Quantum slipstream drive questions

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by SicOne, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    (1) How fast is it supposed to be (well, other than "speed of plot", naturally...)?

    In the Voyager episode "Hope and Fear", Janeway's log said Voyager traveled some 300 light-years in an hour before the slipstream crapped out on them, which would make it roughly 15x faster than subspace communication speed as listed in the Trekpedia (which itself is 20 light-years in 53 minutes). I haven't read the few most recent books so I didn't know if they'd ever mentioned more precise numbers that were better, or worse, than those from "Hope and Fear" as the Federation experimented (and hopefully improved) upon an alien technology.

    Which leads me to...

    (2) Did the Federation make advances in slipstream drive BEFORE Voyager communicated with them from the Delta Quadrant? If Voyager didn't return until, what, 2377, and then they had to figure out how to safely and effectively work quantum slipstream drive the first place, build or adapt a few testbed ships, and then move to a time-consuming prototype Vesta as well as have a handful of production Vestas and other slipstream-equipped ships up and running, that's only a few years between Voyager's return and the events of "Full Circle", which suggests that the Federation has been working on quantum slipstream drive well in advance of Voyager's first communication with Starfleet after the Arturis incident.

    Unless...quantum slipstream drive is not necessarily a drive system in and of itself, but rather some kind of bolt-on technology (like the focusing pylon doohickey in front of the Vesta-class main deflector dish) that can be adapted to existing ships. I thought I had read dialogue that Voyager had to be reequipped with new warp nacelles in order to use slipstream and wasn't sure if the Vesta and other ship classes depicted in the Full Circle fleet were engineered from scratch to be able to slipstream without later bolt-on technology, or if it was a fortunate happenstance of their design.

    And IIRC from the Ships of the Line calendar, the Meerian-class came out in 2377, right about the same time that Voyager returned. If that's the case, then either the Meerian was built with slipstream in mind from a pre-existing Starfleet propulsion project, or it was an easily-adaptable design to the slipstream tech that Voyager returned from the DQ with. I am inclined to think the former, since it appears that the requirements of slipstream drive suggest that it is the driving influence of the sleek and slender Vesta design in the first place. It is my understanding that larger, wider ships such as the Galaxy and Nebula-classes cannot use slipstream (see below).

    (3) Related to #2 somewhat, was it spoken of in Trek Lit if Voyager communicated the technical information and specifications of the quantum slipstream drive to Starfleet between the time of "Hope and Fear" (by which time they had accessed the Hirogen communication network as established in "Message In A Bottle", earlier in the season), thereby giving a few more years of lead time for the program, or if Voyager kept that data to itself until finally arriving at Earth in 2377?

    I am unsure if Voyager was able to use the Hirogen network and message back and forth with Starfleet until they began to establish realtime contact via the MIDAS array a few seasons later, or if what occurred in "Message" was a one-off. And I don't know at what point Voyager was able to realtime with Starfleet, but I was thinking it was only a handful of episodes before "Endgame", which wouldn't have given Starfleet R&D much time to work on slipstream otherwise. Additionally, looking at that situation from a security point-of-view, I don't know that I would have entrusted slipstream specs and information to an alien communications network that may have been hackable to the Romulans or other threats. As easily as Voyager accessed the Hirogen network, it stands to reason that other races may have been able to do the same; as tight security as they put on the slipstream drive project to keep it out of the hands of Typhon Pact members, Voyager may not necessarily have entrusted that information to the Hirogen comm network.

    (4) Does each ship in the Full Circle fleet generate its own slipstream, or are only Voyager and the three Vestas equipped with slipstream drive and serve as "icebreakers", if you will, for the other fleet ships trailing close behind?

    The impression I was left with from "Hope and Fear" was that once Voyager was able to access slipstream, it was able to catch up with the "Dauntless" by following Arturis' slipstream tunneling, in essence "drafting" his ship...and that Voyager's inability to keep the slipstream going for more than another hour was when it ceased "drafting" Arturis and had to turn 180-degrees and begin tunneling on its own.

