Defiant's armor against projectiles

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Postby Gunhead » 2008-01-04 06:38pm

Stark wrote:Dude it's a CRYSTAL look at it! Crystals, as you know, have bizarre and special properties allowing them to do virtually anything! :)

The best part for me is that the crystal is BLUNT. Best penetrator ever, and the internal luminence makes it seem quite low mass too. Low mass, low speed, blunt... :)


I've actually seen this episode and in addition wasn't the penetrating part of the missile at least partially hollow. If I remember correctly they disarmed the weapon by yanking out some kind of a doodad from the missile. One of two in fact and if they had picked the wrong one then BOOM!!

One could argue the missile accelerated rapidly during the last 50m before impact giving it enough velocity to punch through, like Stark suggested. But when it comes to ST I'm not all that convinced.

So on that note it obviously a crystalline magneto resonation particle torpedo with a quantum nano warhead. And ST meters in ST space are of course bigger and better than EEVIL warsie meters. So the missile was in fact traveling faster than the Millenium Falcon.....
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Postby Darth Wong » 2008-01-04 06:48pm

You have to love the way the warhead cone was not deformed by the impact at all, so they could open an access panel as if it came fresh off the assembly line.
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Postby harbringer » 2008-01-04 06:53pm

it obviously wasnt designed by the federation engineers then as it is one of the few items that have worked as fas at it went hitting the ship and punching into it..... as far as it not deforming would that make the armour less effective??
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Postby Gunhead » 2008-01-04 07:10pm

harbringer wrote:it obviously wasnt designed by the federation engineers then as it is one of the few items that have worked as fas at it went hitting the ship and punching into it..... as far as it not deforming would that make the armour less effective??


Well, yes. Unless there was some funky mechanism at play. Like the projectile vibrated fast enough to dig it's way through the armor. Yeah, I know this sounds monumentally stupid, but I wouldn't put it past the writers.

Projectiles after high velocity impacts tend to be at least somewhat deformed . Unless the material they're hitting is god awfully flimsy compared to the projectile.

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Postby Vympel » 2008-01-04 07:41pm

Academia Nut wrote:Quick note Vympel, you screwed up the speed by an order of magnitude, it should be 36km/h. Not that is all that less pathetic, seeing as how that's the approximate speed of a good Olympic sprinter.


Hahah yeah you're right - I must've forgot to key in the 0 on the calculator or something (yes, I'm too lazy to just do it in my head).

As for the potential apologetics- we know from the episode that the torpedo was meant to explode on impact. There's no evidence or reason to believe it was meant to somehow dig through the Defiant's hull and then explode. :lol:
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Postby Terralthra » 2008-01-04 07:53pm

Gunhead wrote:
harbringer wrote:it obviously wasnt designed by the federation engineers then as it is one of the few items that have worked as fas at it went hitting the ship and punching into it..... as far as it not deforming would that make the armour less effective??


Well, yes. Unless there was some funky mechanism at play. Like the projectile vibrated fast enough to dig it's way through the armor. Yeah, I know this sounds monumentally stupid, but I wouldn't put it past the writers.

Projectiles after high velocity impacts tend to be at least somewhat deformed . Unless the material they're hitting is god awfully flimsy compared to the projectile.

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36 km/h is high velocity now? Shit, a bullet from an M4A1 carbine (picked at random) has a muzzle velocity of 884 m/s. That's 3.1E3 km/h, as opposed to 3.6E1 km/h. Two orders of magnitude difference, and the M4A1 isn't even a particularly high-velocity firearm.

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Postby Darth Wong » 2008-01-04 08:01pm

Obviously, 36 km/h isn't high velocity for a bullet, but it's plenty of speed for a relatively massive object which experiences no deformation after coming to a sudden stop after punching through a solid wall.
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Postby Gunhead » 2008-01-04 08:03pm

36 km/h is high velocity now? Shit, a bullet from an M4A1 carbine (picked at random) has a muzzle velocity of 884 m/s. That's 3.1E3 km/h, as opposed to 3.6E1 km/h. Two orders of magnitude difference, and the M4A1 isn't even a particularly high-velocity firearm.


