Questions tagged [engineering]

For questions about the use of engineering to create structures and devices in other worlds, including whether or not a device could be made or what materials would be needed to make a device.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
9
votes
15answers
1k views

Which situations would justify powered armor?

The problem with powered armor is that it is often approached backwards when compared to real design principles. Instead of finding a problem that is best solved with powered armor, most approaches ...
-2
votes
0answers
33 views

Would a hybrid jet turbine that rotates extremely fast be practical? [closed]

A new jet engine prototype is being tested in 7th generation fighter aircrafts, the hybrid engine itself is quite normal, but they added high temperature superconductors on it. The idea is that the ...
2
votes
3answers
123 views

How could a 'reverse-stile' work? [closed]

How could a reverse stile, which is a gate that can be passed by hooved quadrupeds but not by humans, be built? The humans are modern humans, and will have the same equipment (limited to what they can ...
-1
votes
4answers
162 views

How much engineered “sand” I would need to build an Orbital Tower that reaches the ISS?

Well, I do know that there are questions about space towers that have already been asnwered, however, none of them with today's technology, such as engineered sand. "Sand Castle Holds Up A Car! - ...
25
votes
19answers
8k views

How can I hide my island in the 1600s?

I have time traveled to the past on an oriental country in southeast Asia. I want to hide my island from European colonists using some technology available in both the future and the past. Would ...
3
votes
2answers
195 views

How feasible would a Gaza - Gulf of Akaba canal be, purely technically speaking?

Note: partially inspired by the recent ship that ran aground in the Suez canal. In my alternate history novel, I'd like there to be a second Red Sea-Mediterranean Sea canal roughly along what's in our ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Could we build a global renewable energy grid? [duplicate]

I’m trying to build a post-fossil fuel world for my eco thriller. So in my head it works like this: Fossil fuel is outlawed internationally amd renewable energy is mandated; each country has a ...
2
votes
3answers
273 views

Would an Antimatter Engine be dangerous to use around people?

I was considering having the spacecraft in my setting use antimatter-matter spacecraft, but then I realised that at least some of the annihilation of protons and electrons with antiprotons and ...
6
votes
4answers
372 views

Converting deserts into more hospitable places by inducing rain through the ocean?

I want to know if this is scientifically possible in the real world. When you take vast expanses of deserts (the sandy hot ones, not the icy ones) like the Sahara, life in general is restricted to ...
4
votes
2answers
190 views

Is it possible to have a mecha act as a walking particle accelerator?

I am thinking of writing a story that is a remake/homage of classic Super Robot anime like Mazinger Z. Part of my idea is to make the main "heroic" robot as "realistic" as possible....
13
votes
11answers
2k views

Orientation of a cylindrical habitat/ship in transit

Assume you have an inhabited O'Neill or McKendree-style cylindrical habitat or ship designed to move between star systems—not unlike Rama. What are the major advantages and disadvantages of ...
0
votes
2answers
173 views

Pragmatic Plague Doctors Mask

Plague doctors are cool. There is no denying that fact. Their long robes hide their bodies from sight, flat hats which give them a professional look while the canes they carry to probe their patients ...
4
votes
1answer
153 views

How much would take and cost to construct a building/tower that reaches space? (with todays technology) [duplicate]

I am aware that there is a concept called "space elevator" that would be a much cheaper and more efficient option of reaching space with a construction (even though we don't have the ...
3
votes
3answers
101 views

Best Way To Ride a Mermaid

This question and its counterpart is long overdue; I should have posted it immediately after (Why would merpeople let people ride them?) So; we have merpeople, both willing and able to carry people. ...
4
votes
2answers
167 views

Would a Liquid-Metal battery be practical for powering an airship

So, I know that battery powered planes aren't practical, because there just isn't enough power to weight. However, What about an airship? Airships don't have to move to stay aloft. How would this work ...
27
votes
10answers
5k views

What sort of work environment would require both an electronic engineer and an anthropologist?

In a futuristic setting, I have two characters, an electrical/electronic engineer and an anthropologist, and I would like them to meet as coworkers. In what sort of environment would those two ...
5
votes
2answers
207 views

How Precisely Can a Space Cannon be Targeted?

