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[VV} FTL discussion was RE: [VV] Vectorverse

From: "B Lin" <lin@r...>
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 15:25:40 -0700
Subject: [VV} FTL discussion was RE: [VV] Vectorverse

FTL Travel:I like the multiple method of FTL travel for a universe as it
adds more possibilities, rather than being limited to distinct trade
routes (wormholes) or slow travel (small space-fold jumps or hyperspace
travel) and thus you can mix and match as needed.

At the top level should be the "instantaneous" FTL such as wormholes and
artificial wormholes.  They would allow instaneous transportation
between two points, but could be limited by size (only a certain mass
may pass through), direction (it only works one way) or have a delay
between transits (gravitational disturbances disrupt the wormhole)

At the next level will be jump gates that "boost" ships faster than
their normal drive rates, so that the inital jump is longer or the
transition to hyperspace is faster, so that short or intermediate ranges
are cheaply accessible.  The advantage of jump gates would be that they
could be used for a range of directions for outgoing traffic and it
might be possible to send non-FTL ships through, but would be limited in
that they only help on the inital move outward, and don't necessarily
make it easier for inbound traffic.

The lowest level of FTL is the "plain-vanilla" hyperspace or space-fold
technology.  Depending on which you choose, ships may or may not be
vulnerable during transit.  You could PSB that ships can be intercepted
in hyperspace or that a space-fold technology causes a measureable
gravitational response at the far-end before the ship transits which can
be used to determine where a ship will appear.	Otherwise, ships in FTL
will essentially only be vulnerable when the drop to sub-light or are
in-between jumps.

Colonization: would definitely depend on the FTL technology available. 
If travel is instananeous (hours) then colonization would be similar to
modern day air travel where you have a highly mobile population that
fluxes around.Or if FTl takes weeks or months then it will be similar to
ship-borne passenger travel in the 19th century (think Australia).  If
travel takes years, then you are looking at more  of an 15th-16th
century travel model where mass transportation of people was unusual.  

Economy - Interstellar trade is completely dependent on travel cost - if
transport is instananeous and practically free, then even shipping cheap
bulk items like food protein is viable.  If FTL travel is expensive
(1000000 Cr per LY per ton) then only high value items will be
transported.  Otherwise commerce will be mostly financial with money or
information being the main commodity moved between stars. 

Expansion: The main drive will economic and/or political - for instance,
governments will want to push the frontiers with new colonies to gain
more resources and a larger tax base (think 19th century colonialism). 
Individual mega-coporations will expand for similar reasons (to gain
more control of resources vital to that company).  I don't imagine
population will be not be a driving issue for colonization.  In previous
history most colonization was a social relief valve that allowed
malcontents or social miscreants to be ejected from society (Think US
colonies or Australia).  In the future I think there will be similar
situation where some colonization is caused by social discontents trying
to find a place where they are free to enact their wishes.

Expansion is also limited by the method for claiming a planet/system. 
Can a planetary government or mega-corp own a planet?  Or are all
planets the property of the galactic society and planets are "leased" to
governments and corporations.  Are there "interstellar space limits"
that allow governments or corporations to control an area of space
around their possessions?  Or is all space free to all and anyone can
travel wherever they wish whenever they want.

Automation is solely dependent on the reliability of your automation. 
In the early 20th century many multi-engined planes had access to their
engines for in-flight repair by an engineer (Flight engineer) because
the engines were not tremendously reliable enough to make 6 hour flights
without maintenance.  Under current standards, passenger planes fly up
to 18 hours at a time without maintenance and no one worries about
engine failure.  Extrapolating to the future, a large cargo space ship
might only have a crew of 5 - Pilot, Co-pilot, Navigator, Flight
Engineer, and Purser/Cargo master.  Systems will be mostly automated
with redundancy so most minor problems are automatically fixed or a
redundant system kicks in and operates until the ship can make port.
Passengers will increase crew size, since people will always need some
type of human service to be happy and might increase the crew size by
one crew member per 100 passengers for regular passage and maybe as high
as one cr!
 ew per 10 passengers for luxury ships.

As for warships, it again comes down to redundancy, backup systems and
general maintenance.  It actually doesn't take that many crew to "run" a
ship as it does to keep it maintained to a proper level.  One similar
case is Russian MBT's vs. Western tanks.  Most Russian MBT's have an
auto-loader and reduce the crew to 3, a commander, gunner and driver
allowing a smaller turret and decreased profile.  Most western MBT's
have a crew of 4, commander, gunner, loader, and driver.  Although the
sole role of the loader during battle is to load the round requested by
the commander into the main gun, his impact is much larger in terms of
the overall efficiency of the tank as you have 25% more hands to run
maintenance on the tank when it is not in battle, so it is more likely
to "battle-ready" when the time comes.	American naval ships are run in
a similar fashion where you have extra and overlapping crew so that if
there are casualties, you have some backup of skills and hands to step !
 in and continue the fight.  Different navies will have different views
as to the value and efficiency of crew and that will help determine the
overall crew size.  For instance a high-tech, high-life value military
might only have a crew of 5 in a destroyer with fully automated systems,
while a similar mass destroyer from a lower-life value or lower-tech
military would use 30 crew.

Some thoughts,


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gzg-l@lists.CSUA.Berkeley.EDU
[mailto:owner-gzg-l@lists.CSUA.Berkeley.EDU]On Behalf Of Robertson,
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 11:07 PM
To: ''
Subject: RE: [VV] Vectorverse was Re: NAC - American style

Wormhole mechanics certainly create defensible positions and "choke
where trade and military would concentrate.

I accidentally deleted some of the messages that started this thread,
the following decisions need to be made:

FTL Travel: ?? (Wormhole, Point-to-Point FTL, Lightspeed drive, Wave
Engine, etc)

N-Space Travel: Vector

Colonisation method: ?? (Cryosleep, generation ships, prison transport,
wealthy businessmen, greedy corporations)

Galactic Economy: ?? (by this I mean what is the most valuable resource?
Water?	Oxygen? Unobtainium?)

What is the imperative for expansion: ?? (population pressure, lack of
resources, interspecies war)

What level of automation will starships have: ?? (FB standard 1 man per
mass, 5,000 men to man a destroyer, etc).

'Neath Southern Skies

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Laserlight []
> Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2005 4:25 PM

> One thing we do need, though, is FTL mechanism.  I'd say jump points,
> sort of like Alderson points except covering a larger volume.  It's
> most efficient to arrive at the center but you can modify your arrival
> position off to one side by quite a bit -- enough that a fixed station
> can't guard the entire arrival aread.

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