Last Update: 07/27/2005
Members of the Engineering department of IKV ghop qeylIs will be expected to follow a number of operating protocols while on duty and at all times while aboard this vessel. These protocols are intended to ensure that any situation is properly handled, preserving and maintaining the safety and security of IKV ghop qeylIs and the Empire as a whole at all times. Ship's status indicators are provided in the form of lights located in Engineering and throughout the vessel and audible alerts signals broadcast throughout the vessel.
General Operating Protocols:
All personnel must make every effort to maintain, repair and improve all pieces of equipment aboard the ship.
No personnel will knowingly or willfully cause damage to or destroy any piece of technology of this ship by any action or inaction.
All personnel are to follow all rules and orders as laid down by their superior officers and the Imperial High Council.
The chain of command for Engineering is as listed in the departmental manifest.
All potentially dangerous procedures must be cleared by the Chief Engineering Officer, unless the ship is in imminent danger, in which case they must be cleared by the senior duty Engineering officer.
The Engineering defense system may be initiated by the Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Chief Security Officer, or senior duty Engineering Officer if a threat force is believed to be in or near Main Engineering.
Alert Status Three
This condition can be initiated by the Commanding Officer or Executive Officer on determination that there is no clear and present danger to the vessel or other unusual circumstances. This is the normal operating condition of the ship.
Level Four diagnostics are to be performed on all systems at four-hour intervals, with any unusual findings being reported to the senior Engineering duty officer.
At least one major power system must remain active at all times, with one other to be maintained on standby.
Special Circumstances - Condition Blue
This condition can be initiated by the Commanding Officer or Executive Officer on determination that there are circumstances which require increased crew readiness and/or attention, but are not considered alerts. An example of this is atmospheric flight operations and refueling from tanker vessels or space stations.
All off-duty Engineering personnel are brought to standby status.
All on-duty Engineering personnel should immediately report to the senior duty Engineering officer for special instructions.
The senior Damage Control duty officer may deploy personnel to standby locations if considered to be warranted.
Level Four diagnostics are to be performed on all systems on the initiation of the condition and at one-hour intervals, with any unusual findings being reported to the senior Engineering duty officer.
At least one major power system must remain active at all times, with one other to be maintained at standby.
A communications channel is to be established with the Bridge so that all Engineering personnel may be informed of the nature of the situation.
Alert Status Two
This condition can be initiated by the Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Engineering Officer, Chief Weapons Officer or automatically by the ship's computer on detection of a threat which does not immediately or seriously compromise the safety of the ship.
All off-duty Engineering personnel are brought to standby.
All on-duty Engineering personnel should immediately report to the senior duty Engineering officer for special instructions.
The Chief Engineering Officer is to report to either the Bridge Engineering station or to Main Engineering (sending a qualified officer to man the Bridge station in their place).
Level Four diagnostics are to be performed on all systems on the initiation of the condition and at fifteen-minute intervals, with any unusual findings being reported to the senior Engineering duty officer.
Warp power is to be brought to full operational condition and maintain a minimum 25% power output.
Two major power systems must remain active at all times, with at least one other to be maintained at standby.
A communications channel is to be established with the Bridge so that all Engineering personnel may be informed of the nature of the situation.
Alert Status One
This condition can be initiated by the Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Engineering Officer, Chief Weapons Officer or automatically by the ship's computer on detection of a threat which immediately or seriously compromises the safety of the ship.
All off-duty Engineering personnel are brought to active status and will be assigned to Damage Control teams.
All on-duty Engineering personnel not engaged in critical functions will suspend their current activities and report to their duty stations unless either instructed to continue their work or are given other instructions.
The Chief Engineering Officer is to report to either the Bridge Engineering station or to Main Engineering (sending a qualified officer to man the Bridge station in their place).
Level Four diagnostics are to be performed on all systems on the initiation of the condition and at five-minute intervals, with any unusual findings being reported to the senior Engineering duty officer.
Warp power is to be brought to full operational condition and maintain a minimum 75% power output.
Two major power systems must remain active at all times, with all others to be maintained at standby.
Reactor core ejection initiator servos are brought online.
Isolation doors are to be closed and forcefields erected between sections to contain the effects of certain emergencies, such as fire or decompression.
A communications channel is to be established with the Bridge so that all Engineering personnel may be informed of the nature of the situation.
Imminent Warp Core Breach - Condition White
This condition can be initiated by any Engineering personnel, or automatically by the computer, upon detection of a possible warp core breach.
All non-essential work not related to the warp core is to be immediately ceased unless directed otherwise.
All personnel are to dedicate themselves to stopping the breach. If that is impossible, personnel should make every effort to minimize its effects.
Alert Status One will be sounded throughout the ship, and the senior duty Engineering officer will keep an open channel to the Bridge and communicate the nature and prognosis of the alert to the Bridge Commanding Officer.
Main Engineering will be sealed off from the rest of the ship by isolation doors and forcefields for the duration of the breach condition.
All Alert Status One protocols are in effect unless superseded by those listed here.
All auxiliary and emergency fusion generators units are a new type that is more reliable and powerful that existing units of the same size. Four more units have been installed throughout the vessel in an attempt to further limit the effects of main power loss. With all units working at full capacity, all weapons except the phaser cannon (see WEAPONS/DEFENSE section) will be available solely on generator power, as will be one cloaking device (firing weapons while cloaked will not be possible.) Also, with only one cloaking unit, the cloaking device will only be effective against sensors at long ranges.
As the desire to expand outward beyond the home system grew in strength, it was immediately obvious that the sublight propulsion systems of the time would not allow Imperial forces to reach out beyond the existing borders. The need for a dramatically faster propulsion system became obvious. Scientists spent much time and effort into developing technologies that would allow distant worlds to be reached in a useful manner. The technology, in its theoretical stage, was generally referred to as Space/Time Deformation Propulsion. It was known even then that it would be necessary to "rebuild" the laws of physics to permit faster-than-light travel.
In time, a primitive engine system was developed. Credit for this goes to the team led by Kelrik epetai-Reshtarc operating at the Klingon Sciences and Engineering Branch. In early 2032, Kelrik's team created the first faster-than-light propulsion system. He called this an Oscillation Driver Engine. This system, mounted into a test vehicle, was able to straddle the speed of light, remaining on either side of the barrier for no longer than a Greshik Unit (1.3 x 10-43 seconds, the smallest amount of measurable time). This permitted Kelrik's device to overcome the infinite amount of energy otherwise required to accomplish the goal.
Early Oscillation Drivers, which were then starting to be called Anticurve Rider Engines, were immediately installed into Imperial warships with little difficulty. The newest cruisers were designated D4, one of the most famous and known vessels of our history. These vessels participated in almost all early engagements with the many powers of the Alpha Quadrant. Though extremely inefficient and slow by today's standards, they allowed the Klingon Empire to get the start it needed in its mission of conquest. Existing timetables specifying decades and centuries for conquest of new territories had become a matter of months and years. Kelrik and his team relocated to Behacor Prime to continue their original work as well as exploring other applications of their invention.
The method for overcoming the limitations of Regartian methods (propulsion without exhausting reactive products) is based on nesting multiple layers of warp field energy, each one interacting with others in certain controlled ways. Working together, they drive the vessel forward in a manner known as Asymmetrical Peristaltic Field Manipulation (APFM). Warp field actuation conductors in the nacelles are energized sequentially in a fore-to-aft manner. The frequency of firing determines the quantity of field layers, therefore determining the ship's velocity. Each new layer pushes outward, experiencing rapid coupling and decoupling at varying distances from the nacelles, transferring energy and separating from other layers at speeds of .5SL and .9SL. When coupling, the radiated energy moves into subspace, apparently reducing the vessel's mass and allowing it to pass through the layers of warp field energy.
To honor the inventor of Klingon warp propulsion, the energy of subspace field stress is measured in units called kelriks. This also measures non-propulsive applications of spatial distortion equipment, such as tractor beams and deflector shields. Strengths less than one kelrik are measured in dellikelriks.
A field of 1000 dellikelriks represents the subspace field existing at a velocity of warp one. Field intensity at higher warp factors increase in a geometric pattern. A table of warp factors vs. field strengths is enclosed here:
Warp Factor 1 = 1 kelrik
Warp Factor 2 = 10 kelriks
Warp Factor 3 = 39 kelriks
Warp Factor 4 = 102 kelriks
Warp Factor 5 = 214 kelriks
Warp Factor 6 = 392 kelriks
Warp Factor 7 = 656 kelriks
Warp Factor 8 = 1024 kelriks
Warp Factor 9 = 1516 kelriks
These values can vary to some degree based on local conditions (density of any gasses present, conditions of subspace in the area, magnetic fields present, etc.) Vessels normally travel under warp propulsion between solar systems but experience energy penalties due to quantum drag forces and engine system inefficiencies.
