Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

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dsmith14469
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Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby dsmith14469 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:12 pm

Most of the other ship deck plans show the fuel tanks. Any idea where these are on the 400T Lab Ship in the books?

Outside of the ring, inside of the ring, front side, back side?

Thanks
Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:46 pm

Maybe under the floor.
paltrysum
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby paltrysum » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:55 pm

This came up in a recent discussion with players in a campaign I'm running. One of the characters is a 5-term scientist and received a lab ship mustering out award. He doesn't have it yet, but I'm planning on incorporating the award of the ship into the story and I interpolated a set of 2D deck plans from the 3D ones in High Guard. The players pointed out several things that appear to be a bit off, the biggest of which is the lack of visible fuel tankage. This should probably be corrected since just about every other deck plan shows the fuel tankage and doesn't ask the players to imagine where they might be. I would posit that the fuel tanks should be adjacent to the lab spaces so that fuel usage operations or alternative fuel research could be performed in the labs.

Another issue is the apparent location of the bridge on the aft of the ship. While it isn't imperative that the bridge be on the fore what with modern holovision and other sensory devices, aesthetically it might be nicer to imagine it on the fore so that physical viewports could look forward. In addition, if you want to use Ian Stead's excellent illustration of the lab ship, he added a section that appears to have a broad viewport deck, depicted on the "crest" of the ship with the two engineering sections 90 degrees to port and starboard. Is that meant to be the bridge? Not if you want to be faithful to the original (Death Station) and updated (MgT2 High Guard) versions. It might well be that these viewports are for astronomical or planetological viewing or some other research function.

Another player pointed out that the lab ship is too small to actually generate 1G of gravity just by spinning. I might just employ handwavium here as it's sort of one of the tenets of the design that you can create gravity simply by spinning the ship.
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
Jump Dave
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby Jump Dave » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:22 pm

The deck plans for the original (afaik) CT version of the Lab Ship, introduced in the adventure Death Station, included a cutaway showing fuel tanks located in a ribbon under the floor, along with life support ducts.

As for generating gravity: according to this website, angular velocity to get 1G "may be too high for immediate comfort – authors disagree. A period of adaptation may be necessary." (I calculated the radius as follows: 128 square circumference x 1.5m per square / 3.14 *2 = 30.57m as the radius at floor level) https://www.artificial-gravity.com/sw/SpinCalc/

And for what it's worth, I made this "front view" of the lab ship so I could better understand where everything is along the ring (apologies for my weak Illustrator skills): Image

I agree that it's weird that the bridge is facing backwards, and that prominent "cockpit"-looking area would be labs, and according to the deck plans, would have a wall bisecting it almost in the middle. Also, it appears to be oriented upside down.

Other problems:

1. The pinnace deck plans for the lab ship appear to be that of a 20-ton ship, not a 40-ton one. The MT version of the lab ship gave the pinnace fuel scoops and oversized fuel tanks, so it could refuel the lap ship; the lap ship was equipped with fuel processors as well (which the current one lacks). But the MT pinnace would have to make many trips to refuel the lab ship, and from the Mongoose v2 core rules, we know that gas giant refueling is pretty hazardous. I'd recommend adding a fuel bladder to the pinnace's cargo bay, and a cargo clamp on the lab ship's docking arm, so that the ATV could be clamped in place (which would certainly require EVA) - this could allow a pinnace to refuel the lab ship in about 5 trips instead of 8 or 9.

2. The pinnace should dock sideways (instead of oriented "up") in order for the pinnace's air lock to line up with the one on the docking ring.

3. I'm curious how it's envisioned that one transitions their orientation when going from the ring to the docking arm...
Linwood
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby Linwood » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:37 am

If you're focusing on astronomy or planetology or similar sciences, being able to put the labs in the nose of the ship might be a plus. It might also make sense if you're trying to isolate your experiments from inputs from the ship's systems. Or - maybe for security? Keep those pesky absent-minded scientists away from sensitive ship's systems?

