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Warshawski sail

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Re: Warshawski sail
Post by penny   » Tue Jun 11, 2024 6:44 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
C. O. Thompson wrote:There is some text evidence that the sidewalls would not be effective to stop attack till the sails were reconfigured.

Yep, at least with the kind of sidewall generators that warships mount.
Short Victorious War - HONOR HARRINGTON'S NAVY wrote:The Warshawski sail is essentially a highly modified and very powerful impeller stress band projected in the form of a disk at right angles to the hull, not as a wedge above and below it. The sail, which is just as impenetrable as an impeller wedge, extends for three hundred kilometers (as much as five hundred for really large vessels) in all directions. This not only makes chase armaments even more important but also deprives the warship of the protection of its wedge against fire from "above" or "below." Indeed, it deprives a ship even of its sidewalls, for there are no roof and floor for the sidewall to stitch together.

[...]

A few navies have experimented with the idea of mounting the sidewall bubble generators used to generate 360° "sidewalls" around fixed fortifications in their capital ships for use in hyper-space engagements, but the sheer mass of the system is self-defeating. A ship so equipped has an enormous advantage in hyper, but the volume consumed by the generators cuts deeply into that available for weapons, which places the same vessel at an even greater disadvantage in normal-space combat. Since n-space combat is the rule and hyper-space combat is the exception, no navy has ever built a major class of warship with bubble generators.

Now we do have a bit of an open question here on the forum about whether a "buckler" bow wall requires a wedge to function -- since, unlike the full bow wall, it doesn't actually tie into the wedge. (In fact is has several dozens of km gap between the edge of the bucker and the closest point on the wedge -- and that's for a stern wall; the gap is about 3x larger for a bow wall!)


And while SVW it discussing sails in the context of grav wave combat; it is equally true that they deprive a ship that just arrived via wormhole of wedge and sidewalls. The ship has to accelerate down the arrival 'lane' until it clears the grav turbulence around the terminus before it can fold its sails down into a wedge and bring up its sidewall.

Either this is a bit misleading or I keep missing memos. The sails are just bands of gravity. I don't think they can be folded. Why would they need to be folded anyway? They can just be turned off. Unless the mechanisms that are responsible for creating the sails must first be extended, then later folded. I always envisioned two goalpost like objects. But again, I always thought the wedge and sidewalls extend much farther than the sails. If so, why would there need to be any folding of the mechanism before the sidewalls can be brought up? Unless the sidewalls do not extend as far as the wedge. If sidewalls do not extend as far as the wedge, then shouldn't there be huge kinks in the defense created by the incongruence?
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Re: Warshawski sail
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Jun 11, 2024 9:07 am

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penny wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:And while SVW it discussing sails in the context of grav wave combat; it is equally true that they deprive a ship that just arrived via wormhole of wedge and sidewalls. The ship has to accelerate down the arrival 'lane' until it clears the grav turbulence around the terminus before it can fold its sails down into a wedge and bring up its sidewall.

Either this is a bit misleading or I keep missing memos. The sails are just bands of gravity. I don't think they can be folded. Why would they need to be folded anyway? They can just be turned off. Unless the mechanisms that are responsible for creating the sails must first be extended, then later folded. I always envisioned two goalpost like objects. But again, I always thought the wedge and sidewalls extend much farther than the sails. If so, why would there need to be any folding of the mechanism before the sidewalls can be brought up? Unless the sidewalls do not extend as far as the wedge. If sidewalls do not extend as far as the wedge, then shouldn't there be huge kinks in the defense created by the incongruence?
That was RFCs wording.
On Basilisk Station wrote:Its huge, immaterial Warshawski sails were circular, azure mirrors, bright and brilliant for just an instant as radiant transit energy bled quickly into nothingness, and then it folded its wings. The invisible sails reconfigured into impeller stress bands, and the freighter slowly gathered way, accelerating out of the nexus while it cleared its final destination with Junction Central and requested insertion into the proper outbound lane to continue its voyage.

War of Honor wrote:"Aye, aye, Ma'am," Hooja replied, and Harvest Joy folded her sails back into her impeller wedge and moved forward, once again at the same, steady ten gravities.

Shadow of Saganami wrote:Her Warshawski sails were perfect disks, three hundred kilometers in diameter, radiating the blue glory of transit energy like blazing mirrors. Then the energy bled quickly away into nothingness, and the freighter folded her wings. Her sails reconfigured into impeller bands, and she gathered way in n-space as she accelerated out of the nexus.

