The technologies and devices described within this thread are Science-Fantasy, with a loose root in modern technology. The speed of light will be violated, causality will be disposed of for convenience, and ultra-hardcore science is generally not welcome.
The setting of this tech is a futuristic earth, roughly 500 years from now. There is alot of tech and some far out ideas coming, and some nay-sayers will point out that technology cannot advance that far in sucha short amount of time, and that millenia will be needed. I say balderdash, It took humanity less than a century from first powered flight to breaking the speed of sound. Technology expands rapidly, both in terms of evolution and in terms of scope. Computers advance and are enlisted in building newer better computers and tech. This creates a larger base of tech and information allowing people with crackpot ideas and smaller budgets to crank out new ideas and designs the way webpages are puked up by the internet.
Just because you cant concieve of it, doesn't mean it is impossible.
Mood and Theme
Science fantasy is fun, Star Wars is simply huge. We as a group like to visit alien worlds, zip around in hyperspace, and watch things like X-wing fighters barrel roll into combat while Star Destroyers and alien battlecruisers trade turbolaser blasts. While this codex isnt going to have psionics, jedi mind tricks, or vulcan mind melds, there are going to be a number of familiar elements.
Electricity is the lifeblood of a spaceship, powering everything from the life support to the engines and everything inbetween. This generally makes the power core the most vital of vital systems. Prior to the Fusable core, fission power cores split uranium and plutonium to create power, which while more effective than combustion and more controllable than solar, created large amounts of waste. The fusable core was a watershed moment in Terran history as it freed ships of needing waste bunkers to hold expended fuel rods from the core. Thus freed, their mass decreased, speed increased, and power output grew exponentially. Also the Fusable core uses not exotic, heavy and radioactive materials for power, but uses Dueterium, refined hydrogen, for power.
Linear Fusion Core - The first generation of fusion cores were long and barrel shaped, with large back-up fissionable auxilliaries. These linear reactors had fluctuating power bands, were temperamental, but had the ability to produce large bursts of power in short amounts of time. This was also apparent when Linear Fusable cores demonstrated service lives of just under three years. After this amount of time, many of the core and structural components showed significant fatigue. Core breaches became common, 30% chance per year after three years of operation. The longest continually operating core lasted six years before safety systems disabled the accelerators and injectors.
Spherical Fusion Core - The spherical core was a step up from the linear core, as it presented a much longer operational life, though it's ability to deliver high amounts of power on very short notice we somewhat limited. The spherical core presents several problems, though these are for the ship, and not generally the reactor. Being a sphere, it limits the size and shape of the ship mounting it. Older ships tended to be long with a narrow cross section, much like a 1950s pulp Rocket, or a building. When the spherical core is introduced, such ships either had large distended sections where the hull was wrapped like skin around the reactor, or were scaled up to be very large. Most ship designers tended to be conservative in their work and didn't adopt new design philosophies. Because of this, generally only large container ships, military capital ships and other ships of large size mounted spherical reactors.
The Toroid Core - Also known as a Tokamak, the Toroid reactor is donut shaped and creates it's power in a circular fashion. It mimics the long term functionality of a spherical reactor, but with internal angular momentum, the reactor can be adjusted for power output, being throttled up or down as the case warrents. Toroid cores also bypass the main spherical flaw in that they are generally flat in profile and can be modified to fit into many pre-existing ships.
The Spheroid Starship
One of the stranger developments during the evolution of the fusable core is the Spheroid starship. This ship literally a glass, steel, and plastic ball with thrust engines sticking out of the bottom. Lacking any sort of aerodynamic quality, these types of ships were relegated to space operations. Later models, with improved guidance computers and reinforced landing struts were able to make planetfall, but this was generally considered a very risky maneuver, and even with the best touchdown, the ship and crew invariably suffer some damage.
When the Toroid fusion core is introduced to general service, most Spheroid starships in design are scrapped. The volume of a sphere is the largest in relationship to it's surface area, so several kinds of ship retain a spherical shape. The most common are mobile science labs, followed by bulk transport ships, and lastly, aerospace fighter carriers.
Science facilities tend to be large and have diverse amounts of supplies and almost random equipment. This means that for any one given mission, the ship will have nine tools and only need two of them. But in having spacious facilities, a mobile scientific ship is able to travel from site to site without reconfiguring, or resorting to a flotilla of smaller less capable ships. The science ship also benefits from the high efficiency of the Spherical fusion core, and having ample room for quarters, small craft, and supplies.
Rare outside of combat operations, the medical ship is a welcome sight and is protected under interstellar law. Attacking a medical ship is considered a war crime, and punishable by retaliation. These ships have facilities for cryohibernation, cloning limbs and organs, as well as cybernetic prosthetics.
