Last Updated: 07/23/2005
The vessel has a skeletal structure of interlocking tritanium/duranium macrofilament truss frames. These average .635c2 in cross section, spaced apart at intervals of 12.5cams on the vessel exterior. These trusses are concentrated in several areas, including the boom to the Bridge Module, warp nacelles, dorsal sensor tower and the main fuselage. Smaller trusses of .265cam2 cross section are spaced at 5cam intervals throughout the vessel to provide internal structural support.
The basic framework of the vessel can provide structure integrity while in a stationary condition. A series of aluminum crystalform struts are phase-transitioned to the primary trusses to give low-frequency vibration dampening and to support many utility and power distribution lines. They also support the main deflector shielding system and communication arrays on the outer hull.
A secondary framework system has been incorporated into the Vor'Cha design. It consists of microtextured terminium trusses attached to the inner hull. This is mounted by means of 1.6gc diameter by 2.55gc long semirigid polyduranide support beams. This permits some degree of mechanical isolation from the main spaceframe to relieve structural strain and reduce vibration. Supplemental frame segments are mechanically attached to permit replacement of inner hull sections and associated infrastructure systems during large-scale repair periods.
During flight operations the Hull Reinforcement Field (HRF) and Inertial Stabilization Field (ISF) systems aid in reducing stress to the framework of the vessel. Without the HRF system, accelerations over 3.7c/sec2 would result in damage to the framework of the vessel. The external hull plates join the load-bearing trusses by 2.4gc diameter electron-bonded duranium couplers at a spacing of .625cams. These joints are slip-fitted into insulating axially granulated polymer (AGP) ceramic fabric jackets. These give thermal insulation between the framework and external hull. Jackets, bolts and hull plates are gamma-welded together.
The hull plates are made of multiple layers to give structural and atmospheric integrity to the vessel, allowing it to perform its duty to the Empire. These plates are made of interlaced microfoam duranium filaments. These filaments are gamma-welded into a series of contiguous composite segments 2.35gc thick and normally 1cam wide. The segments are electron bonded to three reinforcing layers of .6gc biaxially-stressed tritanium fabric to give extra torsion strength.
Areas adjacent to major structural members have six layers of fabric 1.15gc thick. The substrate layer is attached to the main structural members by electron-bonded duranium fasteners at intervals of 1.25gc. Substrate segments can only be replaced by phase-transition bonding using transporter fabrication templates during major refit procedures.
Thermal insulation and Hull Reinforcement Field (HRF) conductivity comes from two 1.88gc thick layers of low-density expanded ceramic-polymer composites. These are separated by 4.35gc multiaxis tritanium trusses. These trusses provide additional insulation and pass-through routes for utility conduits.
Radiation attenuation comes from a 2.1gc thick layer of monocrystal beryllium silicate infused with semiferrous polycarbonate filaments. This layer is associated with a series of 1.15gc x .425gc molybdenum-jacketed conduits. These conduits, occurring at 65gc intervals, act as quadphase waveguides for the supplemental HRF system. Tritanium rods at 5gc intervals allow HRF energy to pass into the ceramic-polymer conductive layer.
The outermost hull is composed of a .8gc sheet of axially granulated polymer (AGP) ablative ceramic fabric chemically bonded to a substrate of .075gc tritanium foil. This is made into segments of 1.85c2 and is attached to the radiation attenuation layer by duranium fasteners so that individual segments can be replaced if and as needed. Outer hull segments are made to a tolerance of plus/minus .25dc to allow for minimal drag through space. Joints between segments are made to a tolerance of plus/minus .125dc. There is also a series of superconducting polybdenum-jacketed waveguide conduits to disperse the energy of the deflector shielding system. Some segments also act to radiate heat from the vessel to the outside environment.
Hull Reinforcement Field (HRF)
The Hull Reenforcement Field (HRF) forcefield generators are of a newer type that are more energy efficient and require less maintenance than older units. Reaction time has also been improved to the point where compensation for normal maneuvering takes effect within .02 seconds. These units are concentrated in areas on Deck 16 near the Bridge Module and Deck 17 near the Engineering areas. Each generator is a cluster of 24 9.6 megawatt graviton polarity sources feeding three 200 dellikelrik subspace field distortion amplifiers. They operate with a pair of 240,000 megajoules/hour liquid helium cooling system. A network of emergency field generators has been installed fore and aft that will provide 44% of standard capability working on their own. Generator output is directed by molybdenum-jacketed quadphase waveguides that distribute the field energy throughout the spaceframe. The HRF can increase load bearing capacity of the conductive structural elements by 100,000%!
