Gravitic Drive

A system for using gravity waves to propel a craft either in space or planetside.

Between 2980 and 3070 huge efforts were made by Solar Republic scientists and engineers to develop an interplanetary drive system that could replace the standard fusion drive used for all ships.

Such a drive is on the boundaries of science, and the engineering problems were, in the end, deemed to be insurmountable. Since that time there have been intermittent attempts to invent such a drive, but every known attempt has ended in failure.

Forerunner Drives

It is known that the Forerunners used gravitic drives, and their surviving gravitic ships have been encountered as part of the Forerunner Defence Grid. However, despite careful study it is not yet been possible to reverse-engineer their technology (not only in this field but Forerunner technology in general has been undecipherable despite centuries of effort).

Shadow Hunter Drives

The Shadow Hunters also use gravitic drive ships exclusively. Their technology has remained undecipherable despite a decade of study. It is believed that Shadow Hunter technology was derived from original Forerunner designs.

BGA Drives

The alien culture discovered through the Boldly Go Operation - known as the BGA - is believed to have advanced gravitic drive technology. There are no known examples of their technology in human hands, and nothing is known of their technical specification.

Theoretical Characteristics

Gravitic drives do not leave a visible burn signature, making ship using them virtually invisible until within an AU or so of a planet, or within active radar range.

According to the theory, and observations of alien drives, they may able to operate more effectively the deeper they are within a gravity well. This would mean that, in principle it would be possible for a gravitic cargo ship to cost-effectively land on a planet to unload its cargo. BGA gravitic ships up to 1000m long and with estimated mass in the millions of tonnes have been observed lifting off from a planet's surface into orbit and beyond. This might be why the BGA do not have orbiting spaceports like those common in human space.

Accelerations for gravitic drives are generally thought to be better than their fusion equivalents, at least close to a strong gravity field.