Tau Empire Codex 2013 | Army Builder Program
Dark Angels Codex 2013
Chaos Daemons Codex 2013
Chaos Space Marines Codex 2012

Warhammer 40k Forum Tau Online

 

Warhammer 40K Forum

Theory on Tau propulsion systems
Closed Thread
Old 02 Feb 2006, 22:33   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 70
Default Theory on Tau propulsion systems

This is a 'supporting thread' for the thread on the design of the Tau Remora jetbike HERE.
It is meant to explain how I interpreted the propulsion systems employed by the Tau and how these interpretations led to the current design decissions on the Remora jetbike. I have tried to rationalize how the main systems of propulsion for the Tau would work and what the advantages and disadvantages are of each system.

Basicly we have seen three forms of propulsion in the current Tau models and fluff:

Category 1: Anti-gravity + Jet engines
First category is the combination of anti-gravity and jet propulsion utilized on the Tau vehicles: the Tetra, Piranha and Devilfish-chassis. This first system of propulsion utilizes anti-gravity to create vertical lift while the jet engines create the impulse for forward motion.


We can only speculate how the anti-gravity technology works, but the jet engines are probably comparable to modern day jet turbines. It can be assumed the jet engines on the Tau aircraft fall under this category as well as they are very similar in design. Assuming the Tau aircraft (except for the Orca) have no VTOL ability, they will also need to use anti gravity to make some kind of take off run as all of them lack any wheels. Both the Tetra and Piranha have their jet engines fixed parallel to the length axis of the vehicle. This allows a full movement in a horizontal plane as the arrangement of two engines allow a rotation around the Z axis by increasing the impulse output on one of the engines (basicly turning in the traditional way). Movement up and down the Z axis (controlling the height at which the vehicle skimmers) can be done by controlling the output of the anti-gravity generator.


The manoevrability of the devilfish-chassis is significantly increased by the inclusion of vectored engines. These vectored engines allow two extra rotations around the X and Y axis enabling a far greater freedom of movement. Rotation around the X axis will enable a corkscrew roll, while rotation around the Y axis enables the vehicle to do aerial loopings. Basicly it can be said that the devilfish is equiped for movement in a 3D plane, while the Tetra and Piranha are restricted to movement in a 2D plane. It might be possible for the Tetra and Piranha to perform both X and Y axis rotations, but these will then need to be executed with weight shifting. Weight shifting is a far more difficult way of performing rotation as this relies on the pilot's skill. Another factor is that weight shifting will require a far larger rotation circle than vectored engines do.

Category 2: Jetpacks
Second category of propulsion systems is the jetpacks employed by the crisis and stealth suits. The jetpacks are presumably a similar type of technology like the jet engines as they both use an air intake and exhaust thrusters. Instead of releasing the powered jetstream in one direction at the back like the jet engines, the jetpack releases the jetstreams in different directions. By controlling the power ratio's between these directions the pilot can effectively control his heading. Important difference with the first category is that the jetpack is utilized to create vertical lift as well as forward motion. Where turning of the jet engines in a category 1 propulsion system will leave the vehicle floating in mid-air, the jetpack will simply fall to the ground without vertical lift.


Another difference can be found in its use: with category 1 propulsion the vehicle will be airborne during the entire time. This in contrast to a jetpack which is basicly there to enhance movement for an infantry unit. Therefore the user of the jetpack will mainly utilize it to make jumps or short/medium distance flight. The user will spend a significant portion of the time on the ground in contrast to category 1 propulsion which is a 'true skimmer'.

So far we have seen the jetpacks on both the crisis and stealth suits. The crisis suits utilizes an arrangement of two jetpacks while the stealth suit (and the XV81 suit) uses a single jetpack. The arrangement of two jetpacks gives the crisis suit quite a range of movement as it can make a rotation on both the X and Z axis with its thrusters alone. This in contrast to the stealth suit which due to its single jetpack can't manoevre on thrusters alone. However, as the jetpack is utilized on a battlesuit weight shifting is significantly more important and the theoretical 'Gundam concept' of AMBAC(scroll down the page a little on Wiki) comes into play. One can assume that with the advantages of AMBAC a battlesuit pilot can have total freedom and control of movement in a 3D plane even with the lacking of any steering thrusters.

Category 3: Drone hovering
The last category is the propulsion system utilized by the drones and possibly by Aun'va'denta's hoverplatform. This system is very similar to category 1. Drone hovering utilizes anti-gravity as well for vertical lift and a 'back-up' thruster system for forward motion.


