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Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread 
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
RedDwarfIV wrote:
How does the TCA collect hydrogen fuel? I think I saw mention that a modified scout could collect it from gas giants by diving into them, but besides that, I've seen no mention of aerostats, cloudscoops or atmocruisers.

I would guess that solar powered electrolysis of seawater is probably a top source, but there's no shortage of other sources of hydrogen.

I suspect that Helium-3 may be the preferred fusion fuel, and that will come primarily from off-Earth sources.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
What's the mass of a Bennet class scout? Taking the displacement of a Ticonderoga class cruiser (which is just a little shorter than the Bennet) and ProjectRho's listing for the thrust of an Inertial Confinement Fusion engine, I found that if you were to bolt the ICF engine to the back of a Ticonderoga you'd get an acceleration of 9Gs. Does the Bennet mass a lot more than a Ticonderoga, or is TCA drive technology less efficient?

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Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:42 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Starships in Outsider are much heavier than naval vessels of a similar length.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
Starships in Outsider are much heavier than naval vessels of a similar length.

Right.

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Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:30 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
What's the internal design philosophy you will follow for Terran warships whenever you bring them into the story?

Will it be the usual 'bridge at the front' design and with relatively open interior spaces or will you go with a more pragmatic approach, copying the CIC of modern warships and turning it into a full fledged bridge in an armored compartment deep into the hull?

Will Terran ships be like the Loroi's on their interior design or will they be like modern submarines, sacrificing comfort but putting in more systems and armor?

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Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:30 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
dragoongfa wrote:
Will it be the usual 'bridge at the front' design and with relatively open interior spaces or will you go with a more pragmatic approach, copying the CIC of modern warships and turning it into a full fledged bridge in an armored compartment deep into the hull?

Will Terran ships be like the Loroi's on their interior design or will they be like modern submarines, sacrificing comfort but putting in more systems and armor?

#2 in both cases.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Arioch wrote:
dragoongfa wrote:
Will it be the usual 'bridge at the front' design and with relatively open interior spaces or will you go with a more pragmatic approach, copying the CIC of modern warships and turning it into a full fledged bridge in an armored compartment deep into the hull?

Will Terran ships be like the Loroi's on their interior design or will they be like modern submarines, sacrificing comfort but putting in more systems and armor?

#2 in both cases.


Glad to hear it, it's a rare treat when Sci-Fi artists follow the pragmatic approach in their stories.

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Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:04 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
dragoongfa wrote:
Arioch wrote:
dragoongfa wrote:
Will it be the usual 'bridge at the front' design and with relatively open interior spaces or will you go with a more pragmatic approach, copying the CIC of modern warships and turning it into a full fledged bridge in an armored compartment deep into the hull?

Will Terran ships be like the Loroi's on their interior design or will they be like modern submarines, sacrificing comfort but putting in more systems and armor?

#2 in both cases.


Glad to hear it, it's a rare treat when Sci-Fi artists follow the pragmatic approach in their stories.

I thought Babylon 5 was doing quite well on that front.

Then I noticed where the bridge was on the Hyperion class heavy cruiser.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
hi hi

Much as I love Babylon 5, their space craft design was highly derivative. The station itself was practically copied straight out of Spacecraft; 2000 to 2100 AD, of the Terran Trade Authority series. I suspect they weren't thinking too terribly hard about those kinds of design decisions.

Tight, enclosed spaces are pragmatic from a structural point of view, but there are drawbacks from a personnel point of view. It is harder to maintain morale when people are confined in cramped conditions. Not all people are capable of handling it, and submarine crews -in the US navy anyways- are usually rotated out every 60 to 80 days. Of course, the Terrans don't have a huge navy, so they can likely afford to be picky about their crew. (I certainly wouldn't say that it is an un-pragmatic decision, but it is not without drawbacks.)

Beyond six months, things level off.


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
icekatze wrote:
hi hi

Much as I love Babylon 5, their space craft design was highly derivative. The station itself was practically copied straight out of Spacecraft; 2000 to 2100 AD, of the Terran Trade Authority series. I suspect they weren't thinking too terribly hard about those kinds of design decisions.