The basic hull material contains HRF conductivity elements. Under Patrol Mode, one generator of each main group is in operation at all times. Additional units will be brought into service as conditions require up to Battle Stations utilizing all units on active status. Reduced Power Condition permits one unit to service the entire vessel provided no radical maneuvering is attempted. All generators have a normal operation cycle of 48 hours of continuous use and 12 hours downtime for maintenance. Lower-capacity units are installed in the separable modules for usage when they are detached from ghop qeylIs.
Inertial Stabilization Field (ISF)
This system runs in parallel with the HRF system. A series of controlled variable symmetry forcefields absorb inertial forces that would otherwise kill the crew in flight operations. While the ISF field is generated separately from the HRF field, they use the same wave guides. The ISF projects a low-level forcefield throughout the vessel's habitable area. The field strength is approximately 63.75 dellikelriks with a field differential of 4.471 nanokelriks/cam. These figures can vary somewhat with operating conditions and power availability, though variations should not be allowed to become much greater than standard levels. Ship maneuvers are studied by the ISF control system through its interface with the helm control system, which distorts the ISF field along a vector opposed to the change in directional velocity. Reaction time is approximately 236 delliseconds.
The ISF field is created by field generators located on Deck 14 amidships. Each generator is a cluster of 16 400 gigawatt graviton polarity sources feeding three 120 dellikelrik subspace field distortion amplifiers. System cooling is performed by a pair of 80,000 megajoules/hour liquid helium system. Four backup generators located one level up will provide up to 12 hours of service at 52% rated power.
Normal duty cycles for this system are 48 hours online and 12 hours down for maintenance. Generators are rated for 2500 hours between routine servicing of superconductive elements. Patrol Condition has two generators online at all times. Higher alert conditions will result in more units being activated. When Alert Status One is put into effect, all systems are either engaged or put on hot standby status. Reduced Power Condition will have one system service the entire vessel with reduced maneuvering being ordered. Lower-capacity units are installed in the detachable modules for usage when they are separated from the rest of the vessel.
HRF/ISF System Failure
A number of redundancies have been built into the HRF/ISF systems to prevent a complete failure of either system. Such an event would have dire (and most likely fatal) results for the vessel and crew due to the speeds the vessel achieves routinely. The importance of these systems aboard ghop qeylIs can be considered even more important due to the ability of the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS variant to conduct atmospheric flight operations. Without these systems, accelerations above 15c/sec2 (cams per second per second) or 2.4ah would be would be unsurvivable by the vessel or crew while in open space. Atmospheric operations would be virtually impossible to conduct.
In the virtually impossible event that all HRF/ISF units were to fail, deceleration actions must be initiated immediately. Alert Status One will be initiated ship-wide. All other activity will most likely be ended. If at sublight speed, velocity must be reduced to the point where stresses resulting from changes in velocity and/or course can be managed by the vessel's structure itself. If at warp velocities, deceleration to sublight speed must be performed immediately. This will be a simple subspace field collapse with no differential field maneuvers. Provisions are made in these protocols to allow the crew to function within the conditions of the specific situation.
Improved reactive hull armor plating of the type IKV DaH'HoS evaluated was installed ship-wide after it was approved by Legion Command.
Should enemy energy or projectile weapons penetrate the deflector shielding protecting the vessel fail, reactive armor plating is designed to absorb the impact of the enemy weapons. Energy from energy-based weapons will be dissipated over the hull material as much as possible. Should the incoming fire exceed the limits of the ability of the hull to dissipate it, the section of armor hit by the weapon will experience molecular destabilization, preventing or limiting damage to layers underneath. The small debris field resulting from the destruction of the reactive armor may aid in reducing the effective of a followup strike to that immediate area.
