Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Tom Kalbfus
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2308
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sat May 05, 2018 5:51 pm

Here is my wormhole map
Image
https://thomasbowman767.deviantart.com/ ... -743587720
A note of explanation, the hexes on this map contain or will contain the system information, the white lines connecting them show which wormholes are available. Underneath the map I have some mainworld information and next to that I have the system profiles, which show the companion stars, the location of the mainworld in each system, and the location of the stargate which can contain up to six wormhole mouths. Each wormhole allows passage of a ship which is up to half a kilometer wide, or about 500 meters, enough to cover most starships. the standard starships are available, except that the Jump drives have been removed where ever there is one specified, that means each ship has some additional cargo space.

There are two options that I can think of as to what to do with the jump fuel. One is to make the maneuver drive into a reaction drive, the jump fuel then becomes the ship's reaction mass, and allows each ship to maneuver for up to 4 weeks at the maneuver rate same as the Jump drive which was removed. For instance if this is a Scout/Courier and the specifications call for a maneuver 2, and a Jump 2, that means the ship has a reaction mass equal to its jump fuel requirements when it had a jump drive, instead that Jump drive allotment becomes reaction mass, and that means the ship can maneuver at an acceleration of 2-g for a total of 4 weeks, the standard operating life of the power plant with its full load of power plant fuel. Power plant fuel and reaction mass are separate. The power plant runs on a mixture of Helium-3 and Deuterium, while the reaction mass is simply protonic hydrogen in liquid form.

By the way, this is a black wormhole map, each system starts out with six possible wormhole connections, and I role a d6 and if the result is a 3 or less, I remove the wormhole connection, and I get something more like the above map.
Image
https://thomasbowman767.deviantart.com/ ... -742920274
Last edited by Tom Kalbfus on Sat May 05, 2018 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tom Kalbfus
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2308
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sat May 05, 2018 6:46 pm

I would like to add, that my wormhole map has no correspondence to real space, it is a flow chart actually, shows you which systems you can travel to from a given system. the systems don't have to be close to each other for a wormhole connection to exist. There are no range limits for wormholes. The way wormholes are made is that both ends are made in close proximity to each other, and the other end is transported to the desired location via a slower than light starship, and once there, the wormhole throat is expanded to a diameter of 500 meters to allow passage for most spaceships. I ordered the new core rule book, but for now I'll refer to the classic starship book for reference and assume the new ships are similar to those.

You could fly a Launch through a wormhole. A Launch has a 20-ton hull, it has an acceleration of 1-g and fuel tankage of 1 ton, the ship has 13 tons of excess space available. To convert it to my setting, the Launch would require at additional 2 tons of reaction mass, as that is 10% of the hull volume. the reaction mass is liquid hydrogen, the power plant fuel is liquefied Helium-3 and Deuterium, this powers the power plant, the power plant powered the maneuver drive which heats the reaction mass, producing 1-g of acceleration for its 4-week operating life on a tank of fuel. A Launch thereby becomes a starship of a sort, as all it needs to be able to do is travel through a wormhole, you make similar conversions for all the other smallcraft. You treat each maneuver drive as the Jump drive of the same rating, for the purposes of determining the amount of space needed to be set aside for reaction mass, that would be the same proportion as for Jump fuel if it has a Jump Drive.

The Scout courier is much the same, except space is freed up by the missing jump drive, it already has the required reaction mass set aside in the form of jump fuel. You need to use the in-system travel equations to determine how long it takes to get to the stargate in each system. Each stargate has the capability of holding up to 6 wormhole mouths, each one is 500 meter in diameter. if the dimensions of your ship allow you to travel through a 500 meter wide circular opening, you can travel through this wormhole. Wormholes can vary in size of course, but the standard size is 500 meters wide.

https://youtu.be/BINijYepahA?list=PLmR1 ... uRBELQF4VY
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3102
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Reynard » Sun May 06, 2018 1:29 am

I've done something similar using the STARFIRE game as a base for universe generation. Traveller designed ships don't need jump drives but travel is very specific and wormholes become extremely important focal points economically and militarily sometimes more important than the system's worlds. Space stations defend wormholes that are static relative to the solar system.
Tom Kalbfus
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2308
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sun May 06, 2018 12:03 pm