The power to maintain a warp factor velocity is a function of the kelrik value of the warp field. The energy required to transition from sublight to warp propulsion is much higher than that used to maintain a warp velocity. This phase is called Optimal Transitory Threshold (OTT). Once crossed, energy production requirements decrease significantly. While the technology involved in these systems has improved greatly over the generations, there are still limitations in the warp driver conductor that make any great advancements in the near future unexpected. Major discoveries will have to be made to permit any significant improvements in existing systems.
Fractional warp factors refer to cases where a vessel is moving faster than an integral values, such as Warp Factor Two or Warp Factor Three. Such a condition results in the expenditure of more energy than that required to maintain the next higher integral warp factor. It is common practice to avoid traveling at fractional warp factors to minimize energy expenditure and extend fuel supplies.
Mahar's Demarcation establishes that warp stress increase asymptotically, approaching warp factor 10 (on the current warp factor scale) but never reaching it. The energy to reach the velocities approaching warp 10 increase geometrically, while the warp driver efficiency decreases at such velocities. The frequencies needed to perform the necessary coupling and decoupling become impossible to achieve. This eventually exceeds the limits of the controlling system, but more importantly the Greshik Unit of time measurement. Even if Warp Factor 10 were able to be achieved, a vessel at that speed would occupy all points in the universe at the same point. If such a condition were to be achieved, there is no known way to be able to control a vessel in such a state. One of the most important considerations resulting from reaching a velocity of Warp Factor 10 would be how to be able to control where the vessel would end up upon deceleration.
Vor'Cha Warp Propulsion
The Warp Field Propulsion System (WFPS) of the Vor'Cha-class Battlecruiser comprise three major assemblies:
The Matter/Antimatter Counteraction Module (M/ACM)
The Power Distribution Channels (PDC)
The Warp Field Actuation Nacelles (WFAN)
The original specifications received from Imperial High Command for the original Vor'Cha cruiser listed the following requirements for the warp propulsion system:
Optimum Speed: Warp 5.71
Cruising Speed: Warp 6.32
Maximum Speed: Warp 8.20
Emergency Speed: Warp 9.35 (maximum thirty minutes)
These requirements resulted from the following considerations:
Continuously changing political conditions with the Federation, Romulan, and other Alpha and Beta Quadrant powers.
Intelligence reports about weapon development efforts by other powers.
Various Imperial programs that could benefit from a vessel possessing such capabilities, particularly its combat and stealth qualities.
In subsequent years, Klingon Imperial High Command did a routine study of all threat considerations and found the following to be major considerations to the Empire's military planning:
The unknown threat presented by the Borg, particularly after its incursions into the Alpha Quadrant. One of these vessels had been disconnected from the Borg collective, becoming unpredictable in its behavior until it was destroyed in operations against a Federation starship.
The new threat posed by the then-recently discovered Dominion of the Gamma Quadrant and its stated intentions of conquering the Alpha Quadrant.
Continued uncertainty about intentions of the Romulan Star Empire, later proven well founded when they signed non-aggression accords with the Dominion.
Utilizing new improvements to warp propulsion technology, the following performance figures have been achieved for the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS variant:
Optimum Speed: Warp 6.46
Cruising Speed: Warp 7.72
Maximum Speed: Warp 9.90
Emergency Speed: Warp 9.99 (maximum twenty minutes)
The infuser units send precise amounts of matter and antimatter into the counteraction core. The Matter Reactant Infuser (MRI) receives supercold deuterium from the Main Deuterium Storage Tank (MDST) from its location above Engineering on Deck 16 and heats it in a continuous gas-fusion process. The infuser passes the gas through a group of throttleable nozzles into the upper dynamic compression segment.
The MRI is built from a conical structural vessel 2.6 x 3.15 cams made of dispersion-strengthened woxnium carbmolydbenide. Thirty-two impact-dampening bolsters (IDB) connect it to the MDST and major vessel spaceframe cross members on Deck Five. The entire assembly "floats" within the vessel to protect it from tresses put on the hull. Inside the MRI are six redundant cross-fed sets of inducers, each consisting of twin deuterium inlet manifolds, fuel conditioners, fusion preburners, magnetic uench barriers, transfer duct/gas compositors, nozzle heads and controlling hardware. Slush deuterium enters the manifolds where it is cooled to a near-solid state. This results in the creation of microscopic pellets that are preburned by magnetic pinch fusion and sent into the gas compositor. Here the ionized gas streams into the compression segments. If a nozzle fails, the remaining ones will adjust to accommodate extra material. Each nozzle of the MRI measures 51 x 87gc and is made of frumium-copper-yttrium 2343.
Opposite the MRI is the Antimatter Reactant Infuser (ARI). Due to the nature of antimatter and how it reacts with matter, the ARI assembly has a design differing greatly from the MRI. All portions of the ARI must be contained within magnetic fields to prevent the antimatter from making contact with the ARI. The ARI is simpler in design in many ways, but is complicated by the precautions needed for handling antimatter. The MRI and ARI structural housing and IDBs are quite similar with additional magnetic shielding for the ARI. There are three antimatter gas flow regulators that divide the incoming antideuterium into small packets that go into the lower compression segments. Each flow separator goes to an infuser nozzle, each opening based on computer controls. The nozzle operation sequences can be quite varying in nature based on operating conditions at any one time.
Dynamic Compression Segments
The upper and lower dynamic compression segments (DCS) comprise the central mass of the warp core. These support the Matter/Antimatter Counteraction Module (M/ACM). This provides a pressure vessel to maintain an operating environment and align the incoming matter and antimatter streams. The upper DSC is nine cams in length while the lower unit is six cams; both are 1.24 cams in diameter. A normal compression segment has eight sets of tension frame members, a toroidal pressure vessel wall, twelve sets of dynamic compression conductors and related feed & control hardware. Compression conductors are high-density forced matrix cobalt-lathanide-boronite, having thirty-six active elements configured to provide maximum strength within the pressure vessel, permitting little or no field spillage into manned areas of Engineering. The vessel toroids are alternating layers of vapor-deposited carbonitic ferracite and transparent aluminum borosillicate. Vertical tension members are machined tritanium and cortentite reinforcing struts, phase transition-bonded in place during vessel construction. All engine frame members have conduits for reinforcement field energy for use in Patrol Mode. The outer layer is the only indicator of engine performance due to harmless photons being emitted through the multiple layers having a red glow. This is monitored by the Engineering department.
When matter and antimatter streams are sent out of their emitters, the compression conductors focus the stream and accelerate them by 100 to 150c/sec. This is done to help make sure the streams hit the center of the M/ACM chamber, where the dilithium crystal housing is located.
This assembly consists of two bell-shaped cavities that contain and aim the matter and antimatter streams. This chamber is 1.5 cams high and 1.25 cams in diameter. It is made of twelve layers of hafnium six excelion-infused carbonitrium, phase transitioned welded under a pressure of 31,000 kilopascals. The outer three layers are shielded with acrossenite arkenide for overpressure protection.
The central band of the reactor core contains the housing for the dilithium crystal alignment support (DCAS). An armored hatch allows access to the DCAS. DCAS consists of an EM-isolated cradle to hold 600gc3 of dilithium crystal material and two sets of crystal orientation linkages. The crystal assembly undergoes constant monitoring and adjustment to keep the crystals properly aligned for maximum efficiency.
The central band is connected to the upper and lower core segments with 36 structural connection pinions. These pinions are hafnium eight molyferrenite reinforced in tension, compression, and torsion. They are contiguous with the engine HRF. In the middle of the central band are two layers of diffused transparent tritanium borocarbonate for reaction energy visual monitoring.
Dilithium is the only substance known to Klingon science (and the science of other known races) that is able to come into contact with antimatter without reacting to it while in an environment of high levels of EM radiation. Dilithium allows the antimatter to pass through its structure without making contact. Until recent years it was thought that dilithium would be impossible to create artificially until recent advancements made it possible. It has also become possible to regenerate used dilithium, making it useable again. This has been done by utilizing gamma radiation bombardment. Experiments continue to explore the possibilities of trilithium.
