So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Linwood
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Linwood » Thu May 16, 2019 11:20 am

I suspect towed grav cargo lifters are only for very specialized niches. Small (<4dton) grav pallets may be handy for moving odds and ends around a small facility - luggage carts, perhaps - or maybe in caverns and tunnels. But for most loads it’s far easier for a grav vehicle to just clamp on and lift. After all, you can always fly over tight turns as long as you have airspace.
Moppy
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Moppy » Thu May 16, 2019 11:30 am

Linwood wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 11:20 am
I suspect towed grav cargo lifters are only for very specialized niches. Small (<4dton) grav pallets may be handy for moving odds and ends around a small facility - luggage carts, perhaps - or maybe in caverns and tunnels. But for most loads it’s far easier for a grav vehicle to just clamp on and lift. After all, you can always fly over tight turns as long as you have airspace.
I know it's been bugging me for years, in every science fiction.

The first time I saw it I was like full "wow much cool" Doge but about 5 seconds later I was "wait, why don't they clamp on?" and I've been like that ever since.

I'd be so much happier if I didn't understand engineering.
Linwood
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Linwood » Fri May 17, 2019 1:56 am

That suggests another possible variable - a light man-portable grav unit that could be simply clamped onto a smaller object for lift, allowing a sophont to push/pull the object wherever. Might have uses within a ship, workshop, etc. Call it the grav version of a pallet jack. Pretty sure a past Traveller version had something like that in an equipment book....
Moppy
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Moppy » Fri May 17, 2019 8:09 am

The closest I have seen in Mongoose to the grav pallet jack is the grav belt which you could put on the object to be lifted?

Do they use reduced gravity in space craft cargo holds to make handling loads easier? I saw some article somewhere saying zero-G was bad as stuff would float around but some token gravity like 0.01g to 0.1g would let you carry stuff easier.
Linwood
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Linwood » Fri May 17, 2019 11:31 am

I believe most of us are assuming that’s possible in Traveller (others can speak to whether it’s canon). But I think for most purposes it would be best to target only the load you want to move with a grav change, not everything in the hold - and that would be easier with a dedicated device.

I wonder - what about an arcade game - or competition - where cargo handlers manipulate grav plates to move objects around an obstacle course, fiddling with fine controls so that the object slides “downhill” to move in the right direction? That could be an interesting pastime on high ports and the like...
Moppy
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Moppy » Fri May 17, 2019 1:16 pm

Linwood wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 11:31 am
I wonder - what about an arcade game - or competition - where cargo handlers manipulate grav plates to move objects around an obstacle course, fiddling with fine controls so that the object slides “downhill” to move in the right direction? That could be an interesting pastime on high ports and the like...
Would you use a courier company who made a sport out of kicking boxes around? :-)
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby phavoc » Fri May 17, 2019 2:08 pm

One has to wonder how many 'trailers' would have something like a detachable grav unit hugging the top, perhaps with spider-like appendages, to provide the grav field for whatever it is attached to.

We really don't have a good description of how AG works. Like is it a narrow field, a spherical one, a directed one. We know the grav belt has a harness, so is just the unit itself generating CG and by the harness pulling the user along?

And in ships we know they have AG that combines inertial dampeners and localized grav fields, but is that the same for vehicles? And if they grav plating is in the decking, how far out does it extend? Strictly vertically? In a spherical field? Can it be angled to cover say access shafts? Does it extend beyond the hull, or can it? Lots of questions.
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Condottiere » Fri May 17, 2019 2:14 pm

You can't nail down anti gravity in Traveller.

It appears to be mostly plot driven.

All things to all sophonts.
Moppy
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Moppy » Fri May 17, 2019 2:32 pm

If the field of a grav belt wasn't confined to the belt, objects near the wearer would randomly get affected as they entered the bubble - and I think that would be both weird, and a task DM on throwing and whatnot. Neither of which appears to happen. edit: Or you'd leap into the air raft ... and go flying over the top.

However the belt is always, in every picture I've seen in Traveller, shown as a literal belt (a waist loop) without a harness. So how does it lift the wearer?

