The AYSE Drive pronounced "aI/S/V" is the pseudoscience device which the Habitat uses to accelerate very rapidly for long spans of time. Several different AYSE drives have existed in the past. AYSE drives are named after Ayse Turak, one of the OBESS members of the early nineties.
In Beta, AYSE also analyses data collected by probes and science packs, and generates visual representations of the data. In the lore, this is done by having a sentient AI use Microsoft Excel 95. While idle, the AI plays the built in "Hall of Tortured Souls" minigame.
There have been several different systems used to generate the power which the AYSE drive uses
The version of the AYSE drive currently documented in Spacesim Power Grid software uses five deuterium-tritium fusion reactors to generate power. The reactors generate 68 GW at their nominal output, although this can be pushed to 100 GW without lowering the margin of safety to unacceptable levels. The reactors are supplied from their fuel tanks, which contain 11.63 kt of lithium and 3.37 kt of deuterium; the lithium is bred into tritium as a byproduct of the reaction. The power is then used to operate four graviton emitters, which are used to create a singularity in front of the Habitat (as described below).
The Tachyon/Tardyon Collector AYSE Drive
With the creation of the new Hab in 2001-2002, a new AYSE Drive was deemed required. This is the original description of the 3rd AYSE Drive.
- The AYSE drive travels using singularity induction. There are three large graviton emitters on the bottom of the AYSE drive, with rotational arcs of 20 degrees. By focusing the three graviton emitters, space becomes "more dense" causing an artificial singularity. We are constantly pulled toward the singularity, but as we are projecting the gravitons ahead of us (at the speed of light) we will never 'catch up' to the event horizon. Since this singularity is artificial, it decays almost instantaneously without constant graviton embardment. We project the singularity at a distance from us which is 'safe', that is to say, a distance such that once we stop emitting gravitons, our residual acceleration is not enough to take us into the event horizon before the entire singularity decays. (this is assuming we didn't do a 180 flip and reduced speed for half the flight).
- Due to the nature of the AYSE drive's movement, there is significant jerk during the launch and stop procedures. The drive can achieve a target velocity within a matter of seconds, at significant jerk. Usually this is prolonged to save the the astronauts 'discomfort'. The Habitat, which docks into the 'top' of the AYSE drive (more later) is suspended inside a 'shock absorbent gel' (colour may vary from mission to mission) which also helps reduce the jerk and acceleration factors. Even with the gel, initial acceleration time is usually prolonged beyond what an empty AYSE drive could accomplish.
- The AYSE drive does large-scale maneuvering by slightly adjusting the angles of the graviton emitters, so that the singularity relocates. Short-scale maneuvering (when the gravity drive is not operating) is done by venting plasma from the central torus from any of two dozen small jets, each with 90 degree rotation arcs. (This plasma is a byproduct of the TTC, outlined below)
- To ensure that we do not disturb the physics of the rest of the universe, we use a device known as the 3DMI, which stands for 3-dimensional-membrane-inducer. This device releases a teramol of strings all resonating in the correct orientation to induce a very large 3-dimensional membrane around the Hab, separating it from 'normal' space (as far as a 3-space perspective is concerned). This is similar to the Klein bottle 2-dimensional suspension of a liquid 'outside' the bottle idea. For better understanding, read some info on string theory, I fear I might begin misquote the theory. Be aware that string theory is not yet proven, but that I have 'stretched' existing string theory into a pseudo science by suggesting we can project gravitons, force a given string oscillation, and that a 3-d membrane as I discuss would EVER be on such a large scale. (normally they are at the Planck level)
- The Habitat itself is enclosed within a large protective dome, and suspended in the above mentioned gel. Note that the Hab is oriented such that the 'roof' faces the direction of motion. The gel is located below the habitat, but behind a rigid membrane. See attached sketch. Our convention is that we travel 'down' when talking with the dome at the 'top' of the AYSE drive.
- The main body of the AYSE drive is a large torus, containing its power supply, the Tachyon-Tardyon Collider (TTC). Given that tachyons are particles which take infinite amounts of energy to slow down to the speed of light, and tardyons are molecules which take infinite amounts of energy to speed up t o the speed of light, the collider works as follows:
- Two torus' are contained within, one smaller than the other. There are electromagnetic and strong nuclear force 'rings' used to accelerate the particles through their respective rings. The Tachyon is in the larger ring, as it will travel infinitely faster than the tardyon. The electromagnetic 'rings' are "cross-wired" such that if a 'north' is induced in one torus, a 'south' will be induced in the partnered ring within the inner torus. Thus, by taking energy away from the outer ring (dropping the temperature) the tachyon will begin to speed up. This energy will be used to initially launch the tardyon by putting it through a voltage of appropriate strength. As the tachyon passes through a given ring, it will induce a magnetic field (in opposition to the tachyon movement) which will in turn induce the opposite field into the tardyon ring. The tachyon will speed up at each opposition (as it loses energy). Simultaneously, the tardyon is being accelerated through the electromagnetic fields. (These are inverted at the appropriate time by computers, such that it is sped up). Note that the timing for this must be exact.
- Once a critically slow tachyon speed and significantly high tardyon speed is acquired, the 'gate' is opened (using electromagnetic fields, both particles are redirected) so that they collide within the joining passage. The collision results in both particles quantum leaping to near light speed, and then dropping down to their 'normal' states, releasing near-infinite energy. This energy is absorbed as heat and light by the AYSE drive, although there is a lot of 'lost' energy. The energy is fed directly into the graviton emitters and the 3DMI, as well as used to power the hab while docked, and charge the Hab batteries. Some of the 'lost' heat is found in plasma which is a byproduct of the coolant and the collision. A certain amount of this plasma is stored to permit maneuvering while the gravity drive is offline. Once sufficient plasma is stored for maneuvering, additional plasma is used to replenish the munitions of the Hab weapons module. Plasma can also be vented during gravitic drive flight.
- In reference to the Hab Weapons Module, it should be noted that it cannot fire from within the AYSE drive. In case of attack upon the AYSE drive, MC should consult Project Omega.
- In the event of critical failure of the AYSE drive, the habitat carries an emergency single-use drive, known as the Super Long Inducting Navigational Coil Emergency drive (SLINCE drive).
- If any problems arise with the AYSE drive during a mission, or parts need replacing, contact the nearest McKenzie Inc. representative immediately.
See Propulsion for main article.
Alternative means of propulsion include:
- Plasma Drives
- Solar sails
- Nuclear-pulse propulsion
- Fission-fragment rocket