Friday, May 11, 2012

More Peeks at the Allie B.

Not all Bridges have a Viewscreen...
       The images of the Alan B. Shepard  Escort's interior sections I've displayed before now were in the outboard spar, where the spin of the craft imparts a bit of gravity.  This section is of the Flight Control Room, which is in the central core.  This compartment sits in the center of the spacecraft, with twenty meters of water, missiles, and fusion reactors between the command deck and vacuum.

       The FCR iteself is an experimental layout.  With nearly unlimited computer power, near miraculous networking, and a lack of gravity, there is really no reason for the spacecraft's command center to follow the traditional configuration.  This new layout divides the FCR into for alcoves, each of which having enough command stations to control the entire ship under normal operation.  In addition, the number four station can rotate inward and face another, curved smartscreen separating the alcoves from the central command seat.  These four "inner" consoles, along with the command seat, can also be configured to provide ship's command and control under normal operations.  What this kind of layout allows is for any quarter of the FCR to be shut down, maintained, even rigged as simulators and set up for practice wargames.  If you like the setup, or see any problems or suggesstions with the design, drop me a line.  Enjoy!  


  1. Hmmm - two questions for ya.

    1) How high are those inside screens? What exactly can the FCOM see if he/she is using the central seat? (I was about to throw /it in for an AI but one thing AIs don't use is seats.)

    2) As far as 'no gravity' goes, how well can that control layout handle the gravity it DOES have? I know normal thrust is really low, but IIRC the IPV-Es have two fusion torches. Is the FCR in line with those, or do they simply count on the low thrust of any given burn to not cause any problems?

  2. Good eye! You've really been paying attention to the design.

    The FCR is on the Service Deck, which occupies an entire deck (10m diameter) in the central core of the spacecraft. The deck itself is perpendicular to the aft of the IPV, where the larger spokes of the the magnetic sail emmiters are. This way, when under a torch maneuver, the crew experience gravity the correct way. The Service deck is just aft of the airlock deck, which connects the habitat spars, comm/sensor array, and the two docking ports. More on that Monday.

    As for the FCR itself, the Command seat in the center of the room has its own curved smartscreen. In addition, the backs of the four curved command screens that separate the alcoves from the command station can display all of the relevant data from the front of those screens, or from the larger alcove displays. On top of all of that, each member of the crew has their own personal AR system that can serve in leiu of a display. Given the potential for visual display technology, the old adage Everyone sees everything" Applies to the data displays just as much as space itself.

    In any case, I see the main function of common data displays more to unify a group of operators, rather than to display new data. A common screen lets all of the participants in the operations of that alcove have a consensus view of the visual data, as well as their personal views. That data is then the basis of the command screens, which the department heads use, and then their data is the basis of the Flight's data display - even though the Flight can instantly see anything anyone else is seeing by virtue of AR. The FCR design is not primarily about data presentiation, or even communication, but about Coversation between the different elements of the system and the crew.


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