How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

SWvST: the subject of the main site.

Moderator: Vympel

Chris Parr
Padawan Learner
Posts: 215
Joined: 2007-11-18 08:54am

How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Chris Parr » 2015-10-08 04:35pm

I'm only asking because there was this one episode ("Best of Both Worlds" part 2) where they used the main deflector dish as a weapon against the Borg. Didn't work that time, but since they don't know if the Empire can modify their shield frequencies I was thinking a Federation starship captain might try that trick on a Star Destroyer. So is that deflector dish powerful enough to put a dent in a Star Destroyer? I mean at point blank range?

User avatar
Rogue 9
Scrapping TIEs since 1997
Posts: 17498
Joined: 2003-11-12 01:10pm
Location: Classified
Contact:

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Rogue 9 » 2015-10-08 04:51pm

If it was anything other than a desperation maneuver, they'd do it more often. I'm really not buying the idea that it could be all that much more powerful than their standard weapons.
Image
It's Rogue, not Rouge!

HAB | KotL | VRWC/ELC/CDA | TRotR | The Anti-Confederate | Sluggite | Gamer | Blogger | Staff Reporter | Student | Musician

User avatar
Batman
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14961
Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Location: In Denial
Contact:

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Batman » 2015-10-08 05:14pm

We have no idea what that blast was supposed to achieve, and the only thing we 'saw' it do is 'glow' so for all we know it was something technobabbly that won't work in any other situation rather than brute force.
And didn't that stunt leave the Big E dead in space for several hours?
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

User avatar
Captain Seafort
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1536
Joined: 2008-10-10 11:52am
Location: Blighty

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Captain Seafort » 2015-10-08 05:33pm

In terms of actual numbers, I'd put the total yield at low triple-digit megatons (5-7 Mt/sec, sustained for about 25 seconds), assuming the power output of the deflector was similar to that expected from the main engines in Deja Q. A few tens of thousands of such ships firing simultaneously should be enough to make an ISD sit up and pay attention.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe - Albert Einstein

Chris Parr
Padawan Learner
Posts: 215
Joined: 2007-11-18 08:54am

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Chris Parr » 2015-10-08 05:43pm

All right.

User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10430
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Lord Revan » 2015-10-09 01:05am

Turning the main deflector dish into a beam weapon was used only twice in TNG and the first (at least) burnt the components of the dish making it unusble until repaired which took hours (meaning during that time Enterprise was unable to use high STL or FTL speeds).

It's quit literally a one shot weapon as in actual combat if you don't neutralize the enemy with that 1 shot you'll be totally open to their counter-attack.
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28806
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-10-09 06:36am

This is true although speculatively, there might be a way to modify it into an effective weapon that doesn't burn out all the stuff on your ship- I'm reminded of primary beams in the Lensman setting.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10430
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Lord Revan » 2015-10-09 07:21am

Simon_Jester wrote:This is true although speculatively, there might be a way to modify it into an effective weapon that doesn't burn out all the stuff on your ship- I'm reminded of primary beams in the Lensman setting.

probably as I suspect that only reason the dish blew out (well burnt out) was that someone the more sensitive components weren't build to withstand energy of the intensity of the beam, though it goes raise the question if it's possible to make components in such a way that they can with stand the beam and still work in their intended role, the Main Deflector Dish is after all a rather vital component of starfleet ships.
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n

User avatar
Joun_Lord
Jedi Master
Posts: 1151
Joined: 2014-09-27 01:40am
Location: West by Golly Virginia

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Joun_Lord » 2015-10-09 12:06pm

Lord Revan wrote:probably as I suspect that only reason the dish blew out (well burnt out) was that someone the more sensitive components weren't build to withstand energy of the intensity of the beam, though it goes raise the question if it's possible to make components in such a way that they can with stand the beam and still work in their intended role, the Main Deflector Dish is after all a rather vital component of starfleet ships.


Probably smarter to just keep the main deflector intact and have a separate weapon that isn't jury-rigged and will probably bypass alot of components that aren't needed for a bigass gun but are needed for the deflectors intended role.

They'd need a completely new hull to house the weapon, probably with superior radiation shielding surrounding the weapon as the deflector cannon required half the ship to be evaced, and a second warp core or whatever powers the ship so the boat can still move and protect itself when firing the bigass gun.

