Pell Station at Downbelow

This is Selden's minimal page about Pell Station and the Alliance-Union universe of C.J. Cherryh.

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0.0 Introduction.

Pell Station orbits the planet Downbelow in the TAU Ceti system. It's the subject of several Hugo Award winning stories written by C. J. Cherryh.

As a result of discussions on one of her fan sites, I've been working on a model of the station for use with Celestia.

Celestia is a free 3D astronomical visualization program. See the Celestia home page.

Guestimates as to size and capacity,

1. derived from sketches in the front of "Downbelow Station":
Torus
• ~120 ft square cross section
• ~1200 ft diameter
• 9 "occupied" levels
• area/floor = Pi*d*width = 3.14*1200*120 = 450,000 sq ft
• area/person (from SphereProgram) 38 sq ft/person
• therefore max pop = 100,000
• vol = pi r1^2 *h - pi r2^2*h: r1 = 600, r2 = 480 ft, h = 120 ft
• therefore vol = 488,580,100 cubic ft.
• Mass calculation: assume density similar to QE2
• 70,000 Deadweight Tonnage = 7,000,000 cubic ft
• 50,000 tons displacement
• therefore density = 50,000/7,000,000 = 0.00714 tons/cubic foot
• max capacity of QE2 = 1892 passengers + 1015 crew
• length = 963 ft, wid = 105ft, height = 171ft
• therefore cross section = < 18,000 sq ft
• therefore volume < 18,000,000 cubic ft (consistant with 7,000,000 cubic ft)
• therefore mass of Pell = 45,000,000*0.00714 = 320,000 tons.
• = 6.4 * QE2: 20,000 people if at same pop. density.
2. from comment about legal offices in "Finity's End"
• all 3 floors are in the 9th level
• so (at least) triple all linear dimensions, so 27x volume &mass
•     ~360 ft square cross section
•   ~3,600 ft diameter
• ~11,000 ft circumference
• area/floor = 9* 450,000 sq ft = 4,050,000 sq ft *3 floors = 12 million sq ft
• 240 sq ft/person (if 50,000 people)
• so vol = 27*488,580,100 cubic ft. = 13,203,000,000 cubic ft
3. from description of Viking Station in "Tripoint"
• ~30 berths each in Green and Orange sectors
• which implies ~180 total for 6 sectors
• allow 400 ft/largest ship = 72,000 ft circumference (a bit much)
• but only 15 (or 50) of the largest ECS ships exist
• 8(?) of Fleet were simultaneously docked in Downbelow Station
• 15*300 + 45*100 + 120*30 = 12,600 ft
• 8*300 + 45*100 + 130*30 = 10,800 ft
• but angle of docking probe implies spacing is about 2/3 of norway's width -- assume some adjacent berths are unusable
• 8*200 + 45*100 + 130*30 = 10,000 ft

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1.0 Web sites.

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2.0 Documents.

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3.0 Gallery.

These pictures are screengrabs of Celestia, displaying the extent of Aliance/Union space and a model that I'm currently working on. They show Pell Station orbiting Downbelow

A new project: a Celestia addon based on models by Troutweaver, to be available RealSoonNow.

Somewhat off topic: a picture of the Atevi world from CJC's "Foreigner", using a map by "Neco Nightwraith".

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• alliance-union_v01.zip (28Dec06, 2.5MB)

This is a preliminary version of an Addon for Celestia v1.5.0 or later.

Celestia is a free 3D astronomical visualization program. For more information, see the Celestia home page. Celestia v1.6.1 for Windows, Mac and Linux is available on SourceForge at http://sourceforge.net/projects/celestia/files/

This Addon provides simplistic 3D CMOD models of Pell Station, Dublin Again, Lucy, ECS 5 and major interstellar routes among Alliance and Union stations. It also includes a flat map of station and jump point locations in galactic coordinates (galactic_map.png).

If you restore this Zip file into Celestia's Extras directory, it should recreate all of the directories and files necessary for it to work with Celestia v1.5.0 or later.

4.1 Usage

The included HTML (Web) file contains Cel:// URLs which will take you to various viewpoints, mostly near Pell Station.

While Celestia is running, if you double-click on the icon of the script file `mark_a-u_stations.cel` which is in the main alliance-union_v01 directory it'll draw squares around the stars that have stations orbiting them.

The model of trading routes is shown as bright lines across the sky. If they're too intrusive, you can eliminate them by renaming the file `show_a-u_route_model.dsc` to be `show_a-u_route_model.dscNO`

The image file galactic_map.png shows the locations of the various stations in Galactic coordinates.

An ECS "hulk" is in orbit around Tripoint.

4.3 Limitations

These models are incomplete. Many details have been omitted and some aren't quite right. I'll probably be improving Pell and Dublin Again for a later version of this Addon. The crude models of Lucy and ECS 5 will be left as temporary "place holders." It is anticipated that they will be replaced by someone else's models.

The locations of some stars have been changed from reality to locations that are more compatible with the stories: BD+20 5046 and Zeta Reticuli, to be specific.

The (real) locations of some stars in Celestia differ from the locations specified in The Company War boardgame by a small number of LightYears. Those stars have been left unchanged.

Several stars mentioned in the stories aren't provided with Celestia. Their real locations are provided by this Addon, as specified by the Simbad catalog server at http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/sim-fid.pll

(See the catalog file `add_a-u_station_stars.stc`)

The locations of the jumpoints are strictly imaginary and probably should be randomized somewhat more than they are. They're only known to be somewhere between the destination stars.

The SSC, STC and HTML files were created for use with Celestia v1.5.0 pre2 The catalogs should work with Celestia v1.4.1, too, but not the HTML file: its positions will be wrong.

The catalogs and html file may need to be modified for use with later versions of Celestia.

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4.3 Credits

The models included in this Addon were created using Anim8or, a free 3D design program written by Steve Glanville. Visit http://www.anim8or.com/ for more information.

The designs of the models were based on sketches and information found in the books of C.J. Cherryh, as well as discussions with "Knuck". The models of "Lucy" and of "Dublin Again" are strongly influenced by the designs shown in the painting "Lucy at Pell" on pages 86 & 87 of Imagination: The Art & Technique of David A. Cherry (1987) The Donning Company/Publishers.

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This Addon may be freely redistributed for educational purposes. All models and documents were created entirely by the author. They may not be used for any commercial benefit without explicit written permission from the author.

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