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The quantum torpedo is the first Starfleet follow up weapon to replace the standard photon torpedo first developed in 2268. During upgrade testing of the Mark IX warhead it was determined that the theoretical maximum explosive yield of 25 isotones had finally been reached for a matter/antimatter reaction. Existing and future threat force conflicts drove the development of a new defensive stand off weapon that could be deployed on specially equipped starships, starbases and planetary-surface fortifications. Advances in rapid energy extraction from the space time domain known as the zero-point vacuum eventually led the Starfleet R&D facility on Groombridge 273-2A to test a prototype continuum twist device with a calculated potential of 52.3 isotones.
The testing of the prototype zero-point warhead occurred on Groombridge 273-2A, an uninhabited gas giant moon, in 2355, following six years of theoretical research and experimental hardware development. Various types of EM emitters were successful at producing energy bursts, and one was chosen for a detonation test 285 kilometers beneath the surface. Security measures had already been heightened for the entire program when tensions spiked dramatically one hour before the test. One researcher produced a computer simulation that indicated a possible rapid and total annihilation of the moon at the moment of detonation. Unfortunately, one calculation dealing with hypothetical runaway vacuum pinching had not been deleted, and another last-minute simulation predicted a detonation confined to a nine-hundred-meter diameter sphere. The test was successful, the Groombridge site was abandoned and restored to its original state, and Starfleet defensive weapons facilities continued with fabrication.
Quantum Torpedo Components
- Outer Shell
- The outer shell of the quantum torpedoes is composed of an inner shell and an outer shell. The inner shell is composed of a layer of pressure-molded densified tritanium with a middle layer of duranium foam. The outer shell consists of terminium ceramic forming an ablative armor skin with a outer coating of silicon-copper-yttrium ridge polymer.
The terminium ceramic act as an ablative armor for the torpedo while the silicon-copper-yttrium provides an antiradiation layer. All seals around penetrations of the torpedo shell are treated with forced-matrix ferrenimide to prevent EM leakage. These measures provide the torpedo a measure of protection while enroute to the designated target.
- The warhead of the Quantum torpedo is the same as that of a photon torpedo consisting of holding tanks for the matter and antimatter reactions and a central combiner tank.
The deuterium and antideuterium holding tanks are constructed of hafnium titanide lined with directionally cast silicon-copper carbide. The antideuterium holding tank has a third inner layer of ferric quonium to provide the required magnetic isolation of the antideuterium.
The combiner tank is also constructed of hafnium titanide outer shell with a silicon-copper carbide mid-layer and ferric quonium inner layer. Prior to detonation the matter and antimatter are shunted from the holding tanks to the combiner tank. The matter and antimatter is separated into several thousand minute packets increasing the annihilation surface. Just prior to the point of detonation the magnetic fields separating the matter and antimatter drop causing the reactants to mix resulting in the required explosion. The magnetic field separating the reactants from the inner surface of the combiner tank remains intact to help channel the resulting detonation into the Zero-point field reaction chamber.
- Zero Point Field Reaction Chamber
- The zero-point field reaction chamber is a teardrop shaped enclosure fabricated from a single crystal of directionally strengthened rodinium ditellenite. This chamber measures 0.76 meters in diameter by 1.38 meters in length. A jacketing layer of synthetic neutronium and another of dilithium act to control the upper and lower extremes of the energy field contours.
At the tapered end of the reaction chamber is the zero-point initiator. The initiator consists of the EM rectifier, wave guide bundle, Subspace field amplifier, and continuum distortion amplifier.
The energy released by the warhead is channeled into the initiator by the wave guide bundle where it energizes the initiator, which imparts a tension force upon the vacuum domain. This caused the vacuum membrane to expand creating a energy potential equivalent to at least fifty isotons. This energy is then released by the controlled failure of the chamber wall.
- Targeting and Control Assemblies
- Torpedo guidance and warhead detonation are controlled by a bio-neural gel cylinder surrounded by a low-level inboard warp field for FTL computations. The gel cylinder also controls a low-level outboard thoron web to block threat force countermeasures.
- Micro Fusion Thrusters
- The micro fusion thrusters used in the quantum torpedoes are the same units as used in probes. The MFTs are used for maneuvering at sublight speeds and for directional control while traveling at warp velocities.
The MFTs consist of a spherical reaction chamber of dispersion-strengthened hafnium with an inner layer of superconducting electromagnets. The reaction chamber is filled with deuterium gas. When the thruster activates the magnets compress the deuterium gas causing the gas to heat up until it first reaches the plasma state. Once the gas has been converted into plasma the magnetic field continues to compress the gas until the deuterium gas atoms fuse releasing the energy used to propel the thruster and the torpedo forward.
- Warp Sustainer Engine
- The warp sustainer engine is not a true warp engine due to the WSE not having the ability to drive the torpedo beyond the speed of light. The WSE is powered by diverting some of the matter and antimatter from the holding tanks. The WSE consists of a reaction chamber of Hafnium. The resulting plasma is feed to the sustainer coils flanking the reaction chamber. The coils are constructed from verterium cortenide.
If the torpedo is launched while the ship is travailing at warp speeds the WSE will grab and retain a portion of the vessels warp field allowing the torpedo to remain at warp once outside the area of space affected by that warp field.
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