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Its been some time since I posted something but have been busy and had a total lack of inspiration. That being said I have worked on a design for a planetary defense system for the Chronicles of Man universe.

Basically this would be a laser defense satalite with missiles as a secondary weaponsystem.

Having finished it now I decided to add a new text (better readable) and a size comparison along with the more detailed design. It is quite big but still quite small compared to the larger capital ships seen in the Chronicles of Man
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------------------EARTH SPHERE FEDERATION------------------

ESV AOTEAROA, FFS-2102---------------------------------------

------------------------VECTOR VARIANT-------------------------

My second "vector" spaceship and a remake of the good old
"Tumatauenga-Class" Frigate.
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An older piece of work showing the Tori Class frigate with a corvette and light dropship added for scale reference.
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The Nova class of light cruisers represent the next generation of human warships - elegant, agile, deadly.

Armed with a multitude of long range guns and missiles, Nova cruisers are able to rip apart enemy fleets with impunity. Its quad ARCdrives provide it with unparallelled maneuverability, cementing its role as a battlespace dominator.

Design notes:

Designed as an evolution rather than a revolution of the established standard ship design philosophy, the Nova cruiser was to be a melding of the chunky, rugged and militaristic look of the previous ship designs with with flowing, elegant lines that made up the Cirrus lightship (a new generation of ships).

Thus the use of the ARCdrives, seen first on the Cirrus lightship. The armour emplacements on the Nova are smaller, smoother and much more elegant compared to the chunky emplacement covering the previous warship designs. While armour plates and hull design still follow the generic angular hexagonal design philosophy due to their prime geometric properties (angular shapes deflect incoming fire and radar), flowing lines and gull shapes now come into play to provide a more technologically advanced look to the Human fleet.

Weapons have also been upgraded. While previously, all weaponry existed as spinal mounted weapons due to the structural superiority of having the entire ship surrounding it. The Nova cruiser departs from this with exposed gun emplacements mounted at the bow. While still maintaining the forward firing design of its predecessors, this design allows for weapons that exceed the structural limitations of the hull.

The continuation of forward firing weapon mounts is due to the fact that it is an optimal position for:

1. Reducing recoil, as the mass of the entire ship is behind it as well as the propulsion system.

2. The forward profile presents as drastically reduced target signature when firing, thus minimizing enemy weapons impacts.

3. Weapons mounted at the front, and thus the first line of defense against enemy fire, ensures that the habitation and propulsion modules will be adequately protected.

4. Human war fleets generally emerge from hyperspace and burn in-system head on, thus having weapons mounted generally facing the frontal arc maximizes immediate firepower upon engagement.

Improvements possible:

ARCdrives are very exposed at the moment, what with being mounted on nacelles face from the main hull. These nacelles may present a shearing hazard when the ship engages in combat maneuvers that exert undue stress upon the struts connecting the ARCdrives to the main hull.

Firing arc still limited to forward arc of fire. Turrets have been trialled but the use of mechanical systems makes it prone to jamming and other problems, thus turret systems are not recommended.
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Vehicle Systems & Configuration Chart

Nuclear pulse propulsion Reconnaissance Mission spacecraft designed for my Orion’s Arm future history setting.

Image featured: on Winchell Chung’s Atomic Rockets site, Project Orion page, under William Black's 3D Orions.

Image is part of a future historical setting, details in my journal entry Orion’s Arm Future History, A Synopsis.

Reconnaissance expeditions fall at +300 years on my future history timeline. A journal post with more detail on this era is to be found here: Martian Earth Return.

A Timeline Graph is to be found here: Timeline.

This is the first in a class of vehicles designed for use during the Martian Earth Return segment of my future history. The three types of vehicles included in this class are: Reconnaissance, Contingency, and Intervention.

A second class of vehicles will include a nuclear pulse HLLV – for lofting heavy payloads to Earth orbit, engineering vehicles with heavy landing craft to prepare landing sites for the HLLV’s, and an interplanetary cargo transporter.

The Martian terraforming program requires a far broader sampling of Earth-life than the initial settlement requirements of food animals and agricultural crops suitable to environment shed farming – so a return to Earth is part of the effort. However …

Earths civilization has collapsed. The causes and conditions of that collapse, the status of any remaining human population, and what might lay in wait for the Martians (a dead world, a human population reduced to savagery surviving in primitive conditions, bunkered enclaves of reactionary military forces, or survivors capable of becoming partners in trade) are all unknowns.

The first phase of the Earth return employs Reconnaissance mission vehicles in order to answer these questions.

The spacecraft is an intelligence gathering platform which employs a sophisticated Electro-optical Hyperspectral/Multispectral imaging array. Crew disciplines bridge expertise in Measurement and Signature Intelligence, (MASINT), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), and Imagery Intelligence (IMINT).

Electro-optical MASINT has similarities to IMINT, but is distinct from it. IMINT's primary goal is to create a picture, composed of visual elements understandable to a trained user. Electro-optical MASINT helps validate that picture, so that, for example, the analyst can tell if an area of green is vegetation or camouflage paint. Electro-optical MASINT also generates information on phenomena that emit, absorb, or reflect electromagnetic energy in the infrared, visible light, or ultraviolet spectra, phenomena where a "picture" is less important than the amount or type of energy reported.

