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DFC technology thread

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BobtheInquisitor

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DFC technology thread

PostTue Feb 07, 2017 12:15 am

Okay, so my IPad ate my last attempt, so I will be brief.

1. Foldspace Nodes, how do they work? We know that foldspace nodes have to be actively searched for, since the UCM did not know about the cradle worlds' extant nodes until they went looking for them. Nodes can be reconfigured in such a way as to be rendered undetectable, perhaps via some hyperspace frequency? There is no canonical evidence of the UCM discovering other civilizations' nodes, and indeed they believe nodes are so difficult to find that the Scourge must have had help, so node frequencies, if they exist, must not be possible to scan for, have a limited hyperspace distance range, or exist in untold myriads, with whole swathes being equally efficient for usage (since there's no crowding of the FM band equivalent). Do navicomputers need to search for a frequency and some sort of coordinate locus?

2. Foldspace drives. The UCM and Scourge seem to have pretty hard limits for how long they need to recharge a jump engine. They aren't stupid, so we can safely assume there is some property of a foldspace jump that precludes bringing a spare drive, or even pre fashioned parts of a spare drive that can be assembled in situ in less than fourteen hours. It's not like the cruisers, with an order of magnitude more volume and empty space between hull scaffolds, couldn't fit a spare.

More to come.
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J.D. Welch

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Re: DFC technology thread

PostMon Feb 20, 2017 7:20 am

UCM Foldspace nodes were manufactured by the UCM, not "discovered" or "revealed by the Shaltari".

The pre-UCM Colonies shut down their existing nodes/reconfigured them immediately when the first refugee ships from Earth and the Cradle Worlds started showing up because they didn't know if a Scourge-infected host would reveal their location/frequency and the Scourge would invade the outer Colonies, too, which they seem to have wanted to do.

My assumption on the Scourge finding Ferrum and the other Colony worlds at this point in the Reconquest (D+600) is either 1) their seed ships found them, or, B) the Shaltari slipped them the coordinates of these Colonies, or iii) a combination of the two...

As for why the UCM and Scourge don't bring "secondary" Foldspace drives in their cruiser+ hulls, it's probably due to cost (for the UCM) or some other technological equivalent constraint, but mainly, it's a fluff mechanic. ;) Maybe the presence of whatever makes a Foldspace drive function causes some kind of interference with another one in a certain radius that affects a single ship, but not separate ships close to each other. Dunno, but the PHR and Shaltari don't have this constraint, and also don't seem to need nodes to find their way around. Or at least, that's how it seems to me...
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Charistoph

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Re: DFC technology thread

PostWed Mar 01, 2017 4:34 pm

Charging something usually requires batteries or capacitors. Unless the drive itself needs a cool-down period, a second drive isn't needed, just a second set of capacitors/batteries.

I am unsure as to how the DFC system works, but that's how the Battletech Jump Drive works. Their Jump Drives are just one huge capacitor and cooling system with little for the actual motive system itself, but they figured out how to setup a quick-charge battery system which allowed for a second Jump instead of waiting a week charging for for that Jump. Charging the batteries any quicker tended to make the system unstable for "obscure reason to slow it down".
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ElectricPaladin

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Re: DFC technology thread

PostWed Mar 01, 2017 4:49 pm

I'd love to know more about Shaltari jump drives. It looks like they can basically just arbitrarily teleport their ships around. How come they can't do this in a DFC game?
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Re: DFC technology thread

PostWed Mar 01, 2017 7:12 pm

I'd guess because DFC battles usually take place close to a planet. And we alreday know that FTL in the dropzone Universe requires some min. existance from gravimetric anomalies
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Re: DFC technology thread

PostThu Mar 02, 2017 5:02 am

J.D. Welch wrote:UCM Foldspace nodes were manufactured by the UCM, not "discovered" or "revealed by the Shaltari".

The pre-UCM Colonies shut down their existing nodes/reconfigured them immediately when the first refugee ships from Earth and the Cradle Worlds started showing up because they didn't know if a Scourge-infected host would reveal their location/frequency and the Scourge would invade the outer Colonies, too, which they seem to have wanted to do.



I think his question was more along the lines of "finding" other nodes (Scourge nodes specifically, since PHR and Shaltari don't need them) to use to home in their ships.



As to the original question, there must be some level of hyperspace communication (else taking a node offline or reconfiguring it wouldn't have any effect for years). I'd guess that there's some kind of "pinging" involved, and it can be configured in such a way that it is indistinguishable from normal background noise (assuming you don't know the proper code sequence). It's likely that the Scourge have always scrambled their nodes (perhaps because the race they "learned" it from had been).

