Intrepid Class Introduction

1.0 INTREPID-CLASS INTRODUCTION

1.1 MISSION OBJECTIVES

Pursuant to Starfleet Exploration Directives 1015.9 & 1020.16, Starfleet Defense Directives 200.0, 197.5 & 197.6, and Federation Security Council General Policy, the following objectives have been established for an Intrepid Class Starship:

  1. Provide autonomous capability for full execution of Federation defensive, cultural, scientific, and explorative policy in deep space or border territory.
  2. Replace the Springfield class in certain frontline, light exploration duties.
  3. Provide a platform for extended scientific survey and scouting missions.
  4. Serve as a frontline support vehicle during emergencies and a platform for the extension of Federation diplomacy and policy.
  5. Provide non-critical functions such as transport of personnel and cargo when necessary, extended aid, and short-range patrol.
1.2 DESIGN STATISTICS

Length: 342.5 meters
Width: 144.84 meters
Height: 55.42 meters
Weight: 700,000 Metric Tonnes
Cargo Capacity: 35,750 Metric Tonnes

Hull: Duranium-Tritanium composite
Number of Decks: 15 Total

1.3 GENERAL OVERVIEW

Editor's Note: History written by Kurt Goring - based on information found in Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek Technical Manual, Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, Star Trek: Deep Space 9 Technical Manual, and Star Trek: The Magazine. The style of the history is based on histories presented in the Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology by Stan Goldstein, Fred Goldstein, and Rick Sternbach. Please keep in mind that this is a history developed based on canon information presented in various sources and filled in with logical conjecture.

From stem to stern, the Intrepid class is one of the most advanced starships in Starfleet. The class employs a new warp core, variable geometry warp nacelles, and was the first to field both bio-neural gelpaks and the Emergency Medical Hologram system.

Nearly three-hundred-fifty meters long, the Intrepid class is built sleek and long, sporting the fastest top speed on record for a Starfleet vessel with the exception of the new Sovereign class and the ground-breaking Prometheus class in field trials currently. The tilting, wing-like nacelles can shift microns in their positions, emitting minutely adjustable warp fields that are more efficient and safer when traveling in subspace. This, combined with new verterion manufacturing and the APD-01 Warp Core, makes it’s propulsion systems super-advanced.

The class serves multiple functions based on its load out, as well as size. An Intrepid could be seen on patrol or escort duty as easily as long-range exploration or survey. State of the art computers give it unprecedented storage capacity, access speed, and rigor conditioning. This, combined with a wide array of sensors covering a large amount of the exposed surface, makes the Intrepid class a premier ship of the line for Starfleet’s scientific endeavors.

Fast, agile, and well armed, these science ships are among the more capable multi-role platforms when faced with combat situations. Advanced shielding and Type-X phaser arrays equip it admirably, with several representatives of the class serving during the Dominion War with amazing success.

Perhaps the most visible example of the superior nature of the Intrepid class is one of its first members. Third of it’s class, the USS Voyager made it across the Delta Quadrant aided by it’s own technology to a huge degree. The data returned by its crew has placed it permanently in the pantheon of most effective ship classes in Starfleet history.

1.4 CONSTRUCTION HISTORY

By most accounts, the Intrepid class Project was begun July 4th 2361, the day Starfleet Admiral Nobuo Imagawa, speaking at a gathering of Utopia Planitia Yard technical staff, called for the creation of a new family of fast interstellar vessels. By this date, the Galaxy class was in the final stages of development, but even as Starfleet pressed for large, multi-mission vessels, the need for smaller vessels was becoming apparent.

While the USS Galaxy NX-70637, USS Yamato NCC-71807, and USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D underwent final systems installations and testing, Admiral Imagawa spoke of the need for many different types of starships, shuttles, and support facilities to meet the growing need of crisis points in the galaxy.

Among the ship types outlines in the preliminary Starfleet requirement briefs was a fast, powerful, ‘troubleshooter’ initially listed as Planform SV-65. This ship concept, created in basic form by the combined structures groups of McKinley Spacedock and Utopia Planitia Yards, would need to maintain a low-cruise factor of 7.75 for 16 days, a high-cruise warp of 9.2 for 2.25 days, and a dash-cruise speed of Warp 9.975 for 12.65 hours. It would support a crew of 223, would have swappable interior pressurized modules, and would mount defensive weaponry at least equal to the Galaxy-class phasers and photon torpedoes.

