USS Minoru


Starship Technology


Impulse Drives

Principle: Fusion-Powered Semi-Reactionless Drive

Minoru has four impulse engines, one primary at the rear of each catamaran and one on either side of the saucer section. Impulse engines are frequently mistaken for fusion torch rockets, as they vent energized plasma from their exhausts, but this thrust is insufficient to move the ship at an appreciable speed. Indeed, Minoru could not possibly hold enough deuterium for fusion fuel and reaction mass to accelerate her to a fraction of her top sublight speed. Instead, the impulse manifolds general a low-power subspace field that both lightens the ship's mass and produces thrust. Not only does this make it possible to move the ship, but the field makes it so that the ship maneuvers in a non-Newtonian manner, allowing for sharp turns and even reverse thrust. Each engine is powered by a set of fusion reactors that also provide additional power for the ship.

Warp Drive

Principle: Antimatter-powered Subspace 'Bubble' Drive

The warp drive is the key to faster-than-light-travel. The drive operates off of subspace, a portion of space-time closely coupled to our own. The most important point is that subspace is not limited by relativity (general or special), allowing for the ship to appear to travel faster than light. The nacelles generate a warp 'bubble' around the ship that causes it to partially enter subspace. Then, by firing the warp coils in precisely the right manner, this bubble is deformed so that it compresses at the front and expands at the rear (only not exactly - look at the monitors in engineering and you'll see that it's a lot more complex), making the ship move forward. Further manipulation of the field geometry allows for maneuvering at warp. While it is possible for power a low-speed warp drive off of fusion alone, as is done with some small ships, for ship like Minoru only a matter-antimatter reactor can provide the energy necessary to achieve useful warp velocities. This is the 'warp core' located near the center of the ship, which is connect to the nacelles by power transfer conduits. The warp reactor, along with the impulse fusion reactors, also provide most of the ship's power. The main problem with this system is that anti-matter mutually annihilates with any matter it comes in contact with, making it difficult to store.

Maneuvering Thrusters

Principle: Fusion-Powered Reaction Control System

At sublight speeds, precise maneuvers and attitude control is performed with an array of reaction control thrusters. These thrusters are positioned at key locations on the hull to give maximum control. These thrusters are essentially tiny fusion motors. In general they are only used for propulsion in situations where the main impulse engines would be dangerous, such as spacedocks, because of their small size and limited capabilities.


Deflector Shields

Principle: Gravity-Based Force Field

The deflector shields are Minoru's primary line of defense, and she is equipped with the latest metaphasic and auto-modulating shields. When the shields are raised, the emitter grids generate a powerful graviton field that acts as a near-discontinuity in space-time. This discontinuity can deflect most of the mass and energy directed at it and absorb the rest. However, there is a limit to this absorption, and as the shields decrease in strength they can start to let energy bleed through. Weapons fire can also cause surges in the shield generators which can in turn feed back into the main power grid. Shields operate at specific frequency modulations to optimize their efficiency and allow for sensor use, but modern shields automatically adjust to the most effective settings against weapons fire or other dangerous phenomena.

Navigational Deflector

Principle: Low-Power Field and Force Beam

The combat deflector shields are major power hogs, and so under most conditions they are not active. The navigational deflector is there to protect against minor impacts that could occur during high-velocity flight. There are two components. First is a wide area field that sweeps aside dust and minor debris. Second, there is a force beam that is directly aimed at larger objects to push them aside. This requires a powerful subspace field to work at warp. The deflector dish does double duty as it houses the main long-range sensors, which make use of the same subspace booster field to project sensor beams and receive returns at extreme distances.


Principle: Particle-Based Phased Energy Weapon

So, what is a phaser, anyways? Is it a fancy laser? A particle beam? The answer is "yes". Strictly speaking phaser stands for 'PHASed Energy Rectification", but this is a 'backronym' created to describe the new generation of phase weapons. At a shipboard level, they work by exposing a type of superconducting crystal to energized plasma, which causes them to generate a short-lived subatomic particle called nadions, which are essentially an anti-gluon. "But wait," you say, "gluons are their own anti-particle." Well, yes, but apparently these force the issue, breaking down the bonds between quarks in materials and causing them to fall apart into radiation and simpler particles. "Vaporization" is a misnomer; if phasers really did that, you would end up flash-boiled by expanding gases whenever you used the disintegrate setting on a hand phaser. Starships phasers have variable output from wide-area stuns to high enough power to vaporize a good-sized asteroid (or starship) with a single shot. Minoru mounts three Type X arrays on her saucer and two less powerful Type IX arrays aft, giving her excellent coverage at most angles. Effective phaser range is approximately 300,000 km under most circumstances.