Oh you silly boy. Of course 36km/h isn't high velocity. I was speaking in general terms as to what usually happens when a projectile hits at a high speed.
The head of the torpedo was completely intact after the impact meaning if the armor had been more effective at stopping the torpedo we'd see some damage done to the head of the torpedo.

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Postby Terralthra » 2008-01-04 08:18pm

Darth Wong wrote:Obviously, 36 km/h isn't high velocity for a bullet, but it's plenty of speed for a relatively massive object which experiences no deformation after coming to a sudden stop after punching through a solid wall.


I know, I know...I just found it completely hilarious. This looks to be a roughly cylindrical object about 1m in diameter (from the screenshots) that impacts a wall at 36km/h, and the wall was so weak that the torpedo absorbed ALL of the reaction force without even a dent? It'd be as if a motorcycle crashed into a wall of tissue paper at 20 mph, and somehow managed to be stopped completely. after halfway through.

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Postby Batman » 2008-01-05 01:34am

1m in diameter? Do you know what a meter is? Quark who is standing BEHIND the missile is easily three times that . Try 50 cm or thereabouts.
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Postby Terralthra » 2008-01-05 02:01am

Batman wrote:1m in diameter? Do you know what a meter is? Quark who is standing BEHIND the missile is easily three times that . Try 50 cm or thereabouts.


Quark is 1.68m, the 5/6th of him showing is 420 pixels (anatomically speaking, the knee to the foot is approximately 1/6th of the total height of a human, and the picture cuts off at about his knees), so 1.68*5/6*420 = 300 pixels = 1m, +/- a little bit for Armin Shimerman's proportions. The diameter of the torpedo is 105 wide by 232 high once it expands past the slight cone at the tip, making its diameter 254 pixels, or roughly 84cm.

Yes, I'm aware of what a meter is, and "approximately 1m" for something that's 0.85ish meters is a decent rough guess.

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Postby Terralthra » 2008-01-05 02:06am

Terralthra wrote:Quark is 1.68m, the 5/6th of him showing is 420 pixels (anatomically speaking, the knee to the foot is approximately 1/6th of the total height of a human, and the picture cuts off at about his knees), so 1.68*5/6*420 = 300 pixels = 1m, +/- a little bit for Armin Shimerman's proportions. The diameter of the torpedo is 105 wide by 232 high once it expands past the slight cone at the tip, making its diameter 254 pixels, or roughly 84cm.


Ghetto edit, the bolded portion should be 420/(1.68*5/6) = 300pixels per meter.

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Postby Connor MacLeod » 2008-01-05 02:45am

clearly the torpedoe's shields and structual reinforcement fields are such that the torpedo was unharmed from the sheer impact.

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Postby Vympel » 2008-01-05 05:07am

That's sarcasm, right? :P

EDIT: A little birdie at SB.com looked at this episode more closely -

2.6 seconds from 100 to 75 meters,

2.67 seconds from 75 meters to 50 meters

2.919 seconds from 50 meters to impact. (ie. the weapon accelerated, or Defiant was to blame, who knows)

The odd, dry ice like mist from the torpedo may also be coming from the hole in the wall.

It's also only fair to point out that Defiant was under what was considered to be enormous pressure from being in the gas giant at the time - ("Hull pressure is at 9 million GSC and still rising" was what Carson called out, though personally I've never heard of that unit of measurement before so for all I know it's made up or another Trek unit of measurement error) - which makes this incident even more nonsensical given the strain Defiant was supposed to be under (having already strengthened its SIF and sustaining earlier hull breaches).
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Postby Darth Wong » 2008-01-05 12:31pm

Pre-existing stress from ambient pressure would make certain kinds of structural failures more likely. However, I doubt it would make it any easier to punch through that hull without deformation. The local gas pressure would compressively pre-stress the hull, which would increase the stresses upon a penetrator.
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Postby Connor MacLeod » 2008-01-05 03:21pm

I have to wonder how the missile stays actually wedged inside the hull like that if the vast majority of the missile is outside. Wouldn't there be a risk of it getting torn out of the hole (and promptly venting the interior of the Defiant into space/wherever it is?)