WFPS Startup Procedure
1. From a cold condition, the entire system is raised to 2,500,000K from a combination of energy from the EPA and MRI systems with a "squeeze" from the upper DCS.
2. The first amount of antimatter is passed through the ARI and aligned with the stream from the MRI into the dilithium crystal housing. The cross-section of the streams can vary depending on power settings. There are two reaction modes here:
A. High levels of energy are directed to the EPA, similar to a standard fusion reaction, which provides power for the vessel at sublight speeds. The DCAS positions the dilithium cradle so the facets lie parallel to the matter/antimatter streams. The reaction is governed by the dilithium, modulating the EM frequencies between 1020 (ten to the twentieth) and 1012 (ten to the twelfth) Hz.
B. Full use of the dilithium's ability to suspend the reaction is made. This beings the process of channeling energy into the warp nacelles, allowing faster-than-light velocity travel. In this case the matter/antimatter streams meet 20 angstroms above the upper dilithium crystal facet. Optimum frequency range depends on current warp factor and is continuously retuned for maximum efficiency. The M/A ratio is stabilized at a ratio of 25:1 and is considered to be at "idle".
3. Engine pressure is increased to 72,000 kilopascals. The operating temperature of 2x1012K is reached.
The MRI and ARI units open up. M/A ratio is made 10:1 for power creation, which is also the ratio for warp factor one. The ratio is adjusted further for higher warp factors until warp factor eight brings the ratio to 1:1. Still higher velocities result from additional reactants being injected, though the ratio of 1:1 remains unchanged.
Warp Nacelle Power Conduits
Energy produced within the warp propulsion core is divided into two streams at near-right angles to the vessel centerline. Power Dispersal Conduits (PDC) are similar in nature to the compression segments in that they compress the plasma flow into a small stream in the center of the conduit and force it into the nacelles. The energy is then utilized by the Warp Field Propagation Conductors (WFPC) for propulsion.
PDC channels extend aft from the engineering spaces where they meet the warp nacelle struts. These channels are fabricated from six layers of machined tritanium and transparent aluminum borosillicate that are phase transition welded into a single pressure-resistant structure. The connection to the counteraction module are explosive joints capable of separating within .08 seconds in the event the warp core needs to be jettisoned. These joints are created during construction and cannot be recycled.
EPA taps for the power distribution grid are installed in the PDC at three locations. The taps are of the following types:
Type I accepts 0.1% capacity flow for high-energy systems.
Type II accepts 0.01% capacity flow for experimental usage.
Type III accepts low-power input for energy-conversion devices.
Energetic plasma created in the M/ARH unit passes through the PDC into the warp nacelles. This is where warp propulsion comes from. The nacelle is made up of several segments, including the Warp Field Actuation Conductors (WFAC), Plasma Infuser Module (PIM), jettisoning system and maintenance hatches.
The nacelle structure is similar to the rest of the Vor'Cha cruiser. Tritanium and duranium framing is combined with longitudinal stiffeners. This is overlaid with 1.25 cams of gamma-welded tritanium hull plating. Three inner layers of directionally strengthened cobalt cortenide gives protection against high levels of warp-induced stress, especially at the jettisoning point. Triply-redundant conduits for HRF and ISF energy systems are installed in the structure. Inside the framing is impact-dampening bolsters for the WFAC, as are thermal insulation struts for the PIM.
The jettisoning system is utilized in cases where the PIM experiences a failure unable to be repaired in the field, or if damage sustained by the nacelle poses a threat to the rest of the vessel. Ten jettisoning charges are installed in the nacelle structure that would allow separation from the vessel at a rate of 20 cams/second.
While docked, or at low sublight velocities with the M/ARH offline, the maintenance hatches can be utilized to perform repair work on the nacelles by maintenance pods or other auxiliary vessels equipped with a standard docking collar. This allows access to the nacelle equipment in addition to the internal access passageways. The passageways are too small to allow any personnel to carry much equipment, so this is the primary access method for actual repair/maintenance work.
Plasma Infuser Module
At the end of each PDC is the Plasma Infuser Module (PIM). This is a series of eighteen valved magnetic infusers linked to the warp propulsion control system. Each warp field conductor has its own infuser unit that are fired in a variable sequence based on the manner of flight. These infusers are made of arkenium duranide and single-crystal ferrocarbonite and magnetic constriction toroids of nalgetium serrite. Twelve redundant links maintain an interface to the computer control system. Fractional differences in timing exist between the control systems and hardware at startup time. Software routines are designed into the control system to compensate for this time lag.
The infusers operate on a open/close cycle of between 25-50 nanoseconds. At the warp factor increases, so does the infuser firing frequency as well as the open/close cycle rate. At the highest warp velocities, infuser cycle time levels off due to limitations of the infuser mechanical operation. The fastest cycle time considered safe is 53 nanoseconds.
Warp Factor Infuser Firing Frequency Open/Close Cycle
------------- ------------------------ --------------------
1-4 30-40 Hz 25-30 nanoseconds
5-7 40-50 Hz 30-40 nanoseconds
8-9.9 50 Hz 40-50 nanoseconds
Warp Field Actuation Conductors
Warp propulsion energy is created within the Warp Field Actuation Conductors (WFAC), assisted by the specific hull configuration. These conductors generate a multilayered energy field surrounding the cruiser. This field is manipulated in specific ways to generate propulsive forces for warp speed velocities.
The WFAC units are made of split toroids positioned in the nacelles. Each half-segment measures 4.75 x 21.5 cams and is made from a core of densified tungsten-cobalt-magnesium giving structural strengthening. It is further embedded with a casting of electrically densified verterium cortenide. A pair measures 10.5 x 21.5 cams and has a mass of 34,375 metric tonnes. Two sets of eighteen conductors each mass 1.23 x10 6 metric tonnes. This is approximately 25% of the vessel's total mass. This system was difficult to produce with reliability in the early days of development for the original Vor'Cha design. Improvements made to the production system during the course of development for the Vor'Cha design made the structures better in quality. It is still generally practiced to make conductors in pairs that are installed together. Major refits use the opportunity for conductor replacement. Common practice is for all conductor units installed on a vessel to have an age difference of no more than six months between oldest and newest units.
In operation, the verterium cortenide in a conductor pair shifts the energy frequencies in the plasma into subspace. Quantum packets of subspace energy form approximately one-third the distance from the inner surface of the conductor to the outer surface. The verterium cortenide creates changes to the geometry of space at the Greshik Unit scale of 3.9 x 10-33gc. The converted energy then radiates away from the nacelle from the outer surface. Some field energy recombination occurs at the centerline of the conductor, appearing as visible light.
Warp Field Propulsion
Warp velocity propulsion is created by several factors working in company:
Warp field creation is performed in a fore-to-aft manner. As the plasma infusers operate sequentially, warp field layers build according to the pulse frequency of the plasma, then press on each other. The layers together reduce the apparent mass of the vessel to help move the vessel. Critical transition occurs when the vessel (to the outside observer) seems to travel faster than light. When warp energy levels reach 1000 dellikelriks, the vessel is pushed beyond the speed of light in less than a Greshik Unit (1.3 x 10-43 seconds). Warp physics prevent the vessel from operating at exactly the speed of light. The three forward conductors of each nacelle operate at a frequency offset from the other units to reinforce the field ahead of the Bolognium Engine Shields as well as encompassing the Weapon Module. This aids in creating field asymmetry necessary for forward movement.
The nacelles create two balanced warp fields for maneuvering. Experiments conducted in the early days of warp travel experimented with differing numbers and orientations of warp nacelles (including a single unit), but found that two proved to be the best design. Yaw motions (XZ axis) are performed by varying the balance between the nacelles. Pitch changes result from varying conductor firing sequences and plasma concentrations.
The vessel's hull shape facilitates transition into warp propulsion and adds a geometric correction vector. A 28 degree elliptical hull platform in the Weapon Module (consistent in each type of forward module designed for the Vor'Cha-class) helps to shape the forward portion of the warp field. The undercut in the aft hull permits varying degrees of field flow attachment, preventing the vessel from losing attitude control owing to the nacelles being off the Y-axis center of mass. Loss of major hull components (dorsal module, Main Bridge) would necessitate a reconfiguration of the warp field to maintain efficient operations. Loss of one or both nacelles would result in linear disassociation (being torn apart because each side of the vessel would be trying to move at radically different velocities).
Even before the existence of antimatter was confirmed in the early days of the modern era of Klingon Science, the idea of known matter having an identical counterpart of opposite charge intrigued scientists who speculated on the energy-creation possibilities of such materials interacting with each other.
Theory postulated the idea that all components in the universe were created in pairs. Supposedly, every particle of matter has an antimatter counterpart somewhere in the universe. Many scientists believe that the high-concentration of matter in the Spiral Arm of our galaxy (relatively speaking compared to the total volume of the galaxy) is matched by an equally large concentration of antimatter in another area of the galaxy. All basic antiparticles have been created artificially and are available for experimental and operational usage.
Interaction of electrons and positrons (antielectrons) produce gamma radiation upon interaction/annihilation. Other pairs interact in different ways. Deuterium/antideuterium (deuterium being an isotope of hydrogen) were of particular interest to Klingon scientists. The efforts of attempting to utilize such a reaction proved to be as laborious as the rewards proved beneficial. A major consideration was always that of trying to contain the antimatter supply. A containment method had to be developed that did not allow the antimatter to touch the container (resulting in a matter/antimatter explosion). It was quickly seen that a magnetic field would be needed to hold the antimatter in a safe manner. Many vessels were lost in the early days of matter/antimatter fuel usage (entire squadrons flying in close formation being lost due to a containment failure on one vessel was a frequent problem) before a reliable magnetic field sustainer was developed and put into production.
Antimatter is commonly produced by combined solar-fusion charge reversal devices that process proton and neutron beams into antideuterons, which are then joined by a positron beam accelerator to produce antihydrogen (specifically, antideuterium). There is an energy loss of 12.68% in this method of production. While High Command has said this an acceptable level of inefficiency, research and development continues into better production methodologies.
Antimatter is stored at fueling facilities in magnetic conduits and compartmentalized tankage. Similar tankage was built into early warships, though designs were changed to make it jettisonnable (early units were not). During fueling operations, antimatter passes through a port .875 cams wide having 12 mechanical latches and magnetic irises. At the loading port on Deck 21 are forty storage tanks divided between and mounted on two large ejectable pallets. The tank itself is mounted on an individual ejectable pallet, which is then mounted on the larger pallet. The individual pallet is jettisoned at a rate of 20 cams/second. Each tank measures two by four cams and is made of polyduranium, having an inner magnetic field layer of ferric quonium. Each tank holds 50cams3 of antideuterium, giving a total supply of 2000cams3. This will last for over two years of vessel operations. Periods of medium-to-radical refits/repair docking periods usually include a refueling operation. If only a small amount of antimatter has been consumed it is common practice to replace drained tanks. Large-scale fueling needs generally utilize replenishment of the expended fuel through the refueling system. Rapid refueling can be performed in the field in a one-hour period by removal of the entire pallet assembly and replacement with a full fuel supply. Adjacent to these pallets are two battery packs per pallet for the containment field if power from the main power distribution system should be lost for any reason. The pallets are fed power from these batteries at all times, which in turn are kept at full charge levels by constant recharging from the main power distribution grid. Auxiliary power generators can be connected to the system in a few minutes in case the main power grid should fail. The antimatter containment bottles will be destroyed upon jettison when their battery power supply runs out of charge in five hours from ejection unless destroyed by weapon fire or activation of the pallet auto-destruct system beforehand.
In virtually any condition, antimatter is not moved through transporter devices without a series of reconfiguration being performed to the pattern buffers, transfer conduits and emitters as a safety measure. It can be performed if these actions are taken with extremely small quantities. Normal operating conditions will require the authorization of the Commanding Officer. If conditions do not permit, the senior officer involved in the action(s) requiring transport will take responsibility for any consequences of using the transporter system. Such actions are generally performed only in cases of scientific or military operations.
Refueling operations in the field can be performed with acceptable levels of safety with the usage of antimatter tanker vessels. The main concern in such operations is not from accidental detonation but from attempts by Privateers or others to destroy or seize the tanker. Due to this, tanker vessels are always escorted by at least two K'T'inga or K'Vort-class cruisers. During refueling operations for IKV ghop qeylIs, standard practice is to maintain Alert Status One operating conditions and deploy fighter vessels (also B'rel Scouts depending on how great the risk of being engaged is considered to be) as an early-warning and interception force.
Warp Propulsion System Fuel Supply
The fuel supply for the WFPS is stored in the main deuterium storage tank (MDST) on Deck 16. The MDST, which also feeds the Impulse Propulsion System (IPS) is loaded with slush deuterium maintained at -259 degrees Celsius (13.8 degrees Kelvin). The MDST is made of forced-matrix 2378 cortanium and stainless steel, with foamed vac-whisker silicon-copper-duranite insulation in alternating parallel/biased layers and gamma welded. Openings for fuel lines, supply vessels and sensors are made with phased energy cutters. Four main fuel feeds from the MDST to matter reactant infuser, eight cross-feed conduits to the Bridge Module impulse engines and four feeds to the impulse engines. Leakage rate for the deuterium tanks is approximately <.00001kellivam/day. The auxiliary tanks have the same leakage value.
The total volume of stored fuel, compartmentalized to prevent damage-induced loss, is 60,600cams3. The normal load is around 58,000cams3. A full fuel loaded will last approximately two years.
Slush deuterium is generated by electro-centrifugal fractioning of several materials, including water, planetary satellite snows and ices and frozen cometary core matter. Fractional liquid is then chilled. Each type of material results in different proportions of deuterium and tailings, but these can be handled by the same controller software. Deuterium tankers are far more common in the fleet than the antimatter versions due to the differing handling needs. Tankers can reach vessel in emergency needs within two or three days notice. Refueling ports are located on the outer hull by the port nacelle strut joint where it meets with the hull. Structural connection points are installed for connection to port or maintenance dock facilities, as are pressure relief, purge inlet/outlet fittings, and data distribution network hardlines.
Hydrogen Intake Fuel Replenishment
In a case where refueling from a tanker or base facility is not possible (especially on long-ranging missions into new territory), there are facilities incorporated into the vessel capable of replenishing the vessel's fuel supply. The thinly-distributed supply of matter in open space can be taken into the vessel for processing as fuel. This matter is processed by high-energy magnetic coils called Hydrogen Ram Intakes (HRI). Directional ionizing radiation is emitted outward into a shaped magnetic field designed to attract and direct the gases in open space into the matter collection system. This gas, having an average density of one atom per cubic gellicam, will have any deuterium extracted for processing. At high relativistic sublight speeds amounts of gas collected can be significant. This is not encouraged due to concerns about time distortion. Collection operations are generally done while at warp velocities.
HRI units are made of three components:
Ionizing Beam Emitter (IBE).
Magnetic Field Generator/Collector (MFG/C).
Continuous Cycle Fractioner (CCF).
The covering for the intake is made from reinforced polyduranide that is transparent for a small range of ionizing energies made by the emitter unit. The emitter projects a charge on neutrally-charged particles in open space that is collected by the magnetic field. When at warp, ionizing energy is transitioned into subspace frequencies so beam components can be projected ahead of the vessel, then decay to normal states, producing desired effects.
Next is the MFG/C, a compact of six coils designed to project a magnetic field to collect charged particles toward the intakes. The coils are make of cobalt-lathanide-boronite and are powered by either the PDC lines or the vessel power distribution grid. When at sublight, coil operations are reversed to decelerate the velocity of incoming matter.
Finally, the CCF units filter out the usable material from the incoming matter stream and sends them to holding tanks within the hull.
Antimatter Generation Operations
As with deuterium, there is the ability of replenishing a portion of a vessel's antimatter fuel supply while in deep space. Current technology for vessel equipment is very inefficient at antimatter generation, but at times of an emergency it can become a viable option to the Commanding Officer.
The on-board antimatter generation system is located on Deck 23 amongst other antimatter-related equipment. It comprises the Matter Inlet/Conditioner (MI/C) and the Quantum Charge Reversal Device (QCRD). The generator unit is 3.8 x 6.85 cams and has a mass of 700 metric tonnes. It is one of the heaviest pieces of equipment that makes up the Vor'Cha vessel. The QCRD uses alternating layers of superdense, forced-matrix cobalt yttrium polyduranide and 854 kalnite-argium. This is required to produce the needed power amplification to hold collections of subatomic particles, reverse their charge, and collect the altered matter for storage in antimatter tanks.
