SDN Starship Design Commentaries

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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Sea Skimmer » 2016-07-26 04:27pm

Elheru Aran wrote:Even modern carriers do have a sort of command and control room within the body of the carrier; the bridge at the top is strictly for navigational and flight control purposes only. The command and control room is where the actual direction of war efforts goes.


Less then you might think on location. The CIC on all USN super carriers till Ford (not sure on her) is on the gallery deck, between the flight deck and the hanger. And thus while protected overhead by deck armor, that's about two inches thick with sky (and parked planes loaded with bombs) overhead. A very strong reason for doing this was that the cable runs between the radar and certain radio antennas and the actual equipment controlling them could only be a finite length with equipment into the 1990s.

Only very recently has that become much less of a problem by incorporating digital and now fiber optic links directly into the equipment guts. This was technologically impossible before the 1990s, and still only partly implemented, though in part because since then the relevant tech has changed rapidly. Of course Trek cannot use this excuse s.

Practical reasons also existed for not burying the CIC deep under the hanger deck, to keep the ranking officers closer together and able to access the island. But this is also directly linked the fact that carrier is in the water... and no way to spin this around for a bridge at the top of the Enterprise to make sense.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Elheru Aran » 2016-07-26 04:33pm

The Sulaco... mm.

The Aliens universe seems to largely require cold-sleep during FTL travel, and for some reason androids are included (Prometheus throws this into doubt though). Perhaps there's some... radiation or... something, during their version of FTL that is hazardous to humans, and cold-sleep is one way to keep them safe during transit. Weyland-Yutani, being cheap fuckers, would rather automate the ship during FTL, which may be a pretty cursory procedure (cold-sleep aside), and the crew aboard can take care of business in realspace. The Sulaco has rather less of an excuse.

Speculation: Weyland-Yutani put pressure on the USCM to take a minimum force on a fully automated ship in order to prevent leaks after bringing xenomorph forms back?

Skimmer, gotcha. I knew it wasn't the bridge on top that they used for fighting, I just wasn't 100% sure where the CIC was but I knew it was somewhere around the hull for protection. Definitely far better than either Wars or Trek.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Elheru Aran » 2016-07-26 04:33pm

Ghetto edit: But that reminds me...

Skimmer, did BB's have a CIC? Or did they do all their fighting from the bridge?
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Prometheus Unbound » 2016-07-26 04:35pm

Crazedwraith wrote:Did I mention Star Trek? ;) Okay, I was hoping to address other series issues as well as the same old, same old, litany of Star Trek's faults.

I think in most cases, it's probably because the starships take a lot of inspiration for real ships and 'space is an ocean'. So it just feels right to stick it there on the top.
right there with ya. and below as well btw :)

Though it seems a lot more of an issue in-universe in SW than Star Trek. We actually see people intentionally attack the bridge. Some in te EU. But in the films as well. If we count the disputed asteroid incident and the Falcon's suicide run on Needa's ship in TESB. Whereas target the bridge almost never seems to happen in ST even when attacking specific subsystems is a thing.

Shinzon in Nemesis is the only incident I recall and IIRC that was done was Shinzon had basically beaten the Enterprise and was showing off. I can't think of another reason why that shot should have punctured the hull without harming anyone in the compartment. Rather than blowing it clean off.


But :)

https://youtu.be/7PQ36c9Uo6A?t=3m25s

https://youtu.be/qK9GdlrydIw?t=1m47s

https://youtu.be/owP8rodvksA?t=54s (Romulan one)
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Elheru Aran » 2016-07-26 04:40pm

The Enterprise (show) example was definitely one I was thinking of.

The Veridian III battle, however, doesn't actually show where the torpedo hit the Bird of Prey. Certainly there are explosions aboard the bridge, but the actual impact isn't show in an external view, so we cannot say with authority that it actually hit the bridge dead on.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby FaxModem1 » 2016-07-26 04:59pm

The Narn G'Quan class heavy cruisers from Babylon 5. How much of their design is for actual combat and how much of it is for intimidation? The G'Quan class doesn't have gravity, hence the crew having seat belts, and if I remember right, can only fire forward, leaving it open to being flanked unless supported by fighters.

I remember reading once that the Narn focused more on appearing more advanced than they really were so as to intimidate younger races. So when they got into the war with the Centauri, they were losing most of their engagements, even the ones without Shadow help.

Or could the Narn ships really stand toe to toe with other B5 powers?
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Borgholio » 2016-07-26 05:01pm

Elheru Aran wrote:Ghetto edit: But that reminds me...

Skimmer, did BB's have a CIC? Or did they do all their fighting from the bridge?


