Quantum slipstream drive questions

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

  1. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

    Jan 15, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    This method of propulsion is integral to the plot of the current books in the Voyager relaunch as well as the Typhon Pact miniseries, which is why I stuck it up in Trek Lit first rather than just Trek Tech, but between the two forums I hope to get some tech-related questions answered and inspire some fruitful discussion. Mods, please forgive the double-post in forums, but there are those who read the lit but don't necessarily participate in the Tech forum and perhaps know the answers but wouldn't then see the questions, and vice-versa, so please bear with me. Here goes...

    (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?

    Thanks in advance for your time, folks. :)
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Here's commentary from somebody who hasn't actually read the books, so take it for whatever it's worth...

    Outside the books, it seems the speed actually varies quite a bit - 15 ly/ X min and 300 ly/h in "Hope and Fear", and all the way to Alpha in a matter of hours in "Timeless". Each of these would seem to represent a "maximum speed" of some sort, in its own context.

    So it's probably basically that slipstream travel allows for near-infinite speed, and your navigation skills (or your skills of juggling the "phase variance", whatever that is) dictate how much of that speed you can use.

    Since the Voyager herself was so easily and quickly modified in the field for very high performance as seen in "Timeless", this probably wasn't necessary - any old design could have been adapted. OTOH, the ship first seen in the novel context (that is, the Merian from the calendar) does not appear particularly large. She's markedly smaller than the Voyager, by all appearances, so she could well have been custom-built after news of the new drive reached Earth.

    Since slipstream was supposed to be a working, already fully developed technology, Starfleet could swiftly verify it aboard the Merian and immediately start designing the bigger ships with which to wage war in the Typhon Pact books.

    That sounds quite unlikely - "Hunters" seemed to establish that the network was destroyed for good due to Janeway's meddling, and no later episode suggested that our heroes could have made further use of it. There was no data exchange in "Hope and Fear" via the network, merely the opening of a previously sent message from Earth that was delivered by the deceitful Arturis and first offered in corrupted form.

    During the narrow time window when the Hirogen network was available, our heroes would not yet have heard of slipstream, then.

    I like the "icebreaker" idea - the slipstream path is clearly a phenomenon that other ships can utilize, as we saw in "Timeless" where the Delta Flyer utilized a slipstream created by the Voyager.

    Hard to tell. But their forward profile isn't particularly big - they just happen to be wide disks rather than needles, but the rim of the disk is quite thin.

    It might be more an issue of "tucking in" all the extremities of the ship so that they hug as close to the ship's key parts (nacelles or deflector?) as possible, giving the slipstream hole an ideal cross section. That is, not just minimal area (possible for a Galaxy, but also a "relaxed" circular shape (possible only for needleships).

    Timo Saloniemi
  3. timelord1010

    timelord1010 Captain Captain

    Dec 6, 2004
    Sector 001
    This is the thing that annoys me the most with Star Trek. They discover incredible technologies and then in most cases the next episode everything is forgotten.

    In the TNG episode "The Nth Degree" the Enterprise with the help of Lt. Barclay's enhanced mind make a jump in a few seconds halfway across the galaxy with alterations he made to the Enterprise engines. Why wasn't this technology developed since this episode was several years before Voyager got lost in the Delta Quadrant.

    Since Barclay made these changes to the Enterprise engines, why didn't Starfleet keep using it since this would seem to be the ultimate form of space travel, to instantly jump from one point in space to another without racing thru space.
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    The Cytherians probably removed the changes. They allowed Barclay to install them just so they could bring the Enterprise around for a visit, but I'm sure they have their own Prime Directive which wouldn't allow Starfleet to keep it.
  5. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Indeed, it could be argued that it's unrealistic that any of the great technologies our heroes encounter could be put to use within the lifetimes of the heroes. Even if the technologies aren't booby-trapped or otherwise secured against possession by primitives, they should simply be too advanced to be comprehended by the Federation. Sure, Kirk or Janeway can push the buttons of an already existing alien machine, but building one out of scratch should be impossible.

    In this respect, things like slipstream drive are problematic because Starfleet or Janeway's crew did not lose the resource required to understand and install this technology - Seven of Nine stayed with them. But Janeway's ship was short on resources in other respects, which may have stopped them from trying to develop slipstream further.

