Here's the work in progress sketch of the Spine: the first generation slipstream core that the Aurora uses:
As you can see, there are several pipes leading off of the main core. They do... something, my Treknobabbler came up with a use for them:
Babbleon Engine Technology Group wrote:
Quantum Slipstream Prototype USS Aurora:
Inspired by data gathered by USS Voyager (see attached files). This file introduces basic slipstream physics and serves to offer non Engineering personnel a basic primer on slipstream drive operation.
OVERVIEW: Conventional warp-drive as envisioned by Vulcan and Human science involves a gross distortion of real-space via the application of a hyper-spatial electromagnetic/gravametric field. This field is generated by the interaction of certain energetic byproducts of matter-antimatter reactions with a specific class of densifed matter arranged into paired coils. The resonance of these coils provides the spatial distortion that drives the vessel forward.
This has been the status-quo for over 200 years.
A new understanding of the quantum-level structure of the universe has allowed us to create a new form of drive. By projecting converging gravametric beams to a pre-determined point it is possible to open a psudo-wormhole. Entering the wormhole bypasses normal spacetime, allowing incredible velocities to be achieved. This is not a true wormhole, as the endpoints travel with the vessel... in effect the vessel can create a wormhole at will and exit it at a destination point. Interaction with normal space is very limited, therefore the ship can travel with shields offline as there is matter or obstructions within the slipstream nor is there any way for an object in realspace to interact with the vessel.
As with conventional warp drive the heart of the drive is a matter-antimatter reactor. For slipstream drive power is applied to four redundant gravametric beam generators and a subspace matrix projector. The system can operate with two of four generators offline. The interaction between the intersecting beams and the subspace matrix create a massive alteration of the very fabric of space, in effect a tunnel. The tunnel at this point is three meters high but no thicker than the diameter of a neutron. The subspace matrix is altered to force open the tunnel and stretch it to the dimensions of the vessel. Once this occurs the ship enters the tunnel and applies a specially tuned spatial interaction field generated by the nacelles, this forces the tunnel to remain open. The collapse of the tunnel behind the nacelles pushes on the energy field produced by the nacelles, imparting tremendous velocity upon the vessel. So long as the matrix is projected ahead of the vessel the vessel moves forward.
Stopping the vessel at a specified point involves creating a window in the matrix and a controlled sequential power-down of the nacelles and the near simultanious creation of a standard warp field... This in effect ejects the vessel from the stream where it gradually slows to sub-light velocity in the normal method.
Currently, our understanding of slipstream physics is limited. The nacelles generate the interaction field by bouncing a tuned particle stream between two tetryon field mirrors. The interaction between the particle stream and the tetryon field create a subspace distortion capable of interacting with the quantum tunnel.
In traditional warp-drive, dilithium crystals are used to convert and tune the energetic reaction products to useful energies. In slipstream drive, the same matter and antimatter streams are used but the useable product is produced by interacting the streams with a benimite crystal. Benimite is a very rare and precious commodity at this time, true stable benimite can only be created under laboratory conditions. This is a very labor and energy intensive process, and currently the yield of stable crystals is less than 5% of all crystals produced. In the event of the loss of the ship, recovery of the crystals takes highest priority over all other operations.
The sketch is practically to scale to fit the space available in the rear of the ship, though the deck layout is nowhere near final; neither are the "spinal columns" along the core (that's actually my mistake; I thought I had centered the slipstream converger / Dilithium chamber properly. I was wrong >_<). Anyway, C&C would be highly appreciated