Outer Hull/Primary and Inner Hull/Secondary Skeletal Structures
Starship hulls have two sections, the outer (or exterior) hull, and the inner (or interior) hull
The most common outer hull construction methods for Starfleet vessels consists of plates of Duranium and other materials, which are attached to the main Tritanium/Duranium trusses of the primary skeletal structure with Duranium pins; between the spaceframe and the outer hull is an AGP ceramic fabric jacket for thermal insulation. The hull segments, jacket and Duranium pins are gamma-welded together. The outer hullís materials and conversion coating help the ship resist radiation and thermal energy. Incorporated into its plates are super-conducting conduits and grids, which help form and shape the tactical deflector shields, act as subspace radio antennae, or are parts of other systems.
On ships, which have saucer separation capabilities, the primary skeletal structures of the saucer and engineering sections of the ship are completely separate.
A ships inner hull is attached to the secondary framework of the skeletal structure (which consists of micro-extruded terminium trusses mounted on the main trusses with polyduranide rods). It includes multiple conduits, conductive members, and/or attachment points for various ship systems. Segments of the secondary framework can be separated from the primary framework to allow a crew to remove or replace sections of the inner hull if necessary
On Starfleetís most advanced and recent designs, material supplements have been produced to increase the resistance of the ships out and inner hulls, dubbed Ďpara-metallic alloysí. The first were the production and application of Tetraburnium poly-alloys bonded directly into the Duranium/Tritanium alloys that work to double the strength of the hull. This method of construction is observed in Starfleetís most advanced designs, such as the Republic, Camarilla, and Premonition classes. Smaller vessels, such as the new Caspian class ĎRunaboutsí, and the Wildcat class fighter supplement the tritanium with Tetraburnium alloys all together, as well as add duratanium poly-alloy struts to increase durability and resistance. A specialized material supplement was developed though for the Premonition-class of Sovereign-class Starship upgrade that allows duratanium to be bonded directly into the outer hull spaceframe and worked into the ablative armor structure, increasing the ships durability by a factor of five.
Another advanced construction material only recently synthesized and applied to ship construction is the advent of Poly-deutonic alloys. This super-strong, light-weight material molecularly bonded into a pre-existing Duranium/tritanium, Duranium/Tetraburnium, and/or Duranium/Tetraburnium/Duratanium, allows the hull to triple itís resistance over that of older designs observed in the Intrepid, Defiant, and Sovereign class of starships. Pioneered on the Rogue-class of Fast Courier in 2376, the only capital or starship to include these new design innovations are observed in the Ascendant-class of design.
(Para-metallic hull alloy enhancements require no SUís in cost, excluding durablative spaceframe structures. Tetraburnium and/or Duratanium hull structures increase a ships resistance by a factor of x2. Poly-deutonic by a factor of x3. Durablative meshes are 5x the cost of SUís of the standard hull SU costs and provide 5x the resistance points available.)
Nano-Linear Replication Trans-Regeneration Auto-Repair System
Originally pioneered on the Camarilla class of Starship as a standard nanite auto-repair system, the culmination of the Trans-regeneration repair systems is an amalgam of Borg, Anipax, and Kavis IV Nanite civilization innovations into one cohesive system, embedded into all systems on the ship so equipped. This allows the vessel to repair the hull and internal systems automatically when they suffer damage.
Trans-regeneration advanced non-sentient Nano-drones, developed after the initially pioneered standard nanite repair system installed on the Camarilla class, with the help of the Kavis IV Nanite civilization representatives of the Federation and the ingenious and eclectic minds of ASDBís many departments. This system is employed in all areas of the ship through a redundant network of micro replication units to create the stem -nanite trans-replicators and then suspended in a morphegenic cell, enhancing the defensive systems, general automatic repair of any and all systems onboard rivaling the abilities of Borg vessels, and also acting as a countermeasure to Borg nano-probes in their assimilation process and other technological and even biological infestations. They are installed and integrated within the bio-neural computer cores and bio-neural circuitry as well, along with neural-lytic pathogens designed to further counter nano and other technological infestations of threat species such as the Borg.
(Nanite Trans-regeneration costs 5x the vessels size in SUís. Trans-regeneration allows for the total SUís of some systems to be reduced from the vessels total SU count. Tactical systems, Beam Weapons, Torpedoes combined totaled separately are reduced by .5 SUís. Shields are also reduced by .5 SUís. Transporter systems combined total SUís are reduced by .25 SUís. This ratio also counts to the regeneration repair factor, but the original SU count for the systems reduced apply for the systems to -be- damaged, thus a listing of the original SU count is required in compiling a ships total specifications and SU component count.
Example: A Type X Phaser Array costs 50 SUís, 25 SUís for regeneration repair and ships total SU count. When the system is damage, damage points are applied to the Ėoriginal- SU count, thus the Phaser array receiving 20 SUís of damage are reduced to 30 SUís, but require regeneration of only 10 SUís to restore the systems damaged 20 SUís.)