Reynard wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 1:29 am
I've done something similar using the STARFIRE game as a base for universe generation. Traveller designed ships don't need jump drives but travel is very specific and wormholes become extremely important focal points economically and militarily sometimes more important than the system's worlds. Space stations defend wormholes that are static relative to the solar system.
Well in this case the starport or each system would be in the vicinity of each stargate, and each stargate can hold up to six wormhole mouths, and it takes about a day to pass through each wormhole, and since thes stargate is located in the outer solar system, it also takes some time to go from the stargate or starport to the mainworld. the mainworld has either a spaceport or a subsidiary starport. A lot of the traffic through the main starport is just transiting starships heading on to the next star system. It takes a day to pass through a wormhole because their is traffic management issues. When I say their is up to six wormholes, What I actually mean is their are up to twelve, there are two wormholes connecting to each system, each wormhole serves as a one-way lane, so starships don't collide with other starships heading in the opposite direction, and every so often the direction of the wormholes are reversed to balance the mass-energy budget of each wormhole. You see, when you enter the mouth of a wormhole, you add your mass to that wormhole mouth, and when you exit the far end of the wormhole you subtract that mass from the exiting wormhole. The mass itself doesn't travel through the wormhole, it stays on the side you entered from the standpoint of that system, mass is concerved from the point of view of someone observing ships going into the wormhole.

The thing to be careful about with wormholes is if too much mass-energy goes into one wormhole and not enough is seen to come out, then once that wormhole reaches a critical limit, that wormhole explodes, converting its entire rest mass into energy, and destroying quite a few things in its vicinity as well, including the starport, that is why traffic management is very important, and why these wormholes are located way out at the edge of each star system. The stargates themselves hold multiple wormholes, and they come in the following solid shapes. A ring for one wormhole connection (2 wormholes, one going in each direction), a 4-sided die shape (tetrahedron) with 4 wormholes (leading to two destinations), a cube-shaped stargate holding 6 wormholes (leading to three destinations), an 8-sided die shape (octohedron) with 8 wormholes leading to 4 destinations, a 10-sided die shape (decahedron) with 10 wormholes leading to 5 destinations, and a 12-sided die shape (dodecahedron) with 12 wormholes leading to 6 destinations. Each stargate is sized so as to allow a standard 500 meter wide wormhole. Wormholes are expensive and energy intensive to make, the first step in making such is to first create two tiny black holes of about equal mass, and then thread both black holes with exotic matter (with negative mass), if the two black holes are in close proximity to each other they will form a connection. the black holes are formed by focusing a huge array of gamma ray lasers into an atom-sided spot to create sufficient energy density such that an event horizon forms. these tiny black holes each have the mass of a medium-sized asteroid, this is the mass that stabilizes the wormhole on each end and holds it in an orbit around a respective star system. If the mass was negative for instance, it would have an antigravity event horizon, which means that nothing can enter, and all the mass around it would be repelled by the antigravity and thus explode, that is why it is important to keep the mass at each wormhole end positive, not negative or zero, ot it will explode, as the event horizon disappears and all the matter-energy contained within is released!
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4245
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby phavoc » Sun May 06, 2018 3:08 pm

Wormholes and star gates are optional ftl methods, as are warp points and even warp drive. Nothing wrong with using a different method. Gates and warp ppints add an interesting flavor to the game by making literal highways in space. They make it a lot easier to justify system traffic lanes and ways for players to interact with other starship as well.
Tom Kalbfus
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2308
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sun May 06, 2018 3:29 pm

