Passenger Ship logistics

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phavoc
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Passenger Ship logistics

Postby phavoc » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:52 pm

This article on CNN outlines the dance that cruise ships do at every port stop to re-provision. Most Traveller ships aren't this large, except for the warships. But here's an excerpt:

Take, for example, the Symphony of the Seas, currently the world's largest cruise ship. Feeding around 6,600 passengers and 2,200 crew on a typical seven-day itinerary requires some 60,000 eggs, 9,700 pounds (4,400 kilograms) of chicken, 20,000 pounds of potatoes and 700 pounds of ice-cream. The list goes on and on -- including, of course, the 450 cases of Champagne that are brought on at the start of each trip.

In this example the ship is carrying around 8,500 crew and passengers. Traveller really doesn't talk much about this, but the assumption is that fresh food would be used for passengers, and most crew, unless reconstituted food from processors could be as tasty as fresh. That's possible using molecular reconstitution (like replicators in Star Trek). However even in Star Trek fresh food cooked appears to be superior to replicated food. High passage passengers are certainly paying a lot for that sort of food, so one should reasonably expect they get the level of service they are paying for.

There are also mentions of how much waste is generated by these same ships.

"For example, cruise ships recycle about 60% more waste per person than the average person recycles on shore. Still, the ship owners and ship operators are facing many challenges," he adds.
A ship with 6,000 people on board can generate around 2,100 tons of waste water, 24 tons of wet waste (food waste and bio sludge from waste water treatment plants) and 14 tons of dry waste per day (solid burnable waste, plastic, glass, tins and cans). All this waste altogether is enough to fill around 110 trucks.


Recycling of waste and water (and air on ships) is a huge deal. Pardon the pun, but there's some interesting food for thought in the article if you are curious about how space ships or stations might operate.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/crui ... index.html
Moppy
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby Moppy » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:15 am

Traveller waste --> sun. Problem solved.

Resupplying cruise ships is involved but routine as they operate to schedules and have pre-arranged contracts.

Resupplying large yachts is a massive pain because they go whereever the owner wants and it's expected that the Captain will somehow sort out the fuel, lube oil and food.

I'd guess warships have a similar problem but they at least have a lot of people to do the work, and don't have to explain their purchasing decisions to the owner everytime the bills come in.
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby Condottiere » Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:24 am

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AnotherDilbert
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:43 am

phavoc wrote: Take, for example, the Symphony of the Seas, currently the world's largest cruise ship. Feeding around 6,600 passengers and 2,200 crew on a typical seven-day itinerary requires some 60,000 eggs, 9,700 pounds (4,400 kilograms) of chicken, 20,000 pounds of potatoes and 700 pounds of ice-cream. The list goes on and on ...
I find this a lot more likely than people eating MREs for month on end.

Humans are picky about what they eat if they get a chance, and I imagine non-omnivores like Aslan and Vargr are even more picky.


The closest current analogy to Traveller starships we have, submarines, certainly take on fresh food whenever they can and prepare fresh meals as they are eaten rather than relying on nuking pre-made meals. I would not call accommodations aboard military submarines luxurious, but freshly made meals are important enough for humans to be made space for.
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby Linwood » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:16 am

Fresh food is important for crew morale too. Providing an isolated outpost their first fresh food in months might be a good tactic to gain trust, negotiate an advantage, or simply as an opportunity to hear rumors or learn about the area. Or - imagine a crew of a scout on a long deep-space survey looking for something better than standard rations on their first meal back in port - and finding no fresh food to be had. Or worse yet, no coffee. Or beer....
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby AnotherDilbert » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:31 am

Make your own fresh food:
Biosphere
This is an area depicted to flora and fauna, either for the production of food or as a leisure area. Every ton dedicated to a biosphere will eliminate the life support costs for two passengers.
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby Linwood » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:01 am

There’s a long-term plot arc in my campaign which may end up with the players setting up their own mining operation. A biosphere module will be highly recommended to them for just that reason. :)
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby phavoc » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:20 pm

The issue with growing your own food is going to be speed and variety. Plants and animals will only mature so fast, even if you can grow them in a 24x7 environment. For variety, well, not all plants are suitable for vertical or hydroponic farming. Plus there is the issue of anything that requires pollination to germinate.

It all sounds good on paper, but the only longer-term effort to try and make a biosphere work completely independently (biosphere-2) was a partial success.
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:56 pm

phavoc wrote: The issue with growing your own food is going to be speed and variety. Plants and animals will only mature so fast, even if you can grow them in a 24x7 environment.
Quite, bit nothing especially impossible. A few thousand years of engineering might solve a few problems.
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby Linwood » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:29 am

I’m not looking for them to survive on just what they raise themselves (although maybe there will be an ‘accident’ that puts them on their own for a ). The thought was more to provide some variety in the diet and a ‘green space’ onboard for the psychological benefit of any non-spacer crew.

I agree with AnotherDilbert that there may be technological answers to at least some of the self-supporting issues. Didn’t someone just claim they were working on drones for pollination?

It could also be that the self-support diet looks very different from our normal diet. Maybe it would be primarily varieties of lichens, mosses and fungi? Insects and worms for protein?