Shadow of Saganami wrote:Hexapuma's sails folded back into a standard impeller wedge as she moved forward, accelerating steadily down the Lynx inbound lane, and Helen permitted herself a mental nod of satisfaction. The maneuver had been routine, but "routine" didn't mean "not dangerous," and Captain Terekhov had hit the transit window dead center.

A Rising Thunder wrote:Otter folded her sails back into her impeller wedge and moved forward more rapidly, accelerating steadily out of the Stine Terminus, five and a half light-hours from the G5 primary of the Stine System.

On Basilisk Station wrote:Fearless folded her sails back into her impeller wedge and moved forward more rapidly, accelerating steadily down the Basilisk outbound traffic lane


His preferred term for reconfiguring from sails to wedge seems to be "folding". And I assume they reconfigure without turning them off because an impeller wedge takes IIRC 15ish minutes to come online, even from hot nodes. If they turned off the alpha nodes to drop the sail and then turned them back on in wedge mode the ship would be drifting without acceleration for that lengthy start-up period.

Also, you've got the relative sizes flipped -- sails extend far further. A heavy cruiser, like Hexapuma, will have sails that project around 300 km - while MaxxQ once shared that her wedge was a "mere" 148 km wide. (And sidewalls are tucked well inside the wedge, because while they stretch its full height, and run its full length, they're positioned just 10 km off the ship's broadsides. We don't have an explicit statement of the standoff distance of bow and buckler walls, but I'd assume that same 10 km. I wish the infodump site was working; its wedge geometry post includes a helpful diagram of normal sidewalls within a wedge)

And no, the sidewalls sitting well inside the wedge doesn't create gaps (commonly called "chinks" not "kinks") in the defense. Or rather only the well described ones of down the throat or up the kilt were no sidewall normally sits. In fact that narrow (barely over 20 km) opening between the sidewalls fore and aft reduces that risk compared to sidewalls that sat at the edge of the wedge, 100+ km apart. The narrow opening, and how far back from it the ship sits, creates a far narrower range of vulnerable down the throat angles than wider sidewalls would.



As for why the sails need to fold before sidewalls come up -- that's because RFC declared that sidewalls require a wedge; so until you've reconfigured from sail to wedge the sidewalls have nothing to support them and can't form.
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Re: Warshawski sail
Post by tlb   » Tue Jun 11, 2024 11:23 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:As for why the sails need to fold before sidewalls come up -- that's because RFC declared that sidewalls require a wedge; so until you've reconfigured from sail to wedge the sidewalls have nothing to support them and can't form.

Does he actually go so far as to say that they CANNOT form? It would seem to me that a sidewall or a buckler without a wedge would be totally useless, so whether the wedge is needed for formation is moot.
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Re: Warshawski sail
Post by penny   » Tue Jun 11, 2024 12:03 pm

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penny wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:And while SVW it discussing sails in the context of grav wave combat; it is equally true that they deprive a ship that just arrived via wormhole of wedge and sidewalls. The ship has to accelerate down the arrival 'lane' until it clears the grav turbulence around the terminus before it can fold its sails down into a wedge and bring up its sidewall.

Either this is a bit misleading or I keep missing memos. The sails are just bands of gravity. I don't think they can be folded. Why would they need to be folded anyway? They can just be turned off. Unless the mechanisms that are responsible for creating the sails must first be extended, then later folded. I always envisioned two goalpost like objects. But again, I always thought the wedge and sidewalls extend much farther than the sails. If so, why would there need to be any folding of the mechanism before the sidewalls can be brought up? Unless the sidewalls do not extend as far as the wedge. If sidewalls do not extend as far as the wedge, then shouldn't there be huge kinks in the defense created by the incongruence?
Jonathan_S wrote:That was RFCs wording.
On Basilisk Station wrote:Its huge, immaterial Warshawski sails were circular, azure mirrors, bright and brilliant for just an instant as radiant transit energy bled quickly into nothingness, and then it folded its wings. The invisible sails reconfigured into impeller stress bands, and the freighter slowly gathered way, accelerating out of the nexus while it cleared its final destination with Junction Central and requested insertion into the proper outbound lane to continue its voyage.

War of Honor wrote:"Aye, aye, Ma'am," Hooja replied, and Harvest Joy folded her sails back into her impeller wedge and moved forward, once again at the same, steady ten gravities.

Shadow of Saganami wrote:Her Warshawski sails were perfect disks, three hundred kilometers in diameter, radiating the blue glory of transit energy like blazing mirrors. Then the energy bled quickly away into nothingness, and the freighter folded her wings. Her sails reconfigured into impeller bands, and she gathered way in n-space as she accelerated out of the nexus.

