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Propulsion Technologies, Miscellaneous Technologies, Building a Better Brain, Faster Than Warp


Emergency Warp Power Cell

Devised by Robert Heckadon

Enhanced matter/antimatter fuel cell
Diameter: 2 metres
Height: 4 metres
Fuel: Element 115
First issued: August 1, 2404; Stardate 82228.5

In desperate situations, it may become necessary for a starship to jettison its warp core to prevent it from being destroyed by a massive antimatter or zero-point explosion. Though at the time it meant immediate survival for the ship and crew, but it also means that without a power generator for the warp drive, a starship will be stranded years to centuries away from anything that can be considered a safe harbour. A rare, yet possible situation can occur if the warp core has been declared irretrievable, a rescue ship cannot reach the ship in distress (SID) in time for some reason, and the ship is trapped in the massive void between stars. This situation will spell disaster for the ship and crew. But a new piece of equipment will replace the lost warp core in this emergency situation and allow the ship to reach a safe haven. The Emergency Warp Power Cell (EWPC).

The EWPC in simplest terms is a large scale matter/antimatter fuel cell, similar to those used on photon torpedo propulsion systems. The fuel cell is designed to be placed on the existing warp power conduits where the missing warp core use to be. It travels up the warp core shaft and is anchored by the same tether beams that held the warp core in place. A typical fuel cell works by injecting antiprotons directly into the plasma power conduits. Energy is conducted in the power conduit by the high speed motion of the plasma particles. As in billiards, the energy is conducted when a moving plasma particle hits a second plasma particle and transfers its kinetic energy to the second particle, the second to the third, third to the fourth, and so on. The antiprotons reacting with the plasma initiates the high kinetic energy transfer. But the EWPC uses a specialized plasma tank for the antimatter reaction to take place without risking unnecessary damage to the warp power conduits. Plasma for the EWPC is provided by ionizing deuterium from the ships storage tanks.

Though the fuel cell is somewhat simpler in design, an antimatter reactor that uses dilithium is far more fuel efficient because dilithium acts as a focusing lens for the annihilation reaction. The fuel cell uses a series of high intensity magnetic containment fields to propel the plasma in the desired direction. These containment fields uses a considerable amounts of power to use, and can lead the fuel cell to generate considerable amounts of heat. Therefore 20% of the fuel cell is a cryogenic cooling system to keep the fuel cell within safe thermal limits.

The antiprotons for the fuel cell doesn’t come from conventional antimatter, but from a stable heavy isotope, specifically element 115. Element 115 is used because when it’s bombarded with high energy protons, the element transmutes into element 116, which is unstable, and decays releasing antimatter particles, which are easily collected. Recycling element 115 is by the use of an atomic resequencer, a component found in industrial replicators. This antimatter fuel source is typically used by the Zeta Reticulans, the aliens species humans use to call the Greys.

Since the fuel cell generates only so much power, the main energizers are disconnected from the warp power matrix, so all the fuel cell’s energy is transferred to the warp nacelles. Critical systems, such as life support, are switched to auxiliary power. Despite its low power output, the fuel cell can generate enough power to slowly accelerate and maintain Warp 4 for a starship and allow it to travel a distance of 10 light-years, depending on the starship. Even though 10 light-years is not a very far distance to travel by early 25th century standards, 10 light-years could allow a starship to reach a star system with a habitable or adaptable planet. This will allow the crew to survive until a rescue ship arrives.

Bibliography: (stardate calculator),, (Element 115)
Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual
(Antimatter fuel cell) (Zero Point Warp Core)



Devised by Greg Logan

During the design refit of the 2340's, Starfleet began drafting a new type of sub-light propulsion which would let them break the 0.25c limit, then classified as Full Impulse. Above this speed, the effects of Einstein's Theory of Relativity began having drastic effects on the ship and it's surrounding environment. Even at Full Impulse, ships would have to routinely have update their chronometers based on the standard time of Starfleet Command.

