Phobos-Mind the Gap

light or…

dark (your choice)

These WIP screen shots may not make much sense, but basically, I am trying to fill in a rather enormous gap between the main engineering section and the actual impulse engine located at the aft end of the ship’s hull.

The uppermost level (which I refer to loosely as “Impulse Engineering”) houses the ship’s impulse deflection crystal and is in general a smaller compartment than the “Main Engineering” level one deck below it.  This aft most area will be cut off even more however,  as a majority of the impulse engine’s equipment will be just on the other side of the more permanent bulkhead I’ve recently modeled and put into place.  It can be seen at the far end of the compartment on the other side of the intermix shaft.  There is a bit of curvature over to the left to compensate for some equipment placement and a new console has been put in place there on the far right.  I’ll need to redo the graphics for it though.  I’ve also decided that the tunnel there on the left will finally have purpose as the perfect trail for interior access and regular maintenance of the impulse systems.

Impulse Engineering (looking aft)

The “Main Engineering” section, one level below it, will have a little more wiggle room toward the aft and be able to extend a few feet beyond the arbitrary cut-off above it.  I had thought to put some sort of  shielded reactor room similar to the one seen on the Enterprise in The Wrath Of Khan, but I haven’t been able to work out the details or the logistics of how to tie the elements together.  As if de-Klingonification wasn’t enough,  this task is a tad difficult since the room was never fully defined as anything but a plot device for heroically killing Spock;  It was essentially a place to put the, “ray… dee-a-shun.”

I’m still working on it though.  If I do eventually install one,  I will probably associate it directly with the impulse engines rather than the warp systems.   Until then I’ve installed a bit of a stopgap measure and put up a temporary wall (where before there was none) and can now freely render the compartment from all directions.  This image took 13 hours to render so don’t hold your breath. 😉

Main Engineering (looking aft)

As mentioned, it is merely a stopgap measure since I only reproduced the open bulkhead and computer monitors from the deck above so there would be something viable there.

Even though it will most likely never be seen, I am also working on something to stand in for most of that impulse machinery.  There are many theories about how the impulse engines actually work, but the most predominant leans toward a powerful vectored thrust engine powered by some form of nuclear fusion.  Of course what is essentially a big fancy rocket engine could never alone handle the task of propelling a starship of any significant mass to any useful subluminal speeds, at least not as they are depicted in Star Trek.

The various eras represented throughout the Star Trek franchise certainly have their differences in technology, but most sources (canon and non-canon alike) indicate that impulse technology was one of the more foundational methods of propulsion Starfleet possessed, and in fact changed little over the centuries of Trek delivered by the series and movies.  So following some theories I’ve manage to research, I added something called a “space-time driver coil assembly” to the Phobos’ impulse engines.   As I understand it, this is essentially a weaker version of the driver coils used in the superluminal warp drive system and basically “fools the universe” into thinking the ship is actually of lighter mass than it really is thus helping to aid the efficiency of… a big fancy rocket engine. (Oh, if only it were that simple.)

Space/time driver coil assembly (dark boxy thing)

I also plan to add an auxiliary fusion reactor to the area.  Should the ship’s primary and secondary energy sources fail (the warp and impulse reactors respectively), the auxiliary fusion reactor could still be called upon to power the ship and accelerate it to low impulse speeds.  It is apparently attached directly to the impulse system so that should eat up some of that spare room.  It would also provide the needed connection to the planned reactor room.  What better place to put a shielded reactor control room than directly under a fusion reactor? 😀

More digging around in the fandom theoretical research sandbox would seem to indicate that the impulse systems wear out more quickly than their warp counterparts and the elements need replacing more frequently.  That service tunnel turns out to be well placed for the maintenance task, but that large hatch on the ship’s exterior(that I was all happy about exploiting) will also serve perfectly for routine replacement of said machinery.  I’ll try to get an image of that up shortly.

A few more images:

Revamped Kevin Riley’s impulse exhaust manifold a little

The impulse deflection crystal toroid and how it sets in the newly modeled aft bulkhead.

Another angle

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~ by starstation on June 4, 2010.

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