If I have spaceships that are firing some variety of cannon at each other - MAC, laser, particle cannon, doesn't really matter the type - at extreme range, then even if the gun itself were somehow ...
4
votes
5answers
213 views

Could I design a bolt action rifle during a period similar to the medieval age (with light magical assistance)? [duplicate]

Writing a fantasy story where my protag has knowledge of modern day Earth technology. Magic also exists but it can't just create things in and out of existence and uses the body's energy for it to ...
9
votes
2answers
232 views

How far would a goblin-powered plane go?

There are a few flying questions lately and this got me thinking. Someone suggested that a centaur might power a plane via a bicycle. I don't think this would work out, since the centaur would be very ...
52
votes
18answers
6k views

Could you design a fighter plane for a centaur?

It's the Great War, and all the nations are having a good time of it, painting their biplanes flashy colours, as they shoot into their own propellers! But over in the corner, lonesome and dejected, ...
3
votes
2answers
67 views

If the Earth became a rogue planet would there be any way to push it into orbit again?

I've recently begun writing a sci-fi story about what would happen if an asteroid or another larger object would fly close enough to the earth to knock it out of its orbit and send it flying away from ...
8
votes
6answers
332 views

How would mermaids collect oxygen for their underwater cities?

I was thinking there might be a guest room for humans down in Atlantis. But this raises a question: how would they get enough oxygen for their guests? Mines have various techniques for oxygenating ...
3
votes
4answers
112 views

Propulsion or Space Elevator

In a sci fi setting I'm writing, gravity can be easily controlled and gravity propulsion is used to push starships through space. I had the idea of space elevators being used to get on/off Earth but ...
-1
votes
2answers
117 views

How Much of A Planet-Sized Spaceship is Useable? [closed]

Okay, let's say we have a spaceship the size of a planet. Let's put the radius at 3 Earth radii, and the mass at 7.5 Earth masses. Its hull is made of a space metal with a density of 3500 kg/m^3, and ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

What is a better design for a floating ocean city - monolithic or a fleet of interconnected modules?

Assume that the city is about 1-3 kilometers in diameter, built with relatively futuristic technology, and there are no plans to expand it further (If the need arises, they'll just build a second one)....
5
votes
4answers
399 views

Automated Steampunk Artillery

I have a world with late 19th-century steampunk technology. The major nations are at war, and one of them has depleted a lot of its manpower. I thought that they could try to design automated ...
5
votes
3answers
351 views

Putting locks on a strait between the sea and a large bay to prevent tides

My planet has fairly large tides, with the difference between high and low tide being roughly thirty meters, and the spring high/low tide different being roughly sixty meters. There is a civilization ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Feudal-technology space humans - how can they generate mechanical energy?

Setting Background I'm working on an admittedly silly sounding setting. Technologically advanced space fairing humans become stranded on a ring of asteroids in orbit around a large planet. They have ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Can my preindustrial civilization control an artificial water flow on the scale of the Mississippi?

Extending some of my earlier questions How to stop a massive canal system from silting up? Roughly how much water would my desert civilization need every year? My preindustrial* society needs to ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

What kind of ships would an amphibious species build?

To give a bit of background and ground the question in context: I'm concerned with the technology level from prehistory to Renaissance, or thereabouts. Analogous to Earth history, the 'normal' land-...
-2
votes
1answer
99 views

What is the largest a wheeled or tracked vehicle could get? [closed]

What is the largest that we could make a wheeled or tracked vehicle with modern technology?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Would a giant atlatl be a viable siege engine?

I want to explore an advanced Native American civilisation; assume their general 'technology level' is 'equivalent' to 13th-century Europe. Biggest difference is that their metallurgy is lagging ...
3
votes
12answers
2k views

Humanity is an FTL capable empire with great technological capabilities, what will our fighting machine or machines be like?

First I love the whole desperate infantry squad against a sea of trouble premise of so many stories. Even when some of them is set in the future. There is the rub. How on earth would I have a setting ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

What systems would be needed to keep two halves of a spaceship viable for humans?