An extra layer of armor plating has been installed in the area of the cloaking devices to give additional protection in combat situations. Even though the deflector shielding systems aboard represent the latest in technology it is felt that retaining high-quality armor characteristics is still wise, especially when engaged in Marine landing operations where deflector shields cannot be used and the ability to implement defensive maneuvering tactics is limited. While the navigational deflector array system is very effective at preventing interstellar and atmospheric matter from coming into contact with the hull during flight operations, a small quantity of matter does strike the hull. As a result, it is a common practice to replace all leading-edge hull plating at seven-year intervals as operations at the time allow. Plating in other sections of the hull will be replaced as necessary when vessel operations at that time permit.
ATMOSPHERIC FLIGHT OPERATIONS
In a radical departure from the standard Vor'Cha design (and most any other vessel even approaching its size), the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS variant has incorporated into the design sufficient hull reenforcement and deflector array capability to permit flight operations within planetary atmospheres, though an actual landing is not possible. Profound psychological impact on worlds in negotiations with the Klingon Diplomatic Corps can be generated by the view of a Vor'Cha-class Battlecruiser hovering over major urban/industrial/military areas.
Engineering and Damage Control personnel will benefit from the ability to perform exterior hull repair work in a planetary atmosphere without the need for bulky environment suits, provided the workers are properly tethered to the hull to help prevent accidents and that the damage is not significant enough to overstress the ship during atmospheric entry. Such workers also set their personal communicators to maintain a link to the ship's transporter system so that, in the event a worker should fall, the transporter system can be used to save their life. Personnel also wear gravity boots to help insure they remain in contact with the hull. Graviton generators servicing the outer areas of the vessel will be set to an "overload" condition to increase the strength of the gravity field existing on the outside hull surface.
Travel inside of an atmosphere is aided by the phasing-cloak device carried aboard the ship (see WEAPONS/DEFENSE section). Without this feature travel at low altitude would have to be limited to thruster speeds to prevent undesired damage to personnel and property on the planet's surface due to atmospheric disturbance created by the large size of the Vor'Cha design. Within planetary atmospheres, the HRF and ISF fields are brought up to Alert Status One Condition to counteract the positive external pressure on the hull structure. Maneuvering is performed with usage of engine and thruster manipulation.
In situations where the vessel is expected to remain in a planetary atmosphere for an extended amount of time and the cloaking device cannot be used, holographic projectors can be deployed around the vessel to help mask it from optical detection by reproducing the appearance of the surrounding area. Obviously this can be used for other purposes (such as projecting the image of additional forces to confuse the enemy), though it must be remembered that deflector shields cannot be active at the same time the holographic emitters are used because of interference from the shielding system. Masking the thermal signature of the vessel can be performed with the use of fog dispensers containing infrared dampening properties. This would best be used in a tropical environment where fog and haze would already be present in the vicinity. The artificial fog would have only limited effectiveness so efforts must be made to minimize thermal emissions (particularly the engines). Observers at medium range and closer may still observe a difference in temperatures between the area the vessel occupies and the surrounding area depending on the quality of their scanning equipment.
In another departure from standard Imperial Navy procedure, the hull of this vessel has been painted in a gloss black color with red trim instead of the standard green and red scheme used on vessels in Empire service. This was inspired in part by experience in combat waged against the Jahzil race, first fought in a glorious campaign in the early 2200's. The colors black and red hold special religious significance to the Jahzil. House Reshtarc put a squadron of black and red vessels into service against the Jahzil that proved successful in combat operations. It was felt that this psychological measure would be useful against other enemy forces confronting this vessel both in the dark void of space and in low altitude flight over enemy positions.
In addition to its psychological intentions, there is functionality to the hull coating as well. A number of experimental agents have been introduced into the hull coloring to reduce sensor reflectivity, increasing the stealth qualities of the vessel while not cloaked. On average, signal returns from active sensor scans have been reduced by approximately 30% on field trials from those of the standard Vor'Cha. Imperial scientists are still at work on achieving the projected 40% reduction envisioned during development.
Extra plasma conduits have been run through the wing structure in order to utilize the new wing-mounted weapons developed for the Qapla'-class Strike Cruisers (two pylons under each wing.) IKV DaH'HoS was the first Vor'Cha-class Battlecruiser to utilize this new development.
