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View Full Version : Sci-fi physics of power, battery, and shields...



qingdom
May 4th, 2011, 04:34 AM
The more I witness storylines pertaining to straining the use of shields, the more it got me wondering .... how much power is actually diverted to shielding.

Being that shields are this automagic bubble around the ship, recieving enemy fire at bursts of whatever... crews are able to calculate how many more hits the shielding can take before it fails... after shielding fails, they would have to rely on armored plating.

Now when traveling into the sun, shielding blocks off most radiation and heat. Is that even possible? for energy shields to block out radiation?

I know we have sunglasses and lotion that blocks out UV rays ... but that's a fraction... and that's using material to produce... not pure energy.

In addition, although they powered down all non-essential systems to the ship just to have more power for the shields, in this episode, they travel into a blue dwarf... The heat is 'X' times more than a standard star like our sun.

Continuity ensues when you'd figure.... traveling into a blue dwarf with maximum power diverted to shields vs. minimum power diverted to shields plus every other system around the ship to keep the crew in populated areas alive from enemy ship fire...

The understanding of power reserves is lost somewhere in the mix. Remember... Destiny can never have a 'full charge'. In addition, the structural plating the ship is made from is circa millions of years old.

Besides the robot drones repairing Destiny, the ship never EVER lands to obtain raw material to manufacture for part replacement.

We also never encountered a matter/anti-matter replication device. We only came across a wireless battery recharging station.

On another note... any and all types of metal corrode or break down over time even without the presence of oxygen. Destiny has been going on active since the Icarus crew arrived for almost 3 years now. The solar collectors and energy cannons have yet to jam, especially after countless encounters of space battles.

Not busting on Destiny... the same applies for other Sci-Fi shows as well. Just that this is a Destiny thread, so using it as primary example.

Last I've read like a year ago, energy shields are real in research and development, but not to the extent of blocking radiation or fully blocking projectiles from hitting the emanating target. They have yet to make it into a more effective large scale mass production reality.

Thoughts?

thekillman
May 4th, 2011, 06:24 AM
though i'm not a fan of this, i'd say "it's fiction"
i doubt there is an explanation

Trinary
May 4th, 2011, 06:29 AM
I guess it could. Destiny shield has been shown capable to block a Pulsar radiation in early season 2. Wouldn't that a Pulsar radiation were more harmful than the blue giant heat and radiations?

Rylor
May 4th, 2011, 06:39 AM
I don't see a reason why a shield shouldn't be able to filter out some radiation types. We have no idea how they work, so we can't explain it.
When the Destiny expedition found the repair robot, it was stored in a crate. There was no indication it has ever repaired anything. Considering the countless hull breaches and the fact that 80% of the ship are open to the vacuum of space it seems even more unlikely.
The corrosion is probably minimized by the advanced alloys the ship was built with. Or there might be nano-technology that prevents or repairs the deterioration of the metal.


I guess it could. Destiny shield has been shown capable to block a Pulsar radiation in early season 2. Wouldn't that a Pulsar radiation were more harmful than the blue giant heat and radiations?

True, but they were a larger distance from the pulsar. Being inside a blue giant and in the vicinity of a pulsar are two different things.

Shylodog
May 4th, 2011, 06:46 AM
Your concern is on par with series like Star Trek, where system get magically repaired by the press of a few buttons on a console. They never explain how the repair was done, and you wonder where all those burned up pieces went. We are just expected to let that kind of stuff go and move on.

garhkal
May 4th, 2011, 02:57 PM
Perhaps the ancients who devised the ship made the shields TO block the heat and radiation as part of their "it will refuel in a sun" programming.

morrismike
May 4th, 2011, 03:57 PM
I guess it could. Destiny shield has been shown capable to block a Pulsar radiation in early season 2. Wouldn't that a Pulsar radiation were more harmful than the blue giant heat and radiations?
The energy from that blue sun would be hard particles, gamma, and everything between xrays and infrared. A significant portion would be in the 400 nanometer range (actinic blue) based upon the appearance.

A strong magnetic field similar to earth would provide an enormous amount of protection against "charged" hard particles. Some sort of electronic field might work.

A field that could simulate high atomic number nucleus would do a number on gammas without needing much mass. A dense/thick shield would be ineffective as hiding behind a mountain wouldn't protect you from the gamma flux. Some sort of electronic field might work.

The neutron flux from all that fussion would be nearly impossible to stop without a lot of water or some sort of metallic hydrogen armor. If our knowledge of nuclear physics were advanced enough we could possible shield against the subcomponents of protons and neutrons (maybe go after what the quarks are made of even) and use this as a hard particle shield.

The charged particles and photons weaker than gamma could be negated using ablative armor.

In truth there will never be a way for a ship to get that close. The gravitational shear forces from currents, solar wind, gamma flux and neutrons are too difficult to deal with.

Keeper
May 4th, 2011, 04:13 PM
On another note... any and all types of metal corrode or break down over time even without the presence of oxygen. Destiny has been going on active since the Icarus crew arrived for almost 3 years now. The solar collectors and energy cannons have yet to jam, especially after countless encounters of space battles.

i don't know much about this, so i could be wrong, but: don't metals have different decay rates? i.e. - is it possible that the metal on destiny is something that actually can last millions of years, without replacement?

a car can last several years on-the-road without needing as much as a repaint unless there's an accident. - i don't question destiny handling the crew being on board. same goes for any other show too, really, but i can think of a few (star trek, B5, andromeda) where various repairs are carried out to the ships, at various points, so presumably any worn bits of metal are replaced then.

energy cannons - because they wouldn't, technically, need to move while firing (reloading is an issue of power, not projectile,) don't jam in the way an ordinary gun do, as far as i'm aware. it should probably jammed from turning, but firing is an energy emission.

solar collectors jam? huh? ahh wait - you mean whatever method they use to put power on board destiny. i assume that if there's an intake tunnel of some sort, destiny regularly does a wastage flush on it. however, if this intake is simply left open to space, dust isn't going to develop and occasional atmosphere intake should be enough to clear it, when that atmosphere gets sucked into space afterwards.

otherwise: these things will work as the story needs them to work. the truth isn't really convenient unless you're making a scifi show based on how things really work, and while i can't remember now where it was i remember reading something where the producers said SGU's science was much more flexible than SG1/A. not bashing, just saying they'll not let a little thing like metal erosion get in their way, when no one else has (including on SG1/A, i might add) on any other show.

Greenfire32
May 4th, 2011, 05:34 PM
I'm finding more and more these days that a lot of people seem to think "fiction" means "reality in space."

It's fiction, it doesn't have to make sense. It's nice when it does, but it is not required to.

erotavlas
May 4th, 2011, 06:25 PM
The more I witness storylines pertaining to straining the use of shields, the more it got me wondering .... how much power is actually diverted to shielding.

Being that shields are this automagic bubble around the ship, recieving enemy fire at bursts of whatever... crews are able to calculate how many more hits the shielding can take before it fails... after shielding fails, they would have to rely on armored plating.

Now when traveling into the sun, shielding blocks off most radiation and heat. Is that even possible? for energy shields to block out radiation?



Sure why not. All EM radiation are just waves travelling through space. Maybe one day it will be able to devise something that cancels out the wave before they hit a physical object (like noise cancelling headphones that cancel out sound waves before they hit your eardrums)




I know we have sunglasses and lotion that blocks out UV rays ... but that's a fraction... and that's using material to produce... not pure energy.

In addition, although they powered down all non-essential systems to the ship just to have more power for the shields, in this episode, they travel into a blue dwarf... The heat is 'X' times more than a standard star like our sun.

Continuity ensues when you'd figure.... traveling into a blue dwarf with maximum power diverted to shields vs. minimum power diverted to shields plus every other system around the ship to keep the crew in populated areas alive from enemy ship fire...

The understanding of power reserves is lost somewhere in the mix. Remember... Destiny can never have a 'full charge'. In addition, the structural plating the ship is made from is circa millions of years old.