    I didn't know if the rationale behind using the Vestas was because they were the "icebreakers", or if they also needed to have some battlewagons on standby in case the Full Circle exploration fleet ran into some heavy shit. Using two out of seven Vestas in all of Starfleet is a pretty large commitment, especially with the rise of the Typhon Pact occurring at the same time (I believe) as Full Circle.

    (5) Quantum slipstream appears to work most effectively when the ship using it is more slender in profile. Does this mean that the wide Galaxy- and Nebula-classes are not able to slipstream at all, or does it just require greater power to allow them to slipstream?

    (6) Has it been determined how large the other two ship classes in the Full Circle fleet are? I was of the understanding that one of them is mid-sized (compared to the small Meerians and large Vestas) and another one is hella-big compared to the Vestas. But I didn't know if more specific information regarding those two ships were given later in the series. And, if size determines slipstream efficiency, is the bigger ship just a large cylinder?

    (7) Are there illustrations or schematics online of the two aforementioned ships, or of the modified Voyager?
     
  2. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    It's my understanding that the quantum slipstream drive of the Federation is entirely a product of Species 116, although there may well have been precursor experiments in the Federation. There are indications that it isn't a radically incompatible technology with warp , inasmuch as Dominion shielding technology applied on Typhon Pact ships would allow them all to be upgraded to slipstream capability.
     
  3. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Commodore Commodore

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    I don't think this appeared in any novel, so it can be contradicted at any time, but according to this Memory Beta article, Vesta-class designer Mark Rademaker indicated the USS Spirit entered service in Novmeber 2378 "as a test-bed for quantum slipstream technology brought back from the Delta Quadrant by the USS Voyager".

    I believe they were all refitted with QSD and so could each generate their own slipstream... but I'm just going from memory here, so I could be wrong.

    I thought I had read somewhere that Galaxies and Nebulas couldn't be fitted with QSD due to this very issue, but I don't recall where I read this. :confused:

    There are actually three other classes in the fleet. According to Memory Beta, Achilles is Mulciber-class, Demeter is Theophrastus-class, and Galen is Galen-class. IIRC, the "hella-big" one must be Achilles. According to the most recent concept art I have seen, Demeter is 220m long.

    Mark Rademaker is designing the fleet. You can see any images he has released at his site. For example, here's the Demeter concept I referenced above.
     
  4. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, I remember from "Hope & Fear" that the reason, at the time, that Voyager couldn't continue using Arturis' slipstream technology was that it put an extreme amount of pressure on Voyager's structural integrity and just catching up to the Dauntless and getting away almost tore the ship apart.

    Of course we saw other improvements that allowed Voyager to occasionally access slip-stream speeds, since "Timeless", even though they didn't make the entire jump, they were able to get further, before future-Kim deactivated the device before the waves slipstream waves overloaded the drive and drove the ship into the ice planet.

    And then, of course in "Dark Frontier" Voyager used stolen Borg technology to access slip-stream. But I think there was dialog that mentioned that on Borg ships the drive only works for a finite time before it needs to be replaced. So, when Voyager had the drive, it had already been used by the Borg, plus Voyager had had to use the drive to rescue Seven.
     
  5. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In Dark Frontier, Voyager travelled with transwarp - which, according to Prof. Hansen, is similar to quantum slipstream.

    All Full Circle ships are equipped with QSD.

    To my knowledge, Voyager accessed the alien network only twice before it collapse, to send the Doctor and receive Starfleet's response. However, it can be hacked: In the STO timeline, Sela used in 2403 to contact Hirogen in the Beta Quadrant to ally with them. Btw, by 2409, every single ship and shuttle class can be equipped with QSD, including Federation, Klingon, Terran, Cardassian, Ferengi, Dominion and Breen starships.
     
  6. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Wasn't the Hirogen network permanently disabled? I thought it had all gone down because it was being over-used or something like that.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    You have it backwards. In "Hope and Fear," Seven of Nine reported in her log that slipstream was similar to Borg transwarp. Her father, Professor Hansen, was assimilated decades earlier and had no knowledge of slipstream's existence. Slipstream is not mentioned in "Dark Frontier" at all; the only episodes that reference it are "Hope and Fear," "Timeless," "Think Tank," and "Inside Man."


