Hot ships

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Glacialis
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Re: Hot ships

Post by Glacialis » Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:10 pm

A loose metaphor, pardon the gaps:

When outside in the hot sun, you sweat. Do you cool off faster by standing in the shade with no breeze, by standing in the sun with a breeze, or standing in the shade with no breeze?

Obviously, in the shade with a breeze. Now imagine lack of breeze=weapons fire (massive heat-producing activities), sun=other systems that cause heat buildup.

+Sun -breeze = firing lasers and such

+Sun +breeze = combat maneuvering, EW, reactors up to combat levels, etc

-Sun +breeze = combat systems off and reactors turned down

Think about the difference between standing in the shade with and without a breeze. When in the shade, you're cooled by radiating heat (black body radiation) and the wind (convection). The breeze is cooling you off a lot more than merely radiating the heat is.

How hot would you be if there was no wind, ever? Add lasers and fusion reactors and computers and any other system that generates heat as a byproduct. Tell me you're not begging for that wind. ;)

Now, add armor. You have to armor spaceships with guns on them, else the first enemy spaceship with guns on it that comes along pops you in a few shots. Look at construction cruisers and freighters.

What about armor? Unless you can design armor that only transmits heat one way (which could very well be possible), then any heat generated by weapon impacts will be transmitted to internal systems. This is bad.

Heat dissipation in space is a problem. Convection is an excellent method of heat transfer, but by definition it's one that's not available in a vacuum.

Solutions (viable or not)? Get enough surface area to radiate the heat efficiently. Convert it to electricity. Have massive internal reservoirs. Make your systems not produce any heat.
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Re: Hot ships

Post by Coyote27 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:07 am

Another solution is ventable coolant, which could be expelled out the engine exhaust. Other races probably do this as well, since none of their ships have visible heat radiators.
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Re: Hot ships

Post by Auschido » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:42 pm

On the subject of anything physics-y, I don't like metaphors, so here's some helpful data and speculation.

If you thought that the heat loss on Apollo 13 was shocking, it should be of note that the loss of heat via blackbody radiation is proportional to temperature to the fourth power. Compared to the comfortable temperature that we humans so enjoy, around 300K (K = Kelvin), the ships belonging to these guys are a great deal hotter, minimum ~1800K maximum ~2000K. They would be able to dissipate around 1296-1975 times more energy per unit of surface area than human ships.

Compared to us lowly carbon based life-forms living at or below the freezing point of even the lightest metals, they would have a much harder time keeping temperatures up, and they would have an easier time firing lasers and stuff (2000x easier).

Be assured that I like breezy days and I like cloudy skies. Both make me cool faster on a hot day. I also like cold drinks, touching lampposts, and going into malls. But also note that all the other races already have little problem with heat, they can fire their lasers for as long as they have power (When the timer runs out on combat they need to 'refuel'). Heat dissipation is a big concern in space travel, when you need to it is always too slow, and when you don't it will always be too fast. In terms of the game, it would be cool to give them faster refire rates on energy weapons or something, with the complication of killing any vessel left without an engine section to produce heat after a battle.

On the topic of temperature and electronics, I would imagine that a species that communicates through light would be using photonic circuitry, eg. semiconductor circuits that can utilize light for information processing. We are already working on such things, but it would be a lot easier for beings that are semiconductors in the first place. These circuits would be less prone to thermal issues since the 'resistivity' to light of a crystal doesn't increase so dramatically as the resistivity to electricity in a conductor.

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Re: Hot ships

Post by Coyote27 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:16 am

Okay that makes sense.
I say we give them Hardened Electronics to start with, then. :)
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Re: Hot ships

Post by Glacialis » Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:31 pm

Auschido wrote:On the subject of anything physics-y, I don't like metaphors, so here's some helpful data and speculation.

If you thought that the heat loss on Apollo 13 was shocking, it should be of note that the loss of heat via blackbody radiation is proportional to temperature to the fourth power. Compared to the comfortable temperature that we humans so enjoy, around 300K (K = Kelvin), the ships belonging to these guys are a great deal hotter, minimum ~1800K maximum ~2000K. They would be able to dissipate around 1296-1975 times more energy per unit of surface area than human ships.

Compared to us lowly carbon based life-forms living at or below the freezing point of even the lightest metals, they would have a much harder time keeping temperatures up, and they would have an easier time firing lasers and stuff (2000x easier).

Alright, I can see that. However, you're forgetting that these ships are expecting to see combat. They have armor and given the number of weapons that are likely to transmit heat on impact, you don't want heat getting in either.

Auschido wrote:Be assured that I like breezy days and I like cloudy skies. Both make me cool faster on a hot day. I also like cold drinks, touching lampposts, and going into malls. But also note that all the other races already have little problem with heat, they can fire their lasers for as long as they have power (When the timer runs out on combat they need to 'refuel'). Heat dissipation is a big concern in space travel, when you need to it is always too slow, and when you don't it will always be too fast.

