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Thread: Star Trek, Star Wars and cloaking devices

  1. #31
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    The cloaked asteroids raises a different question. Wouldn't there be a pretty serious threat just from space debris - dropped nuts and bolts and scraps of whatever. There are thousands of pieces of debris orbiting the Earth now and we obviously don't have the kind of activity (conspiracy theories aside) that Coruscant is represented as having. I suppose you'd have to have ships like baleen whales going around filtering out all the debris above the air space space of a planet.

  2. #32
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    When you've got shields and tractor beams, little things like nuts and bolts cease to be a problem.

    In the Thrawn trilogy, as I recall, the Grand Admiral managed to discover the first true cloaking device for that universe. Before that there were only partial screens and scanner jammers of various types. But with this you could make a ship totally invisible. Of course it had a flaw in that the occupants would also be blind, but a tactical genius can still make effective use of them.

    In the siege of Coruscant, Thrawn cloaked about 20 small asteroids and set them in orbit just above the planet's shields. To further their effectiveness, he also simulated the firing of several hundred more. So the republic forces had no idea just how many were actually out there. The threat wasn't just to ships though. If one of the rocks got inside the shields it's orbit could have decayed and smashed into the planet below. So it was maddeningly effective as a restraining device.

    The other time he used the cloak was to hide a bunch of fighters inside a larger vessel in order to infiltrate the defenses of the enemy shipyards. The cloak hid the ship from sensor sweeps, while the larger vessel did the moving around without hindrance. They didn't quite get away with it, but I forget what it was exactly that gave them away. I think it was the fact that the ship maneuvered as if it were heavily loaded even though the sensors showed it to be empty.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Hall
    When you've got shields and tractor beams, little things like nuts and bolts cease to be a problem.
    Au contraire! If the nuts and/or bolts in your tractor beam assembly work themselves loose, the whole kit and kaboodle could tear itself free of your hull.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Hall
    In the Thrawn trilogy, as I recall, the Grand Admiral managed to discover the first true cloaking device for that universe. Before that there were only partial screens and scanner jammers of various types.
    They must've been pretty impressive partial screens and jammers, then! (Considering how, when the Millennium Falcon completely disappeared off the Star Destroyer's scanners in The Empire Strikes ack, the captain replied, "Impossible! No ship that small has a cloaking device!")

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracer
    They must've been pretty impressive partial screens and jammers, then! (Considering how, when the Millennium Falcon completely disappeared off the Star Destroyer's scanners in The Empire Strikes ack, the captain replied, "Impossible! No ship that small has a cloaking device!")
    Somehow I can't put much value on the word of someone too thick to look out the other side of the bridge.

  5. #35
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    Au contraire! If the nuts and/or bolts in your tractor beam assembly work themselves loose, the whole kit and kaboodle could tear itself free of your hull.
    David was probably referring to the nuts and bolts that would be floating in space, posing a risk to passing spacecraft.

    They must've been pretty impressive partial screens and jammers, then! (Considering how, when the Millennium Falcon completely disappeared off the Star Destroyer's scanners in The Empire Strikes ack, the captain replied, "Impossible! No ship that small has a cloaking device!")
    Not necessarily. Solo was simply exploiting a blind spot in the Star Destroyer's sensors (the large globes on the bridge tower likely serve as primary sensors.)


    Adam

  6. #36
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    wingnut ninja wrote: Somehow I can't put much value on the word of someone too thick to look out the other side of the bridge.
    What about the other star destroyers? Even if they were too far away when Solo pulled that trick, surely they were not all on coffee break as the fleet was assembled before jumping into hyperspace. Not one of the 30,000+ people on each of the other star destroyers took a moment to look out a porthole.

  7. #37
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    A lurker no more!

    On topic for this thread, but not really astronomy: a client with interesting credentials asserted to me that the car in the recent Bond film that had a cloaking device was based on technology under development by the US Army!
    A quick google on "adaptive camouflage" brought up this interestingly titled site:

    http://www.nasatech.com/Briefs/Aug00/NPO20706.html

    I realise that the web is no place for definitive resources, but with organic LED technology coming on apace and Moore's law hard at work I don't think it is very long before we can expect something real in this domain.