Tight, enclosed spaces are pragmatic from a structural point of view, but there are drawbacks from a personnel point of view. It is harder to maintain morale when people are confined in cramped conditions. Not all people are capable of handling it, and submarine crews -in the US navy anyways- are usually rotated out every 60 to 80 days. Of course, the Terrans don't have a huge navy, so they can likely afford to be picky about their crew. (I certainly wouldn't say that it is an un-pragmatic decision, but it is not without drawbacks.)

Beyond six months, things level off.


That's true up to a point but there are ways to trick the human mind into limiting it's perception of en-closeness, as mentioned in the above page. Limiting obstructive clutter, using particular color schemes, certain lighting techniques and etc.

I am an amateur writer myself and I have thought about this more than a few times, I found two solutions to the above problem (at least for human spacecraft):

1st: All fleets are either stationed near a planet or at a mothership class ship (Don't think of the Homeworld game series think of an Eldar Craftworld but bigger). The regular warships themselves are tightly packed but crews are regularly rotated when at port, be it a planet or a mothership.

2nd: It's complicated but by taking advantage of the two layered armor concept, (i.e. Armor -> Empty Space -> Armor -> Ship interior) one can put various superfluous entertainment accommodations in the empty space between armor layers. When in combat these spaces are evacuated and filled with a foam like damage limiting substance that will quickly plug any holes that are opened in the outer and inner layers of armor.

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Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:49 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Ok, maybe this has been answered before but why did Alex recite the 'Time to say Goodbye' song from the Mickey Mouse club when Bellarmine was destroyed?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UXyOy16fYw

I get the reference but I believe that it does break the flow of the story if it was put there just for reference.

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Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:40 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Possibly related?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmILOL55xP0


Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:46 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Well Americans do seem to have an odd fixation with the damn rodent so it may have stuck in the military jargon.

Beyond that it was the first thing that came into his mind so I guess that he watched a lot of Mickey Mouse club when he was a kid, hope that it was a new series because if it was the old series his parents would singlehandedly paint a target on Alex's back at school.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
icekatze wrote:
hi hi

Much as I love Babylon 5, their space craft design was highly derivative. The station itself was practically copied straight out of Spacecraft; 2000 to 2100 AD, of the Terran Trade Authority series. I suspect they weren't thinking too terribly hard about those kinds of design decisions.
1
Beyond six months, things level off.


AH! another TTA enthusiast, although I must ask, what entry is the one similar to Babylon 5? as far as I can make out closest would be the Nomad Industrial Complex..


Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:55 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
dragoongfa wrote:
Ok, maybe this has been answered before but why did Alex recite the 'Time to say Goodbye' song from the Mickey Mouse club when Bellarmine was destroyed?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UXyOy16fYw

I get the reference but I believe that it does break the flow of the story if it was put there just for reference.



Not really sure if it broke it, or was pivotal.
Did we work out when the radio waves from the first transmissions of the Mickey Mouse Club reached the borders of Loroi Space?
If so, singing that song ties him to something that might send shock waves through the Loroi.
Although it was for children, the Mickey Mouse Club was educational, especially through Jiminy Cricket Presents, touching things like Evolution of the Human Being (You are a Human Animal) and Human Biology. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxheW2Mc_K9NAV_Seb19yS7ehPvFJ3QqY
Something I believe would be a cold wet slap to the face of the Loroi.
(Oh look! They look like us, but evolved and were not put there by Percussors...)

I might be completely off track with this, but it might explain the sudden and odd reaction of all the main characters on the bridge in pages 90 - 91, especially if they were worried about the Umiak knowing of it, and I believe their commanders comm line was still open at least partway through Alex's recital.


Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:42 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Considering that human space is more than 200 light years from the Loroi borders then those Radio Waves haven't yet reached anything close to the Loroi. The closest thing that could reach the Loroi would be that Hitler 1936 speech which was the first AM signal powerful enough to reach space, which at the time of Outsider would be traveling for 224 years, still barely within the Loroi wartime borders.

