Insane Aerospace Division: Supersonic Titanian Synthmorph Cargo Chopper!

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ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Insane Aerospace Division: Supersonic Titanian Synthmorph Cargo Chopper!

Foreward: Crushing your expectations.
The "Supersonic" in the title refers to the speed at which the ends of the rotors are travelling, not that the helicopter is itself capable of exceeding the speed of sound, not even in Titanian gravity.

Anyway,
The group I'm in (Hi, Misora, et al,) where we're all playing Scum, recently found ourselves getting stuck into a situation which was was above us in an effort to acquire vast quantities of CHON - basic resources - on Titan ahead of going on a long space journey. My character, a roboticist/armorer by trade, was casting about for opportunities to employ her skills in trade to a microcorp in exchange for large quantities of feedstock. I found a microcorp up in the Titanian arctic which was looking around for a robotics solution to their throughput proble. Bear in mind, the full extent of the clusterfuckery they had gotten themselves in to did not become apparent until we were all fully stuck-in and we realized just how smegging much material they needed to move.

In the end, we progressed from this synthmorph chopper, blew straight past a cargo-plane sized cargo chopper, and determined that the fastest, most cost-effective way to resolve their issue was actually to pull out all the stops on their nanofabricators, deploy seeds of large, industrial nanofabricators out in the wilderness that would begin churning out robotic earthmovers and construction vehicles, and deploy an old-school style railroad network, as in, wheels on tracks.

They needed to move seriously gargantuan quantities of material, and were looking for a robotic solution when they needed industrial engineers and logistics experts, and needed them from the start. They had massive resource output and processing, but no good means to get the resources from the extraction/refineries to their central distribution hub.

But I digress; although in the end, November Bravo would not turn out to be the solution to their problem, we had all invested so much thought and time into conjuring it (IC and OOC) that we decided to finish the morph - again, IC and OOC. So here it is, straight off the design labs of a pile of Scum robotics and aerospace engineers.

The Blue Tiburon Aerospace November Bravo.

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kindalas kindalas's picture
Nice design,

Nice design,

I wonder how much would a bare bones model with say an Aptitude max of 20 and only a +5 to SOM cost.

I do like the idea of the fancy rotors but as a GM I would consider the lemon trait for the first batch of models as the kinks get worked out.

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Chernoborg Chernoborg's picture
Just curious, you mentioned a

Just curious, you mentioned a standard cargo container in your write up. What dimensions are you using for those containers?

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ubik2 ubik2's picture
I assumed the standard

I assumed the standard Titanian shipping container is similar to a 40'x8'x8.5' intermodal container (about 12.2x2.4x2.6 in meters), but given the 15 ton limit, perhaps it's more like the 20' version instead. I really hope nobody still uses imperial units in EP time.
Both the 40' and 20' terrestrial versions are rated for just over 30 tons. The 20' version would only hold a bit over 2 tons of LH2, but around 25 tons of LN2 (the second lowest density member of CHON). If you can ship it as metallic hydrogen, you can fit about 20 tons in there, but converting H2 to metallic hydrogen is a pretty hard problem.

Baribal Baribal's picture
The chameleon skin is maybe a

The chameleon skin is maybe a bit extravagant for this use case, but it does take good care of industrial design rule-wise. To digress a little: What do people use as signal lights in Titanian storms? Visible light is probably simply out of the question, and methane is highly IR-absorbent.
Is there any kind of precedent for the dual-use cyberbrain? To me it seems like a case of making up new things needlessly, especially as an infomorph could sit in a puppet sock and use a purpose-built jammer eidolon. Or their usual eidolon, so they don't have to resleeve. Point is, "Oh, hey, here, take these +10 SOM because this is a great morph" seems rather arbitrary.
Other than that, nice concept. It's a *brutal* design, it's rather specific, and it might actually fill a niche on Titan.

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ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
I don't honestly remember. I

I don't honestly remember. I don't think the devs have ever specified any standards, but I'm reasonably sure that there is some sort of standard for intermodal transport container common at least within the Titanian Commonwealth if not all of Transhumanity, and whatever that standard is, November Bravo were designed to accommodate it.

