[DISCUSSION] Building a Better Explorer

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Re: [DISCUSSION] Building a Better Explorer

Postby Mike » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:07 pm

Ohhhhhhhh, that makes a lot of sense while also looking terrible. I'm a fan.
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Re: [DISCUSSION] Building a Better Explorer

Postby Alex » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:21 am

It is a functionally ugly ship. But I think I agree that there should be a standard Ronin class load out, but perhaps with the options of different modules available to the COs if they want them. Forcing them to stick with one option on a module ship is probably not a good idea.
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Re: [DISCUSSION] Building a Better Explorer

Postby Stern » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:12 pm

Hey now, I used to CO an Insignia, lol. It actually grows on you. I disregarded the whole module aspect, because it didn't make a lot of sense or really work very well, but I actually liked the pizza-ship haha.

That said, I love the Ronin class.
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Re: [DISCUSSION] Building a Better Explorer

Postby Mike » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:21 pm

Did this get done in the end? I know that there's now a Ronin class in the fleet so I wasn't sure.
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Re: [DISCUSSION] Building a Better Explorer

Postby Fallon » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:22 am

I know I'm quite late at looking at this thread, but ship specs are not my normal forte. If you're looking for a ship to use as an explorer, I'd put the Insignia class forward as a candidate. Like the Ronin, it is highly versatile and modular in concept. Not many people have used the Insignia it seems anymore, but I've used it and done research on it in the past. I've taken the liberty to include the various module types the Insignia has available for use. With the right loadout, it's another ship that can do most any job you throw at it.

TYPE I Module
This module is by far the most scientifically important for the Insignia-Class Starship, for they possess powerful sensor nets and complimentary arrays that compliment the ship's enhanced sensor systems several times. Due to the same reason there is limited area for much anything else.
4-10 - Sensor Net Arrays & Additional Sensor Systems, 1 Fusion Reactor, Sensor Control & Maintenance Labs.
8 - Additional Type XII Phaser Array.
9 - Additional Crew Quarters.
10 - Additional Crew Quarters.

TYPE II Module
The type II module is essentially a cargo bay and crew quarters expansion that allows the ship to increase its load either for missions of mercy, simple cargo ferrying, or prolonged missions.
4-5, 9-10 - Additional Crew Quarters.
6-10 - 1 large externally accessible Cargo Bay with one cargo bay transporter.

TYPE III Module
Essentially a compliment to the Type 1 Module, the type 3 carries extended sensor nets, transporter emitters, escape pods, specialized science labs and crew quarters.
4-5, 9-10 - Escape Pods.
5 - Additional Type XII Phaser Array.
6, 8 - Additional Crew Quarters, Specialized Science Labs.
7 - Enhanced Transporter Emitters, Sensor Net Arrays, Specialized Science Labs.
9 - Specialized Science Labs.

TYPE IV Module
Similar to the type 2, this module's sole difference is that it brings additional escape pods for the ship.
4-5 - Escape Pods
5, 9-10 - Additional Crew Quarters.
6-10 - 1 large externally accessible Cargo Bay with one cargo bay transporter.

TYPE V Module
The type 5 was constructed for evacuation and colonisations purposes. Each module can carry a total of one thousand humanoid life forms. Albeit in tight confines, they accommodate all one thousand people soundly, allowing them the basic necessities of bunks, replicators, and rest rooms.

TYPE VI Module
Resulting studies and development projects bred from encounters with the Borg, Dominion, and Remans have brought cause for Starfleet to bolster the Insignia-Class Starships with an impressive arsenal capable of holding off ships of similar power to the Reman Scimitar encountered by the Enterprise-E or worse.
Each module adds an additional dual photon or quantum torpedo launcher, carrying a compliment of 4000 torpedoes each that is protected by several layers of ablative armor and hull shielding as well as heavy duty emergency force-field emitters. Additionally, each module carries an independent power source so as to not tax the ship's systems. These offensive modules are stored solely at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards and are intended solely for war time.

TYPE VII Module
For medical emergencies and research, the Insignia-Class can be equipped with medical modules that possess an array of advanced sickbay modules with their corresponding labs and isolation labs on each of its 7 decks. They can be sealed off from the rest of the ship in an emergency, and provide her with the ability to play the role of a medical ship.

