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Secondary FTL Drive

Ever notice in a novel or movie, that when a culture discovers a FTL system, development seems to be frozen?

We know the Vilani invented jump drive initially in -9825 or so. (Forgive me if I miss--I'm doing this from memory.) In all those thousands of years, we hear nothing about any alternatives to the standard jump drive!

Project Farstar and the Imperial Research stations notwithstanding, there is more of an emphasis on existing systems. What would the impact be of some scientist wanting to prove an alternative theory, whether better or worse than standard?

Looking at the numbers, we know warp drive would be inferior, distance wise, to jump drives, but being able to drop out of FTL at any time, and possibly being undetectable might have advantages...

This has serious adventure possibilities...
Well, why should there be more than one way of breaking the laws of physics? It could be that there's simply one and only one way to go super C.

But I recall somewhere (probably FF&S) that they say Jump drive doesn't HAVE to be the ONLY way to go super C, just that it happened to be the most convenient, efficient, expedient, whatever, and probably there's no patent on Jump drive and there is on everything else, and you know how no one likes to buy into a patent when free does the trick just as well.
Well, DLO, I've postulated a Hi-TL variation on jump that has the advantage of actually dropping out of jump often. Its only efficient as a J-1 due to a singular jump/distance formula. But, it operates on the principle that sometimes when you reduce the amount of energy going into a system, you get surprising results. The drive only jumps you 1/20 parsec in 7.5 hours. But, it takes less fuel and allows for turns to take place between jumps (though not over 18 degrees unless you bleed off the system and re-initiate the jump).

The problem with dreaming up new FTL methodologies is that we (think) we know how the speed of light works (relatively speaking). So, there are only certain ways you can get around it:
Postulate another dimension/universe (Jump space)
Form a bubble around the ship where the laws of physics don't apply (Warp bubbles)
Some magical (beyond our ken) natural link between points (wormholes)
Some magical (beyond our ken) non-natural link between points (Teleportation and Stargates)

If you come up with a different one, I know everybody here would be really interested.
There might also be a commercial reason why no other FTL drives were invented. Look at automobiles, invented in the 19th century and still driven in the 21st. Think of all the different companies involed in producing a car; tire, oil, steel, glass ect. Not to mention insurance companies and local government taxes to keep up roads. A huge infrastructure is in place to service one thing. They would not want to see their place in the econmy disappear because something better came about. Remember 50 years ago many people thought by now we would driving flying cars!
Another type of FTL?! Heresy, heresy!

There might be other side effects such as radiation, increasing the chance of being sucked into a pocket universe, driven mad, spacial distortion, or tentacle monsters from beyond.
Sure you could use another type of FTL by why would you want to!
The plateau also stems from over thousands of years of bad physics. Conceptualizing Jump Space as the end point of hyperspatial corridors is the problem. Jumpspace is merely a subsection of hyperspace. However, why would countless beings just be rooted in these notions?? Because, they are the easiest and countless proofs and justifications made appear as truth - Ptolemaic astronomy for a real world example.
Another heretic! Burn the heret...I mean mmmmm...

It could be that all of these other forms of FTL are possible but simply have drawbacks that make them unusable or too risky (tentacle monsters from beyond). There is plenty of space IMTU for other FTLs, nobody uses them because jump drives are the best way to fly.
There is only so long that a good idea could be kept underground if some foreign government starting using it to fight the Imperium. Come on, do you think there is some vast interstellar conspiracy backed by a handful of governments and a few powerful megacorporations that uses an elite murder squad to keep those ideas from the public?

I don’t have 2300 AD, how fast does stutterwarp ship go?

<mumble mumble...deviant science....mumble mumble.>
Well, Pamasson, IMTU, the "micro-Jump" is part of a TL16+ star nation. And, it is very xenophobic in many ways. The ships do wander about the Imperium, but they are all government controlled, and the one captain that went rogue was hunted down ruthlessly in less than a year. As were all those who contacted him.
Entropy Drive -- Worked off the zero-point energy principle, and applied the energy into translating the the ship and its contents directly into another location. Unfortunately, the first experimental ships began to decay and disintegrate soon after arrival; the more massive the ship, the quicker the process. Of course, this entropic disintegration affected the cargo and crew as well.

Heisenberg Drive -- Uses less fuel per jump than ordinary jump drives. The unfortunate effect was that the destination was always a parallel universe. The differential was lessened with an increase in mass and a decrease in jump distance. If you were an outside observer, you would see that the ship that arrived was not the same one as the one that departed...

"Captain Brannigan? Didn't you used to be a female? No? You're using Heisenberg drive, right? Ah, that explains it..."
Interesting comments, all.

IMTU there is a reptilian race that uses STL ships and forced hibernation to build an interstellar empire. They have a low grade thruster technology and psionics for communications and limited FTL travel. Think Klingons on crack... :eek:

One faction discovers a broken artifact, a stargate station left over from who knows how long ago. They do not fully understand the technology, just enough to make a HUGE access point for a fleet to fly through.

