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Author Topic: escape pod/crew complement ratio
Amasov Prime
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Something I was thinking about (and who else is out there to discuss this? [Smile] ):

Defiant/Intrepid-class escape pods have a capacity of 4-6 (DS9TM). Assuming Starfleet doesn't pull a Titanic, let us assume there are at least enough seats for everyone, possibly a lot more seats than needed, and that this ratio of escape pod seats vs. crew compliment is similar across all ship classes. I will assume that the Enterprise-D (TNGTM) and Enterprise-E (First Contact) versions of the pods can carry the same number of people. Finally, I will also assume that, in real world terms, enough thought went into the design of the various starships to take something like this into account (and they didn't just put pods "where it looks cool").

An Intrepid-class ship has 140 crew and 42 lifeboats (according to my count, VoyTM says 36), the person-per-escape-pod multiplier would 3.33. This means that around 3-4 crew per pod (give or take a few who are dead or on shuttles) is their estimate for an evac situation.

A Galaxy-class ship has 400 escape pods (according to the TNGTM), 442 by my count (yes, I did that). The ship is carrying a crew of 1012, giving us a ppep-multiplier of 2.28. Taking into account that there are families aboard (which are, afaik, not included in the 1012 figure), it could explain the lower multiplier. (Just for fun: by using the Intrepid-multiplier of 3.33, I arrive at 1458 people, hinting at up to 500 civilians aboard).

Defiant is a bit difficult, DS9TM says she has 40 crew, which has never been established anywhere to my knowledge, and 26 pods. Even though we saw them use the pods, they were an afterthought, not intended to be used here, so the number may be arbitrary and have no relation to the crew count. Therefore, I tend to omit this one.

Doing the math with a 3.33 multiplier for some other (ramdomly picked) ships where we don't know the crew complement, I arrive at 587 crew for the Sovereign-class at 178 pods, 350 crew for the Saber-class (106 pods) - the 'official' number from the DS9TM is a crew of 40 (!), 264 for the Cheyenne-class (80 pods) and 419 for the New Orleans (126 pods). While it's not an exact science, those numbers "feel right".

What do you think?

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MinutiaeMan
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It's definitely a good idea for a starting point! That being said, some of those numbers strike me as off, especially the Sovereign. But the Sovvie also doesn't have ANY pods on the secondary hull at all.

...wait, that's not right. I remember making my AMT model of the Ent-E many years ago and it had some pods on the secondary hull. Not many, but some. Here we go: the CGI model omitted them. So, add 16 pods to the Sovvie's total, for 646 crew. I still think that's too small, though it's closer to the semi-official count of 700 that I've seen in few places.

I think that the shuttles have to be factored in to any evacuation, though. They'd certainly be used to get off the ship!

The Galaxy could be over supplied with escape pods because it was built for families and diplomatic events with lots of possible visitors. But I'm pretty sure that the 1012 figure was supposed to be everyone on the ship, not just the crew.

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Amasov Prime
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Interesting catch with the Sovereign, I did indeed use the CGI orthos for the count.

Doing the "hard count" is only possible with the Intrepid pods, because we have the specs of the pod and the crew complement to work with. The triangular Sovereign pods might have a higher capacity. Let's assume their capacity is 6-8. If the Intrepid pod has a capacity of 4-6 people, an estimated 3.33 crew per pod would translate to ân average utilization of 66% (2/3). Raising the number to larger pods for 6-8 people, a 66% load factor would translate to a ppep multiplier of 4.62.

194 triangular pods of the Sovereign would then indicate a crew of 896. The triangulars are also used on the Akira and Steamrunner, but the Saber has the old square hatches, so I assume it uses the Intrepid pods. Not sure about Norway, the old ILM images look like it didn't have pods, but later models (the CGI in the Encyclopedia, the Eaglemoss CGI) have some triangular pods.