With a chopper in Titanian gravity and soup carrying shipping containers that are most likely fabricated out of the eponymous carbonaceous dream-shit, it's going to be cargo mass that's usually the limiting factor, so I would believe the Bravo could carry the full-size containers, assuming you have a cargo which is sufficiently lightweight-compared-to-its-volume as to warrant it.

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ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Baribal wrote:The chameleon

Baribal wrote:
The chameleon skin is maybe a bit extravagant for this use case, but it does take good care of industrial design rule-wise.

Please note that it was designed by a collective of Scum, and the lead designer is the kind of person who designs every morph she makes as if she, personally, might have to live in one someday. That's why it very repeatedly notes that the "extravagant/optional extra" features are in fact standard, and that you do not save anything, practically speaking, by leaving them off. Because once it's open-sourced and out in the wild, she may not be able to stop some hypercorp scumsucker from forcing an indenture to live in one, but she can damn well make it really, really hard for the hypercorp to make it a miserable experience.

Baribal wrote:
To digress a little: What do people use as signal lights in Titanian storms? Visible light is probably simply out of the question, and methane is highly IR-absorbent.

Very powerful spotlights. Obviously storm conditions will reduce visibility range, but put out enough photons and you will be visible, if only as an indistinct bright blur in the nebulous distance. Put out enough IR and the same is true; you'll be visible as an anomalous hot blob of gas in the distance.

Quote:
Is there any kind of precedent for the dual-use cyberbrain? To me it seems like a case of making up new things needlessly, especially as an infomorph could sit in a puppet sock and use a purpose-built jammer eidolon.

A cyberbrain is a computer with specialized hardware. The line between an infomorph and a synthmorph is basically drawn as whether or not you're in direct control of a body; the infomorph-living mode is for those who do not particularly want to sleeve the morph directly, largely because they're an aerospace pilot who has no Flight skill and would rather use the morph as if it were a big chopper. So you just cut out the sleeve connections and bam, you're an infomorph running on a computer that was primarily designed to sleeve into, but is more than capable of instantiating you in an infomorph simulspace of a nice roomy cockpit.

Also, puppet socks aren't actually something an infomorph lives on, they're a system to override the morph's sleeved ego (if present; the sleeved ego can be just an ALI bot driver,) and allow a remote operator (which can be as close as the morph's mesh insert-living muse,) to control the morph. Since Bravo was designed by a hardcore autonomist, she's built in extreme redundancies to prevent a person's ego sleeved in the morph being hijacked by the cutout; it is there only for overriding the bot driver and/or if the ego in the morph wishes to permit a remote operator to take control.

Quote:
Or their usual eidolon, so they don't have to resleeve. Point is, "Oh, hey, here, take these +10 SOM because this is a great morph" seems rather arbitrary.

It's not at all arbitrary: this thing is fucking massive. It's a gigantic industrial robot about the size of a Surya. The +10 SOM for the Bravo comes from exactly the same place the +10 SOM for the Daitya comes from: this is a heavy-duty titan of industry. Even its robotic manipulators would be capable of lifting a ton in earth gravity. Whilst ungainly, you can press a Bravo into industrial work duty. It doesn't come equipped with the tools a Diatya has, but if you just need a gigantic heavy industrial robutt with bigass grippers and little-ass grabbers to throw at a problem, and you have a Bravo, it'll get the job done.

Quote:
Other than that, nice concept. It's a *brutal* design, it's rather specific, and it might actually fill a niche on Titan.

Actually, it's quite comfortable. The roboticist who made it went to extreme lengths to ensure that it would not be harsh and miserable to sleeve into for the average person, and the sort of person who relishes being a giant robutt would enjoy it... Though from the outside it's pretty brutal in stock configuration, yeah. You do not want to have unprotected biological ears anywhere near a Bravo with the ramjet-tipped rotors operating; even if you have sense filters, it's going to rupture your eardrums.

This is a titan of industry made to operate in industrial zones and wilderness. It's a flying OSHA violation if you take a stock Bravo anywhere anybody likes to live.

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Baribal Baribal's picture
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:This

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
This is a titan of industry made to operate in industrial zones and wilderness. It's a flying OSHA violation if you take a stock Bravo anywhere anybody likes to live.

On third or so thought... Wouldn't that disqualify it from being used on Titan, maybe with the exception of special designated areas? After all, with Hulders, Ariels, Titanian Caribou and hares, and probably a few pre-Fall colonists that are still rocking troll and lindworm morphs, Titan's wilderness is not all frozen lifeless CHON any longer.

