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Re: ?
Post by cthia   » Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:25 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:But I suspect RFC simply wanted slower merchant ships as that's been the historical norm - with the exact mechanics being secondary.

In the age of sail they were usually slower (special cases like the China clippers being exceptions) because they'd tend to have a fuller, fatter, hull form than warships. But also because in most conditions ringing the best speed out of a given sailing ship required lots of extra sail handlers, and military ships could justify carrying (and paying, and feeding) far larger crews than merchant ships. So even if the hull form and sail plan was identical a sailing ship with a military crew tended to be faster than one with a (smaller) merchant crew.

Then in the age of steam the engine costs (and definitely the size), and far more so the extra fuel required for high speed steaming tended to restrict them to military hulls. Only special cases like ocean liners could justify giving up so much interior volume to engines and fuel storage; and in the coal powered age all the extra stokers needed to keep the boiler fires fed and maintained. Most freighters preferred the economics of carrying more cargo (for a given size hull) at a slower pace, using far, far, less fuel and far, far, smaller engines. (Which, being less stressed also lasted longer and required less maintenance).


So to keep that same dynamic freighters needed to be slower. But because the trade-offs for better hyper generators appear to be far less significant than they are for ocean going speed it seems to make less sense for Honorverse freighters to choose longer, slower, transits.

Thanks for the amazing analysis Jonathan.

One thing though. If the GA obtain the secret of the streak drive, they'd almost have to make it available to their civilian sector across the board, because if the MA knows the secret is out, then neither Navy's merchant marine will be able to compete with the other if they make it available to their own at that point. And why not?

Presently, streak capable Dispatch Boats have no peers. And having the ability to corner the market on inside information can allow one to be bullish on the markets.

Can the streak drive be deployed on freighters?

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: ?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:11 pm

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cthia wrote:One thing though. If the GA obtain the secret of the streak drive, they'd almost have to make it available to their civilian sector across the board, because if the MA knows the secret is out, then neither Navy's merchant marine will be able to compete with the other if they make it available to their own at that point. And why not?


"At some point" is the key phrase here. I don't see the need to do it right now. It's true the GA has no reason to keep it a secret, since its opponent already knows the secret too. It's not an advantage to them to keep the tight lid on what the Alignment already knows. And what if the Sollies can also get streak drive on their new generation SD(P)s that will start rolling out in the 1930s? The danger is only if the Sollies can actually surpass both the Alignment's and the Alliance's development on the streak drive and turn it into an advantage.

But they also have no reason to expose the details.

Presently, streak capable Dispatch Boats have no peers. And having the ability to corner the market on inside information can allow one to be bullish on the markets.

Can the streak drive be deployed on freighters?


Dispatch and diplomatic boats, sure. That's what the Alignment was doing anyway with the ship they had made available for Harahap.

The merchant marine can't use this to run away from streak-enabled ships. And we're told that the merchant marine doesn't carry generators to get into Theta because those are large and require more maintenance, so why would get get a Kappa-band generator that is even bigger and incurs more danger? There may be a small percentage of ships that do make fast transits with timely cargo.

But as I said above, right now, I fail to see what a time-sensitive cargo could be, other than information. If anyone has ideas, please speak up. For information, you don't need a massive freighter, you need need a "datacenter on wheels"... er.. on impellers.
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Re: ?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:38 am

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cthia wrote:Presently, streak capable Dispatch Boats have no peers. And having the ability to corner the market on inside information can allow one to be bullish on the markets.

Can the streak drive be deployed on freighters?

I don't see any reason why a streak drive couldn't function if installed into a freighter hull.

We do know it's noticeably larger than even a (non-streak) military hyper generator; can't recall offhand how much (25 - 50%?), but if you can squeeze some version of it into a little dispatch boat you should be able to install and power it in a giant freighter. May need to give up some cargo capacity to shoehorn it in - but from what little we know about a streak drive hyper generator I expect it's quite doable.