Not Skimmer, but I can answer this. Battleships did have an armored conning tower with periscopes, propulsion, and firing controls, so the ship could be fought from behind 17 inches of solid steel armor. I'm not sure how often they used it compared to the bridge though. The bridge would afford superior visibility but wouldn't be as safe. I took pics of that when I visited the Iowa awhile back. See here:

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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby U.P. Cinnabar » 2016-07-26 05:05pm

The Iowa-class used its CIC for large, multi-ship engagments, and to coordinate anti-aircraft defense for the carriers they escorted. Same for the Washington, South Dakota, and the North Carolina-class BBs serving in the PTO during World War II.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby NecronLord » 2016-07-26 05:05pm

Prometheus Unbound wrote:https://youtu.be/owP8rodvksA?t=54s (Romulan one)



That's not the Romulan Bridge. At least according to Andrew Probert the Romulan bridge is further forward on the ship than the hit from Tears of the Prophets.

That bridge window isn't there on the real model, so it may be protected or somewhere else on the final product, but we've no reason to think that it's on the top of the ship (or even evidence it's on the outside).
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Crazedwraith » 2016-07-26 05:05pm

NecronLord wrote:Why should the Sulaco have a crew? More seriously it had no crew because the Company wanted the weakest possible expedition so they could get the organism back.


Well the film did an admirable job of showing why it needed at least another dropship crew to bail them out. Or do we think someone piloting it down by remote control is really the optimal solution? Also what if some thing had broken on that ship in transit? Or they had needed to use... well anything that was onboard?

I figure 'Burke did it' is an okay explain away but operating without a crew was common place enough it didn't spark comment by the Marines.



My memory is faulty! :d Though the second was an apocalyptic future. And do we even know where a Warbird's bridge is?

Elheru Aran wrote:
The Veridian III battle, however, doesn't actually show where the torpedo hit the Bird of Prey. Certainly there are explosions aboard the bridge, but the actual impact isn't show in an external view, so we cannot say with authority that it actually hit the bridge dead on.


That was going to be my nitpick. But Lursa/B'Etor was specifically commanding them to target the E-D's bridge as the E-D pulls its technobabble trick. (I'm struck by how hard they were aping STVI there without it making a lick of sense)
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby U.P. Cinnabar » 2016-07-26 05:10pm

FaxModem1 wrote:The Narn G'Quan class heavy cruisers from Babylon 5. How much of their design is for actual combat and how much of it is for intimidation? The G'Quan class doesn't have gravity, hence the crew having seat belts, and if I remember right, can only fire forward, leaving it open to being flanked unless supported by fighters.

I remember reading once that the Narn focused more on appearing more advanced than they really were so as to intimidate younger races. So when they got into the war with the Centauri, they were losing most of their engagements, even the ones without Shadow help.

Or could the Narn ships really stand toe to toe with other B5 powers?


A G'Quan took out a Centauri Primus in the S2 episode "And, Now For a Word." Whether this was indicative of how Narn-Centauri matchups went is unknown, though the Centauri did have the upper hand in that conflict.

(On the other hand, N'kal tells G'kar in "Walkabout" that a substanial part of the Narn fleet did survive the war with the Centauri)

Also, the G'Quan Sheridan rendered aid and assistance to in the season two finale "The Fall Of Night" lent crucial assistance to the White Star in dealing with the Shadows in S3's "Walkabout."
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby NecronLord » 2016-07-26 05:19pm

Re: Sulaco - Really though, why would there need to be a crew? Automated ships make perfect sense for a society that can produce sapient robots.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby NecronLord » 2016-07-26 05:23pm

FaxModem1 wrote:The Narn G'Quan class heavy cruisers from Babylon 5. How much of their design is for actual combat and how much of it is for intimidation? The G'Quan class doesn't have gravity, hence the crew having seat belts, and if I remember right, can only fire forward, leaving it open to being flanked unless supported by fighters.

I remember reading once that the Narn focused more on appearing more advanced than they really were so as to intimidate younger races. So when they got into the war with the Centauri, they were losing most of their engagements, even the ones without Shadow help.

Or could the Narn ships really stand toe to toe with other B5 powers?


Image

Fire forward, yes. But it can engage from a range that literally no other televised starship other than the battlecrab and the LEXX has ever shown.

They also have sort-of-projectiles in the form of energy mines.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Elheru Aran » 2016-07-26 05:25pm

NecronLord wrote:Re: Sulaco - Really though, why would there need to be a crew? Automated ships make perfect sense for a society that can produce sapient robots.


