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Warp Core

The warp engines are used to generate a warp bubble that allows the ship to move faster than the speed of light.

The warp core is the power source for the engines and need to be coupled to warp nacelles which convert this power into a warp bubble.

The warp core creates massive amounts of power that can also be used to run the ships systems and power shields and weapons.

Warp cores use Deuterium and anti-matter for fuel, so the ship also needs to be fitted with at least one Deuterium tank and one anti-matter tank.

Deuterium is turned into electricity first (measured in megawatts) and used to drive the ships other systems. The excess is then directed to the warp nacelles and used to propel the ship at warp. Every second, the ships computer adjusts the fuel supply to accommodate both the electrical demands of the ships systems and the power required to obtain the desired warp speed.

The Matter Reactant Injector (MRI) controls the injection of Deuterium into the warp core.

Six nozzles in the MRI inject the Deuterium into the Upper Magnetic Constrictor Segments. Each nozzle can handle up to 50 cubic metres of Deuterium per hour (depending on the size of the warp core). Damaged nozzles will automatically close (as a safety measure) if their health falls below 95%. The other nozzles will compensate for a failed nozzle by opening up more, however multiple failed nozzles may restrict the maximum warp speed of the ship.

Nozzles can be individually switched between automatic mode (the normal operating state) and offline, by the command crew. 

The Anti-Matter Reactant Injector (ARI) takes small amounts of anti-matter and injects them into the Lower Magnetic Constrictor Segments. The ARI feeds directly from the anti-matter reserves and uses three flow splitters, each terminated with an injector nozzle to inject the anti-matter into the reaction chamber. Damage to any nozzle will cause the whole Anti-Matter Reactant Injector to go offline as a safety measure. This in turn will shut down the warp core.

The Upper and Lower Magnetic Construction Segments join the MRI and ARI respectively to the Matter Anti-Matter Reaction Chamber. Each contains 12 sets of Magnetic Constrictor Coils. These coils generate a magnetic field that is used to control the flow of matter and anti-matter. Each coil has a built in redundancy and can operate with up to 50% damage. However, once any coil drops below 50% the whole warp drive system will automatically shut down as a failsafe.

Power for the warp engines is provided by the matter-anti-matter reaction chamber (MAMRC).

Power Requirements

The entire warp core uses electricity to maintain a warp containment field that prevents the anti-matter from touching the walls of the core. When active, the power draw for this containment field is 1,200 megawatts. This field must be active at all times that the warp core is online. If it drops below 1,000 megawatts, the anti-matter will react with the walls of the core and cause a warp core breach that will destroy the ship. Therefore in order to power up the warp core, power must already be available from some other source such as the ships batteries.

It typically takes up to 10 seconds to fully power up the warp core once it has been switched offline. At this point, power for the containment field is drawn from the warp core power generation.

Once online, the warp engines produce a large amount of power. This means that even at warp 1 the engines are producing far more power than the ship can use in day to day operations.

When the warp core is online it can be used to generate power and run the ships systems (even if the ship is not at warp). In power generation mode, no energy is diverted to the nacelles to produce a warp bubble.

Example Sizes of Warp Cores

Warp cores come in a variety of sizes. The general rule is the smaller they are, the less efficient they are.

Warp cores are the single most massive components on the ship. Therefore most ships restrict themselves to one or two warp cores.

The power output from a warp core is massive. Remember the largest fusion reactors on the ship can "only" output 1,000 GigaWatts (GW).

cmd/s = cubic metres of deuterium per second.

Small Core:
Mass: 50 Tonnes
Max Fuel Usage: 0.01 cmd/s
Power Output (GW): cmd/s * 50,000
ax Power (GW): 500 GW

Medium Core:
Mass: 1,000 Tonnes
Max Fuel Usage: 0.022 cmd/s
Power Output (GW): cmd/s * 100,000
Max Power (GW): 2,200 GW

Large Core:
Mass: 10,000 Tonnes
Max Fuel Usage: 0.0675 cmd/s
Power Output (GW): cmd/s * 1,000,000
Max Power (GW): 67,500 GW

Upgrading Warp Cores

Spending resources on research allow the following improvements to be made to warp cores.

Reduction in size (down to 10% of original size).

Increase in Deuterium efficiency (down to 50% of fuel usage)

Increase in Anti-Matter efficiency (down to 50% of fuel usage)

Increase in Durability (up to 100% stronger)