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Ask the engineer: Quantum slipstream drive

What is a Quantum Slipstream Drive?
Otherwise known as “QSD” or “slipstream drive,” this is the latest in propulsion technology allowing a starship to travel at 300-lightyears-per-hour, or equivalent of warp factor 9.99998477. It is, in principle similar, to transwarp corridors used by the Borg and it was developed from technology the USS Voyager brought back from the Delta Quadrant.

How does it work?
QSD works very differently from a standard warp drive that has warp coils and nacelles. The slipstream drive routes energy through the deflector, which focuses a quantum field, allowing the vessel to penetrate the quantum barrier. The ship then enters the “slipstream.”

Does every ship have a slipstream?
As 2390, all new ships will be fitted with a slipstream drive where resources and logic suggest they would be appropriate. Starfleet wants to use the technology to expand the reach of the Federation. Older vessels will be fitted with QSD if it makes sense for their mission . A number of vessel in the StarBase 118 fleet are fitted with slipstream, and you can see a list of ships on our wiki.

Why still have conventional warp?
There are a number of limitations to slipstream drive, as it can only run for 12 hours maximum before the drive is required to shut down for 36 hours. The drive also requires 40 minutes of warm-up preparation, overseen by a trained and certified Starfleet Engineer, before it can be engaged. Slipstream Drive itself puts significant wear on the vessel’s hull, and higher than normal maintenance times are required to carefully scan the starship for hull wear. In practice, QSD is used as an additional propulsion system to travel long distances, or in case of emergencies, rather than the primary propulsion system.

Learn more about the Quantum Slipstream Drive on our wiki!


Ask the Engineer: Engineering in Medical

Medical Tricorder

Medical Equipment. Even the sound of the phrase stirs sweat under the collar for some of our intrepid Starfleet Officers. The thought of a hypospray incites fear in the hearts of many. However, Lieutenant Junior Grade Arielle Teagan, Chief Engineer of the USS Constitution-B has written the following article regarding this intriguing equipment and how modern medical equipment has its roots in it’s engineering brother.

“In Star Trek some of the today known medical instruments are replaced with modern technology to provide better and faster treatment. Most advanced are the Medical Tricorder, Emergency Medical Hologram and Biobed, all doctors “big help” in diagnosis and faster and more productive treatment of patients.


Ask the Engineer: Portable Phasers

The Phaser is the primary sidearm of Starfleet Personnel. Phaser energy is released through the application of the Rapid Nadion Effect (RNE). Rapid nadions are short-lived subatomic particles possessing special properties related to high-speed interactions within atomic nuclei, enabling a limited but portable source of powerful burst energy.


Ask the Engineer: Federation Shuttlecraft

All our ships have a number of shuttlecraft aboard for away missions, short trips, research, and recreation. In this case, one size does not fit all! Here are a few of the shuttlecraft most commonly used:

  • Type 6: Slow short range shuttlecraft. Very easy to pilot, even appropriate for untrained civilians. Typically unarmed.
  • Type 7: Short to medium range shuttlecraft. Typically unarmed.
  • Type 8: Short range shuttlecraft, designed especially for scientific missions. Typically unarmed.
  • Type 9 (Class 2): “fast, maneuverable, but not built for comfort.” These are for long-range travel. Equipped with phasers.
  • Type 11: A large heavy-duty shuttlecraft for long-range travel. Equipped with phasers and photon torpedoes.
  • Type 15: Fast small shuttlepod with room for only one or two pilots.
  • Type 18: Fast small shuttlepod with room for two pilots and four passengers.

More information about shuttles is available on Memory Alpha.


Ask an Engineer: Beam me up!

“Scotty, Beam me up!”  -Kirk

Q: What are the steps to beaming someone up from a planet’s surface?

A: In an emergency without your transporter chief, any officer might need to beam their comrades out of a difficult situation. Here are the six steps and what can go wrong!