These pylons permit a large degree of flexibility in the way that the Vor'Cha-DaH'HoS vessel can be utilized. Among the possible attachments for the pylons are:
Photon/Quantum/Plasma Torpedo launchers.
Fighter/shuttle transport racks.
Troop/equipment/supply drop ships originally designed for the T-15 Armageddon-class Assault Transport developed by Reshtarc Combined Arms (Ltd.), another variation of the original Vor'Cha-class Attack Cruiser design.
Reenforcement of the wing structure was necessary to implement this plan, as well as the installation of dedicated HRF and ISF generators in the wings near the pylons. The generators can be shut down and/or removed when the pylons are not in use, or they can be left in place for use in the wings. A small amount of work in reconfiguring the warp field and deflector shielding is required to accommodate the extra bulk of the pylons and the pods mounted on them. Removal of the pods when not in use is recommended to reduce hull stress and slow the onset of structural fatigue. This issue is not as critical on the Vor'Cha design as it is on the Qapla'-class Cruisers due to the Vor'Cha having a thicker wing design to start with, though it is still advisable to remove the pods when not expected to be needed. The pods attach to the wing with a mechanical/magnetic clamp system similar to that used by the Bridge and Forward Weapon Modules.
MAIN BRIDGE MODULE
The central area of vessel control is the Main Bridge, which is located in a detachable module mounted on the upper forward portion of the vessel fuselage. All primary missions and vessel operations are normally controlled from this location. The Main Bridge is located on Deck Seven forward in the Bridge Module.
After some Commanding Officers expressed dissatisfaction with the standard Vor'Cha bridge layout, as well as the bridges of other vessels in Empire service, some redesign work was performed in an attempt to remedy the situation. Complaints were registered about having too many critical bridge personnel positioned behind the Commanding Officer, making communication between bridge officers during battle more complicated.
The bridge stations are generally arranged aboard ghop qeylIs as follows:
In the center of the room, approximately two cams aft of the room's geographic center, is the Commanding Officer's chair mounted on a raised platform. Adopted from that used in the Qapla'-class Strike Cruiser, it is equipped with a small computer display/interface board in each armrest. For additional access, each armrest contains a larger computer panel that may be raised over the lap when in use. These panels can be configured with simplified control interfaces (usually configured for Helm and Tactical) should the Commanding Officer wish to take personal control of these systems. The two panels together can also serve as a small desk for the Commanding Officer's use. In addition, these panels together can function as a restraining device at times when the ISF is functioning at reduced capability. Another display panel is built into the footrest of the air. After a battle with Jem'Hadar forces in 2373, the chair was modified with an interface to utilize their personal eyepiece viewing devices. A working device was taken from one of the defeated vessels and modified for use by and for Captain K'orvette sutai Reshtarc. A second unit, its circuitry damaged beyond repair during the same battle, is on display in the Commanding Officer's quarters.
The Helm/Navigation station, often behind the Commanding Officer normally, has been moved to the front to be between and below the Commanding Officer's raised chair and the viewscreen on the Commanding Officer's starboard side (where the internal starboard turbolift shaft locations would be located on the standard Vor'Cha.) The operator at this station performs the actual piloting of the vessel during flight operations. Most functions of vessel steering is performed automatically by the computer systems, but crew supervision and overriding (if desired/required) of these actions is performed at all times. When at sublight velocities, the helm officer will also monitor any relativistic effects the vessel is sustaining as well as the operation of the HRF/ISF systems. Except for Alert Status One, the helm subprocessor will not allow a maneuver exceeding safety or structural limits programmed into it to be exceeded without a specific override command being entered. There are various duties of this station that will be expressly described:
Navigation/Course Establishment. Navigational and tactical sensor input will be received by the helm subprocessor and presented to the operator station. It will present a display of the current vicinity of the vessel and the area that the present course will bring the vessel to. Input from other sensor systems may also be accessed as a method of data verification. Alert Status One will engage this function automatically.
Flight. While most functions of steering is performed by the computer systems, manual intervention is possible through the control inputs of the helm console.
Thruster Control. As with normal flight modes, the helm subprocessor will normally control the operation of the thruster units of the vessel. If desired, the helmsman may enter manual inputs to operate the system.