A wide variety of primary mission types for the new ship – from threat-force point interception and large battle group support to covert intelligence gathering – was pared down to space defensive combat to protect Starfleet and Federation assets, and a continued scientific exploration during patrol intervals (C. Forrester, ASDB Journal, 05Nov2361)

Starship Geometry:
The hull configuration adopted the saucer-type shape of previous starship classes, that of primary hull, engineering hull, and nacelles driven by the well-understood physics of warp generation and control. Contributing factors included available shell and framework alloys – tritanium and duranium – plus warp reactor and dilithium crystal morphology, deuterium and anti-matter tankage, shuttlecraft capacity, and impulse reactor size reductions.

Materials processing, fabrication techniques, and vessel maintenance cycles were evolved directly from those applied to the Excelsior, Ambassador and Galaxy classes.

By Stardate 38956.00, eight computer warp stress and volumetric studies yielded the first review configuration, SV-65H. This vessel featured a 61” elliptical saucer section integrated with engineering hull, fixed pylons and nacelles, and a large ejectable bridge module to augment the standard lifeboats. No saucer separation capability was required.

On January 1st 2362, the SV-65 program was officially titled the Intrepid class Project. Continued studies of warp fields and their interaction with the space and subspace environments led to six further planform modifications, with data on hull volumetrics, internal volume usage, and simulated warp and impulse performance being analyzed by the Advanced Starship Design Bureau (ASDB) for optimal mission efficiency. By the end of 2363, additional performance data from the USS Enterprise and USS Yamato shakedown flights had been incorporated into the Intrepid warp propulsion simulations.

Warp Systems:
In August 2364, an improved flight performance and mass-reduction plan was implemented, dropping the Intrepid design from 838,000 to 790,000 metric tons. The move required a change in warp reactor type from a heavier dilithium focus chamber to a dilithium-lined swirl chamber.

The design of reactor had originally been applied to the Constitution-class starships such as the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, and the return to the swirl chamber allowed Starfleet engineers an opportunity to increase structural integrity and power output.

The reactor’s magnetic constrictors, matter and antimatter injectors, and plasma transfer conduits (PTCs) were designed to be assembled by computer-controlled formers and gamma welders.

Advances in warp plasma containment and transport allowed for a hinged pylon. This modification was intended to give the ship a better warp factor-to-reactant usage ratio. It later emerged that it had the fortunate by-product of eliminating the kind of spatial damage caused by earlier designs of warp engine that had been uncovered by Dr. Rabal and Serova (Rabal, Journal of Warp Dynamics Vol. 1137).

The complete warp core was designed from the outset to be ejectable in case of an emergency. Components for a second core were stored within the engineering hull, though assembly and flight testing by a crew in deep space could take up to a week.

Second Review:
The second review of the hull configuration was completed in February 2366. Warp field stresses and space environment concerns lead to a more streamlined primary hull and nacelles which were designed to reduce interstellar drag.

Other changes from first review hull included smaller warp coil sets, larger shuttlebay capacity, crew reduction to 168, smaller Deck 1 module, and increased internal space for laboratories, storage, and consumables.

The forward auxiliary deflector remained in the second review hull, through warp and impulse performance tests suggested that a thinner, edge-mounted unit might reduce the Particles and Field Drag Index (PFDI) from 0.0033 to 0.0014. The larger figure was within tolerances and the deflector was integrated into the hull with minor rerouting of EPS and ODN conduits and associated controller hardware.

Design Freeze:
The third review froze the Intrepid configuration on October 2367, with initial fabrication orders for seven vessels.

Computer, human, and cetacean analysis recommended changes to the primary hull on the forward edge, Deck 2 surface contours, and aft attachment blends to the engineering hull, all as a result of warp efficiency simulations.

Structures and systems that were not fully integrated by the third review were accepted as yard changes, and upgrades would be applied to each ship as it was constructed.

Final systems improvements designed and approved for installation by April 2368 included phasers, lifeboats, RCS thruster quads, gravity generators, Multi-directional Sensor Array (MSA), and the AeroShuttle.

Vessel frame IC-103, USS Voyager NCC-74656, was the first ship to receive all hardware as original installations, after testbed results were gathered from its older Spacedock siblings (P. Bryce, Starfleet Construction Proceedings, Data Index RI-456/32/456).