The thruster system could be similar to the jet engines from category 1, but considering the difference in appearance this might be a different kind of system for forward propulsion. The drones also lack any form of air intake vents that are seen on category 1 jet engines. What makes this category significantly different from category 1 though is the method of manoevring. Drones seem to lack any form of steering thrusters that would enable rotations on the X, Y an Z axis. So they will have to rely on weight shifting for manoevring. Proper gyro stabilization and AI steering software would be the tools for steering this type for propulsion system.


So far my take on the current Tau propulsion systems. I have basicly tried to explain the concepts and issues I ran into with brainstorming on the Remora jetbike. I hope it makes sense and that it has been an interesting read. Love to hear what others think about this subject so feel free to express your opinion!


Very nice! +1 - Khanaris
Riley is offline  
Old 02 Feb 2006, 22:36   #2 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 5,117
Default Re: Theory on Tau propulsion systems

Wow...you've done your homework ;D
__________________
I laugh at the fools who thought Tau Online Chat Op is hard work! :shifty:
[center]
Fire_Warrior 032 is offline  
Old 02 Feb 2006, 22:46   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,137
Default Re: Theory on Tau propulsion systems

battle suits have Anti grav systems built into them because other wise they fall face forward
Lanfeix is offline  
Old 02 Feb 2006, 22:52   #4 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 392
Default Re: Theory on Tau propulsion systems

good to know there are some smart people playin warhammer 40k
hahaha


Well good article!
__________________

Listen to LiNkIn PaRk they rule!
Naruto!
Tau Outcast is offline  
Old 02 Feb 2006, 23:00   #5 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: On the Midnight Ocean
Posts: 26,404
Send a message via MSN to Wargamer
Default Re: Theory on Tau propulsion systems

I imagine Tau vehicles, at least ones like the Tetra or Piranha, to work quite like the Land Speeder; anti-grav plates raise the vehicle's nose, and afterburners (or equivalent) provide forward motion. If horizontal thrust stopped, the vehicle would just slump on its tail, nose-raised.
__________________
Farewell, Kangaroo Joe, you shall not be forgotten.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Norman
"Wargamer is never wrong, Frodo Baggins; he knows precisely the rules he means to."
Wargamer is offline  
Old 02 Feb 2006, 23:03   #6 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 8,194
Send a message via AIM to Vash113 Send a message via Yahoo to Vash113
Default Re: Theory on Tau propulsion systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanfeix
battle suits have Anti grav systems built into them because other wise they fall face forward
I dont know where you get that. The battlesuits are controlled just as a Tau controls their own body so the Tau pilot keeps the suit balanced no anti-grav compensation would be needed for that.

I always assumed that the thrusters on the battlesuit were all angled at a somewhat downward angle so it is a forward and up thrust in one. A short burst. Since the JSJ and Firewarrior shows battlesuits almost as making bounding leaps or bouncing instead of a sustained flight. Given this I would assume the battlesuit (XV8 in particular) would not have complete maneuverability while in the air because any significant alteration in flight would push the engines harder and burn more fuel for the needed compensation. I suppose it can be done but I imagine battlesuit pilots would instead stick to minor alterations using body movements more than jet pack controls to alter their courses some while in flight but stick to doing any major changes once on the ground before the next jump.

Anyway my 2 cents on the matter, hope that made sense.

You deserve a Karma cookie!
__________________



Vash113 is offline  
Old 02 Feb 2006, 23:20   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,137
Default Re: Theory on Tau propulsion systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vash113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanfeix
battle suits have Anti grav systems built into them because other wise they fall face forward
I dont know where you get that.
IA3
Lanfeix is offline  
Old 03 Feb 2006, 00:06   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sandy Eggo
Posts: 1,954
Default Re: Theory on Tau propulsion systems

Jetpacks are stated as being different from jump packs in that jetpacks utelize anti gravity systems to hover, and use their jets more for movement, making them more agile than Jump Infantry. I forget where I read that, either in the Tau codex under 'Jetpack', or in the BBR under 'jetpack'.

That being said, I have a 3rd design concept for you to consider: not anti grav, but gravity nulling.

While I dont have anywhere near you skills at sketching (awesome drawings, dude!), I think I can talk my way through:

instead of a cusion effect anti gravity, why not a system that removes 95% of the weight of the item in question, and therefore smaller, less powerfull conventional jet thrusters are sufficient for lift and movement.