    Well, two times for the Doctor's outgoing and return journeys in "Message in a Bottle," and a third time for receiving the Starfleet transmission in "Hunters."

    But the network was knocked out in "Hunters." Well, they said it was "disabled," but it was treated as a permanent disabling, considering the show never used it again. Did STO assert that it was repaired at some point?
     
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I thought dialog indicated that the crew had been receiving letters for a couple of weeks over the network? Or am I thinking of the hyper-subspace relay that was introduced in Pathfinder? I know that once the events of Pathfinder occurred, Voyager was in contact with the Alpha Quadrant on a monthly basis!
     
  9. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Commodore Commodore

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    I freely admit I don't really follow STO, but I was just curious based on the above phrasing... in their timeline, is Earth no longer part of the Federation?
     
  10. Hando

    Hando Commander Red Shirt

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    I think Markonian just lists all the ship-types the player can acquire.
    Terran meaning ships from the Mirror Universe.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    2) I seem to recall Seven saying the quantum slipstream drive is similar to Borg transwarp. Perhaps the Vesta-class was a transwarp concept design, modified to use the working slipstream drive and then built.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I confirmed in post #7.
     
  13. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oops, I forgot Annika's father was a professor, too. I meant Seven of Nine a.k.a Professor Annika Hansen (that's what she is called in the novels, anyway).

    Yes, I meant Terran in the sense of the revived Terran Empire.

    The alien network operated by the Hirogen was not officially repaired (in STO). But, as is pointed out somewhere on Ex-Astris-Scientia.org, could an intragalactic network that survived for 100,000 years just knocked out because a single component fails? Maybe parts of the system survived, or the remaining hardwork could be repurposed, or it had limited autoregenerative abilities. Somehow, Sela came through to the Hirogen using the remains of the network. Maybe the Romulan engineers had a lucky day?
     
  14. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Commodore Commodore

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    Ah, OK. Thank you to you both.
     
  15. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Considering that by 2381, there were already a few Vesta class starships out there, I also find it hard to believe they started design and construction on a vessel that was going to have not only QSD but also some other advanced tech needed to make QSD work, AFTER Voyager's return in late 2377. So I also think the Vesta was already being build. Either for transwarp, or the new design just happened to work a lot better for QSD then anything Starfleet had sofar.
    However, since it's been established that not all starship designs work for QSD, and that Starfleet had 6 different starship designs that are QSD capable (Voyager refit, Vesta's, Galen, Achilles, Demeter and the Merian class) only months after the Borg invasion, I can't help but wonder how Starfleet pulled that off.
     
  16. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Voyager actually returned in mid-2378. Remember them celebrating First Contact Day in Season 7?

    Do you think we'll hear about Trans-Slipstream again?
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But Neelix was the one throwing the party, so who says the anniversary was in Earth years?

    As far as the Pocket novel continuity is concerned, "Endgame" happened at the end of 2377/start of 2378. There are alternate fan interpretations out there, but that's the way it is in the novelverse.
     
  18. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    I always was under the impression that the end of a season was the end of a year, roughly. The Dominion War ended late 2375, which was the end of season 5 for Voyager. So season 6 ends late 2376 and the season 7 ended late 2377. That's how I always saw it anyway.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^And that's the assumption used in the books, yes. It does create a couple of continuity glitches here and there, but what doesn't in Trek?
     
  20. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    So are we assuming that Voyager somehow communicated slipstream tech information back to Starfleet via operational portions of the Hirogen network, whereupon the Vesta and Meerian-class ships were initiated? I find it difficult to accept that a 100,000-year-old comm network spanning tens of thousands of light-years just flarging crashed completely and irrevocably because of one node incident.

    Or do we assume that Starfleet had a slipstream drive project already in progress, which led to Vestas and Meerians? Clearly, Meerians were already in-service by the time of the "Pathfinder" episode, which AFAIK was the only time since "Message In A Bottle" in the Voyager TV series that Voyager communicated with Starfleet.

    Additionally, is slipstream drive an actual "drive"? Or is it a form of deflector-related technology? Or both? The focusing thing on the Vesta makes me wonder, as do the modified Voyager nacelles that have been written about but not seen yet.