Difference between revisions of "Worldbooker class Survey Ship"

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Worldbooker class Survey Ship
Wiki Navy.png
Sorting the Wheat-Compatible From the Hostile Biospheres
Type: LU Survey Vessel
Agility 0
Also see System Survey - Beagle Vessel
Architect Adrian Tymes
Blueprint Yes
Canon No. Unpublished, non-canon fan starship design.
Cargo 4 Tons
Cost MCr312.946. MCr281.6514 in quantity.
Crew 19
Enlisted 18
Officers 1
EOS Examples still operate post-Collapse
Era Third Imperium
Hardpoints 4
Hull Wedge Hull
Illustration No
IOC 695
Jump J-2
Maneuver 2 G
Manufacturer Ling-Standard Products
Marines 0
Model Model/8
Origin Third Imperium
Passengers 0 High/Med 0 Low
QSP LU-DS22
Reference EXTERNAL LINK: MGT Forums
Size 400 Tons
Size-cat ACS
Streamlining Streamlined Hull
Tech Level TL–14
USP LU-E422S-L
Designed with Mongoose Traveller High Guard rules, but portable to other versions.

The Worldbooker class Survey Ship is survey starship.

Description (Specifications)

The purpose of a Worldbooker is to thoroughly survey planets in a few weeks. It accomplishes this largely from orbit (usually landing only to refuel, if it has not done so at a gas giant), identifying interesting or representative areas of a planet and dropping survey drones from a few hundred kilometers up to more thoroughly examine the local geology and biology. These drones are largely autonomous, not directly piloted by the team of scientists in orbit but merely told what to do (though manual control is an option), while the scientists compile and analyze data from the drones and the ship's sensors. Most of the ship's sensors are aimed down to assist with data collection, and part of the maneuver drive lies at the base of the nose to assist with drone dropoff and recovery maneuvers. The ship even carries a modified shallow penetration suite, optimized for penetrating planetary crusts to read electromagnetic and infrared sensors suggesting hidden volcanic or other unusual activity.

Design of Worldbookers' drones started with the fact that many interesting worlds have oceans of some depth, and a few others have atmospheres dense enough to cause worries about pressure at their bottoms. The obvious solution is a grav vehicle that can dive, but the pressures involved made it more practical to equip a Worldbooker with submersibles that can fly. The result is large, comparable to a mid-sized fighter. Almost half the space consists of combined supercavitation and grav drives, in outrigger pods that envelope the craft in low-density gas (which the grav drive provides thrust through) in any high-pressure situation, yet still able to carry the drone to and from orbit. The central hull contains a vast array of sensors and samplers to measure any environment; a manipulator arm extending from the ventral surface to lift, pry, and dig; and a bit of cargo space to take mineral or biological samples (entire small organisms or important pieces of large ones) back to the ship. These drones dock securely to the lower deck of a Worldbooker, with barely enough room to attach refueling hoses and unload samples. They have enough fuel for several hours' operation if quickly following some current or river along its length, or much longer if staying mostly in one place such as when drilling to sample minerals up to a kilometer underground (or under the sea floor). Maintenance is done with the drone outside but near the Worldbooker, either between or after survey runs, often by other drones, with spare parts passed from the cargo hold through the rear airlock.

Scientists aboard a Worldbooker tend to work in belter-like schedules: 2 hours breakfast and waking up, 6 hours working, 2 hours lunch and break, another 6 hours working, 2 hours dinner and winding down, 8 hours sleep. At no point are more than 12 of the scientists working at once (or, if all 16 are - typically at the start before there is much data to analyze - the Planetology software is temporarily paused to free up bandwidth). Their main task is not so much to characterize what is on the planet when the ship visits - the drones can do that job - but to model and predict what the planet is like during the rest of its year, given the briefness of the survey (a Worldbooker in full operation tries to survey 6-12 planets per year, including time to jump from system to system and visit a port to resupply). Weather, currents, nutrient flows, any meteor swarms in the path of the planet's orbit, and other such data are analyzed to make a picture of typical seasons, project optimum year-round habitable locations and agricultural sites, and predict variations over time in local flora and fauna.

Image Repository

Not available at this time.

General Description & Deck Plans

  1. Deck Plans for this vessel.
    1 worldbooker deckplans.png

Basic Ship Characteristics

Following the Imperial Navy and IISS Universal Ship Profile and data, additional information is presented in the format shown here. [1]

Basic Ship Characteristics [2]
No. Category Remarks
1. Tonnage / Hull Tonnage: 400 tons (standard). 5600 cubic meters. Streamlined Wedge Hull.
  • Dimensions: maximum 53 meters long by 12 meters wide by 9 meters tall.
2. Crew Crew: 1 Pilot, 1 Astrogator, 1 Engineer, 16 Scientists. The Astrogator is usually also the captain.
3. Performance Acceleration: 2-G maneuver drive installed.
  • Jump: 2.
4. Electronics Model/8 ship computer.
5. Hardpoints 2 hardpoints, unused.
6. Armament None.
7. Defenses None.
8. Craft None. (A Worldbooker carries 4 survey drones, but they are technically gravcraft and not smallcraft due to their design emphases.) Vacc suits required for EVA (extra-vehicle activity). Rescue Balls for crew escape normally carried.
9. Fuel Treatment It is typically equipped with a fuel purification plant and fuel scoops.
10. Cost MCr312.946 standard (no architect's fees, having been amortized long ago). MCr281.6514 in quantity. This price includes a full set of custom survey drones.
11. Construction Time 9 months standard, 6 in quantity.
12. Remarks A Survey Vessel with custom survey drones, designed to relatively quickly profile and sort out candidate worlds for colonization.

History & Background (Dossier)

The Worldbooker design was created to capitalize on the expanded public interest in exploration following Empress Margaret I expanding membership of the Order of the Arrow to allow non-IISS members. No small number of initial purchasers were hoping to become a knight in this fashion. Over the centuries, some have done just that (a few even reaching the rank of baron this way), most often through dedicated work that has resulted in multiple successful colonies - though usually any given scientist-knight's work will take place within one Domain, resulting in a knighthood in that Domain's order instead.

Despite the promise of quick survey, a Worldbooker is never the final survey step of colonization (unless the survey gets "beagled" - see below). The intent is to have many people live their entire lives on a given world, so when a Worldbooker (or any Survey Vessel) is employed, it is usually the second starship to visit a target, coming after a Scout Vessel and before a Beagle Vessel. (Any colonization effort too desperate to wait for a Beagle Vessel is too desperate to wait for a Survey Vessel, and sometimes the colony ship must act as the Scout Vessel doing a quick initial survey before deciding where to crash.)

Sometimes a Worldbooker is tasked away from quick surveys, to stay on station around a specific world for several months, sometimes multiple years, to perform a more extensive survey leading up to colonization. This is known as "beagling the survey". While a Worldbooker is capable of this, it needs monthly resupply - and if it must perform two weeks of round trip jumps to and from a nearby system every month to do this, that uses up about half of its operational time. A common solution is to leave one of the survey drones behind so as to carry extra cargo. While a better solution would be to have some Tramp Vessel deliver supplies every month, in many cases those organizations that retask a Worldbooker like this are not organized enough to arrange for this. This is widely seen as a management problem, that rarely seems to get addressed despite the provable extra costs, inefficiency, and sometimes missed critical data (from the Worldbooker being off-station half the time).

Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities

Ship Interior Details (Peculiarities): Like most starships, a Worldbooker is minimalist with regard to its interior. Housing for the scientists is dormitory-style, directly underneath the scientific operations suite, while the ship's relatively small crew is housed separately. Access to the cramped bridge is only possible through the crew's quarters or through the forward airlocks, placed to discourage the scientists from bothering the crew during operations. This also gives the bridge crew uninterrupted access to the power plant during jumps, since a Worldbooker has just enough power to jump after shutting down everything but essential systems (primarily life support and artificial gravity). The scientific operations suite is divided into 16 library-like workstations, 2 4-person conference rooms, and three holotanks on which the planet being surveyed is constantly displayed (one of them sometimes shows a satellite, or a similar known world for comparison), either showing planet-wide data such as hydrological and atmospheric cycles or simply plotting a map, usually to highlight areas in need of a drone's attention or to confirm the completeness of the survey.

Class Naming Practice/s: Worldbookers are named for famous survey and prospecting missions. Two of the first Worldbookers were Lewis and Clark.

Selected Variant Types & Classes

Civilian Ship - [[Science Vessel]:

  1. Type LU class Survey Vessel
    1. Worldbooker class Survey Ship

References & Contributors (Sources)

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This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.

  1. Timothy B. Brown. Fighting Ships (Game Designers Workshop, 1981), 10.
  2. Timothy B. Brown. Fighting Ships (Game Designers Workshop, 1981), 10.