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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 106
03-20-2012, 04:49 PM
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
In some ways, we seriously underestimate what kind of amazing technical feats Startrek tech is doing on a regular basis. Just look at their long range sensors - we have difficulties detecting planets at that distance! They can detect ships - shuttles even - across light years of distance. Of course, you may say "they can only do that because the warp engines cause so strong signals" - but think of that - a star at that distance is a tiny dot we might miss in the night sky. Either the warp engines really give off ridicilious amounts of radiation, or they have ridicilious powerful sensors.

And that's not even talking about the details of warp, beaming, holodecks or replicators. Just something "simple" as long-range sensors.

(And the opposite is also true for their cloaking devices. You can't cloak anything as totally as they do in Startrek. Containing the heat emissions alone would force serious problems, and if you don't contain it, you could certainly easily detect a strong heat source within a few hundreds of thousands kilometers, especially with the kind of sensors Startrek employs - but the cloaking devices fool these sensors completely!)
To a great degree it assumes a large increase in processing power. The signals are received, but it takes serious calculations to isolate them from background noise.

I remember seeing a documentary on Star Trek technology and they took the position that transporters were impossible because of the sheer volume of data storage they would require... struck me as odd at the time that they singled that out rather than quantum issues in measuring the states of every atom in the person or object to be transported.

As for cloaking, heat doesn't transmit well at all in a vacuum. A warp signature is an actual warping of spacetime to cheat relativity. A cloaking device might compensate for that by warping the surrounding ambient energy to compensate, conceiling the signature... hypotheticly at least....