there's small "impulse intakes" on the fore of the panelling.

    I'm pretty sure the ST-V shuttle is the same.

    Actually, this setup is sort of similar to the Danube-class.


    Registered: Jul 1999  |  IP: Logged
    Timo
    Moderator
    Member # 245

     - posted      Profile for Timo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    This could simply be further support for the idea of mass reduction fields.

    -the TNG TM says such fields exist
    -O'Brien describes their use in "Emissary" (although he gives no indication that these are standard starship hardware)
    -the shuttles, even the tiniest shuttlepods, have nacelles
    -the Defiant shuttlepod's nacelles (or cheek extensions) can erect a subspace field, as shown in "Destiny"

    So perhaps the nacelles are there in the supposedly sublight shuttles solely for the purpose of reducing the mass of the craft by erecting the subspace field, while in the larger shuttles the nacelles create both the mass-reduction field AND the propulsive field (hence, they have to glow blue at impulse). The separate nozzles on the back wall of the ST5/TNG shuttle mockups would just be part of the impulse propulsion system, not the entirety of it.

    Would a starship need separate coils in the impulse engines for mass reduction? Couldn't it use the nacelles themselves (thereby explaining the "idle glow")? Perhaps there simply is redundancy there. The only time we have seen a modern ship's nacelles devoid of the glow yet the rest of the ship still operational would be TNG "Skin of Evil", where a dilithium swap required such a shutdown. Voyager's nacelles have also been dark now and then, but at those times the ship was dead in space.

    Arguably all nacelle-equipped ships and shuttles would be capable of mass reduction. And this would help immensely in explaining how Kirk's ships could maneuver at sublight, without having gigantic fuel tanks. Perhaps the old Enterprises did not have special mass-reducing coils, but they should have been able to use their regular warp coils for the purpose. Heck, O'Brien apparently used the *shield generators* of DS9 for that...

    As for the idle glow being constant in intensity... Well, even the "idle current" might be sufficient to trigger a threshold reaction of some sort, one that always produces the same kind of glow past the threshold. There's no need to assume that the intensity would really be a function of plasma current, now is there?

    Timo Saloniemi


    Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged
    Wes
    is still alive.
    Member # 212

     - posted      Profile for Wes     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
    yep. It looks cool.
    Registered: Aug 1999  |  IP: Logged
      This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

    Quick Reply
    Message:

    HTML is enabled.
    UBB Code™ is enabled.

    Instant Graemlins
       


    Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
     - Printer-friendly view of this topic
    Hop To:


    © 1999-2008 Solareclipse Network.

    Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3