They flew into an O - type star

Maybe its like when you go into an elevator. You know how it has stated beside the door the maximum load that the elevator can safely support? Well it can support much more than that because engineers design it to withstand more than the materials it is made of can withstand (by some safety factor) Destiny must be designed to withdtand everything a regular star can throw at it times whatever safety factor the ancients used in their calculations. Perhaps that encompasses the radiation and forces from an O - Type star.



On another note... any and all types of metal corrode or break down over time even without the presence of oxygen. Destiny has been going on active since the Icarus crew arrived for almost 3 years now. The solar collectors and energy cannons have yet to jam, especially after countless encounters of space battles.

Not busting on Destiny... the same applies for other Sci-Fi shows as well. Just that this is a Destiny thread, so using it as primary example.

Last I've read like a year ago, energy shields are real in research and development, but not to the extent of blocking radiation or fully blocking projectiles from hitting the emanating target. They have yet to make it into a more effective large scale mass production reality.

Thoughts?

In space corrosion is more from radiation, like UV or high energy particles, not much from oxygen or other chemically reactive particles. If Destiny has a shield, then it protects it from the radiation and so prevents the corrosion of whatever materials the ship is made of. Plus not all materials corrode at the same rate. Gold for instance is one of the least reactive metals. I don't think it ever corrodes. Plus who knows what advanced materials or alloys the Ancients created that are also non reactive over long time scales.

senilegreen
May 4th, 2011, 11:32 PM
"Hard" science fiction worries about real science.

Stargate is not hard science fiction. I would not even call SG "science fiction", but a space fantasy (such as Star Wars).

As such, don't try to make the show fit into a rational universe. You had it correct when you used the term "automagic".

There's a place for good fantasy, from the Wizard of Oz to Star Wars to Lord of the Rings.  But I don't expect of those works what I do with "science fiction".

senilegreen
May 4th, 2011, 11:34 PM
It's fiction, it doesn't have to make sense. It's nice when it does, but it is not required to.


That's just wrong for so many reasons. Not to rain down too hard on you, but fiction really does need to "make sense", at least within the rules the author sets down within the story. Otherwise all that results is elaborate gibberish.

Lahela
May 7th, 2011, 10:09 AM
Light is just radiation and we can make filters that block out light, so creating shields that block radiation is just a question of knowing which types of radiation you want to block.

So says my hubby, the physicist. :)

morrismike
May 7th, 2011, 10:52 AM
Light is just radiation and we can make filters that block out light, so creating shields that block radiation is just a question of knowing which types of radiation you want to block.

So says my hubby, the physicist. :)
If he knows a thin filter (other than steel, poly or water) that will screen out gamma rays, my nuclear plant would like to buy some.

Trinary
May 7th, 2011, 11:21 AM
True, but they were a larger distance from the pulsar. Being inside a blue giant and in the vicinity of a pulsar are two different things.

I just use a simple logic that a Pulsar radiation at that distance still managed to vaporized a man, a Blue giant radiation is nothing in comparison for the destiny's shield at it's full strength.

Shadow_7
May 7th, 2011, 01:23 PM
For all we know the gates somehow feed raw materials to destiny when it's dialed. Why else have a platform. And why stop every X hours to dial a gate. Perhaps there's some nanobot tech in the metals and structure to use those materials to maintain the integrity. It's just not enough to fill in massive gaps where breaches have occurred. Or build new FTL units. And the nanobots numbers might have attritioned over the years. Just a thought.

I'm kind of curious if the O-type star did anything special for destiny like cook off a parasite or refurbish a particular material to help with it's batteries and structural strength. Like heating glass to repair a crack. Or welding two pieces of metal together to make a bigger piece of metal. Or just the general temporing of metals. Which could also have the opposite effect.

Vanek26
May 7th, 2011, 09:05 PM
Its well established in Stargate that shields can block radiation.

Lahela
May 7th, 2011, 11:41 PM
If he knows a thin filter (other than steel, poly or water) that will screen out gamma rays, my nuclear plant would like to buy some.

I think he was speaking theoretically.

morrismike
May 8th, 2011, 06:12 AM
I think he was speaking theoretically.
I would agree that an electronic "screen" is viable in the future (not theory just inevitable). I would disagree they'll ever be a thin filter (as in a material) that can screen out gamma.