Mobile Research Lab
“Lavalier” Mobile Research Lab
Tonnage : 400
Type : DropShip/Spheroid
Length : 19.5 m (Docking spoke)
Width : 70 m (35m radius)
Bridge : : 5 tons
Crew : 5 (Pilot, Navigator, Medic, 2 Engineers, plus Gunner
Skeleton Crew : Bridge 1p; Engine 1e
Cargo Complement : 25 tons cargo, 80 tons research lab space, 20 passengers.
Bay 1 : Laboratories (80 tons) – 1 Door : 80 tons
Bay 2 : Living Quarters (25 Suites) – 2 Doors : 38 tons
Bay 3 : Cargo (30 tons) : 30 tons
Life Boats : 0
Escape Pods : 2 : 10 tons
Armament : None (Provision for two (2) five-ton weapons bays is present) : 10 tons
Drive System : 2 IsoFusigon Mk III Engines (40 tons each) : 80 tons
Heat Sinks : 54 + 0
Thrust : 3
Overthrust : 5
Structural Integrity : 12 : 24 tons
Fuel : 6 Thrust-Points (1.84 tons per Burn-Day) : 60 tons
First Introduced : 2602
Hull Laid Down : 2740
Frequency of Sighting : Rare
Armor Factor : 352 (22 tons) : 22 tons
Nose – 80 : -
RS – 80 : -
LS – 80 : -
Fuselage – 80 : -
Engine – 32 : -
Overview : Research is an unending pursuit within the Successor States. A constant effort to understand the universe, produces more than understanding; it creates products, markets, jobs, and profits. As a result, the research efforts of individuals and corporations are constantly moving forward. Given many continuing research projects, it is only natural that mobile research platforms be designed and made available at reasonable prices. The Lavalier-Class Mobile Lab is one such example.
Capabilities : Using a 400-ton hull, the Lavalier-Class Laboratory Ship (also called the “Type L”) is a mobile research and development station used for routine commercial experimentation. (An updated version is the Kurita-built Kugashin-Class Mobile Lab ship). The “Lavalier” uses military-grade components, primarily to reduce technical needs, due to extended periods of inactivity. The rugged nature of this ship is one of its chief selling points.
The Lavalier has twin IsoFusigon maneuver and propulsion drives, capable of giving the ship 1-G acceleration. There is fuel tankage for 60 tons, and allow roughly a month’s operation before refueling, though remaining on-station without activating the main drives is sufficient to supply the power plant indefinitely. A computer Model/2 with a very basic software package is installed adjacent to the bridge, granting a great deal of storage space and general access from throughout the ship. There are twenty staterooms and no low berths. No turrets or weaponry are traditionally installed, but ten tons of space have been reserved for later installation of fire control equipment for the ship’s two hard-points, though usually the ship’s crews use this space for rec areas or extra storage. The ship typically carries a pair of escape pods, and cargo capacity is 30 tons. An additional 80 tons are available within the ship for use as lab space. The Lavalier is built unstreamlined and unable to enter a planetary atmosphere.
The Lavalier lab ship requires a crew of five: pilot, navigator, medic, and two engineers. A gunner may be added to the crew if the ship is armed, and is typically considered the ship’s security officer. Additional crew are carried to execute the research functions, and the large number of staterooms allow a large number of scientists and technicians to be based from the ship. Crew quarters are unusually opulent and spacious, with each member of the crew and passengers able to have their own private room. Each stateroom is a rectangular room three meters wide by four meters long by two meters high. These quarters are both extremely functional and compact. Each has a storable bed that folds up against one of the room’s walls. The bottom of the bed contains a fold-down storage area for small personal effects. There is a chair (or two), and a corner desk with a computer access terminal, voice and video communications connected to a video wall screen and a pair of equipment lockers. Each has environmental controls for heat and light. Along the ring is a central commons area, next to a small, but well-equipped ship’s mess. The storage locker for food is located next to the docking spoke access, and allows easy resupply, using the lift crane. On the opposite side of the ring, lies the laundry facility and waste processing, along with water storage.
The Lavalier lab ship is built as a ring structure which is rotated to provide centrifugal gravity simulation. The ring is a rounded square tube, 3m high by 3m wide. Rather than decks, the ship is broken into four quadrants, numbered 1 through 4. The curvature of the ring affects line-of-sight within the ship (typically 9m). Two drive pods are mounted on the ring and contain the twinned drives for the ship, while on the forward face of the pods are hardpoints for the turret weaponry. Two emergency escape pods are carried in compartments on the ring hull, between the two drive pods, one close to the main bridge and another next to the ship’s common room. The ship itself has minor thrusters positioned along the ring, that allow the ship to institute its gravity spin, or stop it if desired. Fuel tanks are built into the “floor” of the ship as a long pair of circular tubes, acting as a damage buffer, but also flanking the main electrical and life support systems, allowing access for repair and maintenance through removable panels in the floor.
The docking collar is located at the end of the central docking spoke, making docking easy even when the ring is rotating. In the absence of a connection to a JumpShip, the Lavalier can dock with small craft, other DropShips or a station through this connection, and represents the primary entrance to the ship. The main cargo bay and primary avionics, communications and main sensors are located in the nose of this section. A crane runs along one side of the entire spoke, to facilitate cargo handling, and numerous racks and strapping are located along the walls of the circular spoke for ease of storage under Zero-G conditions. In addition, many Lavalier employed small EVAC Pods for research, and the popular “CargoDevil” was a common addition to the ship’s inventory. These tiny 3-ton Pods are still in production, but rarely seen outside of the core worlds near Terra.
The ship typically costs 15,980,000 Cs, and takes 16 months to construct. Lab equipment is not included, but is easily acquired through the civilian market, costing 100,000 Cs per 4 tons of lab space. Research can be conducted by a single scientist, for every four tons of equipment allocated to the task.
Deployment : Originally built by for sale in the civilian market, the Lavalier saw wide-spread deployment during the “Golden Age” of the Star League, and nearly every corporation and planetary government had a couple in their inventory for private research. With the Succession Wars, these ships quickly became a target for hijacking and destruction, though their ability to act independently within a system allowed some to escape notice, even when facing a full-scale invasion. Most mega-corps of the Inner Sphere still have one or two for use in highly-classified research projects, and some mining communities (usually smaller, family-sized organizations) employ them as an advanced base in the belts.
Typically, a lab ship would be purchased (or chartered) and assigned to a specific system or world for a series of research projects. After being hauled to the system, the ship moves into orbit and begins its regimen of experiments. Lab ships are capable of moving great distances, but they generally take up station and remain in place for lengthy periods of time. The EVAC Pods are used for sample gathering, repair work, and sometimes in assisting in the development of prototype space vessels. The shuttle is used in transit to a planet’s surface and for routine travel about the system, or in missions requiring greater speed.
Refueling is required regularly, and this task is often left either to local sources, or arrangements are made to receive resupply via corporate fuel ships from time to time. Where this proves difficult (such as at a frontier location) the fuel tanks are often equipped to acquire raw, unrefined fuel supplies and bring them to the ship for on-board refining.
Variants : While the lab ship has some room for expansion, there is very little change ever made to either the hull or its equipment beyond adding weapons systems or upgrading its armor.
The ultimate strength of the Lavalier lab ship is the ability for its owners to modify its lab space to whatever research project is required. Some are even converted into small production facilities for illegal or experimental drugs and weapons systems, and given its ability to move from system to system, it has a great potential in this regard.