A Network of FTL Portals for Reptigan ? How to Build One?
Posted: Posted July 16th, 2019Edited February 12th by chiarizio
Details of FTL in my universe subject to change
I’m going to guess the speed of travel through an FTL portal is
365 * squrt(distance in light-years) * c
where c is the speed of light.
This means travel through a portal is slower than light speed when the distance is less than about a quarter of a light-day.
Since a star-system’s planets are likely to be in a radius of about a sixth of a light-day from its primary star, I’m saying that people don’t use FTL portals for interplanetary travel, or other in-system travel, out to the star’s equivalent of its Kuiper belt.
I’ve also decided the energy cost of portal travel or freight will be proportional to
Where “mass” is the mass of the shipment, or the passenger(s) and their luggage and the crew and the vessel; or the freight and the crew and the vessel.
You could travel a light-year in a day. Comparable to a trans-Pacific jet airliner flight IRL today.
You could travel 100 light years in 10 days. Similar to train travel in the 1890s, maybe?
You could travel 10,000 ly in 100 days. Probably like a trans-Atlantic crossing in the Age of Sail. ??
I don’t think anyone would ever stay in a hyperspace ship for 1000 consecutive days, to travel a million ly in one go.
FTL passenger ships, and cargo ships carrying live cargo, would have to provide for them to eat and drink and sleep, not to mention eliminate. They’d probably also need to bathe. Even on freighters the crew would need such amenities, though perhaps not as much as passengers would.
The following several statistics about a planet are positively correlated with each other.
How long it has been settled
How many people it has
How advanced its tech is
How good its infrastructure is
How wealthy it is
How well-connected it is.
I’m going to allow population-size to stand in for all of these.
Subject to change, I’ll divide planets into the following size-ranges:
Big-big: pop 7 billion to 10 billion.
Mid-big: pop 4 billion to 7 billion.
Small-big: pop 1 billion to 4 billion
Big-mid: pop 700 million to 1 billion
Mid-mid: pop 400 million to 700 million
Small-mid: pop 100 million to 400 million
Big-small: 70 million to 100 million
Mid-small: 40 million to 70 million
Small-small: 10 million to 40 million
Off-the-chart small: 1 million to 10 million
Off-off-chart: 100 thousand to 1 million
In this post I won’t consider planets with population less than 100 thousand.
Each class of planet will have a “connectivity index” that will be useful in determining whether two planets have a pair of FTL portals connecting them.
Off-the-chart small: 0
Deciding Whether Two Planets Are Connected
A “hop”, in our part of the galaxy, averages about 10 or 11 light-years, and probably takes between 3 days 4 hrs to 3 days 8 hours to travel by portal.
(The portal between Sol and Centauri probably takes only 2 days to travel. You’d still want to bring snacks.)
For purposes of deciding whether or not two planets are portal-connected in my universe, measure the distance between them in “hops”.
Roll an eight-sided die that will give any whole number between 1 and 8 inclusive with equal probability.
Add the two planets’ connectivity indices together with that die-roll.
If the sum is greater than or equal to the distance between the planets in “hops”, then the two planets are portal-connected.
If the distance between the planets in “hops”, is greater than that total, the two planets are not portal-connected.
Two big-big planets that are 19 hops away from each other, or closer, are portal-connected. They might be portal-connected even if they are up to 26 hops away from each other. If two planets are 27 or more hops apart, they won’t be directly portal-connected unless a Space Force Special Project is completed to make that happen. (Terminology is subject to change. Maybe it’ll be a Union Dept of Transportation project. Or something.)
Two planets right next to each other (ie one hop away from each other), even if they’re both off-chart small, will be portal-connected to each other even if the die roll is 1.
But two off-off-chart planets, even if only a hop apart, won’t be portal-connected unless the die roll is a 3 or better.
Planets with populations under 100,000 will not be portal-connected to anything.
Planets with populations under 10,000 won’t even be considered permanently settled.
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