Deviation Actions

William-Black's avatar

Over Mars

Full Resolution Digital Print: $15.00
Orders can be placed at
See my profile page for details.

Nuclear pulse propulsion warship concept for my Orion’s Arm future history setting.

Consortium of Moons (often shortened to Consortium Moons) is a treaty defense organization among industrialized space habitats and surface installations in the Saturn system – the otherwise independent city-states of my future history. Here Consortium Moons warships orbit over post-occupation liberated Mars in the early years of the System State’s War.

Image is part of my Orion's Arm future historical setting, see my journal entry Orion’s Arm Future History, A Synopsis. A Timeline is to be found here: Timeline. Note: this is the fully terraformed Mars of the System’s States War era at +750 years on my future history timeline.

Terraformed Mars is a Photoshop composition using a variety of NASA/JPL sourced images.

Aldo Spadoni’s designs for ”Michael" from Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle’s “Footfall”, have played a role influencing my thought in regards to Orion warship’s, along with extensive reading on sites like Winchell Chung’s Atomic Rockets and Scott Lowther’s Unwanted blog.

You will note that there are no windows on my warships, for obvious reason of avoiding the crews being burnt and blinded during combat. Bridge/CIC (Combat Information Center) is buried deep in the core of the spacecraft behind layers of armor and surrounded by water tanks.

Over-size, high thrust, reaction-control system jets (along with the Orion) permit rapid changes in aspect (“Jinking”) relative to hostile combatants and incoming fire.  

Weapons are primarily missiles, with loads varying between nuclear, and kinetic kill systems (i.e. showers of slugs and umbrella like steel nets) along with "Casaba-Howitzer,” charges.

Bundles of drive-bomb-pumped X-ray lasers ejected between nuclear pulse charges, are employed in either offensive or defensive role.

I favor bomb pumped lasers over ship mounted lasers, less on-board waste heat to deal with and I think the fit to combat Orion spacecraft would be too good for engineer’s to pass on.

Radiator panels are flat-panel, one-side, and hull mounted – the entire 400’ length of the impulse stack on the vehicles imaged is covered by radiator panels. 
Phalanx style CIWS provide final point anti-missile defense.

Related Image:

Battle Over Phobos
Image details
Image size
3072x3231px 1.55 MB
© 2013 - 2021 William-Black
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
AngryMagpie's avatar

Would it be safe to assume this is constructed like a tall building.

William-Black's avatar

Yes exactly. Internal decks would be oriented in exactly that manner, so that, under thrust, it would be as if the engines, and thus the local orientation of "down," would be towards the "basement." This is the only logical construction for deep space vehicles which never enter an atmosphere.

Stargazzer811's avatar

You forget, human's aren't logical.

IsoGraph60XYZ's avatar
Cool.Like the Engineering thought in it-real physics.Winchell Chungs site is great.If you can still find them-the  Comic book series 'Albedo' by Steve Gallaci has similar ship combat tech ref KE weapons and manuver.
MASCH-ART's avatar
Very Nice. Looks very time consuming project and in a good way. I expect I will have to look at all your works of art
JESzasz's avatar
 Even without windows, I'm getting the feeling that this is a pretty big ship, and looks quite formidable. She doesn't have the face of a vessel you want to f**k around with.
ZhengAL's avatar
Are "one-side" radiators a real thing? What prevents heat from the side facing the hull from being radiated into the hull?
William-Black's avatar

Yes one-side radiators are a "real thing."

The side facing the hull is not a radiative surface; it is thermally insulated just as the pipes carrying the coolant on the "hot-side" of the system would be thermally insulated.


The USAF Orion Battleship was to be 80’ diameter with an overall length of 250,’ a sealed hull length (above the second stage shock absorbers) of  171’. Apply the equation for finding the surface area of a cylinder and this gives a surface area of 3,973 meters. You have to take away area occupied by ports for missile launchers, instrumentation, and gun positions to get the exact figure (I’ll leave that as an exercise for those interested) this is surface area available for a one-side radiator to manage crew waste heat and the waste heat generated by electronics and power systems for an Orion Battleship with a crew compliment of 1201.


This battleship (in the image above) has a 100’ diameter by 400’ length of hull (containing pulse unit storage and conveying apparatus, and the ships electrical power system*) available for a one-side radiator. Again apply the equation for finding the surface area of a cylinder and this gives a surface area of 10,066 meters. I’ve already subtracted the area occupied by weapon emplacements and sensors (they are carried forward of the area in question). By my back of the envelope calculations this should be sufficient area to handle the waste heat for a crew compliment of 50, electrical systems, plus the radiator requirement for an advanced version of a SNAP10A.


See Winchell Chung’s Atomic Rockets page under Radiator Types. I recommend a close read of the entire section.


1Cite:Aerospace Projects Review issue Volume 2, Number 2, available here


*Advanced nuclear reactor derived from the SNAP10A design.  Winchell Chung’s Atomic Rockets site has a good detailed page on nuclear reactors for in-space power systems application, here. Note the SNAP10A on the right at the link. Another image of this reactor is found here.

dcmstarships's avatar
nifty ship
NyrathWiz's avatar
Hot stuff! That one mean warship. Armed to the teeth too. And scientifically accurate. Outstanding work!

Arrgh, Aldo Spadoni's Michael! I helped him make a nice textured Blender mesh using his blueprints (the full ones, not the simplified ones you saw). Alas, until his partner gives permission, we can't show it to anybody.
William-Black's avatar
Thanks, this is indeed high praise coming from you, with your respectable level of knowledge.

Working with Aldo Spadoni must have been an amazing experience. I’d love to get a look at a more detailed Michael – hopefully at some point the work will be released.
NyrathWiz's avatar
Oh, you have a respectable level of knowledge as well. It shows in all your work. What I admire is how you are putting all the knowledge to work, designing spacecraft and extrapolating technologies.

Yes it was amazing working with Mr. Spadoni, I certainly hope the work will eventually be released. It is most frustrating.
grafikeer's avatar
Wow,that's one hugely detailed model,bet the poly count was up there! Another fine addition to your saga!
Bajireyn's avatar
Woo, Casaba Howitzers!

Nice Orion drive warship, by the way.
William-Black's avatar
Thanks! Glad you like it.
anw-rev's avatar
Do you have any info/artwork on O'Neill Cylinder or other variants (McKendree Cylinder)?
Your help is most appreciated~
William-Black's avatar
I've sent a note with what links I have, and thanks for the fav on "Cities on the Ring." I'm glad you enjoy my work.
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In