EAR-O64-RDG

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Outpost 64 Power System Analysis Report

Outpost 64 Power System Analysis

Overview

  • The USS Broadsword was sent to Outpost 64 on Planetoid R-238 to determine the lack of communication and data transmission for a prolonged period of time. Recon sensor sweeps detected massive power fluctuations by the outpost's systems. Upon closer inspection by an engineering detail, it was found that the inside lining of the power generator had many cracks larger than 0.02 cm3 and thus would need to be replaced. It was uncertain whether it was a direct result of sabotage or shoddy maintenance. The magnetic containment field strength were weak in the areas of high fluctuation. Closer inspection showed that the magnetic field generators would need a massive overhaul and the magnetic fields along the conduits would have to be realigned to stabilize the flow. The areas of high fluctuation caused large pressure gradients in the hardware that pushed its structural integrity to its fatigue limit. The hardware would thus need replacement. These shortcomings could not be fixed by the engineering team and to prevent an overall system failure the power systems were shut down.
  • The following report shows the results of the data analysis undertaken.

Reactor Data

  • The reactor initiator firing rate occurs at a steady periodic rate during normal operation to start and maintain the reaction.
  • Figure 1.1 shows the normalized steady periodic rate (dark blue) for the standard reactor in non-dimensional time. Data gathered from Outpost 64's reactor showed different initiators firing at different rates (pink, pale blue, tan). Initial inspection also showed these initiators decreasing (tan, pale blue) or increasing (pink) in amplitude. The overall effect to the reactor itself was an increase in both pressure (Fig 1.2) and temperature (Fig 1.3) gradients. The very large increase in these gradients is well above the usual tolerance but the prolonged operation of these gradients is believed what caused the large cracks inside the liner of the reactor.
Table 1.1 - Reactor Data.
Figure 1.1 - Reactor Initiators Firing Rate Figure 1.2 - Reactor Temporal Pressure Gradient Figure 1.3 - Reactor Temporal Temperature Gradient
  • Visualizations of these gradient fields (Fig 1.4.1, 1.4.2) show the large oscillations causing these exponentially increasing fields.
Table 1.2 - Reactor Data - Field Visualizations.
Figure 1.4.1 - Reactor Temporal Pressure Gradient Field Figure 1.4.2 - Reactor Temporal Velocity Field
  • There are two probable causes for these changes in the reactor initiators. The initiator firing rate could have been manually changed for each initiator through the controller itself. Another possible cause was a change in the initiator controller programming. The controller has built in safety functions to prevent such events from occuring. The controller should have shut off the initiators had such a amplitude change in the firing rate had occured. This would have cascaded into an emergency shut off of the reactor so that maintenance crews would have had a chance to perform any emergency repairs. Based on this data it is believed that deliberate sabotage was the main cause of the reactor malfunction.

Power Transfer Conduit Data

  • The magnetic containment field is the main driving mechanism that mantains a favorable pressure gradient which helps regulate the plasma flow inside the power transfer conduits. Scans of the power transfer conduits and relays showed the magnetic containment field strength were weak in the areas of high fluctuation. Figure 2.3.1 shows the visuals on the flow fields at these locations. These areas of high fluctuation are local pockets of recirculating flow. Within these areas of the conduits, the pressure and velocity magnitudes were very large. These local recirculating flow regions also caused a degradation of the pressure and velocity fields shown in Figures 2.1 and 2.2. Since the pressure was unable to be maintained in these areas, the pressure ratio acros the conduits slowly degraded exponentially cascading into a drop in velocity at a similar rate. This put a very large strain along the conduits in order to maintain the distribution of energy into the station. These caused gradients so large that the structural integrity at these locations became compromised, most of the conduits reaching the fatigue limit of the material. Shutdown of the power systems prevented conduit material failure which would have resulted in a catastrophic event.
Table 1.3 - Power Transfer Conduit Data.
Figure 2.1 - Power Transfer Conduits Pressure Gradient Figure 2.2 - Power Transfer Conduits Mean Velocity Gradient Figure 2.3.1 - Power Transfer Conduits Mean Velocity Gradient Field

Recommendations

  • It is recommended that a complete systems overhaul be performed to Outpost 64's power system. The magnetic containment field generators will have to be replaced and re-tuned for optimal performance within the nebula. Also new power transfer conduits will have to be installed. The damage on the current ones is too immense and will fail if they are kept operating. The current reactor is still operating well within tolerance levels. The inner lining will have to be replaced due to the immense damage already subjected to it. New controllers will have to be installed and updated safety programming installed on them. Also it is recommended that the latest sensor probes be installed with higher tolerance settings to properly monitor the pressure, temperature, and flow field along the conduits and inside the reactor.
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