Oolite Engine Function Question.

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JameSpal
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Oolite Engine Function Question.

Post by JameSpal »

How do the various engines in Oolite work?

Are all of the various drive types different functions of the same engine or does the hyperspace engine have it's own separate physical unit?

Why does the slowest drive system not consume fuel, but shows exhaust as though some fuel in being burned?

Why does the second slowest drive unit (Injection) consume fuel, but the faster jumping function does not?

Where do the wormholes figure into the physics? That phenomenon seems to indicate that the hyperspace engines are a separate engine which may not have a hot exhaust sticking out the back, but more instead some sort of gravity field generator facing towards the front of the craft.

I'm not trying to start a debate about the use of fuel - I'm just trying to get a handle on how it all works - canonically anyway.

Thanks for any insight!
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Post by wackyman465 »

Jumpdrive works by gravity warping.
Witchspace engines are definitely separate.
The in-system drive can run off tiny amounts of Quirum fumes.
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Post by JameSpal »

Is the gravity warping of the jumpdrive related to the wormhole function of the hyperspace engine?

Does it use the same drive unit but in jump mode it just burns the fumes and creates enough of a warp to pull the ship along and in the other it warps gravity enough to create a wormhole and as a result of the power required, consumes the fuel in that mode?

If it's warping gravity, is it safe to assume there is no need for an exhaust system for the jump engine? Same for the hyperspace engine? Maybe some heat exchangers like the Cobbie MK2 has on the top suface, but not like the huge exhaust nozzles that all ships have on their rear face.

Does the ship's energy unit also run off of Quirium fumes or is that a separate unit?

Sorry for all the questions...
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Post by Cmdr Wyvern »

<Technobabble Mode engaged>

The Witchspace drive is a seperate unit, and while most ships carry one, the smallest fighters can't; the small fighters hitch a ride through the Witchspace wormhole left by larger ships instead, which is why they're often deployed as escort fighters.
The Witchspace drive needs massive amounts of energy to operate, and rather than tap into the energy banks, it converts the quirium directly in one big wormhole-creating blast.

The Torus drive, aka insystem jumpdrive or hyperspeed drive, is a subassembly of the standard sublight thruster(s). It generates a powerful gravetic ring or 'torus' field directly in front of the ship, resulting in a massive increase in velocity with little expenditure of energy. It does draw from the energy condensors, but the pull is negligible. The proximity of another powered vehicle or large gravity mass results in the disruption of the torus field, aka masslock.

The sublight thruster(s) are very efficient ion drives. So much so, they can run on the thinnest of quirium fumes. Their fuel consumption is so small, it cannot be measured with any accuracy by even the best of instruments.

Injectors are the space equivalent of afterburners found on airbreathing combat jet aircraft; they dump liquid quirium into the exaust chambers of the thruster(s). And like an afterburner, it results in a big boost in speed but it's very inefficient; half of the dumped fuel is wasted.

Energy generation:
A variety of technologies are deployed in ship designs. Depending on the manufacturer, you may find fusion reactors, thermodynes (a solid-state device using thermocouples and heat pipes to convert thruster/weapon heat into electrical power), solar collectors, radiation absorbers, or any combination of the above.
Extra Energy Units are modified thruster engines incorporating a built-on generator instead of producing thrust.

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Post by Captain Hesperus »

Cmdr Wyvern wrote:Injectors are the space equivalent of afterburners found on airbreathing combat jet aircraft; they dump liquid quirium into the exaust chambers of the thruster(s). And like an afterburner, it results in a big boost in speed but it's very inefficient; half of the dumped fuel is wasted.
Experiments into enhancing the fuel efficiency of the Injectors has yet to yield any concrete results. The last 'known' experiment in this field found that over a certain threshold the Quirium began decaying in a self-sustaining cascade which released a variety of radiation spectra, not least gravimetric radiation. This reaction was known to be highly destructive and was engineered into the Quirium Cascade Mine.