TYPE VIII Module
As a final addition to the Insignia-Class's capabilities as a multi-purpose modular craft, the type 8 adds an 8 deck docking bay. This enables the ship to ferry smaller ships to their destination, fighters to a battle field, amongst other possibilities not necessarily contemplated in the original modules or designs for the Insignia.
4 - Shuttlebay Observation Deck
5-9 - Shuttlebay
10 - Shuttlebay Storage & Maintenance
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Re: [DISCUSSION] Building a Better Explorer

Postby Seoulless » Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:48 am

I hope this topic is open to everyone because I'd like to throw my 2 cents.

The term explorer is a hugely generic term. If you really want to get down to ship design I think you need to decide what the primary purpose of the explorer is going to be. For example, the Intrepid was designed to be a short to medium range explorer. It was one reason why Voyager was always looking for resources, because the design itself didn't have enough space to accommodate carrying enough supplies for long range missions. While the Luna-class was a long-range explorer.

The Akira and Steamrunner are both primarily warships, at least based on the only information that's out there. While they can perform exploration missions they weren't designed for it and are probably limited in many ways.

Ships are typically refitted to keep them current, not to completely change their purpose. In addition switching a ship from being a cruiser to becoming a dedicated explorer would probably have one of two effects. It is only a mediocre explorer at best or suffers from so many glitches and malfunctions from the refit that it becomes something like the Millennium Falcon, a nightmare for engineers. Even in the modern day navy they typically don't refit a ship to change its mission parameters, instead they redesign it from the ground up to ensure that all of the components are going to function and work together properly. Power management, facility placement, accommodations for extended missions, defensive and offensive capabilities all have to be tested to make sure that there are no major problems with the design.

In addition explorer could mean that it is simply a data collecting vessel as opposed to a scientific vessel which would be able to perform extended research and study of various phenomena. So what range of research/study to you want to vessel to be able to accomplish? I think most cannon Starfleet vessels have stellar cartography labs because of the nature of space travel, but what other facilities might it have? The Galaxy was an exploratory cruiser and had facilities to perform all kinds of research/study, but the cost of that was size. The more objectives it had to accomplish the bigger the ship became.

The technical manual for the Galaxy class also mentions that the saucer section was modular as well. Rooms could be reconfigured, removed and dropped in very simply. So that technology isn't new. However, having to remove the hull plating to do so means that reconfiguring the Galaxy was not a simple task and probably involved remaining at a shipyard facility for a few days. The Nebula's mission pod is a much more simple way of making a ship modular. All they have to do is detach the pod and attach a different one. The downside so far is that each ship's mission pod tends to be designed specifically for that ship and not for use with any other. Otherwise why haven't we seen an Akira with a Nebula pod?

Personally, I've always wanted a Starfleet Scientific explorer that carried runabouts. When it finds something to study it parks itself, launches the runabouts to perform scans, drop off away teams, collect samples, etc. Then they return to the ship and the scientists actually begin to study it then and there. That way when it returns to Federation space it has already done a lionshare of the initial studies/research.

Just my two cents. :D I'm happy to be here.
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Re: [DISCUSSION] Building a Better Explorer

Postby Seoulless » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:31 pm

I have a nice size repository of free meshes that I've collected over the years. Some of them I've used and some I just downloaded in case I needed them. Just in case here is a low-rez image of a mesh for a scientific vessel. I'm sure I could find some folks to help increase the detailing on this if it was needed.
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Re: [DISCUSSION] Building a Better Explorer

Postby Williams » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:48 am

Interesting - the shape of it looks very reminiscent of the Andorian Guard vessels from Enterprise
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Re: [DISCUSSION] Building a Better Explorer

Postby Alex » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:25 pm

I want to address a couple of things from Seoulless. First of all, absolutely anyone can comment here. This is an open discussion for all members of the Fleet, which is something that I think makes PF great. Also, you are quite right about explorer being a terribly generic term. We did that to reduce the number of categories since several categories only had one ship. This lets us group them a little better. But within those groups, those ships may perform different roles. That's part of what this discussion is about, to define what it is we would like to see in a future explorer, be it a data collection ship or something capable of extended study.

I love the idea of a science vessel with a larger hanger. We had been talking about modularity, but that is a great way to study several things at once, or one thing from several different angles. It would certainly need to be a larger ship, and probably have pretty extensive shuttle repair facilities in addition to the large number of labs. I like that mesh too, though I agree it is a bit low res. It's a bit of departure from the sleek lines of some of the more "modern" starships, but you can still see the basic aspects that put it in a design lineage. It might be neat to see it from some different angles.
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Re: [DISCUSSION] Building a Better Explorer

Postby Seoulless » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:01 am

I believe I have this as a Lightwave file. I'll be able to try to do some renders of it once I get my desktop computer reinstalled. Do we want to have some PF unique ships in the fleet?
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