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A deck is a vertical subdivision (viewing a spaceship from side-elevation) of a starship's internal hull. In addition, decks provide structural support, space-worthiness, and provide living and working spaces for people, cargo, internal transportation, and supplies distribution. Starships typically have more than one deck, which are numbered in ascending order from top (dorsal) to bottom (ventral). Some larger starships, such as the new Pathfinder-class, have additional levels that extend above, or "over" the primary hull (see article: levels), which are lettered in ascending order from bottom to top.
Purpose & StructureEdit
The purpose of decks are primarily structural; to provide support for the vessel's shaped outer hull, to provide space-worthiness against hard vacuum, and to efficiently subdivide a ship's internal arrangement. Decks serve as the ship's "sinews," providing connective hard-points, junctions, and other service tie-ins that comprise the vessel's structural rigidity. Decks are subdivided into sections, corridors, frames, and compartments.
On ships with more than one level of decking, the term "Deck" (note capitalization) refers to the level itself (see section: Deck Numbering, below). The actual floor of the deck is called the sole, while the ceiling is called the comb, and walls are called bulkheads. Equipment mounted on a deck, such as consoles, chairs, stowage lockers, and so forth, are collectively referred to as the deck's furniture. The deck's scantling, or critical dimensions, are usually uniform from level to level. However, some decks (such as the shuttle hangar) may have additional reinforcements, thicker soles, and may span several decks together, as one. In addition, other access systems, such as crawl spaces and Jefferies tubes route in, through, between, and under each deck.
Subdivision & AccessEdit
Common Deck Names and TermsEdit
- Berth Deck: a deck where the crew is berthed, traditionally below the Gun Deck. On modern starships, birthing decks typically span several levels within the primary hull.
- Bridge Deck: the deck area including the ship's helm and navigation stations, and where the Officer of the Deck is stationed at the ship's conn.
- Flight Deck: the deck(s) where spacecraft land or take off. Also called the Hangar Deck.
- Flush deck: any continuous, unbroken deck from stem to stern.
- Gun Deck: a deck where the ship's guns are carried, traditionally below the Spar Deck. On modern starships, (a) the deck from which the photorp launcher is loaded and operated, or (b) the deck from which the phase cannon is controlled. Note that usage (a), though common, is not technically correct, as photorps are considered missiles, not guns.
- Lido Deck: an open, spacious deck, usually with large, panoramic viewports. On modern starships, the lido deck encloses the ship's swimming pool, recreational courts and General Mess. Also called the Rec Deck.
- Lower deck: traditionally, any deck "below" (numerically higher than) the cargo hold. On modern starships with both primary and secondary hulls, any deck below the interconnecting dorsal.
- Main Deck: traditionally, the highest deck of the hull from which passengers and crew could embark or disembark. On modern starships, the deck from which the Main Gangway hatch extends, typically vertically centered on either side of the primary hull. If a gangway hatch exists on the secondary hull as well, then that associated deck is referred to as the Second Main Deck, or "Second Mains."
- Orlop Deck: traditionally, the deck where the ship's tethers and cables were stowed, usually the lowest habitable deck above the bilge. On a modern starship, the orlop deck is the lowest (highest numbered) deck and usually encloses the ship's main waste replomat, artificial gravity generator, antimatter generator, and antimatter storage containment cells.
Following centuries of Terran tradition, decks are numbered from top (dorsal) to bottom (ventral), starting at Deck 1. On Starfleet starships, the Main Bridge occupies the majority of the first Deck. Other key compartments (Engineering, Sickbay, crew messes, etc.) are located on successively "lower" (numerically higher) decks. A partial deck listing for the USS Miranda follows. For a complete listing, see: Deck Listing.