Author Topic: Docking ports  (Read 5357 times)

Offline BorgMan

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Docking ports
« on: January 16, 2011, 10:03:52 AM »
So... There I am, minding my own modelling business, just making a docking port when it dawned to me that up until now, we've never seen a federation ship use an umblical of it's own. It's almost always the visiting ship or a starbase that connects to the ship in question. The only time we saw two Starfleet ships connecting was E, and even there it was only seen from afar without actually showing us how the two ships connected. Is there an explenation for this, and how do I solve it in my model?
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Offline Shik

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Re: Docking ports
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2011, 12:48:58 PM »
A ship, no. A shuttle, yes. Remember when Worf & Picard clamped onto Data's scout in Insurrection?

Offline Edymnion

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Re: Docking ports
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 06:14:22 PM »
Well, it makes sense, really.

An umbilical is a physical connection intended to supply the smaller of the two with power, air, and other essentials so it doesn't have to draw upon it's own internal resources.

In a starbase, this means the base is transferring power and supplies to the starship.  However, with ship to ship, anything that would be small enough to warrent this would be a shuttle, and in that case you would bring it on board in your shuttle bay.  Shuttlebays are small enough that you can pressurize the entire area and hook up power cables as needed.  A starbase is either far too large for that, or is just a glorified scaffold in the vacuum of space, so it needs the umbilical to get the same effect.

Between two ships of the same size, there wouldn't really be much use for one.

I would actually be surprised if large ships like a Galaxy class even *HAD* umbilicals of their own.

Offline The Unbound

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Re: Docking ports
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2011, 10:39:11 AM »
Of course, starships have also demonstrated the ability to form a connection to supply power to another craft without establishing a physical connection (see TNG:The Next Phase).

As for the ability to connect docking port-to-docking port, this, I think, has only ever really been relevant in Enterprise. Later ages always just use the transporter, or shuttles. In fact, looking at the side view of the Galaxy class, I can only see two docking ports: one on the neck and one (confusingly) below the nacelle. This leads me to suspect that the Galaxy wasn't designed for docking with other ships, and so you don't have to worry about that either.
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Offline Data007

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Re: Docking ports
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 03:04:20 AM »
From what I understand, the docking port near the nacelle is for work pods transferring personnel into the nacelle space.
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Offline Hobbes

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Re: Docking ports
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 11:45:43 AM »
Looking at a pic of the E-D at Starbase 74 it seems like there's only one umbilical connecting from the base to the ship.  Seems odd for something the size of a Galaxy-class starship.  You'd think there would be a couple conduits or something that connect to the ship to transfer power ... energy whatever.
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Offline Shik

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Re: Docking ports
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011, 02:49:56 PM »
Might be some on the spine. I seem to recall several consumables resupply ports along there.

Offline Jimi James

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Re: Docking ports
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2011, 05:00:50 PM »
I seem to recall there being some kind of connecting point on the island near the bridge, though I don't recall if it was a docking port/airlock or it was a some sort of umbilical support.  In this picture, it's the oval on each side of the larger island the supports the bridge deck.  http://www.cygnus-x1.net/links/lcars/blueprints/sexton/galaxy-class.jpg

To my knowledge, we've never seen anything connected there, but I recall seeing them labeled in one schematic or another.  I would imagine that there are others as well, we've just not seen them.  Like Hobbes said, for a ship the size of the Galaxy, it seems unlikely that the one umbilical would serve as the transfer point for everything, particularly things that might require more careful handling then just people; like fuel.
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Offline Shik

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Re: Docking ports
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2011, 08:08:19 PM »
Those were, as I recall, intended to be turbolift passthroughs. The idea would be that a starbase could extend a connector that would allow someone to ride a turbolift from the ship directly into the station's network & back.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Docking ports
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2011, 08:14:51 PM »
With over a thousand people looking to get off the ship and all the starbase staff boarding the ship to do repairs, maintenance, upgrades, etc... you'd probably want four brows, two for offloading and two for onloading.  Then you'd need refueling conduits for the matter/antimatter containment system, weapons reload...carrying photon torpedoes on the same brow...umbilical as people doesn't seem safe.
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Offline The Unbound

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Re: Docking ports
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2011, 08:09:05 AM »
Well, I would imagine the gangway is really just for moving people and easily pipable stuff (water, deuterium, maybe). The passageway, and the hatch, seem much too small to move any sort of bulk cargo through efficiently. Probably, bulky and/or hazardous material is just tractored from one of the starbase's cargo bays to one of the ship's.
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Offline Juvat

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Re: Docking ports
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2011, 05:00:01 PM »
I'll have to go dig out my TNG tech manual, but I seem to recall that those ovals on top of the saucer (which incidentally carry through to the bottom of the saucer) are intended to be zero-G pass through for cargo bays that reside on multiple decks. 
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