The Frontier class Vanguard internal distribution infrastructure includes a number of related systems whose purpose is the distribution of vital commodities throughout the spacecraft. Although these commodities vary widely in the nature of distribution hardware, all require complex interconnections throughout the volume of the spacecraft, and nearly all are of sufficient criticality to require one or more redundant backup distribution networks.
MAJOR UTILITIES NETWORKS
These utilities distribution networks include:
Power. Power transmission for onboard systems is accomplished by a network of microwave power transmission waveguides known as the electro plasma system (EPS). Major power supplies derive microwave power from the warp propulsion power conduits and the main impulse engines. Additional feeds draw power from the saucer module impulse engines as well as a number of auxiliary fusion generators. A secondary power distribution system provides electrical power for specialized requirements.
Optical Data Network (ODN). Data transmission is accomplished with a network of multiplexed optical monocrystal microfibers. A series of five redundant major optical trunks link the two main computer cores in the primary hull, and an additional set of trunks link these to the third core in the engineering section. Any individual trunk is designed to be able to handle the total data load of the ship's basic operating systems. Major ODN trunks also provide information links to the 380 optical subprocessors located throughout the ship. These subprocessors improve system response time by distributing system load and provide a measure of redundancy in case of major system failure. From these subprocessors, additional ODN links connect to each individual control panel or display surface. Two secondary optical data networks provide protected linkages to key systems and stations; these backup systems are physically separated from the primary system and from each other.
Atmosphere. Breathable atmosphere is distributed throughout the habitable volume of the ship by means of two independent networks of air-conditioning ducts that recirculate the breathable atmosphere after reprocessing. Switching nodes permit alternate system segments to be employed in the event part of one primary system is unavailable.
Water. Potable water for drinking and cooling is distributed by two independent conduit networks. These networks run in parallel with wastewater return conduits to the four water recycling and reprocessing facilities located on Decks 3, 8, and 13.
Solid waste disposal. Linear induction utility conduits are used to convey solid waste to reprocessing facilities on Decks 3, 8, and 13. Such waste is automatically separated into mechanically and chemically recyclable material, with the remainder stored for matter synthesis (replicator) recycling. Hazardous wastes are immediately reprocessed.
Transporter beam conduits. A series of high energy waveguides serves to connect each transporter chamber to its associated pattern buffer tank and then to the various external transporter emitter arrays. Because any given personnel or cargo transporter may need to be linked to any of the seventeen external emitter arrays, this network must provide for any interconnection permutation.
Replicator and food service conduits. Similar to the transporter beam conduits, these waveguides connect the food service and general replicator headends to replicator terminals throughout the ship.
Structural integrity field (SIF) power conduits. Force field generators for the structural integrity field are located on Decks 5 and 14. Two parallel molybdenum-jacked triphase waveguide conduit networks distribute the field energy to the SIF conductivity elements built into the spacecraft framework. Crossovers between the Saucer Module and Engineering Section permit field generators in one hull to feed the entire spacecraft if necessary.
IDF power conduits. Inertial damping field generators are located on Decks 2 and 13. Two parallel molybdenum-jacked triphase waveguide conduit networks, similar to the SIF network, distribute the field energy throughout the vehicle. Crossovers between the Saucer Module and Battle Section permit field generators in one hull to feed the entire spacecraft if necessary.
Synthetic gravity field bleed. Although the ship's synthetic gravity field is created by the gravity generators located throughout the ship, a network of forcefield conduits is employed to allow translation of excess inertial potential to other parts of the ship. This process is computer controlled to optimize gravitational stability and subspace field differential. Any inertial potential in excess of system capacity is automatically bled off into the structural integrity field system.
Cryogenic fluid transfer. This refers to a number of insulated piping trunks that provide for intraship transfer of such cryogenic fluids as liquid helium. Oxygen for breathing gas replenishment is transferred to atmospheric processing modules in liquid form by means of the cryogenic fluid transfer system.
Deuterium fuel transfer. Two 45 cm insulated conduits provide for transfer of liquid deuterium between the primary deuterium tank and the impulse propulsion system. Additional insulated conduits connect the primary deuterium tank with the warp propulsion system, and the Saucer Module impulse engines and its associated fuel storage tankage (using a cross-feed conduit connecting the two sections). Smaller 18.5 cm insulated conduits connect various auxiliary storage tanks and the auxiliary fusion power generators.
Turboelevator personnel transport system. This includes the actual turboshaft tubes through which the inductively driven turbolift cars travel throughout the habitable volume of the ship, as well as the dedicated EPS power trunks and ODN links that support the system.
Reserve utilities distribution. This refers to a low-capacity, independent system of atmosphere, power, data, and water distribution networks. These systems serve as backups for use in the event service is disrupted from primary systems. Depending on load factors, this reserve system has a capacity of approximately thirty-six hours.
Protected utilities distribution. Another set of redundant utilities trunks, this system provides limited atmosphere, power, and data to critical areas of the ship as well as to emergency environmental support shelter areas. Also incorporated into this network are low-capacity superconductive electrical power distribution cables for critical backup systems.
ADDITIONAL UTILITIES SYSTEMS
Additional utilities systems provide support for the ship's service infrastructure. These include:
Umbilical resupply connect ports and associated systems. Principal among these are the resupply umbilical connect clusters located along the spine of the Engineering section. These include provisions for deuterium fuel loading, cryogenic oxygen resupply, gaseous atmospheric support, fresh water, wastewater off-loading, EPS external support, external synthetic gravity support, and external SIF/IDF support. Some of these umbilicals are used for resupply, the remainder allow external support systems (such as those available at a starbase) to carry the load of key systems, allowing the ship's systems to be shut down for servicing.
Jefferies Tubes. This refers to a system of access tunnels and utilities corridors that carry much of the various utilities conduits and waveguides. The Jefferies Tubes network covers the entire volume of the ship, providing access to utilities trunks and circuitry. Also located within these tubes are a variety of maintenance and testing points that allow the performance of various systems to be physically measured at key points throughout the ship.
Corridor access panels. Additional utilities distribution is provided by a network of passageways located within (and running parallel to) the personnel corridor walls. These corridor utility paths are accessible from within the corridor by removing the wall panels. Also located within certain corridor access panels are various emergency support packages, including emergency atmospheric and power supply modules, firefighting equipment, disaster medical supply kits, and environment suits.
Auxiliary fusion generators. Utilities systems include a number of small auxiliary fusion generators that provide power when the warp and impulse reactors are inactive. These fusion generators also provide supplemental power when needed and are a key element of contingency operations.