Engineering Liaison. When an engineering officer is not on duty on the bridge, the helm officer may act as a liaison in combination with or in place of the Operations officer.
Flight paths and courses may be entered into the flight control system using a number of types of input. The helm control system will take the given input and establish a flight plan conforming to operating protocols and safety parameters. These parameters may be adjusted or overridden manually. Destinations are specified in the following ways:
Planet/Facility/System. Any specific location (planet/starfortress/colony/etc.) known to the navigational database may be given as a destination.
Sector. Unless given a specific location, the control system will set course for the geographic center of the specified area.
Intercept. If sensor lock has been established on a desired subject, the helm system is able to plot a course to intercept the target. A velocity or intercept time is normally specified with this method, but if not done so, the computer will compute a course and speed to reach the destination in the minimal amount of time after factoring in all known circumstances (fuel supply, spatial phenomenon in the area between the current area and that of the target, speed limitations resulting from damage or other circumstances, etc).
Bearing. A course relative to the current orientation of the vessel may be specified.
Heading. A course relative to the center of the galactic core may be specified.
Galactic Coordinates. Standard spatial coordinates may be specified.
Next to the Helm station, to the front port side of the Commanding Officer's chair, is the Operations console. This station would be monitoring all ship operations in conjunction with each department's dedicated bridge console (if there is one) and coordinate allocation of resources (sensor usage, computer processing time, power allocation, etc.) between departments as needed. Any probes launched from the vessel would be controlled from this station in cooperation with the personnel of the department(s) using it. Operations, along with Science and Engineering personnel (and others as appropriate), would also be responsible for monitoring and evaluation functions at times where the vessel is engaged in system testing operations of new equipment.
Because of the expanded auxiliary spacecraft capacity of this vessel over the standard Vor'Cha, a Flight Control station has been established on the starboard wall of the bridge. This station will normally serve as a liaison between the ghop qeylIs commanding officer and the auxiliary vessels. When in operation, a datalink is maintained with the Hanger Deck control station. In "surge situations" (where there are many auxiliary vessels in operation at any moment) the Flight Control officer will act as the coordinator of activity for the vessel flight crews. While the Commanding Officer will establish the ultimate goal of what the auxiliary vessels are supposed to accomplish, the Flight Control officer will manage the specifics of the actions taken. This station is generally not manned when there are no auxiliary vessels in operation (at least in the area of ghop qeylIs itself). At times where the need for a Flight Control officer is minimal (such as launch/recovery operations for a single craft going to or coming from other areas) the duties of the Flight Control officer are often performed by the Operations officer if the Flight Control station is not already manned or by the Hanger Deck control station itself. When not in use, the station is generally configured to display images of the Hanger Deck and Scout Bays.
Adjacent to Flight Control is a station configured to be a Marine Force Liasion to those Marine forces operating with ghop qeylIs while engaged in combat operations. The main Marine command center will initially be on board near the primary Marine staging area in the ship's "belly". Once territory has been taken in the area of operations, a command shuttle will move to the area and establish communications with the ship. When Marine forces are not in action the station is generally not manned. Status reports of Marine personnel and equipment conditions are often presented on the console displays.
A Science station is located on the starboard side of the Bridge to coordinate research and data analysis operations between the Bridge and Science/Medical areas. This station is usually not manned unless the vessel is engaged in research operations or system testing functions. In combat situations it may be used to for monitoring and operating sensor systems, relieving some of the workload of the Weapons and Operations officers.
In the interior of the Bridge, over the Commanding Officer's right shoulder, is the Engineering console. This station is used to coordinate between the Bridge and Engineering/Damage Control departments. The station may be unmanned while under Patrol or Docked Mode; the Operations officer will act as a liaison between the Bridge and Engineering. At other times, an Engineering officer is generally present at the station.
NOTE: In situations where ghop qeylIs has sustained moderate to extreme levels of damage, the Damage Control functions of the Engineering department will often be transferred to one of the general-purpose stations on the aft wall. The display panel above the consoles will display the status of the vessel to keep the command staff on duty aware of the vessel's condition at all times.