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Postby Bounty » 2008-01-05 03:22pm

Connor MacLeod wrote:I have to wonder how the missile stays actually wedged inside the hull like that if the vast majority of the missile is outside. Wouldn't there be a risk of it getting torn out of the hole (and promptly venting the interior of the Defiant into space/wherever it is?)


The SIF field could be holding it snug. Or perhaps the actual torpedo isn't very long at all, and most of it is still jammed in the armour?

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Postby Thanatos » 2008-01-05 03:31pm

Connor MacLeod wrote:I have to wonder how the missile stays actually wedged inside the hull like that if the vast majority of the missile is outside. Wouldn't there be a risk of it getting torn out of the hole (and promptly venting the interior of the Defiant into space/wherever it is?)

I think a bigger problem is that the amount of hull shown wedged around it wouldn't cover the hole to begin with. :lol:
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Postby Bounty » 2008-01-05 03:33pm

Thanatos wrote:
Connor MacLeod wrote:I have to wonder how the missile stays actually wedged inside the hull like that if the vast majority of the missile is outside. Wouldn't there be a risk of it getting torn out of the hole (and promptly venting the interior of the Defiant into space/wherever it is?)

I think a bigger problem is that the amount of hull shown wedged around it wouldn't cover the hole to begin with. :lol:


That's internal wall panelling. Chunks of it could be on the floor.

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Postby Thanatos » 2008-01-05 03:58pm

Bounty wrote:That's internal wall panelling.

I thought it was hull rather than bulkhead for some reason.

Chunks of it could be on the floor.

It would have had to punch out a nearly perfectly round hole slightly smaller than the section where its jammed at.

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Postby Darth Wong » 2008-01-06 02:01am

Thanatos wrote:It would have had to punch out a nearly perfectly round hole slightly smaller than the section where its jammed at.

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It means that the hull experienced brittle failure. The torpedo caused the hull plate in front of it to fail in shear, thus causing a section to literally pop out of place. And then the torpedo wedged itself into the hole as it continued forward, because of its expanding profile.

The thing is, the torpedo isn't going that fast, so it really shouldn't have caused the kind of violent shear that you often see with high velocity impacts. There's really no way to interpret this incident without concluding that the hull is really weak.
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Postby Thanatos » 2008-01-06 02:45am

Whoops, realized that I accidentally forgot to copy the imageshacked image:

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You can really see the big obvious case access in that picture and I finally realized what the torpedo reminded me of in that shot: A torx screwdriver.

It means that the hull experienced brittle failure. The torpedo caused the hull plate in front of it to fail in shear, thus causing a section to literally pop out of place. And then the torpedo wedged itself into the hole as it continued forward, because of its expanding profile.

The thing is, the torpedo isn't going that fast, so it really shouldn't have caused the kind of violent shear that you often see with high velocity impacts.

I knew about the non-technical gist of that from weapons and shop experience, thanks for explaining it to me.
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Postby Connor MacLeod » 2008-01-06 02:51am

Well, its not the first time that torpedoes or projectile weapons of some kind have punched through the hull via sheer momentum. Its not really a big shock to conclude that Federation ships aren't optimized to handle kinetic impactors like that (at least not with bare hull) their weaponry is almost entierly of a high energy/low mass nature, after all (antimatter detonations and energy beams.)

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Postby Sidewinder » 2008-01-08 12:10pm

Bounty wrote:The dude on the right was the Karemma arms dealer who sold that make of torpedo to the Dominion. He admits it's just crap merchandise.

Why the hell would the Dominion need to buy crap merchandise from a Karemma arms dealer? Don't they have their own weapons manufacturers, their own inspectors to make sure the weapons manufactured WILL WORK, etc.? Or is the Dominion's manufacturing base so crappy, its military has to choose between buying weapons that don't work and buying no weapons at all?
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Postby Jark » 2008-01-08 01:11pm

Sidewinder wrote:Why the hell would the Dominion need to buy crap merchandise from a Karemma arms dealer? Don't they have their own weapons manufacturers, their own inspectors to make sure the weapons manufactured WILL WORK, etc.? Or is the Dominion's manufacturing base so crappy, its military has to choose between buying weapons that don't work and buying no weapons at all?


If I'm remembering the episode right, they never said the weapons sucked, it was just that this particular torpedo was defective.


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