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In My Traveller Universe Detail what parts of Traveller you do (or don't) use in your campaign.

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Old April 9th, 2012, 05:06 AM
Omnivore
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Default Alternative FTL

I'm currently working on an ATU that, like 2300AD, is hard science fiction with an FTL exception. For various reasons, what I wanted, in effect, was wormholes but without their easy to fortify nature. The following is what I came up with:

Lares drive

FTL travel between star systems uses wormhole like constructs. These constructs connect star systems along semi-permanent pathways. Star systems may be endpoints for more than one pathway, but any circular route requires the same exact amount of time to traverse in any direction. Causality protection is enforced through quantum physics making it impossible to create a closed time-like curve.

These pathways have no macro scale physical existence, however the regions for possible entry and exit may be calculated. The pathways exist as a probability function. The pathway access regions have no correlation to the observable universe's relationship between the systems connected. The pathways themselves have no discernible relationship to the observable universe's cartography. A chart of pathway connections forms a nodal network diagram.

Theoretically pathway access regions may be as large as a 250 light second diameter sphere, practically the access regions are smaller due to technological limitations on detection/calculation and exploiting access. Access regions tend to be roughly located near the ecliptic plane of a system at an average distance of approximately 100 stellar radii. Because there is a definite relationship between access regions and local space time curvatures, access regions tend to orbit stars as if they were an actual body.

The Terran name for the pathway access regions is derived from Roman mythology after the guardian deities fathered by Mercury; Lares. The existence of these pathways and their access regions were first theorized in the late 22nd century, but it was not proven experimentally until 2261AD. The mechanism for manipulating space time through the quantum sea and thus enabling practical access of the pathways is commonly known as a Lares drive.

One common, but not quite correct, explanation of the Lares drive by starship engineers is that the drive expends energy to create a 'lever' upon the vast energies of the quantum sea, simultaneously wrapping the vessel in a spherical bubble of space-time and punching a hole in the universe. This transformation reduces the apparent size of the vessel to subatomic scale and injects it into the temporary wormhole before it can collapse. Most serious physicists of the 23rd and later centuries have been known to laugh hysterically at this simplified explanation.

The practical aspects of the Lares drive is that it causes the containing vessel to disappear in one star system and reappear in another at short, finite, but measurable time later. The actual time required for travel through a pathway varies with each pathway but is constant for the pathway itself.

The energy required to activate a Lares drive is proportional to the log of the volume of the containing vessel. While some shaping of the bubble is possible, the more the vessel's volume diverges from that of a containing sphere, the less efficient the drive.

Energy(Mj) = vol * log(vol) / (2 * sqrt(vol / spherical-v))

// OLD: Energy in Mj = (vol / 1000)^3 /(2 * sqrt(vol / spherical-volume))

Drive vol (m^3) = (23-TL)*0.005 per Mj
Available at TL9+ (At TL9 double required volume).
Lares drives mass 2 tons and cost Mcr 0.3 per cubic meter of volume, min size is (25-TL) m^3.
Minimum power required is 1.1*Energy(Mj)/2000 in Mw, this allows activation in 2 x 1000s turns.
Radiators require a surface area equal to drive volume / 3 in m^2.

A cheaper version of the drive is available which uses hafnium instead of tantalum for the drive coils. It costs only Mcr 0.1 per cubic meter of volume but is generally only used with fully automated vessels due to radiation dangers and increased possibility for catastrophic malfunction.

Note: I believe the design constraints make this a CT LBB 2 style system as far as ship sizes go.

Comments and criticisms welcome, thanks!

PS: still a work in progress, especially for the smallest ships

Last edited by Omnivore; April 9th, 2012 at 06:01 AM.. Reason: changed energy formula
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