    Timo Saloniemi
  6. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

    Jan 15, 2008
    Omaha, NE
  7. DRACO

    DRACO Captain Captain

    Jun 9, 2004
    (1) That is going to depend on your slipstream drive, your computers ability to calculate changing variables and your ships ability to handle the stresses- and on that note how much your shields are used as a tunneling medium.

    Before we talk about Quantum Slipstream in Star Trek, let's talk about the theoretical physics it is based on. This idea comes from an understanding of what is known as quantum tunneling. We know it happens, but it is a quantum phenomenon, and doesn't occur naturally on the macro level we're at. Getting it to happen on the quantum level is difficult enough.

    You create a transitional medium/feild etc by which you enter a given quantum state, a space outside of normal space.. and by doing so you can create a conduit optimized to propel the ship at excessive speed.

    Here is a link talking about quantum tunneling.


    It goes along with the uncertainly principle. What we are interested in, is the quantum mechanics that allow a particle to go from point a to b without traversing space as we know it. So what we want to do is traverse through that probabilistic space, tunneling as a quantum particle does. This is similar to wormholes and other such phenomena, except that instead of being a tunnel between two fixed points... the particle creates a tunnel as it pushes out of normal space-time, and maintains that tunnel emerging on the other side. The tunnel moves through the atemporal so that the particle can exist in the new location. In other words, continuity of space-time is maintained by that which is outside space-time, avoiding paradoxes. Elsewise the quantum level would be very disastrous for our existence.

    This gets very complicated, with hyper-geometry, and how the uni/multiverse handles paradoxes, it self-corrects by arranging things through that which is not contingent, non-temporal.

    So it is going to depend on what kind of state you can create, and maintain as well as how well your ship can traverse that state that is going to determine your speed, just as not all warp drives and warp fields are created equal, neither are quantum tunnels.

    Let's back up a minute. This isn't much unlike technology we've seen in trek before. You know how in the movie era the enterprise went into wormhole effect? That is not quantum slipstream but it is the same result in our space-time meaning whereas with the quantum drive we are dealing with more than just our fabric, with the wormhole affect we are dealing with the concept on our level of space.

    Imagine you could manipulate your warp field to rotate around the ship creating a space-time warp-tunnel. Time and space would be distorted in this tunnel. five minutes in the tunnel could be five fours outside, and five meters could be five kilometers depending on the kind of distortion and its extent.

    We've seen this tech used on Xindi reptilian ships and like Slipstream, the warp tech was tied into the main deflector to create the vortex... but we aren't at Slipstream yet. That takes more doing.

    Now, under the right conditions could you create a wormhole? Sure if you could manipulate the conditions enough you could could but that's moving closer to slipstream- and you would be creating it dynamically, it would cease when your drive stopped maintaining it.

    A space-time vortex would be transwarp. All transwarp means is that you have more leverage than with the ratios on the standard warp scale. On the TNG scale Warp 10 is infinite speed, requiring infinite energy to move anything with mass to that speed. It isn't attainable (well, there are relative infinities but nvm that). Every 9 after 9.0 is a closer approximation. You can get closer and closer but you will never get there and the farther you go the more resistance you get from the fabric of space.... however you gain much more speed from 9 to 9.9 that from 8 to 8.9 and more ground from 9.9 to 9.99. It is an exponential curve.

    I have speed factors for both the TOS and TNG scale if you want to see them. They'll be debatable but they are a realistic scale.

    So What is transwarp. Transwarp doesn't mean being warp-speed so much as warp-efficiency. If I create a warp field that uses 1/10 less power to reach warp 1 that's transwarp. Let's say that savings is consistent and it costs me 1/10 the power it took to reach warp 9 and 1/10 for every nine after it.

    Well, before I could only go to warp 9, but with my transwarp I can go to 9.999999999.
    Remember that because the scale is exponential at this point this is many many many times further past warp 9 than 9 is past 8.

    That's transwarp, and usually we see it in corridor style. makes sense, we aren't looking at space-time as a plane anymore with take advantage of more surface area and geometry.

    So we got the geometry down, now if we can twist that space-time vortex bubble into and through a quantum state we can tunnel like an elementary particle.

    That's slipstream.

    and lets say you have a formula that can do that, but that Vulcan over there has a formula that is either more complex and capable of accounting for more, or perhaps better yet his formula does everything yours does but in fewer calculations meaning his computer can do more work per operation.

    Again your mileage may very.

    2) Depends on what you consider slipstream. I'm sure they tried, especially if we are to assume they have knowledge of quantum tunneling, and I wouldn't see why they wouldn't.

