Surya (etc): How do they move?

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
lev_lafayette lev_lafayette's picture
Surya (etc): How do they move?

This came up in the game today, and whilst we had some amusing suggestions, taking it the Forum was also recommended.

Normally, when the physics of motion is applied there is a force acting against a mass. This remains true for a Case walking on Luna, a Bouncer on Locus, or even a Cloud Skate on a gas giant.

But what about the Surya? We are told they "surf the solar wind" (p99 Morph Recognition Guide) but that's only in one direction.

Do they travel against the solar winds by tacking? Is that even possible without surface tension?

How do Surya move?

vicky_molokh vicky_molokh's picture
Tacking Requires Two Media

To enable tacking, you need to have an interface of two media that can provide different flow vectors relative to one another, and a non-negligible degree of fluid resistance (drag) that can be harnessed for manoeuvring, maintaining orientation, tapping into the force of the flow vectors etc. Gravity isn't like that to any meaningful extent, and solar wind is pretty weak for that. (The approximation of tacking based on solar wind [which is still not tacking in the normal sense] requires enormous sails even when operating outside the close gravity of the Sun.)

lev_lafayette lev_lafayette's picture
Tacky tacking

Thanks for your comment Vicky; that's pretty much what I thought as well.

The only semi-realistic option for the Surya movement seems to be some sort of reaction drive.

Which also raises questions for similar morphs that fly through space e.g., Ring Flyer which is supposed to use magnetic fields.

Chernoborg Chernoborg's picture
Might as well be swimming on the Sun!

Thinking about this occasionally I've figured a few things. The coronal stations are said to be in orbit so it's not unreasonable to assume the same if the Surya.
They do use magnetic fields to deflect solar plasma and there's a few ways that could translate into motion.
The field generators could be used like a Caterpillar drive to move the plasma directly for thrust.

As the Solar Wind is blowing up from below the Surya, how the bubble is shaped could act as control surface being deformed at will to control the direction of flight.

Current Status: Highly Distracted building Gatecrashing systems in Universe Sandbox!

kigmatzomat kigmatzomat's picture
I think the forces they

I think the forces they manage are gravity, magnetism and solar winds.

the terrain analogs would have sun's gravity as earth gravity, solar wind as a "thermal" and magnetic fields as wind. Assuming the combination of magnetic fields and solar wind is enough to overcome solar gravity, they should be able to maneuver in all directions, although it may require three dimensional "tacking" to bypass headwinds.

I recommend looking at Google's Project Loon balloons, which can navigate only by controlling altitude to find wind going the right direction.

I'm not rules lawyer, I'm a rules engineer.