What we don't know is how much more expensive its total cost of ownership is than the current military hyper drives. (Given that it is a self-admitted brute force approach I tend to doubt it could have lower maintenance requirements than normal military generators); so that may impact the economics of putting it in a freighter hull.

Once Kappa-capable hyper generators (aka "streak drive") are declassifed I'm sure they'll get picked up by the small subset of civilian ships that already find military hyper generators cost effective (non-naval dispatch boats, liners, etc.). Ships that already find it worth paying to roughly halve their time in hyper would pay even more to knock another 31% or so off of that (hyper now takes about 1/3rd the time of a Delta-capable commercial grade hyper generator); so the TCO on it would have to be insanely expensive (or its use far more risky that we're given to believe) for them to forgo that benefit.

But it's less clear if/when it'll get picked up by the freighters that currently don't find paying for a Theta-capable military hyper generator cost effective; those currently finding taking twice as long per trip more economical than paying for speed.
(Hench my speculations about the possibility of applying the breakthroughs of the Kappa-capable generators to an improved commercial variants that can keep the same costs as the current Delta-capable ones while letting the ships travel a band or two higher.)


Though naval subsidized freighters, like those of the Joint Navy Military Transport Command, are likely to get the improved Kappa-capable generators no later than when they become available to any civilian (and naval auxiliaries like ammo or repair ships are likely to get it even before that)
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Re: ?
Post by SharkHunter   » Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:27 am

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--snipping--
cthia wrote:Presently, streak capable Dispatch Boats have no peers. And having the ability to corner the market on inside information can allow one to be bullish on the markets.

Can the streak drive be deployed on freighters?

Coming to this thread again after a long absence, and while I don't think the risk is merited for merchies, how about a version of a ship really only used by one Navy and that mostly for training and raiding, yep, the Torch frigates.

What if "Torch Frigates v3.X" were streak drive ships? whose sole mission for a while is to scout and scoot, and if necessary do a quick single salvo slam attempt if needed to enable an escape route? Once in hyper, only a streak-enabled dispatch boat could attempt to keep up, right?

Thoughts?
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All my posts are YMMV, IMHO, and welcoming polite discussion, extension, and rebuttal. This is the HonorVerse, after all
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Re: ?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:02 pm

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SharkHunter wrote:--snipping--
cthia wrote:Presently, streak capable Dispatch Boats have no peers. And having the ability to corner the market on inside information can allow one to be bullish on the markets.

Can the streak drive be deployed on freighters?

Coming to this thread again after a long absence, and while I don't think the risk is merited for merchies, how about a version of a ship really only used by one Navy and that mostly for training and raiding, yep, the Torch frigates.

What if "Torch Frigates v3.X" were streak drive ships? whose sole mission for a while is to scout and scoot, and if necessary do a quick single salvo slam attempt if needed to enable an escape route? Once in hyper, only a streak-enabled dispatch boat could attempt to keep up, right?

Thoughts?
Seems unlikely. Didn't Torch get the somewhat downgraded versions of the RMN tech? Either way, once the grand alliance acquires Kappa-capable hyper generators I can't see them giving it to Torch before adding it to their own fleets. They might want to keep the implementation details secret from, say, the reformed League - but they've no reason to go to such lengths to hide their access to the technology as to only give it to a deniable 3rd party.

Now Torch might be given access to it before it hits the general civilian market; but I can't see any reason to give it to Torch before putting it into their own warships (including the destroyers and light cruisers that act as their own scout ships)
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Re: ?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:36 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:Now Torch might be given access to it before it hits the general civilian market; but I can't see any reason to give it to Torch before putting it into their own warships (including the destroyers and light cruisers that act as their own scout ships)


There's no reason giving it to the RTN would delay their own ships.
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Re: ?
Post by munroburton   » Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:02 am

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There was a particularly telling scene in the Shadow of Saganami, after Hexapuma transits to Lynx and Helen Zilwicki is ordered to compute a least-time hyperspace route to Spindle.