As noted, backup for the Marines on planetside. Had there been crew aboard the ship, they could theoretically have said 'hey guys come fetch us, the other dropship got smoked' or even 'this is a huge SNAFU, go back to base and bring reinforcements, we're fucked here'.

Presumably they could have communicated with the ship in the latter case, but there was nobody in it to retrieve them should the excrement hit the ventilation unit, and it did. There was also no indication that the ship was autonomous in any sense, apart from routine maintenance functions (atmosphere, lights, FTL, coldsleep, etc). As far as the movie indicated, once it was in orbit, it wasn't going anywhere.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby NecronLord » 2016-07-26 05:28pm

Mhm, it's pretty clear no one was taking the mission seriously. "Rescue colonists daughters from their virginity," and so on.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby FaxModem1 » 2016-07-26 05:29pm

NecronLord wrote:Re: Sulaco - Really though, why would there need to be a crew? Automated ships make perfect sense for a society that can produce sapient robots.


Theft? Pirates like the crew of the Betty or the crew of a competing navy ship could board her and abscond with her, leaving the crew stranded.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Elheru Aran » 2016-07-26 05:35pm

NecronLord wrote:Mhm, it's pretty clear no one was taking the mission seriously. "Rescue colonists daughters from their virginity," and so on.


No question, and as noted, it doesn't seem to draw any comment from the Marines. It may be that they aren't used to fights where they lose so hard. It may well be that Ferro and Spunkmeyer were breaking SOP by remaining on-planet rather than going back to the ship, where they would have been nominal crew for retrieval should it become necessary. I don't remember if Gorman specifically told them to sit tight, though.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby NecronLord » 2016-07-26 05:39pm

The real answer is that the Sulaco is a converted civilian ship, or at least the model was designed with that in mind (there are many cargo bays for instance) by Syd Mead, intended for low-priority missions. Real warships if they exist, would presumably be better equipped. It's entirely possible space pirates do not yet exist. Alien Ressurection is long after Aliens, as I recall.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Elheru Aran » 2016-07-26 05:53pm

Alien: 2122
Aliens: 2179, 57 years after Alien
Alien 3: 2179, pretty much immediately after Aliens, though possibly debatable.
Alien Resurrection: 2379... so 200ish years after Aliens/Alien 3.

Prometheus is in 2093 or 2094, by the way.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Starglider » 2016-07-26 06:45pm

Crazedwraith wrote:The only think I wonder about that design was the purpose of making the flight decks pop in and out which they seem to have abandoned on later battlestars.


That was due to the FTL drive design; it creates a circular wormhole that travels rapidly backwards from the front of the ship, forcing the length of the vessel through the apperture to the new location. The Galactica's older FTL design was limited in the radius of the wormhole it could generate, such that they had to physically reconfigure the vessel to make it fit. Newer designs e.g. Pegasus could create a larger wormhole and didn't have this problem.

A more difficult question is why they bother with the ridiculously long landing bays in the first place. Star Trek and Star Wars just have compact hangars for their fighters and shuttles. Even if relatively high-speed combat landings are commonplace, something the size of a contemporary carrier landing deck should have sufficed, rather than the 2000ft+ landing bays on Galactica.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Borgholio » 2016-07-26 07:24pm

A more difficult question is why they bother with the ridiculously long landing bays in the first place. Star Trek and Star Wars just have compact hangars for their fighters and shuttles. Even if relatively high-speed combat landings are commonplace, something the size of a contemporary carrier landing deck should have sufficed, rather than the 2000ft+ landing bays on Galactica.


Trek and Wars both make ample use of tractor beams and forcefields to control incoming shuttles and assist with landings. We don't see any of that tech in BSG, so it's possible the long flight deck is necessary to allow for combat or emergency landings. It's like a modern aircraft carrier in that regard. The long deck is needed mainly for landings.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2016-07-26 07:27pm

I believe the intention was to allow all of the air wing to land at once in emergencies. Plus a longer landing deck/flight pod means more space below for hanger bays and launch tubes, increasing the number of vipers they can launch at once.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Starglider » 2016-07-26 08:05pm

Borgholio wrote:Trek and Wars both make ample use of tractor beams and forcefields to control incoming shuttles and assist with landings. We don't see any of that tech in BSG, so it's possible the long flight deck is necessary to allow for combat or emergency landings. It's like a modern aircraft carrier in that regard.


The landing speed of fighter aircraft is limited by aerodynamics. There is no lower limit on the landing speed for spacecraft. Possible combat damage is not an excuse; if you don't have the ability to match velocities with the ship, then you don't have the ability to safely fly into the bay apperture without missing and crashing into the hull.

The long deck is needed mainly for landings.


