Space Station Construction Guidelines

HULLS

Space Stations hulls are ring-shaped with a central hub for docking with elevator/spokes attaching the two structures. The various hull sizes are rated in size from I to VI (Roman numerals are utilized to prevent confusion between station and ship hull sizes), with each size appropriating different specifications as per the table below:

SizeHub/Ring
diamters
  # of
Mooring
  Bays 
Max. Ship
hull sizes
 per bay 
Maximum
Population
Rotational
 Time for
   1 G 
  I  50/200    4       6   1000 20.1 sec
 II  75/400    6     10   2000 28.4 sec
 III 100/600    8     14   3000 34.8 sec
 IV 150/800   12     18   5000 40.1 sec
  V200/1000   15    any   750044.7 sec
 VI250/1200   20    any  10,00049.1 sec

CALCULATING DCR & HULL POINTS

DCR = HS x 25
HP = HS x 50

Note these figures are for civilian stations, Fortified Stations and Fortresses follow different formulas due to their higher degree of armor and defense ratings:

FS DCR = HS x 35
FS HP = HS x 75

F DCR = HS x 50
F HP = HS x 100

Note that mulitple linked stations (such as 2-8 linked stations in a Starship Construction Center) will have 50% additional hull points per additional linked section, i.e. a double linked size:II station would have 150 points versus a single size:II station's normal 100 points, while a triple linked size II station would have 200 points. In the event the hub is extended (to permit additional ship docking) it would have 25% more hull points per hub extension, i.e. a triple hub size:III station would have 225 hull points versus a standard size:III station's 150 points. DCR is similarly modified for linked stations (but not for extended hubs).

HULL CONSTRUCTION COSTS

Unlike star ships, space station construction costs are the same because they all require the materials to be transported to the site rather than having dedicated construction centers orbitting certain worlds. The cost of the hull is simply the materials alone, not taking into account the various operating systems, life support, communication & detection equipment, etc.

Space Station HS x 1,000,000 credits
Fortified Station HS x 2,000,000 credits
Fortress HS X 3,000,000 credits

it should be noted that when constructing a station that one level 6 engineer will be needed for each station size, hence a HS:IV station will require four level 6 engineers.

LIFE SUPPORT

Unlike space ships, a station requires a greater degree of life support equipment. The computer program level coincides with the station's hull size, ergo a size II station would require a level 2 program while a size V station would require a level 5 program. The equipment cost is 100,000 credits per station size. Back-up systems and programs cost the same as the main equipment.

STATION COMPUTERS

Just like a personal computer or a ship's computer, a space station computer can utilize a wealth of the programs listed in both rule books. Unless otherwise noted, the computer program level must coincide with the station's hull size. The following computer programs are mandatory for any space station:

Alarm: Despite not having any drives, this program is still required to monitor any and all systems within the station.

Analysis: Required to perform calculations & computations, this program is utilized by the station's various detection systems as well. All stations must have at least a level 3 Analysis program.

Commerce: Necessary to track any and all business transactions conducted aboard the station. 

Communication: Utilized for all forms of communication, be it internal station communication, Frontier News Network and other multi-media broadcasts, internet/ethernet, and the likes. 

Damage Control: Required to coordinate the crew & computer's combined efforts at repairing any damage suffered by the structure. 

Industry: This program is vital to operating the various machine shops and hydroponics in the station and must be at least level 1, with higher level programs utilized for more industrial applications depending on the station's intended design (i.e. an Agricultural Station would need one level per hull size, a construction center would need a level 6 program regardless of size, etc).

Life Support: Required to monitor/control the various levels of breathable atmosphere along with heating & cooling, food & water, waste manangement, and lighting.

Maintenance: Handles routine maintenance patterns, repair, and janitorial service...this program is often utiized alongside the Damage Control program.

Transportation: Utilized for traffic control, specifically for the elevators running between the hub and ring. A level 1 program is more than adequate for this, however some stations incorporating conveyor walkays and internal monorail systems within their residential & commercial centers may incorporate a higher level program.


Note that these are sugested for the station's central computer, other computer terminals within the station may require additional programs (such as a cargo loader station in the hub would require a cargo arm program). Other programs such as Installation Security, Law Enforcement, Robot Management, and the like are optional (although they are more common on Foritifed Stations & Fortresses).

COMMUNICATION & DETECTION EQUIPMENT

All of the basic ship equipment listed in the KH Campaign Book can be applicable to space stations.

However, there are a few noteworthy additions. For starters, the Camera System price would be multiplied by the station size. Skin Sensors would cost 10,000Cr x station hull size. Radar and Energy Sensors with extended ranges can be purchased for space stations, a double ranged system could be utilized in a HS:II station at twice the cost, or a sextuple ranged detector can be utilized on a HS:VI station at six times the cost. An intercom network will cost 500 credits per station size, this reflects panels in the key administrative & operational areas along with receiver/microphones in all the public areas.