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Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:55 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
dragoongfa wrote:
Considering that human space is more than 200 light years from the Loroi borders then those Radio Waves haven't yet reached anything close to the Loroi. The closest thing that could reach the Loroi would be that Hitler 1936 speech which was the first AM signal powerful enough to reach space, which at the time of Outsider would be traveling for 224 years, still barely within the Loroi wartime borders.



I was judging it off of the fact Naan was 217 Light years from Earth, the 1950's broadcast was 210 years previous, putting its (wave front?) at only 7 light years Sol-ward from Naam, which puts it squarely on the doorstep of Tithric, judging by this map Arioch has made, certainly within Loroi borders I would think.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Signal dissipation is a thing though. The further the signal travels, the more it spreads out, and the more likely it is to get drowned out by the background noise of the galaxy at large. You might still be able to discern that there is a signal, but you'd never be able to decode it or discern its content.

Sound makes for a good analogy, especially since it follows a lot of the same laws as light does. What the Loroi would have to listen for would be the equivalent of trying to eavesdrop on a whispered conversation in the middle of a crowded room full of people talking normally. You could certainly hear someone if they cupped their hands and yelled Cooee, but you couldn't really use it to convey any meaningful information beyond "Oi! There's someone over here!".

Now, if you kept a steady signal beamed directly at the Loroi sphere for long enough with the same information repeating over and over so they could reconstruct it by listening to it long enough, yes, you could potentially get a signal across interstellar distances like that, but as you can imagine, sending the same signal for long enough is not something we've deliberately done. They'll be getting a host of different signals that will amount to nothing more than random noise. It's like trying to figure out a single puzzle in its entirety, but all you ever get is a single piece from every other puzzle in existence and not the one you want.

In short, unless there was a determined transmission effort from Arecibo that pointed at Loroi space for long enough to allow their receivers to piece together the signal, and even then, only if they were listening in the first place, the Loroi getting any 20th Century signals from Earth is so low as to be negligible.

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Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:12 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
I very much doubt that a 50's radio signal would be strong enough to be decipherable at 200+ light years.

If somehow it was, the Loroi would have no way of understanding its content, since they don't speak the language.

If the Loroi had received such a signal, then they would already know of Humanity's existence and what we look like. If that were the case, then Alex's appearance should not be quite such a surprise to them.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Razor One wrote:

Now, if you kept a steady signal beamed directly at the Loroi sphere for long enough with the same information repeating over and over so they could reconstruct it by listening to it long enough, yes, you could potentially get a signal across interstellar distances like that, but as you can imagine, sending the same signal for long enough is not something we've deliberately done. They'll be getting a host of different signals that will amount to nothing more than random noise. It's like trying to figure out a single puzzle in its entirety, but all you ever get is a single piece from every other puzzle in existence and not the one you want.


Heh, heh, well how about if it was repeated five days a week for several years? on regular timeslots like the Mickey Mouse Club was? admittedly the content changes for each one so the only thing you would get that would be consistent would be the Mickey Mouse Theme..

However, as we have it from the great makers own hand, its unlikely!!

Arioch wrote:
I very much doubt that a 50's radio signal would be strong enough to be decipherable at 200+ light years.


Well, I thought it was a good idea!


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
DevilDalek wrote:
Heh, heh, well how about if it was repeated five days a week for several years? on regular timeslots like the Mickey Mouse Club was? admittedly the content changes for each one so the only thing you would get that would be consistent would be the Mickey Mouse Theme..


The signal itself would dissipate too much to ever really be able to discern the repeating content.

Let's use the one minute intro of Captain Planet and the Planeteers as an example. That used to air at 5 PM local time back in the 90's for me as a kid. The intro weighs in at 2.8 Megabytes worth of digital data, after more than a decade of compression, Youtube quality, etc. So let's say that the original analogue and uncompressed data stream was 28 megabytes worth of data. Let's also assume that the signal power is sufficient for the Loroi to clearly hear it above the background radiation. Signal dissipation is still a thing though. If they can get one tenth of a percent of the original signal, I'd consider that plenty impressive.

