Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Planning

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Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Planning

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:05 pm

Here is an interesting design for an interstellar starship, perhaps it could be used as the basis for a hard science fiction Traveller setting.

http://www.icarusinterstellar.org/colon ... -planning/

Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Planning

posted by Steve Summerford on September 10, 2012




(redacted version: full paper available here: http://www.steve-summerford.com/Coloniz ... Vessel.pdf )

INTENT

The notion of humanity exploring distant worlds has long been the substance of dreams; from early Renaissance thinkers condemned for their heretical visions, to banal fodder for modern day science fiction plots. With humanity’s insatiable appetite for knowledge and discovery, coupled with concerns surrounding the potential for an earthly cataclysmal event, it is only natural that armed with enough curiosity, we should seek to explore new horizons. As such, design proposals contained within this document aim to outline a smaller Colonized Interstellar Vessel (CIV), examining guidelines necessary to provide adequate living conditions for a given population, rather than envisioning how to encapsulate an exact visage of earth.

As a great deal of contemporary focus is commonly directed toward the technological requirements of space travel, designers of a CIV will need to be mindful that equal attention is allocated to the preservation of the mental and emotional human element. Without proper planning and thoughtful consideration to the physical, spatial, and psychological needs of the people tasked with living and operating in such a colony, even the most advanced technological achievements may risk failing at the human level. Design for the psyche and associated pragmatic daily functions should be of equal concern as those of cosmic radiation shielding, fuel supply, food procreation, etc. Should the precious human component be allowed to atrophy, the complete interstellar mission risks failure.

Thoughtful consideration must be exercised throughout the design phases to ensure a harmonious interconnection between infrastructure and its end users. Architecture and the interstitial spaces it creates should aim to promote healthy community living, while also meeting the basic territorial and privacy needs that human nature has become accustomed to on earth. Some methods for promoting psychological and physical well being through environmental design include:
• Allowing the user to modify the configuration and visual appearance of a space,
• Creating long vistas and distant focal points – Using structure to choreograph space, allowing for discovery and ‘unfolding’
• Varying materials, forms, shapes, textures, and colors to engage the mind
• Maintaining some semblance or connectivity to nature

The human brain will always be among the most advanced technologies aboard such a vessel; as such, the world designed around it should nurture and inspire, rather than simply function as containment.



DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

The proceeding content derives and builds upon information contained within the Stanford Torus study of 1975, titled “NASA Document SP-413”.

While many geometries have been explored for vessel formation, the most popular include the sphere, cylinder, torus, and banded toruses; and previous studies have concluded that both the sphere and cylinder were less efficient compared to the torus configurations with regard to spatial usability.

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Rather than developing the predominant projected living plane throughout the toruses in a banded fashion, a simple 90-degree reversal of thinking results in a different geometry resembling ‘banded cylinders’ running parallel to the axis of rotation. Reducing the cost and developmental restrictions of curved planes, the primary living spaces are designed to have flat bottoms and faceted extrusions, extending into long linear structures, referred to as ‘bays’. This makes it possible to provide sufficient colonial living space while maintaining a compact vessel design that should allow for more feasible propulsion and life support systems engineering.

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Such a configuration of interconnected bays rotating about a central axial zero-g hub, with each bay containing dwellings, agriculture facilities, civic structures, open spaces, and places of work and research, will be the basis of design moving forward.

In an effort to design for maximum vessel modifiability, modularity and program become intimately engaged. For any early concept to have any sustainable longevity, it must be able to adapt to a constantly evolving set of parameters — both technical and programmatic — that demand reactive scalability. Establishing a clear module that can easily be replicated, accommodate scale flux, and provide for an efficient use of space becomes a key nodal component. A whole composed of many modifiable parts lends well to an organic evolution of design.

Composed of many modules, each of the vessel’s bays should vary in architectural character and functional layout. Interconnected by a series of semi-circular bridges (pedestrian viaducts), one could meander indefinitely throughout the entire colony, covering several kilometers (km). The proposed bay consists of 5 initial modules, creating a bay nearly 775m in length.

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HABITAT CHARACTERISTICS FOR CONSIDERATION:

– It is important that the colonists have the ability to modify their dwellings and neighborhoods from time to time, necessitating the development of several different, but dimensionally related, prototypical homes that can be reconfigured periodically while still functioning as healthy neighborhoods.

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- Creating numerous bays within the colony, rather than one enormous open space, permits a greater degree of control in the event of a significant adverse event (such as a medical emergency, agricultural disease outbreak, or mechanical systems / hull failure).

- Each residential module should attempt to be uniquely laid out, staggered, and utilized as a means for controlling and creating long and short vistas. Moving throughout a residential neighborhood should be a mentally enriching experience, thoughtfully choreographed, and not quickly absorbed and discarded by the brain — as would be the case if looking down a long corridor of homes.

