One of the key technological breakthroughs in recorded human history was the creation of the Tannhauser Gates. These incredible devices allowed humans to travel beyond the solar system quickly and efficiently, and in the eyes of the average person break the FTL barrier. However, how the Tannhauser Gates accomplishes this in a slight different fashion than most understand.
Tannhauser Gates work on the principle of increasing the intrinsic spin of matter so that it can pierce the Fuhrmann barrier and enter H-space (Hilbert Space). Initially the technology used to accomplish this was far to big and requiring more energy for any single ship to produce and so the Gates were constructed. These Gates represent two real dimesions in space that when a Gosse field is generated between the two of them allows a vessel to slip into H-space and travel between them. The time it takes depends on two factors, the first of which is the sending Gate. Newer Gates can produce and maintain stronger more efficient fields and are able to compress the distance by a higher factor. A Gate’s rating is depicted as P (for parsecs) and a number value (such as 10). The number represents the number of parsecs the Gate is capable of compressing into a single hours travel at the speed of light. So a Gate with a P10 rating compresses 10 parsecs into 1.08 TM (Terameters). Second is the speed that the vessel itself can travel or is traveling when it enters. Tannhauser Gates only compress the distance between the two points, it does not provide propulsion. Gosse field mimic devices mounted in the vessels allows the Gates to ‘imprint’ the waveform of the field onto the ship as it passes through. This allows the sending Gate to close for the next connection. However, the receiving Gate must remain open. Because of this most major systems have two Tannhauser Gates, one of which is on constantly to receive incoming ships.
Over the course of centuries hundreds of Gates were constructed. Originally managed by Earth Corp in their early days, they are now maintained and operated by local governments in the systems that they reside in. Many of these gates are hundreds of years old, heralding from an age before Spin drives allowed ships to enter H-space without the use of a Tannhauser Gate. They are still heavily used by private ship operators who cannot afford to hire a Navigator or by regular commercial lines to reduce operating costs.
Most Gates have a very similar appearance, possessing 3-4 prongs protruding from a massive ring-shaped facility. An inner spinning ring houses the thousands of Gosse field projectors while the outer-ring facility stores the hundreds of generators used to power them as well as the control and monitoring rooms. Like Spin drives, Gates produce a signature spiral column of energy when ships pass through it.
Accessing a Tannhauser Gate requires a valid ship registration, designation, and Gate path. Before a ship leaves station to its destination it will have registered its Gate path before hand and received clearance transponder codes. Ships are placed in a holding pattern until the Gate is connected to its destination. Once that occurrs all ships traveling will enter the Gate. All Gates have a key or ‘address’ that identifies it as well as a specific Gosse field wavelength based on the jinon energy levels around it. This information is required to connect to it. Between two Gates one is always the broadcaster (where the ships are coming from) and the other is the receiver (where the ships are traveling too). When connecting the broadcasting Gate dials the receiver’s key and initiates the connection. It takes between 30-60 seconds for the Gate to complete the connection and create a stable enough path through H-space for ships to begin passing through it.
It is possible to ‘hack’ a Gate and force a connection. The use of short range high-powered pulse communicators tied into a Gosse Transmitter can be used to simulate a broadcast from another Gate. Once a transmission connection is opened a specialist can attempt to hack the Gate’s controls and initiate a connection. Depending on the skill of the specialist they can even insert their connection request anywhere in the queue, delete queued connections, or reorganize them. More difficult would be to actually delete the log files kept of each connection. To do so would require physical access to the Gate’s black box. Penalties for hacking a Tannhauser Gate are high in every system that maintains one since closure of a receiving gate can cause ships in transit to either be phased out of H-space or crushed against the Fuhrmann Barrier.