The QCRD's technology has similarities to the transporter, HRI, ISF and other devices that manipulate matter at the quantum level. The incoming matter is stretched into rivulets less than .0000016 gc across. They are pressure-fed into the QCRD under magnetic suspension, where groups of them are chilled to .001 degree of absolute zero. They are then briefly exposed to a stasis field to further reduce molecular movement. As the stasis effect decays, focused subspace fields drive deep into their subatomic structure to reverse the charge and spin of "frozen" protons, neutrons and electrons. The flipped matter, now antimatter, is moved to antimatter storage tanks by magnetic fields. This method can produce a quantity of .04m3/hr. Due to inefficiencies in current technology, nine units of deuterium are needed to operate the generator system. This only produces two units of antimatter. Operating for long periods of time will consume notable amounts of deuterium if allowed to continue to function.
Strict attention is paid to the operations of the warp propulsion system. Continuous monitoring of all systems is performed to ensure that no danger is posed to the vessel. The computer control system is designed to be able to react in minimal time to any crisis that may develop in the engines. Synthetic intelligence-based monitoring systems are capable of handling many situations that might arise. System overrides are available only to command-level officers.
Emergency shutdown operations are initiated by the controlling system when pressure and/or thermal safety limits are reached and exceeded. Normal shutdown procedures dictate valving off the plasma flow to the WFAC units, closing off reactant infusers and purging any remaining gases from the system. The impulse engines will assume power-generation operations. Problems resulting from external sources (such as combat damage) will run risk-assessment studies to determine if systems can be allowed to continue operating without posing an unacceptable risk to the vessel.
In cases where damage sustained to the system cannot be repaired in a timely manner, some procedures for handling the situation may include:
Safing systems that pose a danger to the vessel.
Determining WFPS damage and collateral damage.
Sealing hull breaches and areas of the vessel that are uninhabitable.
Fuel and power supplies are discontinued upstream from the direction(s) of flow based on computer and engineering damage surveys. If possible, engineering personnel in protective suits will enter affected areas to verify damage-control systems are in operation and attempt repair work. Extra armoring can be added to protection suits to protect crewmen from energy surges (such as weapon fire from enemy forces). The Chief Engineer may delay shutdown operations on needed systems if the risks are considered acceptable.
Damaged equipment will be retained if possible, otherwise it will be ejected in accordance with security protocols. If possible, some material may be recovered for use as replicator stock. Weapon fire may be used to destroy ejected equipment to prevent its capture and study by enemy forces. Major components may contain built-in autodestruct systems. If component ejection and forcefields fail, two options remain to handle the situation. The first is manual sequence initiation, the second being automatic computer operations.
Core ejections happen when pressure vessel damage is sufficient to breach safety containment fields. Ejection will also happen if the damage may overcome the HRF system enough to prevent core retention regardless of whether the WFPS is operating or not. Vessel survival is the primary consideration at all times. Core ejection will take place if the threat is considered unacceptable. Only the Chief Engineer can override a computer-initiated ejection order.
NOTE - Due to Imperial Security directives, an autodestruct sequence will be activated within the WFPS if it is ejected. This sequence detonates small explosive devices incorporated into the WFPS hardware. This was instituted after the capture of a Bird of Prey-class vessel by Starfleet personnel in 2285.
Damage to the antimatter storage tank may require it to be ejected from the vessel. Multiple redundant systems have been installed to ensure a successful ejection due to the threat antimatter poses to the survival of the vessel. The vessel computer will generally perform the jettison sequence due to the amount of work required to secure the antimatter handling system before ejection can be performed. Manual options due exist if the computer system is unable to handle the task.
The Impulse Propulsion System (IPS) represents the primary means of moving the vessel at sublight velocities. This systems also provides much of the power used to operate the vessel and the equipment aboard it. These engines are active at virtually all times the vessel is not docked at a fully-equipped facility. These engines provide the propulsion used to move around planetary systems and other times that faster-than-light velocities are not used. Velocities above .75SL requires additional power from auxiliary power generation equipment.
Early on in the development of the standard Vor'Cha-class warship program, it was foreseen that the vessel would have a mass much larger than that of any vessels in service at the time. Existing IPS equipment was quickly seen as being inadequate to allow the Vor'Cha to function acceptably, and no systems under development at the time held promise of being able to accomplish the task. Scientists at Reshtarc Combined Arms Limited devised the idea of installing a space/time actuation convoluter similar in nature to that utilized in the warp drive system. It creates a distortion in the space/time continuum around the vessel too weak to accelerate the vessel to warp speeds, yet enough to "exaggerate" the actual velocity generated by the IPS. This system was already in production for other purposes and was quickly adapted and incorporated into the design.
The fuel supply for the IPS is contained in the Main Deuterium Storage Tank (MDST) on Deck 16 and 40 smaller auxiliary storage tanks on Deck 13 forward of the tower supporting the dorsal sensor module. Redundant feeds in the fuel management system run by the ship's computer system operate the fuel distribution system during times of engine operation as well as refueling operations. The deuterium supply of the IDST, which also supplies the Warp Propulsion System, is normally maintained in a slush state at 13.8 degrees Kelvin, the secondary fuel supply is maintained in a fully liquid condition. If fuel from the main supply must be moved, it is passed through a heater system to facilitate the transfer process.
The MDST and secondary tanks are made of forced matrix cortanium 2378 and stainless steel in alternating parallel/biased layers and gamma-welded. Phased energy cutters create openings for fuel lines and sensor systems. The tanks can be removed and installed via transporter operation. Each secondary tank can store 4.65 metric tonnes of deuterium fuel.
If the need should arise for velocities above that possible by the IPS under normal operational conditions and procedures, the Commanding Officer can order the injection of minute amounts of antimatter into the IPS system. The antimatter for the IPS (main and secondary engines) would come from the supply maintained on Deck 21. 36 of the 40 antimatter tanks are allocated to the Warp Propulsion System and the remaining four are dedicated to the IPS system. Antimatter can be transferred from one group to the other by means of dedicated fuel lines installed for such a situation.
Impulse Engine Configuration
The Primary (also called Main) Impulse Engines (PIE) are located on Deck 17 and are oriented to generate thrust along a parallel equidistant axis down the centerline of the Vor'Cha. During flight operations, engine thrust is vectored slightly in the -Y direction (downward) to accommodate center of mass movement.
A PIE consists of four impulse engine units clustered together, while SIEs are made of two engine units. Each engine unit is comprised of the following systems:
Impulse Counteraction Housing (ICH, four per engine)
Driver Actuation Convolutor (DAC)
Directional Exhaust Thrust Housing (DETH)
The ICH is a sphere three cams in diameter intended to contain the reaction of the fusion generator. It is made from eight layers of dispersion-strengthened hafnium excelinide having a total thickness of 337gc. An inner liner of crystalline gulium flouride 20gc thick protects the sphere from the effects of the reaction and radiation. It is replaceable. Openings are made in the sphere to allow for fuel lines, reaction initiators and sensor devices.
Slush deuterium from the main cryogenic tank is heated and passed to interim tanks on Deck 20. Here the deuterium is chilled until it is frozen solid into pellets of variable size (.25 to 2.5gc depending on needed energy output). A pulsed fusion shock front from initiators around the inner surface of the sphere is generated. Energy output can be adjusted from 109.5 to 1012MW.
High-energy plasma created during engine operations is vented through an opening in the sphere to the accelerator/generator. This is usually an octagon shape 1.55 cams long and 2.9 cams in diameter. It is made of an integral twin crystal polyduranide frame and a pyrovunide exhaust accelerator. In propulsion operations the accelerator is operative, increasing the plasma's velocity and passing it to the space/time actuator conductors. In power-generation mode, with no propulsion being performed, the accelerator is offline. The Electroplasma Assembly diverts the energy into the power distribution grid and exhaust products are vented. In a combined propulsion/power generation mode, part of the exhaust plasma is accessed by the magnetohydrodynamic system (MHDS) to supply the power distribution grid.
The third portion of the engine is the Actuator Conductor Assembly (ACA). It is 3.25 cams long and 2.9 cams in diameter. It consists of eight split toroids, each cast of verterium cortenide 934. Energy driven through the toroids, creates the effect of:
Reducing the apparent mass of the cruiser's inner surface.
Aids the vessel in passing the space/time continuum past the cruiser on its outer surface.
The final stage of the system is the Directional Exhaust Thrust Housing (DETH). This is a series of moveable vanes and conduits meant to expel exhaust material in a controlled way. This can perform maneuvering functions or venting operations.
