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Submitted on
June 28, 2012


6 (who?)
First of all, my designs are based on three important points:
1 FTL is possible, however there are some severe constraints, which I will come back to.
2. Artificial gravity (AG) is also possible, but it too has constraints, that roughly follow the laws of physics.
3 Inertial damping, or rather camouflaging mass is also possible, and it is neccesary for both FTL and AG.

My ships are all powered by anti matter reactors, all moving parts from doors, to engines, to guns are all operated by linear electromagnetic engines/magnetic levitation.
there are no hydraulics anywhere.

Now, my ships all have something called a central gravity deck. this is essentially a deck in the center of the ship that pull everything inward, so that you walk on either side of it.
My reason for this is 1: gravity works inward like a sphere, if one side is an attractive plane it is only natural that the other side is too. The reason for choosing a plate rather than a sphere is because of the size requirements to get  a flat surface.
This gravity deck also enables the crew to experience direction in space which is otherwise totally feature and direction less. It also removes any blind spots for the crew as both sides of the ship is up.
The crossection is symmetrical and through this deck are a number of crossdeck escalators, the basic principle is the same for any thickness, a conveyor belt with human shaped form fitting indentations that you step into and hold you tight until it has preformed a 180dgr roll from dorsal to ventral side. I've landed on roll instead of a loop, as I think it's much more pleasant to go sideways.

I have opted for large, flat hulls for my ships because of the need for large deckspace to stow cargo, secondary craft etc, and because it is a recognizeable shape that will produce dramatic images. And I also think it looks cool, he he.

In order for this to work however, Inertial damping is essential or the side experiencing negative G loads under manouvering is going to be squashed into the ceeling, and that we cannot have, so inertial damping:
Are you familiar with the Higgs boson? If not, then here's a loose explanation the way I understand it. The Higgs boson is a massive subatomic particle that generate a field known as, well a Higgs field. Apparently anything traveling through this field (protons/neutrons/ other subatomic objects) attain mass. It it the cathalyst for everything we know, as it creates gravity. It is commonly referred to as the God particle and becuse of it we exist, as do the sun , the moon and the universe. Problem is, it's a theoretical particle. Noone has ever found one, only evidence of it's existence through physics theory. The search for it is among the reason for the large haldron collider built at CERN in Switzerland.

Now, I am stating in my designs that by the year 2500 or so we have found a way of generating reverse Higgs fields at will. Think of a bubble of air in water. The Higgs field being the bubble, and the water being the universe, and my ship is within the bubble, removing it from the mass of the universe, thus creating an essentially massless object inside the boundary of this field in relation to the rest of the universe.
The implications of this theory solved a great deal of design problems for me, as it explains how I can fly and manouver my ships, while having a surviveable environment within.
It also makes for a plausible theory on FTL, as a massless object this size cannot exist.
The way this field works is by surrounding the ship with a 99,90%  or so efficiency, reducing a 100000 ton ship to an object weighing in at 1000kilograms. The reason for not wanting full efficiency is because 100% is only reached for a couple of nanoseconds during FTL, and because it seems plausible to me that there is some bleed through the bubble so that weapons can fire through it and so on.

Internal artificial gravity: this is generated by fluctuating computer controlled magnetic fields. I haven't yet decided wether this should be strong and accurate enough to work on the iron in hemoglobin/blood or if the crew have to wear suits with computer controlled magnets and electro muscle. Both theories are interesting to explore, the first one because it enables full on earth like gravity for any object with a molecule thick layer of iron in or coated on it. The second theory will make for some very cool spacesuits, which can double as armour.  Every crewmember walking around looking like  Ironman, while anything not containing ferrous molecules will be in zero G, making a very believable ship environment.

FTL jump: this is attained by several essential factors: 1: distance to the nearby celestial object, 2:full operation of the Higgs field.
The idea here is that in order to jump the ship has to be approximately 20 Astronomical units give or take ( 1 AU=sun earth distance) from any celestial object, this is a pretty long distance, one AU being roughly 8 light mins. This means the ship has to travel hours or days away from any planet in order to jump depending on sublight speed.
Once it reaches the 20AU threshold it can enable the Higgs field at 100% and will then jump into hyperspace in the direction of travel and exit at the same speed 20 AU outward of the target system.

Where do we go, and how do we get there? FTL jump is by line of sight, and so unstable the universe will only allow it to happen outside the gravity well of a planetary system, and will also break the transition when the ship get near another system. This essentially means that jump is only preformed from any given system to it's nearest neighbour, and the length is dictated by the the interstellar distance. From here to Proxima Centauri, our neares star, the jump is 4.22LY, should the ship aim for a more distant sun, the jump will be that length, provided there are no nearer stars in the path of the jump within 20 AU's of the line of travel.

