Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Food for Thought #25

Ambrose Chronicles: Midshipmen - Designing the UES Swift Fox - Part 2

Well I said I'd spend some time talking about hull design and power systems. So here we go.

Hull Design:

The UES Swift Fox uses a carbon-carbon composite hull.  Essentially it's an advanced form of carbon-fiber composite, treated to be heat and radiation resistant.  I'm not the best at engineering math, but I've given the hull material a couple estimated properties.

Density of 3.52g/cm3
Melting Point of 3,500 degrees Celsius
Stuctural Strength of 1,350 MPa (megapascals)

The main hull is protected by what is known as a 'Whipple Shield' composed of layers of spaced armor.  This type of protection is already in us on modern spacecraft.

Spaced armor is a relatively old concept, but it's a good one so I decided to incorporate it.  I've also decided that since I intend to make the ship atmospherically capable, the ship would need a form of heat shielding.

Overall the shape is going to be kind of similar to that of the Dominion Dreadnaught from Star Trek Deep Space, but much smaller.

The underside of the ship will be rather rough and utilitarian.  Radiator panels are arrayed along the underside of the ship's 'wings' so that they can be protected from fire by rolling the ship so it's top surfaces face the enemy.  In addition the top surfaces are the only ones with heat shielding, necessitating that the ship reenter upside down.

Power Systems:

Both the Swift Fox's power systems and propulsion are antimatter systems, specifically anti-hydrogen reaction systems.  The engines use small amounts of anti-hydrogen atoms reacting with deuterium or water to produce a magnetically directed beam of superheated plasma for thrust.  In atmosphere this beam is almost instantly diffused, but in space it's capable of being used as a weapon at extremely short ranges.

Power is independently generated from the engines, as power is considered a separate system then thrust.  The ship's main power comes from a 2.75µg/s White-Rinmukan AM-M Reactor.  This produces around 400 Megawatts of power for various uses, including but not limited to Life Support, Sensors, Weapons, Communications, Shields, and so forth.

Most of this power is used by weapon systems and the containment of plasma during engine operation.

In addition to the reactor the ship has a battery backup system, capable of keeping the ship's life support running for twenty-four hours.

Antimatter is a tricky thing to store,  Even very small amounts of it escaping containment can be devastating.  As a result most nations in this universe store antimatter in small, heavily built containers.  This canisters are designed to be self-contained and powered storage vessels, each of which holds 10 grams of antimatter.  Over twenty of these canisters are aboard the UES Swift Fox, enough to fuel the ship for a full cruise.

Next time I'll talk about the Bridge, Sensors, and Other Systems...

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