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How does Wave Motion technology work, anyway?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:09 am
by PhillipThorne
"...Very well, thank you." Granted, the saga was never overly concerned with consistency in its technobabble. But can we derive anything at all about wave-motion energy (WME), the wave-motion gun (WMG), and the warps powered by the wave-motion engine?

Because Sandor was able to invent Wave-Motion Cartridges (leaving aside the fact that "Be Forever Yamato" exists in Star Blazers continuity only because of the Argo Press comic) with "1% of the power of the Wave-Motion Gun," does that mean the WMG is basically a giant pressurized canister, or capacitor, of tachyons? That would explain how it could be reversed in "Final Yamato" -- which wouldn't be possible if it were a gun with parts that had to be aligned in a particular order. And how Andromeda and later ships could carry multiple WMGs -- it's about having an engine that can fill multiple reservoirs in a tactically brief interval. And the ultimate development of the six-shot mechanism in "Yamato Ressurection."

So, why did smaller cartridges take longer to develop? Theory: improved human understanding of WME. Initially it could be contained only with huge, heavy-duty magnets, or whatnot, but could later be finessed.

How does a Dispersion WMG work? (This was a human weapon seen only in "Farewell to Yamato," the equivalent of a cluster bomb. Since it was dropped for the later TV adaptation, "Yamato II," perhaps we can assume the creators decided it was just too munchkin.) How do you cause a single pulse of tachyon energy to split apart? (Um, soliton harmonics that eventually disperse below a containment threshhold, then mutually repel? That's how Trek would spin it.)

How is the same technology useful for propulsion and destruction? My best theory is that the WMG covers an area with uncontrolled random warps. The engine can warp one ship a thousand light years, intact; or it can move a dozen ships a very short distance, in a great many fragments. (But then how does the WMG detonate -- i.e., ignite fusion in -- the heavy water in "Final Yamato"?)

Is the WMG directly connected to the engine (as in Macross), or are they two separate tachyon devices? (I recall that back in 1980 I had the notion that they constituted a single mechanism that ran the length of the ship -- probably because they looked similar -- but the official cutaways imply otherwise. Also, they're not even coaxial.)

Is WME used for realspace propulsion? Is the big grey exhaust-looking-cone exhaust in the conventional sense? Are Argo's two auxiliary engines (the red ones below) pure human tech, just like those used on the pre-Argo fleet? (I believe that's the explanation in 2199.) What about onboard power? (For comparison, the 1960s Star Trek used dilithium and antimatter for everything aboard the Enterprise, but TNG made it clear the warp and impulse engines were separate, powered by antimatter and fusion, and non-propulsive systems could tap either.)

What do the other starfaring races use? Obviously the Gamilons have FTL, but they weren't depicted as warping per-se until Desslok's fiery demise was retconned. And the White Comet Empire's "magna-flame" is, from dialogue, used for both propulsion and the main gun of the Medaluza. In "Final Yamato" the Dinguil are able to emit a warp field able to transport the planet Aquarius -- like an oversized SMITE projector. (Why would they even have such a technology? Is planetary relocation a hobby for them? Or did they hack it together aboard City Satellite Uruku when the opportunity arose? If so, Geordi La Forge would be impressed.)

Re: How does Wave Motion technology work, anyway?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:29 am
by Ithekro
Random thought on the Dinguil's warp projector thing. In context with what we've found out about the Comet Empire in Yamato 2199, the Comet Empire has been doing probing attacks of Gamilas Space for a while. One might wonder in the Dinguil were a client state for the Gamilus, or even second class citizens before Yamato took out that Empire. Or if they were just one of many races that had to ward off the Comet Empire. If this is the case, think of their weaponry and ships. Most of their ships aren't all that impressive compared to other races. They have a nasty torpedo which would do some damage, but the Comet Empire fleet would seem to be larger. Uruku seems to be larger than Gatlantis, but I've not sure if it is more powerful. Its nuetrino shields and cannons might not bee as nasty as the Comet Empires weapons, nor able to defeat the Comet effict on Gatlantis. So if you can't destroy the Comet Empire directly...why not warp it away? Try to warp it into a star or something. That's the only use I can think of unless the were just moving continents and planets around. (Unless it was stolen form the Gamilus and that's how they moved the floating continent to Jupiter).

Re: How does Wave Motion technology work, anyway?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:20 am
by PhillipThorne
According to the schematics on the DVDs, Gatlantis City is 15km wide, and Uruku is 20km long -- but they're different shapes, so they might be comparable in volume and city-surface. Also, the hemispherical underside of Gatlantis is a hollow hanger (turn the spacedock in "Star Trek III" upside-down), and Zordar's dreadnought is under the city, above the midline.