As has been known for centuries, the Theory of Relativity doesn't apply to subspace. It was suggested that a subspace field could be erected around a vessel as it performs speeds above 0.25c. Early designs required the warp nacelles to be charged and running, creating a static warp shell. This method was deemed to be inefficient as it required 200% more power to maintain the warp shell while the impulse engines pushed to achieve close to light speeds. The project was set on the back burner while Starfleet made more achievable improvements.

After the battle of Wolf 359, the Hyper-Impulse project was re-examined to determine if the goal of breaking the 0.25c barrier was possible in an efficient manner. The USS Albacore, an Akira-class, was designated to be the testbed for this technology. The Hyper-Impulse Engine called for a large modification to the actual engine itself; the addition of a subspace field generator that would run independant of the warp nacelles. This provided several advantages over the old design, the most notable being that if the nacelles were rendered inoperable, high impulse speeds could still be reached. Also, the subspace field generators would consume considerably less power as they didn't require to be engineered to meet the stresses of faster-than-light speeds. A slight downfall to the system is that the subspace field generators in the engines could only safely maintain Full Impulse (which was now 0.95c) for 30 minutes constant. After that, they had to cool down for at least two-thirds of that time.

The Hyper-Impulse Engine that was a success on the Albacore had now become standard issue for newly constructed Akiras, while the older ones would receive this upgrade upon their next refit. After a year of testing within an entire class, the new drive was ready to be put into mass production for all ships. The integration produced no problems except on smaller vessels like the Sabre and Defiant, which had to have individual designs created for their irregular shapes. As of 2379, all vessels in the fleet that were constructed after 2330 had received the upgrade, with more being readied for the aging Excelsior, Miranda, and Constellation classes.

While other major Alpha Quadrant powers are racing to develop this technology, the Federation is the only one to put this technology to use on their vessels. For the time being, it gives them a large advantage in tactical situations. It was thought that the Borg had similar technology, but recent developments concerning the starship Voyager have rendered the Borg's existence questionable.


MWF - The Other Kind of Warp Drive

Devised by [email protected], translation by Bernd, ASDB Member

Introduction The warp engine. For more than 300 years, it has been driving ships of the Starfleet through space. Gradually, we have reached a point where more than the usual warp drive is necessary to discover strange new worlds. It is possible that we will travel through the galaxy with slipstream or artificial wormholes already in the next few years. But we haven't come quite as far. This is why the builders of the Taranis have attempted to take the performance of conventional warp drive to its limit. It is neither slipstream nor a wormhole or anything along these lines what propels the Taranis up to speeds of amazing Warp 9.9999637, but "only" a further development of the original principle.

Theory As you all are aware of, the warp field consists of multiple layers. These layers form the "subspace field". It is much like a "mini-universe" which is separate from normal space. Because of different laws in this mini-universe relative to normal space, as expressed in the term "Cochrane Space", the mini-universe can move relative to normal space with faster-than-light speed. Contrary to common belief, the principle of Einstein's Theory of Relativity is not violated. It is circumvented, because we are not moving in normal space any longer but in a mini-universe relative to normal space. The more layers a warp field consists of, the stronger it is separated from normal space. This is what we mean by "deeper in subspace". The deeper we are in subspace, the faster is the speed. To achieve higher speeds, it is necessary to increase the number of subspace layers. There is, however, a catch to it: the power consumption strongly rises with every warp factor. The goal must be either to generate more power or make the subspace fields save power. The MWF (multi warp field) is doing the latter. But one step at a time. We need to look at how the field is generated. Plasma is carried to the warp nacelles, the warp coils. The energy of the plasma lets the coils emit the subspace field. A certain amount of power is required to make a warp coil ignite. Following this ignition, the field spreads.

This is where the MWF deviates from the basic idea. Everyone always strived to achieve a stable field. Because it was considered safer. If we imagine that Picard's warp field had not been "tight", we could go and search its debris throughout half the quadrant. Why? The consequence of an unstable warp field would be that the ship would transit into normal space without any control. And this would mean that different parts of the ship would do this with different speeds. Looking at an MWF nacelle, it is noticeable that the warp coils would be too small for a ship of the size of the Taranis (478,86 m), as they would not suffice to create a stable field. We would call that a blunder. But it is exactly what makes the ship so incredibly fast. Each of the small coils generates an insufficient field. It's not enough to take the ship to warp, but it's not without an effect, either. The principle requires many of the small coils which create many fields. And what do we know about the number of field layers? Right. The more, the faster!