In the interior of the Bridge, over the Commanding Officer's left shoulder, is the Communications station. The station is often unmanned while under Patrol or Docked Mode due to the large amount of automation of the communications system; the Operations console operator managing Bridge communication needs. At other times a Communications department representative is generally present at the station. This station can share control of the electronic and subspace jamming systems with the Weapons station during combat operations.
Between the Engineering and Communications stations, directly behind the Commanding Officer's chair, is a stand-up console for use by the Executive Officer. All vessel systems can be accessed from this console.
On the aft wall are two consoles for general-purpose use. They are manned only when needed. These consoles can be configured for any needs. A large display screen is positioned over the console for use by operators of these stations. When not in use, the screens will normally present overall ship status displays.
The port side wall comprises the operating consoles for the Weapons/Defense officers. These operate all weapon systems as well as the cloaking device, subspace jammers and deflector shielding systems. This station can be operated by one person effectively, though it would require the individual to possess a notable amount of physical dexterity and stamina when engaging multiple targets. Normally two or even three personnel would be positioned at these stations, dividing the workload based on the abilities of the individuals manning the station.
Next is a work station for managing the functions of Internal/External security. This is situated next to the Weapons/Defense station. It normally functions as a liaison the Bridge and the central Security administration area.
NOTE: There is a direct connection between this station and the communications system to aid in monitoring all transmissions within ghop qeylIs as well as those going to and coming from external locations. A direct connection also exists between the console and the various security offices.
The internal turbolift shafts have been repositioned to the alcove in the rear of the Bridge area. They are on either side of the general-purpose consoles.
Emergency access by Main Bridge personnel to the Auxiliary Bridge is through a large tube running from a door in the starboard side of the room to a similar location on the Auxiliary Bridge. Early plans to install a normal turbolift system running between the Main and Auxiliary bridges were scrapped due to concerns of possible turbolift failure in conditions that might require Main Bridge evacuation. Personnel will utilize a pole installed in the conduit to drop down to the Auxiliary Bridge on Deck 15. The pole's surface friction increases as the bottom of the shaft is reached. A null-gravity field is generated in the areas of Decks 13-15 to ensure the person's velocity is slowed when Deck 15 is reached. Usage of this should be minimal since the Auxiliary Bridge is normally manned at all times during any times that the vessel is threatened. Need for this system is expected to be limited to command officers only.
The layout of individual workstation control panels can be configured for individual users due to the use of reprogrammable touch-sensitive panels. The layout will normally revert to a standard configuration when an Alert Status One condition is declared so that another crewmember can assume the station in the event that the person on duty is incapacitated.
In the front of the Bridge is a 2 x 3cam screen capable of displaying external images, computer displays and communication broadcasts. Operations in communication mode were enhanced at the first refit of ghop qeylIs with a holographic add-on module. In this mode, the person speaking can stand within a floor-mounted grid square that will present a three-dimensional holographic image to those on the other end of the conversation (if they have compatible equipment). The equipment was seized from the remains of a Federation starship that had been engaged during the period of hostilities between the first and second Khitomer Accords. The viewscreen will otherwise be used for two-dimensional communications.
Behind the side station control panels are half of the Bridge computer control processors. These are mounted in sealed areas to minimize the spreading of fire in or out of the area. These compartments are equipped with chemical fire suppression units as well as oxygen-deprivation forcefields to extinguish outbreaks of fire. The rest of the processors are incorporated into the floor and bulkhead between the Bridge and briefing room.
Connections to the Bridge Module include a turbolift shaft and conduits for water, replicator, HRF/ISF energy and data/power distribution grid circuitry.
A door to the port side of the main viewscreen leads to the Commanding Officer's Ready Room. This room is furnished with a desk and one chair for the Commanding Officer's use. A standard computer terminal and small food replicator are provided. A few personal items of the Captain may be located here.
A door on the outer side of each turbolift ports leads to a large conference room. Multiple display panels are built into the walls with control interfaces next to each panel. A large table is located in the center of the room with a number of chairs provided. A replicator unit is mounted in the portside wall.
Specific actions are taken when different modes of operation are invoked by either crew or computer-generated status declarations.
Alert Status Three: Normal Bridge staffing consists of the Command Duty Officer, Helmsman, Operations Officer and one Weapons Officer (with all weapons tied into a single console). The second-in-command on duty may be either on the bridge or elsewhere overseeing vessel activity or engaged in other duties. One or two additional officers will usually be present to man any station required for specific needs or until additional personnel can arrive should a higher status level be invoked. Other stations may be manned as training exercises or specific conditions and operations require.
