Crew Movement System
The Crew Movement System consists of a series of magnetic lift (Maglift) cars which perform a similar function to old elevators in city buildings. Unlike elevators, the cars are capable of moving horizontally as well as vertically. To achieve this freedom of movement the cars utilize a series of magnetic motors which act on the conductive surface of the shaft walls, floor and ceiling to position the car anywhere within the system. Power is provided to the lift car via resonant inductive coupling. Short range wireless data transceivers provide constant communication between the lift car and the ships data network. A virtual intelligence subroutine within the lift system computers tracks every lift car in operation and coordinate movement of the lift cars for optimum routing.
Motors mounted on the side of the car can be tilted up and down slightly to move the car vertically through the shaft, or held at a neutral position to act as horizontal position guides. There are two motors placed on the left and right side of the car, one near the top of the car and one near the bottom, mounted to the car's main support structure. A set of four motors mounted to the floor structure are used to move the car horizontally within the lift network and to rotate the car at lift stops. These six motors provide the primary locomotive force to move the car horizontally, vertically, and to rotate the car when needed. An additional pair of motors are placed within the roof structure and act as a safety bumper to keep the car from making contact with ceiling structures within the shafts.
Each lift car is equipped with an onboard computer which controls all eight motors to precisely position the lift car anywhere within the lift network. The onboard computer is capable of operating independently of the master system. In normal operations the lift car obtains destination and routing instructions from the master control computer along with positional telemetry from other cars operating on the network. Interaction between personnel and the system is done via voice command or direct input using a touch display interface panel embedded in the lift wall near the door. When the rider specifies a destination within the ship, the onboard computer transmits the request to the master controller which determines availability of the destination and calculates the optimal rout to the nearest stop to the destination. Once routing information has been calculated, that information is sent back to the lift car and movement is authorized to commence. If there is any lift car already sitting at the target destination, that car will be scheduled to move moments prior to the arriving car's arrival. Routing and speed is coordinated to minimize the number of times a lift car with a passenger must pause in-rout to wait for other cars. Cars with passengers always have movement priority over empty cars.
Under normal cruise conditions the system normally operates two car, one port and starboard, with the rest of the car held in parking at the maintenance hub. Cassiopeia can activate additional cars as needed as the number of personnel moving about the ship changes. During maintenance periods when the ship is docked at Research One, six cars are normally active to allow maintenance personnel to move about the ship efficiently.
The ERS Cassiopeia is capable of holding up to eight lift cars in standby at the lift maintenance hub with two active cars in the network.
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