The Devilfish chassis has the obvious vectored thrust rear engine pylons, but also two long vents underneath along both sides of the center fuselage... taking the center of lift from verticle rear pylons, you of course see the devilfish as a nose heavy craft. Not if those vents were ducted fans or even jets themselves (supported by the oval intakes along the top wing)! If the Anti Grav nulled the majority of the weight, then these fans, coupled with a slight downward tilt of the rear fans, balances things out nicely! The three exhaust oval ports on the sides of the engine pylons suggest the yawing vectored thrust nozzles for left and right steering, much like modern Harrier Jet nozzles, that bleed off thrust to side ports.

An additional bonus of the conventional thrusters lifting an artificially nulled weight craft concept is that it would fully allow high altitude flights just as easilly as skimming terrain flights.

Suits also fit this concept pretty well, if a Crisis suit 'weighed' only 200 or so pounds, then a conventional jetpack would still be able to do all the lifting with the downward pointing nozzles, and the foreward thrust nozzles would take diverted thrust as needed like the Harrier as well from the main downward thrust engine. The only problem with the Crisis and Stealth suits is also the apparent problem of the devilfish at first glance: Extreme nose heavy-ness. a Hovering attitude would be very lay-Z-boy posture like, and look ugly and not very threatening at all! I cant think a way around this, except to suggest that the gravity nulling unit is in the backpack, and the weight management of these models is more complex than the Vehicle design, in that the center of gravity is also shifted rearward as well as lessened.

Drone models also show apparent downward facing vents for hovering around their center shaft, further supporting the conventional thruster/reduced weight concept. I believe the Tetra also has hover thruster vents, as does the pirahna (since it really is just a hacked up devilfish fuselage)
__________________
Though I walk through the valley of the swarms of the clueless, I shall fear no idiocy, for the M-STAR flagged them 12 seconds ago, and the JDAMS are already freefalling.
Calaban is offline  
Old 03 Feb 2006, 02:23   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: New York city
Posts: 1,646
Send a message via AIM to DireStrike Send a message via MSN to DireStrike
Default Re: Theory on Tau propulsion systems

Aren't the big flathead-screw-looking things called "suspensors", and don't they utilize antigrav to hold things up?
DireStrike is offline  
Old 03 Feb 2006, 03:04   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 903
Default Re: Theory on Tau propulsion systems

Nice detail! A few comments...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley
It might be possible for the Tetra and Piranha to perform both X and Y axis rotations, but these will then need to be executed with weight shifting.
There might be another way. What would happen if a Pirahna increased the anti-gravity effect (whatever it may be) operating on its nose, and decreased that on its tail? It would rotate to point its nose at the sky, revolving around its Y-axis. A similar procedure would allow it to rotate in the X-axis.

So, if we assume that the anti-gravity effect can be varied over different parts of the vehicle, they can maneuver quite nicely without variable-direction jets. The clumsiness of weight-shifting (say, by pumping fuel from one tank to another) wouldn't be necessary.

There's also the possibility of them using control surface like modern aircraft. These have the disadvantage of only working in forward flight, and there don't seem to be any significant ones on Tau vehicles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley
However, as the jetpack is utilized on a battlesuit weight shifting is significantly more important and the theoretical 'Gundam concept' of AMBAC(scroll down the page a little on Wiki) comes into play. One can assume that with the advantages of AMBAC a battlesuit pilot can have total freedom and control of movement in a 3D plane even with the lacking of any steering thrusters.
This concept in Gundam (at least as it is stated on wikipedia) is flawed. It only allows a battlesuit to make minor adjustments in its facing - it cannot, for example, go from facing in one direction to facing in the opposite direction without wrapping its arms several times around its body, or rotating at the waist by a full revolution.

A better solution is the momentum wheel or gyroscope, where the battlesuit gains angular momentum by rotating an internal component in the opposite direction. This would allow it to, for example, stand off-balance on a single leg with its jetpack off (for a limited time).
Abanim is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
XV Weapon Systems Dangerman Tau 22 10 Jul 2007 14:13
Alternative deep-space propulsion the_vilest_worm Serious Debate and Discussion 18 30 Sep 2006 23:37
Next-gen systems and PC gaming the_vilest_worm Other Games 50 16 Sep 2006 03:52
Interesting Analysis' on the Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang Theory Tau Tau Enclave Talk 6 08 Apr 2005 02:02
Number of HW Systems Grimvail Tau 10 15 Dec 2004 19:11