Internal Ship Layout Accounting for Artificial Gravity

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Ray_Of_Meep
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Internal Ship Layout Accounting for Artificial Gravity

Post by Ray_Of_Meep » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:16 pm

In science fiction, there are three primary methods of generating artificial gravity for spacecraft: linear, centrifugal, and technological. Linear relies on the spacecraft applying constant thrust, which will create an equivalent sense of gravity directly dependent on the acceleration created. Centrifugal requires a spinning drum of sorts, pushing objects along the wall outward, similarly creating a sense of gravity that is dependent on the size of the drum and the rate of the spin. Technological requires neither method, instead relying on fictional methods that allow matter to simply fall in an earthly manner. Technological gravity allows for spacecraft to be designed like conventional, sea-faring ships, having crew stand "fall" perpendicular to the typical direction of travel.

However, even with technological gravity ridding cumbersome mechanisms such as a rotating drum, or engines constantly under thrust, a conventional ship layout for spacecraft is rather inefficient. Consider the sheer distances spacecraft must traverse, even if only in-system. In this setting at least, Interplanetary transit is completed by normal, albeit highly efficient and powerful, thrust: engines mounted on the aft of the ship creating acceleration forward. Without distorting space itself, travel through a solar system in such a way, in a timely manner, requires a great deal of acceleration, that of a magnitude equivalent or higher than that of Earth-like gravity. This acceleration creates linear gravity towards the aft of a ship. With "technological" gravity pulling the crew perpendicular to the aft direction, this will create a net gravity effect at a slanted angle, problematic for a spacecraft with a normal floor layout.

This problem can be mitigated in one of two ways. The first, and what I assume to be implemented on most sci-fi spacecraft, is inertial dampeners, mitigating the feel of acceleration from the engines within the hull of the ship. This alone solves the problem, but raises more questions about how the inertial dampeners work, adding onto a growing list of black-magic technologies that includes FTL and technological gravity.

The second method requires no additional technological compensation, asking only the layout the floors normal to the aft engines, creating a skyscraper layout as seen in the Expanse. Now, the only real variable for maintaining artificial gravity during interplanetary travel is the technological gravity itself. As the ship accelerates, technological gravity can be dialed down, or even shutdown entirely, as linear thrust creates the gravity required. At constant speed with no thrust forward, technological gravity can be turned back on. The skyscraper layout provides a secondary advantage. In the event that technological gravity is somehow lost, like a battle, artificial gravity can still be maintained with linear thrust. With the natural incentive to constantly maneuver and maintain a relative difference in speed between combatants, thrust by the aft engines in battle is almost always going to be maintained anyways.
uso
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Re: Internal Ship Layout Accounting for Artificial Gravity

Post by uso » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:44 pm

Basically perfect. Do we want to put this up as a guide on the wiki?

Also, do we want to come up with some shorthand names for the different orientation types?
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Bullroarer4
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Re: Internal Ship Layout Accounting for Artificial Gravity

Post by Bullroarer4 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:51 pm

BT orientations - linear gravity (battletech like)

B5 orientations - centrifugal gravity (earth babylon 5 like)

ST orientations - technology gravity (star trek like)
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CadetNewb
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Re: Internal Ship Layout Accounting for Artificial Gravity

Post by CadetNewb » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:53 am

Ooof, I'm definitely late. Yes, do add this to the wiki if it hasn't been already!
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