They aren't 'landings', they're dockings, and no sane docking scheme for a 20ft spacecraft requires 2000ft+ of enclosed runway. They could put a dozen outward facing bays in each pod, each 250ft long, and that would be more than sufficient (enough space for a basic crash arresting system) and more redundant.

Eternal_Freedom wrote:I believe the intention was to allow all of the air wing to land at once in emergencies.


Which is just asking for fighters to collide with each other, and a traffic control nightmare at best. Again, lots of smaller bays (with the same total volume) is a far more sensible way to accomplish this. Aircraft carriers only have decks set up the way they do because of aerodynamics; Galactica's design has about as much logic as taking a helicopter carrier, then building a huge domed cover over the flight deck, forcing all the helicopters to maneuver in through little holes at the bow and stern instead of just landing directly on one of the avilable pads.

Plus a longer landing deck/flight pod means more space below for hanger bays and launch tubes, increasing the number of vipers they can launch at once.


The doesn't dictate an enclosed runway with tiny holes at each end. They could keep the hangars and tubes and just have sensible landing bays in the upper area. The pods could then be built as blisters on the main hull instead of separate movable structures for massive structural & armour weight weight savings (which could be applied to improve propulsion, cargo, armament...)
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Sea Skimmer » 2016-07-26 08:18pm

Borgholio wrote:Trek and Wars both make ample use of tractor beams and forcefields to control incoming shuttles and assist with landings. We don't see any of that tech in BSG, so it's possible the long flight deck is necessary to allow for combat or emergency landings. It's like a modern aircraft carrier in that regard. The long deck is needed mainly for landings.


The angled deck size is largely incidental (the angle itself is intentional!), the overall size of the ship is set by a combination the hanger deck size and the length of the catapults runs, which have to be largely ahead of or beside the hanger for structural reasons (the catapults cut into the deck, which is holding the ship together over the hanger). Look at the French carrier and the Midway class, much smaller ships the a Nimitz but they can still land fast jets and the E-2 Hawkeye, at least in good weather.

The length of the catapults in turn is what actually sets the limit on how big of planes you can fly, allowing of course for the hanger deck height and arrestor wire ratings being in synergy with that length and power. We landed a C-130 on a 75,000 ton carrier after all.

http://www.jeffhead.com/worldwideaircra ... line02.jpg
http://www.jeffhead.com/worldwideaircra ... line01.jpg
These images should illustrate the point. Note the beam catapults in particular, if anything was smaller they just wouldn't fit. But the actual arrestor wire area is a very small portion of the angled deck. They paint it from one end of the ship to the other sure, but most of the land is not actually relevant to landing. Indeed because of the way the ship pitches it would work out really badly to put the wires anywhere else.

Pitching reduction is also a big advantage of a super carrier over a 40-50,000 ton carrier. Its reduced enough to make a serious advantage in the level of bad weather the ship can conduct flight operations. This is one of several reasons why the USN is bitterly against any notion of smaller carriers. You simply can't get that advantage back any other way barring perhaps notional future super drones.


The Galactica was pretty well designed to cause crap to crash into and explode into the hangers. Which happened an awful lot in the original series! I never watched the new one. Having the hangers out on the beam as they are would be useful for keeping said explosions away from the more vital parts of the ship, but it doesn't explain why they are so stupidly configured.
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Re: SDN Starship Design Commentaries

Postby Alyrium Denryle » 2016-07-26 08:38pm

NecronLord wrote:
FaxModem1 wrote:The Narn G'Quan class heavy cruisers from Babylon 5. How much of their design is for actual combat and how much of it is for intimidation? The G'Quan class doesn't have gravity, hence the crew having seat belts, and if I remember right, can only fire forward, leaving it open to being flanked unless supported by fighters.

I remember reading once that the Narn focused more on appearing more advanced than they really were so as to intimidate younger races. So when they got into the war with the Centauri, they were losing most of their engagements, even the ones without Shadow help.

Or could the Narn ships really stand toe to toe with other B5 powers?


Image

Fire forward, yes. But it can engage from a range that literally no other televised starship other than the battlecrab and the LEXX has ever shown.

They also have sort-of-projectiles in the form of energy mines.


I calculated it out a while back (there was a lot of trigonometry involved because I did it by using incident light angles from the nearby star), it is somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-70 megameters, depending on assumptions regarding planet size.

I suspect that everyone else in the B5 verse can engage at similar ranges with beams, but because of the way their FTL systems work and their strategic organization around jumpgates they typically don't do so.

The narns have also demonstrated that they do have some off-axis bolt weapons used for close engagements and anti-fighter defense, but these are not as far as I have seen rear mounted.
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