A wizard did it.
Reynard
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Reynard » Fri May 17, 2019 6:58 pm

Back to the original topic, first off I've been looking over the examples in 101 Vehicles and there are a lot of anti-grav designs including several air/raft variants. The point though is why isn't there a grav version of the ATV? One thing that hit me first, there is no such thing as a G-ATV because all grav vehicles are naturally all terrain. An ATV is a ground vehicle able to traverse terrain normally not conducive to standard ground vehicles. With that in mind, I want a comparison of an the iconic ATV as shown but with a grav frame, everything else is the same.

Grav Pathfinder Vehicle
TL 12
Skill Flyer (grav)
Agility -1
Speed (Cruise) Fast (High)
Range (Cruise) 3000 (4500)
Crew 1
Passengers 7
Cargo 2
Hull 60
Shipping 10
Cost Cr.1,601,575
Equipment:
Communication system (Improved), Computer/1, Life support (Short term),
Navigation system (Improved), Sensor system (Improved), Small turret (4 spaces)

The differences are it cost Cr.1,536,575 more than an ATV, has better speed and range and better agility. Add it to a mustering out ship and add the extra cost to the mortgage.
Linwood
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Linwood » Sat May 18, 2019 12:59 pm

JTAS 1 has an interesting selection of ATV variants, including one with a limited grav lift capability. Also some add-on equipment packages that look relatively useful.

I suspect primary drivers for ownership of an ATV vs a grav vehicle probably include utility and cost of ownership. I was going to add ease of use but with autopilots commonly available that’s probably a minor consideration. Other factors will depend on what the owner intends to do.
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Reynard » Sat May 18, 2019 10:42 pm

Spent the days chilling at my local game store working on Traveller thoughts. Took the 1e and 2e Vehicle Handbooks to study. First, I found the Grav Utility Vehicle and I'd say that is a very close representation of a grav based upgrade for the ATV. Quite a few other useful g-craft designs to covert.

My biggest exercise was the idea of a mass transit or freight grav vehicle, a grav train/subway/etc.. I originally proposed a train like design with modular 'cars' that could be added or subtracted as needed. I listen to my techno rave and decided to focus on mass transit, the whys and hows. I thought about why would you need such a thing in an environment of grav vehicles whizzing everywhere and realized they won't be. I thought about sci-fi examples and you frequently see lines of slow but orderly streams of vehicles in three dimensional tight lanes. Even the Jetsons' world did that. Your grav craft might be inherently quick but you do not open it up full unless you're a jedi chasing assassins. Within city limits, grav vehicles are highly restricted in speed and location. More than likely, high density populations will normally demand control. You probably will move no faster than Slow band, will be guided into traffic flow and automatically guided to a destination where you regain control. There are some of the issues. First, not everyone can have access to personal grav vehicles and second it can take a lot of time to get around. This is where high density people movers come in.

I poured through both vehicle handbooks and rediscovered 1e had rules for 'rail' designing including grav rail systems riding on repulsor rails similar to maglevs. Took some time to understand what I needed but I decided the optimal rail is akin to Light Rail Vehicle. Each car is an independent unit that can be linked together to handle as many passengers as needed. The most important qualities are they move at high speeds up to 500 km/hr compared to local traffic, use external power (no range limit) and are fully automated. The rail system is monitored and relay information to the train. Trains have minimal crew cabs for emergencies or necessary manual control and an autopilot is back up in emergencies to bring the train to safety. The cabs are enclosed and sealed against the elements and even high altitude.

Light Grav Automated Transport System
TL 11
Skill Flyer (Grav)
Agility -1
Speed (Cruise) Fast( - )
Range ( - )
Crew 0 (1 emergency)
Passengers 36
Cargo 1
Hull 160
Shipping 40
Cost Cr.6,617,700
Traits: None
Equipment: Control system (Basic), Autopilot (Flyer +2), External power (Grav vehicle),
Communication system (Basic, encrypted), Sensors (Basic), Life support (Short term), Robot brain (Advanced)
Moppy
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Moppy » Sat May 18, 2019 11:35 pm

If you're building rails everywhere then the grav version of the hyperloop (a rail in a vacuum tunnel) may allow higher speeds for cheaper grav vehicles. I'm not convinced they need one for technological reasons but might for economic ones.
Linwood
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Linwood » Sun May 19, 2019 2:21 am

Delivering power thru the rails should make the cars less expensive.
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Condottiere » Sun May 19, 2019 6:44 am

I think mass transit is going to vary on the micro and macro scale, dependent on population density, technology level, average income and be layered.