Alert Status Two/One: All Main and Auxiliary bridge stations directly related to vessel operations are manned. The second-in-command on duty will generally report to the Main or Auxiliary Bridge. Other stations (Flight Control, Marine Liaison, Science) will be manned if the present situation requires them. Automatic computer system diagnostic routines are initiated immediately. Any non-essential operations are normally suspended unless specific orders are given by the Commanding Officer. The Operations Officer will compile a vessel-wide status report to present to the Commanding Officer on duty, with a copy sent to the head of each department on duty. This report will be continuously updated and notable changes reported immediately.
NOTE: A procedural policy was developed shortly after ghop qeylIs was placed on active-duty status to handle the copies sent to each department head. The program will take each copy and put the material specific to each department at the beginning of the department's report to make information retrieval process for the Department Head take less time.
As a backup to the Main Bridge Module, an Auxiliary Bridge has been located within the interior of the hull on Deck 15 forward. This is located directly under the Main Bridge. This is capable of assuming all bridge functions in the event that the Main Bridge Module is detached or incapacitated. The Auxiliary Bridge is identical in layout to the Main Bridge. The Auxiliary Bridge is a module as well so it can be replaced with upgraded models at a Starfortress facility. Because the Auxiliary Bridge of many vessels generally experience less usage than Main Bridges, these do not experience updating and replacement as often. The amount of effort and time required to remove old modules and install new ones is another deterrent to their replacement. Often this is coordinated with Bridge Module replacement since the module must be removed to access the Auxiliary Bridge. Such actions are generally reserved for major refits and repairs of severe damage.
Imperial Klingon Star Academy Cadet Cruises
In cases where the vessel is attached to the Imperial Klingon Star Academy for cadet cruise operations, the Auxiliary Bridge is traditionally used by cadets as a training center during combat or other operations. Control panels will repeat displays of Main Bridge panels but will not accept input from Auxiliary Bridge stations unless the Main Bridge is incapacitated. Cadets in these cases are often supervised by the vessel Executive Officer or another senior-ranking command-level officer. These supervisors can monitor Main Bridge activity through the usual audio receiver system, though in modern days many people performing this duty prefer to utilize a virtual-reality image presented to them through special glasses and earphones or a helmet (video and audio input combined in one device and more durable). Although the holodecks can be preferable training areas due to the ability to recreate damage sustained in battle, the Auxiliary Bridge does have use in training exercises as an alternate educational tool.
In a case where the cadets operating the Auxiliary Bridge are put into a position of having to take over vessel operations should the Main Bridge be inoperative, the Executive (or other supervising officer) must decide if the cadets are capable of taking over ship operations or if one of the alternate bridge areas will be activated. The cadets are usually allowed to take over if at all possible due to the desire to test their skills as quickly and often as possible. In such a case, the alternate bridge stations will remain on standby. The cadets' supervisor can elect to divide operations between the Auxiliary Bridge and alternate stations if some of the cadets are felt to not be ready for active duty. The supervisor will generally not do this since cadets assigned to the Auxiliary Bridge are thought to be ready for real-life testing. All such cadets have a number of hours of simulator time before being allowed in the Auxiliary Bridge in an alert situation so they should be ready to perform their duties at any moment.
SEPARATED FLIGHT OPERATIONS
This variant of the Vor'Cha-class cruiser possesses a limited ability to separate into multiple components. The Main Bridge Module and Forward Weapon Module can separate from the main fuselage and navigate separately from the main body. The main control center for the Weapon Module will become the bridge for the module when operating independently. The Sensor Module can also separate from the fuselage but does not possess any propulsion systems for independent operation.
