Shipyard Maintenance

Annatar Giftbringer

Cosmic Mongoose
Self-Maintenance Modification
Deepnight Revelation has been modified to permit most repair and maintenance tasks to be performed using the ship’s repair drones or crewmembers on the hull. This is a laborious task, requiring mobile derricks to be secured to attachment points and work carried out with extreme care. The modification is one of the most expensive features of the ship and whilst necessary for a long mission it is probably the least popular feature of the vessel – at least with crewmembers who have to remove hull plate sections in space using only small mobile derricks and drone-mounted winches.

The ship also has a higher than normal expenditure of supply units, presumably due to it never getting that complete overhaul that ships normally receive. They need to change spares and keep things running.
 

PsiTraveller

Cosmic Mongoose
Thank you for posting that.

So this begs the question, how long does shipyard maintenance take for a ship once a year?

And the monthly maintenance that is ship based. Can it be done during the week in system while loading cargo for the next jump? Or done in Jump space while the M Drives are shut down for example?
 

Annatar Giftbringer

Cosmic Mongoose
Excellent questions, and I can provide nothing at all to answer them...

However, it sounds reasonable that the monthly maintenance can be done during the week a ship normally spends in-system. The engineer(s) must do something to earn their pay while grounded, right?

It could probably be spilt overt time too, as you say some parts might be fixed during jump, others while the ship is grounded and powered-down, while some parts can surely be done piecemental. “Everything looking fine in engineering, I’ll go change the filters in the unoccupied stateroom”
 

Garran

Banded Mongoose
Self-Maintenance Modification

Deepnight Revelation has been modified to permit most repair and maintenance tasks to be performed using the ship’s repair drones or crewmembers on the hull. This is a laborious task, requiring mobile derricks to be secured to attachment points and work carried out with extreme care. The modification is one of the most expensive features of the ship and whilst necessary for a long mission it is probably the least popular feature of the vessel – at least with crewmembers who have to remove hull plate sections in space using only small mobile derricks and drone-mounted winches.

It costs 0.1 MCr per ton and doesn't use any tonnage by itself; the ship's repair drones use standard cost/tonnage, and it has several workshops (although those probably aren't all dedicated to self-maintenance tasks).
 

GamingGlen

Mongoose
I suppose one has to find real world examples of how much space is needed for full maintenance, including space for tools, storage, and perhaps office/admin space. How much space is needed to work on cars, or maintaining aircraft in an aircraft carrier while at sea because space is a premium on a ship. Maybe they don't do that these days, or rather only have space to work on one or two aircraft at a time. My search fu is weak, the few google searches I tried got a lot of results that didn't answer the question. I eye the mechanic's garage I take my car to, or the race car driver & mechanic down the street from me but his entire garage is quite spacious (3 bays plus office plus engine build/rebuild room); I can hardly hazard a proper estimate as to minimal requirements. Space on a space craft would truly be a premium (unless in the Star Wars universe because there big isn't big enough ;) ).
 

swampslug

Mongoose
For maintenance time there are two models I think we can consider: aircraft maintenance and ship maintenance.

If we use aircraft maintenance as a guideline then (according to Wikipedia) the FAA prescribes four levels of inspection/service. The lightest levels (A and B) can be performed in an airport hangar while C and D level checks must be performed at a maintenance and overhaul facility.
An A-level check should occur every 400-600 flight hours and requires 50-70 person-hours. A B-level check should occur every 6-8 months and can be completed in 1-3 days. A C-level check should occur every 2 years and takes 1-2 weeks to perform, while a D-level check should occur every 6-10 years, can take 2 months to perform and essentially takes an aircraft to pieces.

Best I could find for ships was regarding cruise ships, which apparently operate on a 2-5 year refurbishment/maintenance schedule and requires between 15 and 30 days in a drydock.

Using this I would assume that annual maintenance could take anywhere from 1-4 weeks depending on the size of the ship.
 

AnotherDilbert

Cosmic Mongoose
Ursus Maior said:
In short: Military logistics is more than buying raw firepower.
Absolutely!


Ursus Maior said:
AnotherDilbert said:
I would require a full Construction Deck or Shipyard (HG p62) to count as a shipyard for maintenance.
And I would rule that it would still be a poorly equipped yard for yearly maintenance. There are reasons navies fly their jets to land bases and not keep them on aircraft carriers for all of their service lifes.

A Construction Deck can repair and build new ships, I believe we can safely assume that it can perform maintenance on the same ships.

Space station Shipyards ARE normal shipyards. Anything shipyards can do, Shipyards can do, I assume.


Current aircraft carriers can, as far as I know, not build new aircraft...
 