The impulse engines are operated through control software incorporated into the vessel's main computer system. As with the warp propulsion system, the initial algorithms programmed into the vessel at the time of construction are adaptable and are constantly making adjustments to maximize efficiency in operation. Optimum conditions can be "learned" by the synthetic intelligence systems and utilized in engine operations. Commands received by the crew are passed through the main computer into the dedicated IPS command coordinator. The IPS command coordinator is linked with its warp propulsion counterpart when passing in and out of warp velocities. The IPS coordinator is also tied into the thruster systems at all times and all velocities.
As with most vessels in operation in the Empire, problems have been encountered that cannot be bypassed by the scientific minds of the Empire due to the nature of impulse propulsion.
In the early days of spaceflight, the speeds reached by Imperial vessels were slow by today's standards. As innovations were made in technological development, the then-theoretical considerations given to the "poh" factor (the time distortion effect of traveling near the speed of light) moved toward reality. This created the effect of many years passing between the end of the vessel's journey and time passage on Qo'noS.
In modern days, these time distortions could provide high degrees of problems in military operations. Schedules for military operations can be quickly ruined by the problems resulting from the distortion of time passage occurring. Even today there are times when warp propulsion cannot be utilized, yet the distance needed to be traveled is large. Movement at high sublight velocities would require adjustments to the ship's timekeeping systems. It is because of this that impulse speeds are generally limited to .3SL. This "limit" can be exceeded at the order of the Commanding Officer. This entire matter is not considered to be the trouble it once was because of all the systems near the home world having been conquered and subjugated. Further conquests take place at long distances from the home world and warp velocity travel is used.
Engineering Operational Safety
PIE and SIE systems are maintained according to standard practices based on average time-to-failure studies and work schedules. Those parts that experience the most wear are naturally replaced more often than other devices. The inner liner of the ICH sphere is replaced after 8000 hours of service, or if prescribed amounts of deterioration or structural fracturing is detected. The sphere itself and subassemblies are replaced after 6800 cruise hours. Deuterium/antideuterium infusers, initiators and sensors can be replaced in the field without the need for docking at a Starfortress or other facility.
The accelerator/generator units are changed out after 5200 hours unless wear or failure is detected beforehand by maintenance crews. The main need for replacement here occurs from the radiation present in the system.
ACA units are replaced after 5000 hours. The actuator conductors are replaced due to the effects of electromagnetic and thermal energies. These systems must be replaced at a repair facility; it cannot be done in the field.
The DETH system undergoes the least amount of wear in operation. They are replaced during layovers at a dock facility. Non-replacement maintenance can be performed in the field.
The IPS system requires 1.28x as much maintenance work as the WFPS system due to the nature of the fusion reaction occurring in the IPS system. Thermal and acoustic stresses per unit of area are greater in this system. While the WFPS produces much more power than the IPS, the energy created puts less shock and stress onto the vessel structure.
IPS Shutdown Procedures
Equipment failure and other conditions can create situations where the IPS must be partially or completely shutdown. This can be initiated by crewmembers or sensors within the IPS detecting problems and activating shutdown procedures within the engine control system. These causes can include:
Excessive thermal load.
Thrust imbalances between engine clusters.
Fuel flow problems.
Initiators firing out of phase.
Exhaust vector misalignment.
Plasma turbulence within the accelerator system.
Impact from celestial bodies.
Stellar energy effects.
Interaction with warp fields of other vessels.
Shutdown procedures begin with the shutoff of deuterium fuel flow into the IPS system and safing all injectors. The accelerators are shutdown and remaining energy bled off into space or into the vessel's power distribution grid. The ACA conductor interrupts the conductor phase order, putting them into a neutral power condition, allowing the field to collapse. Power distribution is reconfigured if the problem is limited to one engine unit.
A number of variations of shutdown procedures are programmed into the computer system to handle many possible problem conditions. In addition to these, the engineering personnel are also trained in many methods of engine shutdown procedures. The Commanding Officer must consent to any engine shutdown operation unless the vessel is in jeopardy of immediate loss.
In situations where the damage to the system is of an extreme nature, engineering personnel will wear protective suits and conduct detailed visual/sensor examinations of the IPS equipment. Any damaged equipment will be powered down and repaired if possible. Any equipment found to be putting the vessel at risk of further damage or complete destruction will be removed at the earliest opportunity. All areas around the affected system(s) will be sealed off by blast doors and forcefields.
The vessel contains a number of utility lines and conduits installed throughout the vessel structure to supply the needs of the vessel and crew to operate and live. Where possible these are installed in personnel corridors and service passageways for ease of access for maintenance work.
Plasma energy lines run throughout the vessel to supply power for ship's systems and various devices used aboard the vessel. These are supplied with power from the warp and impulse engines as well as auxiliary and emergency power generators installed in various locations around the vessel.
Computer Data Lines
The data distribution network sprouts from the computer cores and goes outward throughout the vessel. These lines are made up of fiber optic lines, radio transmitter/receiver devices and even basic wire of various compositions. The computer subprocessors are also connected to the network to service more specific systems. A number of backup lines are installed to critical systems that are physically isolated from the primary lines to prevent damage to one affecting the other.
Conduits distribute purified air throughout the vessel as well as taking in "dirty" air to the processing units for removal of foreign matter. Switching units installed in the ductwork will direct airflow away from damaged areas to preserve operational capability of the system.
Lines run throughout the vessel to provide the crew with fresh, drinkable water. These are connected to the processing centers where the purification process is conducted.
Lines run through the vessel to collect used waste water for recycling and purification. The processed water is directed into the water distribution system. The material removed from the water is directed to the source stock storage bins for replicator usage.
A number of matter stream waveguides interconnect the exterior transporter arrays with the replicator and personnel/cargo transporter facilities within the vessel. A large degree of interconnection between operating stations and emitters is needed to handle the various operations conducted by this system.
HRF/ISF Field Energy
Several lines run throughout the vessel to supply HRF/ISF energy to the vessel. A number of units are also installed in various remote locations (detachable modules, wing pylons, etc.) to service the area around the unit as well as acting as a backup to the primary units.
Energy generated by changes in velocity (most noticeably when dropping out of warp velocities) is collected by forcefield conduits and channeled into the power distribution grid. Energy above the levels that can be handled by the system are often channeled into the HRF/ISF system. In combat situations this energy can give the shields a brief increase in effectiveness by channeling the energy into the emitter grids. Alternately, the energy can be directed into the phasers/disruptors for a brief burst of increased strength.
Insulated lines run through the vessel to supply various systems (such as power generators) with cooling capacity. Liquid oxygen used for the life-support systems is also passed through similar lines to the areas where it is needed.
Lines run between fuel tanks and propulsion and power-generation systems. These are also insulated and have fire-suppression systems installed in several locations where they are run.
A number of conduits run through the vessel to allow the movement of the turbolift pods. Inside these conduits are the power and control lines used to power and operate the system.
This refers to lines running through the vessel that are used as a backup to the primary lines. These generally operate for a limited amount of time. Their capacity is lower than the primary lines and conduits and generally are reserved for critical functions and vessel operating areas.
These are the connections external to the vessel used to conduct resupply operations for the vessel while docked at a Starfortress or other facility. These supply power, fuel, HRF/ISF energy, oxygen and other materials. There are also external turbolift connections for docking facilities capable of utilizing this feature.
These are the horizontal and vertical crawl spaces and small passageways running throughout the vessel used to perform maintenance and inspection operations.
Removable panels in corridors contain emergency medical supplies for crisis situations. They also contain airpacks for damage control personnel use, fire suppression gear, environmental suits and other supplies.
These are power generators not associated with propulsion systems. These provide power for the vessel in addition to the engines or in place of them if they are not functional. These are generally not intended for extended periods of operation without extensive and intensive monitoring performed on them while they operate.
All vessels are expected to dock at Starfortresses or other facilities many times during their service. These stops can be of varying nature and duration, ranging from simple shore leave situations to major refitting operations. At virtually all stops of more than a few days, the opportunity will be used to conduct hull structural analyses, replenishment of consumables, refueling, personnel transfers and other activities. Starfortress docking is facilitated by a variety of connection hardpoints at various locations around the vessel.
The external docking stations are designed to use the standard system connections used throughout the Empire for generations. Brief stops will often result in establishing a personnel walkway between vessel and station. This is generally done using one of the airlocks located in the forward hull under the "wings" of the Bridge Module on the main fuselage or on the airlocks on the sides of the Forward Weapon Module.