phavoc wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 3:08 pm
Wormholes and star gates are optional ftl methods, as are warp points and even warp drive. Nothing wrong with using a different method. Gates and warp ppints add an interesting flavor to the game by making literal highways in space. They make it a lot easier to justify system traffic lanes and ways for players to interact with other starship as well.
It also makes it easier to represent literal 3-d space on a 2-d map. The positions of star systems on the wormhole map aren't their actual positions in space. One of the effects of this is that every hex on the wormhole map is going to have something in it. There is no sense in building a wormhole that leads to empty space. I don't know what the official rules are about wormholes in the core rulebook, but the way I'm using them is they don't have range limits and passage through each leg of a wormhole network takes a day, and in every case the starport is right there, next to the wormhole. A starport is typically on an asteroid in the outer star system, and it is often in orbit around the stargate itself. There is a community of people living at this starport, there is trade, and shipyards, and refueling here as well. It is usually very cold this far out, so far out that nitrogen freezes at this temperature, and it is a convenient place to store liquid hydrogen, liquid deuterium, and liquid helium-3 to sell to passing starships. Refining ships make the trip into the star system to skim the nearest gas giant and bring the processed fuel back to the starport for sale to passing starships. the Mainworld has a spaceport for in system travel. Most people traveling the wormhole network don't bother to go in system if that system is not their destination. if the starport is a Starport X or E however, they may have no choice but to skim a gas giant themselves, as no one will be around to sell them any processed fuel.

This does present a little problem if your fusion reactor runs in part on Helium-3, Helium-3 is hard to get at other than a gas giant, you would have to process a lot of rock on a vacuum world near a star if there are no gas giants in the system, its better to carry an extra supply of helium-3 on your starship, while Deuterium can be found in many frozen compounds on cometary bodies, helium-3 is a noble gas, it does not form chemical compounds with anything, it stays in its gaseous form, there is not much of it in an outer star system except in the atmospheres of gas giants. It can be collected from a star's solar wind, you need a magnetic ram scoop and you have to get fairly close to the star to collect significant amounts of Helium-3.
Last edited by Tom Kalbfus on Sun May 06, 2018 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
phavoc
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4245
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:13 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby phavoc » Sun May 06, 2018 3:38 pm

Proximity to a wormhole doesn't necessarily mean it's the best place to put the port. If, for example, your system has a single inhabited planet and five wormholes. It makes more economic sense to have the ships travel to a single port than having five separate facilities.

The specific layout would be based on the amount of transshipment going on to justify orbital warehouses at each individual wormhole. Plus if your transit times are small you would be better off concentrating your space assets in a single place. It's more economical to do so. Look at moden hub and spoke systems today.
Tom Kalbfus
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2308
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sun May 06, 2018 3:57 pm

Let me put up some pictures here to give you a better idea of how this works.
Here is a stargate with two wormholes, one goes in and the other goes out, this connects to one single destination:
Image
Tom Kalbfus
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2308
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sun May 06, 2018 3:58 pm

A two wormhole stargate looks like this:
This is a stargate with four wormholes leading to two destinations:
Image

A three wormhole stargate looks like this:
Image

A four wormhole stargate looks like this:
Image

A five wormhole stargate looks like this:
Image

A six wormhole stargate looks like this:
Image

There are two wormholes to each destination, one for traveling to, the other for traveling from. A stargate holds multiple wormholes, one on each face of the regular solid.
Tom Kalbfus
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2308
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Mon May 07, 2018 4:48 pm

I just thought it would be better to keep all the wormholes in each system together, makes it much simpler when I write up system designations and if the wormholes were separate, I would have to be locating 1 to 6 wormholes in each system to judge the travel time between for ships going from one to another to continue along an interstellar journey. I'll just assign each wormhole a day to get through, the assumption is each starship accelerates 1-g, turns around at mid-point and then slows down at the exit. We don't want starships accelerating at more than 1-g because then they would crash into the starship that is ahead of them. The wormhole throat by the way doesn't have physical walls, space in the throat is curved into a hyper-cylinder, that means all directions perpendicular to the direction of travel lead right back to the starship. If a starship fires a weapons sideways from a turret for example, its going to hit the other side of the starship. People looking out the port window will see the starboard side of the ship they are in. Starships that exceed 500 meters in width won't get through the opening to get into the wormhole, and even if they did, they would be torn apart by gravitational forces.
BigDogsRunning
Mongoose
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:54 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby BigDogsRunning » Mon May 07, 2018 11:16 pm

fixed wormholes would change the shape of the economy as well. If you can quickly travel through several systems to reach the one you want, you don't have to stop at each one. You're going to have fewer populated systems, and very few with unexplainably large populations on less inhospitable worlds. Systems that are expensive to colonize wouldn't attract lots of people unless they had some very accessible, and valuable resources.
Tom Kalbfus
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2308
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Tue May 08, 2018 1:39 pm

BigDogsRunning wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 11:16 pm
fixed wormholes would change the shape of the economy as well. If you can quickly travel through several systems to reach the one you want, you don't have to stop at each one. You're going to have fewer populated systems, and very few with unexplainably large populations on less inhospitable worlds. Systems that are expensive to colonize wouldn't attract lots of people unless they had some very accessible, and valuable resources.
Well the starports can be thought of as service station, Each wormhole takes a day to get through, that causes the starship to use up fuel, so a starport is among other things a refueling stop. In this campaign, the starship's engines run on a combination of Helium-3 and Deuterium, usually a small amount of this reserved for the power plant, the manuever drive also consumes hydrogen for reaction mass, the hydrogen is what it needs the most of, and it fills the space that is normally reserved for Jump fuel in a standard campaign. I believe the core rule book has rules for reaction drives, so this is just an approximation until I get the core rule book, but it seems to me that the reaction mass would take up about as much space as the jump fuel more or less. Smallcraft in the normal campaign don't have jump drives, they just have manuever drive, so reaction mass tanks need to be added to them, and this reduces the amount of cargo space they have available, but in exchange for that, you can fly a smallcraft through a wormhole, there is no longer a 100-ton minimum limit, one can fly a fighter through a wormhole, interstellar travel becomes cheaper with this wormhole network, the only other alternative is slower than light starships.

The standard starships run on fusion reactors and reaction drives, the best ones can accelerate to 20% of the speed of light without slowing down, or 10% of the speed of light with a midpoint turn around and slowing down, that is the cap I am putting on fusion powered starship, but their are three other power sources, antimatter, black holes, and wormholes. Antimatter is the cheapest, it is also the most dangerous, a containment failure, such as might occur if the starship received damage in combat, would result in an explosion.

A safer option is a black hole power plant, a black hole power plant runs on a decaying black hole, the power plant channels hawking radiation to the maneuver drive, and the maneuver drive focuses the Hawking radiation out behind the ship causing the ship to accelerate, the downside to a black hole is that it can't be turned off, it radiates away is mass, and as its mass is reduced it radiates faster and hotter, until it reaches a point where the power plant and maneuver drive can no longer contain it, at which point the black hole is ejected and allowed to explode harmlessly in space. A black hole starship is always under power, and it has radiator fins to shed heat, even when its not accelerating. Typically a black hole starship never lands and is always a capital starship, the mass of the black hole is that of an aircraft carrier, so the starship it propells has about that mass in addition to the black hole. A black hole starship can reach about 50% of the speed of light, the antimatter starship can go to about 97% of the speed of light. A containmant failure of a black hole starship results in the black hole getting loose, it will burn a hole in the side of the starship as it escapes. The black hole that powers starships is too small to swallow matter, so it just radiates hawking radiation the same as it always does, until it is recaptured by the starship that lost it or until it explodes. the typical starship grade black hole lasts about 10 years until it explodes, smaller black holes power larger starships and if it becomes too hot to be used it is discarded, either in the depths of space or it is dropped into a planet. The black hole falls to the center of a planet and their it decays until it explodes at the planet's core, the energy released is usually inconseqential compared to the energy already at the planet's core, the shock wave created by the explosion might cause some earthquakes however. Dropping the black hole into a star or a gas giant is probably a safer option.
Maybe their are rules for black hole starships in the Core rulebook, so I will differ to those.

The other kind of starship is a wormhole starship, the wormhole is the power source and drive of the starship. While I said earlier that a wormhole needs to balance its mass-energy flow or otherwise it explodes, it is possible to have matter going in one direction and energy going in another, it doesn't matter which. Now a wormhole starship has a tank of mercury as its "fuel source", their are pipes threaded through the wormhole, and the mercury is sent through the wormhole into another tank on the other side, this mercury counts as mass. On the other side of the wormhole, back at the starships home base is a fusion power plant, and a large tank of deuterium and helium-3 massing about 100 times the mass of the mercury onboard the starship. The deuterium and helium-3 are fused releasing energy, the energy then powers a giant laser which is also many times the mass of the starship and the laser fires a beam of gamma rays or x-rays through the wormhole, and out the back of the starship, the mass equivalent of the energy beam is the same as the mass of the mercury as it is pumped through the wormhole.

This wormhole is of smaller mass and aperature than your standard 500 meter wide wormhole, the laser beam accelerates the starship, and the starship can reach 97% of the speed of light just like an antimatter ship can, this starship however does not have containment issues like the antimatter starship has. The wormhole starship is more expensive than the antimatter starship, but its fuel is not, and unlike the black hole starship, the wormhole does not decay so long as the mass flows are balanced. Wormhole starships can be as small as antimatter ships, but they are about as expensive as a capital starship, often costing hundreds of billions of credits at a minimum. If there are core rules for those, I refer to them. But the wormhole in this case is a source of power, it doesn't allow the starship which carries it to actually go faster than the speed of light. Another version of a wormhole starship might be one that projects a temporary wormhole in front of it that is large enough for the starship to pass through and is a substitute for a jump drive, and that is not what I am talking about.

Why do I mention this? Well in my campaign there is a star called Barnard's star which is connected by this wormhole network. this wormhole network was mostly built by aliens about a billion years ago, this Barnard's star system, which the wormhole connects exists in the year 11,800 AD, and at this point in time Barnard's star is the closest star system to out Sun being about 3.8 light years away, there is no wormhole that goes there. This is the world stats:

Hex AO BJ Forseti: Starport E - Frontier installation; Diameter 7 - 6,860 miles (11,038 km); Atmosphere 5 - Thin; Water surface 9 - 92%; Population 2 - 214 humans; Government 0 - No government structure; Law level 0 - No prohibitions; Tech Level 5 - Industrial age; Distance from primary 0.054 AU; Primary type M0-9 IV, V, VI; Distance of wormhole from primary 50 AU; http://www.solstation.com/stars/barnards.htm

Forseti has a small population of 214 humans, it is a small settlement, until recently no one bothered looking at the star closest to it, and then an amature astronomer decided to focus his telescope on Sol, and a ringworld was detected, it was fairly easy to detect since the ringworld was a band 1 million miles wide and 93 million miles in radius, the doppler shift indicated that it rotates around the Sun once every nine days, there is an inner band that casts shadows on the ring world, it is at the approximate orbit of Mercury and it rotates once every 90 days, there are ten shaded rectangular regions, and it rotates one tenth its circumference everytime the ringworld rotates once, so any portion of the ringworld falls under nine of the ten shaded regions. They aren't exactly shadow squares, but actually a ring of partially transparent materials, the shaded regions become up to 100% opaque to produce night on the portion of the ringworld's surface opposite from the Sun, the areas closer to the north and south edges of the ringworld get more shading producing, temperate, subarctic and arctic climate zones, and the equatoral regions are tropical.

The shaded areas change their opacity over time to produce seasons towards the edges of the ringworld that are opposite from each other, while the north edge experiences winter, the south experiences summer and these seasons cycle over a 365 day period. The shadings for light aren't always 100% opaque at their maximum, over a period of a about a month, it lets enough sunlight through to simulate moonlight, though the vision of the ring overhead can be quite overwhelming. at times. The false moonlight coincides with the artificial pumping of water into and out of the oceans to simulate tides. To investigate this phenominon, a slower than light starship is required., so this either takes a long time, think about 40 years to get there, or someone with a big expense account who can afford the exotic type of starship needed to get there. The antimatter ship is probably the cheapest option, black hole starships are probably used by the military, and a wormhole starship will bring a wormhole, and also afford communication with the homebase while there, later on this wormhole can be expanded to a size large enough to allow passage of a starship and thus extend the wormhole network to this system, but that again will cost a lot of money. Wormholes aren't cheap after all, and neither is expanding them.
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3102
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Reynard » Thu May 17, 2018 8:06 pm

Referencing the Starfire wormhole system again, you have easy and relatively instant access to other systems but the access points are scattered around the system yet stable and unmoving relative to a central point, usually the central star. Without jump engines to get about, your STL engines become very significant for travel. Time to other wormholes and important locations in the system is a big factor to Travellers and changes how ships are designed. This will mean larger maneuver or reaction drives since you will no longer be exiting or entering jump space close to your target. That includes gas giants and other possible natural fueling sources. Will fuel scoops and processors be as relevant? A homeworld might be more convenient than stations at each warp point. Even the smallest 10 ton craft can pass to other systems creating new configuration and mission possibilities.

You think this would be a blessing to commercial traffic especially traders but you are actually more vulnerable to piracy as you are now forced to cross great distances to reach a destination. Much of the spaces saved not having a jump drive and its fuel might need go to armor and weapons. An armed space society is a safe space society.

I started rebuilding the X-boat and realized it would be a new animal. Important wormholes along Xboat routes would have stations on each side. The Xboat itself only has non-jump engines, the Mail Distribution Array to transfer digital content quickly and physical capacity for content the X route normally hauls. The big difference will be 9g ships that cross the system to the next wormhole station to transfer non-digital mail. Digital media would be transmitted at light speed to the next station. Commercial haulers would still be needed for the large bulk transport of product and passengers and traders would still service wormhole routes to less important systems.
Tom Kalbfus
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2308
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri May 18, 2018 7:05 am

Reynard wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 8:06 pm
Referencing the Starfire wormhole system again, you have easy and relatively instant access to other systems but the access points are scattered around the system yet stable and unmoving relative to a central point, usually the central star. Without jump engines to get about, your STL engines become very significant for travel. Time to other wormholes and important locations in the system is a big factor to Travellers and changes how ships are designed. This will mean larger maneuver or reaction drives since you will no longer be exiting or entering jump space close to your target. That includes gas giants and other possible natural fueling sources. Will fuel scoops and processors be as relevant? A homeworld might be more convenient than stations at each warp point. Even the smallest 10 ton craft can pass to other systems creating new configuration and mission possibilities.

You think this would be a blessing to commercial traffic especially traders but you are actually more vulnerable to piracy as you are now forced to cross great distances to reach a destination. Much of the spaces saved not having a jump drive and its fuel might need go to armor and weapons. An armed space society is a safe space society.

I started rebuilding the X-boat and realized it would be a new animal. Important wormholes along Xboat routes would have stations on each side. The Xboat itself only has non-jump engines, the Mail Distribution Array to transfer digital content quickly and physical capacity for content the X route normally hauls. The big difference will be 9g ships that cross the system to the next wormhole station to transfer non-digital mail. Digital media would be transmitted at light speed to the next station. Commercial haulers would still be needed for the large bulk transport of product and passengers and traders would still service wormhole routes to less important systems.
Actually X-boats for delivering messages aren't needed, what you need are relay stations. The electronagnetic spectrum travels through wormholes just fine, it takes a ship accelerating at 1-g, turning around at midpoint and then slowing down at 1-g about 1 day to travel through each wormhole, the time it takes light or any electromagnetic energy to travel through a wormhole is 1 minute, the wormhole is 18,000,000 km long on the inside and this seems invariant regardless of the actual distance in space and time between the wormholes. So its much easier just to beam a message though a wormhole than to send an X-boat through one, and the usual distance of most wormholes from the primary star in a single star system is 50 AU, which means it takes light on average about 7 hours to reach the mainworld from the wormhole. The one-way communications lag time is this 7 hours to reach the wormhole plus 1 minute for each wormhole the message is relayed through plus 7 hours to reach the destination mainworld, seems to me that each wormhole that is actively used should at least have a refueling station for passing traffic, and a dedicated fuel tanker and refining ship makes the trip to skim from a gas giant to the wormhole station processing the fuel enroute until it is seperated into its three components, plain hydrogen/helium-4, deuterium, and helium-3.

The deuterium and helium-3 are fusion fuels which forms the basis of aneutronic fusion that the power plant runs on, the hydrogen/helium-3 is what's left over from the gas giant atmosphere after the other two gases are seperated out from it, this left over stuff has value as reaction mass. hydrogen being the most abundant element in the universe, and helium-4 being the second most abundant, there are also other gases that are collected, including oxygen and water and so forth which has some market value as well. The aneutronic fusion reactor powers another reactor which releases even more energy through quark fusion.

https://futurism.com/quark-fusion-produ ... ar-fusion/

It is about 8 times as energetic as conventional fusion, the catch is that the fuel for a quark fusion reactor can only exist for a picosecond. So a conventional aneutronic fusion reaction releases enough energy to create the fuel for the quark fusion reactor which fuses those quarks that are produced as they are produced releasing 8 times as much energy as the initial fusion reaction required to produce those quarks in the first place.