@Ithekro: 2199 shows the Gamilians fending off (probing?) attacks by Gatlantis, which is a useful plan-ahead for possible sequels ... but I'm not sure it's necessary to retcon the other galactic powers in TOS to be doing the same. It depends ... is this the first time the WSE arrived in our galaxy, or are they cyclic? How wide is this incursion? There could be entire spiral arms that won't notice them for decades. Earth just had the bad luck to be on their path.

Anybody want to start a new thread for "Earth's Adversaries Compared"? In the interest of maintaining focus. Okay, I hereby create Why are there so many local humanoid empires?

P.S.
Hmm. If this were Star Trek, a Science Lab forum could be designated to centralize all the discussions pertaining to science, technology and sociology, especially if they're not clearly limited to one of the continuities. But aboard M2199-1/BBY-01, the closest fit would be the Engine Room. Or maybe the gratuitously oversized spherical holographic sensor deck from Resurrection. Unless we pretended it was a very small topic, and crowded around Sanada's station on the first bridge.

Re: How does Wave Motion technology work, anyway?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:57 am
by Steve H
I really think it's important to consider keeping everything from Yamato 2199 in its own sandbox. It shouldn't be a guide to 'explaining' Original Yamato, it shouldn't be "well, it did that THERE why doesn't it do the same HERE?"

I know that Yamato 2199 is the NEW HOTNESS and some think that makes Classic Yamato the OLD BUSTED, but really, they are each their own thing.

I strongly believe this.

Re: How does Wave Motion technology work, anyway?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:29 am
by Ithekro
I don't know about that. Some of the things in Yamato 2199 were put there specificly to answer some of the questions in the original that were left open or explain certain things in a way that makes sense that either didn't in the original run, or were just ignored entirely. Not specifically story questions, but technological and political questions that would come up as more and more sequels came out, but couldn't be addressed in the first series because none of that existed in the writer's heads yet.

It is not a matter of NEW verses OLD with me. Its more a bunch of "Oh, that makes sense" moments that fill in the missing pieces. Some of that covers Wave Motion Energy. Mind you that the original series and its sequels cover a lot more of it. Just that Yamato 2199 fills in a piece here and there that don't change how something is, just fills in the blank left open from before.

Other places...specifically story related, yeah they are totally different in detail and subplots. But technology?

Re: How does Wave Motion technology work, anyway?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:18 am
by Steve H
Ithekro wrote:I don't know about that. Some of the things in Yamato 2199 were put there specificly to answer some of the questions in the original that were left open or explain certain things in a way that makes sense that either didn't in the original run, or were just ignored entirely. Not specifically story questions, but technological and political questions that would come up as more and more sequels came out, but couldn't be addressed in the first series because none of that existed in the writer's heads yet.

It is not a matter of NEW verses OLD with me. Its more a bunch of "Oh, that makes sense" moments that fill in the missing pieces. Some of that covers Wave Motion Energy. Mind you that the original series and its sequels cover a lot more of it. Just that Yamato 2199 fills in a piece here and there that don't change how something is, just fills in the blank left open from before.

Other places...specifically story related, yeah they are totally different in detail and subplots. But technology?


No. no no no, not at all no.

Things done in Yamato 2199 can be considered 'retcon', as it's all from fans who have been chewing on ideas for 30-some years.

It's not a case of "this is what was REALLY going on then" so much as "This is what I/we WANT TO SAY IS going on"

A perfect example is the WME Core. It's the Iscandar Message Capsule from Original Yamato. It's an 'in joke' or 'easter egg' if you prefer. That does NOT mean the Message Capsule back then was MEANT to be the 'spark plug' that lets the WME work. It was Iscandar's version of a cassette tape.

It would have been simple as anything for the artist to design something completely different.

The physics of Wave Motion Energy (WMn) are completely made up. No real mention of how Tachyons are turned into usable energy. I have my own theory but that's all it is.

The one thing that's obvious is WMn is treated as a gas in the Original Yamato. It can be channeled, it can be compressed. It can leak. Clearly it's NOT a gas, or even a plasma, it's a state of energy.

But again, my opinion.

Re: How does Wave Motion technology work, anyway?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:22 am
by DanGeorge
PhillipThorne wrote:So, why did smaller cartridges take longer to develop? Theory: improved human understanding of WME. Initially it could be contained only with huge, heavy-duty magnets, or whatnot, but could later be finessed.