Hyperspectral sensing allows discrimination of refined signatures, based on a large number of narrow frequency bands across a wide spectrum. These techniques can identify military vehicle paints, characteristic of particular countries' signatures. They can differentiate camouflage from real vegetation. By detecting disturbances in earth, they can detect a wide variety of both excavation and buried materials. Roads and surfaces that have been lightly or heavily trafficked will produce different measurements.

Hyperspectral imaging can detect disturbed earth and foliage. In concert with other methods such as coherent change detection radar, which can precisely measure changes in the height of the ground surface. Together, these can detect underground construction. It can detect specific types of foliage supporting crop identification; disturbed soil supporting the identification of mass graves, minefields, caches, underground facilities or cut foliage; and variances in soil, foliage, and hydrologic features often supporting NBC* contaminant detection.

*(Nuclear, Biological, Chemical warfare)

In a certain sense, the initial phase of the Martian return to Earth presents unknowns of similar scale to what an interstellar expedition might encounter: an unknown world and a potential first contact scenario. The mission turns the NASA nuclear pulse exploration missions on their head, launching from Mars and exploring an Earth which, in the three hundred years since the Martian departure, has become an unknown.

The Reconnaissance spacecraft is the Martian’s first fully re-usable Orion spacecraft – a surface launched spacecraft which performs its mission and returns to a touchdown at its point of origin to be refurbished and used again. 

Ground launch is accomplished via rocket assist, firing four engines derivative of the Rocketdyne L-6 – six million lbs thrust per engine – lofting the vehicle to an altitude sufficient to avoid ground-reflection shock waves from the nuclear pulse drive. On mission return, after the nuclear pulse drive has canceled the vehicles orbital velocity, the spacecraft descends using its integral rockets to trim the vehicles free-fall velocity and brake the spacecraft during the last several kilometers of descent to touchdown.

Details on the Rocketdyne L-6 here: Rocketdyne L-6 Engine

At launch first-stage toroidal shock absorbers are protected from the rockets reflected ground-blast by its integral micrometeorite shield. Second-stage shock absorbers are retracted to their full stop position. Rockets loft the vehicle to about 700 feet.

On engine shutdown the rockets are withdrawn into internal bays, engine ports are sealed, the first-stage shock absorber micrometeorite shield is retracted, the second-stage shock absorbers move to their nuclear pulse start position, and nuclear pulse operation is initiated. 

An upcoming post will detail the launch site designed to accommodate low-altitude nuclear pulse operation.


Special thanks to Rhys Taylor for his input, advice, and time spent in brainstorming these ideas with me. Dr. Taylor's advisement helped shape and constrain the concepts surrounding this type of spacecraft, and the overall concept and form of vehicles involved in this stage of my future history setting.

Related Images:

Expedition to Earth 

Reconnaissance Orion Launch Site


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A naval vessel from Anno Astra...

Lepanto-class heavy destroyer

Originally designed for a foreign customer and first constructed at the Vickers Shipyard on the second moon of Churchill, the Lepanto-class was adopted by the Commonwealth as a standard heavy destroyer type, with heavy armament, good spacekeeping qualities, endurance and range.

As the Lepanto was designed for an aggressive role, three of its four main turrets were mounted to give it a very heavy frontal salvo, at the expense of its broadside. There are more torpedo tubes than to be expected for a vessel of this size, though with fewer reloads. It is quite adequately defended by sixteen point-defense turrets and carries two mobile suits in its hangar.

The design has come under some criticism, especially with regards to its long-term habitability. Cramped interiors and what many feel to be an inadequately-sized gravity block have been oft-heard concerns, though the Commonwealth Admiralty does not see this as a major issue.

At 190 meters, it masses at 30,000 tonnes deadweight and has a crew of 370, including MS pilots and maintenance crew. The Commonwealth usually assigns these as the flagships for its independent destroyer squadrons, in lieu of its light cruisers.
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Painted some ships at work. I figured I should take a break from painting Females and characters.

They are Large Command ships or maybe they are Pilgrim ships.
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For Alex, your Baby is done :)
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type: arsenal ship (light cruiser)

manufacturer: Kushiro Shipbuilding

in service: 2502-present

country of origin: Nippon Star Empire

used by: Nippon, Russia
, Aita

unit cost: about 400 mil. Geo
length: 398 meters

diameter: 37 meters

weight: 27000 tonnes

crew: 26

armor: 450 fore 800 aft

energy shield: 4 10 MJ/sec
armament (energy): 4 120 MWt lasers (0.5 pulse)

armament (kinetic): 2900mm railgun

armament (guided): none

armament (unguided): none
propulsion: 4 Elysium Steel Mechanics Block D (7.85G thrust)

interstellar drive: none (Mk.3 hypercore on 451-S series, Mk.1 warp drive on 451-P series)

variants: 451-A standard, 451-I improved with more powerful energy core, 451-S interstellar, 451-P interplanetary
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