I thought the power / warp core was in the engineering hull and the nacelles were the engines that channeled that power. I may have remembered wrong but I also thought the two domes were the Bussard collectors.
Careful…. much more techonbable and we’ll sound like a Voyager episode.
The layout of the engine power systems were never really pinned down in TOS. However, Jefferies made a point of saying he put the engines away from the ship because they were where the dangerous stuff is. That makes sense to me more than a temperamental, centralized warp core. So, for this story, the anti-matter and it’s reaction system is in the nacelles.
Adrift and on emergency power? I’d forgot the weapon got the engineering hull. Either that or it’s surge blew the power couplings / power grid / power relays / plasma relays – those thingers that were always giving Trip Tucker a hard time
In these stories, the power source is the warp nacelles. Mark Farinas didn’t think it would be a good idea to be able to breathe on the Enterprise D warp core the wrong way and have it blow up. Not the mention that the reason the nacelles are on pylons is because they generate lots of radiation from the power source.
Presumably the actual spacetime warp generators are the white spheres at the end of nacelles. (like in the old technical manual)
The nacelles on the pylons really puts them equidistant from both hull, which would be bad for radiation management thanks to increasing the directions which require shadow shielding. Besides they have energy shield technology which would be lighter than material or distance based radiation management. But, there is indication the E-nil has three engine rooms, with three separate dilithium chambers.
The weaknesses of the Galaxy class were fortunately isolated to that class and gone in late DS9. Voyager and Defiant are both far more rugged.
I actually suspect it’s heat radiation (and even conduction) that is the problem. Put the hull and nacelles right next to each other, and you have to expend quite a bit of power to keep the life support systems from being cooked. It may not be realistic, of course, Star Trek isn’t hard sci-fi, and Matt Jeffries didn’t know everything. But the most important thing, I think, is what happens when the antimatter in the storage pods and the posimatter that the nacelles are forged from are forced to react in an uncontrolled fashion. The explosion is further away from the ship. Perhaps secondary shielding or polarized hull plating or macguffinite unobtainium paint will shield the engineering and saucer sections from the destructive material far better than they would if, oh, I don’t know, the reactor was housed IN THE POPULATED SECTION OF THE STARSHIP FILLED WITH HUNDREDS OF CIVILIANS AND CREWMEMBERS. In such a case, you end up destroying the entire ship by “breathing on the warp core too hard.”
Given the two options, I’d rather have the power generators be on separated pylons.
What then is the Engineering Hull for, if not to house the reactor? I suspect the shield generators, navigational deflector, tractor beam emmitters, science labs, transporter pattern buffers, main computer core, auxiliary power batteries, shuttle launch bay, shuttle storage deck, and life support hubs would be enough to fill an entire hull. And where is the Engine Room, and what purpose does it serve? It’s at the junction between the two warp nacelles, where the warp power can also be used to power other systems. It is a control station for the warp reactors and a computer system for controlling the space/warp generators.
Unfortunately the power levels are so extreme in original Trek (a bucket of antimatter could blow off half a planet’s atmosphere, which is not the case in reality, but obviously the case in Trek) that a separation of a hundred meters is several thousand kilometers short of a safe distance in case of uncontrolled matter-antimatter annihilation. Even for heat management there is too much proximity and line of sight to inhabited hulls, thanks to how much power they can output. Shields wouldn’t help, because the explosion would be too strong, and radiated waste heat hitting the hull would cause huge inefficiency as it is reabsorbed and needs reradiation. It all comes down to space magic and unknown in-universe good design practices.
The main deflector/sensor is going to be outputting huge amounts of radiation of all sorts. The things which make most sense in the secondary hull are the shuttle bay, cargo, power systems, fuel, water, machine shops. Life support makes far more sense in the saucer, which has the impulse engine, and would mean it would be self sufficient if they were to separate. I’m not a fan of every ship having separation, just the E-D, even if they cannot reattach, but there you go. All the quarters, and labs should be in the saucer, toward the bow, away from the impulse engines, and hopefully shielded against the main deflector. I prefer the shields as emitter generators, rather than a monolithic system which can be knocked out in a single hit; instead it’s completely distributed, with multiple redundant power connections.
As for the engine room set we usually see, with the triangles in back, one theory I read is it’s the impulse engine. I think the placement doesn’t make any sense, since it would block turbo lift access through the neck. However, it fits in that the Dean Drive, at least one configuration, looks just like the series of triangles in the background.
One of the sensible things to store which almost everyone misses is water. A space ship like the Enterprise is going to need kilotons of the stuff. It’s not just for drinking and bathing, it can be cracked to replace lost oxygen, the hydrogen can be used as fusion fuel and annihilation reactant, water can be used as a coolant and method for dumping heat overboard. It’s probably more desirable to keep the heavy and light water separated but on linked systems.
For all the hull separation and arrangement, since it can come in so many forms, I far prefer the idea that it all relates to warp field dynamics. Pointy ships get high natural cruise speeds, blunt ships get slower natural cruise factors but at even better fuel efficiency, and balanced ships are balanced in performance and efficiency. Then, long nacelles allow brute force increases in warp factor, while short nacelles stick more within the natural ship performance; both also factor into hull geometry and the natural factors and efficiency. Otherwise, every ship would just be a sphere or rod.
My god that’s a big wall of text.
“As for the engine room set we usually see, with the triangles in back, one theory I read is it’s the impulse engine. I think the placement doesn’t make any sense, since it would block turbo lift access through the neck. However, it fits in that the Dean Drive, at least one configuration, looks just like the series of triangles in the background”
Not much theory. The MSD shown on the USS Defiant’s main viewing screen in “In a Mirror, Darkly, Part 2” shows us where some of the notable features are, and during the zoom in, you can make out Main Engineering in the stardrive hull, and the V-shaped pipes are the warp power conduits, and feed up the pylons (alongside a turbolift shaft) into the nacelles.
Realize, though, that Enterprise is not part of the canon of this comic. Nearly everything from later series that attempts to retcon TOS is ignored. Some of this is explained in the “About” section.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Notify me of new posts by email.