That's exactly it. Just as major advancements such as cellular phones and computers (mainframe, desktop, portable, and otherwise) have become smaller and lighter over time.

PhillipThorne wrote:"...How does a Dispersion WMG work? (This was a human weapon seen only in "Farewell to Yamato," the equivalent of a cluster bomb. Since it was dropped for the later TV adaptation, "Yamato II," perhaps we can assume the creators decided it was just too munchkin.) How do you cause a single pulse of tachyon energy to split apart? (Um, soliton harmonics that eventually disperse below a containment threshhold, then mutually repel? That's how Trek would spin it.)


Not sure as to how it is supposed to happen - that is one thing I was wondering as well - but as it was not used in the TV series, we can assume it's not part of the main continuity. We do see it in a way as the "dispersion" effect is seen when the beam hits the Comet Empire's comet facade/shield. We see the fleet fire the WMGs on the Comet Empire fleet with the dispersion effect in Farewell to Yamato to thin out the enemy's numbers, as the movie did not have Yamato leading the EDF carrier fleet in a separate ambush (come to think of it, I can't recall there being any carriers in Farewell to Yamato).

Arthur's commentary says "these are the dispersion types" in his analysis of the TV episode, but there's no evidence to support this, as all the beams we see in Yamato 2 hit the Comet Empire's facade as one single large beam and don't disperse like that except as an after effect of ricocheting off the magnetic field of the facade. There is not one time that a "dispersion" WMG shot is seen in Y2 that I can recall; it was a plot gimmick in Farewell to Yamato, but as far as I can remember was completely removed from the TV series, and is consigned to the alternate universe story of Farewell.

PhillipThorne wrote:"...How is the same technology useful for propulsion and destruction? My best theory is that the WMG covers an area with uncontrolled random warps. The engine can warp one ship a thousand light years, intact; or it can move a dozen ships a very short distance, in a great many fragments.


The Wave Motion Energy turns the energy it creates, presumably combined with some sort of reaction mass, into motive thrust. In the original series, warping had to be at a precise moment in the amplitude of the wave engine in order to succesfully warp the ship (I've not got my Star Blazers DVDs nor an English subtitled copy of Yamato handy, so if anyone else can chime in here, please do so).

For the last part, I don't know where you came up with that idea. There has never been any suggestion in the Yamato universe that the Wave Motion Engine of one ship can warp other ships in any way shape or form. The only time I've ever seen that done is in the Macross universe, and even then it was an unintended side-effect of attempting to make a hyperspace fold/warp deep inside Earth's gravity well at a near-surface altitude. It didn't just take ships, it took the island, the surrounding ocean, and anything inside it, and the after effect of this was that the separate fold engine disappeared, severing the link between the ship's reactors and the main cannon, which necessitated its transformation. All other FTL transitions in that universe were seen to be hull-conformal, and while ships may have jumped simultaneously, there was nothing to suggest that one warp drive took the entire fleet.

PhillipThorne wrote:"Is the WMG directly connected to the engine (as in Macross), or are they two separate tachyon devices? (I recall that back in 1980 I had the notion that they constituted a single mechanism that ran the length of the ship -- probably because they looked similar -- but the official cutaways imply otherwise. Also, they're not even coaxial.)


The WMG is not the only weapon that is connected to the WME. All the shock cannon turrets and the pulse laser turrets are powered by the Wave Motion Engine. The WMG has to be connected to the WME in some way, because the entire ship's energy goes into the WMG, making it effectively a sitting duck while it charges. While it's not a straight line to the gun, the energy conduit from the WME must continue from where they connect to the forward shock cannon turrets and then feed into the charging chamber.

PhillipThorne wrote:Is WME used for realspace propulsion? Is the big grey exhaust-looking-cone exhaust in the conventional sense? Are Argo's two auxiliary engines (the red ones below) pure human tech, just like those used on the pre-Argo fleet? (I believe that's the explanation in 2199.) What about onboard power? (For comparison, the 1960s Star Trek used dilithium and antimatter for everything aboard the Enterprise, but TNG made it clear the warp and impulse engines were separate, powered by antimatter and fusion, and non-propulsive systems could tap either.)


We see the WME used in realspace all the time. For onboard power, assume the Wave Motion Engine acts like a reactor, i.e. it generates the entire ship's energy needs, i.e. it powers life support, the auxiliary engines, electrical systems, and weapons systems. Hence why when it goes offline to charge the Wave Motion Gun, everything else shuts down aside from life support. The Wave Motion Engine is always running, even when it's not actually generating thrust.