So, a bit of math, that works out to:

28 MB = 29,360,128 Bytes
29360128 * 0.001 (1/10th of 1%) = 29360.128 = 28.672 Kilobytes.

Now, let's assume that every time the show is broadcast the Loroi manage to perfectly capture the next 28.672 kilobytes of the introduction sequentially so as not to needlessly duplicate results...

Total Signal / Amount Captured = Time to get the full picture

29360128 / 29360.128 = 1000

They'd need to listen in 1000 times successfully to get the whole intro. There were six seasons and 113 episodes. Assuming the intro never changed, the timeslots remained consistent, the positioning of the Earth and orbital precession remained consistent, there were no occluding events, no interfering gas and dust clouds, they reran the entire show 10 times, and perfectly captured every last byte while knowing exactly what to look for and when to look for it and were listening in the one minute window of opportunity to get the data they needed, they might be able to pick the signal out from amongst the noise and be able to piece it together.

And that's assuming that signal strength is itself no object. The signal strength necessary to reach 200 light years clearly for this to even work would probably strip off the ozone layer and require more juice than the entire continental united states produces in a year.

Even when the deck is stacked and handwaved to favour some kind of signal getting through, the odds of it reaching that far are... astronomical, appropriately enough. There is no possibility of an Omicronian situation. The best we, or anyone else for that matter, can probably hope for is a WoW! type signal that turns out to be genuine, predictable, constant and repeating, instead of a once off mystery like we got.

That being said, the Wow! signal did come from about the right distance... who knows, maybe Humans are the ones that got the hint about someone actually being out there long ago and simply missed it.

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Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:10 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Is it out of the ordinary that humanity evolved in an area designated "The Great Wasteland" (lower stellar density/higher mean distance between stars)? All the civilisations in Loroi space seem to have evolved in close proximity to one another. How does the cosmological architecture of the Local Bubble affect travel? Are the "tunnels'' highlighted on the map some sort of shortcuts/paths of least resisntance?


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
actually analog signals fare MUCH better on long ranges and 'decoding' interestingly enough, unless you specifically design the signals in that manner(hint, we have not most of the time), analog signals get garbled(but still sorta understandable) while digital get CRC errors and packet loss.....the much lower data density works to the favor of analog signals....and some of those early transmitters were scary powerful.

"the most powerful commercial radio station ever was WLW (700KHz AM), which during certain times in the 1930s broadcasted 500kW radiated power. At night, it covered half the globe. Neighbors within the vicinity of the transmitter heard the audio in their pots, pans, and mattresses."

that is a flipping fuckton of signal, if the combatants do not know where earth is yet, they soon will.


Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:39 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
hi hi

Now, I'm a fan of Babylon 5. Mimicking previous design work is honestly rather common in science fiction, so I'm not even saying they're villains because of it. My guess is they were going for homage, but in that case, I don't think they were designing things with practicality in mind.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Mr.Tucker wrote:
Is it out of the ordinary that humanity evolved in an area designated "The Great Wasteland" (lower stellar density/higher mean distance between stars)? All the civilisations in Loroi space seem to have evolved in close proximity to one another. How does the cosmological architecture of the Local Bubble affect travel? Are the "tunnels'' highlighted on the map some sort of shortcuts/paths of least resisntance?


Image

Take a closer look at the size of Loroi space in the map above. There's a dozen races within the Loroi Alliance, and Alliance space takes up roughly a fifth to a quarter of the Local Bubble. That's a couple hundred cubic lightyear all in all. I'd say the 'density' of races within that volume isn't that big then. Of course, we don't know if the Nissek and Historians don't have more client races within their own territory that are unknown to the Loroi (or Arioch simply didn't mention to us). Even so, I'd be surprised if in the void between Terran -and Loroi territory, there'd be more then two unknown races.

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