Implementation In brief, the Taranis utilizes many small coils to create many small fields to accelerate the ship. But what about the high energy consumption of the many layers? The answer is simple: Small coils need fewer power to be ignited. We have more of these small coils, but in their sum they still need fewer power than an equivalent number of large ones (as a real-world comparison, with many small lights we may achieve a better illumination of a room than with one large lamp of the same Watt figure). Now you may ask what has become of Picard and the untight warp field? To be honest, it is not possible to compensate for this with the small coils. Driven with these coils only, the inevitable would happen. But to avoid being torn apart to small pieces, there is a set of standard coils at the end of every nacelle of the Taranis. They create what can be called a "basic warp field". It works like every standard warp field and prevents the ship from falling out of subspace. This field alone could get the ship to about Warp 4. Not that much. But superimposing the many small fields, the speed may be very high. There may be one question remaining: Why do weak or incomplete layers have the same strength as normal ones? They don't. Actually, the speed would be still higher if the fields had nominal strength. However, we don't have enough energy power available. Since creating layers always implies passing a threshold, we just have to care for that and nothing more. Assuming that we want to achieve a result above 1 by multiplying a number with 2, we don't have to do this taking 2*1=2. 2*0.75=1.5 would suffice.

Conclusion Summing up the basic principle of the MWF,
- several normal coils generate a warp field which take the ship to Warp 4.
- many small, incomplete layers overlaid over the basic field make the ship go much faster.
- because of the weakness of the many fields, much less energy is consumed relative to the achieved speed than with a conventional drive.

Like with any other technologies, there are also drawbacks: To achieve an acceptable effect with the small coils, they must be ignited more often than their larger brothers. A coil material is needed that allows a faster discharge. At a higher pulse rate we also need plasma injectors that may keep up with the speed. Everything must be controlled with the computer. We see that it entails a high material stress and computer usage. Moreover, we have to take into account that the basic field may fail. The drawbacks, however, are taken into account in the construction. For example, stressed parts (even entire warp coils) are stored in the cargo bays. To provide the huge computing capacity, one dedicated computer core per nacelle is available. In addition, the engine requires a large amount of power. Even though the largest part of the usually required power is saved, a normal warp core is not sufficient.

The previous model of the MWF saw several smaller accidents. The second prototype, however, has a matured system that may be used in open space. It is still riskier and more complicated than a flight with normal warp drive, but the further development allows us to push the final frontier. The future may belong to slipstream and wormholes, but to date the MWF is the fastest drive Starfleet has available.


Negative Mass Warp Drive

Devised by Robert Heckadon

By the use of a subspace displacement field, starships are capable of travelling faster than the speed of light by catastrophically collapsing the space in front of the ship and expanding the space behind it. But some particles, such as tachyons, are capable of travelling faster than light and exist within normal space because these particles are composed of negative mass.

Whereas normal mass, which are found in planets and starships, generates a depression or trough in the fabric of the space time continuum, prohibiting faster than light travel, negative mass generates a crest in the fabric of the space time continuum, allowing faster than light travel. By making use of this field, Starfleet develops a new mode of propulsion known as the Negative Mass Warp Drive, or Negative Mass Drive. The warp field coils within the nacelles generates a subspace field whose properties “reflects” gravitons in a similar fashion to a mirror reflecting light. The reflected gravitons causes a phase shift in the natural gravitational field of the ship allowing the ship to attain negative mass properties. Resulting in faster than light travel.

The negative mass drive has an advantage over conventional warp drive. Though initially slower than warp drive, with the use of the ship’s impulse engines the negative mass drive can constantly accelerate the ship until its fuel supply is exhausted. Whereas conventional warp has a maximum warp limit. This is because warp drive can only collapse and expand space at a certain rate which leaves this limit. Negative mass drive allows the ship to “exist” beyond the light barrier, and is still subjected to basic physics, such as acceleration.

By reason of power conservation, the engines only reflects 51% of the gravitons generated by the ships mass. Because reflecting 50% of the gravitons will cancel out the effects of the remaining 50% of the un-reflected gravitons, neutralizing the ships space warp. The added 1% allows the ship to travel faster than light. It would make no sense to use 100% power where it is not needed. Unlike quantum mechanics, whose nature is very turbulent, relative physics is very laminar, or smooth, which substantially reduces the risk of a ship being sheared apart by the jump to warp speeds with the negative mass drive. The engines are powered by standard matter/antimatter reactions. Since the engines themselves only requires a certain amount of power, more specifically equivalent to warp 4, the remaining antimatter power is then channelled to the impulse engines to allow the ship to accelerate at a much greater rate. In many cases, ships whose warp power conduits and the impulse engines are almost literally metres apart the ships that normally have the new engines installed. Sometimes even ships whose warp and impulse drives share a common power source, such as an intermix chamber. This results in reduced refit time and reduced modification and redesign of the ships. Such ships include the Intrepid class, Defiant class, Akira class, as well as the retired Enterprise class (Constitution 2 class).

With this new drive, there has been some heated debate as to what happens when the instant the ship jumps to warp. For that instant, the ship attains exactly 50% space inversion, which results in 100% neutral space warp. Most scientists and engineers agree that the ship travels at light speed, warp factor 1. But there are some maverick scientists who believe that for an infinitely small amount of time, the ship attains warp factor 10, infinite velocities. Because of the advantage of constant acceleration, some speculate that within several months of acceleration with the negative mass drive can allow the ship to reach speeds equivalent to transwarp speeds or slipstream velocities

Star Trek Enterprise
Cold Front Nova: The Elegant Universe
Exodus Earth (TLC)


Singularity Propulsion

Devised by inexpl

Theory A quantum singularity is usually a naturally occurring phenomenon. Also called a black hole, a quantum singularity is usually a result of a collapsed big star, such as a red supergiant. The quantum singularity emits a large amount of gravitons, rendering escape from the deep event horizon impossible at or below c. Space around the singularity is folded so that imaginary gravity lines (as presented in some diagrams) follow equation f(r)=1/r (a two-quadrant cutaway diagram of the black hole would have f(r)=-|1/r|) up to a point, though I’m not going to get into very specific details.

There is no evidence of what is actually inside a black hole, only that most black holes have "donut singularities." These singularities are ring-shaped and it is possible that they might connect to another black hole, forming a bridge between to places, two time frames, two universes, or a combination of the three. When the two join, one of them has to become a white hole (the exact opposite of a black hole). Using an analogy, instead of being "the universe’s vacuum cleaner," it would be like a blow dryer. A white hole expels everything and nothing can get in, only get out. When a black hole and another black hole or a white hole connect, they form a wormhole, although it is only one way, toward the direction of the white hole. The "wall" of the bridge, however, is too narrow for an object bigger than 10 atomic masses (that is including molecules and atoms). So, if there is some kind of an antigravity field (it is probably an antigraviton particle emitter), that would keep the bridge from disconnecting and would keep it wide enough for a vessel to get through. A wormhole, unlike a black hole-to-white hole bridge, serves as a two-way gateway to a different time, place, or universe. A wormhole can be destabilized with antiverterons and antitachyon pulses.

There are three ways to get to a destination (from point A to point B). The "usual" way, in which line AB is distance d. The way of the "worm," in which line AB is distance d-x (where x is the length of the wormhole and d-x<d). And there is also the "0" way, where space is bent so that the two points, A and B merge to form a new point, C, in which line AB has a distance of zero. Singularity propulsion takes the third road.

Application Singularity propulsion is one of the first FTL (Faster Than Light) propulsions that a typical civilization would attempt, since this theory usually is the first that a civilization comes up with (think of Stephen Hawking on Earth). The attempt would usually fail, as the civilization does not have the technology to detect very small, to them yet unthinkable particles. That civilization also thinks that a matter-antimatter meeting can tear up the fabric of space, but that is not the way to do that.

In order to commence the singularity propulsion, a ship needs to be in outer space, preferably outside a solar system, in case of an accident. One would also need a graviton, tachyon, verteron, and chroniton generator and their appropriate counterparts to shut the rift down. First, one needs to launch a graviton generator outside of the ship, about 1000km away. Once the generator starts up, one would need to monitor the gravitons carefully, as the emissions tend to increase over time. Once the generator emits a graviton field of 100S (1S = 1 solar mass = Sol), a short burst of antigravitons would make the emissions slow down significantly. A moment later one would need to emit tachyons and verterons simultaneously. Together, tachyons and verterons would open a stable rift. They will connect the point of destination to the point of origin, so that the distance between them is 0. If only verterons are used, the rift will evaporate, since the rift itself would emit verterons. If only tachyons are used, the rift will be stable, but only for a short while. In addition, the generator would burn out. Chronitons do not have to be used unless the travelers want to end up at a some random time in our universe. Chronitons would tie the point of destination’s time to the point of origin’s. All particles, however, have to be of a certain frequency and each sector and time in the universe has a different signature. One can even attempt time travel with this technology.

Some species do have this technology, such as the Q and the Bajoran wormhole prophets. As one gets closer to a singularity, one can obtain god-like powers because that one can exist everywhere, in every universe, time and place, since the 4 dimensions are useless on (or in) the singularity, one can assume that these "godly" beings actually live in the wormhole. They might have lived there their whole lives (they were implanted there) or a ship might have been caught and somehow there were survivors for whom linear time has no meaning. Some species are experienced with linear time enough to understand it, such as Q. Admiral Janeway ("Endgame") attempted and succeeded in opening a "0" rift linking year 2404 in the Alpha Quadrant to the year 2378 in the Delta Quadrant. The rift was created by using only tachyons and chronitons, so her device burned out.


Sub-Coaxial Warp Drive

Devised by Robert Heckadon

“I’m only a man, in a funny red sheet, I’m only a man, looking for a dream.” - Superman; Five for Fighting

The Bowman drive, tachyon drive - mark 2, soliton-hybrid drive, the different names for the Sub-coaxial Warp Drive. Developed by Dr. Joseph Bowman and Starfleet Cadet Jessie Beanstalk in the Earth year of 2379, the sub-coaxial warp drive is a new faster than light propulsion system that, in layman’s terms, shoots an elastic through space which is said to give the starship a substantial greater endurance at Warp 9+ speeds.

As with most known forms of warp drive, the sub-coaxial warp drive is based upon the fact that though matter and anything with mass cannot travel faster than light, space itself can **. Rather than the ship traveling through space, space itself travels towards the ship at faster than light speeds. To accomplish this, the sub-coaxial warp drive first uses a concentrated negative mass field. Particles such as tachyons are composed of negative mass which allows them to travel beyond the speed of light, but are unable to exist below the speed of light. For the negative mass field to retain its faster than light properties while being anchored to a slower than light starship, the negative mass field draws space towards the ship, pulling it like an elastic. Drawing in space towards the ship causes a space warp, which drastically reduces the distance to travel. As the ship travels through a series of space warps, it emerges light-years away while only traveling a few hundred million kilometres at impulse speeds.

Each sub-coaxial warp nacelle uses 4 high power graviton polarity source generation coils, similar to those used in the ship’s navigational deflector(s), and 3 gravity phase shifting field coils. These 7 coils combined generate a spatial antigravity field that mimics the negative mass field required for the ship. 16 relatively low power subspace coils in each nacelle are both to focus the negative mass field for forward flight and to allow the ship to travel through the space warp safely.

It was considered first to use a negative magnetic field to restrict tachyons to sublight speeds, and use the tachyon’s negative mass to draw space towards the ship instead of mimicking the negative mass field with the graviton source generators and gravity phase shift coils. However stability problems, field compatibility issues and other malfunctions abandoned the tachyons in favour of the gravity generators.

Any ship that uses the sub-coaxial warp drive has a maximum warp of only warp 9.85, no matter how much power is diverted to the engines. Though not the fastest engine, it has a substantial advantage for both exploration and military application since the power required to maintain maximum warp with the sub-coaxial warp drive is about equal to a ship traveling at warp factor 3 with conventional warp drive, and has the same structural strain of a ship traveling at warp factor 2.5. This then allows the ship to maintain maximum warp until its antimatter fuel is exhausted. As well since the power usage is so low in comparison to conventional warp, low sub-coaxial warp speeds, approximately Warp 2.2, can be maintained by maximum impulse power.

The drive, often no matter the size of the ship, only needs to generate a negative mass field equivalent to only a few micrograms per second. Even this tiny amount restricted to sublight is capable to draw space towards the ship at faster than light speeds. The warp speed is determined by the frequency of the negative mass field. The higher the frequency, the greater the ship’s warp speed.

In 2380, the first prototype of the engine was installed on Dr. Bowman’s test runabout, the Earth Star Voyager. With now Ensign Jessie Beanstalk as his co-pilot, the runabout reached a speed of warp 9.865 and was able to retain it without any real structural strain and with 10% less fuel consumption than anticipated. In 2385, the second generation of Luna class starships were installed with the sub-coaxial warp drive and over the period of the next 20 years, gradual refits of Starfleet will have the new warp drive installed.

** This is based upon the idea that the universe is expanding faster than light.


Tachyon Drive

Design by Robert Heckadon

Tachyons have been talked about, used, and abused in many ways from the conventional, such as communications, to the absurd, such as creating an anti-time anomaly. In 2504, it is the first time that this common faster-than-light particle is used for propulsion. It was first truly theorized in 2371 when commander Benjamin Sisko and his son Jake recreated a Bajoran solar sailing ship which legend says was able to reach Cardassian space. This ship was caught in tachyon eddies in the Denorios belt pushing it to warp speeds due to the unique design of the sailing ship.

In theory tachyons are capable of traveling faster than light speed and being able to exist in normal space is because this particle has negative mass. Conventional mass, such as what makes up the matter in starships, cannot travel at light speed, let alone faster than light speeds. Light itself has no mass and therefore can travel at light. However negative mass, which is on the other side of the light scale, can travel faster than light.

Some have speculated that by collecting and storing enough tachyons, this will neutralize the ships natural mass to allow it to travel faster than the speed of light. However, in order to neutralize enough mass for warp 1 travel, light speed travel, a 4.5 million metric tonne Galaxy class starship would need to store -4.5 million metric tonnes of tachyon particles. And even more for it to travel beyond warp 1. This is even more difficult since tachyons cannot simply be stored, in essence, the same way deuterium can be stored.

The dream of a tachyon drive however had not died. The old M2P2 drive of the 21st century, like those used on the old DY starships, uses a solar powered electromagnetic field to gather ionized gases from the sun, and have the solar winds push the newly formed plasma field along with the ship like an electromagnetic sail. A spatial distortion field would be used in a similar fashion to the M2P2 drive to collect enough of the free tachyon particles in the field, concentrate them, and use their negative mass field to cancel out the ships mass as well as allow the ship to travel faster than the speed of light.

The tachyon drive would be simpler than conventional warp drive because it doesn’t have to maintain a proper balance between the 2 warp nacelles and won’t need to cause a deliberate imbalance in the warp field to steer the ship at warp. Steering with tachyon drive can be done by the impulse engines. In relative size, it would be more conceivable for small or medium size ships, from shuttle pods to no bigger than the Phoenix class starships, to use the tachyon drives. But it is possible for the heaviest federations ships, such as the Galaxy class and Pelagic class ships, to use this drive.

From recovered wreckage, it is believed that Borg ships may use tachyon drives for warp speeds, and use the same drive to open up a transwarp conduit.

