Lt. Commander
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# 21
12-16-2011, 09:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zevermoon View Post
I think when the Steamrunner class is released you see a 15m torp weapon that comes with it. For right now 10m is the chosen distance.

Now I heard about a positronic Tri cobalt torp that you can launch early then I seeks out the enemy like a AI ship.
10m may be good for ground combat I am thinking that you meant km
Lt. Commander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorricane View Post
Just adding to Tarby's post since I happen to have the tech manual sitting on my desk....

According to the TNG tech manual (pg 128 to be precise) the operative range of photon torps as used by Galaxy class vessels is 3.5 million kilometers for midrange detonation yield. The matter/antimatter cell used to sustain the warp field after launch can add velocity to the projectile, but torpedoes launched at sublight speed will not cross the warp 1 barrier. If launched low impulse the coils will drive the torpedo up to a 75% higher sublight velocity.

It should also be noted that the range can be extended past 3.5m/k, however detonation yield will suffer due to matter/antimatter being drawn from the payload to power flight.

Pg 126 of the tech manual states Type X phasers as having a maximum effective range of 300,000 kilometers.

So basically, soft canon has been replaced by softer canon for the sake of making STO not play like Battleship-in-Space.

And in response to PerseusTong - torpedoes (pg 130) are launched using a system similar to a mass driver or railgun. "Launch assist gas generators" are used to provide initial power to the sustainer.
Quite right that the Torpedo fired at sublight could never break warp one without its own warp engine, but that is more an artifact of limitations imposed by Special Relativity rather than Trek Canon. The tech manual states that most starships at sublight restrict velocities and accelerations below .25c to minimize relativistic effects like time dilation etc. So say a ship maneuvering at .25c fired a torpedo from its massdriver/railgun thingee. As the torpedo approached c, it would gain relativistic mass and whatever force was accelerating the torpedo would have a much harder time of it. When the matter/antimatter fuel was exhausted, the torpedo would stop accelerating...it would continue to move in space unguided as a big metal slug through space until it hit something. Now, you should not minimize the destructive power of this weapon, even without an anitmatter warhead.

A classical Newtonian collision with an object moving at relativistic speeds would be significant indeed. Say the warhead was moving at .5c If the empty torpedo had a mass of say, Spock's Coffin....100kg,

K = 1/2mv^2

Which yields kinetic energy of 1.125E+18 joule
How much energy is this?
Well, an atomic bomb of 26.875 kilotons releases energy of (1.125E +14 joule) or 10,000 times less...so 1.125E+18 joule would be 268.75 Megatons ....or slightly less than triple the energy released by overloading the impulse engines of a Constitution Class Cruiser....needless to say such an encounter would lead to a really bad day....
Lt. Commander
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# 23
12-16-2011, 12:06 PM
Good point - however, keep in mind that a torpedo's thrust is not being created by a reaction engine such as impulse drive, but by a low level warp field, even if travelling less that 1c. Its actual real space velocity will not be any higher than the ship was travelling at the launch of the torpedo (plus the velocity added by the launcher). The artificial limit imposed by canon is actually sort of self-limited in a sense - if the torpedo is "sustaining" a warp field, why not run it thru a subspace compression field (in the manner of impulse drive thrust) and simply always launch it at high warp velocity.

You raise yet another good point however - why not simply shoot out powered shards of metal at relativistic velocities? The TNG manual itself states that matter/antimatter reactions such as warp core explosions are not an efficient destructive force. Actually, to totally annihilate a starship you would have to bombard it with a quantity of antimatter equivalent to its mass in matter. Chain reactions such as nuclear fission are more efficient than 1:1 M/A annihilation. Apparently tho, neither are effective against shielded targets.

The canon argument is that shields completely stop physical projectiles as well as fission explosions......but again, STO treats torpedo damage as almost nil unless fired against a naked hull anyway. Actually, the variation in soft canon interpretations makes any kind of rational analysis basically impossible.

Wow, 3 paragraphs and I ended up going nowhere - I may as well have written a Star Wars vs. Star Trek vs. Daleks essay.....

edit on that note - Daleks win after Enterprise destroys Death Star with a single, self guided, photon torpedo up the tail pipe from 3.5 million kilometers away, while moving at warp speed, invisible to the guy manually targeting the lasers which move at 1/1000 the speed of the Enterprise anyway.
Lt. Commander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorricane View Post
Good point - however, keep in mind that a torpedo's thrust is not being created by a reaction engine such as impulse drive, but by a low level warp field, even if travelling less that 1c. Its actual real space velocity will not be any higher than the ship was travelling at the launch of the torpedo (plus the velocity added by the launcher). The artificial limit imposed by canon is actually sort of self-limited in a sense - if the torpedo is "sustaining" a warp field, why not run it thru a subspace compression field (in the manner of impulse drive thrust) and simply always launch it at high warp velocity.

....

Actually, the variation in soft canon interpretations makes any kind of rational analysis basically impossible.
What a lovely sentence and so true...This is the kind of thing that would drive Lawrence Krauss (Theoretical Physicist and Author of the Physics of Star Trek) quite batty I think. For instance...I'm not certain how a torpedo could be propelled by a low level warp sustainer field when fired from a sub-light ship not at warp. Seems to me there would be no warp field to sustain. The only available fuel would be its limited supply of anti-matter, it would travel end to end through normal space and thus it seems that there would be no way to evade either Newton or Einstein. Once the fuel was exhausted the body would stop accelerating and that would put Sir Isaac in the driver's seat if he wasn't already.


