|Expected Duration:||75 years|
|Refit Interval:||12 years|
|Main Height:||30 metres|
|Overall Height:||175 metres|
|[ Source ]|
The Trieste-class is a class of Federation research base that has served in Starfleet in the late twenty-fourth century.
Few would dispute Starfleet`s unwavering commitment to the stellar sciences. Throughout the 24th century, enormous leaps had been made in ensuring that no stone was left unturned in pursuit of scientific truth throughout the galaxy by a dearth of vessels specifically equipped for taking readings of all manner of star, nebula, and spatial anomaly. In one area, however, Starfleet science was completely lacking, and that was in undersea exploration. For decades, the seas were thought to have been thoroughly explored- water in one place was very much similar to water in other places. However, with major biological discoveries on the world of Pacifica came a new drive in the Federation for attention to marine sciences.
There were several considered approaches for this mission profile. The first was a series of permanent bases on small islands scatted on oceanic worlds. This had several advantages, the most touted of which was the Federation?s having multiple ground bases that could be easily converted for the task, as well as the easy availability of submarine designs dating back 400 years on Earth. However, these bases lacked mobility, were confined only to shallow inland seas, and lacked the ability to be deployed on worlds with no land whatsoever.
The next alternative was a class of starship that would be able to operate both in space and underwater. This too had several advantages- enhanced mobility, long design lineage, and no need to train new crews specifically for the mission. However, the engineering difficulties of the Cousteau Project, as the design team named themselves, quickly rendered the plan untenable. The configurations that were best for outer space generally destroyed any ecosystem that they encountered, and with the cost reaching prohibitive levels, the project was abandoned in 2364.
The Dominion War put any plans for serious exploration of the seas off. However, with the upgraded industrial capacities of post-war Federation homeworlds, attention again turned to serious scientific inquiries, marine sciences being the department that garnered the most attention. Therefore, when design teams were announced for 2377, the Trieste-class Research Base was given more than adequate resources for the job.
The theory was simple- a floating base that extends a hundred metres below the surface, and has engines that allow it to move, slowly, around any world on which it is stationed. It would have a small complement of fighters for defense, shuttles to engage in exploration of the star system, and submarines for intensive underwater exploration. The resources allocated to the project allowed for a working prototype to be deployed on Earth?s Pacific Ocean, built entirely out of stock components from various starships and shuttles in early 2379.
The stations design was innovative. Its lower 12 decks were all built with a single airtight column, ten meters across, in the middle, whose walls were built out of transparent material. Each of the 12 decks was filled with sensor equipment and laboratories, all fully open-concept. Everything outside this thin column could be entirely flooded with water to allow in native specimens and creatures. The remaining 23 decks were filled with every other sort of scientific and medical equipment imaginable, allowing for the station to have a sensor suite comparable with that of a Nova-class starship, all targeted on one world. The station itself is mobile, albeit slowly, and has phaser banks both for defense and to clear away both large predators which could damage the station, but also to free it from natural obstacles which it encounters. Moving the station requires impressive attention to detail, so as to not run aground on hidden obstacles.
Trieste Station, on Ayta II, was commissioned on December 12, 2380, and fourteen other stations of the class have been deployed to remote oceanic worlds all over the Federation. The discoveries from these stations have rewritten the book on much marine biology, leading to eight new kingdoms of marine life just within the Federation. The ability of the station to flood its lower decks has made it a useful tool for establishing relations with undersea species who do not feel at ease using breathing apparatuses on dry land, either, making the station a de facto embassy on at least one world.
This base floats partially submerged in the ocean of a planet and has four landing pads for shuttles, fighters, and runabouts to land on. Each landing pad has an airlock and docking port just under the water line for Cousteau Class submarines and Hunley Class shuttles to dock to.
|Trieste-class Research Bases|
|Research Base Neptune • Research Base Triton|
|Official Starbase Specifications|
|Federation Starbases||Astral-class • Elysian-class • Nor-class • Regula-class • Shiro-class • Stardock-class • Trieste-class|
|Weapons Platforms||Guardian-class • Kimeki-class|