For long-term layovers at larger stations, a preferred docking location is on the aft hull adjacent to the Hanger Deck. This can have the effect of rendering the Hanger Deck and aft Scout Bay unable to conduct flight operations depending on the design of the station. Usage of tractor beams and thrusters may allow fighters/shuttles to be maneuvered away from the station. Adjacent to this aft airlock is a hatchway leading to the vessel's turbolift system. If the station is properly equipped, turbolift pods can be allowed to pass between the vessel and station through a turbolift pass-through conduit. Similar passthroughs are installed at the port/starboard forward airlocks. Additional ports are installed adjacent to them for lines to supply power, fuel, cargo, computer connections and HRF/ISF power. Transporters are used to connect cargo bays not accessible by external airlocks. Removal of hazardous materials stored on board is done at this time.
A few Starfortresses have been equipped with an experimental telescoping collar designed to connect to the Hanger Deck of a Vor'Cha or K'T'inga-class vessel. With the Hanger Deck doors closed around the collar and utilizing an Atmosphere Containment Forcefield (ACF), a large passageway is created between the vessel and station. This would also be of extreme usefulness in major refits as it would allow the movement of large pieces of equipment that may not fit through personnel walkways. The aft docking facilities listed in the previous paragraph are also utilized with this new method.
Close-in maneuvering at Starfortresses, spacedocks, etc. is performed using a series of small thruster units installed around the hull at various locations. Operation of these thrusters is managed by the vessel's computer system with crew control performed by the helm station. Units on detachable modules operating separately from the vessel are operated by processor units installed in those modules.
Each thruster unit comprises a reaction chamber, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) energy collector and thrust exhaust nozzles. Deuterium fuel for these units is stored in fuel tanks attached to the thruster units. These are in turn kept fueled from the MDST units. Ignition system power for the thruster unit is supplied by the power distribution grid. The reaction chamber measures 1.5 cams in diameter and .1 cams thick and has an inner layer of duranium tritanide that is replaceable. It is able to be fired 450,000 times or operate for 5800 hours before the inner layer is replaced.
The MHD is downstream from the reaction chamber. The first subsection collects some of the unused plasma energy for the vessel power distribution grid. The second subsection does some of the throttling work of the unit to control the energy received by the thrust nozzle. Each subsection measures 2 x 1 x 1 cams and are made of tungsten bormanite. The plasma conduit to the power grid operates for 7000 hours before inlets must be serviced.
The nozzles direct the thrust of the reaction in the direction needed to achieve the desired ship maneuver. Valves inside the unit regulate the exhaust flow into the nozzle.
Installed in the thruster unit are mooring beam emitters used in docking operations to maintain position relative to a station or dock. These are low-power versions of tractor beam emitter units.
NAVIGATIONAL DEFLECTOR ARRAYS
Movement of a vessel through space requires an ability to protect the vessel from impacting on the sparse amount of material in the void. Space is not the empty space people tend to imagine. At warp velocities, and even high sublight speeds, striking this matter could cause serious damage to the vessel. In addition, they can create unwanted friction on the vessel, slowing its movement through space.
To counter this problem, vessels are equipped with one or more forcefield emitters installed on the forward-facing surface intended to move interstellar matter from the path of movement. The Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS class is equipped with two emitters on the leading surface of each wing between the pulse phaser emitters and the warp nacelle struts. (Long-ranging versions of the Vor'Cha design often have the location of the pulse phasers used for additional deflector emitters). On the commonly-used J-68 Forward Weapon Module, the ventral bulge under the disruptor emitter contains another navigational deflector emitter.
Deflector field generation consists of two redundant graviton polarity source generators located outboard of the pulse phasers. Each generator is made up of a cluster of two 150MW graviton polarity sources feeding a 700 dellikelrik subspace field distortion amplifier.
The emitter support units are made of a duranium framework where the emitter is mounted. It is a series of molybdenum-duranium panels that channel the energy outward. A small amount of manipulation of the panels is possible to "steer" the emitter in a desired direction. Aiming of the beam is also performed by phase-interference methods. Field coils shape the beam into a desired pattern to deflect matter away from the route the vessel will be moving.
A dedicated interface has been installed to keep contact between the Deflector Array Control System (DACS) and the Helm station subprocessor. In the event that an object is detected in the flight path of the vessel too large for the deflector arrays to move, the Bridge Helm officer will be notified through their control panel and be given a suggested course change to avoid the object that will minimize deviation from the current course. Unless the Helm officer enters a manual course change, the Helm Control Processor will accept the suggested course change made by the DACS and implement it automatically.
At sublight velocities, the deflector emitters operate at less than 1% of rated capacity due to the low rate of contact with interstellar matter. Array operating strength increases with an increase in faster-than-light velocities, up to warp factor eight using approximately 85% of deflector capacity. Faster warp factors will result in the deflector units being brought up to full operating status.
In instances where the hydrogen collectors are in usage, manipulation of the deflector emitter beam will be required to allow hydrogen matter to pass through the shielding field and be collected for processing into fuel.
As stated elsewhere in this document, the Bridge Module is equipped with a deflector unit of limited power due to the limited maximum velocity potential for the module's propulsion system. The Forward Weapon Module will utilize the tractor beam emitters mounted in the forward edge of the module for guiding plasma torpedo fire configured to repel instead of attracting. The Dorsal Sensor Module is not equipped with a way of deflecting matter since it also does not contain a propulsion system of its own.
From time to time, a vessel can develop a need to tow another vessel, maneuver an auxiliary vessel toward the Hanger Deck, hold scientific devices in place outside the vessel, etc. Special units have been installed in the tips of the Forward Weapon Module that allow for limited steering of plasma torpedoes. As stated elsewhere in this document, utilizing tractor beams to aim plasma torpedoes does severely limit their range to the disruption they create in the plasma's containment field. This is done utilizing one or more tractor beam units mounted in various locations on the outer hull of the vessel. These operate by generating a subspace/gravitational field on an object, generating interference patterns that will put a stress load on it. Manipulating the location and strength of the field, the object can be moved in a desired way. One orientation will draw the object toward the vessel, while inverting the field will cause it to be pushed away.
The main tractor beam emitter is mounted in the aft section of the hull where the rear and bottom surfaces meet. This is the unit generally used in towing operations. Smaller units are mounted in the areas of the Hanger Deck and Scout Bays to aid in the docking procedures of the auxiliary vessels operating with this vessel. Low-power emitter units are attached to the thrusters and are meant for use in docking procedures.
The main aft unit is constructed of three adjustable phase 9MW graviton polarity sources, each supplying three 300 dellikelrik subspace field amplifiers. Phase accuracy is within 2.3 arc-seconds per dellisecond, necessary to create the precise interference pattern needed to manipulate objects. Emitter units are installed on major structural frames due to the amount of force exerted on the emitters while in operation. Some of this force is countered by increased power generation in the HRF and ISF units serving the area of the hull where the emitter is installed.
The range of the tractor beam emitter is dependent on the mass of the object and its velocity relative to the vessel. The largest object able to be manipulated by the emitter system, being approximately 7,750,000 metric tonnes, must be no more than 500kc away from the vessel. The maximum range is about 10,000kc for objects under one metric tonne.
After much debate (and some protest) by many within the Empire, vessels in service to the Empire are now being equipped with replicator devices. While the industrial units that supply replacement parts and equipment are accepted by virtually all, most of the debate revolves around the food dispenser units. These devices are one of the largest developments of the transporter devices in use for the past century. Between the two forms of replicator units, almost any object of everyday use can be recreated by these units.
The food dispenser units operate on a higher degree of resolution than the industrial units due to the generally increased complexity in molecular structure of foodstuffs and other organic material. It should be noted that large supplies of live foods (in stasis) and frozen meats are stored in the galley spaces that are available to the officers and crew of the vessel on a ration basis, as are supplies of alcoholic beverages. Modified food replicators have been installed in the Medical and Science areas for use in generating specialized medicines and other materials too complex for industrial units. These incorporate extra error-checking algorithms due to the need of medical and other scientific materials to be produced as accurately as possible.
