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Re: starship-design: HIGHLY OPTIMIZED TOLERANCE
"L. Parker" wrote:
> has quite a bit of merit. Programmable Gate Arrays are just now beginning to
> come back into their own and can rival even the latest Pentium processors in
> power. More so in that for a particular application, you can literally hard
> wire the code into the processor resulting in blindingly fast execution.
> Want to change the application? Just "reprogram" the gates, presto, a new
> dedicated processor.
Also in price too, looking at the larger gate arrays they $400 us and
The software to program them is a arm and leg too.
> I think you should probably add a few zeroes to this figure, but it still
> makes more sense than a dedicated fab plant.
Yep the latest machines cost several billion $.
If one where to limit to about 1983's technogy - 64k dynamic ram
68000,286 and 2 inch waffers you could make something for
a lot less.( This is the my personal goal).
Thinking more on this, manufaturing of all kinds
will have to be done at some point - machine shop - semi-conductors.
While not needed on the first few trips,keeping a lower standard
in design will make less of a problem later.
> > The real difference is that you have to get used to the
> > concept that in
> > some things, such as modern electronics, you are often better
> > off to throw
> > a bunch of parts at a simple task than to make something custom.
> Kelly already discovered this with consumables. It turns out that weight
> wise it is easier and more economical to carry stores than to attempt to
> implement a completely self sustaining closed eco system for any trip less
> than about a hundred years. Most of us here are not trying to build a
> generation ship anyway, so the same reasoning applies. Design the ship to
> last for the length of the voyage plan on some repairs, use modular
> components wherever possible, and cross your fingers...
The key word is "completely self sustaining", a 90% self sustaining
be desirable with a 80% a realistic design.
> Practical idea in theory, and it may be the only way. However, logistically,
> it will not be anywhere as easy as you make it sound. I tend to prefer the
> first mission as a Pathfinder mission, specialized crew of around ten to
> twenty, LOTS of computer support, running fast and light. It would be sent
> to targets that had already been identified as special in some way, such as
> the presence of Oxygen in the spectrum of its planets.
This I think would be better scouted with un-manned probes.
The pathfinder mission still would need few slower support freighters.
> The Explorer mission would follow only after a Pathfinder reported back that
> there was a reason for more extensive exploration, such as a potentially
> habitable planet, or perhaps just to study life already there. This mission
> would actually be a small fleet consisting of the Explorer ship itself, and
> several freighters slaved to the Explorer. The freighters would carry
> spares, extra supplies, machinery, tools, and intrasystem craft including
> landers. The Explorer mission would consist of several hundred to several
> thousand people, enough to establish at least a permanent research presence,
> including establishing mining and manufacturing operations sufficient to
> support the mission and any follow on missions.
> The last mission would be the Caravan mission. This is the big one. The
> colonists would arrive in one or more very large ships, hopefully in some
> sort of cryo sleep to conserve mass, so that the trip would go faster with
> fewer support craft or resupplies. Tools, supplies and machinery needed by
> the colonists would already be there ahead of them, built by the automated
> factories put in place by the Explorer crew.
> I agree that FTL probably won't happen any time soon, and that isn't the
> purpose of this list anyway. I DO think we will be able to reach close to
> the speed of light with derivatives of today's technology within a hundred
> years. It is after all really nothing more than a brute force application of
> things we already know or suspect how to do.
"We do not inherit our time on this planet from our parents...
We borrow it from our children."
The Lagging edge of technology: