Specification Review: Baker-Class Heavy Observer

Posted Feb. 7, 2020, 10:05 p.m. by Captain Nicholas Villarreal (Engineering Director) (Nicholas Villarreal)

Posted by Captain Nicholas Villarreal (Engineering Director) in Specification Review: Baker-Class Heavy Observer

Time for me to give this a once-over!

Baker-Class
Category: Observer
Variant: Heavy (Support)
Designer: Robert Archer
Mark I
Draft 1
Date: 24 December 2019

History and Mission Overview

In the year of 2360 Starfleet was a hive of expanding activity with the launch of the Galaxy class explorers and Nebula class cruisers. At the time, there were so few of these ships, that Starfleet put out the call for refitting of older designs to fill the gap until new ship building could catch up with the demands.

This second sentence feels inelegant. I’m not sure how you would reword it, but splitting it up into multiple sentences seems like the best approach.

As such the aged Baker class ships still within use in secondary roles within the Federation were refitted to more modern standards to allow the class a larger exploration presence on the frontier. Shipyards throughout the Federation refit these aged vessels, and within the coming two years by the dawning of 2365 the pilot launched Baker class heavy observer USS Baker NCC 6666 saw the return of this venerable scientific class to service along all known borders and in supplementing frontier exploration efforts throughout the Federation.

That second sentence is a large jumble and I had a bit of trouble deciphering it. I get that you’re basically trying to say that the refit of all Baker class vessels still in service was completed in 2365, starting with the ship of the class. I also understand that the point is that the vessels can once again serve on the edges of Federation space. In order to come to that conclusion, I had to reread it five times. Try and make that multiple sentences.

As a whole, this section explains the refit to an older design that, given the registry number, was originally introduced sometime in the early 24th century (~2320?). However, it doesn’t explain its original provenance, given that, in canon, both the Excelsior class and the Constellation class were still being constructed as ships of the line in this time period. Additionally, the Miranda class and variants thereof were being built as a support vessel. The details you have here work, but they need some meat on their bones, as it were.

Mission Profiles

Due to their aged nature and generally small size the Baker class heavy observer has a narrower scope of mission profiles compared to other larger ships:

First contact or follow up border surveys, space/planetary exploration and patrols
Fleet support and search and rescue operations
Cargo transport and relief efforts

I’m curious - why do other, larger ships matter with regard to the mission profile of the Baker? Just say what the ship is and what it can do; one imagines that people will understand its comparative limitations without mentioning larger vessels (yes, yes, I know that people have taken the STF Discovery-class for a spin in ways that would normally fit a Sovereign-class, don’t look at me like that).

Structure And Construction

The Baker class heavy observer has a narrow circular primary hull which connects directly to a flattened cigar shaped secondary hull. It has two nacelles positioned on static pylons which extend from the secondary hull directly to port and starboard. The Baker class observer spans 15 decks. Decks 1-3 and the forward sections of decks 4 and 5 solely make up the primary hull. The central and aft sections of decks 4 and 5 and the entirety of decks 6-15 make up the secondary hull. Layered on the outside of the hull are 2.0 centimeters of duranium sheets with ceramic plastics.

This works. It’s a bit ungainly, but then again, this is going for function, not style.

Science And Remote Sensing System

Sensor Systems

The Baker class houses the Class 8 sensor system. This system has a long range scan of 13 light years and a short range scan of 3.72 light years. Located within the central forward secondary hull on decks 12 and 13 is the ship’s oval shaped main deflector dish.

The deflector dish should probably be described in the Defensive Systems subsection of the Tactical Systems section. Beyond that, why is the main deflector so small and shaped differently than the fore of the secondary hull?

Computer and Network Systems

The Baker class heavy observer has a single fully isolinear data and network storage computer core located within the secondary hull on decks 12-15 arranged in a vertical manner in the ship’s aft sections.

The word “fully” is unnecessary here. It’s rare to find somebody describing a system as, say, “fully Intel-based processors” or “fully DDR4 RAM”. Additionally, how many aft sections does the Baker have? I think the singular makes more sense here.

The class makes use of the LCARS 7.0 OS with MAJEL interface.

Warp Propulsion Systems

The Baker class heavy observer makes use of the Class 6 warp core.

“Makes use” sounds as if the Baker could do better, but the designers settled for a Class 6. “Utilizes”, although a synonym, has a more functional feel to it. Additionally, “a Class 6 warp core”, not “the Class 6 warp core”, sounds better, albeit both technically work, so that’s more copy editing preference.

Powered by 1,516 Cochranes, the ship has a cruising speed of warp 6, a maximum sustainable speed of warp 8, a maximum speed for 12 hours of warp 9, and an emergency speed for 4 hours of warp 9.4.

