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Upscaling MDM baffles?

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Re: Upscaling MDM baffles?
Post by Weird Harold   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:48 pm

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munroburton wrote:
Weird Harold wrote:Starships have the room to put a second impeller ring anywhere they want, ...


I'm not really proposing any specific hull shape. Merely pointing out that if baffles can be used between starship impeller rings, it removes some of the design limitations which forced a basic cigar shape with two hammerheads.


IIRC, a perfect sphere is the ideal shape for a starship, but steering one is problematic. It seems that the current limitations on ring placement don't really limit hull-form very much.

As others have pointed out, the baffles on MDMs protect inactive rings from and active ring in close proximity. Moving a starships impeller ring to where it is protected WHEN NOT IN USE seems counter productive -- a lot of expense and complication for what is probably going to be a backup impeller ring unless drastic changes are made to baffle technology.
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Re: Upscaling MDM baffles?
Post by Annachie   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:22 pm

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In the case of the Sirius, the nodes were on rams to try and hide their size from casual observation.
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Re: Upscaling MDM baffles?
Post by kzt   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:36 pm

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Weird Harold wrote:IIRC, a perfect sphere is the ideal shape for a starship, but steering one is problematic. It seems that the current limitations on ring placement don't really limit hull-form very much.

Iirc a comment by David correctly, it’s the alpha nodes that limit the shape of the ship.
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Re: Upscaling MDM baffles?
Post by munroburton   » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:06 am

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kzt wrote:
Weird Harold wrote:IIRC, a perfect sphere is the ideal shape for a starship, but steering one is problematic. It seems that the current limitations on ring placement don't really limit hull-form very much.

Iirc a comment by David correctly, it’s the alpha nodes that limit the shape of the ship.


Hull-form is limited by something. CLACs are the most obvious example - their acceleration is somewhat less efficient. I think that's more to do with the compensator, mind.

As for the alpha nodes limiting the shape of the ship - well, I've yet to see a line drawing of a spider drive ship. According to the descriptions, it does sound like hull geometry is radically different somehow - and these ships can use warshawski sails and wormholes.

As others have pointed out, the baffles on MDMs protect inactive rings from and active ring in close proximity. Moving a starships impeller ring to where it is protected WHEN NOT IN USE seems counter productive -- a lot of expense and complication for what is probably going to be a backup impeller ring unless drastic changes are made to baffle technology.


I know that. The whole idea hinges on this very pivot: Can multi-drive baffles protect two active rings, operating as a single drive, from each other? Was that somehow unclear?

No textev exists which flatly contradicts the possibility. Something like this can be determined by the requirements of plot - and 20 years of R&D.
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Re: Upscaling MDM baffles?
Post by Rajani Isa   » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:57 am

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Weird Harold wrote:
This sounds like a solution in search of a problem.

Starships have the room to put a second impeller ring anywhere they want, but as established with the Peep Q-Ship Sirius back On Basalisk Station, the nodes have to be in a specific location relative to all the other nodes; that required Sirius to have her drive nodes mounted on rams to move them outside of her hull.


I was under the impression that the ram-mounts were to help disguise the nature of her nodes - that if they were observable (i.e. wedge down) they'd be obviously military nodes. They couldn't be permanently "retracted" because it would cause issues with operation :

"That cross section's better suited to a superdreadnought than any freighter drive I've ever seen, and if they powered it up with no more governor housing than we see, it'd slag the entire after hull." -Dominica Santos, On Basilisk Station
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Re: Upscaling MDM baffles?
Post by Somtaaw   » Wed May 02, 2018 12:14 am

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munroburton wrote:I know that. The whole idea hinges on this very pivot: Can multi-drive baffles protect two active rings, operating as a single drive, from each other? Was that somehow unclear?

No textev exists which flatly contradicts the possibility. Something like this can be determined by the requirements of plot - and 20 years of R&D.


Well DDM/MDM missiles don't exactly activate all available drives at one time. So logic would suggest the baffles only work (or last?) long enough to deflect active node radiation until the active drive burns out and turns off permitting the next drive+baffle combination to activate in turn.


Like with MAlign Graser Torps burning out after just one use, I don't really expect Manticoran MDM baffle technology being more robust than necessary... partially for security, partially for economic reasons. I figure each baffle has at most 10 minutes of usage which is longer than even the slowest burn a missile might ever do. Even the System Defense Quad Drive Missiles don't go for long burns, they'll shut down and go ballistic instead.
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Re: Upscaling MDM baffles?
Post by munroburton   » Wed May 02, 2018 4:11 am

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Somtaaw wrote:Well DDM/MDM missiles don't exactly activate all available drives at one time. So logic would suggest the baffles only work (or last?) long enough to deflect active node radiation until the active drive burns out and turns off permitting the next drive+baffle combination to activate in turn.