Akira has 71 pods (possibly some more,there are some smaller triagles where the catamaran hull and the pylon connect, but I can't tell whether they are supposed to be pods or not). With a 3.33 multiplier, she would have a crew of 236, with the new 4.62 multiplier, it's 328. But certainly not 500 as per DS9TM, that would imply every pod is stacked with at least 7 people (of course, you could always beam some poeple over to the Saber, that ship would have two pods available for each crew member if it has a crew of just 40). [Smile] Steamrunner has 88 pods, that's a crew of 293 (*3.33) or 406 (*4.62). DS9TM says 200.

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Guardian 2000
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Ooh, spiffy method.

I avoid the offscreen stuff so I would likely end up working it from canon exclusively, save for model shots. But that's just me. With that in mind, though, I could count pods ejected from the Defiant and try to work up pod capacity from somewhere, perhaps FC.

Regarding shuttles as escape pods, this would seemingly require at least most shuttles to be ready to roll at a moment's notice, which IIRC seems contrary to the TNG TM. Indeed, save for the JJ-verse, I don't recall shuttles ever being deployed in ship abandonment scenarios.

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Guardian 2000
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We can also cross-reference with volumetrics and crew densities, e.g.: http://www.st-v-sw.net/STSWvolumetrics3.html … there we see the Intrepid is slightly cramped for TNG-era ships at around 1 person per 4000 cubic meters, with a more normal average being 1/6000.

Using the main volumetrics chart at http://www.st-v-sw.net/STSWvolumetrics.html , those two figures suggest a Sabre of 40-60 crew, a Steamie crew of 107-160, and Akira about double of that. The Sovereign would have 400-600.

The Norway is at 90-130, the New Orleans at 180-275.

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Amasov Prime
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According to Memory Alpha (they give a source, so it's okay), the original plan for the destruction of the Valiant just had them use a shuttle, they added the pods because they had the CG pod available from a Voyager episode. I suppose it's the same for the Defiant destruction, they just added some random pods for dramatic pods.

Agreed on the shuttles, one of the reasons the Kelvin evac felt a little weird was that shuttle fleet leaving the ship. It's like using jets to evacuate an aircraft carrier.

Calculating crew size from volume seems to be difficult even if we just take the raw data, as there is so much variation between the numbers already. Add to that obvious stuff like percentage of uninhabitat areas (e.g. engines) and not so obvious parts like mission-specific internal layout (e.g. cramped warship vs. spacious science ship with lots of labs vs. transport ship).

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Guardian 2000
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The volumetric crew ranges are useful as an independent confirmation only. Hitting a specific number with them involves edumacated scientific wild-ass guessing.

One could argue the same for lifeboats, too, I suppose, inasmuch as a Galaxy would likely have more spares than a Defiant on the grounds that the former is likely to have more guests and civvies, by percentage, than the latter. However, the lifeboat count is still a fantastic independent value for crew count estimation, at least for 24th-Century ships where there are visible lifeboats.

In any case, as observed, the Defiant (1/1250m³) and Intrepid (1/4000m³) are on the lower ends of spaciousness, and also have roles of a more tactical nature . . . pure warship on the one hand, interceptor* on the other. Were one to have evidence that Ship X was intended for spanking, the volumetric figure could be massaged downward readily enough. That'd help on, say, the Saber (by name), or perhaps the Akira for those who like to imagine it as a veritable battleship.


* Quoting myself from elsewhere, "The Intrepid Class, per Paris, was designed for combat, and per Sternbach was a "troubleshooter", for what that's worth.
She's hella-fast, reasonably well-armed, and seemingly not outfitted for long voyages by design. Unlike a Galaxy she can't hold lots of extra people.{**} Her warp system involves small, harder-to-hit nacelles.
In short, it sounds like a rapid response vessel ... a troubleshooter, if you will, well-designed for border patrol and interdictions."

** The Intrepids have a low evac ability. Quoting again, "the Intrepid is known to be pretty much full with her 150 crew. The crew had to double up to make room for 200 Klingons in "Prophecy"[VOY7], and has an evacuation limit of about 320 per "Friendship One"[VOY7]. That means that the ship's capacity is about 470 people, which comes out to 1331m³ per person."