Is it the ship or the core that is powered? There’s a certain problem with pronoun agreement here, and it seems like the beginning of the sentence is a misplaced modifier.

Ejection systems propel the core out the aft end of the ship from deck 14 in the secondary hull in an emergency.

Is the core horizontally mounted?

Impulse Propulsion Systems

SNIP No issues here.

Tactical Systems

Defensive Shields

SNIP This works. As stated before, the main deflector should be described in this section.

Phaser Systems

SNIP No issues here, although one does wonder about a TNG-era max phaser count for a post-Movie Era vessel.

Torpedo Systems

The Baker is armed with two Type-3 dual fire torpedo launchers; each launcher is capable of firing up to 2 torpedoes every 4 seconds. Each launcher is positioned with one forward and one aft on deck 14 and 15 within the secondary hull.

The ship carries 50 casings: 20 of these are for photon torpedoes, a further 25 are for specialized Class 1-9 scientific probes with 5 casings always kept on hand as empty for special mission need modifications. They have a maximum effective range of 3,500,000 km.

Are you sure you want to make the Baker capable of expending its photon torpedo complement in under a minute? There’s technically nothing wrong with it, I’m just wondering what the purpose would be for that in a science vessel.

Command And Support Systems

Bridge

The Baker class bridge is located on Deck 1. It is arranged in a circular shape. The bridge is equipped with easy modular setup for refits, repairs and replacement as needed. The aft end of the bridge contains 4 auxiliary consoles for miscellaneous personnel needs. Centered along a railing from port to starboard are the combined tactical/security console, two science consoles and a communications console. Just forward from this straight railing in a triangle pattern are the ship’s commanding officer, executive officer, and counselor chairs with consoles. Forward of them is the helm station. Forward of the helm station is the ship’s main view screen, to port and starboard of the view screen are two turbolifts. Emergency access to the bridge is gained by a single Jeffries tube located centrally on the floor, in front of the helm station.

I’m assuming that the layout is due to the refit instead of being part of the original vessel design; as we see on the Excelsior, Stargazer, Hathaway, etc., bridge design at the turn of the 24th century typically has a single command chair. Come to that, only larger vessels typically were given three centralized command chairs. Honestly, I think you might want to stick with the single central command chair, given the size of the vessel.

SNIP

Briefing Room

There is one room to the starboard aft side of the bridge, this is the ship’s briefing room. This room curves around the outer edges of the bridge on deck 1. A medium sized, square shaped table able to seat eight is present. Also present is a large display screen along the bridge facing wall.

You’re deliberately arranging the room so that two people in the room are always incapable of seeing the display screen. That seems contrary to the purpose of the room.

SNIP

Armory

The armoury is connected directly to port of the ship’s security hall on deck 10 within the secondary hull. The armory contains enough Type-2’s for arming the ship’s standard crew and security forces. The armory does not contain housings for Type-3 phaser rifles or any other forms of heavy weapons, armor or grenades, beyond stun variants, for the crew’s use.

Why? On a combat vessel, this would be mandatory. On a general purpose vessel, it could be understandably included. On a research vessel, this is a waste of space that could be used for research equipment or an additional laboratory. This needs to be removed, or you need to reclassify the kind of ship you’re making.

Science Labs

Located on decks 4 through 9 within the secondary hull are the Baker’s large and expansive science labs.

The use of redundant adjectives - both basically mean “taking up a lot of space” - could be replaced with just “extensive”. Either that, or get rid of “large”.

SNIP The lab layout itself works.

Main Engineering

The Baker class’s main engineering room runs along almost all of the aft sections of decks 13 and 14 with support areas along the lower reaches of decks 15 in these same areas.

I have a similar question as above - is the vessel segmented in some way other than the external structure? Otherwise, “aft sections” doesn’t quite make sense.

The single deck warp core is aligned horizontally on deck 14, forward to aft within this large oval shaped room.

Question answered, but you should mention that the core is horizontally mounted in the actual warp systems section.

The Chief Engineer’s office is located on the main work area of deck 14 facing the core. From here the officer can oversee all power functions, status of repairs and engineering teams under their charge.

Core ejection systems for the core and antimatter pods lead out a chute ejecting both out of the ship to aft in an emergency.

Monitoring systems and consoles are also aligned along the walls of this two deck room. In an emergency this area can be converted into a secondary bridge.

Utility Systems

Cargo Bays

The Baker houses four large cargo bays in the primary hull and two smaller in the central sections of the secondary hull. Each large cargo bay holds a single cargo transporter each. The large primary cargo bays are situated along the outer edge of the primary hull on decks 4 and 5 two on each side. The smaller secondary bays are located port and starboard at the central areas of deck 15 in the secondary hull. All of these bays house an exterior docking hatch for access while in dock.

Just for clarification - do the Deck 15 cargo bays open on the ventral side or to port and starboard due to the smaller size of the lower decks?

Tractor Beam Systems

The Baker is equipped with a single tractor emitter. The emitter is located within the aft dorsal section of the secondary hull, on deck 15. The emitter can handle a variable load of mass depending on power granted out to a range of 1,500km depending upon local spatial and subspace effects on the beam.

This can be a single paragraph (as edited). Beyond that, why is the tractor emitter aft-facing?

Transporter Systems

The Baker has four transporter rooms, which are each capable of transporting six personnel at a time. One transporter room is on deck 8 with another directly below on deck 9 within the secondary hull. The final two are arranged port to starboard on deck 11 of the secondary hull. Each transporter system has a range of 40,000 km.

Why would you put that many transporter rooms on such a small vessel? The Constitution-class had two transporter rooms, with four times the number of crew members.

Two emergency 12-person transporters are located port and starboard in the secondary hull on deck 8 along the central axis and another two are located on deck 11 in the forward area of the secondary hull near the main deflector dish, each with a range of 15,000 km.

Similarly, the Constitution had two emergency transporters. I would recommend halving the transporter equipment here.

SNIP

Crew Support Systems

Sickbay

The Baker houses one large sickbay in the primary hull to port on deck 5. With a smaller one in the secondary hull being housed on deck 10.

The second sentence is a fragment.

The larger sickbay holds 5 biobeds with 2 surgery and isolation bays. The smaller sickbay holds 2 biobeds with 1 small surgery and isolation bay. Both sick bays house emergency life support and power systems to run critical equipment for 24 hours, as well as redundant isolation systems for airborne pathogens.

The Chief Medical Officer’s office is located in Sickbay 1 on deck 5, able to monitor all patient and staff’s current status.

I feel like this is supposed to have a semicolon instead of a comma, which means you need to rework this sentence.

Connected internally to Sickbay 1 is a small 5 bed nursery for any pregnancies among the ship’s crew.

You think that there is the potential for that many babies on board among a crew of 150?

The sickbay in the secondary hull is used as a nurse’s station in normal operating conditions, except during times of yellow or red alert status.

Unlike more modern ship classes the Baker does not contain an EMH program nor holo-emitters within the ship’s sickbays.

This last sentence is unnecessary. You didn’t mention an EMH in the Science & Remote Sensing Systems section, so it’s assumed not to be on the ship.

Counselling Office

The ship’s counselling office is located on deck 5 to port in the primary hull. This room houses an outside waiting area with four plush couches, and a single office area with couch, chair, and work desk with replicator and mood adjustable lighting.

So, right next to the Sickbay?

Holosuites

The Baker houses 2 holosuites located next to each other on the starboard side of deck 6 in the primary hull. Though somewhat limited in their display abilities compared to full holodecks, the smaller holosuites were selected due to their lesser power demands.

This is obviously a later addition included in the refit. I think you may need to note that so that people don’t question issues of continuity.

Gym

The Baker class’s Gym is found at the forward areas of deck 10 and contains various exercise equipment from across the Federation. The room is able to allow work out 10 crew members at a time. The room also has variable gravity settings for those wishing a heavier workout.

Only 7% of the crew can use the gym at any given time? That seems kind of limited.

10 Forward Mess Hall

10 Forward Mess Hall is connected directly to the ship’s gym at the front of the secondary hull. It curves around in a half arc contouring to the gym area. The room has 2 replicators and about 20 people can be housed here comfortably among the assorted tables.

Ibid regarding the amount of crew able to be in the area at any one time.

SNIP

XO’s Quarters

The XO’’s Quarters are located on deck 2 port, and are slightly smaller than the CO’’s. The room is divided into two areas; a living and work area and a sleeping area. The living and work area holds one medium and one small couch, a table, desk and workstation with table. The bedroom has a king-sized bed and bathroom.

Department Head Quarters

The Department Head Quarters are located in a half ring around deck 3 to port within the primary hull. These are smaller than the XO’’s quarters and are divided into two areas; a living and work area and a sleeping area. The living and work area holds a medium-sized couch, a desk and workstation with table. The bedroom holds a single queen-sized bed and bathroom.

You’re using semicolons in place of either en/em-dashes or colons.

SNIP

General Guest Quarters

The general guest quarters are the same size and set-up as the JO quarters. There are 10 of these quarters arrayed between decks 4 and 5 within the primary hull. These quarters can be configured for any environment as required for visiting people.