Armaments:
It is interesting to note that defensive weapon deployments on the Intrepid pathfinder design fluctuated over a wide range of types and numbers of devices, as Starfleet planners wrestled with decisions over mission types, time between starbase resupply opportunities, and suitability to particular weapons classes to available power systems and launcher hardware.

Five phaser emitters –two dorsal, to ventral, one ventral lower – and two forward photon torpedo launchers grew to 13 phaser emitters –adding two dorsal aft, two ventral aft, two pylon, two dorsal fantail – and four photon torpedo launchers. The additional aft-firing tubes and increased phaser coverage insured that the Intrepid class could counter most known and predicted threat vessels of similar size and mass, in battle group, escorted, or solitary operation scenarios.

Lifeboats were enlarged slightly to accommodate six crew, up from the original four. The relatively small volume lost within the starship could also be used to give each lifeboat an operating lifetime of almost 16 months, and a total impulse range of 0.25 light-years. Jettisonable hatches were replaced by hinged covers in the event that shipboard emergencies were averted following pod launch.

Improved communications and life-support systems could be shared through the docking of multiple lifeboats in ‘gaggle mode’, first proven with the Galaxy class.

EPS System Upgrades:
The RCS maneuvering thrusters and gravity generators shared key electro-plasma system (EPS) technology for both the production and distribution of high-energy plasma. The RCS microfusion reactors and thruster nozzles relied on redundant sets of magnetic valves and polished felinium tritonide conduits to precisely rotate Voyager and drive it at low velocities.

These same conduits and valves were designed into the new gravity plating, a carpet of thousands of miniaturized graviton generators, each measuring 3.23 cm across. The hexagonal valves responded to plasma pressure variations, averaging out power distribution, and allowing for up to 10 percent generator failure without a perceptible change in local gravity. In earlier starships, larger and fewer graviton devices had occasionally produced unpleasant balance and minor nausea effect, particularly in rookie crewmembers.

Sensor Systems:
The Multi-directional Sensor Array was actually 14 separate arrays that were synchronized with dedicated Optical Data Network (ODN) connections, the main and auxiliary computer cores and processing commands that synthesized a total view of the space environment 6500 times per second. The MSA, while short-range, worked in concert with the navigational deflector and long-range sensor instruments.

The AeroShuttle was the only upgraded component to the Intrepid class that remained in the development cycle long after the other major systems had been frozen and released for fabrication and assembly. Based on the existing Starfleet runabout platform, the AeroShuttle was given a 450 percent increase in atmospheric flight and hover endurance over standard shuttlecraft. This was accomplished through the use of hybrid microfusion and EM driven airflow coil engines. Although the AeroShuttle spaceframe and basic systems were completed on Stardate 46875.3, final outfitting of mission-specific hardware was delayed until simulations and flight testing with the USS Intrepid could be completed.

All seven Intrepid class in the initial procurement were constructed at the Utopia Planitia Yards in Mars orbit, minus their active and backup warp cores, and also lacking their final outer surface plating and distinctive coloration. Each vessel crossed the distance from Mars to Earth Station McKinley under low impulse, recording systems performance data on the way.

Commissioning Date:
Voyager’s core installation took place on Stardate 47834.6, fast-tracked to follow the Intrepid and Bellerephon by only three months. With assembly and internal system checks completed, the official launching ceremony of the USS Voyager occurred at Earth Station McKinley on Stardate 48038.5 (January 14th 2371) at 1222 hours GMT.

A 15-day series of impulse tests, which verified the integrity of the vessel and systems operation at sublight velocities, culminated in Voyager accelerating to Warp 1.03 with the USS Hauck flying formation for engineering support and emergency backup. Three weeks of warp flight tests added to the Intrepid class knowledge base and insured that Voyager’s computer cores and bio-neural gel packs could receive operational programming loads for deployment in the Alpha Quadrant.

USS Voyager, under the command of Captain Kathryn Janeway, received her first patrol assignment on Stardate 48183.5. All in-flight systems data continued to be transmitted to Starfleet Command for evaluation along a range of velocities from inertial stop to Warp 9.986 and for distances up to 45 light-years, with subspace comm relays handling the encrypted telemetry loop. Subsequent operations validated the effectiveness of the class design and upgrades from previous Starfleet vessels.

Voyager would provide only a few months of usable data before its disappearance in the Delta Quadrant. However, the stored information and lessons learned by its crew proved invaluable upon her return, a testament to the designers and engineers who stood upon the shoulders of giants to build her.


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