This article presents guidelines for starship speeds (FTL and STL) in the setting.
Starships moving at speeds faster than that of light have two commonly used references for their speed. One is constant, or c, which is the true measurement of the speed of light. It is roughly 186,000 miles per second, or 300,000,000 meters per second in a vaccuum.
The other common expression is a measurement in distance over time, the Lightyear/Minute, or ly/m. Both have their advantages, the c being the exact way to measure performance in a technically correct setting (such as the ship submissions which are routinely made) and the ly/m, which is best for day-to-day navigation. It is ly/m which can be easily used to calculate how long it takes to get from point “A” to point “B”.
As such, both are used in the starship submission, usually the c measurement first with the ly/m immediately afterward in parenthesis. It is standard practice to set an ly/m speed first and then derive a c speed from it, so that the ly/m speed is more well rounded. Otherwise you may wind up with some obscure figure which is harder to calculate when trying to determine IC travel time.
NOTE: The rest of this part can be skipped if you don't need to understand the reason for the golden number. Move to the next heading.)
The golden number was found by using these basic formulae:
|Since physics specifies that Rate is Distance divided by Time ( R = d / t ),
1 Constant is 1 Lightyear divided by 1 Year. ( c = ly / y )
(ly/y) / 365.25 = (ly/day)
(ly/day) / 24 = (ly/hour)
(ly/hour) / 60 = (ly/m)
However, rather than dividing three times, one can do this:
365.25 * 24 * 60 = 525,960
Hence the golden number. The Golden Number can be used to directly convert between c and ly/m with one simple division or multiplication operation.
The operations for converting between c and ly/m are simple with the Golden Number.
c to ly/m
c / 525,960 = (ly/m)
ly/m to c
(ly/m) * 525,960 = c
For conventional FTL propulsion systems, a top speed of roughly 20,000c is recommended. This is roughly 0.0038 ly/m, or 2.3 ly/hour. For fold-based FTL propulsion, the target maximum speed is roughly 315,000c, or 0.6 ly/m. This is also 36 ly/h.
Given that it is easier to give ly/h based speeds for the slower models, ly/h may become a common measurement in the future, derived merely by multiplying the ly/m speed by a factor of 60.
Also note that these are the higher end speeds. Less developed civilizations will have even slower vessels. Below is a table of Fred's ideal settings.
|Sublight propulsion||Standard technology aptitude||Advanced technology aptitude||Very Advanced technology|
|Average||0.150c||0.2c||0.25c (74,948 km per second)|
|Fast||0.225c||0.3c (89,937 km per second)||0.375c (112,422 km per second)|
|Intra-system FTL propulsion||Standard technology aptitude||Advanced technology aptitude||Very Advanced technology|
|Intra-stellar Fold propulsion||Standard technology aptitude||Advanced technology aptitude||Very Advanced technology|
|Slow||0.15 ly/m||0.2 ly/m||0.25 ly/m|
|Average||0.3 ly/m||0.4 ly/m||0.5 ly/m|
|Fast||0.45 ly/m||0.6 ly/m||0.75 ly/m|
Military vessels will usually have better charging times and jumping ranges compared to civilian vessels.
STL speeds should be posted in the formats listed here Sublight Speed Conversion.
Some conditions can affect FTL availability and speeds. See: Anti-FTL Field
Being able to convert properly is important, as Wes has indicated a wish to implement both c and ly/m into submissions in the future. This system will prevent errors from occurring in the future, as the old way of translating between c and ly/m was incorrect by a factor of 21. If you see an incorrect speed setting, please edit it to the slower value, or report it to the staff.