Principle: Self-Propelled Missile Weapons

Torpedoes are essentially short-lived miniature starships. They follow a basic plan of a two-meter casing (with slightly varying shapes) with targeting and navigational systems, propulsion, and a warhead. Torpedoes are have warp sustainer engines but the standard model cannot achieve FTL on its own. The launchers used by Minoru can be used for photon and quantum torpedoes, as well as a variety of probes. A typical photon torpedo carries an multi-kilogram antimatter warhead with a yield that rivals the largest strategic weapons of the atomic age. Quantum torpedoes use a zero-point explosion initiated by an antimatter charge and produce even greater effects, especially against shields.The launchers themselves are the latest pulse-fire models, chosen because of their higher reliability and smaller size compared to the burst-fire versions on ships like the Galaxy. Minoru has fifteen launchers: seven forward, four aft, and unique to this design two more to both port and starboard. Torpedoes have a range of over 300,000 km at sublight speeds, although this can be extended at the cost of warhead power.

Tractor Beam

Principle: Applied 'gravity gun'

More accurately a 'tractor-pressor beam', these devices are Minoru's main means of manipulating other objects. They work by applying force using the beam, making it possible to atttrack, repel, or rotate objects. Tractor beams are short ranged and using them at warp is a delicate operation. The main tractor beam is located at the bottom of the saucer's engineering bulge, but there are numerous secondary emitters for shuttle operations and mooring procedures.


Principle: Structural Mechanics and Ablative Armor

While the phraseology may be historically inaccurate, the concept of ‘superstructure’ as it relates to starships consists of the structure built over the general frame, capped by the hull. With this in mind, superstructure integrity measurements don’t really reflect the structural strength of the ship so much as its capability to continue operating. The outermost layer of the superstructure is the hull, consisting of blends of metallic composites and synthetic blends intended to protect the crew from vacuum and hard radiation, as well as sustain nigh indefinitely erosion due to micrometeorites. Beneath that are layers of redundant piping and equipment which can, in a pinch, act as additional radiation shielding and finally one reaches the inhabitable portions of the ship. All of this is back by the structural integrity and inertial dampening fields. Finally, the interior is compartmentalized to better sustain damage without total loss of the ship and having multiple redundant paths for power, data, and life support transfer.

Other Systems


Principle: EM, optical, quantum, and biological computers

Minoru has a powerful computer system. At the heart is the main computer core. The core has a huge set of storage banks and processors, and uses subspace fields to dramatically increase its speed over purely optical and electromagnetic computers. There are also a large array of secondary nodes throughout the ship at different workstations, some general-purpose and some, such as the backup navigational or fire-control computers, optimized for specific uses. The computers provide an astounding level of automation, although they are designed to remain non-sentient except for specific programs such as the EMH. As part of the refit, Minoru was fitted with some bio-neural gel packs, but she is fully functional without them.


Principle: Forcefield- and subspace-assisted matter decompilation and recompilation

Transporters seem a bit spooky at first glance, as they essentially rip you apart and put you back together somewhere else, but they're one of the safest ways to travel. Shipboard transporters have the familiar internal transporter rooms matched with huge external arrays that allow for long-distance use without the waveguides that civilian networks in the core worlds have. Modern transporters can even be used site-to-site inside a ship without passing through the transporter room, although this is avoided when possible due to safety concerns. Transport at warp is possible but contraindicated, again due to safety. Small-scale transporters are used for a variety of purposes, including surgery. We tried to find someone conversant in the actual theory behind the technology to tell us how it can assemble and disassemble things at a distance, but he wouldn’t answer our pages and eventually just started muttering "Iä, iä, phnglui ft'aghn!" at us. In any case, Minoru has four standard six-person transporters, two more twenty person emergency transporters for evacuations or troop deployment, and four cargo transporters.