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Post by wackyman465 »

But of course, on energy generation, we all know that the Dubious Profit runs on a fission generator...
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Post by Captain Hesperus »

wackyman465 wrote:But of course, on energy generation, we all know that the Dubious Profit runs on a fission generator...
Shhhh! I don't want GalCop to know where I get those cannisters of Radioactives......

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Post by wackyman465 »

Speaking of which... Does anyone know a good place to buy antimatter?
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Post by Sarin »

I'd love to see Hesperus trying to sell secondhand antimatter :D
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Post by wackyman465 »

It's just a bad idea to buy anything from Hesperus... I have, in fact, a missile in my bays with his name on it. Literally. It never comes out and is programmed to fire on him immediately if he comes within scanner range. Best of all? It's a cascade missile. Good luck, H.
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Post by CptnEcho »

Sarin wrote:I'd love to see Hesperus trying to sell secondhand antimatter :D
Antimatter becomes annihilated during use.

Un-used antimatter is still antimatter. Purchasing it would involve risks related to how well it was stored by the previous owner and the risk of transferring antimatter into containers (if applicable).
"I shouldn't have taken off in this crate without more ammo..." Sergeant Knox - Star Blazers
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Post by wackyman465 »

You just need to worry about the quality of the containment unit... A flaw could easily be more deadly than an E-bomb.
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Post by JameSpal »

A couple more quick questions and I will know everything I need to know.

What form is Quirium stored in on the ship? Is it stored as a solid, liquid, gas, or plasma?

Anybody happen to know any mass to LY or volume to LY conversion formulae?

The wiki has a nice article, but never mentions this...
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Post by wackyman465 »

I believe it is stored as a liquid.
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Post by Disembodied »

Alternative technobabble:

The Witchspace drive is the only engine fitted in the ship. By accelerating quirium particles in a closed circular particle accelerator – a torus – it manipulates the fabric of spacetime, drawing it in at one end and pushing it out at the other. The faster the quirium spins, the faster the ship goes. No quirium is consumed in the process. Properly maintained, a closed quirium torus could propel a ship indefinitely.

When local spacetime is sufficiently flat, i.e. not distorted by a large mass or by the actions of another nearby Witchdrive, it can propel the ship at around lightspeed. If local spacetime is too distorted, the torus system can only operate at a fraction of capacity: 0.2C, 0.35C, etc. In these distorted conditions, spinning the qurium at "torus drive" speeds would cause it to rapidly break down, bringing the whole engine to a crashing halt in milliseconds. The "Witchdrive fuel injector" system gets round this, by constantly topping up the quirium in the torus from an external tank.

Of course, the ship doesn't actually move at all: it remains stationary, while space itself is hauled in at one end and rammed out at the other. Because of this there is no inertia, hence the non-Newtonian flight characteristics. When the ship appears to "turn", it's actually revolving the entire universe around itself. Because the torus is fitted in the horizontal plane of the ship, it's easy to move the ship (or rather it's easy for the ship to move the universe) up and down vertically, but almost impossible to move it horizontally. However the ship can be spun around its longitudinal axis (or rather, the universe can be spun around ... you get the idea) by rotating the drive assembly. Some progress has been made towards "yawing" by building a smaller torus set at 90° to the main loop, and spinning it either clockwise or anticlockwise. The internal strain on the ship, and on the drive train itself, though, is massive, and personally I think this is just a passing fad with no real advantage.

The "exhaust" is caused by spacetime emerging from the Witchdrive: as this spacetime wake merges back into the normal flow, the particles and antiparticles constantly being produced from the quantum foam are briefly travelling faster than light, and hence give off the distinctive blue-purple glow of Cherenkov radiation. The faster spacetime is moving as it emerges from the engine, the more intense the glow. The conical shape is a three-dimensional section of the four-dimensional wake.

A large enough mass of quirium, spun sufficiently fast, can distort spacetime to such an extent that it can tear open a wormhole. Again, the faster the quirium spins, the longer the wormhole. Accelerated to 99.9999...% of C (constantly topped up from an external tank, as the accelerated quirium breaks down), the wormhole can reach a full 7 light-years. If it was possible to spin the quirium faster than light, then theoretically the wormhole could be even longer – but it's not possible.
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