ARMING SPACE STATIONS

A standard space station can be upgunned at a rate of 40 cubic meters per station size worth of weapons and defenses with no penalties. Fortified Stations may do so at the rate of 60 cubic meters per station size. A Fortress may accomodate up to 50 cubic meters per size worth of weaponry and 100 cubic meters per size worth of defenses. It should be noted that the cost of defensive screens (electron, proton, and stasis) are 20 times the ship allocations, hence a stasis screen would cost 60,000Cr per station size and chew up 200 cubic meters per size of space.

Any allotment exceeding that amount will cause the station to lose a coinciding amount of population and ship docking space, hence if the weapons & defenses go 10% over it will cost 10% of the population and docking space.

Linked stations can double this capacity, however it can only be doubled regardless of how many stations are linked. In other words, whether there are two linked stations or eight the structure can only accomodate double the capacity. This reflects how the weapons & defenses are mounted on the hub faces.

STORAGE

The amount of storage depends on the hub's docking facilities, each station can accomodate (# of docking bays times max hull size of ship) worth of cargo units. In the case of size V & VI stations, "any" would be considered as HS:20 for the multiplier.

DECK PLANS

Obviously this would be a huge endeavor to undertake, but we can take the basics from the published Space Station portion of the KH fold-out map. The other portion of the ring would be the commercial deck(s) where all the businesses & shops are arranged, picture it as a huge shopping mall in a never ending yet repeating line. "Below" the commercial decks (further into the ring) would be the residential deck(s). The innermost (closest to the elevator spokes) portion of the ring contains the administrative deck(s).

Obviously this would be tailored for different station types, i.e. a Fortress would not have any commercial decks and more administrative decks instead.

SKILLS

While there is no need for a pilot or astrogator aboard a space station, there are still several other key positions that need to be filled. A Station Administrator is first and foremost, this is the person in charge. This person would be the most knowledgeable of the type of station (i.e. a business savvy person would be in charge of a commercial station, a highly skilled technician or engineer would be entrusted to run an industrial station, and a high ranking miitary officer would oversee a fortified station or fortress). This person would also have a number of assistants (vice presidents, sub-chiefs, Executive Officers, etc) numbering one per station size. A chief engineer would be required (level 6) with a number of assistants also totalling the station size (any level for the assistants but typically at least one level per station size). A team of technicians would also serve under the engineers. If the station is armed there will be two gunners per gunnery position (working ten hour shifts and never straying far from their designated area while on duty). There are numerous other positions that can be utilized including a business manager, housing manager, security/police, laborers, and anything else suitable for the station in question.

POPULATION QUARTERS

Figure 40% of the occupants will have single cabins, 40% more will have double occupancy cabins, and the remainders will have luxury or family sized accomdoadtions. Standard costs apply for the single and double while the family and luxury would be first class accomodations as per the KH rules.

SPACESUITS & VEHICLES

While there shouldn't be an unlimited number of resources, figure one spacesuit per ten population are stowed in a station (i.e. 100 suits for a size:I station with a 1000 population). Most of the inhabitants will remain on the station, very few are required to venture into the vacuum of space. 

There should also be a similar allotment of launches kept in the docking bay, figure one large launch per 100 occupants (while substituting a two small launches for one large launch on occassion).

There will be a minimum of two workpods per station size for the engeineering & maintenance crews to utilize. There will also be two lifeboats and ten escape pods per 50 population, all scattered across the various decks of the ring.

SPECIALTY RULES

Perhaps the GM might opt for a "double ring" station, i.e. a size:III station with two rings branching off of a single hub. Or perhaps a station with a single ring but the hub extends out each way for a triple capacity of ship bays. Common sense prevails here, for example the double ring might cost twice as much and use twice as many cabins and life support for the occupants or the triple wide hub/single ring would also cost twice as much but utilize the standard allotment of cabins and life support. If your design includes burrowing into an asteroid, perhaps factor half the cost in construction. Simply follow the guidelines above accordingly and you won't go wrong.

As far as ship-to-hub docking procedures are concerned, there are grappling towers at each corner of the massive bay entry that will launch grapples once an approaching ship has matched rotation. The grapples will reel the craft into the bay with a coordinated effort as the pilot relinquishes remote operation via the control tower. Once the ship is near its mooring bay, the grapples are released so the ship's maneuvering thrusters set the vessel down where it can be secured. Take-offs are handled in a similar manner: the ship's docking couplings are released, it maneuvers out of the mooring bay where the grappling towers can reel it out, and it is guided out of the docking bay via the control tower. In the early days of the Frontier there were no grappling towers but as enforced safety became an issue these were incorporated.

SUMMARY: STATION DESIGN SEQUENCE

1> Determine what planet the station will be orbitting. Once you begin construction you're committed!
2> Hire the engineering team entrusted withthe construction.
3> Buy the hull and determine the base hull points & DCR.
4> Purchase the required cabins and life support equipment.
5> Factor in any optional equipment for the station based on its purpose (weapons, scientific/research equipment, mining equipment, etc).
6> Purchase & equip the central computer with all necessary programs.
7> Factor in escape vehicles, launches, workpods, & space suits.
8> Equip the station with its respective communication & detection gear.
9> Enjoy your new customized one-off space station!

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