This post is a fan-fic lore oriented article written from in-character perspective ((IC)).
Last week the scientific community of New Eden cluster has been surprised by the uncommon design of newly unveiled, capsule-fitted ships designed by The Sanctuary (Sisters of EVE), which allows said ships to enter faster-than-light speeds while cloaked, without the need for sophisticated quantum computer hardware.
Crielere Cloaking technology vs. warp drives
Classic Sotiyo-Urbaata based warp drive uses two polar dishes inside of the ship’s warp core to compress the vacuum and create a depleted vacuum bubble around the vessel. This is the simplest and most efficient design, and is used by all starships currently in operation, both capsule fitted or not. Hundreds of years have proven this is the best possible approach, because:
- Warp core is hid deep inside the ship, making it well shielded from damage and unwanted interference
- Placing the warp core in the geometric center of the ship allows creation of the smallest possible depleted vacuum bubble, which makes it energy efficient.
Engineers at Project Crielere have proven, that this warp drive design creates too much interference for cloaking devices to operate properly at FTL speeds. First stealth generators used meta-materials to make the ship invisible in a specific band of electromagnetic spectrum (usually infrared or visible light). The ship was however still visible in other EM bands, for example microwave or gamma. Historically the second and currently used approach relies on a series of graviton pulse generators in order to create a gravity lens around the ship. This causes all electromagnetic radiation to be bent around the vessel, making it undetectable in any and all EM bands. The effect of the lens also shields the ship emissions by containing them inside the graviton bubble (using complete internal reflection). In order to keep the graviton generators synchronised and create a stable lens around the ship, ship’s computer must calculate the model of the gravity lens in real time. While the model is rather simple when the ship is stationary, it becomes increasingly difficult when the vessel begins to move. All matter that comes through the graviton bubble, including space dust and the ship thruster emissions causes unwanted interference, which ship’s computer needs to take into account when calculating the bubble model. However, when the ship enters the depleted vacuum bubble, the equations in the model change in an non-linear way, making it impossible for classic and photonic electronics to provide a solution.
Engineers at Project Crielere eventually came up with an elegant quantum algorithm that can still provide a solution at FTL speeds, but it means a quantum computer hardware is required to solve the equations. This specialized hardware has been successfully installed into several classes of ships, including Recon cruisers and Blockade Runner industrials, but is generally unsuitable for most vessels, because it requires substantial customization. It also makes it nearly impossible to use on bigger ships, such as Black Ops battleships.
The Sanctuary has reached a technological breakthrough
By moving the warp drive polar dishes outside of the hull into a circular ring-like structure, Sanctuary engineers have removed the effect of depleted vacuum from the graviton bubble equations, making it possible to be calculated without specialized hardware. It is still unknown how exactly this circular structure actually creates depleted vacuum, because the electronics which does all the calculations is protected by advanced tamper-proof chips. Sisters of EVE also forbid the owners from tampering with the technology, voiding the warranty if external tampering is detected, and stating it that using the drive after it was modified will cause fatal injuries to those on board. I however believe it is only a matter of time until some intrepid hacker jailbreaks the electronic systems in the ring polar dishes, and reverse engineers the mathematics that make it work. This lets me believe that by applying this technology to a battleship-class hull could allow even the biggest of vessels to use cloaking technology at FTL speeds. It opens the possibility for The Sanctuary to develop a covert battleship vessel as well, which is currently unconfirmed, but theoretically possible.
One of the downsides of The Sanctuary approach is that the use of a quantum computer would also allow a rapid restart of a cloaking device, which is currently impossible with classic electronics. It means that the Sisters ships are forced to go through a complete startup procedure of a cloaking device, which takes up to 30 seconds, rendering the ship vulnerable during that period.
|Lukas Rox is a veteran capsuleer with PhD in Graviton Physics, currently working in Aideron Technologies as a Director, also an Expert in Cloaking Technology and a GalNet Software Architect.
More information is available in the CONCORD dossier.