Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Tractor Beam Array (Star Morphs A to Z Challenge)

Here you go.
Tractor beams are another one of those SF mainstays that are hard to inflict realism upon.  I've given it a try, but mainly came up with some techno-babble that may or may not make a lick of sense.  Oh, well. 

Tractor Beams are used for a variety of purposes.  They can tow large objects, be used to trap smaller starships in gun range so you can pound on them, and my favorite new use:  Slowing down star fighters.  The tractor beams can project field of gravitic disturbance around their starship that slow fighters down.  In addition, The waves of mass displacement change the inertial characteristics of spacecraft, causing drag -  meaning that fighters in proximity to capital ships with tractor beams operate more like planes in atmosphere that spacecraft.

...hey, how would you explain ships that should be moving at half the speed of light in a vacuum banking off of nothing at only half the speed of sound?

1. Beam targeting and control:  Thanks to the massive number-crunching done at the Sensor Substation, the main function of targeting and control is to determine how many emitters should be focused on a single target.  This is tricky - the beams can only run at max power for so long, and an enemy spacecraft's velocity and tonnage must be considered.

2. View Port:  There are viewports overlooking the turrets in the array.  They can be polorized and shuttered if necessary.

3. Secondary Turret:  These are faster but have a more narrow and weaker field of effect.  They are useful for stopping a flight of missiles and are often given over for point-defense.  They can even be fire-linked with the QuiD Cannons for devastating effect. 

4. Primary Tractor Beam:  This massive, turreted emitter is large enough - and powerful enough - to yank a small frigate off course or an entire wing of star fighters.  In concert with the pair of secondary turrets, even cruisers cannot pass with impunity.

5. Lift:  You didn't think I'd forget, did you?

Tomorrow, I will actually have something new to say about the lifts, as the next map will show little seen areas of a spacecraft. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I bet Isaac Asimov would LOVE this blog! I don't really get the technical stuff, but if I did, this would be amazing! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @


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