Hyperlanes are well-traveled paths between two points in the galaxy. Scientists analyze navigational data obtained during travel to maximize the efficiency of hyperspace travel. The result is a reduction in the time required to travel the route. Hyperlanes are bi-directional and will offer the same decrease in travel time regardless of direction. Hyperlanes are only possible between locations that are moderately close in galactic terms. The maximum length of a hyperlane is 200 galactic units. Star systems have the necessary gravitational turbulence to discover and exploit faster hyperspace travel; deep space destinations are not part of the hyperlane network.
Navigational data, in the form of datasets, is collected onboard the travelling vessel at the end of a hyperspace jump if the navigation sensors are enabled. The pilot of the vessel can toggle the sensors on or off at will. The pilot of the ship has the option to download selected navigational data to an astromech droid. This action deletes the data stored in the vessel. The pilot can also flush the buffer to wipe selected navigational data without downloading it. All navigational data onboard a vessel is lost if the vessel is destroyed.
Navigational data blocks contain substantial amounts of uncompressed gravitational readings. The memory buffers onboard starships can only retain a limited number of datablocks. The limit is based on the class of ship. Once this limit is reached, further navigational data is discarded until the pilot flushes the buffer or downloads the existing data to an astromech droid.
The maximum length of a hyperlane is 200 galactic units. Navigational data will not be collected on hyperspace jumps longer than this limit.
The datasets are useless without further analysis. The analysis required to transform navigational data into a usable hyperlane can be performed by a special Scientist NPC present in all stations and facilities which can perform research. The NPC will research data that is stored in astromech droids that are located in the same room as the player and which the player has permission to interact with, or ships docked in the NPC's station or facility that the player has permission to interact with.
The player providing the datasets is responsible for the research costs and receives the award from selling the hyperlane. The owner of the station or facility conducting the research receives a portion of both the costs and award.
The Galactic Hyperlane Registry maintains a record of all publicly available hyperlanes in the galaxy. The records are automatically deployed to all hyperspace-capable ships in the galaxy, and all ships automatically use public hyperlanes if they are available.
Public hyperlane information is available to all ships in the galaxy. Due to the safety precautions needed to protect the general public and guarantee safe travel, public hyperlanes can reach a minimum 0.55 multiplier to travel time. There are no limitations on who can use or contribute to public hyperlanes. Publicly available hyperlane information cannot be lost or deleted once it has been uploaded to the galactic hyperlane registry.
The following set of equations describe the mechanics of hyperlane mapping, analysis, and travel.
The number of navigational data blocks gained from a hyperspace journey is determined by the pilot's R&D Engines skill, the length of, and total sensors on the ship, and the length of the journey.
The credit cost of performing hyperlane analysis is determined by the number of data blocks analyzed and the Management skill of the player. The cost is calculated per dataset analyzed.
The player earns 0.1 times the number of blocks analyzed, rounded up.
The credit award for selling hyperlane data to the galactic hyperlane registry is determined by the decrease in measured travel time, and the Diplomacy skill of the research operator.
The speed modifier of the hyperlane is determined by the speed limit of the hyperlane (0.55), the total number of data blocks analyzed, and the length of the hyperlane.