The Physics of Star Trek Star Trek
DS9: "Explorers"
Star Trek TNG Technical Manual
Nova: The Elegant Universe


Time Warp Drive

Devised by Robert Heckadon

The laws of Relativity, proposed by Albert Einstein of Earth and T’Var of Vulcan, state that you cannot travel faster than light because time slows down as you approach the speed of light due to the time dilation effect, and therefore the speed of light is a limiting factor. However if you were able to travel faster than 300,000 km/s, then you’d encounter the time distortion effect. Resulting in you arriving at your destination before you leave your starting point. For this is the basis for time warp drive.

In reality, time warp does NOT propel a ship beyond the speed of light. While travelling at light speed, it takes years to reach another star system, but only days pass on the ship due to the time dilation effect. But the time warp drive augments the time distortions generated by light speed to partially reverse the passage of time during the voyage. This allows the ship to arrive at its destination as though the same amount of time has passed in the universe as it did on the ship. For example, a ship travelling at light speed, where one day passes in the universe, one minute passes on the ship. The augmented time distortions causes the ship to go back in time so that only one minute has passed in the universe while still completing one day worth of travel. This effect happens every millisecond of time warp flight, giving the illusion of faster than light travel.

There have been theories that if the time distortions were augmented enough, then it would be possible for the ship to arrive at its destination before it left its starting point, giving it the ability to travel into the past. Time travel. However in order to travel beyond yesterday, it would require the energy of an exploding star. And to go beyond the one minute mark, from the previous example, would still take incredible amounts of power beyond the ships capabilities.

Achieving light speed is the key for time warp drive. To achieve light speed, the time warp drive uses a device simply known as the Z-machine. The Z-machine generated a massive subspace field that dimensionally accelerates the ship to light speed. This is preferred because even antimatter powered rockets takes significant amounts of time to reach light speed and requires incredible amounts of fuel. Just to reach ½ light speed, the ship would require twice its mass worth of matter and antimatter fuel. And even more so to reach light speed and to decelerate. And to decelerate from light speed, the Z-machine is simply deactivated or reduced in power. The ship uses a series of heavy graviton induction coils to generate the "time stabilization field," the field used to amplify the time distortion effect to allow time warp to take place. The time stabilization effect was discovered by accident. A science probe was designed to examine the laws of relativity, and able to travel at light speed without any real faster than light drive. This probe entered a heavy graviton field that for a split second allowed the probe to accelerate to warp 2.15, roughly 10 times the speed of light.

The Z-machine and the time warp stabilization field coils, both within the nacelles, are linked in series, so if one fails, the other will also fail. This "fail safe" is to prevent any real possibilities of the ship being trapped at light speed, frozen in time for years.

When the project began in 2251, the only ship to date to use time warp drive was the Constitution class U.S.S. Enterprise, commanded by Captain Christopher Pike, where as other Constitution class starships used the conventional subspace displacement field warp drive. As of 2260, despite being more fuel efficient than space warp, the time warp drive program was shut down and the Enterprise was refitted with conventional space warp engines with no explanation given.

Conspiracy theories have ranged from the ship actually being able to travel through time as easily through space, to the Enterprise travelling thousands of years into the future when the time stabilization field had failed and mysteriously returned. What ever the reason, the same conspiracy theorists also believe the technology was perfected for the NX-2000 to allow the ship to arrive at its destination at the same time it left its starting point. Infinite velocity, even though the crew would still age at the same rate as they would if they were travelling at conventional warp speeds.

This is an idea from both the original pilot, "The Cage", and from the 2-part TOS episode, "The Menagerie". Where in both Captain Pike over the intercom said "Our time warp, factor 7." Not space warp or just plain and simple warp. Just want to help with that little inconsistency. 
The Physics of Star Trek; Lawrence M. Krauss; p25
Star Trek Enterprise: "Cold Front"


Travel through Hyperspace

Devised by Christoph Aymanns, translation by Bernd, ASDB Member

Introduction Hyperspace, what is that anyway? Generally, hyperspace is a space of higher dimensions, meaning dimensions beyond the three known dimensions of space and the one of time. These "higher" dimensions are outside the limits of our perception and, for the most part, of our understanding too. Nevertheless, the principle may be explained with a simple example: Let us assume that we are small, two-dimensional worms, and that we are crawling on an infinitely large sheet of paper. We live in peace, and everything is as usual. But one day, a smart physicist devises the idea that there might be a third dimension aside from the two well-known dimensions of our sheet of paper. If he were able to climb into a rocket and leave for the third dimension, he would disappear in the eyes of his fellow worms, as soon as he would leave the paper surface. He could then, without any reasonable explanation, reappear at any other place of the surface. It is quite similar with our hyperspace. But more about that later.