Horizontal escalators might become more prevalent; for the more sporty, scooters and bikes, powered or unpowererd.

For further distances, and if you're carrying a load, Tesla/Uber local taxi services, and on a more regularized or chartered schedule, mini buses or carpools.

Actual mass transit in urban areas will go underground, while the helicopter equivalent not belonging to emergency services will have to fly a minimum altitude unless landing or taking off from designated zones, likely high rise landing pads.

Intercontinental likely a combination of relatively slow trains, ocean going barges, and rather instantaneous aerospace liners.

Variations will likely exist on regional transportation systems.
Linwood
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Linwood » Sun May 19, 2019 12:34 pm

Adding to the variety, a mass transit system purpose-built from the ground up is likely to look very different from that grows organically as an area grows in population and technology over time. Even modest improvements thru improved technology might require a massive investment in infrastructure to implement. Some locales might purposefully limit technological improvements simply to keep the cost of infrastructure updates manageable.
Reynard
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Reynard » Mon May 20, 2019 1:41 am

Yeah, going from physical rails to a gravlev could be an investment. City design in a grav environment will be very different as roadways will be obsolete and transportation goes three dimensional. Imagine carparks and the fiftieth floor and city parks at ground level.
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Condottiere » Mon May 20, 2019 5:20 am

We have modern street trams running along ancient road embedded tracks; add fusion motors, they won't need overhead lines.

Aoning codes might be enacted to prevent the construction of more than moderately high buildings, and/or preserve at least the facades of historically significant ones, to preserve the character of cities, or at least their downtown areas.
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby phavoc » Tue May 21, 2019 4:49 pm

Piper did a good job of describing a grav-capable civilization. Modern planets had mile-high towers with car landing areas spread out every 20-50 floors. The buildings were tall and surrounded by green spaces. With that much space you can easily go vertical and do things not as possible today (helps to have collapsium-plated steel in order to make them nary indestructible as well).

In other descriptions of worlds you see the shantytowns sprung up around a more modern grav-civilization core. You have a city-center with not-so-high buildings, say only 1,000 feet tall instead of 5,000, but essentially just smaller versions with aircar landing zones spread up and down the tower. Surrounding the modern city core you have shorter multi-story buildings and eventually just regular one-story ones that would be present in any shanty town. You can look at some of the central and south american cities to get this idea (even some modern US cities, like Houston, have some similar areas). Roads still take on ground cars for the poor, but wealthier people fly in grav cars and land in parking spaces much like a car will park.
Condottiere wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:20 am
We have modern street trams running along ancient road embedded tracks; add fusion motors, they won't need overhead lines.
Broadcast power would be more economical and simpler. Adding powerplants to something that only needs to draw power is more expensive and costs more to maintain. The ability to transmit power to electrical motors in the vehicles makes for much cheaper infrastructure costs.
Reynard
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Re: So many ATVs in high tech places, when they're just bad air/rafts?

Postby Reynard » Tue May 21, 2019 8:09 pm

It makes me wonder what the median income is in grav based societies. A 'modern' TL 8 stripped down 4 seat ground family car in the HG2e Vehicle Handbook costs Cr.6500 which is cheap depending on how the currency would translate to 21st century Real Earth. A TL 10 2 seater G/Runner city car costs Cr.49,500 or eight times the cost. That's a big chunk of change. A world could have the tech level for commercial grav vehicles but lousy Resource Unit value making four wheels much more affordable for Joe and Jane Average. Hard to say if grav mass transport would pay for itself either. Might also explain low tech ATVs instead of very expensive air/rafts.

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