Granted that sounds like a far less appetizing environment to live and work in...
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:15 am

I wouldn't that far...

I would mostly look for hydroponically grown fresh veggies to complement stored food. And perhaps some flowers for decoration.

Some foods, such as grains, store very well. Some foods can be frozen.
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby Condottiere » Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:07 am

On the other hand, the crew has a complete control and oversight over their food source.

Besides those who prefer The Martian organic crop rotation method.

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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby Linwood » Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:01 pm

And now I’m just realizing that he should have planted those potatoes a few at a time so the plants don’t all mature at once...
phavoc
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby phavoc » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:37 pm

For really long voyages this might be applicable. But the game postulates a week or so between planets. Ships would be able to pick up supplies easily on a planet or station. Much easier than trying to grow and harvest your own.

If your ship was away for months at a time you might want some fresh food. Beyond that it's easier to buy fresh planetside when you land.
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby Moppy » Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:56 pm

I’ve seen hydroponics on ships today. It’s fine for a few months.

Edit: it probably can self-sustain for longer but no-one I know has tried it, since today everything can be resupplied at least twice a year.
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby Linwood » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:18 am

So - how far away (in terms of weeks of travel time) would the nearest food source need to be to make a biosphere cost-competitive?
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby phavoc » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:24 pm

Assuming a ship makes regular runs, hydroponics wouldn't make much sense for bulk food (wheat, corn, etc). Smaller products, like fruits, vegetables, spices, etc, could work since they are generally tastiest when fresh. The other issue is going to be foodstuffs that aren't normally available in the area/region the ship goes through. So if your crew or passengers prefer a nice tasty veggie that would have to be imported or grown by a specialty grower, it might be cheaper to try and grow it yourself.

Hydroponics does offer some advantages in growth speeds. The issue would be the cost of the loss of space. Would you be able to grow enough food to offset the cost of buying it? That's the down and dirty ROI question every ships owner is going to ask. Intangibles like enjoying a garden area, or wanting fresh flowers for the owners suite are preferences (i.e. costs).

The rule about it offsetting life support costs don't match reality as the rules are written. By that I mean you incur life support costs regardless of whether or not a cabin is occupied. If that is the rule, then having hydroponics cannot offset any costs since they are fixed. But I don't think anyone is actually paying attention to the add-on rules that fly in the face of logic.
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby AndrewW » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:41 pm

phavoc wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:24 pm
The rule about it offsetting life support costs don't match reality as the rules are written. By that I mean you incur life support costs regardless of whether or not a cabin is occupied. If that is the rule, then having hydroponics cannot offset any costs since they are fixed. But I don't think anyone is actually paying attention to the add-on rules that fly in the face of logic.
It offsets the per person cost, not per stateroom.
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby Old School » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:54 pm

phavoc wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:24 pm
Assuming a ship makes regular runs, hydroponics wouldn't make much sense for bulk food (wheat, corn, etc). Smaller products, like fruits, vegetables, spices, etc, could work since they are generally tastiest when fresh. The other issue is going to be foodstuffs that aren't normally available in the area/region the ship goes through. So if your crew or passengers prefer a nice tasty veggie that would have to be imported or grown by a specialty grower, it might be cheaper to try and grow it yourself.

Hydroponics does offer some advantages in growth speeds. The issue would be the cost of the loss of space. Would you be able to grow enough food to offset the cost of buying it? That's the down and dirty ROI question every ships owner is going to ask. Intangibles like enjoying a garden area, or wanting fresh flowers for the owners suite are preferences (i.e. costs).

The rule about it offsetting life support costs don't match reality as the rules are written. By that I mean you incur life support costs regardless of whether or not a cabin is occupied. If that is the rule, then having hydroponics cannot offset any costs since they are fixed. But I don't think anyone is actually paying attention to the add-on rules that fly in the face of logic.
To the extent it matters (and in the realm of actually playing the game it probably doesn't), I would argue that a biosphere setup would need to be a (rather large) minimum size to have any efficiency. Unless of course you argue that technology will fundamentally change the science of growing food, in which case we can make whatever claim we want, as its all made up anyway.

Anyway, producing a variety of fresh food on a regular basis will require a lot of space. Want fresh tomatoes weekly? You're gonna need a lot of tomato plants, properly staggered in their planting cycle to maintain a continuous supply. Tree fruit is a much worse problem. Want fresh grapefruit? Grapefruit trees are quite large, and any given tree only has mature fruit for a couple of weeks a year. For every fruit you want, you're gonna need a couple of dozen trees at least. And we haven't even gotten to animal proteins.

Also, the labor and expertise required to do this on a small scale would be terribly inefficient. Of course, it could all be automated in the future, but so could the whole starship, and what fun would that be? I like the concept on a large scale, but the idea of a small ship having a corner of the cargo deck cordoned off as a greenhouse, and living off of what they produce, is not reasonable to me.
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Re: Passenger Ship logistics

Postby Linwood » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:10 am

So for a small ship - maybe an herb garden?

I could see an enterprising trader crew considering setting 1 dton aside for a small hydroponic garden just to give themselves an advantage in attracting high passage customers. Fresh herbs to liven up meals and maybe fresh flowers in the common area might draw in an extra passenger or two.

Of course allergies could be an issue....

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