I went for metaphors to illustrate convection versus blackbody radiation versus conduction (which isn't on topic right now). The reason every other race can fire lasers like that is because by the time a ship sees combat, they've solved the heat problem. This thread is about discussing the effects of higher internal temperatures on ship design, and how to overcome them. Are higher temperatures going to be a problem with heat dissipation? Unless all of their technologies are designed to function at higher temperatures, I say yes, it will be a problem. And even "higher" temperatures are relative. If a plasma cannon generates temperatures up to 10,000 degrees C, it's either about 9970 degrees too hot or 8000-9000 degrees too hot, depending on human or rockbug. Either way, deadly.

Auschido wrote:In terms of the game, it would be cool to give them faster refire rates on energy weapons or something, with the complication of killing any vessel left without an engine section to produce heat after a battle.

Code changes on that scale are out of scope for the project.

Auschido wrote:On the topic of temperature and electronics, I would imagine that a species that communicates through light would be using photonic circuitry, eg. semiconductor circuits that can utilize light for information processing. We are already working on such things, but it would be a lot easier for beings that are semiconductors in the first place.

How would it be easier for them? We don't communicate through electricity yet we figured out how to do that before optical computing. I'm not saying it's a bad idea, just that it needs fleshing out.

With respect to being semiconductors...they're not made of silicon any more than you are made of carbon.

Auschido wrote:These circuits would be less prone to thermal issues since the 'resistivity' to light of a crystal doesn't increase so dramatically as the resistivity to electricity in a conductor.

That's a very good point. *ponder*
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Re: Hot ships

Post by Auschido » Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:27 pm

Considering that their homeworld is at he desired temperature of their ships, it is reasonable to assume that they would be designing their technology with that temperature in mind. In fact, many of the things that our science takes for granted may not even be apparent to these people, while other things may come naturally to them.

Example, superconductors would be very difficult to cool from those ambient temperatures, and therefore very difficult to observe. Plus, the resistivity of metal increases as a function of temperature, so maybe getting electrical systems to function would not be very easy. Perhaps they wouldn't be so reliant on electricity-through-wires.

However, plasma might be a phenomenon that they are quite familiar with, considering they have laser arms and lightning spikes, just firing them in such a hot environment might be enough to generate just a little bit of it, eventually piquing the curiosity of some scientist. Maybe everything they use is based on plasma and photons?

Their initial conditions would seem to affect the direction of their technological progression. So yes, they would be designing with those conditions in mind.

On to conduction issues, then. The heat conductivity of a material is proportional to the temperature difference between, say, the plasma in the cannon and the cannon itself. Which would mean that it would transmit less heat than to a cooler cannon (2000K versus 300K is like only 82% for plasma temperatures of around 10^4 K). This coupled with the fact that the cannon will cool faster from that wonderful blackbody intensity proportionality to T^4, would mean that they can keep their weapons cooler (relative to normal) than the humans.

But this is a silly example, since the plasma would vaporize any metal at that temperature, it would have to be contained somehow so that conduction does not occur. so, if we can disregard those effects, we are left with blackbody again, which always favors the tech designed to run at higher temperatures.

It is unfortunate that we can't have some kind of big vulnerability, it would make it more likely that they would integrate better weapons. Imagine having to lose a dread at the end of a round just because the enemy shot off a single section. You'd have to give them some kind of advantage to counter that horribly expensive prospect, like the heat dissipation stuff detailed above yielding faster firing lasers or something.

As for the photonics, they live on a crystal world, how light behaves would be a big field of study for them, right? If anyone can do it, it is the dudes born with lenses in their arms (even if they are not semi-conductor-people).

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Re: Hot ships

Post by Glacialis » Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:41 pm

Thank you for bringing a bit of science to the discussion, 'cause it's been a long time since I took my physics classes. It seems that heat dissipation isn't going to be as big an issue as I'd thought it would be.

I do have to ask though, where did you get the idea that they shoot lasers or electricity? Currently we have them using light to communicate, and sound for short-range, intimate communication.
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Re: Hot ships

Post by Auschido » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:11 pm

I think it was from the last sticky on this forum, Mod Overview or some such thing. Or is that old information?

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Re: Hot ships

Post by Glacialis » Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:09 am

That was the initial proposal. Things have gotten changed around quite a bit since then. At one point we were gathering things for the decisions thread but that hasn't been done in a while. I think I'm the only semi-active story person on the team, but those roles are only because someone stepped up and said they'd like to help.
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Re: Hot ships

Post by tpfleming12 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:16 am

Hey everyone,

Our science and understanding of our world and local enviroment has taken a long time to develope and the bulk of our knowledge technologically speaking is based on conditions similar to those we experience every day.

The rock folk with there high temperature metabolism and understanding may have totally different methods for accomplishing things like data procesing. Also as mentioned since there ships are hotter they would radiate heat very nicely in fact they would glow white hot. Anyway here are a few idea's

computers using flow of heat not electrical charge.

Deeper understanding of crystal vibrations and using these to process data

Tungsten (melts at 3700K, definately rockbug favorite metal of all time) based nano-clockwork using the high temp thermal vibrations to over come friction problems that make small components stick togther at lower temperatures.

some way of dealing with signal to noise ratio at high temp. At 1800 K the thermal radiation emitted is slightly beyond white, so they may have optical processors which use hard uv.

