The Design of the Intrepid Class


The Design of the Intrepid Class

Postby AlexMcpherson79 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:47 pm

Okay, so I'm making a sort of 'technical manual' for my little voyager fanfic, before I start writing. And in writing it, I realised a few things, aside from CGI mesh errors like those visible in the side views (the aft-facing area of the primary hull, either side of the 'neck' area are all warped, as is the main dorsal phaser arrays)

The Warp Nacelles in the raised position, are basically at mid-height of the ship. Think about it. Fifteen decks, so the 'middle' deck is deck 8, which is the deck that is on the 'rim' of the primary hull section. One drawing, more like puts the nacelles as in line with both deck six through nine, so midpoint between deck seven and eight, but physically lets just say its deck eight, so for generating a warp field, the nacelles are exactly central height wise. meaning probably easier to control and more efficient, since they dont have to try to 'bend' the field vertically more in one direction, like with, say... every other class of ship since TOS featuring two 'traditional' nacelles.

Now, the Curry type, or 'Shelley' class, a weird fusion of excelsior hulls and oversized constitution-style nacelles seem to place said nacelles at the mid-point. As is the defiant, kind of.

Oddly, the Galaxy Class also places the nacelles in the roughly vertically central position. The Norway and the Saber are close, but the vertical centre point is 'outside' the nacelle.

Ships that place the nacelles in a vertical arrangement (Challenger), or with four in a somewhat symmetrical layout (Cheyenne, Constellation), and even three-nacelle designs like the Niagara, kind of don't count since they all naturally involve using the different vertical arrangements to better balance a warp field than, say, for the Niagara, the two nacelle Ambassador it's based on.

However, unlike those ships, the Intrepid class has moving nacelles... Now, why would that be, when they could just, permanently affix them at the height of Deck eight? even at the angle, since the jump to FTL doesn't occur until after the nacelles reach that position... my theory: a mix of the DITL explanation for the warp damage thing... and for Sublight... Weight Balance in the vertical, aligned to the impulse drives.

For my little 'canon-twisting' Tech manual, This is what I'm going with.

The USS Intrepid, launched while her first set of sister ships were still early in construction, had a somewhat more traditional layout, at a time when the effects of warp travel on subspace were not yet known... but the issue with weight balance came up, despite the simulators bsaically saying it was okay. (Like how a spanish submarine turned out like, almost eighty tonnes overweight and is still under construction due to the delay caused by extending the ship,)

So, the impulse drives' position, according to the simulators, had to be basically, on deck eleven, as there's a lot of weight in the secondary hull area, with the primary hull, despite its' size, being rather light with lots of cargo bays and such. In this design revision, there is also no secondary deflector on deck six.
Part of the weight in that section also comes from it testing a dual warp core design that would be mostly abandoned. The first core, directly behind the (rather heavy) multipurpose deflector array is built for mostly power generation and to act as a back up warp drive, but the primary core being the one that is just ahead of the shuttlebay, which is slightly larger. this produces excessive levels of power for shields and weapons, or something.

Anyway, the warp drive design required the nacelles to be basically in the area of the vertical midpoint, so at the height of decks seven, eight and nine. However, the weight of the nacelles, located above the vertical position of the impulse drives, presents a problem - they shift the weight balance, so that the direction of thrust is no longer aligned to the centre of gravity. and so to travel in a straight line, the ship would travel 'tilted' (kind of how it was in TOS, with the ship 'leaning' forward in the animations of moving regardless of speed. the TOS enterprise' impulse exhaust and warp nacelles were also not aligned vertically centred.)

With the issues with warp travel damage and other things, engineers came up with a stop-gap measure that was specific to the intrepid class, overwise an entire new warp engine design would be needed. This was the re-engineer the nacelles slightly, from the traditional strut connecting to the ventral surface of the nacelle, to instead, the inward-facing surface with only one side of the nacelle with a 'grill'... secondly, 'tilt' the nacelle to provide a more efficient engine that also doesn't cause damage, and, with the tilt in place, have the nacelle strut - in this design, now angled from the secondary hull like the constitution - mounted on a hinge between the impulse drive and the hull, so that at sub-light, the nacelle and strut swivel down to a horizontal position, placiong the weight of the nacelles at sublight speed at deck eleven... in line with the impulse drives, and thereby placing the ships' centre of gravity also in that area, for a 'flat' direction of thrust.

This also maybe explains the weird thing with the back of the intrepid nacelles - originally, they were perhaps supposed to be like the galaxy class, in that the grill is on both sides, wrapping around the back, but with the redesign, the back was filled in, but still traces of the original design left in there.

However, additional issues crept up, which meant the intrepid class now had a secondary deflector in the primary hull, but the weight of the much-smaller single-purpose system isn't sufficient to cause issue.

As for the dual-core drive system, many of the lessons learned were applied to the Prometheus class in running multiple cores to allow MVAM at warp, but for the Intrepid, was just overkill, and in the main revision of the design, only vestiges of the system remain, in the use of the forward core now acting solely, in some of the earlier ships which got that far in production before the change, as a primary or secondary power source, with no 'immediately act as a back up warp drive', to, in the later designs, simply being where a 'spare warp core' is held, but unusable, to act as spare parts. This is why it does appear on the Voyager MSD, but isn't actually used - the depiction to show that there is a second core for a reason, but at the same time, isn't used actively (nor referred to, since its only a source of spare parts.)

Now, the Defiant is of close registry number, 74205, to the Intrepid's 74600. (a mere 395 off), and voyager at least, launched half a year after the Defiant...

So I'll go with that the USS Intrepid was officially commissioned in late 2370, (even with the NX registry before eventually being changed to NCC by the time of Nemesis) but had been active for over a year in trials. The Defiant likewise had been active prior to commission for similar time - leaving a mere two year development for the smaller ship, but the Intrepid class had a longer development time. Given how close to completion the sister ships where when the USS Intrepid was commissioned, I'll say that this is primarily why alternatives to a likely-maintenance-heavy hinged pylon design wasn't implemented.

Crew Compliment

like I've mentioned before, I'm also going with the idea that the ship has an 'upper end' crew capacity of 500, though intended role and design places a more 'manageable' crew level in the 300 range, with singular missions like Captain Janeway's allowing for smaller... I'm also going with that, regardless of canon, because Naomi Wildman, who this story follows, got to be part of the Intrepid Class design team, had a few... changes... to make. (So... canon says 150, Naomi says 300?) some changes also incorporate things like from the Prometheus class.

In other words... Holo emitters throughout the ship. In my head, I'm working on the idea that she found a way to sneak in emitters into the gravity plating designed for the ship... and by sneak, meaning no one actually knows about it, as its a seperate system from the Sickbay and Holodeck projection systems. so the doctor would need to 'transfer' his program from the sickbay or holodeck projection system, to the system used for the rest of the ship... and no, its not as 'capable', its something purpose-built for holographic people rather than holographic fully-interactive environments, though photon-and-forcefields fake bulkheads could be done in a pinch...
Also, she made sure that the Aeroshuttle design was completed by the time Voyager launched, with headcanon being the design was too far behind when voyager was lost, hence why Delta Flyer instead - no one on the ship even knew about the aeroshuttle being a thing, it was so far 'behind'. And in practise, the other ships that ended with one, used it basically the same as a Danube-class runabout, minus interchangeable modules. Just a big short-range shuttle... versus the flyer being designed to handle long range, yet not a large crew count.

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