Jump Drive

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The Jump Drive is a technology that opens a transition to jumpspace, which allows for Faster-than-light (FTL) travel, making space travel, exploration, and colonization vastly quicker and more efficient than pre-FTL NAFAL starship engines.


Jump-Drive-Traveller-subtjump.gif

Please refer to the following AAB library articles for further information:


Description / Specifications[edit]

Jump technology enables a ship to transition into Jump Space and emerge some great distance away within a reasonable time [...effectively multiples of 170 times the speed of light over 168 hours (+/- 10%)]. Jump drive, and its many variations, makes interstellar flight practical. Those who do not discover the jump drive are condemned to snail-paced NAFAL movement between the stars. [1]

Ships in jump are isolated, and can not detect or communicate anything; they are totally isolated in a small bubble of jumpspace until they reemerge into our universe again. Even if two ships side by side (far enough apart to avoid field interference) jump at the same instant, they are totally alone. Cases of field overlap (interference) have been known to result in direction error, range error, system damage, or ship destruction, and is advised against.

Jump Drive Specifications[edit]

Jump Drive Specifications (Starship Propulsion)
Category Specifications Remarks
Name Jump Drive Only the six Major Races are believed to have independently developed FTL propulsion.
  • Jump travel is not well understood.
  • Most believe it to be a gravitic effect.
Drive Type Jump Space Traverse Jump Space, also known as (J-Space or Tau (τ)-Space), is not well understood.
  • Starships enter this other dimension where Light Speed can be exceeded or is otherwise undefined relative to normal space (N-space).
  • Some theoretical physicists prefer to call it Alternate Space or Other Space.
Velocity Multiples of Light Speed
  • 170.0c (±20.0c jump variance)
One parsec (3.27 light-years or 1 astrographic hex) per week per drive rating.
Duration Determinant (fixed)
  • 168 hours (+/- 10%)

Starships remain in jump space for roughly a week no matter the distance traversed by the jump.

  • Starships can coordinate jump travel with exact timing.
  • While jumps can be coordinated, ships cannot travel together.
  • All starships in J-space appear alone and isolated.
Hazards Misjumps can vary greatly in their effects.
  • Some misjumps seem to involve chronotaxistic (time dilation) effects.
  • Many misjumps involve unintended travel distances out of all proportion within J-6 limitations.
Physical
Constraints
Minkowski (Special relativity) Four-dimensional travel (3 of space, 1 of time) known as Space-time.
  • Not purely Euclidean in nature.
Geometry Hyperbolic (Lobachevsky) J-Space does not seem to be constrained by conventional space-time limitations.
Levels 90+ It is conjectured that higher Other-Space levels have tighter weaves.
  • This is conjectured to allow exponentially faster travel.
  • J-6 drives can only travel through the first six levels.
  • It is hypothesized that J-9 drives will be feasible in the near future.
FTL
Calculations
30 minutes to
24 hours estimated
Jump calculations can differ greatly depending on the skill of the astrogator, the quality of the astrogational computer & related astronics, and a variety of other factors.
  • The Ancients are conjectured to have been restrained by none of these limitations. It is thought that they could make near-instantaneous jumps over distances utterly impossible with TL-15 jump technology.
Entry Non-determinant (not fixed)
  • (Non-gravitic space)
Entry into Jump Space has a (100 diameter constraint of a gravity well).
Exit Non-determinant (not fixed)
  • (Non-gravitic space)
Exit from Jump Space has a (100 diameter constraint of a gravity well).
Fuel Fusion Plus powerplants are used in most starships for electrical power generation.
  • Higher rated jump drives require much larger fuel supplies.
  • A basic rule of thumb is that a starship requires fuel storage equal to its rating as a percentage of mass.
  • Thus, a J-6 equipped starship will require 60% of its mass in fuel while a J-1 only requires 10%.
  • Collectors possible at TL-14+
  • Antimatter conjectured to be available at TL-19+
Resource
Requirements
Strategic resources vital to the manufacture of Jump Drives.
  • While Lanthanum and Zuchai Crystals are common to most starships, some races have experimented with other strategic materials.
  • The Vargr, for instance, have experimented with Barium jump drives with some success.
Inventor/s Various Some have conjectured that the Ancients created the very first Jump Drive known to higher intelligent life (Sophonts) and Charted Space.
  • Each of the Major Races is held to have independently developed their own initial Jump Drive.
  • Other sophont species are referred to as Minor Races and are believed to have derived their first Jump Drive from interstellar trade, reverse-engineered technology, or other non-independent origins.
Characteristics
  • (No FTL communication possible)
  • (No FTL weaponry possible)
Sophont minds seem to be required for efficient jump travel. Non-sophont-crewed starships seem to function far less reliably.
  • Jump drive-equipped starships cannot be manufactured under 100 tons. This may change in the future.
  • FTL weaponry does not exist with current TL-15 technology.
    • Jump torpedos or drones (unmanned vehicles or weapons), under 100 tons, do not work with current TL-15 technology.
  • FTL communications, often called the Ansible, are not possible with current TL-15 technology.