    Though if they did I don't think it was on the scale at which they could have tested it on a starship.

    We know the Excelsior class was constructed to be a Transwarp test bed. That failed miserably. It did propel warp drive forward though, making the Excelsiur twice as fast was it? with conventional warp drive and led to many refits fleetwide (this is more insinuated than stated).

    There was an episode of DS9 where they go back in time and the comment is made that ships were twice as slow then (TOS). Truthfully they were slowery than that, but I take this as a reference to the Excelsior setting that standard.

    As for bigger ships like the Galaxy yes, it would be hard on them. More surface area = more square feet of pressure applied. Seafaring ships have to account for this as well in terms of buoyancy, and submarines in terms of getting crushed. If you double l x w of a plane you quadruple surface.

    A tunnel propels you like a current, if you've ever been in a water-slide and felt the g-forces you'll get the idea.

    This is also why you don't see much of a neck on post-First Contact+ fan designs... That neck is the weakest structural point, having to deal with differences of pressure between the two hulls, it is most likely to "snap".

    In space you normally don't have to consider this, space is a vacuum and so your ship is in a space of 0-1 atmospheres. This is why most ships can not survive under-water (being water-proof aside), too much pressure. Slipstream changes the game though. Same with vortex warp, and the Enterprise shaking at the seams.

    So those who want to keep the neck should be for a slipstream-less plot. :guffaw:

    3) I would think it protocol to relay a basic knowledge of the technology to starfleet. They may not have had the bandwidth to communicate it all.

    I would imagine also that they'd be able to send a message using standard Starfleet encryption algorithms. Under normal protocol they would have sent something.

    However, Slipstream is a game-changer like Omega is a game-changer, and Slipstream could be used to develop some devastating weapons (though I wouldn't assume that was introduced into the conversation, if any whether to send the information or not) so Janeway may have chosen to select very carefully what she sent along those channels.

    Hard to say.

    As for the Vesta, and ships of the line... I'm not sure how canon or how much continuity was intended with those.

    4) Other ships can be in the stream with the slipstream ship, depending on the profile generated when entering. I'm pretty sure voyagers shuttle was out of the bay before they entered slipstream?

    Once in slipstream it should be possible to transition from your tunnel to another but I wouldn't recommend it.... but Janeway was never one for safety?

    5) Already covered this.

    6) The size of the ship isn't the problem so much as the profile of the ship once in the tunnel. However, and this is arguable, but certain shapes should make transition more seemless, less awkard etc... because your creating a profile which becomes a transitionary medium. However focal length to create the envelope would help, and while it would take more energy to make a bigger envelope that should be negligible. The ship should be able to pull its weight...

    7) We never got schematics of the modified Voy to my knowledge. The changes were internal with the equipment being surprising little compared to the warp drive. Essentially it involves tying the warp-field in with the deflector, through the slipstream engine and giving the computer access to regulate.
  8. DRACO

    DRACO Captain Captain

    Jun 9, 2004
    Also, I doubt Starfleet spent much effort on that route after the Excelsior project. According to Tom Paris, Starfleets new brain-child was Coaxial warp-drive.
  9. Go-Captain

    Go-Captain Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    May 23, 2015
    In Voyager 7 of 9 says slipstream is similar to transwarp. It might stand to reason that transwarp research fed into slipstream research, giving Starfleet a leg up on Voyager. This would be in addition to the billion fold advantage in raw intellectual numbers the Federation has over a single starship. Voyager's people are smart, but there are always smarter people out there in the world.

    As pointed out, Voyager reverse engineered and retrofitted itself with a monkey version of the drive in no time. Slipstream is easy to get going if you are willing to make mistakes. I like to think Starfleet, with better access to brains and resources, was able to create a better deflector or computer or algorithm to control the slipstream, and do it in minimal time.

    Based on the Delta Flier design and build process we know altering designs is trivial, and building them doesn't take all that much effort. If something that size were built today it would have taken weeks or months even in a factory setting, I think.

    Although, I have to wonder why they didn't reach for coaxial warp drive instead. Paris found it exceedingly easy to work on, he became familiar with the working drive, and seemed to know the theory quite well from beforehand. I think he should have been able to copy it. I guess he didn't want to blow up the universe. Coward. :P
  10. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    V1 Slipstream from 'Hope and Fear' seems to be 300 Ly's per hour (and it was rated as a 'maximum' for Voyager - though the initial 'hop' that juggled the Dauntless 15 ly's away from Voyager lasted maybe a minute before Paris was able to disconnect it - meaning that the ship could cross 900 Ly's per hour under such a speed - or if the jump lasted 2 minutes, then we're looking at 450 Ly's per hour).
    Still, later in the episode, the faked message states that the crew would need to be in Slipstream for 3 months to get back to the AQ - which doesn't make too much sense when you take into account that at 300 Ly's per hour, voyager would cross 7800 Ly's in a single day, amounting to 7 days and 14 hours (approximately) to get back home.

    Unless, this version was limited to a 'cruising speed' (much like Warp) for long term duration - but Voyager couldn't withstand the Quantum stresses for longer than 1 hour (though this was at a speed of 300 Ly's per hour) - the Dauntless however might EVENTUALLY hit the same problem, but it would traverse a lot more distance under the same speed (but the episode is inconsistent in terms of speeds - only 300 Ly's per hour remains as a top speed).

    V2 Slipstream from 'Timeless' seems to be 10 000 Ly's per minute (that's what the dialogue indicates because the trouble with the variance didn't begin until 17 seconds into the flight - which doesn't give too much time for the ship to be forcefully expelled from Slipstream to begin with... but approximately 10 000 Ly's per minute seems to be the closest approximation I was able to come up with).

    I very much doubt that SF was working on its own Slipstream before Voyager contacted them.

    The very earliest they might get this detailed information would be when Reginald Barclay got in touch with them via the MIDAS array and opened a micro-wormhole.
    Episode 'Pathfinder' if I'm not mistaken (which was in early season 6).
    I remember that when Janeway contacted SF through the micro-wormhole she transmitted the ship's logs, crew reports and navigational records - I would imagine that this information involved details on Slipstream as well.

    Considering that the crew of Voyager spent a lot of time getting themselves familiar with the initial Slipstream technology they got from Dauntless (they went through the ship from stem to stern and Janeway was very cautious and wanted to familiarize the crew with it as much as possible - which they did).
    This is one of the reasons why they were able to get a quick mockup version set up on the Warp core - but the quantum stresses were hammering the hull during the flight.

    As for V2 Slipstream, Voyager managed to eliminate the quantum stresses it would seem - they weren't an issue.
    And since it's a similar technology to Transwarp, and 7 of 9 worked on it with other Voyager crew to make it work... they managed to solve the quantum stress issues, but ended up with phase variance (which never made sense because if they tested the ship molecule by molecule, something like this simply wouldn't pass by them - writer stupidity, but fine, the technology was working nevertheless and SF had better resources/research facilities with more up to date theories, etc. which likely allowed them to solve this issue with a year or two).

    As for the Full Circle fleet ships... each seems to be able to generate the Slipstream corridor individually.
    However, if my memory serves me from when the original fleet left for the DQ (all 9 ships), Voyager was the one that generated a sufficiently large slipstream tunnel that was shared by other ships - I think Batiste's initial modifications were interfering with the deflector and regular Slipstream operations, but the crew was able to iron out last minute details to improve the process as well.

    So, I would imagine that the fleet ships travel together in slipstream (sharing the same tunnel - and likely linking their deflectors together) when they are going to the same destination.
    Otherwise, any ship in the Full Circle fleet is capable of independent Slipstream flight.

    I don't think that ships such as the Galaxy and Nebula classes would be incapable of Slipstream.
    It was state by Chakotay that Dauntless' hull geometry was something he's never seen before, which 'might' play a part in Slipstream... however, I would imagine that much like Warp drive or any other FTL propulsion system, ships would need to be able to generate powerful enough fields for themselves to allow them travel in Slipstream.
    So, if Warp field geometry plays a part in achieving faster speeds at lower fuel expenditure, then it stands to reason a similar theory would apply for Slipstream.

    SF ships seem capable of achieving variety of different FTL propulsion, so I don't think its a matter of whether they can do it, but to stabilize the fields to allow safe travel.

    I think the Achillies class (the one with industrial capabilities and fighters) was the largest ship in the whole fleet - bigger than the Vesta's even - capable of reconstructing a whole ship from even if majority of the ship in question was destroyed.

    The Vesta's were smaller in size compared to the Achillies class, followed by Voyager, the Merian classes, and finally the Demeter (which seems to be a special design in itself).

