The hyper generator was basically a powerful field generator, able to create an extremely powerful energy field that "forced" the mass held within it to translate into the lower bands of hyperspace. Once in hyper, modulations of the field could be used to take the ship up or down the different bands.
When a ship translated back into normal space, the field could no longer be sustained and evaporated in a flash of "transit energy", with the energy bleed-off automatically taking the generator out of translation mode and dropping it back down into Stand-By Readiness (see levels of readiness below).
Translation cycle times Edit
Basically, just as a starship's mass and dimensions affected its acceleration rate, they also affected the speed with which it could make a hyper translation: a smaller ship could cycle its hyper generator much more rapidly than a larger one. Military-grade hyper generators could cycle faster than civilian-grade hyper generators.
The minimum cycle time was 30 seconds, even for very small vessels like dispatch boats.
An 8,000,000-ton superdreadnought required four minutes (240 seconds) to go from Stand-By to the actual translation. To go from Powered Down to the translation, the same ship would require 32 minutes.
Levels of readiness Edit
There were four basic levels of readiness for a hyper generator:
|1|| ||The generator was inactive and the ship was in normal space.|
|2|| ||The generator's basic readiness checks had been completed, a minimal power was loaded on it, but its capacitors were not fully charged. Various safety interlocks were still closed to prevent accidents.|
|3|| ||The capacitors were fully charged, the interlocks had been disengaged, and the engineer was prepared to start every moment. However, even after the start sequence was initiated, there was a minimum cycle time while the generator spun its field up to translation capability.|
|4|| ||The generator was running and the ship was in hyperspace.|
- ↑ In most civilian vessels, unless the captain specifically ordered otherwise, the generator was then dropped into Routine Readiness mode, since this is so much easier on the hardware, and safer for the ship.
- ↑ Naturally, it took longer to go from Powered Down to Routine Readiness than from Routine Readiness to Stand-By Readiness.
- David Weber's explanation of the hyper generator in the Infodump