Tricorn Ship

Interplanetary or interstellar ships using a tension design

Tricorn ship
Image from Steve Bowers

Tricorn ships, originally a fusion design developed in the First Federation era but later adapted to use Antimatter Propulsion or even later Conversion Drive, are constructed so that the components are mostly in tension rather than compression, an arrangement which saves on mass.

Three high-powered motors are strung together in a triangle and rotate around their common centre of mass to keep the wires taut. Hanging from these motors is a central payload, consisting of a hub and a rotating section; suspended between the hub and the motors are fuel-tanks, which are formed into cones which deflect gamma-rays. In this fashion the hub is protected from the emissions of the motors by efficient shielding.

Suspended in front of the ship's main structures are droplet emitters, which fire material forwards as a form of cooling (during acceleration) and to intercept the interstellar medium as a form of active shielding.

The rotation of this ship design allows the thrust of the motors to be angled directly aftwards. This arrangement is more efficient than other tension designs such as the Singleship or the Muuh Iceship, which have motors set at an angle to avoid the ship's superstructure (which in those designs trails behind the motors on a tether).

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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 09 November 2011.