Shadow of Saganami wrote:Hexapuma's sails folded back into a standard impeller wedge as she moved forward, accelerating steadily down the Lynx inbound lane, and Helen permitted herself a mental nod of satisfaction. The maneuver had been routine, but "routine" didn't mean "not dangerous," and Captain Terekhov had hit the transit window dead center.

A Rising Thunder wrote:Otter folded her sails back into her impeller wedge and moved forward more rapidly, accelerating steadily out of the Stine Terminus, five and a half light-hours from the G5 primary of the Stine System.

On Basilisk Station wrote:Fearless folded her sails back into her impeller wedge and moved forward more rapidly, accelerating steadily down the Basilisk outbound traffic lane


His preferred term for reconfiguring from sails to wedge seems to be "folding". And I assume they reconfigure without turning them off because an impeller wedge takes IIRC 15ish minutes to come online, even from hot nodes. If they turned off the alpha nodes to drop the sail and then turned them back on in wedge mode the ship would be drifting without acceleration for that lengthy start-up period.

Understood. But I wasn't questioning whether or not RFC used the phrase. It occurs often enough in storyline. I'm wondering, or rather I am a bit confused, why the sails need to be folded before sidewalls can be brought up. I also can't understand why the nodes need to be turned off to turn off the sails. I can understand why any mechanism, if needed, would need to be folded out of the way before a wedge is brought up because the wedge would destroy any such mechanism that is deployed. If said mechanism extends further than the wedge. But I can't see that being the case. So, again, I think the author's phrasing is a bit misleading and needs clarification, for my own consumption. I just don't see why the sails can't be turned off without turning off the nodes. There should be a switch that needs to be thrown to engage the sails after the nodes are hot. That same switch should kill the sails.


Jonathan_S wrote:Also, you've got the relative sizes flipped -- sails extend far further. A heavy cruiser, like Hexapuma, will have sails that project around 300 km - while MaxxQ once shared that her wedge was a "mere" 148 km wide. (And sidewalls are tucked well inside the wedge, because while they stretch its full height, and run its full length, they're positioned just 10 km off the ship's broadsides. We don't have an explicit statement of the standoff distance of bow and buckler walls, but I'd assume that same 10 km. I wish the infodump site was working; its wedge geometry post includes a helpful diagram of normal sidewalls within a wedge)

I don't doubt I was wrong about that. It would seem odd that a ship's sails do not extend far beyond the ship in order to catch the wind, or waves.

Jonathan_S wrote:And no, the sidewalls sitting well inside the wedge doesn't create gaps (commonly called "chinks" not "kinks") in the defense. Or rather only the well described ones of down the throat or up the kilt were no sidewall normally sits. In fact that narrow (barely over 20 km) opening between the sidewalls fore and aft reduces that risk compared to sidewalls that sat at the edge of the wedge, 100+ km apart. The narrow opening, and how far back from it the ship sits, creates a far narrower range of vulnerable down the throat angles than wider sidewalls would.

Did I actually say kinks? I gotta get Thandi off my mind. LOL

Jonathan_S wrote:As for why the sails need to fold before sidewalls come up -- that's because RFC declared that sidewalls require a wedge; so until you've reconfigured from sail to wedge the sidewalls have nothing to support them and can't form.

See above. Any mechanism responsible for creating the sails should be well within the area consumed by the wedge and sidewalls. It should be possible to kill the sails by throwing a switch; even if it can be argued that the sails's band of gravity would interfere with the wedge. And just because bringing up the wedge or nodes is a time consuming process, killing them should not be the case.
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Re: Warshawski sail
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Jun 11, 2024 2:05 pm

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tlb wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:As for why the sails need to fold before sidewalls come up -- that's because RFC declared that sidewalls require a wedge; so until you've reconfigured from sail to wedge the sidewalls have nothing to support them and can't form.

Does he actually go so far as to say that they CANNOT form? It would seem to me that a sidewall or a buckler without a wedge would be totally useless, so whether the wedge is needed for formation is moot.
He doesn't use those words outright - but that was the extremely strong impression I was given by what he did write.
The quote from SVW; which was in my earlier post was specifically "Indeed, [the sails] deprives a ship even of its sidewalls, for there are no roof and floor for the sidewall to stitch together."

Additionally Mission of Honor, when discussing spider ships says
Mission of Honor wrote:That meant both that areas no impeller-drive ship had to armor did require massive armor protection aboard a spider-drive warship and that there was no wedge floor and roof for a side wall to stitch together. And just to make matters even more interesting, the spider drive could not be used through a spherical sidewall like the ones fortresses generated.


Or
A Call to Vengeance wrote:“Get ready to spin up the sidewall generators for test, Travis,” Lisa instructed.
“Aye, aye, Ma’am,” Travis replied and began entering commands. Because a sidewall had to interface with a ship’s wedge, it couldn’t really be tested until there was power to the beta nodes.


I certainly read those as saying without a wedge up you can't bring up (normal) sidewalls. Now fortress-style bubble sidewalls are obviously different; those don't require a wedge - and the books certainly seem to say that those can work with a sail; but not really with a spider drive. And, as noted in my previous posts, buckler walls are a bit of an open question as to whether they require an active wedge in order to work.

As for being useless without a wedge; maybe the buckler wall would be -- it's coverage is so small. But a sidewall covers a vast area parallel to a ship's broadside (extending for dozens of km above/below the ship, and for something like an SD over a hundred km fore and aft of the ship -- and where an SDs wedge with cold node might take half an hour or more to get online sidewalls can be brought up in seconds.
We've seen ships surprised with cold nodes before -- and if they could have brought up even a flawed defense I think they would have.

If you could bring up sidewalls without a wedge then, lacking its protection, missiles could attack through the sidewall from a far greater range of angles; plus you'd have no sidewall protection from shots from (a narrow fan of angles near directly) above or below. So your missile defense problem is harder than with the wedge. But the sidewall still reduces damage from any fire going through it -- so it'd still be vastly better to have just the sidewall than to have neither wedge nor sidewall. (Heck, it might improve your survivability enough to last until your drive came online).
But since we've never seen a ship with cold nodes pop up a sidewall that reinforces my reading that it just isn't physically possible to do that.
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Re: Warshawski sail
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Jun 11, 2024 2:29 pm

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penny wrote:Understood. But I wasn't questioning whether or not RFC used the phrase. It occurs often enough in storyline. I'm wondering, or rather I am a bit confused, why the sails need to be folded before sidewalls can be brought up. I also can't understand why the nodes need to be turned off to turn off the sails. I can understand why any mechanism, if needed, would need to be folded out of the way before a wedge is brought up because the wedge would destroy any such mechanism that is deployed. If said mechanism extends further than the wedge. But I can't see that being the case. So, again, I think the author's phrasing is a bit misleading and needs clarification, for my own consumption. I just don't see why the sails can't be turned off without turning off the nodes. There should be a switch that needs to be thrown to engage the sails after the nodes are hot. That same switch should kill the sails.

Both sails and wedges are projected planes of stressed gravity bands generated by the alpha nodes. When they're making sails they project that gravity out evenly evenly around the cicumphrence of each impeller ring to make two enormous disks perpendicular to the long axis of the ship.
When they're making a wedge they project that gravity unevenly to form a pair of inclines planes, one above, and one below, the ship; with the opening between them shorter at the rear and taller at the front.

My understanding is that you fold the sails into wedges by reconfiguring the alpha nodes to transition between those two state, while projecting the stressed gravity bands the whole time. The disks morph and reform into the square planes of the wedge.

You can't have an alpha node projecting both a sail and a wedge at the same time -- though you can (per the text) transition the forward impeller ring and aft impeller ring seperately. There's a brief moment approaching the Junction where Fearless has her foresail rigged but still projecting a wedge from her aft impellers.

But I can't see how one could have the nodes on but not be projecting stressed gravity band from them. Projecting those is what I understand having nodes on means. Now, I agree that you could shut the nodes off without a lengthy shutdown -- turning the sail or wedge off near instantly. But I think that that would drop the nodes back to their standby hot nodes state. And "It took almost forty minutes to bring your impeller wedge up from a cold start; by starting with hot nodes, you could reduce that to little more than fifteen minutes" [OBS]. (And that's for a CL; a larger ship takes longer). So, seems to me, that if you turned the sail off before turning the wedge on the sail would go off near instantly but you'd then have to wait that 15+ minutes for the nodes to come back on before your wedge appeared.

