Headline:Back to a small Iliad
Date:Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Posted By:Plaid Hatter Games

If you recall from a few weeks ago, I recently revised the population of the ship up strictly to ensure that we would get enough people with the temperaments and abilities to take on specialist roles. What if we instead design that 300 person ship with cloning technology in mind?

Attached is a spreadsheet with a revised population model. I have gone back to the Island model of population growth. But I have replaced 20% of the crew with Specialists. I have also prepared a modified form of my model generating tool to produce a scaled down version of the Iliad, one that is only 275 meters across.

While I still have to drop in extra housing to account for the baby boom, the population is much smaller, and the steady population of the Specialist smooths things out. While I had to essentially rewrite my ship design tool, the overall math for the vessel still works. Some design elements are radically different in the scaled down Iliad. The sky domes, for instance, are gone. Instead the largest deck in each sphere is now a double deck recreation area. Above each recreation area is now a housing block with a shopping-mall like opening between each promenade to give folks a sense of depth and volume. One housing block is replaced with a services/commerce block. That is where schools, medical care, and food services will be placed. As well as the general store, and a pub.

The three shift model for the population is also gone. The vessel will work on one clock, and whatever needs to run overnight will be automated. With any luck, everyone being on one shift will not require more than the occasional night call for the local doctor. And if it turns out they need a constant on-call doctor at night, they can always VAT up a specialist who is an ER physician and a natural night owl.

I have dedicated more interior volume to utilities for this smaller ship. Those volumes are concentrated closer to where the crew lives. With a smaller crew, it is essential that whoever is working can reach these areas faster, more often, and probably on foot.

Despite the 1000 person ship being a better design on paper, the 300 person ship has a lot more story telling potential. Think of that little (somewhat neurotic) engine that could.

Here's the Hollywood script writer pitch:

The original concept (when the project started) was tiny little cost effective ship. And over the course of R&D, they discovered all of the sorts of issues that drove me to design the bigger ship. They throw out the design for the smaller ship, and start working in earnest on how to recruit new colonists, as well as how to get them up to the ship to be built...

Long story short, the costs of launching people into space are higher than anticipated. Much, much higher. In fact, they can't even make the original 300 person crew concept work, and pay for the construction of the ship at the same time.

The project is looking like it's going to be scrapped when this clone technology enters onto the scene. It's little expensive, for certain, but it is less than the cost of the 80 people they can't afford to send up. It gets them over being short staffed. And it gets them over the long term issues of maintain skill sets. Still does not address the fact that everyone on board wears more hats than a manaquin head in a Haberdashery. But hey, some people really want to make a project happen.

Here are some deck layouts from the smaller 300 person Iliad:

The database for the smaller iliad is, as expected, much smaller:


Number of Total Levels212
Levels Per Sphere33
Number of compartments in habitat4146
Floor Area, All Spheres2041518.734 m^23.4 Pentagon Buildings, or 403 Acres
Floor Area, Agricultural1420482.888 m^22.4 Pentagon Buildings
Single-Bedroom Housing Units240
Multi-Bedroom Housing Units60
Total Vehicle Mass1.84E+10 kg17.27 Nimitz Carriers
Dry Vehicle Mass8.808E+09 kg8.3 Nimitz Carriers

Of course the nice thing about haveing all of my structure in a database is the ability to call up these stats with an Sql query:

sqlite> select count(deckid) from deck;
212
sqlite> select count(deckid) from deck where prefix='A';
33
sqlite> select sum(area) from compt_polygons where comptid in (select comptid from compartment where usage='A');
1420482.888
sqlite> select count(comptid) from compartment where usage='H';
60
sqlite> select count(comptid) from compartment where usage='H2';
240
sqlite> select sum(area) from compt_polygons where deckid in (select deckid from deck where prefix in ('A','B','C','D','E','F'));
2041518.73999999
sqlite> select count(plateid) from plate;
82790
sqlite> select count(comptid) from compartment where prefix  in ('A','B','C','D','E','F') and usage not like 'P';
4146

Something interesting to note: at 2,041,518 square meters this ship's habitat is the equivilent square footage of 3 1/2 Pentagon Buildings. Even a "small" version of the Gilgamesh class, is flipping huge.

The turmoil of the Iliad's design process is going to be reflected in the story. I'm not sure quite how, yet, but I can see portions of the design like the propulsion system being way over engineered. At the same time, other parts of the design are practically improvised. (And continually re-worked where possible, or at the very least, complained about incessantly.)