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Padsbrat
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Not sure I agree that using the number of lifeboats is a good way to estimate crew count.

Primarily because we do not know for sure how many lifeboats there are, nor do we know their max occupancy values.

Counting pod hatches isn't an accurate method. The Galaxy class for instance, if I read correctly, has 442 hatches. But some of those are cetacean pods for the dolphins and other marine life onboard. Those hatches hide at least 2 pods each.
there may be other instances of pods sharing hatches.

For arguments sake, lets assume the 442 count is accurate for the Galaxy class. The tech manual says each pod hold four. So, 442 x 4 = 1768. But we know the average compliment of crew (which always has included family, etc) is 1000 to 1100. That leaves us over 600 in over-estimation.

That's almost a 35% margin of error.

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Guardian 2000
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Oh snap, cetacean pods! Well played.

As for overestimation, that's accounted for in his estimates, and would be expected. It's definitely not an error to have overabundance of lifeboats.

That said, what I keep pondering is troop transporting, a la alt-Tasha's 5000 troops or Dominion War activities.

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WizArtist II
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One thing you might also consider in your numbers is that you need sufficient excess to account for location. It does half the crew no good to have escape pods that they can't reach in an emergency. I would hate to be on a portion of ship that got isolated by damage and there be only enough pods to house just a fraction of those trapped.

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Padsbrat
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quote:
Originally posted by Guardian 2000:
Oh snap, cetacean pods! Well played.

As for overestimation, that's accounted for in his estimates, and would be expected. It's definitely not an error to have overabundance of lifeboats.

That said, what I keep pondering is troop transporting, a la alt-Tasha's 5000 troops or Dominion War activities.

I guess in the alternate time line, troops were expendable. If the ship they were on got into difficulties, then first come first served!

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Lee
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I'm not sure I really care, but I will point out that no-one has men tioned the Saratoga yet. I don't know how many people were in Sisko's pod but it was in excess of a dozen. OK, it's also an older ship from when a different mathematical model may have been applied to crew numbers, locations and survivability, but still.

(funnily enough I was recently pondering the whole escape pod concept, while watching The Expanse - the show, not the ENT ep. There don't seem to be escape pods in that universe, despite it being all set - for now - in one system. How much survivabilty does a pod give you, say if you're on a deep space mission with nobody to come rescue you in time nor any habitable worlds nearby? As with suhttlepods, I think there's always been a certain amount of hand-waving when it comes to the range and features of these smaller craft. I suppose if you can say something as small as a shuttlepod is warp-capable, so too can you say an escape pod is...)

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Amasov Prime
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For that matter, I think the boxy pods of E-D are better than the triangular tooth-shaped pods of E-E, as they were designed to connect and form larger habitats to pool ressources and increase their chances of survival. I don't think the tooth pods could do that.

Saratoga and other ships with no visible escape pods have been excluded. There is just no way of knowing how many they have, how big they are - we don't even know how evacuation on a Constitution for example really works. Has there ever been any speculation in secondary lit on the issue? Saratoga'S escape pod was launched from the ship's shuttle bay, IIRC. We don't even know if it really wasn't just some sort of cargo shuttle pod and not an escape pod at all.

Maybe The Expanse follows a different mentality here. For much of earth's history, warships didn't have any means of escape (except jumping into the water and swimming). On the contrary, you would use a crew that could not swim to prevent them from abandoning the ship prematurely.

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Guardian 2000
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Didn't Mr. Scott's Guide identify escape pods along the sides of the big secodnary hull cargo bay?

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TSN
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Even though the show doesn't do the best job of showing it (for obvious reasons), The Expanse doesn't have the artificial gravity and inertial dampers that Star Trek has. In The Expanse, if you're in a situation where your ship is about to blow up, there's a high likelihood that you're strapped into a crash couch and, if you get up to make your way to an escape pod, you'll immediately get flung into a bulkhead and crushed.
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