She tell us that she forgot to account for velocity loss on downward translations at the academy and that added 60 hours to the total voyage time.

She felt a small trickle of satisfaction as she realized the same thing would have happened here, if she'd simply asked the computers to plot a course along the most powerful gravity waves, because one strong section of them never rose above the Gamma bands, which would have required at least three downward translations. That would not only have cost them over sixty percent of their base velocity at each downward translation, but Hexapuma's maximum apparent velocity would have been far lower in the lower bands as well.
She punched in waypoints along the blinking green line of her rough course as the computer refined the best options for gravity waves and the necessary impeller drive transitions between them.


This clearly shows us that even ships with Iota-capable hyperdrives can't use them all the time. If those Gamma-limited grav waves are fairly common, then that might explain why most freighters don't go beyond Delta - they'd end up losing more overall time and base velocity through undesirable ping-pong translations.

Plus, wear and tear: every additional band accessed incurs two translations - one to get there and one to get back down. A freighter which never goes to the delta bands will only ever need six bands of translations(three up, three down) with none mid-course.

To go to Iota and back - that's a base figure of twenty translations, so usage is more than three times heavier to start with under optimal conditions. Being forced down to Gamma and then going back up to Iota once adds twelve translations.
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Re: ?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:05 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Jonathan_S wrote:Now Torch might be given access to it before it hits the general civilian market; but I can't see any reason to give it to Torch before putting it into their own warships (including the destroyers and light cruisers that act as their own scout ships)


There's no reason giving it to the RTN would delay their own ships.

Oops.
I seem to have misread 'only the Torch navy operates those' as 'only give the streak drive to the Torch navy; who will use it on their frigate'.
My mistake; sorry about that.

(Though I'm still not really seeing where it significantly benefits the GA to make Torch, and their frigates, a recipient of the streak drive)
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Re: ?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:34 am

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munroburton wrote:There was a particularly telling scene in the Shadow of Saganami, after Hexapuma transits to Lynx and Helen Zilwicki is ordered to compute a least-time hyperspace route to Spindle.

She tell us that she forgot to account for velocity loss on downward translations at the academy and that added 60 hours to the total voyage time.

Shadow of Saganami Ch.8 wrote:She felt a small trickle of satisfaction as she realized the same thing would have happened here, if she'd simply asked the computers to plot a course along the most powerful gravity waves, because one strong section of them never rose above the Gamma bands, which would have required at least three downward translations. That would not only have cost them over sixty percent of their base velocity at each downward translation, but Hexapuma's maximum apparent velocity would have been far lower in the lower bands as well.
She punched in waypoints along the blinking green line of her rough course as the computer refined the best options for gravity waves and the necessary impeller drive transitions between them.


This clearly shows us that even ships with Iota-capable hyperdrives can't use them all the time. If those Gamma-limited grav waves are fairly common, then that might explain why most freighters don't go beyond Delta - they'd end up losing more overall time and base velocity through undesirable ping-pong translations.

Plus, wear and tear: every additional band accessed incurs two translations - one to get there and one to get back down. A freighter which never goes to the delta bands will only ever need six bands of translations(three up, three down) with none mid-course.

To go to Iota and back - that's a base figure of twenty translations, so usage is more than three times heavier to start with under optimal conditions. Being forced down to Gamma and then going back up to Iota once adds twelve translations.
That scene bugs me just a little because I have trouble believing a starship's nav comp doesn't have an built-in option for "least time"; so why would she even have been considering the possibility of manually searching for routes starting with "stick to strongest 'waves" instead of starting with "least time"?

I could still see someone making the operator error of asking for the wrong thing. Like assuming what they asked for and what they wanted were the same; for example asking a car's GPS for least distance in an erroneous assumption that that will always provide least time.