Of course doing all that would pretty much be building a battleship. Such a thing for the peaceful Federation wouldn't happen. The Federation could already build some pretty powerful ships like the alt-universe USS Vengeance. The prime universe could easily build something like that, something that blows any other ship out of the water and could possibly start to make the Empire sweat a little.

But the Federation atleast during the TNG era isn't a military, isn't very good at building combat ships, and even okay combat ships tend to get their asses kicked because crews that crew it. Crews that look down on military matters, think combat training is not important, set their and get their asses kicked before firing back, and run away alot.

One of the reasons I always say in a fight between the Feddies and the Imps the Federation would play to their strengths and not actually go to war if at all possible. Most likely they would encounter the Empire and work out some trade agreement and non-aggression treaty and the Empire would probably go for it considering they feel sorry for these poor bastards who are clearly escaped mental patients on account of their pajamas and flying around in insanely antiquated ships.

User avatar
Captain Seafort
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1536
Joined: 2008-10-10 11:52am
Location: Blighty

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Captain Seafort » 2015-10-09 01:13pm

Joun_Lord wrote:They'd need a completely new hull to house the weapon, probably with superior radiation shielding surrounding the weapon as the deflector cannon required half the ship to be evaced, and a second warp core or whatever powers the ship so the boat can still move and protect itself when firing the bigass gun.


In other words, the phaser lance.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe - Albert Einstein

User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10430
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Lord Revan » 2015-10-09 01:51pm

Captain Seafort wrote:
Joun_Lord wrote:They'd need a completely new hull to house the weapon, probably with superior radiation shielding surrounding the weapon as the deflector cannon required half the ship to be evaced, and a second warp core or whatever powers the ship so the boat can still move and protect itself when firing the bigass gun.


In other words, the phaser lance.

that would make sense is the problem wasn't that couldn't provide the power for the deflector gun but rather that the Main Deflector Dish was the only component on the Enterprise build it handle that level of power at the level of control they needed and no this doesn't counterdict what I said as I said it was the intensity that probably caused the components to Fry. Think about it normally the energy used by deflector would be spread in a cone shape in front of the ship (as the real role of the dish is to prevent instellar dust and similar things for harming the ship while it's travelling at high speeds).
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n

User avatar
biostem
Jedi Master
Posts: 1416
Joined: 2012-11-15 01:48pm

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby biostem » 2015-10-09 11:06pm

I thought the whole endeavor was taken because they were all out of "conventional" weapons that the Borg hadn't already adapted to. In other words, it wasn't that it was a more powerful weapon, it was that it was a weapon that might work at all, against the Borg...

User avatar
Captain Seafort
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1536
Joined: 2008-10-10 11:52am
Location: Blighty

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Captain Seafort » 2015-10-10 06:21am

biostem wrote:I thought the whole endeavor was taken because they were all out of "conventional" weapons that the Borg hadn't already adapted to. In other words, it wasn't that it was a more powerful weapon, it was that it was a weapon that might work at all, against the Borg...


No, it came from the post-battle analysis of the first action - Selby had Data vary the phaser frequencies until he found one that worked, and subsequently found that the effective shot caused a small but widespread drop in the Borg ship's power. The deflector dish was used because it was the only component that could channel that much power (presumably 50+ times that of the main phaser array).

Ironically, they didn't need modifications to make it work - those were performed to increase the range of the weapon so that it would be greater than the lethal radius. If they'd launched their attack immediately, accepting that the ship would be destroyed in the process, it might have worked.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe - Albert Einstein

User avatar
Ted C
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4487
Joined: 2002-07-07 11:00am
Location: Nashville, TN
Contact:

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Ted C » 2015-10-12 10:47am

According to Geordi, it was "more power than our phasers and photon torpedoes could ever provide", so it has to put more energy into the target than a maximum-power phaser burst plus a full spread of torpedoes.

They also had to drop out of warp to use it, so the dish can presumably channel as much power as the warp drive.