For a long time, hyperspace travel has been of little interest to the spacecraft engineers of Starfleet until 2381, just one year ago, Federation archaeologists discovered the remains of a long extinguished civilization in the Ventana system at the edge of the Beta Quadrant. After deciphering the millennia old databanks, scientists faced an incredible amount of data about hyperspace and ways of taking advantage of it. Apparently, they have discovered a civilization that had unveiled one of the last secrets of our universe, the physics of higher dimensions.

Theory The following paragraph illustrates the course of a travel through hyperspace, as it could be done on Federation starships. To get into hyperspace in the first place, a "window" needs to be opened to the higher dimensions, virtually lifting the ship into hyperspace. The creation of such a gate would be very energy consuming and complex. Actually, that much energy is required, as cannot be provided by any available or known source to date. But in order to circumvent this problem, engineers may apply a little trick. They "borrow" energy from the vacuum. We owe our thanks to a variant of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. The Uncertainty Principle doesn’t only apply to the location and velocity of a particle, but also to its energy and the time over which it has this energy. The formula is: h ~ E x t (the Planck constant is approximately the energy times the time). Thus, an amount of energy E must be "paid back" (transferred into the vacuum) after a time t. This means that the more energy is borrowed, the sooner it must be given back in order not to violate energy conservation. But this circumstance alone would not suffice to enable hyperspace travel, as the window would collapse as soon as the energy would be given back, so the net result would be zero.

The second lucky circumstance is that the creation of a gate would require much more galactic energy than its maintenance, for which a normal matter/antimatter reaction may be sufficient. Therefore, the sequence of events may be as follows: We borrow and amount of energy, Ev. With the energy from the reactor, Er , plus Ev we obtain the total energy Et that is necessary to build the gate: Ev + Er = Et. Then we return the energy Ev in a time t = h/Ev, and what remains is the energy Er from the reactor, just sufficient to maintain the window. This way, we achieve a maximum effect with a minimum amount of "true" energy.

Implementation So far for the theory, now for the practice: The starship or an outpost launches, with a conventional photon torpedo launcher, a beacon with an M/AM reactor and a so-called collector, capable of borrowing energy from the vacuum. This beacon builds up the window in the above explained fashion and keeps it up for about one minute. But the starship may not yet enter into hyperspace. This is because the higher-dimensional space is being almost completely evacuated as soon as the gate is opened. No one can yet explain why this is so. Anyway, this would force all starships already in hyperspace to leave it here and now, irrespective of their planned destination. To avoid this effect, a certain neutrino imprint is applied to the window during its creation, each ship having its individual imprint. But why neutrinos of all particles? The reason is that neutrinos interact in a special way with the gate and are able to leave something like a finger print. Now, only starships with a matching print may pass the gate. Without this technology, only ships going from one system into the same system could be in hyperspace at the same time. The imprint also plays an important role when leaving hyperspace. More about that later.

As soon as we are in hyperspace, the second step is taken. In every important system (e.g. Sol) gravitation wave emitters and receivers have been positioned, as well as an array of the above described beacons. These emitters permanently generate gravitational waves of a certain frequency, as it is the only type of waves capable of propagating in hyperspace (light, for instance, is not). The starship in hyperspace receives these frequencies of the systems and replies with the specific frequency of the destination system. In addition, it transmits, coded in gravitational waves, a data package that is received in all systems. As this is received by the receiver of the destination system, a window to hyperspace may be created as described above, with exactly the neutrino imprint of the starship. The ship is hurled out of subspace and finds itself at the destination. One thing remains to be mentioned: The starship in hyperspace may open a gate itself, but the place of exit would be completely coincidental. It could emerge anywhere in the universe.


 Last modified: 18.03.12