AnotherDilbert

Cosmic Mongoose
TheMachine said:
On a tangentially related point - how long does maintenance take? I can't find this specified anywhere in the MgT2e rules.

Amusing that it is missing, and no-one noticed.

In earlier editions annual maintenance takes two weeks. Routine maintenance is performed during the normal jump cycle and takes no extra time.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
Internal maintenance can be conducted during transition, with the probable exception of the fusion reactor.

Since basically, most ship systems would be turned off.

External only during an emergency, though the bubble should ensure that personnel and/or equipment won't be effected by dimensional dilation.

Fusion reactor most probably while docked at a starport.
 

AKjeldsen

Mongoose
My take is that the limiting factor will not so much be the facilities (both Shipyards and Construction Decks should be fine for the job), but the technicians and the skills needed. An annual maintenance is probably going to involve all sorts of specialised procedures like jump field emitter tuning and sensor array realignment and superconductor fault proofing and so forth, which require special training to do, and people with special training are both expensive and difficult to find.

Going back to the original question about what it means for SDBs in systems without shipyards, it depends on what scale of operation we’re talking about. The very largest ones, such as the Imperial Navy or the megacorps or the like, will have their maintenance operations located at central depots and probably just use jump carriers to rotate SDBs in and out of their deployments as needed.

Smaller regional powers might do the same thing on a smaller scale, or they might have a dedicated maintenance ship travelling around to systems with SDBs, depending on the strategic circumstances.

Where you might have a problem, though, is when you’re a tiny, one-system power with just a few old SDBs. You could of course still hire the techs required and build up that capability, but if you only have a handful of ships that need an overhaul once a year, those people are going to sit around for the rest of the year and either sit around doing nothing or at best do other work that they’re significantly overqualified and overpaid for. Or maybe you could subcontract it out, but that’s still going to be expensive, plus then you’re depending on an outside organisation that might prove unreliable. So if the budget is tight, it might make sense to just save that money and hope for the best.

(Unless of course you're a tiny, one-system power like Torpol that happens to be sitting on a large trade route and gets a lot of civilian traffic, or one like Drinax that has an expansionist agenda and wants those capabilities for strategic reasons.)
 

PsiTraveller

Cosmic Mongoose
Let's look at a TL 13 SDB from highguard pg 142
It has a workshop, repair drones and Auto repair 1. At TL 13 it is above average tech. So it needs a well trained crew.

The monthly maintenance is 14,618 Credits. So not a lot of money when you look at it. And the yearly maintenance does not mention that it costs more, despite the mention of the difficulties in the self maintenance modification. For a lower tech country the cost of the ship would be pretty big, but to put its presence into space and generate trade, protect against pirates etc. It seems a good investment.

I'll admit I am looking at things from a viewpoint of using a player's ship and crew as a higher tech resource that they can sell to a local lower tech tyrant. (an adventure hook) As the mention in the thread about military craft not having maintenance contracts. The players could get recruited to perform advanced repairs to a ship that the locals are not skilled in. The players then get tied into the local power struggle and the adventure begins. (Maybe they steal the ship, booby trap it, come back every few months to make some extra cash and get a good tax break on local trade, gain a patron etc.)

Looking at a Sector map it occurs to me that at many planets the players and the Highport are the best tech available. The players may even be higher tech than the Highport. This can generate a story.
 

Ursus Maior

Mongoose
I would imagine that minor powers and single-system entities that do not possess jump-carriers or at least Class B starports would rely on contractors for yearly maintenance and larger refurbishments. It would be the logical path of action. Does this make you vulnerable? Yes, but as a stellar entity without proper techbase and or infrastructure you are already vulnerable. That's why you only use SDBs and have no own place for maintenance. If there is another entity out there that is bigger, better equipped and out to get you, this is not a problem to solve by military means on your own. You cannot project power and you have none to spare, either. So, get a hegemonic power as your ally or appear to not be worth the trouble. Likely you aren't.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
You can also design the ship that requires minimal maintenance, something you can chuck in the mud and it will likely keep working, like a Kalashnikov.
 

dmclean62

Mongoose
Mixed bag of comments:

In one of Elizabeth Moon's Familias Regnant novels, one of the main characters ends up on a "ship" which is basically a mobile space station. Mobility of an elephant, dedicated escort force, expensive as heck, capable of nearly rebuilding ships from scratch - probably could build them from scratch but it would be cheaper and easier to do that at a regular space dock. There's a great plot arc there with some ******* who try to ****** the ******* and there's this cool scene where ******* ends up ******* the ship during ********. Something like that might make an interesting Traveller scenario.

Separately, I still strongly believe that 3D printing is the answer to most ship maintenance questions. I think by TL 12, you'll be able to print just about anything, including nano-scale electronics. No need to carry spare parts - print them on demand (and recycle the old ones).
 