Which (to my mind) is why they're not described as doing that. Instead they seem to simply reshape the bands of stressed gravity while the nodes are still on, still projecting that gravity, thus morphing from the shape of a sail to the shape of a wedge wedge -- "folding" them.
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Re: Warshawski sail
Post by tlb   » Tue Jun 11, 2024 3:00 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:As for why the sails need to fold before sidewalls come up -- that's because RFC declared that sidewalls require a wedge; so until you've reconfigured from sail to wedge the sidewalls have nothing to support them and can't form.
tlb wrote:Does he actually go so far as to say that they CANNOT form? It would seem to me that a sidewall or a buckler without a wedge would be totally useless, so whether the wedge is needed for formation is moot.
Jonathan_S wrote:He doesn't use those words outright - but that was the extremely strong impression I was given by what he did write.
I can imagine one way that could come about. Each sidewall has a generator, but all seem to use the same nodes that generate the wedge. So might it be correct that the sidewall generator needs to have the nodes powered up in order create the sidewall?

PS: Your explanation on sails "folding" into the wedge sounds very satisfying. That could explain why he never said that sails "furl", which otherwise might be a more nautical term.
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Re: Warshawski sail
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:05 pm

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tlb wrote:PS: Your explanation on sails "folding" into the wedge sounds very satisfying. That could explain why he never said that sails "furl", which otherwise might be a more nautical term.

Thanks.

Having written all that out it made me wish I had the 3d modeling and animation skills to make a short video clip of what I'm imagining -- with the sails shrinking and morphing as they tilt over; and the parts that used to come to the nodes begin getting kicked upwards and back until they finally end up many dozens of km astern of the ship.
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Re: Warshawski sail
Post by penny   » Tue Jun 11, 2024 8:21 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
penny wrote:Understood. But I wasn't questioning whether or not RFC used the phrase. It occurs often enough in storyline. I'm wondering, or rather I am a bit confused, why the sails need to be folded before sidewalls can be brought up. I also can't understand why the nodes need to be turned off to turn off the sails. I can understand why any mechanism, if needed, would need to be folded out of the way before a wedge is brought up because the wedge would destroy any such mechanism that is deployed. If said mechanism extends further than the wedge. But I can't see that being the case. So, again, I think the author's phrasing is a bit misleading and needs clarification, for my own consumption. I just don't see why the sails can't be turned off without turning off the nodes. There should be a switch that needs to be thrown to engage the sails after the nodes are hot. That same switch should kill the sails.

Both sails and wedges are projected planes of stressed gravity bands generated by the alpha nodes. When they're making sails they project that gravity out evenly evenly around the cicumphrence of each impeller ring to make two enormous disks perpendicular to the long axis of the ship.
When they're making a wedge they project that gravity unevenly to form a pair of inclines planes, one above, and one below, the ship; with the opening between them shorter at the rear and taller at the front.

My understanding is that you fold the sails into wedges by reconfiguring the alpha nodes to transition between those two state, while projecting the stressed gravity bands the whole time. The disks morph and reform into the square planes of the wedge.

You can't have an alpha node projecting both a sail and a wedge at the same time -- though you can (per the text) transition the forward impeller ring and aft impeller ring seperately. There's a brief moment approaching the Junction where Fearless has her foresail rigged but still projecting a wedge from her aft impellers.

But I can't see how one could have the nodes on but not be projecting stressed gravity band from them. Projecting those is what I understand having nodes on means. Now, I agree that you could shut the nodes off without a lengthy shutdown -- turning the sail or wedge off near instantly. But I think that that would drop the nodes back to their standby hot nodes state. And "It took almost forty minutes to bring your impeller wedge up from a cold start; by starting with hot nodes, you could reduce that to little more than fifteen minutes" [OBS]. (And that's for a CL; a larger ship takes longer). So, seems to me, that if you turned the sail off before turning the wedge on the sail would go off near instantly but you'd then have to wait that 15+ minutes for the nodes to come back on before your wedge appeared.

Which (to my mind) is why they're not described as doing that. Instead they seem to simply reshape the bands of stressed gravity while the nodes are still on, still projecting that gravity, thus morphing from the shape of a sail to the shape of a wedge wedge -- "folding" them.

Ah! I think I understand it now. If so, thanks for your explanation. IINM, you are saying that the sails fold and become the wedge? Rather than fold into the wedge, which can be mistakenly digested as folded within the wedge. As if the wedge is akin to the trunk of a sports car where the ragtop or hardtop folds away into.
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Re: Warshawski sail
Post by tlb   » Tue Jun 11, 2024 8:49 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:Instead they seem to simply reshape the bands of stressed gravity while the nodes are still on, still projecting that gravity, thus morphing from the shape of a sail to the shape of a wedge -- "folding" them.

penny wrote:Ah! I think I understand it now. If so, thanks for your explanation. IINM, you are saying that the sails fold and become the wedge?
Yes
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