Jump Drive Travel Time Table[edit]

Jump Drive (FTL) Estimated Travel Times
Distance: Jump-1 Jump-2 Jump-3 Jump-4 Jump-5 Jump-6
54 parsecs

(1 sector)

54 weeks

1 year

27 weeks

½ year

18 weeks

4.5 months

14 weeks

3.5 months

11 weeks

2.75 months

9 weeks

2.25 months

108 parsecs

(2 sectors)

108 weeks

2 years

54 weeks

1 year

36 weeks

9 months

27 weeks

6.75 months

22 weeks

5.5 months

18 weeks

4.5 months

162 parsecs

(3 sectors)

162 weeks

3 years

81 weeks

1.5 years

54 weeks

1 year

41 weeks

10.25 months

33 weeks

8.25 months

27 weeks

6.75 months

216 parsecs

(4 sectors)

216 weeks

4 years

108 weeks

2 years

72 weeks

1.5 years

62 weeks

15.5 months

44 weeks

11 months

36 weeks

9 months

270 parsecs

(5 sectors)

270 weeks

5 years

135 weeks

2.5 years

90 weeks

22.5 months

68 weeks

17 months

54 weeks

1 year

45 weeks

11.25 months

Jump Drive Travel Time Constants
# Note Remarks
1. Jump Duration: 1 week (168 hours +/- 10% variance)
2. Jump Velocity: 170.0c (+/- 20.0c variance)
3. Month (Time): 4 weeks (28 days by Imperial calendar)
4. Assumptions: (Top efficiency, near-instantaneous refueling, no crew fatigue, etc.)
5. Sector (Area): (size of a sector in 2D parsecs x & y coordinates)
6. Galaxy (Area): Milky Way Galaxy (estimated 55 kiloparsecs in diameter) (…over 1,000 years at J-1)

Jump Drive Notes[edit]

A number of lesser facts about jump drives are noted here:

Jump Drive Notes
# Note Remarks
1. Alternate Energy Sources: There are two other sources of energy sufficient to power the jump drive: Collectors, a TL-14 technology, which can power the jump drive but not the rest of a ship's systems; and Antimatter power plants, a TL-19 technology. Antimatter power plants use antimatter as a fuel source, while Collectors are charged by opening their canopies to space for about one week.
2. Fuel Requirements: Starships must generate immense amounts of power to jump; usually, this power is supplied by the standard ship's power plant. In this case, additional fuel must be allocated for employment of the jump drive, at the rate of 10% of the ship's tonnage per parsec to travel via jump.
3. J-7 Drive and Up: Jump-7 drives are a TL-16 and TL-17 technology; the pre-Maghiz Darrians had some J-7 ships. Jump-8 is theoretically possible at TL-18, and Jump-9 at TL-19.
4. Strategic Resource: Lanthanum Most conventional jump drives rely on the rare earth element Lanthanum.
5. Misjumps: Study of misjump reports suggests that much greater distances are possible, but at present no way to achieve them in a controllable way is known. Research is ongoing concerning the matter. The maximum misjump reported is 36 parsecs. The average misjump is approximately 12.25 parsecs, deduced from the study of statistical records.
6. Travel Duration: Every ship stays in jump for around one week before entering normal space again.
7. Travel Range: The distance traveled during this time depends on the jump rating of the drive. A ship with a Jump-1 Drive will travel one parsec, a ship with a Jump-2 Drive two parsecs and so on. The maximum jump rating at the attainable tech level of the Third Imperium is six parsecs at J-6 and TL-15.

History & Background / Dossier[edit]

The Jump Drive was first discovered by the Ancients more than 300,000 years ago. With it they explored the greater part of Charted Space. At the conclusion of the Final War, the Ancients' jump technology was lost, although intact (damaged) artifacts were found later on, and reverse-engineered to create jump drives of a more primitive nature than their source technology.

Basic Astrogation[edit]

Jump distances are calculated in parsecs (3.27 light-years), which therefore is the scale of a subsector mapping grid. Jump-1, for example, indicates the ability to jump one parsec, or one mapping hex. Astrogational maps are based on this fact and are not accurately scaled maps for astronomical purposes.

Civilian Starships[edit]

Most civilian starships have a jump rating of 1 or 2, with rare vessels equipped for express work carrying systems capable of 3 or 4; such ships operate for premium fees on long routes where speed is of the essence. Long routes tolerating longer delivery times use the usual jump1, but additional tankage to permit crossing rifts or voids to other lucrative destinations.

  • It is so uncommon for a civilian ship to mount J-5 or J-6 that it draws the attention of Imperial authority as a curiosity worthy of review, if not close monitoring.

Jump Travel Risks[edit]

General Risks: Although jumps are usually entered at low velocities, the speed and direction which a ship held prior to jump is retained when it returns to normal space. This fact is often employed for tactical purposes. Ships exiting jump space are vulnerable to collision with objects around an exit point. It is not a safe practice, as the emergence point tends to have other ships approaching it for intended use; therefore emergence at speed is known to have resulted in fatal mishaps, and is therefore a serious violation of civil navigation codes with stiff penalties.

Jump Point Defenses: It is not a safe practice, as the emergence point tends to have other ships approaching it for intended use; therefore emergence at speed is known to have resulted in fatal mishaps, and is therefore a serious violation of civil navigation codes with stiff penalties. These do not apply to the Navy of course... who tend to place obstacles around possessed jump points with exactly this sort of thing in mind.

References & Contributors / Sources[edit]

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This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Marc Miller. T5 Core Rules (Far Future Enterprises, 2013), 502.