gridlore: Old manual typewriter with a blank sheet of paper inserted. (Writing)
[personal profile] gridlore
Doing a little thought as to how to recreate the tensions of a WWI era naval pursuit in an interstellar setting. Let's start with the drive and it's effects.

1. Drives can reach up to about 500c. However, maintenance and fuel requirements rise sharply in drives designed for the highest speeds.

2. Entering or exiting hyperspace requires a local gravity field of at least .000006g. Entry and exit can be pushed in high fields, but it's hard on the equipment. Ships trying to push deep past the hyper rim can be forced out of hyperspace without warning.

3. Hyperspace is damaging. Ships and people in transit begin to suffer effects of hyperspace after several days of travel. Early symptoms are headaches, numbness or tingling in extremities, nausea, and vision or hearing issues. The longer a trip continues, the more severe the issues become. Extended voyages can result in permanent brain damage or death. Electronic systems on ships are also disrupted, though they can be better shielded.

4. Additionally, ships exiting hyperspace are subject to "terminus shock." This is a sudden attack of hyperspace sickness, causing everyone on a ship emerging from hyperspace to be stunned or nauseated for as long as several minutes. Those already suffering from severe effects of travel can be killed by this shock. The deeper a ship goes past the hyper rim, the more severe the shock.

5. Speed increases the onset of negative effects of travel. The pilots of high-speed couriers tend to have short careers and amazing health care plans.

So, we have a set up where ships will need to plot courses that minimize their time in hyperspace. Which means controlling access to certain stars will be quite lucrative as trade will funnel through them.

Now, interstellar communications. FTL comms exist, but they are limited.

1. The power and plant requirements for a true FTL sending station are massive.

2. The systems that can afford them usually build them on asteroids or moons close to the hyper rim. These stations tend to be fortified.

3. The system has limited bandwidth. Messages tend to be telegraph-short.

4. Stations can broadcast or aim a message at another station.

5. Messages move at about 10,000c

6. Larger ships can carry receivers. This allows them to get messages even when moving in hyperspace.

7. Due to limitations, these tend to be three letter code groups, like used with ballistic missile subs. As an example:

RQD (All 3rd Fleet Units)
YYT (War Plan Case Ocher)
SNW (Rendezvous Wolf 359)

In which case every ship of the 3rd Fleet would open their safes, pull out Case Ocher, and plot courses to Wolf 359.

More to come.

Date: 15 Jan 2017 15:35 (UTC)
nodrog: Robot B-9 from LoS (Danger)
From: [personal profile] nodrog

I LIKE the idea of cumulative harm from hyperspace, tho' it sounds somewhat like radiation poisoning and I'd think some sort of shielding or unconscious stasis would be a priority.  [You'd have a hell of a recruitment problem, too.]

It might be more interesting if going faster than light causes a slow but definite retrograde - specifically your memories start unraveling.  Not only do you not remember what you've just done, you don't remember anything of the last two days, three days, week, month…  Eventually your ship arrives and you wonder why you're aboard her - isn't this November of last year?  In theory your long-range exploration crew might arrive as mewling adult babies.

Backward Turn Backward O Time in Thy Flight

Date: 15 Jan 2017 16:53 (UTC)
nodrog: Protest at ADD designation distracted in midsentence (ADD)
From: [personal profile] nodrog

Or, you could even crank that up a notch and have it be an actual time-slip.

“[Merlin] lives backward!  He doesn't age - he… youthens!” - Camelot

It's not rejuvenation per se, it's time travel.  Twenty-year old you is tooling along, minding your own business, and zap you're aboard some damn starship and they're telling you it's now twenty-five years later.  They also say you were forty-five when you left home port.  Uh huh. Problem is, it's all true.  Swell.  You've been abducted twenty-five years into the future, by your own doing.

Good thing for you the starship was built twenty-six years ago also!…  'cuz it's brand new now.

[You could use this for a Christine effect:  That dilapidated old junkyard rustbucket you had towed on board now drives down the ramp in showroom condition!  Two miles on the odometer!  Now let's talk “blue book value,” hah?  Neener neener!]

Edited Date: 15 Jan 2017 17:35 (UTC)

Re: Time in Thy Flight

Date: 16 Jan 2017 16:43 (UTC)
nodrog: 'Quisp' Cereal Box (Quisp)
From: [personal profile] nodrog

Well, see, regrettably, the minimum time for any stasis field to be established is fifty years.  This is socially awkward.

Anyway, I agree, this is not where you were going, but speaking of time games, I can't resist mentioning one of the more unusual FTL drives I've read about:  The Kalmakov drive.

See, it's like this:  Every relativistic starship is faster than light by its own frame of reference. If you span 300 lightyears in two years subjective time, hey, you've gone 150c!  Right?  Well, of course that depends on whom you ask.  To the universe at large, the flight took three hundred years.  Oops…

But 4=2+2, and 4-2=2, all same-same, so six of one equals half a dozen of the other so long as somebody pays the bill, so the Kalmakov drive simply inverts the frames of reference.  Certainly, you arrive at your destination two years later!  After a voyage which lasted three hundred years!  Spoo…  You best have a very durable starship!  Not to mention serious suspended animation technology…  But hey, you went 150c!

I have the feeling that if we ever DO develop FTL, it'll be this - gaming the system, instead of rewriting the rules.


gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

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