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The Akwende Drive, informally known as the Jump Drive is the basic medium of interstellar commerce by the 27th century. It was named after Sheri Akwende, the discoverer of antigraviton drift.

Using natural, stable jump points between stars, this technology proved both safer and more powerful than the contemporary Morvan Drive, which made use of dangerous and temporary local distortions in space-time (space warps), produced by powerful gravitational fields. Also, the jump technology made use of the jump points which exist relatively near stars (and the orbits of habitable planets), whereas a hopper drive must operate outside of any star system and gravitational influence.[1]

The first jump drives were secretly created by Pilgrims around 2500 which boosted their expansion. The first working prototype by the Terran Confederation was installed on the Haile Selassie, which made a successful jump-transit to Polaris in 2588.[1] Explorers started to leave Earth (in dangerous missions with high losses) respecting Pilgrim space and established jump routes beyond the Pilgrim sphere, towards Hawking and Gemini Sectors.[2]

Jump engines were expendable; they could perform a limited number of jumps before an overhaul, which was very expensive.[3]

UsageEdit

The drive is usually mounted in the center of the ship, securely braced. Jump ships are also equipped with a fusion drive for intra-system movement.

The drive contains an antigraviton generator, which makes use of antiprotons. These are kept in a containment vessel, and jump ships might usually carry the equipment to create more to recharge the tank. At a very low level, the drive produces a slow trickle of antigravitons, which drift towards a jump point; the drive bears sensing equipment around its edges, which determines their heading. Civilian craft can only home in on very close jump points (within a few hundred thousand kilometers) but the equipment on military or exploration vessels allows them to plot jump points across many millions of kilometers.[1]

When the ship approaces the jump point, an antigraviton field is created with a roughly 500-meter radius. The jump is performed once the source of the antigravitons coincides with the point, and the intensit of the field is sufficient for the ship's mass and speed.[1]

The power of the drive (to some extent) determines the radius of the anigraviton flux "sphere" which engulfs all parts of the jump-ship to rougly the same amount. Since the particles have a half-life, it is not fixed, but because of their short lifespan, the radius is about 500 meters, therefore ships bigger than that, take vastly more power. If the flux is smaller than the ship, parts of it are left behind the jump, and the ship is essentially destroyed.[1]

VariationsEdit

Some ships are equipped with a "variable-flux engines". These help the ship to calculate the exact amount of energy required for a specific jump. This prevents the burst of light and neutrinos that appear at both ends of the jump, caused by excess antigraviton energy than needed for the jump, and therefore make a "stealth" jump.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Chris McCubbin, Official Authorized Wing Commander Confederation Handbook, Every Citizen's Guide to Practical Science
  2. Chris McCubbin, Official Authorized Wing Commander Confederation Handbook, History of the Pilgrim War
  3. William R. Forstchen, Action Stations, ch. 3

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