I wanted these kinds of constraints and ramifications on the FTL drive for several reasons:
The theory seem plausible to me, and it generates some cool dramatic effects.
No one can jump directly to a planet, because the FTL drive stops working 20 AU's outside it. This in turn means Sublight travel for at least 2hrs40mins which is importaint for making tactical and strategic scenarios. An enemy has to mass his fleet at a distance, and it will always give the defender the ability to be a little prepared. However I have one loophole which I will explain later.
The biggest plus from this theory as I see it is that it generates strategically importaint starsystems, or transport hubs. A starsystem will be importaint because it is within the path between others, and because FTL works like it does, you will have to make a stop at Star C if it is in the way between star A that you left and star B that you want to go to.
There are other ways, but I quite like this one, because you can create terrain in space, and force an opposing fleet to face you in a given system by where it is positioned in relation to others.  Think of the war in the Pacific during WW2. The ocean is the universe, and the islands are planets, but instead of a surface navy we have starships that jump between them.

There are other ramifications  on FTL as well, like the fact that 100%Higgs field strength is only attainable by supercapacitor discharge, and the capacitors have to be charged by the onboard reactors before they have enough power to attain jump. This is because I want there to be charge time between jumps so that  a ship cannot make jump after jump after jump.
This adds time and size  back to the universe that we have shrunk so dramatically by FTL. The more jumps you make, the longer it takes, because in addition to be pulled in by a system you also have to travel through or around it to get a clear aim at the stars beyond.
Charge time will depend on the power output of the onboard AM reactors, however some ships, and all the millitary ones are equipped with more than one capacitor, in order to be able to make emergency jumps, should they need to. When these are drained, however they will have to recharge like every one else.
Most importantly though, capacitors can be designed and put on a ship  as a part of the stardrive system. This is important because it will enable several things. 1, plausability, the capacitor can be designed and explained on a model, 2: it will enable stardrive classification because the more capacitors you have the more sucessive jumps  a ship can make before it needs to recharge and the faster it will be.

The loophole in FTL is lagrange points between planets, this is a point in space where the gravitiational pull between two planets is equal, and ships are able to micro jump to and from these points within a starsystem. These are highly contested in battle because they enable reinforcements to be dumped onto the battlefield with no prior warning like an ace in the sleeve. They are also vitally importaint in peace time as they cut down on transit time
For instance, if Earth is under seige, we can instantly jump in reinforcements from a lagrange point between say, Enceladus/ Jupiter to the point between Earth/Luna.
This can be cool in a battle.

Manouvering is by a system of fixed nozzles centered at the four corners of the hull together with tiltable/thrust vectoring main engines aft.
These engines do not fire continously like in Starwars or Battlestar Galactica. Instead these engines fire in quick, intense burns, because there is so little mass to move around.
They are only used on full long duration burn to escape to the jump threshold.
Still even tiny amounts of mass will generate substantial amounts of inertia at high enough speeds, which means these ships will be able to use planets and moons to slingshot around the battlefield.

Windows: I have windows and this is for several reasons: Human psyche, dramatic effect, recognizability, and to add scale to a model. The first reason, human psyche.
Even a 600m long ship will seem cramped when you are 1000mill kilometers away from home and the outside is so hostile you die within an instant of going out there. People need windows, when they are out in space for months, maybe even years at a time. A submarine can always surface and let it's crew out. A starship cannot. I think when you know this you'll need to look out. Build a ship, take on an interstellas journey and proove me wrong, he he.

Dramatic effect: My ships all have glass canopies over the bridge The glass canopy is made out of ADNR, which is an acronym for Aggregated diamond nano rods, If you look it up you'll find it is a fabricated material, and the hardest substance known to man. The bridge is further protected by a set of  armour panels that slide into place in heavy combat. The leading edge of the ship has the officers sitting in revolving chairs, and the aft of the bridge seats secondary crews, like engineering, damage control. The officers have the ability to flip between dorsal and ventral side of the ship at will, to get a complete overview of the battlefield.
I think it looks cool, and It's well protected in the bow of the ship, so I figure why not. It also makes a ship look faster as it resembles a fighter cockpit.

Weapons: My ships are currently armed with neutral particle beam cannons of varying configurations.
I have read of widely varying figures of range for these weapons, but it seems that the neutral particle beam can concievably be effective beyond 100K kilometers some time in the far future. depending on nozzle size and power output etc.

Well, this is what I have as a guide line when I design and build my models. Feel free to comment, correct or just ask about anything. It's all just good fun. And of course speculative bullshit for the most part. There is gravity, that I know. all else....
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Nightghaunt Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012

First off I'd like to compliment you on you work. You have a great eye for design and detail. I love the SBF Vega. Outstanding design. (On a side note you had a comment regarding it somewhere where you weren't sure about the forked front. Keep it. It looks great and distinguishes it from the other ships.) Anyway, on with my main topic...

