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Particle Fountain

Name : Particle Fountain1

An experimental project being studied by the Federation in 2369, the Fountain was a new method of mining a planet by using a beam to draw material from the surface up to a station in orbit above. Dr. Farallon hoped that the fountain technology would revolutionize mining throughout the Federation.1

The prototype station was expected to be able to lift 500 kilos of material per minute. As of Stardate 46307.2 actual performance was far below this, and Dr. Farallon was rather sensitive about the possibility of the project being cancelled. One drawback of the technology was that it took months to get the stream up to full strength; she boosted lift capacity by more than 70% by increasing the particle stream density but this risked overloading the field generators. To compensate she distributed the overload throughout the station's systems.1

In 2369 Starfleet asked the Enterprise-D to carry out a feasibility study of the project, hoping to be able to employ it on Carema III. Dr. Farallon's concerns about her project were heightened by the visit, especially as several problems arose whilst the ship was there. Dr. Farallon demonstrated a new device she was using, the Exocomp, which she hoped would get the project back on track. Unfortunately ethical problems arose concerning the use of the Exocomps.1

Unfortunately the project suffered a serious accident shortly afterwards; a power drain into the main particle impeller caused the internal confinement fields to be lost, flooding the station with radiation. The exocomps distorted the particle stream frequency to reduce the radiation levels enough to allow the Enterprise to beam some trapped crewmen back. Unfortunately one of the exocomps was lost in the process of saving the others.1

The failure made it clear that the particle fountain technology was not yet ready for full scale use. Dr. Farallon agreed that more development was needed, but was confident that the fountain would ultimately be successful.1
Yellow text = Canon source Green text = Backstage source Cyan text = Novel White text = DITL speculation

References
# Series Season Source Comment
1 TNG 6 The Quality of Life
Series: TNG Season 6 (Disc 3)
Source: The Quality of Life


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 405 Last updated : 1 Jan 1970