    Just my tuppenceworth.

  8. #38
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    With all of that neutronium armor on the Star Destroyers there probably are no portholes.

    Personally, I believe that the technology (overall) in Star Trek is more thought out and explainable than Star Wars. Though I think that the FTL drive in Star Wars is perhaps more believable.

    My thoughts on cloaking: The cloaking in Star Trek seems to rely on something like a forcefield but different.. It bends the spectrum around the object. Since in Star Trek they have mastered anti-gravity perhaps it works on the principle of using gravity/magnetics to bend light like massive objects do (farfetched, I know, but the only thing I can think of).
    In Star Wars the only thing I can think of is that their cloaking device somehow kicks them partially into hyperspace. IIRC you can not see anything while in hyperspace.

    As for no fighters in Star Trek.. I would love to see some realistic, not just pretty, ones. The thing is that (we debated about this for a long time on the TrekBBS) in Star Trek there is no need for fighters since the ships are so maneuverable that they do not need fighters for escort. Also, with the accuracy of beam weapons in ST fighters would have no chance (the SW weapons are rediculously inaccurate).

    The adaptive camouflage looks to be our best bet right now at "cloaking" something. I have a cloaking device right now in my room, it is called a blanket.

    I would like to point out that the SR-71 is not modern technology, it is old.


    And perhaps the best point I can make out of this entire post? Everyone is forgetting that both the spacecraft in ST and SW use kinetic thrust drives, meaning they shove something out the back to accelerate. In ST they use *whips out his ST:TNG Tech Manual* deuterium-slush heated by nuclear reactors for propulsion. The engines in SW also use some form of propulsion like this, ion is one of them, I think. The thing about all of these engines is that they all leave behind a trail of matter, most of the time something that has been heated to extreme temperatures. I assume that this could be tracked fairly easily.

    The biggest thing about almost all SF that bothers me is that they never paint the ships black (or even make them reflective, like a new car, distorted/reflected star are better than just a black object). They only do it for the plot line to show that somethig is evil.

    ^The longest post by Colt in a long time. -Colt

  9. #39
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    Colt: In The Return By william Shatner he descirbes a [/i]Defiant[/i] class ship. The ship was specifically designed to fight the borg with massive shield systems and a updated cloaking device. Plus they also painted the ship black with no name designation (later it was spray painted on, but that is part of the story).

    If i remeber right (its been a few years since i read the book) the reasoin why no ships are black is because of the same treaty that banned the federation from using cloaking technology.

    But seriously, in trek it does not matter. Their main vewscreen is from cameras, not actual viewport. So they can have the computer adjust for the colour change.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    With all of that neutronium armor on the Star Destroyers
    *cough* *sputter* Neutronium armor?! As in, the stuff that neutron stars are made of?

    Good god, what does one of those Star Destroyers weigh?!!

  11. #41
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    Weight in space

    Nothing (or nearly nothing, depending on what's nearby.)

    However, neutronium armor or not, their mass would be substantial.

    (grins, ducks, and runs!)

  12. #42
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    Well, the Republic had to paint their headquarters building lavender, as it was the only colour thay could find that doesn't insult some race or other. therefore, its plausible that black may insult someone. also, many smugglers, small military movements, etc do paint their ships black.

    could one of thers cloaking devices be used to deflect, nay, re-direct a blaster bolt around the ship?

    a cloaked ship could have a small probe, or several, (5-30 cm is a plausible size) to guide them through asteroid fields, etc.

    Also, were a conflict to erups between a coalition of all the star trek forces, and the New Republic, i beleive that Rouge Squadron alone could deal with it. the ships in star trek arent very well equiped for battle. i would like to see a person try to sell one of those to the New Republic. wouldn't go very well.

  13. #43
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    What about the Defiant 8) ? (Always put the cool smiley after the word Defiant 8) )

  14. #44
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    Glug

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    in Star Trek there is no need for fighters since the ships are so maneuverable that they do not need fighters for escort. Also, with the accuracy of beam weapons in ST fighters would have no chance (the SW weapons are rediculously inaccurate).
    Exsqueeze me, by manoeuverable do you mean those gentle turns laughingly known as "evasive manoeuvers" and dignified with dramatic designations when a simple "Break Right" or "Break Left" would do? And the accurate gunnery is the one where they can't hit a barn standing inside it? Not to mention ranges restricted to a few kilometers at most?

