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Why are Honorverse Heavy Industries off Planet?

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Re: Why are Honorverse Heavy Industries off Planet?
Post by Brigade XO   » Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:36 pm

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A lot of this discussion depends on when the planitary system was settled and how.

Early in the original colonial period they were sending people in cold-sleep with equipment and generaly the colony was expected to build up and out from there.
Later you get hyper-space travel and better tech so there is more that you can transport to existing systems plus you have better ways (one would hope) of doing extraction and fabrication is space. The question then becomes do you have the people and resources to get that tec and impliment it.

We see a bunch of systems who are poor. They may have had humans on the ground for a couple of centuries or more but they don't get much ship traffic, don't have much in the way of things for export- at least that anybody knows about or wants (no market yet) and they haven't been able to either buy the equipment to improve or even buy the information to do it themselves.

Look at Meyers at the point where 10th Fleet removes the OFS Governor from power and essentialy is turning the system back to the government that was there before OFS showed up to "help". They have at least one orbital station and there is at least some gas extraction (for hydrogen etc) but not much described for orbital manufacturing. Granted, between the Transtellars involved and OFS (and the Intervention Battalions based there) with the FF operations & we presume nodal bashing, they get a lot of ship traffic but much of it is military related and the Transtellars and OFS have been sucking up anything that looks to turn a profit.
You get the idea- the kinds of places that have a few old (typicaly ancient) LACs for a "SDF" or customes operations and not much elce.

It takes money/ sources of both capital and equipment plus information to build yourself up to orbital manufacturing and that includes the capability to build, operate and maintain the space based resource extraction and processing. You have to have an economy that can support it. Other than things like biological products (think Montana Beef or the pharmaceuticals from Torch or exotic wood) you need stuff you can sell to buy the things you can't produce.
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Re: Why are Honorverse Heavy Industries off Planet?
Post by cthia   » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:25 pm

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drothgery wrote:
cthia wrote:Late edit: Heavy industry in the Honorverse are probably really huge operations. Huge operations are an eyesore and eat up lots of space in a city. Limited space in cities with billions of people is relieved by building tall high rises and stacking the population in "concrete bunk beds." Many business operations can't be stacked. Businesses need a certain layout to be efficient.

The overwhelming majority of inhabited planets in the Honorverse, even within the League, have a population under 2B (aka way less than present-day Earth). And most Honorverse urban populations live in giant contragrav towers despite this, probably with population densities that make Hong Kong sparsely populated. Except for heavily populated deep core worlds and edge cases like San Martin where most of the land area isn't actually habitable, I don't think there's a lack of space for industry on the ground (and you could still put automated heavy industry places where people can't live).

Can I assume you've allowed for variation in planet size and inhabitable space, as well as varying differences in land mass?

If so, the question begs to be answered as to why man wants to build, UP, when he doesn't have to. Though I can't believe David hasn't already supplied an answer and the forum hasn't already discussed it to death. So I'll silently wonder what peculiarity in the Honorverse makes most people want to live in sardine cans, instead of having the equivalent space of the Grand canyon as your back yard. Incredible views notwithstanding. Though an incredible natural view I'd long for, quite naturally. But that's just me.

I also don't know why man would want to put so many eggs in one basket. EE disasters can take out a lot of people while taking out towers, especially if they're in relatively close proximity.

At any rate, what happened to man's inner nature wanting to have a sprawling piece of land which automatically has privacy as a benefit. And let's not forget why ranch style homes have always appealed to the elderly, minus all those godawful stairs. Even elevators are a pain in the ass for the elderly.

Also, on Manticore, at least, small businesses are booming, and again, certain businesses need a specific layout to be efficient and secure. There must be many smaller businesses and operations littering the landscape on Manticore.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Why are Honorverse Heavy Industries off Planet?
Post by cthia   » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:42 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:The idiot in me was comparing it to present day shipping times which are vastly different.