This puts the efficiency of this fusion reactor somewhere between conventional fusion and a matter/antimatter reaction, but antimatter is extremely expensive. The technology exists to produce it, but the fuel is so expensive that an expendible starship is built around the fuel once it is produced, once the antimatter is used up, the starship is discarded as the cost of the starship is insignificant compared to the cost of the fuel that it runs on and transferring antimatter fuel is a very dangerous process anyway. Antimatter is so expensive that the largest starship that has ever been produced to date is in the 200 ton range. A cheaper alternative for capital starships is the black hole powered starship, these take tiny black holes which are smaller than an atom as their "fuel" and engine.

Because these black holes are so small, they can't swallow ordinary atoms, and the Hawking radiation they emit makes them very "hot", these things are radiation their mass away in the form of photons and subatomic particles, and it is very hard to force feed these black holes as their tendency is to radiate their mass away converting to energy at a steady and predictable rate. The less massive and smaller black holes radiate more energy, and as they radiate away their mass as energy, the amount of radiation they emit increases, up until the point that the black hole explodes when it completely converts its remaining rest mass into energy. These black hole starships are the equivalent to nuclear powered naval warships, they don't require any fuel other than the black holes that power them, the black hole is about equal to the mass of the rest of the starship. Black holes are created by focusing gamma rays onto a spot in space that is smaller than an atom, and when that happens an event horizon forms and thus a tiny black hole. These black holes are always "on" once created and will continue to radiate energy whether a use for that energy is found or not. Black hole starships need large radiator fins to radiate away energy from their stored black holes, if the ship is not accelerating, then energy has to be radiated in two opposite directions so that there is no net force acting on the starship causing it to accelerate.

Now the quark fusion starships have a practical speed limit of around 10% of the speed of light, I use quark fusion as an excuse to reduce the size of the fuel tanks so that they are comparable to Jump fuel tanks. As I said before, you can't store the quarks that the quark fusion reactor runs on, you have to create them as they are needed. A deuterium-Helium-3 fusion reactor generates the initial energy to get this quark fusion reactor going. A good analogy is the deuterium-helium-3 fusion reactor is analogous to the car batter that sparks the spart plugs that ignites the fuel in the pistons which drive your car's internal combustion engine. The quark reactor is in the maneuver drive, energy goes into it from the conventional fusion reactor and the maneuver drive consumes ordinary hydrogen and helium, though practically it can run on any matter, hydrogen is the most convenient because it is the most abundant, So we're going by the proportions that the Jump drive uses. Maneuver 1 requires 10% of the Hull Volume to by hydrogen, Maneuver 2 requires 20% and so on, this fuel supply lasts for a standard 4 weeks of continuous operation at the maneuver drives maximum rating.

The wormholes are over one billion years old, humanity hasn't figured out how to produce wormholes yet, but whatever race built them, built enough to spread them all across the galaxy and beyond, and the aliens that built them had a tendency to prefer sun like stars, those of type K, G, and F, there are some type M red dwarfs, but most of those are skipped over, some wormholes lead to systems where their is only a brown dwarf or other substellar object, most of the larger stars and giant stars seem to be included. There are automatic devices built by the aliens which maintain the wormholes and continue to spread and expand the wormhole network, a lot of the giant stars are much younger than a billion years old after all. Indications are that the alien race wormhole network originated in the direction of the Andromeda Galaxy, no one has yet found the alien's homeworld yet. In one instance the wormhole network connects to a version of Earth in the year 1647 AD when it was discovered, the Home Earth is in the year 2491 AD, and another version of the Solar System was discovered with a ringworld around it, 3.8 light years from a wormhole connecting a Barnard's Star in the year 11,800 AD.

