Space, at the deepest level, is quantized, like the energy levels in atoms. On that basis, the quantum drive allows manipulation of the fabric of space allowing faster than light travel. The drive needs quantum phase inducers and containment regulators to function. Each drive uses two phase inducers.
The quantum drive setup consists of three quantum engines utilizing energy produced by dysonium crystals. The ship can travel at ten light years per hour.
The concept of a quantum drive, a device that allows a vessel to exceed the speed of light, is a staple of science fiction writing. However, while working as Science Consultant for The Orville, André Bormanis turned to the show Star Trek for inspiration and a platform to innovate. When asked if or how he borrowed from Star Trek, Bormanis answered:
We have a faster-than-light drive system, which we call quantum drive as opposed to warp drive (the idea being that space, at the deepest level, is quantized, like the energy levels in atoms, and if someday we understand how this works we might be able to manipulate the fabric of space to travel faster than light).
- The drive's setup can be compared with other Science Fiction drives of known speed. Compared to Star Trek's USS Voyager, that needs around a century to travel 70,000 light years, or 2.739 light years a day, the Orville can travel ten light years a hour, or 240 light years a day, a factor of almost 88.
- The Quantum Drive is the name given to the propulsion system as a whole, but individual engines (of which the Orville has three) are referred to as quantum engines. Likewise, the term quantum drive also refers to the state of travel using the drive, prompting phrases such as "Drop out of quantum drive".
- ↑ Mahon, Chris. "Aliens and AI: André Bormanis Explores the Science Behind 'The Orville'". Outer Place. Sept. 20, 2017.