Or instead use the sci fi perogative of not deciding how the computers work. The underlying technology of the AI techs is never explained. As far as I can tell if there were a number of human civs developing independently one may use complex 3 dimensional semiconductor processors with advanced heat management and mega parralel archetecture to accomplish drone and AI technology. Another may use nano-clockwork, another may take an 8 bit nintendo processor and dip it into a back enginered Tarka warp field so it works a gazillion times faster, a cool possibility would be a processor composed of nanometric node lines, another may use synthetic bio engineered tissue with some combination of other technicues to create the different components of an AI system.

Another one may vivisect live human subjects and use frankensteinesk biotech to stick them together to make a mega brain (AI rebelion guaranteed).

Ps

Regarding the boarding discuccion what about there being a tech for bugs coming of the language and armour tree's that allow them to board the other races ships and visa versa. Extreme enviro suits or somesuch. Techs that allow rockbug populations on the other races planets and low temp races on rockbug planets could stem from this tech. THese tech should probable be linked to reactor technology. Allot of energy would be needed to move heat either into or out of the habitats.

I imaginge rock imotile and motile forms living in underground arcologies (hey sharing space with monkeys and ants means not seeing the sky), And similar the other way round. A thick stable planetery crust region (extra insluation)on a rock bug world could contain a spherical arcology of low temp life. Or perhaps low temp life life could live in massive aerostat floating cities. Assuming the rockbugs don'd mind generating a weatherless heavy inert gas atmosphere for these things to float in.

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Re: Hot ships

Post by mango » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:09 pm

Yes, opposite of my previous suggestion but it could work that way too tpfleming12 and it might be better like that. If they lived on the inside of the mantle-core boundary, solid creatures swimming in molten rock like a fish in water, then they could ignore planetary environmental hazard rating and instead habitability would depend on planet size ie no colonizing planets under size "4" say because their core is not big or hot enough. Maybe their biotech equivalent research or power systems related research, as you suggested, could lower that number. Precedent for that is atmospheric processors, from plasma focusing also arcology may be related.

And as you say this could mean they could share planets with any race capable of terraforming the planet without any impact on their own population. Presumably by capturing though there is another possibility which logic dictates ie co-habiting with NAP or allied races.

It gets a bit complex, but for the record I will jot down the idea and point out where it gets complicated. The idea would be to share worlds and have independant production capabilities on planets shared with allies and NAPs, not entirely without precedent as Hivers can gate allied worlds. But what would happen if the alliance broke up? There would be war on each planet to see who kills off the military of the other race first. Very good incentive not to break the alliance but very very messy if you did. On the other hand they could add quite a lot of economic bonus to a world if they were conquered and forced to share as a civilian population or if you had proliferate tech for them.

That aside, or included if you like the idea of planet sharing, for being subterranean these guys would be really difficult to kill without special techs like tunneling seismic warheads or something like that. That would give them some advantage in the early game, immunity from planet bombardment and assault shuttles, so the balance required to let them play fairly in multiplayer would require penalties like reduced population capacity at planets relative to surface dwellers. This would mesh with the size limit for colonisation so that they can only live on size 4 worlds and over because their planets work out as 3 sizes smaller say, (otherwise they could colonise every planet they could get a ship to). Their power-biotech could reduce the disadvantage and effectively add a population size to every world, so then they would only be 2 sizes smaller, their homeworld would be size 7 rising to 8, for example and they could then colonise size 3 but not 2 or 1. Also for balance they could be slow growing as they will never experience a planet development cost if EH is ignored.

Thanks for your enlightening posts on thermodynamics Auschido, they make good scientific sense.

:wink: science FTW.

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Re: Hot ships

Post by AnarchCassius » Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:18 pm

Refrencing this post:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=11384

I'd like to take the opposite approach, bring a bit MORE in line with the other races environment tolerances. Sure, at a few hundred degrees touching one burns but they aren't melting most metals without trying at this level. Boarding combat can be handled as normal.

I think they should share and use worlds like any other race, but having an offset climate hazard (see my post on racial stats). Even though they live in and around your volcanoes and other extreme regions you aren't going to let someone else's Imperial Cthonics live on your worlds anymore than you'd let someone else's Imperial Tarka. You can incorporate some civilians and forge alliances in the usual ways. The difference would be that Cthonics CH isn't centered on 0 so they are nearly guaranteed to be the most alien and looking for worlds no one else considered. The difficulty for incorporating civilians based on that would already be calculated in the normal rules.

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Re: Hot ships

Post by tpfleming12 » Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:40 am

Mango, I was kind of thinking of them living underground and using a real thick bit of crust so the habitiat within the crust would be thermally isolated to alow easier seperation of habitats either for rockbugs on an organic world or visa versa (with the right techs). I never really considered them swimming in larva but I suppose given the chance it would be quite nice if you happened to be made of rock.

With the normal vanilla ANY game do the accomodate techs increase the amount of civillians you can fit on any given world. I was kind of thinking down those lines. There would have to be some form of limit though.

I deffinateley agree with not making them too radically different than the normal races.

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