I wanted to comment on the strategical aspect of the FTL travel and how it will create transport hubs. You give the analogy of the Pacific during WWII. I'm not sure this would be the case. You seem to disregard the whole 3d aspect of space.

Just because the shortest distance between two points is a straight line doesn't mean its the best or only option. If a ship, or fleet, wants to get from system "A" to system "B" but has system "C" in its path it seems it would be a simple matter of picking another system "D" adjacent to system "C" and go around it. Space is vast and three dimensional with innumerable systems everywhere. It might take a little longer but it won't stop them from doing it. Especially when transport hub "C" is heavily defended. If I understand correctly your path to system "D" only needs to avoid system "C" by 20 AU. A simple matter in the context of the vastness of space since it can be 20 AU in any direction, not just "left or right". There's bound to be an alternate choice. And it doesn't have to be one system, it could be two or three. As long as it gets you there uncontested.

As an example lets say you are at system "A" and want to get to system "B" but system "C" is in the way. Lets say the these systems are "straight ahead of you" and system "C" is 5LY away with "B" another 5LY past that. So you look around and note system "D" is 3LY "up" from your location. So you go there and then have a straight shot to system "B" 10LY away. You completely bypassed system "C" all together. But that didn't have to be your only choice there might have been 10 other choices in various directions and at different distances you could have chosen.

In any situation System "C" is only going to be in the way of system "B" from one direction.

Anyway, love all your work and I look forward to seeing the finished SBF Vega!
Scifiwarships Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very very much! You caught me trying to simplify things a bit too much, and you're absolutely right, there are ten other ways to get from A to B, when C is protected.
My whole idea is that we can protect regions of space with all the bases covered, therby creating territories. This will bring size back to space, as you might have to travel around them and since my engines and FTL will be dependent of the closest star, journeys will start to take much time i.e. weeks and months, and some territories in all of this wastness will be very difficult to reach. Imagine a siege this size.. You are covering 173 starsystems in order to close in 12 in a box where you can destroy them.
I am designing a battleforce that can do just that. Gonna take a while though..He he he!
Nightghaunt Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
Ok so questions then...

As long as there is no other system in the way, how far can an FTL ship travel to get to a system and how long does it take?

You keep saying that the drive is limited to its nearest system. I'm not sure I understand this. You've also said it is limited to having to be 20 AU from a system. 20 AU is hardly a limit. If that is the "limit" you are speaking of in the first part then it really isn't a limit because as I said before it easy to get around.

Depending on these factors I don't think your, so to speak, "blockade" example would be very feasible. With the vastness of space and shear number of systems it would be implausible both financially and logistically to really effectively do this. Not for the payoff you would get from it. There would always be another system at a different angle to get at the system you want. It would be more effective to simply protect the system directly instead of all the systems around it.

Or am I missing something?
Scifiwarships Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for asking these questions! Then FTL is ultimately infinite in length, provided there are no other systems in the way. The 20 AU limit is up for rewiew, I might want to expand it , I should have stated this in my theory. Maybe I have to make the 20 Au limit to the system you are entering, and open it up to a parsec or more for systems you are skirting on your travel. Tis should make it more difficult to come from anywhere.
Nightghaunt Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
I don't know. That's sounds pretty arbitrary. If your going to put a distance limit it should apply to everything equally. Otherwise it sounds just like what it is, an arbitrary limit to restrict travel. What would your reasoning be for different distances like that?

I think a more logical limit would be to limit the distance FTL can travel in a given jump. It still wouldn't limit all the possible approach vectors to a given system but it would limit a lot of them. And it would lengthen the time it takes to "go around" a given travel hub if that is what is desired. That way people can choose to either go the quick direct way or sacrifice time and take a surreptitious route.

Or perhaps another logical limit might be that the longer the distance of a single jump the longer it takes i.e. it might take 5 days to go a single 5LY jump but 15 days to go 10LY's in a single jump. You know, some sort of an exponential increase.