Also, I'd be surprised if the nav computers of any starship would calculate a route without automatically factoring in acceleration times and velocity loss. But I also see why they'd have routing options to minimize time outside grav waves; and it's on the operator to ask for the optimization they actually want (and then double check the nav comp's suggestions)

Though for a school assignment it makes total sense to make students to calculate transit times, including accounting for velocity drop, "by hand" to ensure they understand the concepts and can apply it if they have to. But that's the sort of thing that it's trivial for the nav comp to automatically include when outside a school setting.


So I assume that if Helen had told the computer to stick to the strongest grav waves that it would have given her an accurate arrival time; but (apparently) wouldn't have pointed out that by picking a fuel efficient route she'd actually picked a slower one. So she'd have failed in her task of calculating a least time route; but I have to believe that the arrival time the computer spit out would have been correct had they taken that slower route and used the default assumed acceleration settings.



But like I said, it does make sense for nav comps to also include the option to minimize time outside 'grav waves even at the expense of (some) transit time. Freighters do prefer that due not only to the extra ~10x acceleration they enjoy within a grav wave[1] but they also save fuel[2], and it's somewhat safer as apparently rogue waves can't be a factor when you're already in a 'wave. So they'd probably accept some extra transit time in order to minimize the amount of time they need to spend outside of grav waves. But even there I'd have trouble imagining a freighter picking a grav wave in the Alpha bands over going "cross country" under impeller in the Delta bands; their trip would take about 35 times longer and I can't see the fuel savings justifying that.

(Maybe dropping to Gamma to ride a wave could be justified; but even that drops a merchants max effective time c from 1089 to 736.5; a pretty big drop if you're there long. And that's over and above the velocity losses you take during each transition up and down)

[1] Letting them spend less time working up to their maximum cruise velocity
[2] Can siphon power from the 'wave and throttle down or even power off the fusion reactor.
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Re: ?
Post by cthia   » Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:30 pm

cthia
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cthia wrote:One thing though. If the GA obtain the secret of the streak drive, they'd almost have to make it available to their civilian sector across the board, because if the MA knows the secret is out, then neither Navy's merchant marine will be able to compete with the other if they make it available to their own at that point. And why not?
ThinksMarkedly wrote:"At some point" is the key phrase here. I don't see the need to do it right now. It's true the GA has no reason to keep it a secret, since its opponent already knows the secret too. It's not an advantage to them to keep the tight lid on what the Alignment already knows. And what if the Sollies can also get streak drive on their new generation SD(P)s that will start rolling out in the 1930s? The danger is only if the Sollies can actually surpass both the Alignment's and the Alliance's development on the streak drive and turn it into an advantage.

But they also have no reason to expose the details.

Time-out. I was under the impression that the streak drive has no tactical benefit (in the heat of battle), but only strategic benefit. Of course, it could have assisted the Sollies to shave time off arriving in Manticoran Space to get trampled.

cthia wrote:Presently, streak capable Dispatch Boats have no peers. And having the ability to corner the market on inside information can allow one to be bullish on the markets.

Can the streak drive be deployed on freighters?
ThinksMarkedly wrote:Dispatch and diplomatic boats, sure. That's what the Alignment was doing anyway with the ship they had made available for Harahap.

The merchant marine can't use this to run away from streak-enabled ships. And we're told that the merchant marine doesn't carry generators to get into Theta because those are large and require more maintenance, so why would get get a Kappa-band generator that is even bigger and incurs more danger? There may be a small percentage of ships that do make fast transits with timely cargo.

But as I said above, right now, I fail to see what a time-sensitive cargo could be, other than information. If anyone has ideas, please speak up. For information, you don't need a massive freighter, you need need a "datacenter on wheels"... er.. on impellers.

Information is exactly what I was referring to when I said it would allow some entity to be bullish on the markets.

However, I wouldn't be too quick to jump on the bandwagon of that limitation of it's use. It goes back to the phrase I mentioned upstream "build it and they will come."

Medicines and their products can also be a time sensitive shipment. See our Covid-19 vaccines. But again, many uses may become apparent to a new option. "Build it and they will come."

Parts for crippled ships is another.

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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