My thought is that the navigation computer searches the frequencies (if there are such in the hyperspace communication system) for a ping sequence that matches a valid code from a general direction, then homes in on it for the foldspace jump. An unscrambled one probably has a Morse code-like ping, while the scrambled version may sound completely random to anybody but a navicomputer that recognizes the sequence.
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Bistromatic

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Re: DFC technology thread

PostThu Mar 02, 2017 12:45 pm

Foldspace drives have to be messing with spacetime at a very fundamental level to enable FTL travel, so i don't think charging them is simply a matter of having enough electricity at hand. I like the idea that they have to build up a certain level of potential "foldspace energy" that is then released to execute the jump. Whatever form of energy you build up inside them comes with a certain level of noise/oscillation/turbulence when generated and if you exceed a certain level of that your drive will shake itself apart. To avoid that you limit the speed at which you charge the drive so things can settle down and you always have a relatively calm charge. If you want to charge faster you can either build a drive that can take greater stresses or you can generate a cleaner input and especially the latter would require require a very good grasp of the physics involved and the devices to control the energies involved.

In the same vein, i think it's easy to imagine that a drive would not appreciate the presence of a second, highly charged device while executing a jump. The second drive could undergo an uncontrolled discharge or remain "anchored" to the origin point for example. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to imagine what that would do to a ship.
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Re: DFC technology thread

PostSat Mar 04, 2017 9:34 pm

I have an idea why you can't have a second fold space node.

When travelling through foldspace a fold space drive is discharged. Even if it isn't the one being used it empties whatever it has that allows FTL. it could be a property of being in the material universe. Once outside of normal space time this property is lost.
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Charistoph

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Re: DFC technology thread

PostSun Mar 05, 2017 4:03 am

Bistromatic wrote:Foldspace drives have to be messing with spacetime at a very fundamental level to enable FTL travel, so i don't think charging them is simply a matter of having enough electricity at hand.


A battery or capacitor is just a physical means of storing potential energy, it is just commonly used with electricity as that is our most common use of the term today. A spring is a capacitor of kinetic energy, for example. Either way, the conversion of such energy would have to be accomplished and placed in position to be used in order to work. It has to be stored somewhere at some point.

If it takes a while to convert and setup the energy in question, then all that is needed is a battery or capacitor to store the energy for a second jump, and a second drive is too redundant and mass-intensive for usefulness.

If it does not take a while to convert and setup the energy, we may be looking at a drive "cool-down" in play. This wouldn't affect a second drive directly, but I can tell you that some genius has already tried because twice the engines means you go faster, right?

Bistromatic wrote:I like the idea that they have to build up a certain level of potential "foldspace energy" that is then released to execute the jump. Whatever form of energy you build up inside them comes with a certain level of noise/oscillation/turbulence when generated and if you exceed a certain level of that your drive will shake itself apart. To avoid that you limit the speed at which you charge the drive so things can settle down and you always have a relatively calm charge. If you want to charge faster you can either build a drive that can take greater stresses or you can generate a cleaner input and especially the latter would require require a very good grasp of the physics involved and the devices to control the energies involved.

In the same vein, i think it's easy to imagine that a drive would not appreciate the presence of a second, highly charged device while executing a jump. The second drive could undergo an uncontrolled discharge or remain "anchored" to the origin point for example. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to imagine what that would do to a ship.


Agreed. We could be looking at a dangerous harmonic system that may result of having two drives. I doubt it would drain the secondary drive's capacitor unless it was engaged as well, though. But just the presence of the second, unengaged drive and/or capacitor may cause an imbalance which would provide... less-effective results. Either you taken very far off course like only using sails on one side of a ship, they cancel each other out, or the unengaged energy is released in a more immediately energetic fashion. Such is usually the case in most sci-fi FTL drives I have seen.

In Battletech, the reason for the lack of a second drive is two-fold simple. They do carry the harmonic affect that any other Jump Core sufficiently nearby causes Bad Things to happen. They are also they are just too massive to justify as well. The commercial drives take up over 95% of the ship's mass. The Compact Cores are just slightly under 50% the ship's mass, but those are used on Warships which also are to carry things like naval guns, heavy drives, and heavy armor, that doubling the Drive Cores would be completely counter-productive (especially when 1% mass usually allows for a second jump already).

I'm sorry if I go off on Battletech a little too much, but it is one of the games I started with and they have detailed more of their universe's systems than most others, so it makes for easy comparisons.
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W0lfBane

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Re: DFC technology thread

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 12:02 pm

I think the fold space drives work on some physics phenomena that the ucm and scourge don't fully understand yet. Similar to how people didn't know the true nature of light and EM waves but still messed around with optics.
Like they know how to make a fold space drive but don't know what dark matter or dark ennergy bs gets expended with each jump so they can't recharge it. And right now it's just easier for them to make a new one rather than research how to recharge it.

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