Icepick class Fuel/Ice Harvesting Drone
|Icepick class Fuel/Ice Harvesting Drone|
Making your fuel ready before you need it.
|Type: UDF Fuel Drone|
|Also see||Refinery Vessel|
|Canon||No. Unpublished, non-canon fan smallcraft design.|
|Cost||MCr9.2955. MCr8.36595 in quantity.|
|EOS||Examples still operate post-Collapse|
|Passengers||0 High/Med 0 Low|
|Reference||EXTERNAL LINK: MGT Forums|
|Designed with Mongoose Traveller High Guard rules, but portable to other versions.|
- It is a drone.
- It is commonly found in a swarm with examples of the Fuelbag, Mint, Quarter Hammer, System Defense Brick, and Zip drone classes.
What the Mint is to minerals, the Icepick is to fuel. Capable of basic survey if the swarm runs low on planetoids to mine, as an outgrowth of its design function of finding ice-bearing bodies and towing them back to the drone swarm. The AI's priorities are:
- first to to refuel visiting authorized ships as requested, from internal tanks or from local fuel depots (such as Fuelbags), to a limit of readily available fuel and the ships' capacity, while maintaining at least a quarter ton - one week's - fuel reserve for itself;
- second to refuel drones in its swarm or local fuel depots (not including any within a quarter ton of full capacity), as limited by available fuel and lack of targets, still maintaining at least a quarter ton fuel reserve;
- third to convert ice (close to the swarm and not part of any ship) to fuel in its fuel tank or local fuel depots;
- fourth to survey for new Ice-bearing bodies and tow them to the swarm if there is less than a month's worth of ice (and no conveniently accessible water-bearing world or gas giant) near the swarm to convert;
- and fifth to survey for new planetoids if the local swarm will run out of minerals to mine within a month.
Mints and Icepicks, working together, can maintain deep space fuel caches and materials depots, or act as in-system mining concerns that route materials and ore to local colonies to provide an income stream. If Icepicks are just making fuel for a swarm, they tend to be about 1 percent of the number of drones. If the main purpose of the swarm is to make fuel for visiting ships (such as a jump bridge), each Icepick can produce 12 tons per day, but planning typically uses 10 tons per day (for instance, if 2,500 tons per day is desired, there will be 250 Icepicks) to give a little backup capacity as well as fuel for the swarm.
An Icepick's refinery includes tiny drones of its own, not intended to scoop up water or fly into gas giants, but to fly short distances to free floating ice, carve off chunks, and bring them back to the Icepick. Replacement blades or sharpening is needed every month, usually provided by the repair drones of the Mints an Icepick partners with. Where there is not much ice but there is at least one water-bearing world or gas giant present, Zips are employed to fetch unrefined fuel. Icepicks do not have enough power to use all their systems at once, but will almost never maneuver while using their laser drill (and when they must, the refinery typically shuts down for the duration, the UNREP system often being used to resupply other drones with fuel or ammunition).
Not available at this time.
General Description & Deck Plans
- Deck Plans for this vessel.
Basic Ship Characteristics
|Basic Ship Characteristics |
|1.||Tonnage / Hull|| Tonnage: 10 tons (standard). 140 cubic meters. Planetoid Hull.
|2.||Crew||Crew: no sophonts. Software provides virtual Pilot and virtual Gunner.|
|3.||Performance|| Acceleration: 7-G maneuver drive installed.
|5.||Hardpoints||Too small for hardpoints. 1 firmpoint.|
|6.||Armament||1 laser drill, not recommended for combat.|
|7.||Defenses||None. Usually reliant on other drones in the swarm, working so remotely that no pirate finds it, or just outrunning attackers.|
|8.||Craft||None (besides itself). With no crew, vacc suits and Rescue Balls are not normally carried.|
|9.||Fuel Treatment||It is equipped with (and is largely all about) a fuel purification plant. It does not have fuel scoops.|
|10.||Cost||MCr9.2955. MCr8.36595 in quantity. (The architect's fees were amortized long ago.) Known to high precision after extensive manufacture by Quarter Hammers.|
|11.||Construction Time||9 days standard, 7 in quantity. Quarter Hammers (which construct the majority of this type) build one at a time, and thus use the standard rate.|
|12.||Remarks||An ice refining drone intended to provide fuel for other drones.|
The basic concept of fuel drones is as old as fuel scoops, predating the invention of jump drive in all known cases. They are an extremely common, often overlooked type of smallcraft. The Icepick model was created alongside the Quarter Hammer class Construction Drone, but the historical record is unclear whether Icepicks were created to assist Quarter Hammers, vice versa, or if the end result was two initially independent efforts that merged together.
Icepicks are of note for being the backbone of certain low-key, unlisted jump bridges in and near Imperial space, as well as more well known ones further away such as the Solomani Preserve's VoidBridges and the Pirian Domain Fuel Factories. They require maintenance (thus the need for Quarter Hammers). Certain jump bridges established before the Long Night were "kept on a leash", intended to self-destruct should the owning polity go away, by consisting only of Icepicks. Once routine maintenance stopped being supplied - a common result of the Long Night - they eventually broke down on their own, just as planned.
Many different models of Icepicks have been produced over time. The version listed in this article is the most commonly encountered version in the Third Imperium.
Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities
Poets have painted Icepicks as the most motherly type of the mining drones. Extending from this image, Quarter Hammers are the whores that birth new drones, Mints are the hard working maidens, System Defense Bricks are the protective fathers, Zips are the dutiful sons, and Fuelbags are the pets or livestock.
Icepicks are almost always known by numerical identifiers. Most are never individually addressed by anything other than the computer coordinating their drone swarm, and thus only nominally even have an identifier in any sophont language.
Selected Variant Types & Classes
- Type UDF class Industrial Smallcraft
- Icepick class Fuel/Ice Harvesting Drone
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