Regardless, it sounds like it may be high time for a proper redesign of the lab ship....
Reynard
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby Reynard » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:11 am

Engineering/pinnace docking section in the center location. The ring is a hamster cage. As a very harmless research vessel, give a light hull unless you need to mount laser drills. Solar panels for extended stays in a location. Multi-environment space for specimens along with life scanners. Library should be a natural. Oh, fuel along the outer ring offers protection with the hydrogen as a radiation absorber.

I think I have a project at lunch tomorrow.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:10 am

paltrysum wrote: The players pointed out several things that appear to be a bit off, the biggest of which is the lack of visible fuel tankage.
As Jump Dave points out:
Image

paltrysum wrote: Another issue is the apparent location of the bridge on the aft of the ship.
Aft? The bridge is in the ring which is the "side" of the ship.

The ship moves with the ring standing up, not lying on its side like a frisbee. The docked pinnace is pointing forward.

paltrysum wrote: Another player pointed out that the lab ship is too small to actually generate 1G of gravity just by spinning.
No problem, spin it harder and you will achieve 1 g, 2 g, or whatever you desire. You will get a problem with things not falling straight "down" though (as the ship will rotate away from the object as it is falling).
Old School
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby Old School » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:23 am

To me, the bigger issue is what to do with a lab ship. I like to have a scientist in a my traveller crew, but it is difficult to work the ship into a campaign. A full time science campaign sounds boring, and it would be hard to pay the mortgage.
Reynard
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby Reynard » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:45 am

Like mercenary groups, you get contracts from government and private organizations for specific studies. You are on a site that requires a special short term, hands on approach a large very expensive research facility isn't suited for. This, of course, leads to the more unusual encounters and dangers every TV space adventure show faces. Ever see a Federation science away team bored with a routine science mission?

After a while, the lab ship and it's team are regularly hire to look into the unusual and dangerous whether on some deserted dead rock or at a colony. As a player group, having a mix of career types can be explained as to the nature of their encounters. Brings back those sci-fi movies with military personnel, reporters and businesspeople mixed in with the scientists and ship's crew. Notice how those science missions always has a Ship's Locker filled with rifles, sidearms and grenades!
MonkeyX
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby MonkeyX » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:49 am

If youve not seen the reach adventure 2: theories of everything it gives a full science crew on a lab ship with their squabbles and egos. Their mission is fairly straight forward but can easily be built upon by side ad entities in the planets they travel to.
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby paltrysum » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:14 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:10 am
Aft? The bridge is in the ring which is the "side" of the ship.
Take a look at this screen cap from the deck plans in High Guard:

https://ibb.co/dFMXGU

So the floor would be facing "down" in the lab ship so that when the ship is spinning with artificial G turned off you could create gravity. I placed sheared rectangles over the exposed maneuver drives and the bridge. The maneuver drives are pointed aft of course. As you can see from the orientation of the bridge, it is also aft and there's a hallway between the bridge and the fore of the ship.
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:34 pm

paltrysum wrote: I placed sheared rectangles over the exposed maneuver drives and the bridge.
I agree that room is aft of the corridor. I didn't notice that the colour marked it as bridge.

Why is it a problem that the bridge doesn't have a free view forward? A spacecraft navigates by sensors, not by sight.

In a spinning ship a compensated screen is probably better than a viewport.
paltrysum
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby paltrysum » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:33 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:34 pm
I agree that room is aft of the corridor. I didn't notice that the colour marked it as bridge.

Why is it a problem that the bridge doesn't have a free view forward? A spacecraft navigates by sensors, not by sight.