The interface between each module and the fuselage consists of six magnetic docking latches arranged in an equally-spaced manner. This replaces the system of explosive charges utilized in past vessels, such as the K'T'inga or Bird of Prey-type designs. This allows the recovery of surviving sections for refurbishment and reuse. In addition, there is a mechanical clamp on each side of personnel passageways crossing the interface. These clamps can be manually disengaged through a corridor access panel in case the computer-controlled system should fail to operate. Power to the magnetic clamps can also be disconnected from these same panels. Each magnetic latch measures 3 x 3 cams in dimension and is made of duranium. They are extended and retracted by a set of six hydraulic piston arms mounted underneath the surface. The outer surface of the latches are armored to protect them from damage due to interstellar matter impact while the vessel is engaged in flight operation and the module is absent. Up to three magnetic connection latches can fail without beginning to jeopardize the integrity of the module's connection to the fuselage.
Along with the magnetic/mechanical clamps to secure the module in place, there are multiple utility connections installed near the personnel corridors to handle transporter matter waveguides, turbolift conduits, power lines, computer connections and other utilities. These systems will be the first to disconnect when a separation operation is initiated. The turbolift conduits and personnel corridors are fitted with airlock hatches to seal the openings in the event of module separation.
When given instructions to begin a separation sequence, local computer subprocessors will assume control of most operations due to the time lags that would result from having the central computer manage disconnect operations. In the event a disconnection point should fail to operate, that utility will be locked off at the next nearest point on each side of the connection and engineering personnel notified of the failure. Whenever possible, engineering personnel will be put on standby to move to the area of the module being separated in the event a problem should occur.
The last step in the separation sequence is the releasing of the magnetic latches. Should the separation order be rescinded once the module is no longer in contact with the fuselage, the connections can be quickly reestablished if traveling at sublight velocities. If at warp speeds, the separation must be finished and the sections allowed to move apart before beginning a docking procedure to prevent a collision from happening.
Once separated, the computer subprocessors of the module will take over all computer functions that are handled by the main computer. This is possible due to the limited capabilities of the separated module. Each module is equipped with lower-capacity HRF, ISF and power generators to provide service to the module. These are powered from a single fuel supply that also services the module's propulsion system (for the Bridge and Weapon Modules), so fuel consumption is always carefully monitored. The main vessel will access engineering databases to modify the propulsion and defensive fields to take the missing section(s) into consideration. If moving at warp velocities, the shielding system of the Module can receive a warp field "handed off" from the main vessel to keep it moving at faster-than-light velocities for a short time after separation (up to one minute). The HRF and ISF fields will be brought up to full capacity to minimize the shock experienced by the Module when the warp field finally collapses. Because the module is contained within a single field (as opposed to the two fields created by the two warp nacelles of the vessel itself), the creation of differential field strengths is not a concern.
The Bridge Module is equipped with a low-power navigational deflector emitter in its forward-facing surface. The Weapon Module will utilize the tractor beam emitters fitted for the plasma torpedo system, set to repel instead of attract, to clear the path ahead of the Module of space debris. The Sensor Module is not equipped with a way of deflecting space matter since it is also not fitted with a propulsion system. No module is capable of planetary landing or atmospheric entry, however the Weapon Module could "attach" itself to a small asteroid or other stellar body by use of the tractor beam system while awaiting recovery. Work continues on developing atmospheric operating and landing capabilities, at least for usage in emergency landings that would still result in loss of the module, though it remains impractical for the foreseeable future.
Should the Main Bridge Module be separated and the rest of the vessel is still operational, command will generally first be transferred to the Auxiliary Bridge. If that is unavailable, command would likely be transferred to the Weapon Module control center. If that is unavailable, operating stations in Engineering may be reconfigured to emulate Helm, Tactical and other bridge stations. It would even be possible to utilize a holodeck and reproduce the bridge, however this is extremely costly in terms of energy and computer-processing requirements and would not likely be implemented in a situation serious enough that has more "proper" command centers inoperative.
When separated from the vessel, the emergency life-support system contained within each module is the only system available for use. Should this fail, personnel will utilize emergency airtanks and other equipment stored within storage compartments. Each module is equipped with four PAV-3 shuttle-type impulse engines capable of propelling the module up to one-half impulse speed for a period of up to three weeks of continuous operation. The fuel supply will be able to last for a longer period of time by limiting use of the engines. The impulse engines, plus the auxiliary generators installed in the module, are able to operate all the systems within the Weapon Module except the phaser cannon. A small compartment in the aft area of each module contains two one-man repair pods that are able to do exterior repair work for the module.