I have already decided that these stargates will be incompatible with jump drives, with catastrophic results...
Originally posted by Fritz88:

The problem with dreaming up new FTL methodologies is that we (think) we know how the speed of light works (relatively speaking). So, there are only certain ways you can get around it:
Postulate another dimension/universe (Jump space)
Form a bubble around the ship where the laws of physics don't apply (Warp bubbles)
Some magical (beyond our ken) natural link between points (wormholes)
Some magical (beyond our ken) non-natural link between points (Teleportation and Stargates)

If you come up with a different one, I know everybody here would be really interested.
You forgot one: quantum tunneling on a macroscopic scale. (2300's stutterwarp is such a drive. The energy cost being as low as it is means it must tap ZPE or similar....) This is used both for STL and FTL. A similar concept is used for FGU's SO STL and FTL.

There is yet another option, soemwhat fantastic, but not proven wrong: cap relativity past a certain speed, say 50%C, so at 50%C+, the effects of increasing speed are no steeper a time dilation nor increasing thrust needed; this puts the low-end proven relativity in reach, makes spacers live longer. It does, however, put FTL ships with MASSIVE requirements for thrust.

Also, the exact speed of light is being questioned; certain experiments have shown isolated semi-replicable instances where the speed of light seems to be raised by a small fraction. Likewise, information seems to be able to be sent faster via some advanced physics projects. All of these are very EARLY in the process.

Likewise, wormholes are a part of many of the current theories; the problem being the forces holding such a tube open fail on a sub-millimeter width. Wormholes as occurring is almost accepted as fact; useful wormholes therefore are a small leap.

Really, though, the limit of one hyperdrive type per setting tends to be based upon the idea of "One significant break of physics" which seems to pervade the SciFi fanbase; to be honest, most fans will accept 3, provided one is working high-power powerplants, one is artificial gravity, and one is FTL travel.
A T2300 ship's speed depends upon its warp efficiency. Some ships can achieve speeds of 4 to 5 light years per day - but that's only in open space, it takes time to get out of a system.

Plus there is a limit to the distance the stutterwarp drive can travel before it must discharge in a gravity well, 7.7ly IIRC.
And whatever became of the Hiver's variant jump drive - did they just give up on it once they discovered "true" jump drive theory - or have they refined it over the years into another potential drive system... ;)
And, doesn't 7.7ly = 2 parsecs? (Well, approximately...)
Edit I boned the math in my head. 1ly ~ 1/3 parsec, so it approximates jump-2. Duh. end edit
With a few tweaks you could integrate a stutterwarp drive into a Traveller universe.
Good for short hops, place a tonnage limitation and so on. A bit slower but useful for dedicated route couriers and such.
Been a while, but I think in FF&S their description said that stutterwarp craft could 'literally fly rings around OTU craft' in a dogfight, something that would be upsetting to say the least. Could that be tweaked to make things more fair?
Sure could, I see stutterwarp getting a great deal of use as an in system thing. SDBs and other local fast response units could use.
All that “tunneling” must play hell on your ability to shoot and track targets using radar and lasers. Aim a nuclear damper or particle accelerator at a stutterwarping ship and see what happens. I don’t know but the effect cannot be good.
It is enough to say that it can introduce a new facet into your universe without upsetting the applecart.
One thought upon why few settings have dual FTL technologies:

If either is clearly financially superior it will become the dominant form within a hundred years or so, maybe less, in a capitalist or other form of market economy.

Likewise, the military will adopt a drive which is militarily superior.

It is hard to see drives possible where both are not the same or offshoots of the same drive technology and the two primary modes will not be the same drive technology.

Take for example a 2 drive universe, with stutterwarp and J-drives. If both have the same range, same speed, and same costs, then both could exist side by side.

Now, same universe, let us consider the utility of both. J-Drive has one advantage: you can not be overtaken while in FTL mode for combat. Stutterwarp has the advantage of being able to drop out at any point, being able to react based upon intercepted STL Signals, and the problem of being able to be overtaken while FTL.

So, from a military mind view, it's a bit of a tossup. From a mercantile view, however, stutterwarp exposes to far more possibility of piracy, since one can be overtaken from the rear, without being able to detect it until it's too late, and using the approach data to drop a deadfall impact cloud which can and will result in some spectacular interactions. This will essentially force the setting towards J-Drives by merchants. Once J-drive begins to predominate, the military has a pricing issue; stutterwarp will increase in price due to not being manufactured by the civil yards, and thus requiring special yards; past a certain point, the military advantages are lost.

Now, another situation: Stutterwarp again, but this time cheaper than J drive, and it gets faster, but still cops out at 2.5PC. Early on, the whole will be using stutterwarp. THere will be no incentive apparent to strive for J2, as SW gets you further, and is less expensive. There will be no likely hood of serious improvement research. Moreover, if SW continues to improve in speed, with a fixed downtime, it still remains viable. Research continues to seek improvements to the SWD's range, rather than that "Short-ranged fuel-hog JDrive"

Same universe: Group A discovers SW, and B discovers JDrive. They meet after B has J3. The advantage of the J3 drive becomes immediately obvious: range. Some systems that with SWD are 6-8 weeks due to circuitous routes suddenly become 2 weeks... group A will probably use mixed drives for a while, but the odds are that military forces will focus on the JDrive; once the military begins forcing the support structure, it will slowly take over the civilain market as well, unless there are incredibly compelling economics, simply due to the ex-military guys...

The one exception I can really see is long range, relatively random wormholes, and any form of FTL drive for shorter ranges.
You'd have to adjust the in-system speed of the stutterwarp to maneuver drive levels, otherwise the stutterwarp would find employment as a super fast "normal" space drive.
Military ships could have both jump 3 or greater and a stutterwarp.