We have seen class eight probes (which look like modified torpedo casings) travelling unguided at warp 9 across sector space more than a few million measly kilometers. ST:TNG 2x20 - The Emissary
We HAVE seen torpedoes fired at sub-light speed travelling through normal space searching for a "tailpipe." ST:VI - The Unidiscovered Country.

These hard canon versions may be rationally irreconcilable. Oh well...10 km. It is.
Lt. Commander
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# 25
12-17-2011, 08:53 AM
I think this thread kind of proves why in STO, combat has to be within 10km. At that distance you can see the ship you're fighting and the damage you're doing to it as well. Get too far out and you kind of miss all that...
Lt. Commander
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# 26
12-18-2011, 11:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim3822 View Post
How can photon torpedoes be faster than light? So your saying that they are quicker than a phaser beam? That's just not right. Just not possible. If photon torpedoes were real they would just be light as thats what photons are so they could be faster than light because it is light! lol...

If your referring to the times we see them fired at warp maybe it's because they're in the warp bubble and thus move as they would relative to "normal"s space.
The Technical Manual of the Enterprise states that they have a longer effective range than Phasers, and that they can maintain their own warp field. But actually FTL is only possible for them if they were fired at warp (and part of the anti-matter aboard is used to fuel the warp drive, so the destructive power of the torpedo is lessened at distance.

If you think about this - Photon Torpedoes must be really expensive. Anti-Matter Warhead also capable of fueling an integrated warp engine! (Today's Tomahawks cost about 830,000 US $)

Maybe the TNG Federation didn't use money because you couldn't wrap your head around the numbers anyway... ANd they needed every ship to load up Hundreds of these Torpedoes!

Quote:
well, the reason i just asked about the 10km is that i was reading up on ship classes in memory alpha, and while going over the Constitution class, it stated that the firing range was 90,000 km. now, i know that that would be impossible to use within the game as it stands, but 10km just seems a bit. . . weird.
Ultimately, it's purely for gameplay. I mean, they could have set it to 20km and it might still have worked, but if you set it to 300,000 km for phasers and 1,500,000 for photon torpedoes, they wouldn't need a 3D game engine, but an okadugram* game engine.

The 10 km range seems to fit the usual distances we see on screen (when there was a budget for a VFX space battle and not just an okudagram.)

Quote:

You raise yet another good point however - why not simply shoot out powered shards of metal at relativistic velocities? The TNG manual itself states that matter/antimatter reactions such as warp core explosions are not an efficient destructive force. Actually, to totally annihilate a starship you would have to bombard it with a quantity of antimatter equivalent to its mass in matter. Chain reactions such as nuclear fission are more efficient than 1:1 M/A annihilation. Apparently tho, neither are effective against shielded targets.
But that would be a little overkill. You don't need to destroy every single atom the enemy ship is made of. You just need a hole large enough so that it stops flying and shooting. That can be done with a lot less.

K = 1/2mv^2 is the kinetic energy
E = mc^2 is the amount of energy released if you have matter and anti-matter totalling a weight of "m".
So 1 kg would already be 9E+16. 100 kg would be 9E+18.
Of course, in the real world, while highly effective, anti-matter bombs are not practical since we can't create anti-matter with a decent efficiency. (But then, neither can we accelerate 100 kg to 0,5 c.)

I kinda think the Startrek tech manual guys kinda... underestimated the effectiveness of Startrek. Or the show writers and SFX guys. A single photon torpedo would be enough to devestate a planetary surface. And the Enterprise D can fire a salvo of 10 torpedoes every few seconds.

*) Though I really found the display used in Wounded well done and well used. I think it allowed better to display the feeling of helplness the crew had to have - realizing that they couldn't do anything but just watch. And also the inherent horror of war fare -The lives of hundreds n - just a blip on the okadugram.
Lt. Commander
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What scientific principles are they going to discuss in Star Wars? Whether or not a Parsec is a unit of time or a unit of distance? There's no THERE there.

This thread warms my heart.
Lt. Commander
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# 28
12-19-2011, 07:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PerseusTong View Post
What scientific principles are they going to discuss in Star Wars? Whether or not a Parsec is a unit of time or a unit of distance? There's no THERE there.

This thread warms my heart.
They won't because that question was answered long ago.
It's distance.
Kessel is close to a bunch of black holes and the distance in parsecs means that instead of going the long way around the holes Solo skimmed the edge of the black hole cluster (called "the maw") on his Kessel run.
Lt. Commander
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# 29
12-19-2011, 09:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PerseusTong View Post
Seems to me there would be no warp field to sustain.
I assume the "gas generators" mentioned in the tech manual create some sort of warp field....or something along those lines. I wonder if they have an electric start or Geordi has to go down and pull start them before every engagement.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mister_dee
They won't because that question was answered long ago.
It's distance.
Kessel is close to a bunch of black holes and the distance in parsecs means that instead of going the long way around the holes Solo skimmed the edge of the black hole cluster (called "the maw") on his Kessel run.
This is the standard, and to me quite unsatisfying, post hoc Expanded Universe rationalization of the error. The more obvious explanation is that George Lucas didn't know then what he knows now after having a bazillion nerds tell him so...that parsec, though vaguely timey sounding, is in fact a unit of distance, not time.

This is not to say that Star Trek is immune from tech blunders or continuity errors...like..how come Worf has red blood while other Klingons have pink pepto-bismol colored blood?

It's just that after 700 or so hours of content...Star Trek seems to try a lot harder and succeeds better at getting the technical/scientific details right.
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