It can presumably throw most of the output of the warp core at a target.
"This is supposed to be a happy occasion... Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who."
-- The King of Swamp Castle, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"Nothing of consequence happened today. " -- Diary of King George III, July 4, 1776

"This is not bad; this is a conspiracy to remove happiness from existence. It seeks to wrap its hedgehog hand around the still beating heart of the personification of good and squeeze until it is stilled."
-- Chuck Sonnenburg on Voyager's "Elogium"

User avatar
biostem
Jedi Master
Posts: 1416
Joined: 2012-11-15 01:48pm

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby biostem » 2015-10-12 08:36pm

Ted C wrote:According to Geordi, it was "more power than our phasers and photon torpedoes could ever provide", so it has to put more energy into the target than a maximum-power phaser burst plus a full spread of torpedoes.

They also had to drop out of warp to use it, so the dish can presumably channel as much power as the warp drive.

It can presumably throw most of the output of the warp core at a target.


Kinda makes me wonder why they never bothered to develop it into a viable weapon. I suppose it'd kind of work like the weapon from B5, where the ship loses power for a while after firing it, and perhaps that was too much of a sacrifice to make. Alternatively, it could have been "too militaristic" for what they were going for at the time.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28806
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-10-12 09:11pm

Phasers and torpedoes prove adequate for most Trek ships to fight off opposing ships of comparable tonnage.

The main use of the deflector dish as a weapon would be for very small ships to hit hard against much larger opponents. The problem is that a very small ship doesn't have much survivability and would be vulnerable. Sending a puny little Miranda up against a gigantic Klingon battleship is just a bad idea, even if the Miranda does have a single weapon that could theoretically cripple the battleship if it gets in the first shot. Plus, said puny Miranda would be in really big trouble if instead of a single Klingon battleship it encountered a swarm of smaller Klingon vessels, because its 'sledgehammer' of a weapon would not be able to overcome them all before they destroyed it.

So the Federation may be thinking that, for military purposes, "eggshells armed with sledgehammers" are not the way to go. Instead, they develop a number of quite effective weapons (quantum torpedoes, pulse phasers a la the Defiant-class) that are an upgrade over their existing technology. And they design ships with a larger proportion of armament for their tonnage (Defiant-class, the Akira-class torpedo cruiser). But their new well-armed designs are a linear evolution of what they already know works.

Deflector dish weapons remain a relatively obscure desperation possibility. I can think of a number of reasons. For one, no matter what, the ship needs a working deflector dish to travel at warp, and the deflector dish is very massive and presumably is well optimized for its purpose (high speed warp travel).

If you modify the existing main deflector for use as a weapon, you probably get a ship whose deflector is not useful as an engine, which makes the ship slow and unable to respond effectively in a crisis.

If you add a second deflector that's optimized as a weapon, this takes up a lot of extra mass and bulk aboard the ship, which you could have allocated to a massive arsenal of quicker-firing, more versatile phasers and torpedoes.

So I can see why Starfleet might well be conservative about adopting such a weapon system even if they had reason to think it was effective, and even if there was no obvious downside like "firing will totally drain your ship's power no matter what."
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
NecronLord
Harbinger of Doom
Harbinger of Doom
Posts: 26827
Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Location: The Lost City

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby NecronLord » 2015-10-13 08:17am

biostem wrote:Kinda makes me wonder why they never bothered to develop it into a viable weapon. I suppose it'd kind of work like the weapon from B5, where the ship loses power for a while after firing it, and perhaps that was too much of a sacrifice to make. Alternatively, it could have been "too militaristic" for what they were going for at the time.

This assumes that the phaser lance isn't an example of something similar. That said, as shown, it has short range and is spinally mounted.

Beyond that, it damages the unit, and a deflector dish being ruptured can blow up half the ship.

Of course, the Romulans fire beams from what Probert intended to be their deflector dish all the time, so maybe it's something that they do. :)
Superior Moderator - BotB - HAB [Drill Instructor]-Writer- Stardestroyer.net's resident Star-God.
"We believe in the systematic understanding of the physical world through observation and experimentation, argument and debate and most of all freedom of will." ~ Stargate: The Ark of Truth

User avatar
EnterpriseSovereign
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1721
Joined: 2006-05-12 12:19pm
Location: High orbit

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby EnterpriseSovereign » 2015-10-14 10:16am

Interestingly, the idea of a secondary deflector is something that's been realised in STO- it's designed to enhance the effectiveness of deflector-based abilities without compromising the primary function of the main dish.