    Star Trek naval warfare tactics are basically those used by the galleys at the Battle of Lepanto. Form a wall and slam in head on. No hint of any brain-power being used. The reason why Star Trek doesn't use fighters is because they require pilots with (a) oversized egos (banned by Startrek PC) and (b) pilots who can actually think for themselves without descending to technobabble.

    Star Wars is at least a bit more modern; their concept of naval tactics is 1930s - mostly battleships with support from the fighters. Their combat ranges are several orders of magnitude greater than those used in ST. While their hit rate is low, this is apparently due to extensive use of ECM - a technology Star Fleet seems unaware of.

    Lets not get into ground combat. The Star Trek idea of ground fighting is to have people running around wearing pyjamas and firing hand guns. No concept of fire discipline, fire support, combined arms, indirect fire body armor, C4I or anything a modern army takes for granted. A modern infantry unit would SLAUGHTER them. May heaven help a Star Trek landing force that ran into the 3ID or the Marines - the Trekkies would be wiped out by combined arms tactics before they knew what hit them.

    (PS before anybody says transporters; the jamming kit we have in service now can certainly negate them. Transporters are repeatedly shown to be disrupted or diverted by relatively insignificant electromagnetic phenomena. What a modern barrage or deception jammer pouring power into the beam would do defies imagination)

  15. #45
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    With all of that neutronium armor on the Star Destroyers there probably are no portholes.
    Yes, there are. As for the neutronium armor, as I've seen, it's likely the neutronium element is fairly tiny, as the armor seems to be simply impregnated with it. As for the density of the neutronium itself, I'm not certain.

    Personally, I believe that the technology (overall) in Star Trek is more thought out and explainable than Star Wars.
    Why is that?

    As for no fighters in Star Trek.. I would love to see some realistic, not just pretty, ones. The thing is that (we debated about this for a long time on the TrekBBS) in Star Trek there is no need for fighters since the ships are so maneuverable that they do not need fighters for escort.
    If they were to encounter something along the lines of the Empire, they would likely find that their ships are not maneuverable enough. Sure, Federation starships and other related organizations may have fairly agile capital ships, but they're nowhere near as maneuverable as the smaller fighters seen in Star Wars, including the Defiant.

    Also, with the accuracy of beam weapons in ST fighters would have no chance (the SW weapons are rediculously inaccurate).
    How are they inaccurate? They can't be as bad as targeting in Trek.

    I would like to point out that the SR-71 is not modern technology, it is old.
    From http://www.fas.org/irp/program/collect/sr-71.htm

    "Although most news reports characterize the SR-71 aircraft as `radar evading', in point of fact, however, the SR-71 was one of the largest radar targets ever detected on the FAA's long-range radars. The FAA was able to track it at ranges of several hundred miles. The explanation offered was that the radars were detecting the exhaust plume."

    Well, the Republic had to paint their headquarters building lavender, as it was the only colour thay could find that doesn't insult some race or other. therefore, its plausible that black may insult someone. also, many smugglers, small military movements, etc do paint their ships black.
    There *was* a fleet of warships built prior to the Clone Wars that were painted at least a dark color, possibly black. This fleet was named the "Dark Force," and was made up of around 200 Dreadnaughts. As I recall in "Dark Force Rising," when they came up to the ships, the only things visible were the running lights on the ships. I suppose that, as has been mentioned before, the reason for lighter paint schemes is to avoid collisions in certain circumstances.

    What about the Defiant ?
    The Defiant would probably last about a minute in battle against Rogue Squadron.

    Whew.


    Adam

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    Can I get an 'AMEN'

    Brothers and Sisters, we must put this petty rivalry behind us. Yea verily, we must unite in the agreement that Babylon 5 kicks both Star Wars' and Star Trek's backside into a new Age of Mankind.