Like with MAlign Graser Torps burning out after just one use, I don't really expect Manticoran MDM baffle technology being more robust than necessary... partially for security, partially for economic reasons. I figure each baffle has at most 10 minutes of usage which is longer than even the slowest burn a missile might ever do. Even the System Defense Quad Drive Missiles don't go for long burns, they'll shut down and go ballistic instead.


I'm sure there are many instances of MDMs transitioning from one drive to the next smoothly, without their impeller wedges disappearing(even briefly). That time Byng's flagship was sniped, for instance. Or Operation Buttercup, at Barnett.
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Re: Upscaling MDM baffles?
Post by Somtaaw   » Wed May 02, 2018 4:57 pm

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munroburton wrote:
Somtaaw wrote:Well DDM/MDM missiles don't exactly activate all available drives at one time. So logic would suggest the baffles only work (or last?) long enough to deflect active node radiation until the active drive burns out and turns off permitting the next drive+baffle combination to activate in turn.


Like with MAlign Graser Torps burning out after just one use, I don't really expect Manticoran MDM baffle technology being more robust than necessary... partially for security, partially for economic reasons. I figure each baffle has at most 10 minutes of usage which is longer than even the slowest burn a missile might ever do. Even the System Defense Quad Drive Missiles don't go for long burns, they'll shut down and go ballistic instead.


I'm sure there are many instances of MDMs transitioning from one drive to the next smoothly, without their impeller wedges disappearing(even briefly). That time Byng's flagship was sniped, for instance. Or Operation Buttercup, at Barnett.


True points, however the computers in Honorverse are very hard to properly quantify their computing power, and those are very, very simple timing issues by our standards.

So having impeller ring A plus baffle A burn out within microseconds of the next drive activating, you might see a very minute flicker of the wedge as it shifts to ring B.

Or it could be that activating ring B is the very thing that burns out baffle A, exactly as impeller ring A burns out, so it's a perfectly seamless transition.

Or really any number of other possible variations or timings. We don't really have any data at all, however as I said before I don't think it's entirely unreasonable to assume that baffles are short-lived. If baffles can operate between 2 active rings, it's going to be very brief and somewhere in the femto- to micro-second range.


You'd have to re-engineer the baffle technology from the ground up to start permitting two extended-use impeller rings to be active and nearby one another, because it's such a drastic change from the missiles the baffle technology is normally mounted on. This would be something researched considerably after the conflict with the League winds down, as it's a peacetime project. Not something you'd want the new & improved Bolthole plus Weyland spending time on, instead of important projects like Ghost Rider, Apollo, Mycroft or Lorelei.
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Re: Upscaling MDM baffles?
Post by munroburton   » Wed May 02, 2018 5:51 pm

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Somtaaw wrote:You'd have to re-engineer the baffle technology from the ground up to start permitting two extended-use impeller rings to be active and nearby one another, because it's such a drastic change from the missiles the baffle technology is normally mounted on. This would be something researched considerably after the conflict with the League winds down, as it's a peacetime project. Not something you'd want the new & improved Bolthole plus Weyland spending time on, instead of important projects like Ghost Rider, Apollo, Mycroft or Lorelei.


Indeed, it could be a daunting physics/engineering project requiring a dab of ingenuity and a dollop of brute-force. Sort of like creating a hyper generator capable of cracking the iota and kappa walls.

Even if it couldn't operate on all-up starships, there might be some possibilities for LACs. Consequently, I think Bolthole would be best - especially if that Havenite officer who led their LAC design team is still there - but it could be somewhere else, like Hancock Station.
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Re: Upscaling MDM baffles?
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Wed May 02, 2018 10:48 pm

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Somtaaw wrote:You'd have to re-engineer the baffle technology from the ground up to start permitting two extended-use impeller rings to be active and nearby one another, because it's such a drastic change from the missiles the baffle technology is normally mounted on. This would be something researched considerably after the conflict with the League winds down, as it's a peacetime project. Not something you'd want the new & improved Bolthole plus Weyland spending time on, instead of important projects like Ghost Rider, Apollo, Mycroft or Lorelei.


I seriously doubt you can have two drives running at the same time. Remember, when a wedge hits a wedge one or perhaps both of the drives are catastrophically destroyed. Shielding the nodes from each other wouldn't change that.

The one advance I can see some use for:

Build an MDM with an extra stage that uses a recon drone drive rather a missile drive. Once the main booster burns out it still has a wedge and still can maneuver. You still have the guidance problem but that's not always a show-stopper.

Consider the battle at Hypatia with such missiles:

One cruiser remains in hiding as close as safe. The remaining ships go way out, 100 mkm or even more. After the Ghost Riders do their kamikaze attacks the rest of the ships empty their magazines at the Sollies. The missiles burn their two stages, the final stage is simply used to compensate for movement of their targets--they never go ballistic.

The cruiser that's hiding in-system takes over the guidance. They won't be able to guide them as well as if all 4 cruisers were guiding them but the missiles worked pretty well even when they had no guidance.

At a minimum they get everything off and they have a much better chance at defending themselves against the missile storm that was sent their way.
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