However, I recall one way a company of mine solved the problem of access to materials was to build a warehouse and stock the goods. The problem with that is the size of the warehouse needed to make that work. Large storage facilities shouldn't be a problem in the Honorverse. Space is infinite, and cheap by the acre. In the Honorverse, it's...buy in bulk, stock in bulk, ship in bulk. So it doesn't matter if the warehouses themselves get the goods slower than would be on planet, as long as a widget is available when needed. Inventory control. But, if you need something you don't generally stock can be a problem. Although, shipping out of the system can expose the shipment to pirates or other disasters.

P.S. If you need something right away that's not in the warehouses, a Streak Boat can get it to you the day before yesterday. LOL

Yeah, warehousing can give you enough buffer to absorb delays or "lumpiness" in delivery. Though there is a valid reason more companies here and now have tried moving towards more of a just in time process with as little warehousing as they can get away with. (which sometimes bites them when a supplier has a crisis and can't provide material/parts/subsystems on time. But materials or parts sitting in a warehouse cost money (even if the warehousing itself is free) and don't earn anything until processed and sold. So warehousing ties up money for as long as the material is sitting there.

Also, at least here and now, pipelines are far more economical ways of delivering liquids or gasses than ships, rail, or trucks. OTOH most of the gases in the Honorverse are probably coming from gas giants; and you might be making necessary liquids from material siphoned or mined in space. And to my mind the expensive part of moving liquids or gasses into or out of space is dividing it up into relative penny packets that a tanker configured shuttle could hold. So if they originate in space then it should be cheaper to get them at a station a tanker ship could dock with and pump them over than it would be to ship them down to the ground where you might need hundreds of shuttle runs to move that same material. (But conversely if you had liquids or gasses that came from the surface it'd should be cheaper to access them in a groundside factory within pipeline distance of the source.

Warehousing costs for the size operations on discussion are negligible compared to the benefit of, let's say, installing just one of the monstrously huge turbine engines in storage, with parts. The difference is the timely completion of a twenty million dollar contract, in exchange for an acceptable warehousing fee of fifty grand. And that's just one of those engines. If you don't meet your deadline, you lose horrendous amounts of capital, plus you get sued. Then, factor in lost time, energy and resources.

Warehousing costs are still inconsequential, even if an additional fifty grand is spent on inventory lying dormant. That consideration only becomes a factor on smaller operations.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Why are Honorverse Heavy Industries off Planet?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:15 am

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:Given Weber's descriptions, Honorverse starships have fusion reactors with power output in the Petawatt or even Exawatt range. In spite of this availability of fusion power, most systems still seem to rely massive solar collectors to power their industries. One can reasonably conclude that system industries require Zetawatt level (1eex21) power levels. This would broil a planet.


In other words, they're past Kardashev 1-type civilisations.
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Re: Why are Honorverse Heavy Industries off Planet?
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:26 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
TFLYTSNBN wrote:Given Weber's descriptions, Honorverse starships have fusion reactors with power output in the Petawatt or even Exawatt range. In spite of this availability of fusion power, most systems still seem to rely massive solar collectors to power their industries. One can reasonably conclude that system industries require Zetawatt level (1eex21) power levels. This would broil a planet.


In other words, they're past Kardashev 1-type civilisations.



Exactly!
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Re: Why are Honorverse Heavy Industries off Planet?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:05 pm

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:In other words, they're past Kardashev 1-type civilisations.



Exactly!


Interestingly, none seem to be interested in becoming Kardashev 2. The SL is on its way to the same energy consumption levels by using 2000 star systems, but no one else is. The Sol System had a major war that reduced the system population, but Beowulf had 1800 years of peace and prosperity with space-age technology.

In a system without limits to real habitation space and with cheap fusion and solar energy for growing crops, the population could grow basically unchecked. A really low ballpark would be the scenario of the population only coming from the initial colony ship of 10000 and doubling every 75 years, which is really slow. That's 2^24 * 1000, which is 167.77 billion people. I think a more realistic but conservative estimate would be half a trillion people. That would be a star system that is well on its way to becoming Kardashev 2.