That's the issue with very large weapons in that they have to be spinally mounted, and of course that means the ship simply has to be maneuverable enough to bring them to bear. Easy for a small, agile ship like the Defiant; for a large capital ship- not so much. Part of the reason the lance was so effective in shredding a Negh'Var is because the Ent-D was able to approach while cloaked and thus was able to get into firing position before revealing itself. That, and it was powerful enough to punch all the way though the Klingon ship several times. It also demonstrated a decent rate of fire for such a large weapon.

Of course, as we've seen with the Scimitar it's not unheard of for a big ship to be far from sluggish. You mate a ship like that with a capship-killing main gun, the result will be dangerous indeed.
It's no use debating a moron; they drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

Your claim of using a scientific equation is laughable when all you have done is butcher science to the point it makes 'The Core' look like a fucking documentary. Just because you have the attention span of a fruit fly doesn't mean the rest of us are so encumbered.

"As you know science is not fact"- HuskerJay
"The Delta Fyler [sic] isn't even a shuttle craft" -HuskerJay69
"The Dominion War wasn't really all that bad"- Admiral Mercury

User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10430
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Lord Revan » 2015-10-14 02:31pm

EnterpriseSovereign wrote:Interestingly, the idea of a secondary deflector is something that's been realised in STO- it's designed to enhance the effectiveness of deflector-based abilities without compromising the primary function of the main dish.

That's the issue with very large weapons in that they have to be spinally mounted, and of course that means the ship simply has to be maneuverable enough to bring them to bear. Easy for a small, agile ship like the Defiant; for a large capital ship- not so much. Part of the reason the lance was so effective in shredding a Negh'Var is because the Ent-D was able to approach while cloaked and thus was able to get into firing position before revealing itself. That, and it was powerful enough to punch all the way though the Klingon ship several times. It also demonstrated a decent rate of fire for such a large weapon.

Of course, as we've seen with the Scimitar it's not unheard of for a big ship to be far from sluggish. You mate a ship like that with a capship-killing main gun, the result will be dangerous indeed.

actually the Secondary deflector while not named or pointed out (IIRC) existed in the Voyager and Enterprise-E models (both physical minituare and the CGI one), it's easier to spot and indentify on the Voyager model due to looking more like the main deflector dish but it's present on the Ent-E as well on the leading edge of the saucer.
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n

User avatar
Captain Seafort
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1536
Joined: 2008-10-10 11:52am
Location: Blighty

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Captain Seafort » 2015-10-14 02:33pm

Lord Revan wrote:actually the Secondary deflector while not named or pointed out (IIRC) existed in the Voyager and Enterprise-E models (both physical minituare and the CGI one), it's easier to spot and indentify on the Voyager model due to looking more like the main deflector dish but it's present on the Ent-E as well on the leading edge of the saucer.


It's on the E-D as well. As with the others it's not mentioned in the series, but it is in the Tech Manual, and therefore presumably on the model.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe - Albert Einstein

User avatar
Batman
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14961
Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Location: In Denial
Contact:

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Batman » 2015-10-14 04:02pm

Well given the separation ability the Galaxy class would need a secondary nav deflector system for the saucer.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

User avatar
biostem
Jedi Master
Posts: 1416
Joined: 2012-11-15 01:48pm

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby biostem » 2015-10-14 07:41pm

Batman wrote:Well given the separation ability the Galaxy class would need a secondary nav deflector system for the saucer.


Has it been established that you need a deflector dish for sub-warp speeds? Regardless, most shuttlecraft that can do warp don't have an obvious deflector dish... so maybe the dish is only "obvious" when you go beyond a certain mass, otherwise some more integrated system will work just fine...

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28806
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-10-14 09:46pm

The Galaxy's main saucer is itself more massive than a fair number of smaller Starfleet ships that DO have deflector dishes, though- and it's definitely warp-capable albeit slow.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Batman
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14961
Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Location: In Denial
Contact:

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Batman » 2015-10-14 09:50pm

Ah, yeah, not that I know of. It can remain at Warp if released at Warp for a little while, but I can't recall a single source saying the saucer section is individually Warp capable.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

User avatar
Borgholio
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6270
Joined: 2010-09-03 09:31pm
Location: Southern California

Re: How powerful is the Enterprise's main deflector dish?

Postby Borgholio » 2015-10-15 12:45am

The saucer can maintain warp but not initiate it. But remaining at warp still requires it's own deflector.
You will be assimilated...bunghole!


Return to “Star Wars vs Star Trek”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests