Space Stations that move?

jedion357's picture
June 2, 2009 - 12:58pm
In DS9 the station have very limited thruster movement (to explain how a Cardassian station built in orbit over Bajor moved to be sitting right on top of the wormhole once it was discovered) Though that station didn't rotate as it had artificial gravity. 

would it be possible for the smallest stations (maybe only size 1) to have thruster cells with a sum total of 1 ADF of burn for station keeping or would those thrusters cause an instability in the rotation of the station?

or could not any station have chemical thruster cells that were angled to halt its rotation (slowly over time) then ships with grapples move in and tow it to a new location? once in place the thruster cells are recharged and rotation is restored?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
June 3, 2009 - 9:03am
IMO it could be towed (once spinning is stopped) or have it's own engines. Maybe a station is built in a construction yard, then moved under it's own power to another part of  the star system.

I would think any size station could have engines. Why not?

jedion357's picture
June 3, 2009 - 9:19am
I just would not want their engines to be of any tactical significance- after all that would make them a big ship with engines, but engines on stations that could have a strategic impact would be ok.
After all the purpose of the station is to guard a local.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rpgstarwizard's picture
June 3, 2009 - 11:51am
You would need some sort of mechanism to keep the beastie where it is. There would alwys be some sort of drift

pineappleleader's picture
June 3, 2009 - 2:20pm
rpgstarwizard wrote:
You would need some sort of mechanism to keep the beastie where it is. There would alwys be some sort of drift

Station keeping thrusters. Not as powerful as engines. They would just adjust and stabilize the orbit, not move the station about.

In my opinion the biggest Space Stations would have to be built in place. They are just too large for a dock yard and too cumbersome to move about.

TerlObar's picture
June 3, 2009 - 7:13pm
I imagine other that minor station keeping, you can only move a station significantly when it is empty and not rotating.  Here are some ideas to consider:

1.  The physics of moving a spinning wheel (the canonical design, athough there are issues with it, of stations in SF).  Ever tried moving a spinning bicycle wheel/gyroscope?  (Come on, admit it, you have.)  You'll need your engines mounted either on the spin axis (not possible as there are big openings there for ships to fly into the hub) or symmetrically distributed around the hub or rim.  This would allow you to move the station along the spin axis.  However, to turn the station, you'd need engines mounted perpendicular to the spin axis to provide the torque needed to spin the wheel.  The physics are straight forward and you could do it with enough engines and the proper program.

2.  Number of engines required.  As I said in the other thread, I treat one station hull size as 10 ship hull sizes.  That means a size 1 station would need 3 B engines and a size 2 station would need 8 C engines and it just gets worse as you get bigger (I never bothered to extrapolate since I don't let my stations move, they have to be built in place).

3.  The effect on the station contents.  Even if you did allow your stations to have engines, they couldn't move very fast.  Say your station was using 1 g of acceleration along it's rotation axis.  What would happen to everything inside? 
     Well, in the hub, where there is normall very little accleration due to the rotation of the station, you would suddenly have 1g of acceleration sideways Surprised relative to the floor of the docking bays and loose items could possibly sail out the open bay doors (got to love inertiaSmile).  If you were in a ship that was nessled up against the side  of the hub wall and your decks were the wrong way the acceleration would be toward your ceiling!
     Out a the rim you'd feel an increase in gravity from the normal 1g to 1.4g.  That's not too bad but it would be at a 45 degree angle sideways, not down!  So not only has it increased, it has changed direction.  Anything not designed for this would spill it's contents all over the floor which would then slide to the "back" wall.

Anyway, those are a few issues that came to mind immediately.  It's not to say that any of these issues can't be overcome, but you have to design for them.  Personally, I don't like letting the stations move under their own power.
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