PhillipThorne wrote:What do the other starfaring races use? Obviously the Gamilons have FTL, but they weren't depicted as warping per-se until Desslok's fiery demise was retconned. And the White Comet Empire's "magna-flame" is, from dialogue, used for both propulsion and the main gun of the Medaluza.


I don't recall anything suggesting the Magna-flame was used as anything but a weapon. Can you point to a scene in the show that suggests this?

I would say the Medaluza used the same power systems as any other ship in the fleet and the magna-flame gun and its energy warp system was powered by those reactors. That this was the only ship to mount a weapon of this type, combined wtih the fact the ship appeared to lack any other weapons, offensive or defensive, would suggest that this was a test platform rushed into battle as soon as firing tests were completed.

Re: How does Wave Motion technology work, anyway?

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:26 am
by DanGeorge
PhillipThorne wrote:P.S.
Hmm. If this were Star Trek, a Science Lab forum could be designated to centralize all the discussions pertaining to science, technology and sociology, especially if they're not clearly limited to one of the continuities. But aboard M2199-1/BBY-01, the closest fit would be the Engine Room. Or maybe the gratuitously oversized spherical holographic sensor deck from Resurrection. Unless we pretended it was a very small topic, and crowded around Sanada's station on the first bridge.


The original plan was to have a separate forum (Engineering Division) to cover techspeak, however after discussion with Tim and the other site mods, I decided to pare it down to have one forum for classic Yamato, one for 2199, one general forum, one for fan works, and one for merchandise as well as the FAQ. The option is always there to create the Engineering forum at a later date, and it should be possible to move these sorts of posts into a dedicated forum at a later date. It was agreed amongst the team that too many forums straight away would leave many semi-empty forums. We'll keep an eye on things as time progresses.

Re: How does Wave Motion technology work, anyway?

PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:17 am
by PhillipThorne
DanGeorge wrote:I don't recall anything suggesting the Magna-flame was used as anything but a weapon. Can you point to a scene in the show that suggests this?


Gatlantis City has a multi-tiered engineering control deck surrounded by angled windows (the bonus diagrams on the DVD show that the cupola is sited just beneath the weapons-ring, on the rocky underside). When it appears in Ep 2.03, Zordar's just given an order, and the engineers echo back "increasing Magna-flame output!" Here's the episode commentary, with a pair of screen-grabs (second row from bottom) and cite.

Re: How does Wave Motion technology work, anyway?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:54 am
by Hardy Shinohara
DanGeorge wrote:Arthur's commentary says "these are the dispersion types" in his analysis of the TV episode, but there's no evidence to support this, as all the beams we see in Yamato 2 hit the Comet Empire's facade as one single large beam and don't disperse like that except as an after effect of ricocheting off the magnetic field of the facade. There is not one time that a "dispersion" WMG shot is seen in Y2 that I can recall; it was a plot gimmick in Farewell to Yamato, but as far as I can remember was completely removed from the TV series, and is consigned to the alternate universe story of Farewell.


I wrote "In Yamato 2, it’s clear that these WMGs are all of the dispersal variant, as seen in the movie Farewell To Yamato." "It's clear" may be overstating it a bit, admittedly. "I inferred from the subtitles" would be more accurate.

I don't speak Japanese, so I have to trust that Central Anime's subs are correct. In episode 21, when the EDF capital ships line up, a command is given which is translated "form dispersed Wave Motion Gun firing formation." My take at the time was that "dispersed Wave Motion Gun" was a direct reference to the Farewell to Yamato's "umbrella burst gun".

DanGeorge wrote:
PhillipThorne wrote:The engine can warp one ship a thousand light years, intact; or it can move a dozen ships a very short distance, in a great many fragments.


For the last part, I don't know where you came up with that idea. There has never been any suggestion in the Yamato universe that the Wave Motion Engine of one ship can warp other ships in any way shape or form.


I thought Phillip was making a joke. It can "move" other ships by blasting them into little pieces.

I'm too lazy to quote more, but "Magna flame" was only used in Star Blazers. If there was a specific name name for the CE's energy source in Yamato, I never came across it. The unfortunate thing about "Magna-flame" is that they used it for the SB name of the Medaluza's gun, instead of the more descriptive Japanese name (something like the "electromagnetic transport cannon"). I didn't quite get how the cannon worked until I realized the projectors at the side were warping the beam to its target. The Japanese name gives it away.

HS