    (puts on flame retardant underwear 8) )

    (edited 'cause I can't spell)

  17. #47
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    Matherly wrote: Brothers and Sisters, we must put this petty rivalry behind us. Yea verily, we must unite in the agreement that Babylon 5 kicks both Star Wars' and Star Trek's backside into a new Age of Mankind.
    Kicks and then grinds them into the dirt!

  18. #48
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    Re: Can I get an 'AMEN'

    Quote Originally Posted by Matherly
    Brothers and Sisters, we must put this petty rivalry behind us. Yea verily, we must unite in the agreement that Babylon 5 kicks both Star Wars' and Star Trek's backside into a new Age of Mankind.
    For a real massacre try pitting the Kilrathi from the Wing Commander Universe against the "Federation". I can just imagine the conversation over the celebratory dinner.

    Admiral Larga dai Ragitagha "Just was that Prime Directive the apes set so much store by?"

    Captain Ragark dai Caxki(clearing a mouthful of food)"Don't know. Don't Care. Didn't do them much good. Admiral, may I serve you another slice of Roast Picard?"

  19. #49
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    Alright Stuart, let's put SG-1 and SG-3, with Teal'c and his staff weapon against the total security force of the Enterprise-D. I believe this kind of thing was what I was talking about here.

    Firefox, the Defiant 8) was designed to fight Borg cubes, not those tiny fighter things. As a result, it probably wouldn't fair too well. But it's still supremely gorgeous. In 'Sacrifice of Angels' [DS9] we saw Starfleet using fighters. Apparently those Maquis things are knocked off Starfleet fighters.

  20. #50
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    Star Tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by Glom
    Alright Stuart, let's put SG-1 and SG-3, with Teal'c and his staff weapon against the total security force of the Enterprise-D.
    Can't really comment on Stargate; I saw the original film but never the TV series. I've never watched Babylon 5 either.

    In 'Sacrifice of Angels' [DS9] we saw Starfleet using fighters. Apparently those Maquis things are knocked off Starfleet fighters.
    The problem is that Starfleet doesn't use fighters (term used loosely) even if it has them. Every fleet engagement we've seen has the two enemies lining up into a wall and exchanging shots followed by boarding and other pre-Armada artefacts. Tactical discussions are restricted to piercing the wall or blowing a hole in the wall. Its as if the scriptwriters were channelling the Duke of Medina Sidonia (who wasn't a bad commander by the way) and forgotten about 400 years of naval history since then. It would be fun to put the command staff of a modern carrier battlegroup onto the bridge of any of the ST universe fleets and watch them take over the universe.

    (PS There was a novel called "The High Crusade" that was based more or less on that. A group of English bowmen from the Agincourt era end up taking over the known universe because they knew how to fight and their opponents didn't. )

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    Well, p'raps the trekkies dont use fighters cos the "form a wall and charge head on" tactic wouldnt work too well with fighters.

  22. #52
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    Re: Star Tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart
    Can't really comment on Stargate; I saw the original film but never the TV series.
    Then you have never lived, Stuart. :P Stargate SG-1 is invariably much better written and much better acted than either Star Trek or Star Wars. Admittedly, the film wasn't that good, but the series has the full professionality of USAF. In 'Rules of Engagement', O'Neill, with his team in a combat situation, even tried to communicate to another team, "This is Sierra-Golf-One." You gotta love that. They use proper guns and wear proper clothes for a combat situation. In 'The Serpent's Lair', while onboard Klorel's mothership, Daniel Jackson, who's still a civilian, unleashes his guns (Colt can tell you what they are) on two approaching Jaffar by just standing out in the open. In either Star Trek or Star Wars, the result would be that the enemy would be killed and the good guy would strut off. However, here, Daniel gets shot with a staff weapon and the rest of SG-1 and Bra'tac are forced to leave him dying as they ring 8) to Apophis's ship (the rings 8) are singularly gorgeous, as much as the Defiant 8) but the ones in the movie weren't as good as those in the series). I won't tell you what happens to him then, I'll leave you to find that out for yourself.

  23. #53
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    Re: Star Tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by Glom
    Stargate SG-1 is invariably much better written and much better acted than either Star Trek or Star Wars. Admittedly, the film wasn't that good, but the series has the full professionality of USAF.
    Thank's for the advice; I think the series is being re-run on one of the cable networks; I'll make a point of catching it.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Hall
    . . .
    The other time he used the cloak was to hide a bunch of fighters inside a larger vessel in order to infiltrate the defenses of the enemy shipyards. The cloak hid the ship from sensor sweeps, while the larger vessel did the moving around without hindrance. They didn't quite get away with it, but I forget what it was exactly that gave them away. I think it was the fact that the ship maneuvered as if it were heavily loaded even though the sensors showed it to be empty.
    There was one other time that the cloak was used. Thrawn sent a cloaked ship to a planet which had a shield, but only activated it when needed. The cloaked ship was just inside where the shield would have been. Then he came to the planet, just outside the shield and demanded the planet's surrender. They activated the shield. Then Thrawn acted like his ship was about too fire, but instead of his ship firing, it was the cloaked ship. This scared the inhabitants so much, because to them it looked like the shield was useless, that they just surrendered.

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    ST vs SW

    Interesting debate. Found this cool site a while back that goes into great depth and plenty of scientific method analysis too.

    http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/index.html

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zathras
    Then Thrawn acted like his ship was about too fire, but instead of his ship firing, it was the cloaked ship. This scared the inhabitants so much, because to them it looked like the shield was useless, that they just surrendered.
    Actually, Thrawn really did fire. The shield stopped it, as expected. But the cloaked ship, hiding directly underneath the impact site, fired downward along the matching trajectory, timed to match the original shot.

    The illusion was that the shield was ineffective against the Chimera.

    The planet surrendered.

    IIRC, it was later (much later) discovered that there was a barely (machine) perceptable delay between the blasts.

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    While we are on the subject:

    A texas legislator is thinking of renaming Intersate 10(I-10, a big higway in the U.S. that streches a giood portion of it) to the Gene Roddenberry Star Trek Memorial Highway.

    http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/art-m...04/22/09.00.tv

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    Re: Can I get an 'AMEN'

    Quote Originally Posted by Matherly
    Brothers and Sisters, we must put this petty rivalry behind us. Yea verily, we must unite in the agreement that Babylon 5 kicks both Star Wars' and Star Trek's backside into a new Age of Mankind.

    (puts on flame retardant underwear 8) )

    (edited 'cause I can't spell)
    Now there is a position I can get behind. Who doesn't like a space series with elements of Shakespeare, the Bible, and Arthurian legend (just for starters)?

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    Re: Can I get an 'AMEN'

    [quote="Rich"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Matherly
    Brothers and Sisters, we must put this petty rivalry behind us. Yea verily, we must unite in the agreement that Babylon 5 kicks both Star Wars' and Star Trek's backside into a new Age of Mankind.

    (puts on flame retardant underwear 8) )

    (edited 'cause I can't spell)
    No flame from me - I totally concur (Pity about Crusade, though - it didn't work for me, but it looked good in places) But, actually I can excuse Star Wars, because it never makes any great pompous claims about its science - it's just fantasy with light sabres instead of broadswords.

    ST and its fanatical adherents, on the other hand, seem to think they are purveying some sort of plausible future science when, in fact, they're just making up gobbledegook on the spot (when in trouble, make up a new particle...). And, if their physics is frequently bad, their life science is appalling - they're always confusing proteins with nucleic acids and the like.

    Oh, and I would like to put in an honourable mention for Lexx. B5 is great Science Fiction, but Lexx is a supreme example of Science Fantasy. The science, or lack of it, doesn't matter much in this genre, so there's not much point picking holes - you just enjoy the journey.

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    Re: Can I get an 'AMEN'

    Quote Originally Posted by Matherly
    Brothers and Sisters, we must put this petty rivalry behind us. Yea verily, we must unite in the agreement that Babylon 5 kicks both Star Wars' and Star Trek's backside into a new Age of Mankind.

    (puts on flame retardant underwear 8) )

    (edited 'cause I can't spell)
    Stargate has rings 8) and mythology and Teryl Rothery.

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