Ship Design Philosophy

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Condottiere
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:59 am

Spaceships: Refuelling and We Just Figured Out How Some Planets Become Super Puffs

Hello and welcome! My name is Anton and in this video, we will talk about new paper that may have solved the mystery of unusual planets known as super puffs, while also discovering they're a lot weirder than we thought.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGcX-4trgEw



1. New gas stations.

2. Ethanol, or is it methane?

3. Normal gravity?

4. Use it or lose it.
Condottiere
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:08 am

Spaceships: Hulls and Options

40. I suspect, given enough time, you could let life support deal with the loss of pressure and air, if the door is only opened shortly.

41. This would work if you add two extra doors along the corridor, minimizing and controlling the amount of atmosphere involved.

42. Probably an extra door would be sufficient.

43. Too bad we don't know the cost of purchasing and installing the various types of doors on a spaceship.

44. For exterior connections, perhaps it's the same as cargo hatches, which may or may not have been quoted at some time; I forget.

45. It's true that there's an inclination to install more than less vacuum tight doors on a spaceship, and it tends to be subsumed under hull costs.

46. Anything termed a bulkhead would certainly have such a feature.

47. Luckily we do know the cost of a portable airlock, which is an attractive kilobux.

48. This could be set up when you don't have an integral airlock set up with a default exterior exit.

49. Even better, having a two tonne corridor between two doors let's you set it up semi permanently.

50. Arguably, a larger variant could be used in either a hangar or cargo bay, to act as a sort of vacuum curtain; it's cheaper than a force field.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:56 pm

Spaceships: Hulls and Options

51. Part of the cost of the airlock would be the flexible, presumably plastic and textile, extendable docking tubes, though it's not clear how far they extend.

52. One assumes that airlocks and/or UNREP system could be integrated with a docking clamp; or a series of docking clamps.

53. The docking clamps as demonstrated in High Guard appear to have three discrepancies, Type Two has a ratio of less than one to twenty, compared to the Type Ones and Threes, Type Fours are one to a hundred, while Type Fives appear to have no limitations; Type Fours could be assumed to be economies of scale.

54. How close is close range for Forced Linkage Apparatus?

55. A technological level seven Forced Linkage Apparatus is a two tonne magnetic clamp on a retractable arm: you could use it like a tailhook when landing a smallcraft on a spaceship.

56. With a holographic hull, you can change the appearance of a ship, though it's shape remains the same? One assumes this means basic hull configuration, which would allow quite a wide range of said shapes.

57. Perhaps adding a wire cage allows the hologram more traction, without adding additional volume, possibly enough leeway to create the illusion of another similar hull configuration.

58. Still, there has to be more to it in order to fool non visual sensors.

59. Gaming space and acceleration seat:

Image
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:13 pm

Spaceships: Hulls and Options

60. Like pop up turrets, if aerofins are extendable, than it follows that it increases the volume of the hull.

61. If you assume that all volume has to be taken into account for and paid in terms of total hull tonnage, than retracting the aerofins could shrink hull tonnage by five percent, or maybe two and a half percent; it's less, in all events.

62. Unless there are external and foldable, which isn't mentioned.

63. Not really an issue, unless you happen to be a hundred tonne starship, in which case, the aerofins have to be extended in order to jump, the opposite of the Galactica.

64. You could have, less a hamster cage, and more of a hamster platform, with attachments such as grappling arms, that could be positioned on any side of the spaceship where it's most convenient.

65. It could also be an external elevator.

66. If the hamster cage is large enough, you can affix a firm or hard point, which could be a big surprise to anyone trying to board you, at what they thought was a blindside.

67. Just assigning a percentage to tow cables tells us nothing.

68. Tow cables can be stressed to breaking, so how do you determine the breaking point?

69. Is the percentage connected to the thickness of the tow cable?
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:19 pm

Inspiration: The Singularity Of A Romulan Warbird

The Romulans have their own way of doing things and that includes their form of powering interstellar travel.
Unlike Starfleet that uses matter-antimatter reactions, they decided to use a singularity core. But how does it work and why do they choose this over the most common options?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX5q9QJXBEE



Hold my Romulan ale.

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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:52 pm

Spaceships: Hulls and Options

70. Anyone awake and moving consumes a kilobux of life support.

71. However, you don't double dip with stables, since that's a hard quarter kilobux per tonne, in which you can squeeze in two humans, being self contained.

