Artificial gravity - some ideas for a design system

KRingway's picture
KRingway
October 24, 2018 - 11:07am
As the subject of ships having artificial gravity has cropped up a few times, I've tried to come up with a set of ideas that might be useable in SF/KH. For now I haven't fully written the blurb that describes how it all works, but for the moment let's assume that my ideas are pretty much based on what I dimly remember of grav plates in Traveller. Other things, such as various films etc have also fed into these ideas. Put simply, these systems are computer controlled and this is reflected in their cost both in terms of credits and function points.

There are 3 types of system: A, B, and C. A is the cheapest in terms of Cr and levels/function points needed, whereas C is at the opposite end and is very costly on all counts.

All systems share a common feature: which way is 'up'. This means that ship's doors, hatches, bulkheads, etc would have a symbol designating 'up'. So, you might come to a door which tells you that 'up' past this point is different to 'up' in the place where you are now. However, this varies from system to system.

Please bear in mind that what follows is just off the top of my head/stream of conciousness stuff. It's not set in stone and I'm posting it here to start a discussion and to get more ideas, changes, etc Cool

So:

Type A - single aspect

Type A only has one 'up', and this is set when the system is installed. So, it is possible that a new ship could be commissioned where deck plans are laid out horizontally (i.e. as in most scifi films etc) and so 'up' is set to being 90 degrees to the angle of the floor. This is uniform for the whole of the ship. Older ships of a traditional Knight Hawks (KH) design could be retrofitted so that 'up' is the same direction as the nose of the ship. The system maintains a constant 1G, but crew and objects will be effected by any interior or exterior forces above 1G.

During manouevres, or should a ship roll, tumble, spin, be jarred by damage/ramming/etc, the system will always maintain 'up'. This means that personnel and objects being affected by these movements will do so with respect to 'up'. The best way to imagine gravity as modelled by the Type A is that the crew and objects are in a gravity situation similar to a sea-going vessel.

The system can be switched on or off at any point, but does not allow gravity to be incrementally raised or lowered from the 1G limit, nor does it allow for one part of a ship to temporarily have gravity whilst another does not. If the system is switched off, it affects the whole ship. Parts of a ship may not require coverage by the system, and the coverage can be built around such gaps; for example, a freighter could be made of three sections along it's length - (1) bridge/crew quarters, (2) cargo hold, and (3) engineering. Thus, it could have system coverage at sections (1) and (3) but not require it for section (2). In this case, any such gaps must be set when the system is being installed.

Gravity can be switched on and off if required, but doing so effects the whole of the ship wherever the system is installed. This can be done from the bridge and/or engineering section.

Program level: 4
Function points: 16
Cost: 1000 Cr per FP

Type B - multi-aspect


Type B is similar to Type A, but is more adaptable and can be controlled. As with Type A, 'up' is set when the system is installed. However, this can be designed to vary throughout the ship. 'Up' may differ from one section of a ship to another. Aside from that, the effects of manoeuvres etc above 1G are felt and dealt with by the system in the same way as with Type A.

For example: an agri ship is built so that for the length of the hull, the deck runs horizontally and so 'up' is set at 90 degrees to the the angle of the floor. However, the ship is fitted with 4 agri domes set at right angles to the hull, and so 'up' within the domes is set at 90 degrees to the angle of their floors.

Gravity can be adjusted in any or all sections below 1G or switched on and off if required. This can be done from the bridge and/or engineering section.

Program level: 5
Function points: 48
Cost: 1000 Cr per FP

Type C - all-aspect

This system combines elements of Type A and B, but is much more complex and therefore much more expensive. It is usually only found on extremely luxurious ships (i.e. luxury liners) or those that have a need for a rigidly controlled, fully constant gravity environment (i.e. tubular agri ships, some military ships, some space stations).

In this system, 'up' is only constant in any direction if it is set that way from the bridge and/or engineering, and not while the ship is being designed or retrofitted. 'Up' can be changed at any time and in any section or sections. A gravity of 1G is the norm, but it is possible to reduce this in increments to zero, or raise it to as high as 10G. Again, this can be changed at any time in any section or sections.

Parallel to this is one unique feature of the Type C system: these settings are not affected by any interior or exterior forces. They are constant until set otherwise. For example, passengers within a liner that is being forced to make extreme manoeuvres will not feel any affects of acceleration, deceleration, changes in G forces, etc. As far as they and the objects around them are concerned, they still exist with a 'bubble' of 1G (or whatever G setting has been decided for the section they are in).

Program level: 6
Function points: 128
Cost: 1000 Cr per FP
Comments:

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
October 24, 2018 - 12:10pm
In addition to the program there should be an equipment cost (per HS of the ship) as well.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

KRingway's picture
KRingway
October 24, 2018 - 12:43pm
Yep, that's a good point. Although, a ship may have a large HS but not have much space that needs gravity, i.e. a freighter. Possibly there could be a charge for each space/room that uses the system.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
October 24, 2018 - 9:41pm
I'd still go by HS just for simplicity. There are a few instances where gravity can be useful in a hold, such as routine cargo inspections. A planetary milita might be more at ease if they can perform the inspection with atmosphere and gravity versus the reduced movement rates of a zero-G vacuum.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

KRingway's picture
KRingway
October 25, 2018 - 9:36am
Yes - maybe something such as:

Type A: HS x Cr 4000
Type B: HS x 6000
Type C: HS x 10,000

All systems can only be fitted at a Class I or II construction centre.