Cosmic Energy Screen

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Overview

Cosmic energy screens were developed by Boskonian scientists to provide their ships with an significant edge over the Galactic Patrol's ships. The screens worked by absorbing "cosmic energy" from surrounding space and allowing the starship to put it to use. Kimball Kinnison, in his first mission for the Galactic Patrol, used the specially-designed ship Britannia to bring examples of the technology back to Prime Base, negating Boskone's advantage and allowing the Patrol to go on the offensive. As part of this offensive, the Patrol ships employed screens that were capable of cutting off this flow of cosmic energy, thus denying the Boskonians (who were overly reliant on cosmic energy and did not make good use of existing Accumulator Cell technology to store the energy for later) a source of power.

Power Output

The only hard figure we have for power generation by cosmic energy screens comes from early on in Gray Lensman, and relates to the Dauntless, a state-of-the-art Patrol ship built for Kim Kinnison:

"Thus, the atomic motors which served as exciters had a maximum power of four hundred pounds per hour; that is, each exciter could transform that amount of matter into pure energy and employ the output usefully in energising the intake screen to which it was connected. Each screen, operating normally on a hundred thousand to one ratio, would then furnish its receptor on the ship with energy equivalent to the annihilation of four million pounds per hour of material substance. Out there, however, it was being observed that the intake-exciter ratio, instead of being less than a hundred thousand to one, was actually almost a million to one."

Each cosmic energy intake screen can usually furnish a ship with the energy equivalent to 1,814,369.5kg of matter - or 1.63e23J per hour assuming 100% efficiency (which seems to be close to what the Patrol ships have). This works out at 4.54e19J per second per intake screen. These figures incidentally are for galactic space - for intergalactic space, multiply the figure by 10.

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