Bulk Cargo Ships
The spheriod cargo ships dont carry goods like starfighter parts, express shipments, or anything perishable. They trade speed for efficient power generation and minimal cost of transportation of goods. The most common bulk hauler carries dueterium to starbases, water and volatiles rendered from comets, and bulk ore to processing facilities.
Only surpassed by the bulk haulers, Fleet carriers use their interior space to house large numbers of air and space capable fighters and small craft. Compared to warships proper, the fleet carriers are primitive, having large engines and ample space, rather than impressive weaponry, extensive targeting systems and the like. Individual fighters are little more than a nuisance to large ships, but properly armed with anti-ship missles, fusion tipped torpedoes, and the like they become a proper threat.
The Ion Engine
Prior to the advent of the Ion engine, sublight propulsion was created by the use of hypergolic rockets, controlled directional nuclear drives, and compression release systems. While capable of small scale movement, they were heavily limited by fuel requirements as well as being continual explosive hazards. The hypergolic rockets required huge amounts of fuel, and once depleted a compression release was dead until refilled with gas. The Nuclear drive was a nightmare from the beginnings and deserves it's own entry.
The Ion Engine uses an electrical current to rip apart fuel molecules and expel them from a highly energized plate. This stripping effect takes alot of power, and the thrust generated is not as impressive as chemical rockets. However, the thrust members and plates can be made quite large, and as the unit becomes larger, the thrust generated also grows. Early ion engines were used as long duration drives for interplanetary travel, and it wasnt until suitable power levels were generated to create what is known as an Ion Afterburn effect. The effect is a visible emission of light, generally a white to pale blue color from the ion engine's thrust. Once this level of power consumption and thrust output was reached, the chemical engines were replaced with larger and more robust power cores and became fully reliant on ion engines.
The Particle Wave Generator
The second generation of Ion Engine, the PWG was redubbed the 'Impulse Drive' partly out of nostalgia for the Star Trek medium and for the funtion of the multi-layered emitter plates that caused stripping reactions with both greater force and less energy, like Impulse shopping at a checkout line. The Impulse Engine gave ships the ability to travel at high velocities, maintain long duration acceleration, and deccelerate promptly. Now trips from Earth to Mars were a matter of days rather than the month long trip it had been. Ship designers were slow to adopt the Impulse Engine, as it seemed less appealing than the already existant ion drive. The first ships that used impulse drives also mounted redundant Ion drives, making the ships heavy and cramped inside. Many considered the failure of these dual system ships the deathknell of the Impulse engine. This lead the way for enhancment of the Ion drive to it's next iteration; the Bulk Ion Engine.
Bulk Ion Engine
As the upgraded form of the Ion engine, the Bulk Ion Engine is able to process larger amounts of fuel, has stronger energy capacity, and bleeds less power as it strips electrons. This comes at a price, Bulk ion engines are larger than common ion engines, and their rate of fuel consumption is much higher than their lesser kin. This would color the battle between Impulse Engines and Bulk Ion Engines, and eventually both would win, but in entirely different areas. While Impulse Engines were eventually adopted for widespread use on larger ships, the compact and powerful Bulk ion engine was miniaturized and adopted as the primary engine for aerospace fighters. Some military frigates and fast ships would mount a pair of bulk ion engines as 'emergency afterburners' for an extra kick in the pants of speed.
Ships that do not require great speed, such as frieghters and personal starcraft generally carry tried and true Ion Engines, due to their relative simplicity and durability. Military ships, more modern ships and larger private craft tend to have Impulse drives for speed and power. Small craft such as fighters and shuttles tend to have Bulk Ion engines for high speed and relative thrust output with a minimum of carried fuel.
The Flying Saucer
The Discoid type of ship made it's debut late into the arena of starship construction, and it began as a utilitarian design intended to be cheap and easy to manufacture in large numbers if needed. The heart and center of mass of a discoid or saucer type ship is the fusable core, and every saucer built was constructed around a toroid type core. Behind the core are impulse engines, and fuel tankage is located in convenient spaces around the ship in addition to a fuel pack that is located ahead of the fusable core for terms of mass balance. The rest of the ship grew in a radial pattern around the engineering section taking a roughly cruciform shape. The wings between the arms were rounded and modified to serve as cargo room and bulk fuel storage.
Saucer type ships tend to have good amounts of cargo space, and since their systems are centralized, they are able to survive a large amount of head on damage, though solid blows through the top or bottom of the disc are more able to strike vital systems.
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? Responses (2)
Excellent idea for a Folio! I've got a couple of things to add here I think!