A large space colony transport ship (100 colonists) set off for Europa to populate a colony recently built by drones (near future, the 2070s). The six-year flight was going well until unidentified ...
14
votes
9answers
1k views

Telex more popular than telephones

This question is inspired by the answer for another question. What changes in technological development after the World War 2 could have led the telex machines to be more popular than telephones, ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Using brine as construction material for an ocean floating town

Am trying to build a floating town with a starting resident population of about 3000 inhabitants. The setting: Around the end of the XXII century. The town 'Pioneering Pinnacle' is floating in the ...
7
votes
5answers
291 views

Uses for a 1950s-era nuclear-powered land vehicle?

I have heard of the Chrysler TV-8 design, an amphibious armored vehicle powered by an onboard nuclear reactor...basically a nuclear-powered tank. The TV-8 never made it off the drawing board; the ...
1
vote
3answers
175 views

how to get around a centrifugal force gravity ship

Lets say you had a really big space ship that uses the ramjet method to collect hydrogen. It can only generate gravity in a ring spinning around the collection cone. This means there's nothing in the ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

Designing an aircraft for a cyberpunk setting

So I was thinking about the dynamic you always see in space settings in which the heroes always have a mobile basecamp in the form of their ship, and was thinking about how to have this sort of thing ...
-3
votes
2answers
102 views

Backyard Planetary Escape: From the Earth to the Moon, the Jeb Kerman way [closed]

A pair of aerospace engineers discovers that the New World Order wants to depopulate Earth by means of starting a nuclear war on the 1st of January of [Enter number between 2025 and 2040]. The elite ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

By what methods could the most energy and matter be collected from a supermassive black holes quasar jets?

I was wondering if it is possible to capture the majority of the energy and matter from the jets of a quasar from a supermassive black hole? The methods that I can think of is some sort of net like ...
6
votes
10answers
3k views

How to Salvage From a Sunken Spaceship

This was an idea loosely inspired by a Sci-fi movie that I will not name here. But the relevant part is that it involves an interstellar colony ship landing on a planet and the crew learning that the ...
5
votes
4answers
248 views

How large could you theoretically build a freestanding hall?

The Tropical Islands Resort in Germany is the world's largest freestanding hall. But how large could you theoretically build a freestanding hall on Earth? A freestanding hall is a building with no ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

What is the tallest structure that can be built on the Moon? Can it be used as a landing pad?

Earth provides many obstacles to building large structures. Earthquakes and strong winds are just two of them. As far as I know there are no quakes on the Moon nor are there any winds. Question ...
5
votes
2answers
203 views

Feasibility of sourcing fuel from air

Is it feasible to modify a combustion engine to source fuel from air and oxidizer from a tank, in an atmosphere that has significant amount of flammable fluids, such as one found in Titan? If so, can ...
4
votes
2answers
247 views

Duplication of human advantages by biological machines

People often postulate in works of fiction that humans (and other sentient biological organisms) have powers that machines will never duplicate, but by machines people often think about constructs ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

What would be the dimensions of an orbital ring space station built around Deimos (the Martian moon)?

To be more specific, What radius would enable a ring-shaped space station to stably spin around Deimos and provide its occupants with rotational gravity?
4
votes
2answers
265 views

How fast could a 300 foot wide, 300 mile long road be constructed in the same manner as the Roman Empire would?

The road is to be used to resupply a city siege. The best estimate of speed for how fast the Roman's could build a road I can find is their construction of the Appian Way or "Queen of Roads". This ...
1
vote
3answers
179 views

What is the viability of this airship using modern technology?

I want to design an airship using modern-day technology. I have read around the stack exchange and while there are many questions on airships they do not completely answer my questions. My main idea ...
3
votes
5answers
663 views

Detection systems and trigger mechanism in a pre-electronic world?

I am building a setting that is essentially steampunk,being exact it would be pneumatic punk. What electronics and electronic equivalent exists, are primitive and extremely expensive. Thus the ...

1
2 3 4 5
8