Mostly people don't concern themselves with what time period the various connected systems are in, as most travel is through the wormholes, not between the stars outside them. Each different time period is on a different timeline connected only by the wormholes, for everyone that travels through them, it is all their present. The 1647 AD wormhole was quite useful, as it contained many species that had vanished from the 2491 AD Earth, which had a nuclear war in its mid 21st century. The 1647 AD Earth has the same history as our own up to the point that first contact was made, this sort of derailed that Earth's history from our track, as interstellar merchants landed and sold their wares to the various kings and queens of that planet, thus boosting the local tech level and causing drastic changes in the societies of that Earth. the population growth rate has soared and it has only been ten years since first contact was established. Some effort was made to innoculate the native Americans and other aboriginals from diseases brought over from Europe, Africa, and Asia, and they were also quite helpful in fighting small pox malaria, and the black death as well. It is still pretty much a low tech world other than the simple stuff such as drugs which were imported from off world and in some cases manufactured locally. Earth 1647 has the same set of planets that Earth 2491 has. Mostly the opportunities for delving into Earth's past are limited, as most wormholes connect to other stars, and traveling the light years outside of the wormhole is generally deemed not worth the trouble except in the case of the ringworld Solar System, where there is a very big reason to do so!
Rikki Tikki Traveller
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3365
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:20 pm
Location: Arlington, TX USA

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Fri May 18, 2018 3:52 pm

What I did was use Star Gates as a SUPPLEMENT to the existing Jump Drive.

A Class A starport has a Star Gate (called Jump Gates in my game) if within the Imperium. Currently a Jump Gate is a TL15 item, so only the Imperium has it (and possibly the Hivers, but they aren't saying...).

It works just like a Jump drive (J6) but ships don't need Jump Fuel to use it. If they have a jump drive, even just J1, then they can come out at any system. If they have no Jump Drive, they must come out at a Class A starport.

Keeps it limited so that current games/settings can still work if you want, but adds a nice High Tech change.

Just FYI
My friends call me Richard.
You can call me Sir.
Tom Kalbfus
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2308
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri May 18, 2018 4:51 pm

There is no reason why you can't have a jump drive that can send a ship into Jump Space, but doesn't go itself, this leaves the fuel requirements behind with the Jump gate. Not exactly a wormhole. In my game a wormhole only has two openings and their is a physical distance inside between them. A ship uses its maneuver drive to travel through the wormhole, and the wormhole also allows radiation to pass through as well. Light takes 1 minute to travel through a wormhole, while a 1-g starship takes a day. It is a bit dangerous to accelerate at a different rate as you risk colliding with other ships within the wormhole that are accelerating at 1-g, this is a bit of a problem because the wormholes are only 500 meters wide!
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3102
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Reynard » Fri May 18, 2018 5:45 pm

This got me thinking about the FTL technology from Mass Effect. I'm imagining from the cut scenes you're loaded in the chamber and 'shot' to your target destination.
Tom Kalbfus
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2308
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sat May 19, 2018 3:57 pm

Reynard wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:45 pm
This got me thinking about the FTL technology from Mass Effect. I'm imagining from the cut scenes you're loaded in the chamber and 'shot' to your target destination.
Perhaps the Jump drive can be seperated into two parts, the part that gets you into Jump Space, and the part that maintains the jump bubble, the second part can go with the ship while the first part remains behind. Since all Jumps take about five days, then the first part is the hard part, such as jumping the starship 20 parsecs for instance, since you don't have to bring the jump fuel with you and the Jump drive doesn't jump itself, you can get past the range limitations this way. Of course you might not have a way to get back.
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3102
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Reynard » Sat May 19, 2018 9:57 pm

If you're getting a 'jump' start at departure, you are reliant on stations to be at the destination. That would make your Traveller Universe limited and colonization and station building would be one way trips until a jump station is in place. You might have powered modules with the jump system sent by another jump station.

Sending scouts to a new system would be a one way mission best served by drone ships that survey then transmit the data but can't leave. Recieving the information would take 3 to 18 years. Exploration would be extremely slow.
Tom Kalbfus
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2308
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: Substituting fixed wormholes for the Jump Drive

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sun May 20, 2018 1:23 pm

Wormholes are much simpler, they also allow you to skip over the unimportant systems. PCs don't have to waste their time exploring endless red dwarf systems. Seeing a bloated red dwarf in the sky which does not move should be a very familiar site. Wormholes take you right to the rarer stars without the endless red dwarf exploration that you would normally encounter if you explored every star.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests