Quantum Slipstream Drive

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The quantum slipstream drive is an advanced form of propulsion technology first encountered by the USS Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, which had the capability of exceeding a starship's maximum warp factor by an unprecedented degree. Similar in principle to the transwarp technology utilized by the Borg, it was originally developed by a Delta Quadrant race designated by the Borg as "Species 116."

After the return of Voyager from the Delta Quadrant, Starfleet began analyzing the various new technologies they brought with them. The Vesta class was the first to include the slipstream technology as its native and primary source of faster-than-light propulsion.

In 2390, Starfleet gave final authorization for slipstream drives to be installed on new ships. Older ships would be called back for refit as befitting their mission and requirements. The primary goals of Starfleet in utilizing the new technology was expanding the reach of the Federation and enabling faster travel in cases of emergency.

Fleet Deployment

Operations Guide

The Starfleet Corps of Engineers has prepared the following document for reference:

Basics of Quantum Slipstream and Important Limitations

A Starfleet shuttle in the slipstream.

Speed

The standard Starfleet slipstream drive allows for travel at warp-factor 9.99998477, or 300 light years per hour.

Drive stamina

At its current technological advancement, Starfleet slipstream drives can only be operated for a maximum of approximately 12 hours before initiating auto-shutdown procedures. This allows a ship to travel 3,600 light years from where they started.

Warm-up time

Starfleet slipstream drives require a warm-up cycle before they can be engaged. This warm-up cycle requires 40 minutes of preparation by a trained Starfleet Engineering Officer.

Cool-down time

Once the drive is deactivated, it cannot be reactivated for at least 36 hours. Any attempt to warm-up the drive before the cool-down cycle has completed could result in an unstable slipstream.

Upgrade cycle

As the technology rolls out to the fleet, it will be necessary for ships to return to spacedock, on average, every two years for a minor refit and hull inspection to ensure that the slipstream drives are not compromising the long-term integrity of the fleet.

Other Rules Regarding the QSD

The following rules were passed by the Captains Council (recorded as CC2393-17):

  1. Ships with large saucer-like hulls are a gray zone. If they're Galaxy class or newer, and were put into production after the Enterprise-D, we're able to retrofit them with slipstream drives, but it places an extraordinary stress on the slipstream drive and structural integrity field, which requires frequent spacedock time (more than 200 hours in slipstream) for hull inspection, slipstream drive servicing, and refreshing of the benamite crystals. (The crystals "burn-down" at 2x the normal rate.)
  2. Any ship with a large saucer-like hull larger than the Galaxy class, and/or older than the Enterprise-D is ineligible for a slipstream drive.
  3. New ships require a more streamlined hull to utilize slipstream drive efficiently.
  4. All currently OOC commissioned ships are grandfathered into the proposal. This exemption does not apply to other ships of the same class as those that are OOC commissioned.


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