    There have been some renderings of the full circle fleet ships.
    You should type 'star trek full circle fleet ships' into google and see what it comes up with.

    There are some depictions of Voyager's refit, but 'Acts of Attrition' for instance features a regular Intrepid class.
    Which might indicate that most of the upgrades for Voyager were internal and not external.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  11. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

    Feb 18, 2007
    It all goes back to THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK, when we were introduced to the notion that the Federation was cooking up some "great experiment" that was "supposed to have transwarp drive." On a basic level, it was double-talk.

    Unlike the notion of warp drive, which had some basic theory behind it, transwarp seemed more vague than DOCTOR WHO's notion of a Tardis. It was just a whimsical fantasy-form of space travel, not unlike the hyperdrive used in the STAR WARS franchise. It wasn't based on any real scifi or science-based concept.

    Perhaps to understand what transwarp and quantum slipstream are, we should review what they clearly are not:

    They are not...

    1: warp drive. Warp drive in STAR TREK is a form of finite propulsion using powerful superconductor coils to bend space in the direction of travel; the vessel does not necessarily move, but the space around becomes a bubble that moves at superluminal velocities.

    2: wormholes. Wormholes imply a natural phenomenon, perhaps can be made artificially, that can create a passageway through space and time. A wormhole can lead somewhere else, or somewhen else, or to another universe entirely. The ability to create and effectively control a wormhole to go where/when you want it to go implies a level of power and technological sophistication well beyond most civilizations shown in the STAR TREK Universe. Maybe the Iconians, Sarpeidons, the Guardian of Forever and the Bajoran "Prophets" fit into this category. Few others would, though. Note that, in the STAR TREK Universe, it seems that "wormhole aliens" have evolved to the point that they no longer need to use spacecraft.

    3: limited to the confines of a given galaxy. Anyone capable of traveling dozens, hundreds or even thousands of light-years in so short a time is not limited to mere super-fast interstellar travel. Such beings could easily be intergalactic.

    4: revolutionary. Since the Borg, Voth, and some other powers have joined the "Transwarp Club" but still do not exhibit extragalactic capabilities, it seems possible that simply being able to achieve transwarp/slipstream "velocity" does not imply sufficient performance ability to sustain extragalactic "speed" or range. So perhaps this new technological plateau is evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

    Frankly, the notion of "transwarp conduits" and "passages" or "networks" as presented in TREK seems very inconsistent, if not outright contradictory. In TOS "The Tholian Web", the Enterprise lurches out of the Tholian trap through interphase, suddenly appearing several light-years away. In TNG's "Descent" two-parter, the Enterprise-D pursues a renegade Borg pirate ship through what is expressly called a "transwarp conduit" to suddenly appear dozens of light-years outside the Federation. Was this a wormhole? It seems not to be, since wormholes by definition are not limited by space or time and these conduits seem to be much more localized to the "now" in our galaxy.

    And the notion of "transwarp drive" or "quantum slipstream" drive doesn't match up with transwarp conduits or even with itself. Is transwarp/QS simply an ultra-fast warp drive? Is it a wormhole? It never makes sense. It's just a vague "power up the zoltron" gimmick with no rhyme, reason or consistency. If the Voth are possibly millions of years more advanced than Humans, and if they have mastered transwarp, why do they just hang out in the Delta Quardant of the Galaxy? Why don't they ever visit the Alpha Quadrant? Why don't they ever visit other galaxies? If transwarp/slipstream is achievable by both the motherships and smaller craft, why do these advanced societies need starships at all? And if the remains of the Kalaandan outpost (TOS "That Which Survives") were even only partially salvageable, why did the Federation not eventually figure out how the Kalaandan technology could be used to instantly transport the Enterprise across a distance of 990.7 light-years?
  12. DRACO

    DRACO Captain Captain

    Jun 9, 2004
    Despite their advanced technology, the Voth also thought their origins were in the Delta quadrant and were fanatical about that.
  13. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    The Voth don't seem to like interacting with other species too much.
    Besides, the Milky Way is a very large galaxy (latest revised figures actually put it at 150 000 Ly's and not 100 000 Ly's).

    Also, I don't necessarily think the Voth are millions of years ahead of the Federation.
    The Voth apparently took a very long while to get to the DQ (if they were even warp capable by the time they left Earth - though it stands to reason they might have been), then settle there, etc.
    Given their 'doctrine' which is apparently a cultural stumbling block, it prevented or curbed technological development for a very long time - however, they managed to get Transwarp working eventually with slowed down technological progress, and may have considered it enough in line with their doctrine not to necessarily advance themselves too much beyond that (or just keep themselves enough above most other mammalian races - which they don't seem to like too much - at least the leaders don't, the scientists however didn't seem to have such hangups).

    The Federation has very little in terms of technological taboos (except the idiocy behind genetic engineering), plus their ideology is different in a sense that they have a system where everyone is able to and free to contribute.
    Hence, when you combine the intellectual prowess of billions of individuals per every member species (out of say 150 of them in total), technical advancement would soar so much to the point where realistically, the Federation should have been FAR more advanced than it was portrayed in the 24th century.

    The Warp speeds of say 1000 Ly's per solar day as stated in one episode of TOS isn't too far fetched for the 23rd century when you imagine the kind of society Federation is.
    This would easily place the 24th century Federation in line where they would be exploring other galaxies as opposed to the Milky Way (which is what Roddenberry had in mind for the Enterprise-D - but apparently, the network had other ideas).

    This would also explain how they progressed so quickly.
    The Federation was supposed to be based on Resource Based Economy (if you look up the term on The Venus Project website and their FAQ, you will get a better idea behind the mindset).
  14. DRACO

    DRACO Captain Captain

    Jun 9, 2004
    We know other species in the Delta quadrant have the tech. We know there's a bit of a superiority complex among the Voth. Their ship is imposing, transwarp or not.

    I don't see why they couldn't have acquired the tech from another species, by peaceful/diplomatic means or force.

    Apparently it is much harder to build a transwarp or slipstream drive than it is to integrate a transwarp or slipstream drive. I'm guessing then that the theoretical side of it is the hard part and the engineering side of it is much easier. This seems to be the case with Voyagers computer not being fast enough.
  15. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    Well, the Voth could have been in contact with some other technologically advanced races.
    After all, Voyager only covered a small portion of the DQ on their way back... and mostly in a straight line.
    Before they developed astrometric sensors, Voyager's scanning capacity was at a minimum radius of 40 Ly's - which is a small portion... at best, they would have been able to scan in a radius of about 250 Ly's.

    And since astrometric sensors were described to be 10x more accurate (and probably better) than regular sensors, 7 of 9 was able to scan in the distance of 2500 Ly's (and if the average thickness of our galaxy is in the range of 10 000 Ly's, Voyager would get maybe readings on 1 quarter of the thickness - less, the closer they get to the center of the galaxy).

    As for Voth getting TW from another race... this wasn't really implied in the episode where Voyager encountered them.
    It was implied the Voth managed to develop it on their own - hence the huge city ships that have the capacity to beam other ships of less technological level inside them.

    Building TW on it's own doesn't seem THAT problematic.
    In-universe, the Excelsior was supposed to have had it... but it was never heard from again as some people on the show apparently thought it would make the galaxy too small (which is ridiculous, because given how meticulous SF is, exploring the Milky Way in it's entirety even with TW would still take time).

    I see TW as a 'natural' progression from Warp.
    The 23rd century seemed more than capable of doing it, but the writers had other ideas, so they dumbed things down.
  16. Tim Walker

    Tim Walker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Aug 8, 2014
    As for travel between galaxies, the Kelvans made the journey from Andomeda in only a few centuries. Their tech level, I believe, is beyond that of even the Borg.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  17. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 16, 2003
    In Trek, we were presented with the concept that some races can be more advanced in certain areas while very under-developed in others.

    The Kelvans might not have been that much more advanced in their FTL capabilities, which seems to be on par with what was said the Enterprise-D would be able to do in Season 1 ' Where no one has gone before'.
    In that episode, Data said that it would take the Enterprise just over 300 years to travel through 2.7 million Ly's (Which is incidentally the distance between Milky Way and Andromeda).

    Then again, in TOS, It was also stated it would take the Enterprise about 1 solar day (24/26 hours) to traverse about 1000 Ly's.
    At that speed, traversing the distance between the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy would take 7.39 years.

    Those speeds would easily explain how the Enterprise managed to zip around the galaxy so quickly in TOS.
    It also puts the Kelvans knowledge of Warp theory to shame - but then again, the Federation in the 23rd century had dozens of races cooperating and sharing scientific knowledge... the Kelvans seemed to be just 1 race, and didn't seem to employ a similar concept.