There are two main replicator operation centers on the vessel, one in the forward area on Deck 14 and one aft in the forward area of the dorsal sensor tower (in front of the Science/Medical section and above the Auxiliary vessel spaces) on Deck Six. When a crewmember requests an item from a replicator terminal, the nearest operation center will take a predetermined quantity of raw material from the replicator source bins and dematerialize it in a way similar to that of transporters. The molecular structure of the requested object is stored in the ship's computer memory banks, which is accessed by the replicator system to determine how to construct the object. (This replaces the function of the molecular imaging scanner of the transporter system.) The material is channeled through a number of matter stream waveguide conduits to the replicator station where the unit's phase transition chamber will rematerialize the matter stream into the pattern needed to create the specified object. Food replicator source material is stored in the form of sterilized organic particulate suspension. This is intended to reduce the amount of manipulation required to the molecular structure by starting off with organic material.
Should a shortage of food replicator source material develop, it is possible to utilize the source material for industrial replicator operations. This does result in a more computer processor-intensive operation, and final products being inferior to those generated from organic source material, but it can come in useful at times of food shortages. Replenishment of replicator stock is generally performed at Starfortress dockings. Replicator units have been installed throughout the vessel, including the detachable modules. Since the units in the module depend on the replicator stock storage areas contained within the fuselage for source material, the units in the modules will not operate when separated. Crews will utilize emergency supplies stored within the module and/or any supplies brought aboard before module separation.
Since transporter units are only required to store the pattern of the transport subject for a very brief amount of time, it is possible to handle them at quantum-level resolution and manage the amount of data storage needed to manage the molecular structure of life forms. Because the patterns of foodstuffs must be stored for the duration of vessel operations, it is impossible to record structures in sufficient detail to reproduce live things. In these cases, molecular-level resolution is utilized (the same as for transporting inorganic objects). In addition, there is a high degree of data compression and "averaging" algorithms installed in the rematerialization process of the replicator operating routines. Some errors can result from this system but they are considered to be acceptable. Most people do notice a difference in taste between replicated and "real" food items, but are becoming more accepting of it due to some of the space needed to store food being able to be reallocated to other uses. This has been the major aspect of the controversy over the addition of food replicator units to Imperial vessels.
The vessel is equipped with a number of turbolift pods. These allow rapid movement of personnel and equipment throughout the vessel.
Turbolift System Arrangement
On the Vor'Cha design, the port and starboard sides of the vessel contain a network of horizontal and vertical turbolift pod conduits running the height and length of the vessel. Each side is connected to the other at many locations across the center portion of the fuselage. The horizontal conduit on Deck 15 is the only one that extends into the Forward Weapon Module, going almost to its forward edge. An access hatch has been placed at the forward and aft ends of the conduit within the module. (Other modules may limit the extend of turbolift service depending on their design. The fighter module has the most limitation to turbolift service; one hatch at the aft end of the module.) There are seven equally-spaced vertical conduits within the length of the fuselage to allow service between decks. On each deck of the fuselage there are seven access stations in the horizontal conduits to bring personnel close to most any destination. On the decks of the Sensor Module and the tower it is mounted on, there are only two access stations per deck (one for the port-side conduit and one for the starboard-side conduit).
NOTE: In tests of the turbolift system during initial commissioning workups, personnel were able to travel between the two most remote points in the turbolift system (the dorsal sensor module and the forward access station in the J-75 Weapon Module) in approximately 45 seconds with no other pods in operation. Since reaching operational status in the fleet, an average time of 60-70 seconds has been determined based on monitoring records by the controller system during average usage periods.
In the forward section of the fuselage, a port-side and starboard-side conduit allow service to the bridge along its rear wall area.
Turbolift System Construction
The turbolift pod unit is constructed of a duranium framework. Duranium plating is used to create the floor, walls and ceiling surfaces. A control panel is installed to one side of the door frame. On the side walls are display panels showing the pod's position within the vessel (or Starfortress.) The pod interfaces with the turbolift control subprocessor through a small radio transceiver unit installed in the floor systems compartment. On a 60-hour schedule, each pod will be sent to a maintenance cabin near Engineering for a systems compartment swapout. The power supply, radio transceiver and emergency food rations associated with a pod are contained in this compartment. It is detached by releasing several mechanical clamps. The pod is then moved to a position above a refurbished compartment and attached. Replacement of magnetic components used in pod movement is generally performed on every tenth compartment swapout.
The system operates by manipulation of magnetic and gravitational fields. The pod is equipped with magnetic field generators of a constant polarity. The conduits are equipped with similar units of switchable polarity. When a pod is to move, the fields are manipulated to move the pod in the desired direction. Magnets being passed reverse polarity to help push the pod down the conduit, while magnets being approached are reset to attract the pod. The magnetic fields are further adjusted to slow the pod when a destination is reached or a vertical/horizontal movement transition is to be made. Vertical shafts are equipped with synthetic gravity field emitters to reduce the apparent weight of the pod, reducing the workload for the magnet system. The conduit walls are lined with protective material to minimize the effect of the gravity field to surrounding areas. The vertical conduits have ladder shafts built into the walls to allow personnel to escape a disabled pod as well as to facilitate movement by maintenance personnel. Each access station has a control panel installed on the inside wall to allow personnel inside the conduit to exit the conduit.
Turbolift System Operation
To use the system, a crewmember reports to a turbolift access station and presses a button on a control pad to summon a pod. Once the pod arrives, the person boards it and states their destination verbally. The user can utilize the following methods of specifying their destination:
Specifying the access port designation (ex: Deck 15, Station Two, port side).
Specifying the area of the vessel they wish to go to, prompting the computer to determine the closest available access station (ex: Scout Bay One, Marine Vehicle Storage).
The synthetic-intelligence system will hear the request through an audio pickup device installed in the pod's control panel and locate the pod's position relative to the specified destination. Alternately they may use the locator panel on the side wall to indicate where they desire to go, indicating the deck and access station they want to go to by touching the panel. The request is then routed to the control subprocessor. The most direct route possible is then charted and entered into the system (taking into account the movement of other pods and serviceability conditions of the turbolift conduits). The control system constantly updates the side-wall locator panel to show the occupant their current location.
While plotting the route, the system will verify the security-access level of the person to ensure they have authorization to go to the requested area. A record of requested movement into off-limit areas is made for review by Security. Should an illegal request be made, a signal will be sent to the central security office to notify the staff on duty of the request so they can act to either stop the person or allow them to proceed if given special authorization. If the request is not blocked, the pod will then begin to move.
Normally there are eight pods available to service a Vor'Cha-class vessel, the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS variant being identical in this regard. Three or four additional pods are kept in the maintenance area for replacements of pods brought in for refurbishment. These units can also be brought into service for times where usage is at high levels, such as at shift changes and higher states of alert. Response time can decrease due to the increased workload on the subprocessor, but the increased capacity of the system more than compensates.
During periods of heightened alert, reduced power availability or other situations (such as a boarding by hostile forces), the Commanding Officer may restrict or stop usage of the turbolift system. Authorized crewmembers may still move around the vessel through the maintenance passageways located throughout all areas of the vessel as well as the now-unused turbolift conduits. Security monitoring devices will be activated in all maintenance and turbolift shafts to observe movement in these areas.
As stated elsewhere in this document, turbolift pods may be able to move between the vessel and Starfortress stations through pass-through conduits installed at docking ports (if the station is equipped for this). Starfortresses and other facilities are designed with similar operating systems for their turbolift systems.
In a development being tested aboard this vessel, the turbolift pods have been equipped with microthruster units. In Alert conditions, these thrusters can allow the pods to move at even higher speeds than the turbolift system can generate itself. They are only used when the pod will be able to move for long distances without having to make a vertical/horizontal transition. Additional thrusters will be activated on the opposite side of the pod to slow the pod's additional velocity, allowing the normal propulsion system to resume operation.
NOTE: In the early days of the operation of this system, there were several cases of pods colliding with each other or with the conduit walls. It was found that installation of a faster controller subprocessor and transceiver unit on the pods was needed to allow the control system to manage the accelerated pods. After the equipment was updated these problems stopped.
AUXILIARY SPACECRAFT SUPPORT
There are power distribution conduits running from the engineering area into the hanger deck and scout bays to supply the fighters/shuttles and B'rel scouts with power while docked aboard ghop qeylIs. In a crisis situation, the power flow can be reversed to add power supplied from the auxiliary craft to the Vor'Cha power distribution network. The energy from the warp engines of the B'rel scouts can be channeled in the Vor'Cha warp drive to provide the vessel with warp power for propulsion or the phaser cannon (see WEAPONS/DEFENSE section). Usage of this for propulsion would only allow travel up to warp factor two due to the limits of the capacity of the power conduits. The phaser cannon would only be able to fire a beam of approximately 23% the strength possible from the Vor'Cha warp core power source.