72. Could you live in a stable? Our Lord and Saviour was born in a manger.

73. A half tonne of biosphere eliminates the life support costs of a passenger (how about crew?).

74. It doesn't mention if it also eliminates the life support cost of the default accompanying stateroom.

75. Actually, both spaceships need to be equipped with UNREP equipment.

76. Rate of transfer would be dependent on the smaller UNREP equipment.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:08 pm

Spaceships: The Alert Status (Star Trek)

Starships have a lot of operational protocols that the officers of Starfleet are expected to enact efficiently and none more important than the myriad of colour-coded alert statuses.

Yellow, Red, Blue Alerts all have specific uses and more functionality than just an alarm system.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRL5lvD8K-k
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:59 pm

Spaceships: Hulls and Options

77. Not accounting for hull tonnage and mortgage repayments, but including early fusion power plant, it would take ten and a half years of continuous occupation to break even with a biosphere per person.

78. Great for generation ships, probably less so for those who tend to stick to fortnightly cycles of jumping, surfing to the next starport, and pubcrawling, until it's time to ship out.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:31 pm

Inspiration: Imperial Star Destroyer - the main protector

The Imperial Star Destroyer is a heavy combat spaceship, one of the most recognizable characters in the Star Wars galaxy far, far away and a symbol of the military power of the Galactic Empire.

When creating the video, the idea of a classic propaganda video was pursued, whatever the Imperials would show in their galanet. The format is purely humorous, any similarities with reality are purely coincidental.

Enjoy watching!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYicx40lWsM



Imperial Leader and Best Empire.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:12 pm

Starships: Engineering, Jump Drives and Minimums, as they pertain to Project Cutrate

I've been putting the finishing touches on the Flea Trader Confederation Cutter Cutrate class; originally I wanted to make this a cheap corsair [Cut(pi)rate], but I thought it would be more suited to this, after all, the option for this exists for the Free Booter Cutthroat class.

The Flea Trader has been a long standing concept for me, that evolves as the Traveller starship design sequence changes, and I think I've polished the specifications sufficiently to be within canon in most cases.

Since engineering is the most expensive ticket item, at least for small commercial starships, I've always been wrestling with how to bring the price down; the ten tonne minimum gets in the way, since you could make a viable hundred parsec tonne budget variant at seven point seven tonnes, seven and three quarters with some leeway.

The other approach is to develop a jump drive that can be more commercially viable, rather than just be used for a specific niche, as when more starships use it, the more replacement parts are available (if you assume jump drive components need not be interchangeable with other models) as they can be used by a greater variety of operators, which presumably was one of the rationales behind the Alphabet drives.

The actual cheapest jump drive would be a one shot variant, but regardless how skilled an engineer you have onboard, you can't overcome that accelerating depreciation.

The point has always been to provide, not necessarily cheap, but affordable means of transportation, that's dead easy to operate, and paying the mortgage doesn't become an existential crisis.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:54 pm

Inspiration: Lost In Space

Image

Entry of dispersed structure configured hull into a gas giant atmosphere for refuelling.

Season two is more action packed and less boring than the first, and covers a lot of tropes you'd encounter in Traveller adventures.

Sets are really well made.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:17 am

Starships: Confederation Cutter Cutrate Class

Ninety nine point five tonne technological level nine self sealing, unstreamlined, naturally armoured and gravitated light ferrous nickel planetoid [note one] hull with forty four point seven seven five hull points, costing 298'500 bux.

Two and a half tonne dual cockpit acts as primary bridge [note two] at fifteen kilobux, with free basic sensors, and a technological level seven factor five onboard computer at thirty kilobux; total 45 kilobux.

Software package includes a library, jump one, and manoeuvre zero; total 100 kilobux

The option exists for three separate firmpoints, to which can be attached either a fixedly mounted virtual weapon system, or a technological level seven single turret [note three], at respectively one hundred kilobux and two hundred kilobux each; the default has a single mounted fixture, for but not with a [presumably] sandcaster weapon system; can be retrofitted, plus labour and yard time.

Nine factored one budgeted gravitic based energy inefficient manoeuvre drive modules, constructed at technological level nine; each module weighing one hundred kilogrammes and rated at a ten tonne thrust, costing 150 kilobux and requiring one point three power points; for a total weight of nine hundred kilogrammes, with a ninety tonne thrust performance requiring eleven point seven power points, at a cost of 1.35 megabux.

Combined with a modular nine pack anti-gravity factored one lifters [note four], constructed at technological level nine; each module weighing eighty kilogrammes and rated at a ten tonne lift, costing 160 kilobux and requiring one power point each; for a total weight of seven hundred twenty kilogrammes, with a ninety tonne lift performance requiring nine power points, at a costing of 1.44 megabux.

The power plant consists of three budgeted early fusion reactor modules, constructed at technological level eight; weighing in at one tonne each, costing 375 kilobux, and producing eight power points per round [note five]; for a total weight of three tonnes, with an output of twenty four power points, and costing 1.125 megabux.

The power plant is connected to a half a tonne of solar panelling [note six], whose output can either be shunted to the power plant, and/or the onboard [high efficiency] batteries, costing 50 kilobux.

One factored one budgeted increased size jump drive, constructed at technological level nine rated at two hundred parsec tonnes; totaling ten point five five tonnes costing 9.675 megabux [note seven].

You can tow along an interplanetary cargo net with a default volume of fourteen hundred cubic metres [note eight], available at technological level eight, costing 100 kilobux, which would basically half the engineering performance if completely full.

Jump bubble diameter is 223.737 metres, based on a fourteen hundred cubic metre volume.

For landing gear, half a tonne ferrous nickel lump is divided into three equal cones, distributed equally around the base of the sphere and welded to it, acting as a de facto landing tripod. If that's not an option, adding a half tonne hump anywhere on the hull would create enough ballast. Or attaching it to a rope and trailing it along.

There are four fuel tanks, the first two specifically meant to feed the power plant, are one tonne each. The other two, are hybrid cargo fuel containers, sized at ten and a half tonnes for a net total volume of ten tonnes each, costing a premium of 50 kilobux each, totalling 100 kilobux.

One tonne fuel processor, capable of processing twenty tonnes per day, costing 50 kilobux.

There are two ingresses, the freebie [note nine] two tonne airlock, and a cargo hatch [note ten].

Accomodations are a ten tonne stable, with suitable light partitions to separate the added in bunks, and fixtures such as a seat toilet toilet, wash basin, and shower attached to the plumbing, sufficient for twenty human sized [note eleven] crew, costing 25 kilobux; with a self contained life support system that costs a net 2.5 kilobux per month [note twelve].

Cargo can be squeezed into the remaining 24.93 tonnes.

Total cost is 14.3585 megabux [note thirteen].


Notes:

one hollowed out equally (if you didn't just pour liquid nickel iron in a mold], and laser polished to a spherical shaped brilliant billiard ball.

two though it's unclear if two pilots would be mandatory; in any event, being a cockpit, it can be sealed off from the rest of the vessel, with a default life support for the two crewmembers for twenty four hours.

three at a nominal 200 kilobux per turret; upto three different weapon systems can be attached without additional cost; in theory, if firmpointed turrets are limited to single weapon systems, they don't require so much volume, nor cost as much.

four two disadvantages [orbital range] plus two technological advantages [size reduction, size reduction] cancel each other out and translate into eighty percent size reduction; combined, this ensures that the cutrater can leave any planetary object with a gravitational pull of less than one ppoint eight standard gravities; technological level limitations still apply at a hard factor one per, two if combined while within one and a quarter megametres from the surface, and possibly 0.909 gees further afield, if you think the additional nine energy points expenditure is worth it.

five budgeted increased size; regardless how you crunch the numbers, there's no cheaper technological level nine alternative.

six power plantless hulls have solar panels calculated on basic systems and thrust factor one energy requirements, which is basically thirty power points per hundred tonnes, so at technological level eight based early fusion reactors, that would three hundred kilogrammes, short of the minimum five hundred kilogrammes minimum.

seven five tonne increased size overhead costing 843.75 kilobux requiring one power point per ten parsec tonnes, five tonne increased size core costing 843.75 kilobux, five hundred fifty kilogrammes increased size capacitors costing 1.2375 megabux; totaling ten point five five tonnes costing 9.675 megabux.

eight it has a default diameter of thirteen point eight eight metres, so it's well within the jump bubble, so it gets dragged down the rabbit hole, despite High Guard saying that a ship cannot perform a jump while this net is deployed, as no discernible difference is mentioned between it and the jump net, and the characteristics of the jump net is a legacy of a pre bubble time.

nine seems inconsistently applied in Traveller, so the additional two tonnes and 100 kilobux is accounted for as you couldn't make it part of the overhead of any other ship component.

ten should be large enough for whatever expected cargo sized pallets or containers are the norm.

eleven you could subdivide it into three three tonne staterooms, with a shared one tonne fresher; panelling, fittings and furnishings are calculated separately.

twelve that's about one person per square.

thirteen not accounting for additional fittings and furnishings, nor the ten percent discount for mass production.
Last edited by Condottiere on Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
Condottiere
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:23 am

In summary:
Hull 19.9/298.5
Bridge 2.5/45
Software -/100
Engineering 15.17/13.59 1.62/2.79 3/1.125 10.55/9.675
Fuel 23/100
Airlock 2/-
Stables 10/25
Fuel processor 1/50
Cargo net 1/100
Solar panelling 0.5/50


You'll note that from a total production cost of 14.3585 megabux, engineering took the lion's share of 13.59 megabux, or nearly ninety five percent.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Geir » Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:25 pm

Cockpits are limited to 50 tons or less, so you have to go with a small (3t) or standard-sized bridge (6t).
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:51 pm

That's been effectively retconned by the sixty tonne Arladu class utilitu boat, from the Deep Space Exploration Handbook.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Geir » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:59 pm

You call it a retconn, I call it an error that should be addressed.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:18 am

I think they've doubled down on it.

Or whoever is designing spaceships there is pretty reckless.

My original design concept was a catamaran with fifty tonne hulls, then I noticed the Arladu, so I upscaled it.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:32 am

Starships: Accomodations, and Extended Bunkerage

You could flood a lot of the volume assigned to accomodations and common spaces with water, and after you jump, pump that water into the now empty fuel tanks and have it processed.

Of course, areas assigned to be flooded would need to be insulated, possibly you have to install Multi Environmental Space to ensure this.

Of course, it's not a one to one ratio of volume flooded to actual water tonnage, since you have to factor in other stuff that also take up volume, such as the crew.

In theory, you could also do this for spaceships, but fusion reactors take quite a while to burn up that much fuel capacity, so probably less practical.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:09 pm

Starships: Confederation Cutter Cutrate Class

If I were to militarize the Cutrate, I would be handicapped in that I'd be stuck with three firmpoints, and all the limitations that apply.

As an aside, I was going to go for the Cutrater moniker, a throwback to the old warship classification of first to sixth rate, and the rest being unrated; I believe the Charles Stuart regime came up with this scheme as a salary scale for serving onboard varied armed ships in the Royal service.

The only two weapon types that transcend the range castration are missiles and torpedoes, and it's unclear as to how Traveller defines what is a rack, especially in relation to smallcraft; for all we know, they could be external pylons making these one shot weapons, that need to be externally accessed to reload them.

In either case, five tonnes for a barbette seems to be way oversized for that capability.

In terms of bang for buck, that would be a thirty five tonne hull, with a ratio of seventeen and half tonnes per firmpoint, compared to thirty three to one for the Cutrate. There are other factors involved that mitigate this, specifically being the maximum size for a cockpitted hull, at a ninety seven percent discount.

We know that you could stuff two torpedo launch containers into a one tonne hardpoint. Despite a firmpointed single turret being a tonne, you probably could only stuff one torpedo launch container into or on one, much like the previous edition.

Missiles and torpedoes give a wide range of options, both offensive and defensive, though the costs will eventually add up, compared to a energized weapon system. However, since it's fire and forget, the gunner doesn't need to be that skilled.

The other two weapon systems are that unaffected by range castration are sandcasters and laser drills, one which at the moment is mostly defensive, and the other widely inaccurate.

However, it's somewhat unclear to me how many ground based heavy weapons you can install on a smallcraft: I'm thinking specifically of the gauss cannon with one dice of damage.
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Re: Ship Design Philosophy

Postby Condottiere » Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:50 pm

Spaceships: Hulls and Options

77. Launch tubes can send out spacecraft every thirty six seconds, while it takes docking spaces one to three minutes for hulls less than two kilotonnes, and one to six minutes for anything larger, though apparently during this time the hosting vessel can neither thrust nor make attack rolls.

78. I'm pretty sure the hosting vessel can fire off its guns, especially if they're aimed away from the departing spacecraft.

79. Acceleration might complicate this, especially if the pilot is feeling jiggy, but not necessarily prevent this.

80. Especially if there is no manoeuvring or evasion, and the docking space opens up to the rear, in line with the engines.

81. A full hangar requires two to twelve minutes for a smaller spacecraft to enter or depart, though it's not mentioned if the host vessel can make attack rolls or thrust about.

82. Since attempting to enter a docking space is trying to thread the needle, it probably does take along to enter than to leave, whereas with a full hangar, does some leeway.

83. Launch tubes force a certain homogeneity on the spacecraft it launches, whether in terms of tonnage or hull configuration.

84. Let's say that if the spacecraft launched is half or less than the designed specification of the launch tube, hull configuration nor tonnage of the launched spacecraft doesn't matter.

85. Anything larger, than it has to be more or less a similar configuration to the spacecraft the launch tube was designed to launch.

86. It's probably easier to modify docking spaces, than to rip out launch tubes.

87. You can almost certainly use recovery decks to launch spacecraft, pretty much the same way a full hangar does, but it's either launch or land, not both.

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