Replicators and Fabricators

Principle: Transporter-based replication, chemical synthesis, and robotic assembly

Minoru carries a wide array of replicators, ranging for the personal food replicators in the crew quarters to mid-scale equipment replicators to Class Two industrial replicators for creating spares and, with a little assembly, even entire shuttles. They're essentially re-purposed transporters that take matter and reassembling them to set patterns. Base matter is usually stored in inert forms such as organic sludge or metallic blocks. While replicators can transmute elements, it is far more efficient to start with the same elements, which is why we don't store everything as lead. Not everything can be easily replicated, and in some cases specialized fabricators are needed for certain materials, which is why food replicators can't be used to make quantum warheads or latinum. Trash disposal works in much the same way, just in reverse.

Life Support

Principle: Replicator decompilation (primary) and biochemistry (backup)

Minoru has a wide array of life support systems capable of providing the necessities of a wide array of life-forms. The life-support system is entirely self-contained and could theoretically operate for years without resupply so long as power is provided. At the heart is a number of specialized super-efficient replicators that are designed to decompile matter and reassemble it in just one form, as opposed to standard replicators with numerous functions. Organic waste from the black-water lines, for example, is routed to several central processing sites, where inorganic material and certain useful elements are removed and the waste is transformed into storage sludge. There are also backup biochemical systems for use in low-power scenarios, although these are less efficient and quick. Air and water processing use similar techniques but are more decentralized and redundant for survivability. Interestingly enough, we're assured that the organic sludge turned out by the waste processing plants can be mixed with water and made into a palatable gruel that provides all the protein and carbohydrate needs of most humanoid species, although trace minerals specific to different species must be added. Let's hope we never have to try this feature out....


Principle: Detectors for nigh everything

To meet its dual roles of research cruiser and warship, Minoru carries a full suite of sensors and electronic warfare equipment. These found primarily in the lateral arrays at the rims of the primary and secondary hulls, two areas near the bridge and captain's yacht, and behind the deflector dish. Her sensor suite covers the entire electromagnetic spectrum, gravimetrics, quark-level and sub-quark particle detectors (neutrinos, tachyons, pions, baryons, kaons, et al), and of course subspace sensors. The massive amounts of raw data she accepts is primarily filtered by the ship’s computer, which compares incoming data to known archetypes and patterns and provides most-probable matches for signatures that are close enough to set criteria. A system similar to the handheld psychotricorder can detect ‘life signs’ at combat distances thanks to Minoru's sensor resolution, but this capability degrades at ranges beyond half a light second. With assistance from the subspace sensors, Minoru has an almost instantaneous sensor range of approximately five light years (further dead ahead thanks to the deflector), with response times increasing exponentially and resolutions decreasing logarithmically beyond that.


While most people think of the Akira class as a warship, it's still capable explorer. Minoru's laboratories and the personnel who work in them are always active performing research, save during alerts, and even then many of them remain active to focus on providing combat intelligence. Minoru may not have the university-grade facilities and staff of a Galaxy, but she still carries a wide variety of scientists in almost every conceivable field, simply not at the same level of specialization. All of them report to the head of the Science Department, although a good deal of them are working on projects seconded to them in terms of data reduction or analysis.


Principle: Industrialized light and magic

Holodecks are one of the true luxuries of modern Federation ships, and Minoru is blessed to have four. They use a combination of holographic trickery, forcefields, and replicated objects to simulate virtually any environment or situation. This makes them an excellent training tool and recreational facility. The Operations department is responsible for deciding who gets to use them at any given time and for what purpose. Personal time is allocated on the basis of earned credit and first-come, first-come scheduling; professional development or educational time is counted separately. Please remember that holodeck use is a privileged, not a right, and that your time might be interrupted due to mission necessities. Keep in mind that for a combat-biased ship, Akira-class devotes a lot of space to recreation centers and crew quarters. There are other things to do on the ship, and if you can't find something to do when the holodeck is down, the XO or Chief of the Boat will find something for you.

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