Tech Submission - SPARTA Probe Launcher - Draft 3 on Engineering Department

Coming in for draft 3 review is our sparta probe launching system! This is open for review to all active members from 4/24/2018 until 5/8/2018

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Changelog (Draft 2 to Draft 3)
Fixed general grammatical and spelling errors.
Reworded various sentences to remove ambiguity in the limitations of the torpedo range.

Name of Technology:
The Specialised Probe and Reduced-size Torpedo Adapter System (The SPaRTA System):
Mini-Special Probe Adapter (Mini-SPA)
Micro-Special Probe Adapter (Micro-SPA)
Micro-Reduced Ordinance Torpedo Adapter (Micro-ROTA)

Category of Technology:
Miscellaneous Devices

Description of Technology:
Naming of Individual Components:
Collectively, this system of specialised casings is known as the Specialised Probe and Reduced-size Torpedo Adapter System (The SPaRTA System), which contains specifications for three adapters:
The Mini-Special Probe Adapter (Mini-SPA), a specialised casing for use of mini probes in full-sized launchers.
The Micro-Special Probe Adapter (Micro-SPA), a specialised casing for use of micro probes in full-sized launchers.
The Micro-Reduced Ordinance Torpedo Adapter (Micro-ROTA), a specialised casing for the use of micro torpedoes in full sized launchers.
As no current design for comparable ‘mini’ sized torpedoes exists, there is no provision in the SPaRTA system for a ‘Mini-ROTA’ as such.

Design History:
In the years following the return of the USS Voyager from the Delta Quadrant, a group of forward-thinking physicists banded together to draft a design for a dedicated long-range science vessel, which would eventuate in the release of the Relativity class. However, when attempting to draft this surveyor, the designers came across a snag - there was simply not enough leeway in the ship’s design to have a dedicated probe launcher for each of the three classes of probes, while still maintaining a basic defensive capability.

At this point, the designers had two options: scrap the capability for launch of those dedicated miniaturised science probes (and lose a degree of investigative capacity), or cripple the ship’s already minimal defensive systems (which would almost require the vessel to have an escort at all times). Evidently, neither of these options were acceptable, which gave rise to the SPaRTA system. This allowed the design to have its defensive capabilities, while maintaining one full-size dedicated probe launcher (with SPaRTA casings on hand) for maximum research capacity.

After an effective demonstration of its usefulness throughout the USS Relativity’s 2383 to 2388 shakedown cruise, the SPaRTA technology was released to the rest of the fleet for use in late 2388. It may be used wherever applicable, and wherever any respective CO sees fit for its application.

Discussion of Technology
The SPaRTA casings are effectively a ‘shell’ that surrounds the smaller probes. Due to the size differential between the ‘micro’ and ‘mini’ probes, and the completely different dimensions of ‘micro’ torpedoes, there are three dedicated adapter casings, which are not interchangeable. However, externally, all casings are the exact dimensions of a standard probe or torpedo, and are hence fired in the exact same way from standard-sized launchers.

The main internal components of the SPaRTA casings are; dedicated inertial dampeners, which allow the casing to utilise a precisely controlled detonation of explosives to separate the ‘shell’, whilst not affecting the trajectory of the probe(s) encased inside; and a standard torpedo guidance and propulsion system, allowing the casing itself to reach the desired destination, before releasing its multiple payloads. There is also provision for the casing to direct the probes in certain directions, if they haven’t their own internal propulsion systems. This can be extremely useful for situations where, for example, a research team wanted to position multiple probes in an orbital grid over a planet. Similarly, it could potentially be used with micro-torpedoes to create a ‘MIRV’ effect. In any case, the standard use case of enabling miniturised payloads to be launched in standard sized tubes, remains of paramount importance.

With the space taken up by the inertial dampening components, propulsion, and guidance systems, the SPaRTA casings are limited to a maximum number of the related smaller payloads:
The Mini-Special Probe Adapter (Mini-SPA) is limited to a maximum of 16 mini probes.
The Micro-Special Probe Adapter (Micro-SPA) is limited to a maximum of 8 micro probes.
The Micro-Reduced Ordinance Torpedo Adapter (Micro-ROTA) is limited to a maximum of 8 micro torpedoes.
Each casing is limited to these maximum numbers, however, are completely functional in the event that fewer are required to be launched. As aforementioned, each individual type of SPaRTA casing will not be capable of launching any other type of miniaturised payload (for example, micro torpedoes will not be compatible with a Mini-SPA casing). Within these constraints, the SPaRTA casing contains enough fuel internally to be able to travel a distance equal to that of approximately three quarters of a standard torpedo - with each encased smaller ordinance then able to additionally travel under their own power from this point, as if fired from a ship.

When the SPaRTA casing reaches its desired destination, the internal guidance computer (or, if still in range, the firing ship’s main computer - for more accuracy and precision) will calculate trajectories for each encased torpedo or probe, and upload this data to each device. After this sequence has completed, the torpedoes or probes are primed, and the SPaRTA casing decoupling sequence begins. The internal inertial dampener activates, to minimise the effects of the detonation on the encased devices, and only the internal scaffolding holding the ordinance will remain. At this point, the devices are released, and either under their own power - or under the trajectory already set by the SPaRTA casing until the point of separation - are released, and allowed to travel on to their targets. This completes the entire sequence, and is completed in under five seconds, from when the main casing reaches the desired coordinates.

Creator of Technology:
Levon Johnson

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Robert Archer EDir

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