Starships designed and built from the late 2360ís onward can take advantage of new defensive technology called Ablative Armor. When an incoming beam or missile strikes the hull of a ship, the ablative armor firsts distributes the energy of the attack around the hull via its initial radiative/conducting components. The, when the energy inflow exceeds the armors conductive capacity, the excess begins to boil the armor off, this dissipating the force of the attack and preventing it from reaching the interior of the ship. In the case of beam weapons, the high-density particulate cloud also interacts with the relative low-density energy of the beam to carry off some of the destructive force.
(A ship of size 4 or smaller may have up to 750 points of ablative armor. A ship of size 5 or greater may have up to 1500 points of ablative armor. Ablative armor counts as extra resistance.)
By utilizing advanced construction para-metallic hull materials, allows ablative armor to be produced for vessels constructed pre-2366 to take advantage of ablative armor by making the armor Ďthinnerí and more malleable.
(Para-Ablative armor costs .5 the SUís of normal ablative armor, and can be equipped to any type of Starfleet vessel.)
Quantum-Resonant Ablative Armor
By taking standard ablative hull armor produced since 2366, and bonding it with certain quantum reactive elements, allows the armor to produce itís own low-level Ďshieldí and acts as a default subspace distortion amplifier thus providing it far more protection than standard Ablative armor.
(Quantum-Resonant Ablative armor costs the same SUís as Ėstandard- ablative armor, but in game terms provides a Ďthresholdí similar to shields, to increase its protection ability The threshold provided is a constant 500 points, regardless of the amount of armor bought or applied to a ship)
Quantum-Resonant Ablative Sheath Generator
A new experimental technology pioneered on the Rogue-class of gunship, the Ablative sheath generator is a series of trans-replication emitters deployed along a starships hull and when activated provide a pre-defined quantum level replication matrix of quantum-resonant ablative armor around the ship in the form of a sheath. This technology can only be applied to vessels of size 5 (Defiant class) and smaller, but experiments are being conducted aboard the USS Ascendant to allow this technology to be applied to larger starship frames.
(The Ablative sheath generator costs 5x the vessels size in SUís, and costs 50 points per size, thus a ship of size 4 using the generator would cost 200 power to deploy, a vessel of size 2 would cost 100 power to deploy. The sheath acts as an extra shield, and may be applied to vessels that already have a type of ablative armor applied to their hull. It can only be recharged when the sheath is powered down and requires two full rounds to Ďrestoreí the damaged quantum-resonant armor, unless the generator composition themselves are otherwise damaged. A generator can provide up to 750 points of protection, and has a threshold of 500.)
Structural Integrity Field
As strong as it is, a starships hull cannot by itself withstand the stresses of accelerating to impulse and warp speeds, or for that matter any other type of pressure or stress above a certain threshold. Under these conditions, a starshipís structural integrity field (SIF) prevents it from collapsing. A SIF is a force field running through a structural integrity grid (a network of conductive elements in the hull), which provides protection against gross structural compression (GSC, or, in less technical terms Ďhull stressí). In short, it helps to hold the ship together.
As of 2376, the best SIF generators available were Class 7. As of 2379, the best available are class 12.
(Advanced Starfleet SIF generators past class 7 double their ratio rated protection per class as well as increasing 3 SUís per class upgrade.
Example: A Class 7 SIF costs 30 + size in SUís and provide 100/150 protection. A class 8 SIF costs 33 + size in SUís and provides 120/180 Protection)
Some ships have hulls, which are modified to perform some special function or allow the ship to do something it otherwise could not. Several types are described below. Generally these hulls must be built into the ship when itís constructed; they cannot be installed thereafter.
Most Starships cannot enter an atmosphere; theyíre not built for it, so the stress of entering and flying in an atmosphere tears them apart (Or at least causes substantial damage, though shield modifications can affect this). However, it is possible to build a ship with a specially designed and reinforced hull, which allows for atmospheric movement.
An energy sheath is a special type of hull, which, thanks to the materials and shape, makes detecting the ship with long-range sensors (but, not lateral sensors), or reading whatís inside the ship with any sensors very difficult.
A ship cannot have both an energy sheath and a sensor-reflective hull.
This represents a starship, which can land on a planet under controlled conditions and take off again. Only ships with atmospheric capability can use this.
Some ships (typically small ones, like scouts and fighters) have hulls, which are reinforced or built in such a way that they do extra damage when ramming a target.
A sensor-reflective hull prevents the interior of a ship from being scanned with sensors. The ship itself can be picked up on sensors like any other ship. But any attempt to use sensors to determine what the ship is carrying in its cargo holds, whoís onboard, or how its wholly internal systems are configured will fail, regardless of the proximity of the ship performing the scan.
A ship cannot have both a sensor-reflective hull and an energy sheath.
Strato-Dynamic Maneuvering Foils
Some vessels (typically small ones such as shuttles, runabouts, and fighters) are designed with systems that allow it for greater maneuverability within the atmosphere of a planet. These could include, but are not limited to variable anti-gravity fields generated by specialized SIF generators, thruster assemblies specifically calibrated to vectored thrust, reinforced hull to withstand high speed turning and maneuvering, to expandable maneuvering foils or Ďwingsí that extend once a vessel enters into an atmosphere, allowing it to manipulate the atmosphere variable particle density much the way old terran fighter jets and propeller planes did to maneuver.
(This enhancement costs 1x the vessels size in SUís, and applies to all systems affected as described above.)