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Old September 21 2013, 04:47 PM   #297
Praetor
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Ah, you're right Bob. I did forget to change that, and I wasn't crazy about Tokugawa anyway. Changed.

And with that, here's what's sure to be the most controversial chapter, on transwarp.

Chapter Two - Transwarp

By 2271, the ASDB had been conducting preliminary design work on SV-20 for five years when the secretive Excelsior Group presented its plan for building a transwarp drive to the Federation Council and Starfleet Command. Transwarp drive had been a highly classified research project for nearly a decade by that time. For years, Starfleet scientists had been researching not only developing more powerful warp engines, but also faster alternatives to conventional warp drive. The story of transwarp itself has become something of a legend to modern warp engineers and physicists.

In early 2261, Doctor Eugene Wesley was working in the ASDB's Theoretical Propulsion Group researching warp theory. Wesley made a revolutionary discovery about warp velocity; he discovered nine progressively higher threshold leaps in warp field power requirements that did not correspond with the previously utilized cubed warp scale. Following this math, he uncovered what appeared to be a tenth and final warp jump. This in itself was a revolutionary finding; previously, after debunking the existence of the Time Barrier in the 2240s, engineers had come to believe that the only real limit in warp power was structural integrity. Still, most scientists had no idea exactly how high the warp scale could go. Dr. Wesley now had an answer to that question, but also a slew of new questions. Between the newly discovered ninth and tenth jumps, increases in speed required an expotentially increasing demand for power.

Dr. Wesley eventually concluded that the tenth warp velocity jump would result in an apparent state of infinite velocity which would allow a starship to mathematically exist in all points in the universe at once. Therefore, precise control of entry and exit from "infinite velocity" would allow a ship to instantly travel from one point in the universe (the "Initial Point") to another (the "Destination Point".) Dr. Wesley rationalized that this was mathematically possible because a starship would never actually be at warp ten, akin to how conventional warp drive allowed a ship to traverse interstellar distances apparently at faster than light without technically ever travelling at lightspeed. Dr. Wesley envisioned an advanced drive capable of thus propelling a starship, which he termed “transwarp.” He named the mathematical barrier preceding infinite velocity the "Transwarp Barrier."

In February 2262, Dr. Wesley presented his classified data to the Federation Council and Starfleet. Although controversial among his colleagues, Dr. Wesley’s work intrigued them, and was allowed to continue with a dedicated research team. The team took the name the “Excelsior Group,” excelsior being from the Latin for “ever higher.” Transwarp was envisioned as the Holy Grail of interstellar travel, but the team was unable to make breakthroughs into generating high-level subspace fields necessary for the project. Dr. Wesley and his team were initially given five years to produce concrete results, and had managed to beg for another five, but he and his team were getting more worried and more desperate. Their efforts were also hampered by funding cuts by the increasingly skeptical Federation Council.

The Excelsior Group's fortunes changed in late 2267. On Stardate 5693, the Starship Enterprise discovered the missing U.S.S. Defiant, NCC-1764, near Tholian space. Defiant was trapped in a subspace rift, its crew having murdered one another due to madness caused by prolonged subspace exposure. The phenomenon was termed “spatial interphase” by Enterprise science officer Spock. Spatial interphase was described as a temporary overlap of two dimensions, specifically space and subspace, which resulted in a type of trans-dimensional rift. The interphase produced a level of subspace distortion heretofore unencountered by Federation science. While the Defiant herself was hopelessly lost, apparently trapped in limbo between dimensions, sensor readings accumulated by Enterprise proved invaluable to the Group’s work. These logs helped Dr. Wesley and his fellow scientists understand why the previous efforts to create a high-energy warp field using available power sources had failed. The destruction caused in controlled environments by these efforts was prodigious and well-documented. The Defiant disaster had finally given Wesley and his colleagues what they needed to make a breakthrough. New calculations were made and simulations and tests conducted.

While the concept of transwarp drive was revolutionary, Dr. Wesley's basic engine design itself was only somewhat unconventional. A linear intermix chamber, specced to run at a "hotter" reaction rate than on current vessels, would power twin nacelles to achieve conventional speeds. Making use of the nine natural power jumps, a ship's warp field could more deeply imbed the vessel within subspace and more efficiently provide all conventional warp velocity through the transwarp drive. Once the starship had passed the ninth warp jump, the transwarp part of the drive would initialize. This was effected by positioning a secondary "supercharger" reaction just ahead of the power transfer lines to the nacelles, wherein additional antimatter would be fed into the main plasma manifold, essentially double-charging the drive plasma. In turn, this supercharged plasma would power a second layer of the warp coils, which would provide the actual transwarp jump. Coordinated with a tunneling beam emmitted from the main deflector dish, as well as an increase in the vessel's structural integrity and inertial damping fields, the ship would continue to accelerate exponentially towards the tenth jump. Finally, at the onset of critical transwarp momentum, the starship would cross the Transwarp Barrier and be propelled through the spatial membrane from the "Initial Point" to "Destination Point." The vessel's crew would only experience a brief state of disorientation and time passage, but this would render computer control of the transwarp drive system essential.

While many in Starfleet were skeptical of transwarp’s virtues, Admiral Randolph Harrison “Harry” Morrow emerged as its champion. The young, charismatic Morrow had held a fascination with warp development since he served as a supervisor at the ASDB, and long followed Dr. Wesley’s efforts. The young maverick, mentored by Admiral Nogura himself, worked his growing influence to bring around his fellows in the Admiralty, and the Federation Council finally ordered transwarp included as part of the SV-20 project. The Transwarp Development Project was officially born. The project soon came to be known among inner Starfleet circles as “the Great Experiment,” which would be made a household phrase by Federation news outlets.
The original version of Chapter Two can be found here. Whatcha think?
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Last edited by Praetor; September 22 2013 at 03:09 AM.
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