Warp Nacelles

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The warp nacelles are where the warp fields that propel a ship to speeds faster than light. The warp nacelles house the systems that produce the ships warp field. These systems are the Plasma Injection System, Warp Field Coils, OFF Axis Field Controller and Warp Field Grid. Along with these systems the warp nacelles house RCS Thrusters, and Bussard Ramscoops. In larger ship designs the warp nacelles also have a nacelle monitoring room that can be accessed by Jeffries Tube and or small single person lift.

Nacelle Construction

The warp nacelles are constructed of tritanium and duranium framing members commanded with longitudinal stiffeners overlaid with the same hull materials as the ships main hull. There are three additional inner layers of directionally strengthened cobalt cortenide to provide protection against high levels of warp induced stress, particularly at the attachment hard points that connect the nacelle to the nacelle pylons. All framing and skinning of the nacelles and pylons accommodate triply redundant conduits for the Structural Integrity Field and Internal Damping System. Attached to the inner framing members of the nacelles are a series of shock attenuation cylinders for that support the Warp Field Coils as well as thermal isolation struts for the Plasma Injection System.

One Warp Nacelle Ships

One nacelle designs have been used by Star Fleet but have proven unpopular and less effective than any other nacelle armaments. The single nacelle design is not less complicated that other designs and has some technical difficulties ships with two nacelles do not have to face. There have been two different setups tried.

Type One: The first one was a nacelle design that generates only one warp field. This had the effect of making the ships less maneuverable during warp flight than other ships to the point where an Ambassador class ship could handle course corrections at warp five better than a Freedom class ship at the same speed.

Type Two: The second design was generated a pair of warp fields similar to any ship with two nacelles. This design required two sets of Warp Coils and Plasma Injection System that operated independent of each other to create the twin warp fields. While this design solved the maneuverability problems the added equipment also added a layer of complexity almost equal to that of a two-nacelle design. This design proved to be more difficult for the crew to service in the field and star base layovers for nacelle maintenance was slightly longer than the standard two nacelle design due to the tightly packed nature of the equipment in the nacelles of this design.

Two Nacelle Ships

Most ships are equipped with two nacelles with one ship positioned on the port side and the other on the starboard side of the ship. This arrangement allows for the creation of two balanced, interacting fields for vehicle maneuvers. This has proven to be optimal design for power generation and vehicle control. To the point that the twin nacelle arrangement has been adopted by the other powers in the know galaxy. With the need to only house on set of Warp Coils and Plasma Injection System unlike the nacelles in single nacelle ships maintenance of the nacelles in the field and during Starbase layovers are easier to accomplish

While most ships with two nacelles have the nacelles on either side of the ship there have been ship classes designed with one nacelle above and the other below the main body of the ship. This set up performed well during operations in the field but did exhibit less maneuverability that the standard two nacelle arrangement especially while changing course to port or starboard.

Three Nacelle Ships

The three-nacelle arrangement has been attempted on several occasions with less than stellar results. This arrangement has been tried with both three nacelles of the exact same design and with the third nacelle housing two sets of independently operating Warp Coils and Plasma Injection Systems.

Type One: This design utilizing three nacelles of the same design resulted in an extra level of system complexity that has not only failed to show any significant improvement in maneuverability but also demonstrated less maneuverability when making course corrections in the ships pitch due to the interactions between the three warp fields generated by the warp.

Type Two: This design generated four warp fields. While this solved the problem with maneuverability suffered by the first three nacelle design but also added more system complexity than the first type. This design also suffers with the maintenance problems suffered by single nacelle ships utilizing independent twin Warp Coils and Plasma Injection Systems.

Four Nacelle Ships

The four-nacelle arrangement has been used on such ship classes as the Constellation and Cheyenne classes and even the newer Prometheus Class when operating in its normal cruise mode. The nacelles are arranged in two sets where one set is situated above and the other situated is situated below the ships main hull. There are two operating modes the first mode has all four nacelles are operating together. The other has only one set of nacelles operating at one time.

Primary Mode: This mode of operation has only one set of nacelles operating at one time. One set will operate for forty-eight hours before the other set of nacelles will power up and will take over generating and maintaining the ships warp nacelle. This operating mode not only provides the ship with a warp system that is providing the optimal warp flight and maneuvering parameters. By staggering the operation time of the nacelle sets reduces the stress and wear on the nacelle systems allowing the ships to operate for longer times at warp before the need to conduct the necessary maintenance. Also with one set of nacelles operating and one not the maintenance on the powered down set of nacelles can be carried out without the need of dropping to impulse speeds.

Secondary Mode: The secondary mode of operation has all four nacelles in operation in one time. This mode is used when the ship is operating at speeds of warp eight and above. When the ship is running at emergency speeds using all four nacelles reduces the stress of the high warp on the nacelles allowing them to operate at these increased speeds for greater lengths of time without having to drop to standard cruising speeds. Operating all four nacelles at one time does not result in any significant maneuverability improvements over the single set operating mode.