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MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
Just as a note of real-world

Just as a note of real-world interest (I am a font of useless information) supersonic rotors is something explicitly avoided in helicopter design. It makes the forward rotor blade lose lift, and the retreating one stall. This has... unfortunate consequences for the helicopter.

ubik2 ubik2's picture
A coaxial rotor can address

A coaxial rotor can address this, as can counter-rotating rotors, like on the arms of a drone.
What we can't really address right now, is that a supersonic rotor in Earth atmosphere will generally tear itself apart, and be extremely loud. It's possible the materials of the future are capable of withstanding this, but it's still terribly inefficient.

The Thunderscreech was a plane that used a supersonic propeller. The noise and shockwaves were a danger to anyone nearby.

The atmosphere on Titan is higher pressure, and the speed of sound is lower. Given the lower gravity, I suspect you could get away with subsonic rotors.

Also, the issue with the receding blade having a low to negative lift is only an issue when the vehicle is moving forward quickly. This vehicle doesn't move forward at supersonic speeds (which is only 194 m/s).

Keep in mind a design similar to the Halo can lift around 20 tons on Earth, so about 120 tons on Titan (even ignoring the benefit of increased atmospheric density). This is plenty to carry a full size intermodal container. The Chinook has about half the capacity, but that's still plenty.

I wouldn't bother moving the LN2 on Titan, since it's so plentiful in the air that I'd just condense it on site, but the water ice and carbon make sense to ship around.

Baribal described the vehicle as "brutal". This may have been a reference to the style of brutalism, which is typically raw concrete, but is essentially a style that presents the function very directly.

ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
Thats Some Quality Editing

But it kind of sounds like you approached EP as a thought experiment rather than a narrative focus. I actually did find it quite interesting, I'd like to hear more about your logistics and operations. I wonder, do you know how to make flow charts? I've finished with the primary branch of my adventure but its still a tad bit linear

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Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Mmmm... You could also use

Mmmm... You could also use the Chamaleon skin to communicate big images/letters, allowing the use of total noise cancellers and still allowing communication between the pilot and the outside crew without the need to use radio (if you work in a saturated environment), so I'd say the chameleon skin can count as another redundancy.

That being said, I doubt most corps will use the design, since it's too general, and that means giving too autonomy to indentures, or using non-indentured workers... but in a Gatecrashing team it can be really interesting, if the rotors can be assembled after checking the local atmosfere and the morhp's frame can go through the gate itself (or else, time to assemble it on the other side!)

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Xagroth wrote:That being said

Xagroth wrote:
That being said, I doubt most corps will use the design, since it's too general, and that means giving too autonomy to indentures, or using non-indentured workers... but in a Gatecrashing team it can be really interesting, if the rotors can be assembled after checking the local atmosfere and the morhp's frame can go through the gate itself (or else, time to assemble it on the other side!)

1: Note that it was designed on Titan, by a Scum Collective that was passing through. Granted it's an open-sourced design, but it was open-sourced with so many redundancies and failsafes in it to make it very hard to trap someone in against their will that corps probably won't bother with it. The girl who designed it would be angered if they did.
2: The rotors are articulated and can sweep back for storage just as they do on any modern-day helicoptor.

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Xagroth Xagroth's picture
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:

ShadowDragon8685 wrote:

1: Note that it was designed on Titan, by a Scum Collective that was passing through. Granted it's an open-sourced design, but it was open-sourced with so many redundancies and failsafes in it to make it very hard to trap someone in against their will that corps probably won't bother with it. The girl who designed it would be angered if they did.
2: The rotors are articulated and can sweep back for storage just as they do on any modern-day helicoptor.

Well, yeah. My comment about #1 was less about how "ideal" for corp uses was and more for "that's the niche we would find this Morph most of the time".

The #2 is more about not having hard numbers on Pandora gates, meaning opening time (minimal), size of the Iris (let's say it's bigger than a Stargate... because Stargates weren't big enough for any choppers to go through XD), and transport solutions.
It's very likely, however, that the most used solution is to can as much raw materials (specially the hard to get ones), a fabber to "unpack", and a few morphs, with enough computing power to carry more morphs in cold storage to instanciate on the other side.