Image

– Multipurpose vegetation should be utilized throughout the community. In order to maximize efficiency, plant species should be used that provide edible parts or otherwise somehow contribute to the food or medicinal supply.

- Preserving pedestrian corridors and open space between structures provides colonists with the opportunity to gather and engage in social or recreational activities and increases the perceived openness, ultimately enhancing mental health and well being.

Image

- Although life will be relegated to existing within an artificially created environment, it should not always feel as such. While wood and stone may not be conducive to spacecraft design, the tactile nature of such elements improves the quality of a space by creating a semblance of nature connectivity.

As momentum behind pursuing such a monumental design challenge increases over time, it will be the cumulative effect of all the predecessor dreaming and design work that will ultimately allow such a marvel to be constructed. It may take decades, centuries, or even longer to fully realize, but all of humankind’s immense engineering design ideas began somewhere.

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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby phavoc » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:22 pm

Quite interesting.

I wonder if there would be a way to drop the sections onto a world after arrival to provide housing? They are probably too big to survive a drop, but hopefully they are designed to be salvaged, or at least recycled.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:30 pm

phavoc wrote:Quite interesting.

I wonder if there would be a way to drop the sections onto a world after arrival to provide housing? They are probably too big to survive a drop, but hopefully they are designed to be salvaged, or at least recycled.
In the picture the propulsive module is the bottom stage of a Daedalus starship, normally a to-stage thing that flies through a star system at 15% of the speed of light. I imagine the generation ship would travel at one quarter of this speed 3.25% of the speed of light. with enough fuel to slow down again, it would take 135.4 years for this ship to reach Alpha Centauri A and once it got there, it could convert into a space colony relying on solar power from the very sunlike Alpha Centauri A star. Replace the core with flat mirror arrays angled at 45 degrees to the pallets in a manner similar to the O'Neill cylinders except these would be on the inside rather than the outside.
Last edited by Tom Kalbfus on Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby alex_greene » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:31 pm

What has already been pointed out on the site is that, during periods of acceleration, the bays would have to be spread out like a flower, otherwise the bays would suffer a weird lateral tug back towards the stern in addition to the centripetal force. Everything would feel as if they were living on a really steep slope; and any open bodies of water would just rush straight towards the stern of each bay.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:02 pm

alex_greene wrote:What has already been pointed out on the site is that, during periods of acceleration, the bays would have to be spread out like a flower, otherwise the bays would suffer a weird lateral tug back towards the stern in addition to the centripetal force. Everything would feel as if they were living on a really steep slope; and any open bodies of water would just rush straight towards the stern of each bay.
Depends on how hard the acceleration. The acceleration for the first manned starship is not likely to be 1g, and you see the radiator panels? A 1 g acceleration would require a high power plant output. The trip is taking 135 years and "only reaching a maximum velocity of 3.25% of the speed of light, there is no real hurry to get up to this speed quickly. The ship can accelerate gradually at 0.01 g for instance, it would require much lower power output. Interstellar propulsion requires conservation of reaction mass, that means if you want a sustained acceleration over a long period of time, you need a high rocket exhaust velocity and thus a high temperature of the exhaust products. By sustaining a continuous small thrust, it becomes easier to dissipate the energy through the radiators than the much larger volume of hot plasma that would be required to sustain higher thrust levels such as 1 g for instance, which would only cause the tilting phenomenon you mentioned, but yes you could tilt the hab modules forward to compensate for forward acceleration. A possibility exists for resupply of the colony in mid flight. Note that the CIV starship requires the retention of fuel for the deceleration at the destination. A total delta v of 6.5% of the speed of light would be required, but for a resupply ship, You need fuel to accelerate to 6.5% of the speed of light and then slow down to 3.25% of light speed to resupply the colony, a total delta v requirement of 9.75% of the speed of light. So if the CIV is 20 years into its flight, it has travelled 0.65 light years. A resupply Daedalus type cargo ship would have two stages, the first stage would accelerate to 6.5% of the speed of light. It could be launched from the Solar System 20 years into the flight.

0.65 + 0.0325T = x is the equation for the distance traveled by the CIV
0.065T = x is the equation for the distance traveled by the resupply ship
with T measured in years and x expressed in light years, setting the two equations equal to one another, we can solve for T

0.65Ly + 0.0325T Ly/year = 0.065T Ly/year
0.65 Ly = 0.0325T Ly/year
20 years = T

As year 40 approaches the supply ship slows down to 3.25% of the speed of light to match velocities with the CIV an the engines and fuel tanks are discarded.

At year 40 another supply ship is dispatched from the Solar System and by year 40 the CIV has traveled 1.3 light years so CIVs position equation is now

1.3 Ly + 0.0325T Ly/year = x
The supply ship is
0.065T ly/year = x
setting them equal we have
1.3Ly + 0.0325T Ly/year = 0.065T Ly/year
1.3 Ly = 0.0325T Ly/year
40 years = T
So the second supply ship arrives on year 80 of the mission
Since the mission is 2/3rds over, their is no time to send a third resupply flight.

Supplies could include additional habitat modules for a growing population and perhaps additional fuel to slow it down with the additional modules. The second resupply ship will have to be the largest to supply the remaining needs of the colonists until Alpha Centauri is reached, and then perhaps a third resupply flight will arrive within the system, 20 years after the colonists have arrive in system. (Launched at the same time as the first resupply mission) Launching an additional resupply mission every 20 years will ensure the colonists receive their shipments every 20 years like clockwork.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:57 pm

Resembles a bit what I had in mind for the Hydra class.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:06 pm

Condottiere wrote:Resembles a bit what I had in mind for the Hydra class.
Not sure what a hydra class is, maybe you can explain it.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Traveller-61 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:40 pm

Impressive find, and thanks for posting this.

While I might not use "as is" there is a lot of useful stuff to cannibalise for my SF games :D

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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:41 pm

The Hydra class, as I conceived it, are a bunch of 2KT hexagonal hulls coupled together with docking clamps.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby sideranautae » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:18 pm

While interesting in some details, they omit the 2 most critical pieces of equipment. Power & propulsion.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:01 pm

sideranautae wrote:While interesting in some details, they omit the 2 most critical pieces of equipment. Power & propulsion.
The study was not about propulsion, it was about habitation, this is from the 100 year Starship Project, a study funded by NASA, its goal was to explore a way to build a starship by the end of the 21st century. In the picture the propulsion module looks like the bottom stage of a Daedalus Star probe, an unmanned craft designed by the British Interplanetary Society, its purpose was to explore an star with a flyby mission, it would accelerate to 12.5% of the speed of light to reach a star system within the lifetime of the mission planners, the method of propulsion was inertial confinement fusion, basically banks or lasers or electron guns would fire at pellets of Helium-3/Deuterium to cause them to fuse and form Helium-4 plus energy, the hot plasma would be confined by magnetic fields so that it expands out the back of the starship nozzle.

Other forms of propulsion could be substituted for it for instance the Dyson Starship as proposed was to use hydrogen bombs exploded behind a pusher plate, another type would be a laser sail, and enormous space based laser would fire into space and the laser sail would be pushed by the laser, another type would be an antimatter rocket. The 100-year starship decided that some sort of fusion drive would be most likely by the end of this century.

Power is obviously some sort of nuclear reactor either fission or fusion, not necessarily the same power plant responsible for propulsion.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby sideranautae » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:57 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote:
sideranautae wrote:While interesting in some details, they omit the 2 most critical pieces of equipment. Power & propulsion.
The study was not about propulsion, it was about habitation, this is from the 100 year Starship Project, a study funded by NASA, its goal was to explore a way to build a starship by the end of the 21st century. In the picture the propulsion module looks like the bottom stage of a Daedalus Star probe, an unmanned craft designed by the British Interplanetary Society, its purpose was to explore an star with a flyby mission, it would accelerate to 12.5% of the speed of light to reach a star system within the lifetime of the mission planners, the method of propulsion was inertial confinement fusion, basically banks or lasers or electron guns would fire at pellets of Helium-3/Deuterium to cause them to fuse and form Helium-4 plus energy, the hot plasma would be confined by magnetic fields so that it expands out the back of the starship nozzle.

Other forms of propulsion could be substituted for it for instance the Dyson Starship as proposed was to use hydrogen bombs exploded behind a pusher plate, another type would be a laser sail, and enormous space based laser would fire into space and the laser sail would be pushed by the laser, another type would be an antimatter rocket. The 100-year starship decided that some sort of fusion drive would be most likely by the end of this century.

Power is obviously some sort of nuclear reactor either fission or fusion, not necessarily the same power plant responsible for propulsion.
Okay, Sci-fi rather than hard science. That is what threw me. Really nice write up nonetheless. Good seed ideas too.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Reynard » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:34 pm

Maybe it's me but a multi-generational ship campaign would be as exciting as SIMS in space. At least Metamorphosis Alpha made the trip... unusual.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:58 am

Reynard wrote:Maybe it's me but a multi-generational ship campaign would be as exciting as SIMS in space. At least Metamorphosis Alpha made the trip... unusual.
Never played it, but I hear it was a precursor to GammaWorld.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Reynard » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:34 am

I had a chance to buy the first edition back in the late 70s or early 80s but didn't have the $7 then it was gone. Just purchased it on DrivethruRPG. I now have all 4 editions. It's a great concept of an enclosed campaign setting. The characters and, if run right, the players don't know it is a starship until they put together the clues. Gamma world said let's take the idea planet side.

Saying that, what would have to be involved to make a MG ship campaign interesting? A social breakdown fractionalizing the ship? Problems with the ship itself needing the players to solve the cause and find a solution over several adventures? Something is loose on the ship? That could be the Tick, a spaceship that attached itself to the Starship Warden and released... something.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:57 am

Reynard wrote:I had a chance to buy the first edition back in the late 70s or early 80s but didn't have the $7 then it was gone. Just purchased it on DrivethruRPG. I now have all 4 editions. It's a great concept of an enclosed campaign setting. The characters and, if run right, the players don't know it is a starship until they put together the clues. Gamma world said let's take the idea planet side.

Saying that, what would have to be involved to make a MG ship campaign interesting? A social breakdown fractionalizing the ship? Problems with the ship itself needing the players to solve the cause and find a solution over several adventures? Something is loose on the ship? That could be the Tick, a spaceship that attached itself to the Starship Warden and released... something.
The CIV has the advantage in that if you look up, you don't see the landscape above you. For the purposes of a Metamorphosis Alpha Campaign, the CIV needs to be bigger. Make each module 15 km wide and 77.5 km long, the starship would then be 80 km in diameter the ceiling would then be 5 km above the ground. Big enough?
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Reynard » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:23 pm

5km up is still quite viewable unless there is a way to purposely obscure the view either with display panels to create sky and night scenes and/or an artificial cloud cover. People will also see the entire width and length of a module because there will be no curvature as on any planetary body. I wonder if there would be any attempt at hiding the walls or if people are quire aware they're in a very big box. Would each module be kept routinely separate to assure any disastrous incident not affect other modules? I assume there is a reason for separate modules. It looks like the ship is isolated by the power. drive section and each module is probably self sufficient.

By the way, any oldster out there remember The Starlost tv series from the 1970s? Fits in here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Starlost
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:48 pm

Reynard wrote:5km up is still quite viewable unless there is a way to purposely obscure the view either with display panels to create sky and night scenes and/or an artificial cloud cover. People will also see the entire width and length of a module because there will be no curvature as on any planetary body. I wonder if there would be any attempt at hiding the walls or if people are quire aware they're in a very big box. Would each module be kept routinely separate to assure any disastrous incident not affect other modules? I assume there is a reason for separate modules. It looks like the ship is isolated by the power. drive section and each module is probably self sufficient.

By the way, any oldster out there remember The Starlost tv series from the 1970s? Fits in here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Starlost
The modules are separate in case of meteor impacts or depressurization, this compartmentalizes things instead of having on big area. Since this is 100 times as big, it could hold 100,000,000 people since 100^2 = 10000
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Reynard » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:46 pm

Volume wouldn't directly equate proportional numbers of people. It seems to be a habitat rather a coffin hotel to the stars meant to naturally expand the population SOMEWHAT as the generations roll by. Lots of the volume is going to be life support for a living biosphere as well as facilities for limited food production. If this is a non-suspension population they absolutely need all the essentials of a world and community especially work and recreation to keep mind and body healthy and at peak and prepare their decedents for the colonization. This also, and may especially, go for the gene pool so cross contact with all modules would be essential. Then again look how communities on Earth only miles apart or neighborhoods blocks apart can become islands of local behavior and even animosity. Separation of any sort could be the wrong way to go except for a Traveller game. I would prefer the cylinder approach , one for all.
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Re: Colonized Interstellar Vessel: Conceptual Master Plannin

Postby Reynard » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:18 pm

Suddenly an idea strikes me!

We don't see MG vessels in Traveller, especially 3I because the galaxy has many worlds using jump drives. This means any world with sufficient tech to create a MG ship will have the communication tech to know others are out there and use something better. MG ships would be incredibly expensive and ultimately useless if it takes centuries to reach even a one parsec star that everyone else can reach in a week. Using the old formulas from another edition of Traveller, a world could develope a couple TLs to jump tech before a MG reaches it's destination. THAT would be interesting!

A campaign featuring MG ships would need to make jump non existent to highly improbable (higher Tech level?) and/or worlds separated by large gaps and uninhabited worlds early in a races' space endeavors. Other worlds could be inhabited with alien races that are at the age of MG colonization maybe even have a few colonies up or at lower techs.

There's a thought. Have each MG ship module a different player for a Dynasty campaign. What module(s) rule the ship at the end of the trip.

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