In a spinning ship a compensated screen is probably better than a viewport.
It is not a mechanical problem. It's an aesthetic problem and it conflicts with most of the other Traveller "adventure-class" ships. Yes, you navigate by sensors, not sight...but, the Beowulf, Empress Marava, Type-S Scout, Safari Ship, etc., etc., have viewports. Heck, even the spherical Broadsword has viewports. And, if you look at Death Station and other CT deck plans for the lab ship, the bridge seats are facing to fore and are not obstructed, so you could make the case that presumably there are viewports.

Viewports are cool and are a traditional part of most Traveller ships. This game was based on the sci-fi of the 40's to 70's. The ships are largely based on airplanes in which you stand up, face forward, and can look out the window at all the cool sights. :)
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."
Sigtrygg
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:02 pm

Use the deck plan in the original Double Adventure - the bridge faces the way you want it to.
Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:00 am

Old School wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:23 am
To me, the bigger issue is what to do with a lab ship. I like to have a scientist in a my traveller crew, but it is difficult to work the ship into a campaign. A full time science campaign sounds boring, and it would be hard to pay the mortgage.
Why is that? All they would have to do is invent new things in the lab ship while its traveling around in space, and then sell their new invention at the next port of call! Let me see they are doing an experiment, and pirates attack them, one of them fires a laser at the ship just before it makes a jump, but the damage causes an electrical discharge in one of the laboratories, spilling some chemicals, and then when they go to clean up the mess they find a gooey substance like putty, they roll it into a ball and bounce it on the floor, each time the ball bounces it goes higher and higher, they've just discovered flubber!
Reynard
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby Reynard » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:46 am

"I think I have a project at lunch tomorrow."

Went to the ship architect facility. They said dump the hamster cage or the double hull. The ring configuration works fine. You have the best of gravitic manipulation and centrifugal gravity. Ships can alter gravity plates specific to location. When in centrifugal mode, the pilot uses micro thrusters to begin spin while the grav plates are shut down proportional to the increasing spin. Don't make any severe maneuvers as the ship is now a gyroscope. Also take in the phenomenon of the Coriolis force on such small radii which can be significant as Traveller physics allows rotating structures as close as 15m for a 1g effect.

They also recommend creating a central engineering section center to the main ring with supporting pylons and a main access pylon which would have the ability to align gravity so people can reorient between the two structures. The big advantage for an engineering deck is better isolating various radiations from the maneuver drive, jump drive and power plant. The pinnace can still have a central space here allowing it to better match spin for docking. The cargo hold would be located here for efficient transfer leaving the ring for residence and primary functions. The hold is greatly expanded to hold equipment and supplies for extended mission and room for sample and specimen storage.

Those architects shake their heads that a fuel processor was never part of the ship meaning the pinnace had to be equipped cutting valuable space. The processor on the ship need only be proportional to the amount of fuel the pinnace can carry maximum cleaning it while the pinnace gets the next load.

The engineers showed me other considerations for an upgrade. First they conceive the variant would be increased to 500 tons. The hull need only a light hull structure since they aren't normally involved with hostile events though this could change. They heartily agree this ship needs solar panels. One reason is to extend in-system operation time significantly without constantly refueling. Solar panels also greatly reduce radiation form the power plant running at a much lower level.

They point to updated science software that would be crucial to a lab ship's operations with the Science (General) and Planetology/2. This needs a 15bis rated system. Another electronic improvement considered useful is the Life scanner suite for remote surveys before direct interaction. They also proudly glow at including the multi-environment system for holding of lifeforms to observe in a controlled situation. The library facility is a data collection retrieval must. Being in compromising situations calls for a competent medical bay. The last new addition is a workshop allowing repair, maintenance and fabrication of tools and equipment for their work.

They quoted an estimate which seemed reasonable for what it packs. I'm sure they can hawk it to clients.
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Re: Laboratory Ship Fuel Tanks

Postby Condottiere » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:30 pm

It would be easier dispersed structure, and attach ungravitated modules if that's what the lab rats wanted. Or needed.

As regards to the fuel, in theory one in five of those squares should be designated as bunkerage, so floor or ceiling, because it's not walls.

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