But it's not what we see.
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Re: Why are Honorverse Heavy Industries off Planet?
Post by TFLYTSNBN   » Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:03 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
TFLYTSNBN wrote:



Exactly!


Interestingly, none seem to be interested in becoming Kardashev 2. The SL is on its way to the same energy consumption levels by using 2000 star systems, but no one else is. The Sol System had a major war that reduced the system population, but Beowulf had 1800 years of peace and prosperity with space-age technology.

In a system without limits to real habitation space and with cheap fusion and solar energy for growing crops, the population could grow basically unchecked. A really low ballpark would be the scenario of the population only coming from the initial colony ship of 10000 and doubling every 75 years, which is really slow. That's 2^24 * 1000, which is 167.77 billion people. I think a more realistic but conservative estimate would be half a trillion people. That would be a star system that is well on its way to becoming Kardashev 2.

But it's not what we see.


From what Weber has written, it would seem that Sol system suffered a near extinction level event with the Scrag war. Beowulf and other early colonies, (Manticore, Refuge and some of the OFS clients) encountered plagues and other issues that reduced populations or restricted growth rates.

Keep in mind that doubling population every 75 years might not be low for a technological civilization where women tend to have fewer children later in life. If women delay having their children to an average of age 37.5 years, they need to have an average 3 children per woman to double population every 75 years. Given the modern reality that a large fraction of women chose to have zero children and many treaditional, two parent families have only two children, a population doubling time of 150 to 200 years is very plausible. This slow doubling time becomes even more plausible if societies have even moderately frequent wars and women are as likely to be soldiers as men.
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Re: Why are Honorverse Heavy Industries off Planet?
Post by George J. Smith   » Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:03 am

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Initially prolong would have an increasing effect on population growth, although eventually death occurring later will be offset by births occurring later in life and just move the median age of first time parents to an older age.
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Re: Why are Honorverse Heavy Industries off Planet?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:43 am

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:That would be a star system that is well on its way to becoming Kardashev 2.

But it's not what we see.


From what Weber has written, it would seem that Sol system suffered a near extinction level event with the Scrag war. Beowulf and other early colonies, (Manticore, Refuge and some of the OFS clients) encountered plagues and other issues that reduced populations or restricted growth rates.[/quote]

Which is doubly for my arguments.

First, even if the early colony had problems, they solved it. Growing the population is not a problem after the plague and crop issues are solved. And very clearly the colonies started in the early PD years and especially those that had seen the Final Wars would have an interest in growing their populations to keep humanity from becoming extinct if the Sol System went the way of the dodo.

Second, the fact that early colonies had problems with local microorganisms is all the more reason that colonies should start in space, with sufficient farming to keep the population, before they decide to land on the habitable world and risk native bacteria and similar risking their nourishment. This actually tells me that Manticore was an exception rather than the rule. And Calvin's Hope expedition was launched so early that they only colony they had information on was Beowulf.

Keep in mind that doubling population every 75 years might not be low for a technological civilization where women tend to have fewer children later in life. If women delay having their children to an average of age 37.5 years, they need to have an average 3 children per woman to double population every 75 years. Given the modern reality that a large fraction of women chose to have zero children and many treaditional, two parent families have only two children, a population doubling time of 150 to 200 years is very plausible. This slow doubling time becomes even more plausible if societies have even moderately frequent wars and women are as likely to be soldiers as men.


Ok, those are good points. Note that if you reduce my doubling rate from 75 to 100 years, the math drops from 2^24 to 2^18, which would mean a population of merely 2.62 billion. From what we've been told of the Beowulf System, I actually expect the population to be in the 10-20 billion range.
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Re: Why are Honorverse Heavy Industries off Planet?
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:36 am

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TFLYTSNBN wrote:Given Weber's descriptions, Honorverse starships have fusion reactors with power output in the Petawatt or even Exawatt range. In spite of this availability of fusion power, most systems still seem to rely massive solar collectors to power their industries. One can reasonably conclude that system industries require Zetawatt level (1eex21) power levels. This would broil a planet.

Do you have a reference or calculation base for this?
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