AndrewW

Cosmic Mongoose
dmclean62 said:
Mixed bag of comments:

In one of Elizabeth Moon's Familias Regnant novels, one of the main characters ends up on a "ship" which is basically a mobile space station. Mobility of an elephant, dedicated escort force, expensive as heck, capable of nearly rebuilding ships from scratch - probably could build them from scratch but it would be cheaper and easier to do that at a regular space dock. There's a great plot arc there with some ******* who try to ****** the ******* and there's this cool scene where ******* ends up ******* the ship during ********. Something like that might make an interesting Traveller scenario.

Be wary of who you rescue.

Does make a tempting target though, especially if your tech base isn't as capable.
 

PsiTraveller

Cosmic Mongoose
Well that was sort of the point of my question. A Traveller group will have a TL 12 ship, with all the tech goodies that go along with it. If a TL 12 3d printer can make anything useful, why are planets a lower TL? Just take a colony maker along to a new planet and harvest raw materials and fab up a nice modern city.

Otherwise you will have players making good weapons to sell to local warlords.
 

Ursus Maior

Mongoose
dmclean62 said:
Separately, I still strongly believe that 3D printing is the answer to most ship maintenance questions. I think by TL 12, you'll be able to print just about anything, including nano-scale electronics. No need to carry spare parts - print them on demand (and recycle the old ones).
That might be a feature of workshops installed in ships, such as the Type-S Scout. But if you don't have such a workshop and probably a couple of tons of raw materials, it's buying and storing ready-made parts; printed or not.
 

Ursus Maior

Mongoose
PsiTraveller said:
Well that was sort of the point of my question. A Traveller group will have a TL 12 ship, with all the tech goodies that go along with it. If a TL 12 3d printer can make anything useful, why are planets a lower TL? Just take a colony maker along to a new planet and harvest raw materials and fab up a nice modern city.

Otherwise you will have players making good weapons to sell to local warlords.

Well, it's not like we couldn't afford and conduct a technological uplift for all nations on this planet to a general standard of near-pear level to Western nations. It's more that the collective agents in play for that do not commit to global redistribution on that scale. Like it or not, social and cultural processes do not follow technocratic and utopian goals of what should or could be. I fully see Imperial megacorporations and the Empire's nobility installing multiple political, legal and technological boundaries to sabotage such efforts. Maybe the blueprints for printed items need to come from legitimate sources and expire after a certain amount of prints with cracked blueprint files imprinting guarantee voids as well as structural faults into items, rendering them useless. Or trying to crack a blueprint file will make you print products that hook into the planetary grid and call the authorities.

Essentially, we are talking about something here Traveller has come to call "Makertech" (https://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Makertech). It is a concept that is as of yet hard to understand. But as we enter the era of 3D-printing, those questions will be answered. And I presume we will either radically alter our way of living, because - as you say, stuff becomes ubiquitous - or we will restrict that technology to fit our general way of living. Indeed, this century will become very interesting.
 

dmclean62

Mongoose
Considering our society's experiences with DRM, and how ... well ... it holds up to determined hackers, I don't see that changing. Most people will follow the rules, and I think that will mean new templates will be copyrighted for some period of time and then fall into the public domain. If you are looking for a bargain and don't mind older tech, you should able to get stuff at very reasonable prices (think Raspberry Pi). But plenty of people won't follow the rules, and just about anything will be available if you have the right sources.

Unless the society is locked down completely, the way the Communist Chinese are trying to, any government will be strongly limited as to how much control they have - that's just the way humans are. Makertech is a powerful freedom both from government AND corporate control.
 

dmclean62

Mongoose
Ursus Maior said:
dmclean62 said:
Separately, I still strongly believe that 3D printing is the answer to most ship maintenance questions. I think by TL 12, you'll be able to print just about anything, including nano-scale electronics. No need to carry spare parts - print them on demand (and recycle the old ones).
That might be a feature of workshops installed in ships, such as the Type-S Scout. But if you don't have such a workshop and probably a couple of tons of raw materials, it's buying and storing ready-made parts; printed or not.

Yes, the ship would have to have a workshop, and yes, the raw materials, but these raw materials would be easily available at any star port. Plus, they would be cheaper and easier to find than the correct finished parts. Ships also wouldn't have to worry about guessing as to how many spares of a certain part they would need. Any decent shipyard would have the same kind of setup, so even if your ship doesn't have a workshop, the port can print any parts you need.

I also think that the technology to handle plasma fusion, combined with gravitics, would result in a system that could purify materials by element (I've been calling it a plasma-gravity centrifuge, or PGC) allowing ships to recycle used parts into raw materials for making new parts.
 
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