Either way space is just to big to block approach vectors easily, especially when it is line of sight. It will always be more feasible and easier to just protect the destination rather than an approach hub. The only other way would be to come up with some sort or actual travel path they have to take for some reason. But that would probably require a whole different FTL drive premise.
Scifiwarships Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hear you, and you might be right. This is all up for review, because I'm trying to work out a plausible way of traveling through space.
The idea here is to figure out just how it's done, because this will ultimately shape the whole universe, and how we colonize it.
That is why I wrote the basic theory in the first place, to generate debate, and come up with a proper set of plausible rules.
The reason I wanted line of sight and to the nearest star within this line, or zone around the line, was to limit travel distances, but at the same time make it flexible.
The distance to a star limits the length of the jump, more than the jump engine itself.
I also wanted to make territiorial borders, because that's what nations have. Maybe this is wrong, maybe space works differently. Maybe the distances are so big, that a territory only consists of the local space around systems rather than the space in between them.
Thing is, I want there to be limitations, and I want an enemy or a traveler to have to work their way inward in a territory, from nearest to nearest star in such a way that
systems will have differing importance based on where they are. This is what I want, wether or not space and travel works that way is up to debate, he he.
The idea behind the tube surrounding the line of sight is borrowed from artiller,the similarity being that just as you increase elevation to get distance by aiming further away from the direction of gravity when you want to shoot at something far away, so the tube is the minimum distance the traveler has to be from a star he passes on his journey. Maybe this is a bad idea, maybe space and jump drives work differently. Maybe a better idea is to say that the star you are traveling to has to be the nearest one, no matter what, because of the gravitational pull it has. This way you cannot go past another star, because it will always pull you in. There is a lot of ground to cover in order to come up with a plausible system for star travel.
As for time it takes to jump I am exploring both the thing you mentioned, by adding time to jump, based on length, as well as quantum jumps/instant travel. Both have big implications for the rest of civilization, and will ultimately shape the society I want my ships to live in.
Nightghaunt Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
Well, what I'm seeing as your main problem right now is then, is that you have created a drive that has no limits but you want to limit it. That's a difficult problem and aside from creating obvious false limits you're going to have a hard time. If you have a system affect a ship at say a parsec to keep it from passing it, it would also affect it on approach such that the ship would drop out of FTL at that same parsec distance prior to actually getting to it.

You might think about limiting the function of the drive in some way. There are many ways to do this. You could have the drive work in such a way that it build's up some something as the FTL works, a charge of some kind maybe. And so there is a limit to how long the FTL drive can work before it has to be shut down and the "charge" dissipated.

You could have the drive only work to a limited distance i.e. a jump will only work to a distance of a few parsecs. Have you even played the RPG game Traveller? That is how the ships in that game work. They have jump drives rated as jump 1 to 6. That being the number of parsecs a ship can jump at a given time and each jump takes 1 week. This limits where the ship can go and how fast it gets there as it has to stick to the planets within its jump range.

You might look at how Star Trek handles it. They have drives that allow them to go anywhere yet they have the neutral zone. How do they make that work?

Then there's having an external limit such as beacons. Ships have to travel along a beacon route, from beacon A to beacon B thus limiting where a ship can go. It needs a beacon to lock onto prior to jumping. You could even further limit that by coming up with a way that a ship MUST use a linked "set" of beacons, maybe because of range or something else. From beacon A you can only go to beacons X,Y, and Z because they are within that range. This would allow you to strictly control where a ship can go.

You could have jump gates like in the show Babylon 5 where all ship must travel through them to get to other systems. The gate could function as a transitional "doorway" to FTL space or as some sort of hyper accelerator like the hotwheels toy where the car goes through a little building that has spinning wheels in it that accelerate the car out the other end.

I know these types of things don't fit your idea of space travel but I'm just throwing them out there in the hopes of sparking ideas.
Scifiwarships Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks man, You you're right. I need a proper set of plausible limits and not arbitrary limitations. Thing is in order to make it plausible, this whole theoretical exercise has to fit together. The FTL drive is just one of the elements. Sublight speed is equally important, as is acelleration. These in turn relate to the type of propulsion, which ultimately lead to type of fuel, and onboard carrying capability of reaction mass etc. All of it has to fit together in a logical, plausible system. These all have to fit within the laws of nature, to some extent as well, and they have to be logical in relation to the rest of the tech level within my universe.
I am working on a new ship that will contain the things I have come up with, like a sort of guide. I have posted a few images of it, but nothig very solid in terms of explanations yet.
I have been brainstorming with several people already, and have largely rewritten the theory, though not posted it yet. I am using the Higgs boson as a plausible explanation for parts of the system.
And this is because these ships will need a lot more reaction mass than they can carry. Therefore I have come up with an idea of using a projetable FTL portal protected by a Higgs field that can be launched into a star, so that these ships will have a solar tap to draw power directly from the local sun in which system they are currently travelling through. Like a car with a hose connected to a refinery. This connection is physical, but as it goes through a quantum tunnelling wormhole, it does not affect the ship's movement. This is a really far fetched, but cool way of getting enough reaction mass, but it will also have implications for the ship's FTL capability. If you can quantum tunnel a tapping device into a star, can this system not also work for the ship itself, and if not, then why? I keep trying to figure out these things, and for that I need help. I am an architect, not a rocketscientist, he he he. This is why I have gone public with the theory. To chase down the inconsistencies, and with help make a serious bid towards a plausible transportation system.
Debates with guys like you are a tremendous help, both to remove the illogical parts, and to find better solutions
mikemars Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
try taking a look at this it talks about the tr-3b your ideas might line up with this somewhat
Scifiwarships Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I had a look! Wow, thanks Mike! This is gold!
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