Are you saying “visiting people” as opposed to visiting non-people? If not, “visitors” is appropriate.

Auxiliary Spacecraft Systems

The Baker class has a single shuttle bay located on the aft sections of the secondary hull on decks 6 and 7.

By default the shuttle bay holds the following auxiliary craft:

2 Armadillo class shuttles
1 Longevity class runabout

Why does a small vessel need a runabout? The Intrepid-class didn’t have any. Come to that, the Galaxy-class didn’t even have runabouts as far as I remember. Even the largest vessel we saw on the Enterprise-E was a Type 11 shuttle. Given that this is a refit of an older vessel, a runabout seems outside of what the ship would either need to have or be able to house.

Because of its mission of peace and exploration the Baker is not designed to house fighters in these bays.

Once again - if it doesn’t say that it can do it, it is assumed that it can’t. This sentence is unneeded.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions and Structure
Length: 400 meters
Beam (Width): 100 meters
Height: 80 meters
Decks: 15

This ship is a monster, size-wise, for a vessel with its capability and crew. The Constellation Class is basically half as long but just as wide, but has 500+ crew. I’m guessing it’s because of the ridiculous amount of lab space, but it still seems oversize, somehow.

Crew Complement
Officers and Crew: 150
Visiting Personnel: 35
Maximum Evacuation Limit: 900

Maximizing the crew amount for an Observer doesn’t really change that you’ve made a massive ship.

Computer Systems
Core
Isolinear data storage and processing core x1
Operating System
Starfleet Library Computer Access and Retrieval System (LCARS) 7.0
User Interface
MAJEL OS

Warp Systems
Power Plant
One 1,516 cochrane MARA core, feeding four nacelles

You say two nacelles above. You don’t mention nacelles at all in the actual Warp Systems section. This is the first mention of a four-nacelle layout. Which is it?

Cruising Velocity
Warp 6
Maximum Sustainable Velocity
Warp 8
Maximum Velocity
Warp 9 (12 hours)
Emergency Velocity
Warp 9.4 (1 hours)

Impulse Systems
Full Impulse
0.23c
Acceleration
50 seconds
Deceleration
50 seconds

Defensive Systems
Shield Maximum Graviton Load (Continuous)
1,075 MegaWatts
Shield Maximum Energy Dissipation Rate
5.84 x 10^5 kilowatts

Offensive Systems
Torpedoes
Torpedo Tubes
2x Type-3 Torpedo Tubes
Standard Payload (total)
20x photon torpedoes
25x probes
5x empty casings for special mission needs

Phasers
8x Type-VII Phaser Banks

DECK LAYOUT

SNIP I don’t see any glaring errors here.

SHIPS OF THE CLASS

Original Baker class ships are named for famous World War III generals that fought against the super soldiers of Khan Noonien Soong and his followers. However, due to their varied service refits from 2360 were named after early Earth sub-warp exploration probes

The war against Khan was renamed the Eugenics War after the global nuclear exchanges in the mid-21st century prior to Earth’s First Contact with the Vulcans. I get that the Vulcans consider it the Third World War, but humanity apparently doesn’t (unless you’re calling the dialogue in First Contact a continuity error).

Original Remaining Baker class Observers:

USS General Baker NCC 6666
USS General Cheftender NCC 6671
USS General Mangreen NCC 6675
USS General Lookie NCC 6679

Remaining 2360 Refit Baker Class Observers:

USS Pioneer I NCC 99102
USS Helios NCC 99107
USS Venera NCC 99110
USS Wind NCC 99116
USS Cosmos NCC 99201
USS Stereo NCC 99202
USS Solar Sentinel NCC 99251
USS Zond NCC 99253
USS Aditya NCC 99256
USS Messenger NCC 99260
USS Sputnik NCC 99261

Why were they given new registry numbers instead of keeping their original registries? There’s already a vessel design - the Kearsarge - that shows that a refit doesn’t mean a new registry, even if the refit gets a new class designation. You need to keep the registries below the 50000 range, and even then, they should probably actually stay below the 26000’s to really stick with the registries being mostly established prior to the Ambassador class’s introduction.

Conclusion

Though an older design, recent refits have brought renewed life to the aging Baker class Observers. Though few remain they continue to serve as to their original intent to seek out new life and new scientific discoveries for the Federation and her allies.

Submitted: 24 December 2019
Robert Archer

Much of what is at issue with this design relates to grammar which can be easily fixed. However, certain points of logistics and of Star Trek realism make certain points of the design need some more practical considerations. It’s a good first draft, and as such, the design process can move forward, but this does need to be reworked in places.

The review period is still open.

Nicholas Villarreal, EDir


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