Sublight, or normal-space speed reffers to how fast a ship travels when using the normal-space drive. Speed is typically measured in a factor of Percent Speed of Light or PSL. The commonly-used Ion vacuum drive has an average maximum exhaust velocity of around 70PSL.
Starships tend to use similar terminology to their marine predecessors, however the exact speed may very from ship to ship.
Typically, these include one-third, two-thirds, half, standard, and full. These are the more universal terms often found on non-millitary bridges.
Location-specific rules also enforce port-port speed for use within designated high-traffice areas. This varies from port to port, but is usually very slow.
Alliance Space Commission Terms
The Alliance Space Commission has approved the follow terms: quarter, half, full and emergency.
- Quarter and Half speeds are considered to be respective to cruising speed.
- Cruising speed is always the most fuel-efficient speed, and in battle-group operations is the most efficient speed for the largest ship in the group. For this reason, any operation invovling multiple ships requires a crusing speed, and then half and quarter speeds established for all ships.
- Full is not the true full speed but exists as a non-emergency term.
- Flank is the highest speed that can me consistantly maintained, though is usually highly fuel-inefficient. It is considered an emergency speed.
- Full Military Thrust is the highest output that the engine is capable of achieving without using augmentations. It does not account for sustainability or longevity, and is strictly an emergency speed. Typically this involves putting the ship into battle-short mode.
- War Emergency Power usually abbreviated W.E.P., is a reserved power-mode permitted only in times of war. While the Foundation is technically always at war, the extreme stress W.E.P. puts on engine lifespans is considered acceptable only in a major crisis such as the Kamian Succession Wars. Often times this mode will involve the use of dangerous and damaging augmentations. The Saratoga's War Emergency Power mode places so much stress on the engines that a single second is equivalent to ten hours at cruising speed.